LSU's leading scorer offered these observations on Kentucky, which comes into the SEC Tournament here with a 29-2 record and No. 2 national ranking.
Question: How does Kentucky match up with the top teams you have seen in the SEC? Mitchell: "Their record shows they are a pretty good team. They have everything. They are tall, physical and have great talent and play together. They have it all."
Question: Is there anything that could stop them from being a Final Four team?
Mitchell: "Personally, no. I don't think they will be stopped because they have everythingn talent-wise that they need. I don't know how they will respond to tournament pressure because I don't think they can play any better than what they have this seson, but a tournament is different. Anybody can be beat. I just know they are real good and could win the national championship."
Question: Could Kentucky's lack of NCAA experience hurt it during the NCAA Tournament?
Mitchell: "I think experience does come into play a lot more than some people think. The experience and atmosphere in the NCAA is different. Kentucky has played in a lot of big-time atmospheres I know, but the NCAA is different because it is one and done. It's one loss and you are out. If you don't let that bother you, they will be fine because they are a real mature team on the court."
Question: What is more important at tournament time — experience or talent?
Mitchell: "When we went to the Final Four, we didn't have that much experience at that level but we had a lot of mature guys on our team. They are all freshmen, or most of them are. Patrick Patterson has been through some wars, but experience could turn out to make a big difference."
Question: Do perimeter players have to make shots for UK to make the Final Four?
Mitchell: "Guard play is a must in the tournament. John Wall is great, but they have to hit the open jumpers when they get them. A lot of teams are going to leave him open because he has not shown he can consistently hit that 3-pointer like that. He is going to have to hit the jumper and so will Eric Bledsoe, and I know he can hit it. They have to make shots because in a tournament bigs are good to have, but you have to hit shots."
Question: Who is Kentucky's best player?
Mitchell: "I can't really say. I like DeMarcus Cousins. Wall is fast in transition, but Cousins is the heartbeat of that team. Patrick Patterson is key, too. He keeps them together, but those other two guys are better players. He's good and has taken a leadership role, but Wall and Cousins are the ones who make them special."