BATON ROUGE – LSU forward Tasmin Mitchell announced on Wednesday that he will put his name in for consideration for the 2009 National Basketball Association draft, but will not hire an agent and leave all options for his future open at this time.
Mitchell, a first-team All-SEC selection in 2009, helped lead the Tigers to the Southeastern Conference regular season title with a 13-3 record as LSU compiled a 27-8 overall mark and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before being defeated by eventual national champion North Carolina. LSU finished No. 17 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll announced on Tuesday.
Mitchell averaged 16.3 points per game, 7.2 rebounds and just under two assists a game playing in the “4” position for first-year LSU head Coach Trent Johnson. He shot 52.2 percent from the field, hitting 224-of-429 field goals and 72.5 percent from the free throw line (111-of-153).
“I just want to thank God for allowing me to be put in this situation,” said Mitchell. “I’ve had the chance to sit down with Coach (Johnson) and my family and I have decided that based on the information presented I will test the waters. This (the NBA) has always been a dream of mine. I’m in a good situation where I will have time to decide to stay in the draft or come back for my senior season at LSU. I want to thank all the fans and my friends and ask them to support me.
“I will continue to attend class,” the native of Denham Springs, La. said. “School is still the first option. I want to finish the semester strong.”
“Tas has decided he will put his name in the NBA draft,” said Coach Johnson. “We will support him 100 percent here at LSU and I know his family will do the same. It is a great situation for him that can only be positive no matter how it plays out. He will continue with his school work as he is just four classes from graduating with his degree (Communication Studies) at LSU. We are going to do everything possible from our end to help him be able to perform at an elite level for the NBA teams that take a look at him.”
Mitchell had eight double doubles this season and became the first LSU player since 1995 to top the 40-point level when he scored 41 points in a game at Mississippi State in February. Through his first three seasons, Mitchell has scored 1,468 total points, 16th all-time in scoring at LSU and he is one of 19 players to have scored 1,000 career points and pulled down at least 500 rebounds. He was a freshman starter on the 2006 NCAA Final Four team and is one of only nine players in LSU history to start on two SEC championship teams.
The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 25 and the players have until 10 days prior to remove themselves from the Draft if they so desire.