In case you missed the news, Marquette men’s basketball picked up a Class of 2021 commitment on Wednesday evening. Stevie Mitchell, a 6’2”, 175 pound point guard ranked in the top 125 prospects in the country, announced that he was going to attend Marquette and play for head coach Steve Wojciechowski via this video:
Now, we already talked about Mitchell quite about in our news article about his commitment, and we included that video in there, too. However, we didn’t talk about the video as the article was pre-written beforehand and just quickly embedded into the text after it was published. It’s pretty standard stuff with Mitchell thanking everyone — God, family, his coaches, the coaches that recruited him — that helped him along the way to this point. I think it’s a neat note that he thanks his community, and if you read the news article about Mitchell’s commitment and followed along with some of the links, then that makes a lot of sense, too. That also helps explain the giant group of schoolkids with Mitchell that stand up and cheer with MU shirts and so forth when he announces his destination in front of them. I hope the kids with the shirts figured it out ahead of time, though.
Onwards to the reactions. Right off the bat I want to point out two articles that we’re not technically including here. Both are from 247 Sports, one from Josh Gershon and one from Brian Snow. Gershon’s is an evaluation of Mitchell as a Division 1 prospect, and Snow’s is a discussion of what Wojciechowski is getting in his 2021 backcourt recruiting package of Mitchell and Kameron Jones. Both articles are behind paywalls, and since I don’t care about 99.9% of recruiting news because it has nothing to do with MU, I don’t have a subscription. If someone does and wants to summarize either article in the comments, get crazy with it.
We do have 247’s public article on Mitchell’s commitment to peruse. Travis Branham got the by-line and he got these quotes from Mitchell:
“I felt like it was a good fit for me,” he said of why he chose Marquette. “Their play-style is how I play, fast-paced and they really have good history of guards being able to play and develop so I feel like I can go there and get better.”
“One thing was I felt was the relationship I was able to build with coach Wojo and coach [Dwayne] Killings really did a lot for me,” he said. “Just being comfortable that they have my best interests and they want me to be as successful as I want to be. I know they’re going to help me reach my goals.”
“They both are really cool guys and really fun to talk to,” he added of his relationships with head coach Steve Wojciechowski and assistant Dwayne Killings. “During quarantine, coach Killings called me a ton and so did coach Wojo on the phone and Zoom calls. They were sincere about everything and really expressed they wanted me there and when they had some of their players reach out to me that did a lot just showing me how much they wanted me there.”
This keeps coming up, so I’m going to keep pointing at it when it does: It is mindbendingly weird to see recruits say that Steve Wojciechowski is a “cool guy” and “really fun to talk to.” While Wojciechowski’s passion for his team is clearly visible on the sideline during games, absolutely none of that comes through when he’s asked to do anything even approaching public appearances or PR for the team or the university. It’s impossible to quantify on any level, but I maintain that Wojciechowski would have at least a slightly better reputation with the MU fan base right now if he showed anything resembling a pulse..... but the recruits think he’s a great guy. Something’s missing here.
Let’s go to a video, shall we? Adam Finkelstein is a scout and evaluator for ESPN, and he put together this video to let us know what Marquette is getting in Mitchell.
.@WilsonBoysHoops & @PhillyPrideAAU 4⭐️ guard Stevie Mitchell (@StevieM259) announced his commitment to Marquette.— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) August 5, 2020
He’s skilled, super shifty, & creative. Here’s a breakdown of what @MarquetteMBB is getting in their latest playmaking guard (sound on). pic.twitter.com/HCYmjnpDWG
Finkelstein says his favorite part of Mitchell’s abilities is his creativity with his passing. It’s one thing to be a good passer or even a great passer, but to be good/great while being creative with how you get the ball out, that’s a whole different deal and can add an interesting dimension to a team. It’s worth noting that while Mitchell was not a top 100 prospect according to ESPN at the time of his commitment, he is now up to #90 in the country. I’d imagine that’s going to give his 247 Sports Composite ranking of #115 a boost when those guys get around to recompiling their numbers.
Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel got a chance to talk to Brandon Williams, who coaches in Mitchell’s grassroots club program. Williams believes that Mitchell will be able to step in as a shooter immediately in college, which leads to this assessment of Mitchell’s game and physical attributes:
“That’s one that he’s going to put on display a lot as a freshman in college. That he can shoot the basketball. And then that will get him back to what he’s best at, which is getting to the rim and finishing in the creative way that he can.”
“He’s got not only a lot of natural instincts but natural attributes as well,” Williams said. “His hands are huge. It’s so funny because you look at him and you don’t think that. And it makes sense when he gets around the rim, he can manipulate the basketball in so many different angles.”
Speaking of the talented Mr. Steele, he gave his thumbs up and approval to this evaluation of Mitchell from a guy who knows things about Philly area basketball:
W.Lawn (PA)Wilson's Stevie Mitchell commits to Marquette. Mitchell has a gym bag full of appealing guard skills.Constant communicator, a three-level scorer, and intense defender packaged in a player with a patient demeanor and great pace to his game.A humble assassin on the floor https://t.co/XGL18Vzfts— Norm Eavenson (@n_eavenson) August 6, 2020
Jason Guarente of the Reading Eagle.... which had some .... let’s call them issues in regards to reporting on Mitchell’s decision and announcement had an article on Mitchell following the video shoot for the announcement. Mitchell’s quotes on how he ended up choosing Marquette gives us a little bit of insight on how Wojciechowski and his staff approach the recruiting process:
“It was building relationships with them and believing they really wanted me there,” Mitchell said. “They had a lot of belief in me and my potential. They’re going to do everything they can to help me maximize that.”
“At first when I put them in my top seven, I wasn’t like, ‘Yeah, that’s where I want to go,’ ” Mitchell said. “They were one of the schools that started picking it up and made it seem like I was wanted there. I appreciated that.”
Can I interest you in a four minute interview with Mitchell by the man, the myth, the legend, John Fanta?
He’s the point guard of the future for the Marquette Golden Eagles. Went 1-on-1 with 4-star 2021 commit Stevie Mitchell today, hitting on a variety of topics:— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) August 6, 2020
This is a recruiting article, of course, so that means that we have to end with the scholarship chart. Mitchell and Kameron Jones together means that it looks like Marquette will still have three open scholarship spots available to them for the Class of 2021. There are two spots open for the 2020-21 school year, and if you plot those as going to Jones and Mitchell, then MU is still looking to fill the spots that will be left behind by seniors Jamal Cain, Theo John, and Koby McEwen.