North Texas power forward Tony Mitchell is "almost certainly" going pro, reports Jonathan Givony of Draft Express (via Twitter). The move comes on the heels of LSU hiring North Texas coach Johnny Jones to take over its program. Givony says Mitchell may reconsider if North Texas hires one of Jones' assistants, but calls a change of heart unlikely.
The 6'9", 220-pound Mitchell is ranked No. 26 on the Draft Express list of the top 100 prospects. The site projected him to go eighth in the 2013 draft and NBADraft.net has him at No. 7 if he stays in for one more year, so coming out early may adversely affect his draft position. Nonetheless, he could still wind up as a first-round selection, putting him in line for a guaranteed contract.
Mitchell was one of the top players coming out of high school in 2010, but academic issues cost him the entire 2010/11 season. This year, he put up 14.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 3.0 blocks per game for the Mean Green, who compete in the Sun Belt Conference.