Three-star recruit Matt Mitchell Jr. committed to San Diego State a few days ago. Mitchell Jr, who was originally committed to Cal State Fullerton, obtained his release after a stellar senior season which he averaged 25.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg.
The 6′ 6″ Roosevelt High grad lead his team to a Division 1 state title while earning the Riverside Press-Enterprise’s Inland Empire player of the year. The shooting forward was awarded the honors over Kentucky-bound teammate Jemarl Baker. Mitchell Jr. is considered to be a match-up problem for most teams as he has the ability to hit from beyond the arc and play well down in the paint. He made 41 percent of his three-point attempts his senior year.
If you plan on playing for the Aztecs, you better know how to defend. Mitchell Jr. can defend four positions. This will benefit the Aztecs as they often require players to stifle opposing teams with their zone-switching style defense.
Mitchell Jr. could contribute immediately for Dutcher, whose offense is in need of a legitimate scoring threat. He averaged over 20 points a game in a twelve game span while playing for Dream Vision in the Adidas Gauntlet series, leading a team loaded with talent in scoring against the nation’s best recruits. He will join a front court led by senior Malik Pope, junior Max Hoetzel, sophomore Nolan Narain, and redshirt freshman Jalen McDaniels.
Also committing to the Aztecs is Adelanto High guard Jordan Campbell. Campbell will not join the Aztecs until the 2018-19 season as he opted to attend Scale Prep Academy in Chino. The Aztecs have had success recruiting from the high desert, an area usually shunned by most top recruiters, signing Jamaal Franklin in 2010. They hope to strike gold twice as Campbell is considered to have the same skill set that Franklin had.
The 6-2 guard will have plenty of competition coming into the 2018 season, and playing time will be limited as the Aztecs will be stacked at the position with 2018 seniors Montaque Gil-Caesar and Jeremy Hemsley. Ahead of him will also be 2017 freshmen Jordan Schakel and Adam Seiko. Campbell’s fierce competitive nature will serve him well if he plans to make an impact his freshman season.
Mitchell’s and Campbell’s signing wraps up a four-day signing period that also saw the Aztecs land 6′ 10″ JSerra Catholic High forward Joel Mensah. Mensah, the four-star, soon to be high school senior, could be the prize recruit for the first Brian Dutcher recruiting class. The Ghana native will provide the Aztecs with the big body shot blocker that thrives in past Aztec defenses.
Mensah is not limited to defense alone. He has excellent athletic ability for his size and can run up and down the court well. Mensah can power to the hoop down low, but has an excellent mid-range jumper as well, something the Aztecs have been missing from down low in recent seasons.
Dutcher has yet to make an impact on the hardwood as a coach since Steve Fisher’s retirement, but one thing is for sure; the 2017-18 recruiting class will be interesting to watch. He’s made the Aztecs more athletic, which in past years paid dividends for the basketball team. The signings show that Dutcher plans on sticking with what has made us successful before, and that’s athletic players who can run the court, defend like banshees, and score at will.