[CENTER][B][I]2006-07 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year voluntarily withdraws from team
[/I][/B][FONT=Arial Black, Helvetica][SIZE=5]ROBERT MITCHELL TO TRANSFER
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica][SIZE=2][B]PITTSBURGH[/B] – [/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Head men’s basketball coach Ron Everhart announced today that sophomore forward [B]Robert Mitchell (Brooklyn, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep)[/B] has received his release from Duquesne University, clearing the way for his transfer to another school.
“Rob felt that it would be in his best interest to pursue a transfer and we accommodated him,” said Everhart. “Rob is a great kid and we wish him the best.”
The 6-6, 180-pound Mitchell averaged a team-high 16.4 points per game - a scoring average that ranked ninth among the nation’s Division I freshmen - on his way to earning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors last season. Mitchell, who was named A-10 Rookie of the Week a league-high five times, was just the second Duke to earn league Rookie of the Year honors, joining Bruce Atkins who was named ROW in 1978-79.
“We have had some very competitive practices in the past week,” said Everhart whose Dukes have been practicing since August 20 in preparation for the school’s first-ever foreign tour over Labor Day weekend. “I like our depth and team chemistry and I feel confident we are going to have a pretty good basketball team.”
Duquesne, which leaves Friday for a four-games-in-three-days trip to Toronto, will now return three starters, including eight of the top ten scorers from last season’s 10-19 team - Everhart’s first as head coach of the Dukes.
In additional news, [B]Ricky Jackson (Canton, Ohio/McKinley/Cloud County Community College)[/B], a 6-7, 210-pound sophomore transfer from Cloud County (Kan.) Community College, has been denied admission to Duquesne and has been released from his National Letter of Intent.
Jim, do you think Mitchell’s decision had to do with PT and/or touches now that Shawn James, Kojo Mensah, and Stuard Baldonado are eligible to play? I’m sure that had a lot to do with Scott Grote’s decision to transfer after last season.
You have to admit that’s going to be one heck of a starting front court of PF James (6-10/225), SF Baldonado (6-7/225), and C Kieron Achara (6-10/240), plus the backcourt of SG Mensah and PG Aaron Jackson. Basically Mitchell goes from starting leading scorer/most minutes per game during his freshman year to coming off the bench (and ditto for the aforementioned Grote, who transferred to Wright State).
Ricky Jackson’s being denied admission is no big deal. Just one less player on the bench (and one less “Jackson” on the team!).
From AOXOMOXOA, a Duquesne poster on the A-10 board…
Speculation on my part -
Mitchell was sent to the bench last year for not working hard enough in practice. I believe he had to sit out our win in St. Louis. My understanding is that the practices this week prior to the trip to Canada have been very tough and competitive. Perhaps Robert felt that given his rookie of the year award last season he should have been allowed to coast through practice and be awarded a starting position and plenty of minutes rather than earning them. I would not be surprised if someone (family or friend) is telling him he can be a star elsewhere so why work hard and end up behind James, Achara and Baldonado on the front line. I wish he was staying, but if he is unhappy he should move on. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.
Link: A-10 Board
GoDuquesne.com: Robert Mitchell to Transfer
PittsburghLive.com: Duquesne’s Mitchell, A-10’s top rookie in 2006-07, to transfer
This from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/PittsburghLive.com says a lot:
Everhart has made no secret of his intentions to develop better team chemistry as he enters his second season at Duquesne, one year after a preseason shootings incident that injured five of his players disrupted the season.
Despite Mitchell’s departure, Everhart said: “I like our depth and team chemistry and I feel confident we are going to have a pretty good basketball team.”
According to ESPN, Mitchell is looking at Memphis and Seton Hall…
ESPN.com: Mitchell plans to transfer from Duquesne
The more I read, the more it sounds like a chemistry issue. Too bad, though, because with Mitchell and Grote (and perhaps the JUCO Jackson), the Dukes would have had a deep bench.
Nix Memphis as a destination. He’s looking at Rutgers and Seton Hall. From reading the Pittsburgh newspapers, doesn’t sound like Everhart was surprised by Mitchell’s decision and didn’t even attempt to change his mind.
[b]Duquesne’s Mitchell plans to transfer
Leading scorer planning to transfer[/b]
Apparently Duquesne could lessen the blow of losing Mitchell if they end up signing 6-8 Damian Saunders, a Rivals 3-star/Scout 4-star power forward who was denied admission by Marquette. He played for recently named Dukes assistant Bill Barton last year at Notre Dame Prep (with another player who shall remain nameless!) and a Waterbury CT newspaper is reporting he will probably end up at DU. (Of course, Mitchell played for Barton at ND Prep as well. Hmmm…)
Mitchell is headed to Seton Hall according to this from sportswriter Dick Weiss…
NYDailyNews.com: Mitchell Transfers to Seton Hall (Updated)
Nice pickup for the Dukes following Mitchell’s defection to Seton Hall…
GoDuquesne.com: Damian Saunders Enrolls at Duquesne
Looks like there’s plenty of offensive firepower in Duquesne even without Robert Mitchell. They beat the University of Toronto 92-60 in the first of 4 exhibition games versus Canadian colleges this weekend and in his Dukes debut, F/C Shawn James did not disappoint. In 20 minutes of action, he scored 17 points (8-10 FG, including a 3-pointer, and 1-1 FT), pulled down 12 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots.
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website:
There was the 6-foot-10 James dribbling behind his back down the lane for a left-handed layup. There he was hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the circle. There he was with a spin dribble and nifty touch pass underneath to (Kojo) Mensah for a gimme. There he was pulling down a rebound, blocking a shot and driving down the baseline for a dunk.
PostGazette.com: [b][url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07245/814106-135.stm]Dukes' quickness pays first dividends in 92-60 victory[/url][/b]
In the second game – against Ryerson University – the Dukes won 107-84 behind the 20 points of their other heralded transfer, PG Kojo Mensah.
BTW, in the “what else can happen” department, PF Stuard Baldonado – a citizen of Colombia – didn’t make the trip because of passport issues!
The Dukes swept their Canadian competition 4-0, averaging 102.3 ppg. Kojo Mensah was the leading scorer at 19.3 ppg, followed by Shawn James with 17.3 ppg. James also blocked 22 shots.
[b]Duquesne concludes Canada tour
Duquesne sweeps Sunday doubleheader on exhibition men’s basketball tour[/b]
[QUOTE=run49er;256546]…Shawn James with 17.3 ppg. James also blocked 22 shots.[/QUOTE]
:wow: What!? That is a hell of a double-double!
Actually, James blocked 22 shots, for an average of 5.5 bpg. BTW, he averaged 6.5 bpg during his sophomore season at Northeastern and finished with 196 in 2005-06.
[QUOTE=run49er;256561]Actually, James blocked 22 shots, for an average of 5.5 bpg. BTW, he averaged 6.5 bpg during his sophomore season at Northeastern and finished with 196 in 2005-06.[/QUOTE]
Ooooooohhhhh… That sounds a lot better.
I was looking over James’ stats for 05-06. Not bad as he was the 2nd offensive option behind Jose Juan Berea (now with the Dallas Mavericks) at Northeastern. What surprised me was the fact the 6-10 James took 53 3-pointers and made almost half of them!
27.7 minutes per game
.453 3-PT% (24-53)
6.53 BPG (196 total)
[CENTER][FONT=Arial Black, Helvetica][SIZE=4]BALDONADO SUSPENDED FROM DUQUESNE BASKETBALL TEAM
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica][B]PITTSBURGH -[/B] Head men’s basketball coach Ron Everhart announced today that he has indefinitely suspended junior forward Stuard Baldonado from the basketball team after being informed that Baldonado has been suspended from the university due to an apparent violation of the Duquesne University code of student rights, responsibilities and conduct.
“Our basketball players are held to the same standard of accountability as the general student population” said Everhart. “We fully expect them to adhere to university policies and procedures at all times.”