Posted: 4:40 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013
By Zach Fleer
With the commitment of Plano, Texas small forward Mickey Mitchell, brother of Ohio State linebacker Mike Mitchell, to the Buckeyes' 2015 recruitng class, things are looking awfully bright for the future of Thad Matta's program. Just over a week after Dayton Dunbar point guard AJ Harris became the first commitment for the '15 class, the 6'6 junior becomes a key addition that should greatly impact what Matta will be able to do in a star-studded state of Ohio.
As top Ohio hoopers Carlton Bragg (ESPN No. 13) and Luke Kennard (No. 30) weigh their options among a flurry of high-major offers, Mitchell's commitment means a few things: First, Mitchell becomes the highest-ranked player (31st overall) in ESPN's Top 60 to make a pledge to a university. Secondly, Bragg and Kennard know Ohio State's point guard of the future in Harris, and have a chance to play with one of America's top play makers in Mitchell. Lastly, a commitment to Ohio State's 2015 class could have great national championship implications as talented 2014 commits D'Angelo Russell, Keita Bates-Diop and Jae'Sean Tate, and 2013 commits Marc Loving and Kameron Williams, will likely still be in Columbus wearing the scarlet and gray.
The common denominator between Mitchell, Bragg, Kennard, and Harris is this: athleticism. Each player has an elite ability to get out and create plays in transition, and each player has their own way of scoring. While Bragg and Harris are deadly on the fast break, Kennard and Mitchell have proven to be excellent in the half-court. The four all play different positions, which can only help what Matta will be able to pitch to Bragg and Kennard.
Over the last several years, Matta has had a tendency to nab the top players in the state of Ohio, highlighted by Jared Sullinger in 2010, Loving in '13, Tate in '14, while hoping to continue the trend into the 2015 season. It remains to be seen whether Mitchell's commitment will have a legitimate impact on what Bragg and Kennard choose to do, but one thing is for sure: Columbus is a much more appealing destination after Thursday's news.
Check out Mitchell's highlights from his freshman season below. The Texas native missed the entire 2012-'13 season after tearing his ACL during football season: