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Tony Mitchell Ruled Ineligible

Posted By Nate Jacobson On Jan 26 2011 @ 9:45 pm In Missouri | No Comments

A question that all Missouri basketball fans have asked for the last several months has finally been answered. Unfortunately, it is not an answer that will not sit well amongst the Tiger faithful.

Coveted recruit Tony Mitchell has been ruled ineligibly to play for Missouri by the NCAA. The Dallas native was ruled ineligible well before the season started, but coach Mike Anderson had hopes he would join the team for the second semester.

The 6-foot-8 forward was ranked No. 12 overall in the Class of 2010 by Rivals.com, and was regarded as one of the top players at his position in his class.

To add a twist to the story, Mitchell is on the verge of enrolling at North Texas. The Mean Green was one of the schools that heavily recruited Mitchell during his days at Pinkston High School in Dallas. If Mitchell was to eventually to suit up for the Sun Belt conference school, it won’t be until at least of the second semester of the next school year.

Analysis: Even though it wasn’t an ideal day for Tiger fans, finally resolving this case will be important down the line. The players and coaches have this distraction out of the way, so now they can focus on the rest of Big 12 and postseason play. You have to think, that if the NCAA ruled Mitchell eligible today, how much would he help this Missouri Tigers basketball team the rest of the season. The Tigers already utilize a ten-man rotation so if Mitchell arrived, a quality player would be loosing significant minutes. Additionally, I would see Mitchell having a hard time adjust immediately to the playing style of the team. The Tigers have a high energy, fast paced system that requires great stamina. I don’t know what Mitchell has been doing the last six months or so to stay in shape, but I have a feeling that it would take him a while to learn and execute Mike Anderson’s offensive and defensive systems. That is the short team look of it, and personally I accepted the fact that he wouldn’t be playing in Columbia this season due to the NCAA’s muteness on the situation in the last month. The part that hurts the most from this story is that he will enroll at a different school. With the whole team expected to return next year, expect forward Justin Safford, Tigers fans were drooling of the team’s potential for the 2011-2012 season. With Mitchell’s scholarship vacant, the Tigers have three open scholarships for next season. Mitchell would have looked great in a Mizzou uniform, but now it’s time to move on and start thinking about on the court news. No matter how close we were to seeing Mitchell in Columbia, Tiger fans have to accept and be happy with the players they have.

Next Up: With two home victories last week the Tigers have inched up in the rankings to No. 11 in the AP Top 25 and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Tigers take the court next on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. as they square off against Texas (No. 7 AP, No. 8 Coaches Poll). The Tigers have the opportunity to get their first conference away win of the season. The Tigers frontcourt needs to be up for the test, as the Longhorns strength is in their big men. Jordan Hamilton (19.5 PPG and 7.2 RPG) and Tristan Thompson (13.1 PPG and 7.6 RPG) pace the Longhorns, who are 17-3 overall and 5-0 in the Big 12. The Longhorns are red hot after a 61-46 victory at Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.

Big 12 Notes: While Missouri has had the week off from games, the Big 12 schedule is still in full swing. On Monday night, the two underachieving teams met as Baylor traveled to Kansas State. It was an ugly game to watch with a clear lack of fundamentals from each side. In the end Kansas State prevailed 69-61 in a game they had to win. Boulder, Colorado has not been an easy place to go to at all this season. Colorado hosted Kansas on Tuesday night and gave the No. 6 team in the country a scare. However, Kansas survived 82-78 to get back on track after a home defeat to Texas over the weekend.

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