Ashley Mitchell to Join Memphis Women's Basketball in 2011-2012
April 13, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - The University of Memphis women's basketball staff has added junior college point guard Ashley Mitchell (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan HS/Central Arizona College) to the roster of newcomers for the 2011-2012 season. Mitchell, a left-handed 5-8 point guard out of Long Beach, Calif., spent the last two seasons at Central Arizona College, a junior college program that has won three national championships, playing for head coach Denise "Gooch" Cardenas.
"Ashley is a scoring point guard that thrives in the full court. Standing at 5'8", she will be one of the bigger guards in C-USA," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "Her size and attack mentality versus pressure will be major assets, especially with the graduation of our senior point guard, Alex Winchell. Ashley is a very capable scorer, but she is also a gifted passer. "Milli" is accustomed to competing at the highest level as she comes from perennial national championship contender, Central Arizona College (CAC). CAC Head Coach "Gooch" Cardenas has proven she can develop players and programs. We are thrilled to welcome a proven winner and talented player like Milli to the Tiger family."
At Central Arizona, Mitchell helped the squad to a 57-11 combined record over two seasons and two JUCO national tournament appearances.
As a freshman, while CAC was 30-4, Mitchell averaged 9.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.9 steals a game. She also shot 36 percent from three-point range, and hit 39 percent of her shots from the field. In her sophomore season this past year, she averaged 13.2 points (10th in the league), 3.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists (second in the league) and 2.0 steals a game. In a win over nationally-ranked Chipola College on November 19th, she scored a career-high 42 points, including 31 in the second half. A two-time ACCAC Division I Player of the Week, she was also voted all-conference and all-region and was named to the all-tournament team at the Tournament of Champions in Midland. She was also named a third team NJCAA All-American this past season.
"We had a great two years with `Milli,'" Cardenas said. "I think her best basketball is yet to come. Her foundation was great, but she is really going to shine at Memphis and (Coach McFerrin's system) is a perfect fit for her."
Mitchell originally signed with Utah State out of Millikan High School in Long Beach, Calif. At Millikan, she averaged over 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and shot 54 percent from the field while playing for head coach Lorene Morgan. Her high school team upended nationally-ranked Long Beach Poly, the top ranked team in the country at that point, in 2008. Millikan ranked as high as No. 13 in the country in Mitchell's senior campaign.
She is currently ranked the No. 2 point guard in the country and as the ninth best player in the country by one recruiting service. She also considered LSU and Auburn to continue her collegiate playing career.
"Memphis Basketball takes another step toward "Becoming the Class of Conference USA" with the signing of Ashley `Milli' Mitchell," McFerrin said. "Our staff continues to assemble a roster capable of winning a Conference USA championship. Adding a player of Milli's caliber solidifies our place among the top teams in our conference and beyond. Regarded as one of the best junior college point guards in the country, Milli has the ability to make an immediate impact at Memphis. She is a great addition to our third consecutive, nationally-ranked recruiting class, which also includes Shay Arnick, Ann Jones, Lauren McGraw, and Jailyn Norris."
Mitchell will join early signees ShaQuita Arnick, Andra'a Jones, Lauren McGraw and Jailyn Norris as newcomers on the 2011-2012 Memphis roster. The Tigers will graduate four players from this past season's roster. Savannah Ellis, Starkitsha Luellen-Higgins and Alex Winchell will all graduate in May while Taylor Mumphrey will graduate from Memphis in December.