Bloom's Martice Mitchell commits to Minnesota

Scott Phillips
NBC Sports Chicago

Bloom senior basketball standout Martice Mitchell is listed at 6-foot-10. But Mitchell has made it known on social media that he doesn't want to be labeled as a center or post player.

Mitchell's desire to be a big wing forward at the college level is ultimately a big reason why he committed to Minnesota on Monday night as Mitchell announced his decision.

Despite major recruiting services and many college coaches attempting to label (or recruit) Mitchell as a center over the last several months during his high-major emergence, the Golden Gophers recruited Mitchell to play more on the perimeter as Minnesota is getting a player with size and high upside.

Taking advantage of the NCAA's new recruiting calendar this summer, Mitchell drew eyeballs during the June Live Evaluation Period as Bloom -- a team of potentially five Division I seniors -- took the floor during two weekend tournaments. Mitchell played even better in front of college coaches during July in Champaign at the NCAA's first-ever regional camp as high-major offers began to come in.

After visiting Minnesota, Rutgers and Xavier, Mitchell pledged to head coach Richard Pitino as Mitchell will be an intriguing player to keep tabs on in the Big Ten the next several years. Although Mitchell is skilled enough to play facing up, he still needs to add strength to handle the rigors and physicality of the conference. 

But college coaches are always seeking size. Shooting has become a premium skill. So if Mitchell can bring a combination of the two to the Golden Gophers then Pitino will have exactly what he's looking for. It could take some time for Mitchell to get adjusted to the next level since he's still unlocking parts of his game but Minnesota ultimately deserves credit for aggressively recruiting an under-the-radar player with size and skill.   

Bloom and Mitchell will have massive expectations for the 2019-20 season as the veteran group seeks a state title. Senior guards Dante Maddox Jr. (Cal State Fullerton) and Donovan Newby (Milwaukee) committed to Division I programs earlier this month while guards Keeshawn Williams and Christian Shumate continue to get recruited. 

The Blazing Trojans fell in the Class 4A sectional semifinals to Homewood-Flossmoor last season. This season, they will try to make a state appearance for the ninth time in school history. 

Mitchell could be a huge key for Bloom's success this season. His perimeter skill allows the Blazing Trojans to spread the floor at up to five positions while making his perimeter teammates more difficult to defend with the added spacing. And while Mitchell doesn't want to be labeled as a center for his basketball future, Bloom needs its senior big man to rebound and protect the rim as well. 

Bloom's Martice Mitchell commits to Minnesota originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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