Texas forward Tre Mitchell the latest addition for WVU men’s basketball team

The roster makeover for West Virginia men’s basketball continues.

On Friday, WVU head coach Bob Huggins announced the signing of 6-foot-9 forward Tre Mitchell, who comes to Morgantown after one season at Texas and two at UMass.

Mitchell, a Pittsburgh native, has three years to play two seasons.

He was immediately eligible after transferring from UMass to Texas, and NCAA rules stipulate that a player is permitted to transfer once without having to sit out a season unless they do so in a postgraduate stage. It remains to be seen if Mitchell will be immediately eligible for the Mountaineers next season. If so, it would have to be by way of a NCAA waiver or graduation.

Mitchell played 24 games and started 17 in his lone season with the Longhorns. He averaged 8.7 points and four rebounds before taking a leave of absence from the program in February.

Mitchell never returned to play another game for Texas following its loss at Baylor on February 12. While the reason for Mitchell’s absence was never revealed, Longhorns’ head coach Chris Beard said it did not stem from a violation of team rules, university rules or law trouble. Beard also confirmed it did not have to do with COVID-19.

Over two seasons with the Minutemen, Mitchell was a prolific scorer and rebounder and did so in an efficient manner. He was the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year and an all-league second-team selection for his efforts in the 2019-2020 campaign, which saw Mitchell average 17.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, one block and one steal. Mitchell, who played nearly 31 minutes on average over 31 games that season, shot 48.1 percent from the field, 33 percent from long range and 72.8 percent on free throws and became the first UMass freshman to earn all-league honors since Marcus Camby in 1993-1994.

In his second season at UMass, Mitchell played in 13 of the team’s 15 games and averaged 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. He upped his shooting percentages to 51.9 from the field, 37.5 on three-pointers and 76.8 on free throws. Mitchell also increased his assists (2.2), blocks (1.5) and steals (1.3).

“Tre gives us a much-needed presence inside who we can throw the ball to,” Huggins said. “He is a big-time Power 5 starter who is extremely experienced. Tre can score and rebound the basketball, and we are excited to get him here.”

While Mitchell hails from Pittsburgh, he played his final two seasons of high school basketball at Woodstock Academy in Connecticut. He averaged a double-double both seasons and was the 2019 Connecticut Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

The 225-pound Mitchell played in one of Texas’ two games against the Mountaineers last season. He finished with six points and three rebounds when the Longhorns beat a shorthanded WVU team in Austin.

Mitchell was no longer with the program when the Longhorns made the trip to Morgantown in late Feburary.

Mitchell joins Emmitt Matthews, Joe Toussaint and Erik Stevenson as West Virginia’s additions from high-major Division I programs through the transfer portal this offseason. The addition of Matthews last month marked West Virginia’s 13th scholarship player, and with 13 allocated for men’s basketball programs, bringing in Mitchell means there will be subtraction from the roster.

Junior college post players Mohamed Wague and Jimmy Bell joined the program this offseason, while Josiah Davis, Josiah Harris and Pat Suemnick signed with WVU in November.

Those nine adds, combined with returners Kedrian Johnson, Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson, Jamel King and James Okonkwo, would leave the Mountaineers with 14 scholarship players.

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