Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mitchell Commits to Plattsburgh

The best point guard in NH high school basketball has made his college decision. Milford High senior Mike Mitchell has committed to attend and play basketball at SUNY Plattsburgh in New York.

Mitchell is the best passer in the state, and is closing in on 500 assists for his career. He is the #9 ranked player in the NHIAA Class of 2011, and last season he helped lead Milford to the Class I championship. Mitchell thrives in a fast paced style game, where he can use his excellent court vision and pinpoint passing ability to his advantage. He excels at getting into the lane and making plays, either for himself or his teammates. He has also improved his jump shot a lot in the last couple of years. Mitchell played his AAU ball for the Granite State Jayhawks. At only 5'7", Mitchell has probably had people telling him his whole life that he's too short to play basketball. Well, he has once again proved all of those people wrong.

Exclusive Interview With Mike Mitchell
I sent Mike some questions for this article when I heard about his commitment. Just like with Cody Patch from Lebanon, I was very impressed with how articulate and thorough his answers were, so here is the full interview.

Jeremy Leveille: What other schools were you considering, and what was the deciding factor in your decision to go with Plattsburgh?
Mike Mitchell: I had received some attention from other schools but by last month I had narrowed the choices down to Wentworth IT, Lycoming College, and of course SUNY Plattsburgh. I can't say my decision to go to SUNY Plattsburgh had only one deciding factor because there are many things that helped me set this school above the others. While talking to the head of the Business Management program, Dr. Mahamed Djerdjouri, he explained to me how changing my major would be an extremely easy transfer because many of my courses are intermingled. Another one of my major options is Entrepreneurial studies. Plattsburgh has both of my majors making it easy for me. The distance was also another factor that helped me make my decision. At about four hours away Plattsburgh's location gives me a chance to be independent and have a college life, but not be across the country and out of the reach of my family. The basketball program has had a winning history the last few years with an experienced coach that I look forward to working with. I think the basketball will take care of itself.

JL: How do you see yourself fitting into their basketball program?
MM: The mens basketball team at Plattsburgh is full of athletes that like to run the floor and play at a fast pace. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I rather not let the defense rest in the half court. At point, I like to get out and run for some easy hoops. The team they have put together is athletic and up-tempo which makes me feel that I would be a great fit.

JL: Every kid on the current roster over there is from NY, except for one from VT. Was this a positive or a negative when you were making your decision (or a non-factor)?
MM: It really was not part of my decision but to me college is about meeting new people from different backgrounds. I did do an overnight stay in September which included meeting and playing with some of the team. Although most of the team is from NY I really felt comfortable around the guys and enjoyed my visit.

JL: With so many kids nowadays wanting to just score the basketball, talk about your game and how you're one player who can actually make your teammates better. Have you always been that kind of player?
MM: Since I was young I have always enjoyed passing the ball more than shooting. Putting others in position to make plays just seems to make the game more fun for me. Passing has made other people on my team better and that's another great thing about it. Some people think I am an all-pass point guard. Some teams guard me as if I won't shoot at all and that is a mistake. Although I enjoy distributing the ball and making people better, I don't lack confidence in my shot at all.

JL: How has your size motivated you to continually work on your game?
MM: My size has been a motivator for me since fifth grade. I always knew I was going to be undersized, and that has affected my game in many different ways. How I work out, the shots I take, the moves I pull off and many other ways as well. I actually think that my size has helped me be more creative with my game. I have to think of different tricks and ways to get my shot off in traffic, create contact to get to the foul line and create opportunities for other players.

JL: What do you plan on studying there?
MM: As I said before the majors that I am leaning towards are both available at SUNY Plattsburgh. I have researched just about every major that I have been interested in and I have settled upon either Business Management or Entrepreneurship. Both of these options intrigue me but a final choice hasn't been made yet.

Congrats to Mike, and best of luck at SUNY Plattsburgh!

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