Dec. 7, 2009

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston men's basketball player Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA/Wayland HS) has been named the Little East Conference Rookie of the Week for the week of November 30 to December 6, it was announced today by the conference. Mitchell Jr. earns the award for the second straight week. He becomes the first Beacons' men's basketball player to earn the honor in back-to-back weeks since Rodney Bennett was named the LEC's top rookie for the weeks of January 16-22 and January 23-29, 2006.

The sophomore continues to establish himself as not just the best rookie point guard in the league, but one of the best point guards period. Mitchell Jr. averaged 20.0 points, 8.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals, while shooting .524 (11-21) from the floor over two games. He made a living at the free throw line as well, connecting 18 times in 26 attempts (.692). The Wayland High School product netted 20 points on 5-9 from the floor and 10-12 from the line to go with five assists, four steals and a pair of rebounds in UMass Boston's 90-81 victory at Suffolk University on December 3. He trumped that effort with his first career double-double, scoring 20 points on 6-12 from the floor to go with a career-high 11 assists in addition to three rebounds in the Beacons' 85-78 win over Little East Conference rival Keene State College on December 5.

In his first season of varsity college basketball, Mitchell Jr. has been outstanding as one of the LEC's best guards, leading the league with 5.9 assists, while ranking second with 2.4 steals and sixth with 16.9 points per game. The 5'8" backcourt player has started all seven games and is logging a team-high 33.3 minutes per game. He's been very good about distributing the ball, but also protecting it, placing third among the LEC leaders in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.6 figure. The slashing guard has showcased a knack for finding the basket, shooting 51% (39-77) from the floor to stand 15th among the league leaders and has shot over 50% from the field in five of seven games. He's been one of the team's most dependable scorers, netting double-digits in all but one outing this year and has dished for three or more assists in every contest, including four efforts with five or more helpers. Mitchell Jr. is the son of UMass Boston Hall of Famer, Michael Mitchell, who played on the school's first-ever basketball club team as the precursor to the institution's first varsity athletic programs.

UMass Boston is currently 3-4 on the season, including a perfect 1-0 in LEC play to sit atop the conference standings. The Beacons will be in action again on Tuesday, December 8 when they host MIT at the Clark Athletic Center at 7:30 p.m.