As I stared down at the court inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse after the 73-69 loss to Michigan, I felt sad, mad, disappointed and hurt. I stood there in disbelief thinking about what could have been. Then I started thinking about what the players were feeling. You know, the guys who actually put in the hard work and played their hearts out to get this far. They were probably 100 times more upset than I was. Imagine being that upset and disappointed and then having a microphone shoved in your face asking you about the future. Your answer would probably be an “in the moment” response and not a well thought out one.
Moments after walking off the court, Donovan Mitchell was asked if he would be going to the NBA or returning for his junior year at Louisville. His response to the reporters was “I can’t wait to win a national championship next year.” That was exactly what every Louisville fan wanted to hear. However, there is still a lot of time to change his mind. Underclassmen have till April 23rd for the early entry deadline for the NBA draft. If he decides to enter and doesn’t hire an agent, he has until May 24 to withdraw his name and return to school. Mitchell’s mom said that they would discuss his future as a family.
Rick Pitino said in a radio interview on 93.9 The Ville, that he told Mitchell, “If you want to go out there and work out for pro teams, I’d like to see you do it because it’ll make you better.”
Regardless of what he decides, he still loves the University of Louisville and he proved it last night as he (and a few other players) attended and cheered for the women’s team as they beat Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16.