The rankings for the class of 2005 have changed, will change and then change some more. What hasn’t changed is Tasmin Mitchell's spot atop the rankings here at RivalsHoops. With his unmatched tenacity on the court and will to win, he will be hard to topple for the top spot. We caught up with the Denham Springs (La.) star and got his pre-AAU season thoughts.
The 6-foot-7, 235-pound beast of a player had a strong junior campaign, averaging 25 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks while leading Denham Springs to a 30-7 finish. Due to his status as the No. 1 player in the nation, Mitchell knows the target on him is big. He knows opposing players will try to bring their very best this AAU season. He is ready for the challenge.
“I suppose they might have something to prove, but sometimes people try to do too much against me to make their name off of me," Mitchell said. "I think it takes them out of the game and takes them away from what they need to do and play good. If they want to go one on one, that’s fine. I’ll probably just block their shot, anyway.”
Many believe that LSU is the leader for Mitchell's services. His good friends Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis and Garrett Temple will suit up for the Tigers next year, and assistant coach Butch Pierre is Mitchell’s godfather. Mitchell says he’s still open.
“I mean they could be, they could not be,” Mitchell said. “Yeah, my godfather is there but we never talk about me going there. It’s nothing like that. I’m still open. If I really was that strong with them, I would have just committed to them already and get this over with and make it a done deal. Know what I mean?”
Another SEC school is hot on the trail, too.
“Kentucky is recruiting me really hard,” Mitchell said. “That is a huge basketball school. You've got to respect what they’ve done. And Tubby Smith - that’s a basketball coach, man. He knows what it takes to make his players get to the next level.
“Rick Pitino is the same way. He prepares his players for the next level but he also gets the most from his guys. And don’t forget about UCLA. I like what they are doing out there.”
Mitchell will kick off the AAU season next weekend at the Texas Classic in Houston with his New Orleans Jazz team. Stay tuned to RivalsHoops as we bring you exclusive video of Mitchell and the rest of the top juniors in the nation.