With the throes of the offseason all around us, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the 20 best players that are departing from the Big Sky, either due to graduating, declaring for the draft, or transferring.
North Dakota has been one of the youngest teams in the country for the past two seasons, but there has been one major upperclassmen contributor - Patrick Mitchell. He is not a guy that would wow you with his athleticism, or with any one skill, but a guy that did a little bit of everything well.
Offensively he could score in a variety of ways. He is 6'8'' but was more of a perimeter player than post player. He shot 37% threes on 168 attempts, which was huge for a team that only had a few shooters. He was also pretty solid inside the arc. He had an effective FG% of 52.7%. He took good care of the basketball and had a low turnover rate. Offensively, he was a nice complementary piece.
He was OK on the glass, averaging 4.6 per game with a solid defensive rebounding rate. Again, not a guy that will lead the team, but a solid piece there. He was a good weakside defender, and had a block rate of 5.8%, which would have ranked second in the Big Sky. He was a guy that would allow other defenders to play tighter on their man, because he had good timing blocking shots.
North Dakota played tons of sophomores last season (after playing tons of freshmen the season before), and Mitchell was one of the few guys with experience. He was valuable because he could play around the talents of the guys around him. He didn't need the ball to succeed, and he would help out in a multitude of ways. Those guys are always important to any team.
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