UMass transfer Tre Mitchell gives Longhorns much-needed frontcourt presence

Christina Huang, Sports Reporter

The transfer portal continues to reward the Longhorns.

Last week, UMass center Tre Mitchell became Texas’ sixth transfer addition this off-season.

The addition of Mitchell should boost the Longhorns’ interior size, which is in need of assistance after Greg Brown III, Kai Jones, and Jericho Sims all declared for the NBA Draft. The three former Longhorns were officially listed as between 6’9” and 6’11”, making them some of the tallest players on the 2020-2021 roster. Mitchell is listed as 6’9” by UMass Athletics.

Coming out of high school, Mitchell was a four-star recruit from Pittsburgh who received offers from Notre Dame, Indiana and Georgia Tech, among others.

“He’s one of the best, if not the best, big men in the country,” UMass head coach Matt McCall said after Mitchell scored a career-high 37 points on Dec. 16, 2020.

During his time in Amherst, Mitchell was a very productive player. He averaged 18.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game for the Minutemen during the 2020-2021 season. Mitchell is also highly decorated, with the 2019 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year title and a 2020 Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team selection under his belt.

Mitchell was also undeniably UMass’s best player last season. He averaged the most points out of anyone on the team, ahead of Carl Pierre coming in for the second most points with 12.7 per game. Mitchell’s average of 7.2 rebounds per game also led the Minutemen.

“As he continues to grow, he’s only gonna get better as a player because of his work ethic, because of his character,” McCall said in a March 10, 2020 video for Massachusetts Athletics that celebrated Mitchell’s Rookie of the Year honor. “Whether it’s in the weight room, conditioning, Tre takes it extremely seriously … it’s a level of professionalism with everything he does.”

Last season was Mitchell’s first time playing in a collegiate tournament setting. UMass lost 86–72 in the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals to Saint Louis in Mitchell’s last game for the Minutemen. Despite Mitchell’s minimal tournament experience, he is well aware of the stakes involved in such an environment and has the mindset to succeed.

“You gotta be willing to step up to the plate,” Mitchell remarked at the press conference after the March 5 loss to Saint Louis. ”You just got to be able to respond to that adversity.”

Although Mitchell’s skillset is extremely valuable, it is hard to pinpoint where exactly he will fit in with the Longhorns.

Mitchell is solid on both offensive and defensive ends. He is a rim protector as well as a dependable three-point shooter with a 1.525 scoring efficiency rating. His height combined with his offensive and defensive abilities make him another great pick up for the Longhorns.

The competitors Mitchell will face in the Big 12 are of a higher caliber compared to those in the Atlantic 10. Even though Mitchell may not put up the same numbers as a Longhorn, his highly praised work ethic demonstrates that he is ready for the challenge.