An Insane Number of Schools Tried to Lure Mike Mitchell Jr. Out of Dinkytown with Big NIL Offers

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Minnesota
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Mitchell Jr. played a pivotal role for the Minnesota Gophers basketball team last season, as a microwave scoring guard who was talented enough to start, when called upon, but team-oriented and willing to come off the bench too.

When on, Mitchell can be the best player on the floor. He can play the point or wing, create his own shot and get open off the ball. And confidence is never an issue for the senior from San Jose, CA, who can knock them down from anywhere. That’s why it was a big deal when Mitchell decided to stay in Dinkytown, unlike many of his 2023-24 teammates.

Mike Mitchell Jr. staying with Minnesota Gophers despite A LOT of NIL offers elsewhere

And if you believe what Mike said this week, it wasn’t due to lack of offers. According to the Star Tribune, Mitchell Jr. was fielding over six calls per week with NIL offers from different schools, trying to lure him out of Dinkytown and into the transfer portal, all the way up until the portal closed on May 11th.

Mike Mitchell’s feeling of loyalty to Johnson superseded any opportunity to have a bigger NIL payday in the portal. Still, there was more than a half-dozen schools calling the Gophers’ top three-point shooter weekly about transferring again this spring.

“Nonstop calls until that last day when the portal closes [on May 1],” Mitchell said. “It’s real tough because you have a lot of stuff thrown at you. But in the end, I think I made the right decision because I trust Coach Johnson and the rest of the staff. I believe in what we can do this year.

Mike Mitchell Jr – StarTribune

Despite the attention, Mike is sticking around. He obviously loves and trusts Ben Johnson. The specifics of Mitchell’s offers or their amounts remain undisclosed and we do not know how much he is making in Name, Image and Likeness dollars here in Minnesota.

Related: Gophers MBB NIL Budget Has “Nearly Doubled” From Last Season

Mitchell, along with Parker Fox and Dawson Garcia (who could have made millions by leaving), are the few players who stuck with the Minnesota Gophers and decided to avoid the transfer portal this offseason.

Mike transferred to Minnesota last offseason, following two years at Pepperdine University. In Minnesota, Mitchell started in 24 games, averaging 10.2 points and 2.6 assists per game. Garcia and Fox both played elsewhere before landing here, too. Those prior experiences likely shaped their decisions to stay.

With Elijah Hawkins transferring, Mitchell steps into a larger role this season as the starting point guard for the Gophers. Filling Hawkins’ shoes won’t be easy, but Mitchell’s decision to stay likely hinges on this opportunity to lead from the point.

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