HSOT: Shelton Mitchell Q&A

HSOT: Shelton Mitchell Q&A

RALEIGH -- After an impressive 30-point outing at the HSOT Holiday Invitational, 2014 point guard Shelton Mitchell discussed his performance and updated his recruitment ...

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What was it like going up against Anthony Barber tonight?

It was good. He was on my team at LeBron Camp, so we knew who each other were. Just being able to play against him, knowing he's going to NC State, made me want to play harder.

How was it guarding him a little bit during the game?

It was tough. He's fast as can be. It was tough but it was good – I like competing. … He's Top 10, 20 – going against a guy like that, that you know is a future McDonald's All-American, having a chance to guard him and go at him was fun.

You came in here with a reputation as a pass-first point guard, but scored 30 points against a quality opponent. Was that because your team needed the points?

Definitely, our offense was kind of lacking to being the game so I knew I had to attack. It was working early and then my teammates started to pick it up.

Did you see something in their defense that let you know you could repeatedly get in the lane?

A lot of their help-side wasn't coming early, and they were trying to pressure up, so I knew they'd have open gaps to attack so I used it to my advantage to get into the lane.

What is it that makes you so effective driving to the hoop. You were able to get into the lane at will tonight and finish in some tough situations.

Everybody I've worked with knows I'm not the fastest so they teach me how to be shifty, how to use my body and how to be crafty to get in the lane; to have the confidence that whoever is guarding me can't stay in front of me. Believe that and go to the basket at will.

What did you take away from the high level competition you faced last summer that is making you a better player this season?

It meant a lot, getting a chance to play against all those guys. I looked at that to see what I needed to work on and add it to my game. Now I know what I need to do to get better.

How do you think you're a better player than you were a year ago at this time?

I'd say I got stronger, faster. I worked on everything. I'm not perfect, so I worked at everything – my weakness more than my strengths. But I'd say my jumpshot is coming along, getting more arc and being more consistent with that, and basically I'm trying to be a better leader.

Two assistant coaches from Wake Forest were here today watching you. Where are you at right now with Wake?

I talk to Coach Battle about every day closely. I'm not any closer to making any decisions but they know I like Wake, Coach Battle is a good guy, and they know how I feel about them.

Coach McGrath was here today from UNC, and you were at the UNC-UAB game earlier this month. What are your current thoughts on the Tar Heels?

Going to UNC, it's UNC, so seeing all the winning tradition and the atmosphere – they expect to win every game – and just the atmosphere is jumping. I went up there for a football game and everybody knows who the basketball team and expects high things from them. I've talked to Coach Roy a couple times, he's a good guy.

What has Carolina told you that they're looking for in the 2014 class?

Basically another guard. Like other teams, point guard is the most important position, so I know they have two guys coming in but they said they want to recruit me seriously and see where it stands.

Do you think they're any closer to offering you?

I'm not sure yet. Unfortunately because we lost we may not go to the game (Saturday) against UNLV. But if we do we'll go to the game and I'll probably sit down with Roy before or after the game and we'll see.

Was this UNC visit for Saturday set up in advance?

It was actually set up in advance. We got the tickets about a week ago and we knew that if we won we'd be playing the late game. He told us that if things don't work out (in this tournament) that the whole team has tickets to see the UNLV game. I don't know if we'll be going to that or not, we'll see and hopefully we can go.

What's the full list of schools that you'd say are in the mix for you?

Wake, North Carolina, Arizona, Connecticut, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Missouri – basically the whole ACC and SEC and a couple Pac-12 and Big East. I don't want to leave anybody out but those are the main ones.

Would you say Wake Forest is your leader right now?

I'd say they're high on my list but nobody is at the top. I like a lot of schools. Wake knows that I like them a lot.

Do you have any idea when you'll try to narrow your list and get closer to a decision?

I'll probably get closer and narrow it down by the end of the season. I'll talk to my family and cut it down and going into the summer I'll cut it down to five – because by this time next year I want it to be done with.

When you get ready to make a decision, what will be the big factors?

Being able to come in and have an impact – I'm not going to say start – the coaching staff, being able to play my style and get into the lane, and being a good school that has my major and what I want to do after basketball.

And what's your desired major?

Broadcast journalism. I want to be you guys.

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