Texas Basketball: Roster gets massive boost in star C Tre Mitchell

News that Texas basketball fans were hoping for a long time now arrived on the evening of June 15. The Texas men’s hoops program had the news drop early this week that it would be getting a commitment out of the former star UMass Minutemen sophomore center Tre Mitchell out of the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Texas and new head coach Chris Beard were after the former UMass transfer big man Mitchell in the portal for a while now. It was almost exactly one month ago that Mitchell announced Texas among his finalist schools. A decent amount of time passed before Mitchell announced his decision, but it was very good news for the Longhorns in the end.

There also didn’t seem to be any more important transfer portal target entering the month of June for Beard and the Longhorns than Mitchell. He will give some juice to this starting unit right out of the gates.

With some of the losses that Texas sustained to the NBA Draft this year, finding depth to replace those voids looked to be a difficult feat. But it’s arguable that Beard will have a more effective roster to fit his scheme with all of his additions to the program in the last couple of months than he would’ve otherwise if some of the Longhorns bigs had returned from last season’s team.

Texas basketball adds star power to frontcourt with C Tre Mitchell

With Beard and the Longhorns now holding a commitment from the big that should be their starting center right away, the focus now will be less emphatic on the transfer portal for the rest of the summer. There might still be some transfer portal additions in waiting for Texas this summer, but this might be the biggest from here on out.

The commitment of Mitchell to the Longhorns dropped on his Twitter timeline on the night of June 15, to the elation of Longhorns basketball fans everywhere.

The reaction to how enormous this get is for Texas came from all over the college hoops media landscape. Texas got a big one here, and it might eclipse the importance of landing other big time transfers such as the former Kentucky Wildcats freshman guard Devin Askew, Vanderbilt Commodore sophomore big man Dylan Disu, and Creighton Blue Jays junior forward Christian Bishop.

Texas should now have a starting unit that is comprised of a very potent combination of returning talent and new additions to the program. That could mix some key players such as seniors Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones, Disu, Bishop, junior forward Timmy Allen, and now Mitchell.

That’s not to forget about the impact that Texas could get from other players like forward Brock Cunningham, sharpshooting guard Jase Febres, Askew, and incoming freshman forward/former elite four-star recruit Jaylon Tyson. Texas has a lot to be excited about for the looming 2021-22 season.

Mitchell is a two-time All-Atlantic 10 Conference Team selection and was the 2019-20 A-10 Newcomer of the Year. He was great for UMass last season, averaging roughly 19 points per game, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two blocks. And he shot 52 percent from the field, 38 percent from beyond the arc, and 77 percent from the free-throw line.

A lot of the advanced metrics do a good job of highlighting how impactful Mitchell was for UMass too. He registered a sparkling career-best 8.3 box plus/minus last season, 26.8 player efficiency rating, .215 win shares per 40 minutes, and a 61.3 true shooting percentage.

Beard is making a huge splash for the Longhorns since he was hired as head coach back on April 1. This is also the second transfer portal addition he’s landed in the past two weeks. The one before the commitment of Mitchell came in the form of the former Texas Tech Red Raiders reserve shooting guard Avery Benson.