Mitchell lands on All-SLC preseason team

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FRISCO - Senior Kai Mitchell has been selected as the Sam Houston State men’s basketball team’s lone representative on the 2019 Southland Conference preseason squads, the league announced Wednesday.

Mitchell landed on the first team, along with Kevon Harris of Stephen F. Austin, Ian DeBose of Houston Baptist, Payten Ricks of Abilene Christian and Bryson Robinson of New Orleans. The second team is comprised of Hayden Koval of Central Arkansas, Roydell Brown of McNeese, Deandre Jones of Central Arkansas, Sha’Markus Kennedy of McNeese and T.J. Atwood of Lamar.

Mitchell busted onto the scene as a transfer from Hutchinson Community College last season and helped the Bearkats win their first Southland Conference regular-season championship in nine years. He earned Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year and third-team all-conference honors.

“Kai had a great season last year and was well deserving of a preseason all-conference nod,” head coach Jason Hooten said. “He has taken on the challenge of being better than last year and leading his team.”

A native of Haverstraw, New York, Mitchell averaged 12.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 33 games, 32 of which he started. He had 37 assists, 34 steals and 24 blocks on the season.

Mitchell saved his best game of the season for the biggest stage. He scored a career-high 24 points against TCU (3/20) in the opening round of the NIT on March 20.

Mitchell scored double figures in 23 games, including 21 in a win at Abilene Christian on Feb. 9 and reaching 19 twice in victories over Nicholls on Feb. 20 and Incarnate Word on Jan. 12.

He had eight double-doubles and brought down a career-high 14 rebounds in the win over Nicholls on Feb. 20.