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August 24, 2011

Sophomore visits, gets offer



Waxhaw (N.C.) Cuthbertson sophomore guard Shelton Mitchell is on the fast track already in his recruitment, having earned a pair of scholarship offers to go along with interest from several major hoops programs.

Offer number two came on Tuesday from South Carolina while Mitchell was in Columbia checking out the Gamecock basketball program.

"It was good," Shelton told GamecockCentral.com after the visit. "My dad was on a business trip but my mom and coach were with me. They showed us around campus. We saw all the facilities and just a chance to meet all the coaches again."

The 6-foot-3, 165-pounder, who played with the Chris Paul All-Stars 15s team during the summer months, liked what he saw out of Carolina's basketball facilities.

"The practice facility was really nice. It was big for a practice facility. I had never seen anything like it. The recreation center was nice too. They had a bunch of basketball courts there and an outdoor pool."

Assistant coach Mike Boynton was in charge of showing the point guard around campus and making sure his visit went smoothly.

"I was with Coach Boynton basically the whole time," he explained. "I like that he stays honest and tells me that I'm one of the main guys they're recruiting. He shows a lot of interest in me as a person and as a player."

The Tarheel State product, who is also hearing from the likes of Clemson, Marquette, NC State, VCU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and others, got to also look at the academic side of things at USC.

"He (Boynton) took me to meet with an academic advisor. They said basically that the players have full access to teachers and tutors. When you go to away games they have tutors for you. Their goal is to make sure you leave with a degree. "

While on campus, Mitchell was able to meet a current basketball player who is attempting to make an impact on the gridiron this fall for the Gamecocks.

"I met Bruce Ellington and a couple other players. He just said that USC is a good spot to be at and the coaches let him play his game. He said he's happy to be there."

This visit was not Mitchell's first trip to South Carolina, however as Mitchell has been down before with a few friends to take in games at Colonial Life Arena.

"I went this past season with Kennedy Meeks, Sindarius Thornwell, and B.J. Gladden when they played Kentucky and Clemson. We all said we'd like to play together but we're getting recruited by a lot of different schools so I don't know."

Before leaving town Shelton, his mother, and coach made one final stop that turned out to be a highlight of the trip.

"I had a meeting with Coach (Darrin) Horn after my tour finished. We kind of wrapped up everything in his office. He told me he wanted to coach me and he wanted me to be their point guard in 2014. He said I have a scholarship offer."

Carolina's head coach gave Mitchell feedback on why the Gamecocks wanted him to be a part of the program.

"They like that I can do a lot of different things with the ball in my hands and that I have good size for my position. It felt good to know they want me and want to pay for me to go to college. All the hard work is paying off. I like how much they are interested in me and how fired up the coaches are."

Mitchell is in the midst of several college visits. Last Friday he checked out UNC-Charlotte and picked up his first scholarship offer from the 49ers. He talked about where he's been so far and what visits are coming up next.

"I've already been to Wake and UNC Charlotte last week. I know I'm going to NC St this Saturday and then VCU the 3rd and Clemson the 10th. I'm going back to South Carolina too for a football game. I don't know the exact date yet."

Despite all the recruiting attention from coaches and a recent run of college visits, don't expect to hear a commitment anytime soon from the sophomore point guard.

"I'm wide open. I'm not leaning toward anyone. I'm not anywhere near ready to make a commitment."

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