North Texas Daily

Opinion: Brett’s Breakdown: Mean Green slump will drop Mitchell’s stock

Opinion: Brett’s Breakdown: Mean Green slump will drop Mitchell’s stock

January 16
22:51 2013

Brett Medeiros / Staff Writer

2012 has not been good for UNT sophomore forward Tony Mitchell.

According to ESPN analyst Chad Ford, Mitchell has dropped from being a potential top-five pick in the 2013 NBA draft to one of this season’s biggest disappointments and most overrated college prospects in a matter of months.

So far, there is no reason to defend Mitchell’s performance this season.

You can make excuses that the team’s best perimeter shooter, senior guard Brandan Walton, is out for the season and that the team’s injuries are catching up to them.

You can make excuses about how the team is not adapting to head coach Tony Benford’s new system.

You can make excuses that there is more pressure on Mitchell this season, but at the end of the day, the Mean Green should not be 7-11 overall and 2-5 in the conference with the talent on its roster.

At this rate, he should have left for the NBA last season because his hype may never be as high as it once was.

As of now, Mitchell is projected between picks 22-27 in the draft. He has already fallen from the top ten, so who’s to say he won’t fall further as his team continues to dig its own grave. By March, he could fall out of the first round.

He is the most raw NBA prospect there is. However, between the pressure and the high expectations of being a preseason All-American, it doesn’t appear that he can balance the scale of stardom.

In the last couple of weeks he has played better, but that won’t win the SBC tournament title, which is a primary reason for his return.

In 2013, the team is an even 2-2, which is easier for the fans to stomach.

Only the players truly know what is wrong, and that is where  changes need to begin. Not structurally, but mentally.

For years, UNT basketball has been Denton’s hope to put the school on the NCAA radar, and it would be a shame to see the “most talented Mean Green team ever assembled” fall flat on its face and kill that opportunity.

Without basketball to root for in late February and March, UNT becomes just a terrific academic university with some rapidly growing tier-two sports programs.

They have the talent to turn things around. They proved that last season. They’re just missing that spark.

Here’s to another UNT campaign built on hope.

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