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Texas lands UMass forward Tre Mitchell as Chris Beard keeps cooking in the transfer portal

Massachusetts Minutemen center Tre Mitchell (33) dunks the ball as Saint Joseph's Hawks guard Anthony Longpre (12) looks on in the second half in the second round of the 2021 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament at Robins Center on March 4, 2021.

Following the path forged by his predecessors, Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard continues to acquire long-armed, athletic big men.

Beard’s staff pulled another rebounder out of the transfer portal on Tuesday when Massachusetts forward Tre Mitchell committed to UT. The 6-foot-9, 240-pounder had been reportedly deciding between Texas and Florida State.

Mitchell averaged 18 points and 7.2 rebounds the last two seasons at UMass. He suffered a shoulder injury in late January and finished last season having played only 13 games. 

“What’s that thing y’all say??? Hook em,” Mitchell posted on Twitter. “Austin you ready?”

Mitchell announced on March 15 he was putting his name into the transfer portal. The Minutemen didn’t waste a second moving on; they had four new players from the transfer portal by late April.

Beard was named the Texas coach on April 1. He’s since gone after and landed several big targets, including two-time Pac-12 forward Timmy Allen (6-foot-6) and Creighton warhorse Christian Bishop (6-foot-7). 

More:And another one: Texas picks up 7th player for next season in Creighton’s Christian Bishop

But with Texas big man Jericho Sims still exploring his pro options, Beard needed someone he can post in the middle. Mitchell gobbled up minutes the last two seasons while shooting 49.1% from the floor and 74.3% from the free throw line.

Should Sims return, he would not count toward Texas’ scholarship limits for the 2021-22 season. He would be considered a “super senior” with an extra year of eligibility from COVID-19. Same goes for guard Jase Febres, who is also returning to UT.

Per NCAA rules, Beard cannot comment publicly on Mitchell until the athlete returns his scholarship paperwork, which could be any day now.

Horns headed to combine: Sims, Kai Jones and Greg Brown III have all been invited to the NBA scouting combine, according to NBA reports. 

Sims is the only one of the three who has kept his amateur status intact, which would allow him to return to school should he choose. Those inside the UT program feel Sims isn’t likely to return, though. 

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.