Gophers gain commitment from Pepperdine point guard Mike Mitchell
Meanwhile, last year’s point guard Ta’Lon Cooper heads to South Carolina
The Gophers men’s basketball program went full circle in the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday.
The U received a commitment from Pepperdine transfer point guard Mike Mitchell Jr., per On3Sports, while last season’s primary ball handler, Ta’Lon Cooper, said he will transfer to South Carolina.
Mitchell, a 6-foot-2 point guard from San Jose, Calif., averaged 11.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 31 games last season. He appears to have two years of eligibility remaining.
Mitchell, who visited the U last month, shot 43 percent from field-goal range, 44 percent on 3-pointers and 76 percent from the free-throw line in 2022-23. Pepperdine and Minnesota both finished with 9-22 records last season.
Mitchell was on the West Coast Conference all-freshman team in 2021-22, averaging 9.1 points, 4.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 32 games. His father, Mike Mitchell, was a running back for Stanford in the mid-1990s, totaling 2,446 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Cooper, of Spartanburg, S.C., will head home to the Gamecocks after one season with Minnesota. When Cooper left Morehead State before the 2022-23 season, he initially said he might not use both of his two remaining years of eligibility at the U. He will be a graduate transfer, meaning he won’t need a waiver for a second move.
Cooper entered the NCAA transfer portal on March 16, the same day as Gophers forward Jamison Battle. Battle, who has yet to announce a decision, has received interest from more than 15 collegiate programs, according to 247 Sports, including an in-home visit with the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday, per Inside The Hall.
Cooper averaged 9.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 31 games for Minnesota last season. His assist average was second-best in the Big Ten behind Penn State’s Jalen Pickett’s 6.6 per game.
Former Gophers center Treyton Thompson, a 7-footer, confirmed he has committed to Stetson of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Alexandria, Minn., native averaged 2.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 11 minutes across 20 games for Minnesota in 2022-23.
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