Matt Mitchell showed up out of the blue in the middle of summer, a late commitment that took a lot of people by surprise. The Riverside native is 6-foot-6, 230 and sports a well-groomed mustache. He is allegedly 18 years old despite the fact that if someone were to introduce him to you as Matt Mitchell, 35-year old foreman on an offshore oil rig, you would not bat an eye.
Look, I’m not saying Matt Mitchell is a grown man posing as a teenager for some reason we do not yet understand. That would be a scurrilous rumor, the sort in which I do not traffic or condone.
All I’m doing is asking questions here, people.
Whatever the truth, it’s safe to say we’re all thrilled he’s here.
In just the fourth game of his college career, the forward turned in the most prolific scoring performance by an Aztec freshman since 2003. Mitchell scored 31 points, 26 of which came in the second half of SDSU’s 96-63 drubbing of Eastern Illinois.
While the versatile Mitchell showed himself to be a useful player in the “does the little things that don’t show up in the stat sheet” kind of way in the first three games, he had been just 0-of-10 from 3 and 2-of-18 on field goals entering play tonight. He seemed to be shooting with confidence, despite the poor results. Now I understand why. Against the Panthers, Mitchell drained 7 treys, including four in a 4-minute flurry midway through the second half.
When head coach Brian Dutcher pulled Mitchell for good, the crowd at Viejas Arena gave him the kind of ovation you rarely see for a player in an early-season cakewalk over an Ohio Valley Conference also-ran.
Three other Aztecs scored in double figures (Malik Pope 17, Trey Kell 14, Devin Watson 10) in a game in which Eastern Illinois never really threatened to even get within striking distance. But we already knew those three guys could do that. Now that Mitchell is apparently a threat to catch fire, SDSU will have a stable of six legitimate scorers who can take over a game on any given night — once Max Montana returns from injury, anyway.
If this team learn to play defense on a consistent basis, this …. might actually be a thing.
Tonight, we learned that Matt Mitchell is definitely a thing.
If that is his real name, that is.