BURN THE HORSE
7 p.m. Thursday
Jack Stephens Center
With good reason, North Texas’ Tony Mitchell has drawn a lot of attention this season. And the NBA prospect has pretty much lived up to the hype.
In Sun Belt play, he leads the league in scoring (16.6 points), rebounding (11.4 rebounds), blocked shots (3.3 blocks) and even three-point field goal percentage (50 percent).
He could be the Sun Belt’s player of the year with only Middle Tennessee’s LaRon Dendy appearing to have a shot to steal the award. The votes will be cast after Sunday's North Texas-Denver game.
A gaggle of NBA scouts will be on hand on Thursday night as Mitchell and North Texas take on UALR at 7 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center. UALR’s goal, just like every Sun Belt team, has to be to limit the minutes Mitchell plays. Typically, when Mitchell’s minutes go down, North Texas isn’t as successful.
Obviously, anything can happen. Mitchell did manage to play 46 minutes in a double overtime game at Florida Atlantic that the Mean Green lost. But, for the most part, getting Mitchell out of the game is a path to success for opponents.
In North Texas’ eight Sun Belt victories, Mitchell has had an average of 2.38 fouls and has played an average of 33.1 minutes.
In North Texas’ six Sun Belt losses, Mitchell has had an average of 3.83 fouls and played an average of 26.3 minutes. And if you take away the 46 minute, three-foul performance at FAU, Mitchell averages 4.0 fouls and 22.4 minutes in North Texas victories.
Two prime examples were UALR’s victory early in the season and Louisiana-Lafayette’s victory last Saturday. Against UALR, Mitchell fouled out and played only 13 minutes. Against ULL, Mitchell had 4 fouls and played only 26 minutes.