As Chris Beard’s inaugural roster in Austin took form with the addition of multiple transfers and the departures of former veterans and NBA prospects, a key need remained at center.
That need was addressed on Tuesday evening, as UMass center transfer Tre Mitchell announced his pledge to the Texas Longhorns.
What’s that thing y’all say???— ™ (@tre_mitch33) June 15, 2021
Austin you ready? pic.twitter.com/AAaEWEbnto
The news comes after Mitchell made a weekend visit to the Forty Acres, which effectively put Texas over the top in his recruitment — he previously announced a top six list that also featured Bryant, Florida State, Illinois, Georgia, and LSU.
A 6’9, 240-pounder, Mitchell was a top-100 prospect in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He chose UMass over finalists Notre Dame and UConn.
Mitchell fulfilled his promise quickly, averaging 17.7 points per game on 48.1-percent shooting and grabbing 7.2 rebounds per game as a freshman. As a sophomore, Mitchell maintained his production despite only playing in 13 games, scoring 18.8 points per contest and matching his per-game rebounding from the 2019-20 season.
Notably, Mitchell also improved his three-point shooting to 37.5 percent and hit 76.8 percent of his free throws. A better shot blocker as a sophomore, Mitchell reduced his turnovers per game, too.
The addition of Mitchell is certainly a significant one.
After boasting a wealth of interior size and talent last season, Texas lost every bit of it to the NBA or transfers with Greg Brown III, Kai Jones, and Jericho Sims each entering the 2021 NBA Draft, while Royce Hamm transferred to UNLV. While Beard and his staff quickly rebuilt the bulk of the roster by way of the transfer market with coveted guards and forwards, the only notable interior addition thus far was Vanderbilt’s Dylan Disu, a 6’9, 220-pounder.
With Mitchell, Texas may have found its new starting center, or at the least, some tremendous depth to fulfill and share the sizable hole Beard and his staff are filling in the paint.