NCAA SDSU Aztecs
Matt Mitchell celebrates in a game where he scored 28, lifting the Aztecs. The team trailed by as many to 10 against Utah State Saturday. Photo credit: @Aztec_MBB, via Twitter

San Diego State senior Matt Mitchell will again take the court for the Aztecs for his senior season, the 6-foot-6 forward said last week.

Mitchell declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on April 26, but did not hire an agent and has maintained his college eligibility. His decision to return came after testing the NBA Draft waters and gaining feedback from NBA teams.

“After exploring my options and following discussions with both my family and the coaching staff,” Mitchell said, “I have decided to return to San Diego State for my senior season. I am looking forward to returning to school and completing my degree. I am excited to join my teammates and for the opportunity to lead our quest for another Mountain West championship, and potential return to the NCAA Tournament.”

“We are very happy to have Matt returning for his senior season.” head men’s basketball coach Brian Dutcher said. “To be able to fulfill his dream of playing at the next level, it was important to meet with NBA teams and hear their evaluations so he can continue his development. As we focus on earning another Mountain West championship in 2020-21, this experience can only be a positive for Matt and the Aztecs.”

Mitchell, selected by the league’s coaches as a first-team All-Mountain West performer last season, played in all 32 games, starting the final 19.

The Riverside native and averaged 12.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, while shooting 46.8% from the floor, 39.3% from three-point range and 87.3% from the free throw line, all career-highs.

Mitchell helped lead the Aztecs to the 2019-20 Mountain West regular-season championship, and then for the third consecutive year, to the title game of the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas.  In three games in last season’s tournament, he averaged 10.3 points, 5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 27.7 minutes per game.

He will enter the 2020-21 season ranked No. 27 on the program’s scoring list (1,085 points), No. 10 in three-point field goal attempts (377) and No. 11 in free throw percentage (.8013) and conference victories (39).

In addition, Mitchell enters the upcoming season on the precipice of joining some elite Aztec company. He could become just the third player in the program’s 99-year history to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals.

He needs 75 rebounds, 27 assists and seven steals to achieve the milestone. If he does, he will join Trey Kell (2015-18) and Winston Shepard (2013-16) as the only Aztecs to post those numbers.

The Aztecs finished last season ranked No. 6 in the nation with a 30-2 record, including a 17-1 mark in Mountain West action. SDSU was also the last team in the nation to be undefeated.

– Staff reports