State Colleges

Former Southeast, Hutch star Mitchell joins Friends

Former Southeast and Hutchinson Community College guard Joe Mitchell has found a landing spot for the rest of his college career, enrolling at Friends.

Friends coach Dale Faber confirmed Mitchell has joined the team. Faber hoped to play Mitchell against Ottawa on Wednesday night, but still had not received clearance from the NAIA clearinghouse, which Faber said he considers a formality.

“We tried to recruit him out of high school, out of junior college, after he left Ohio and after Wichita State,” Faber said. “So the fourth time’s a charm. I think he’s really going to help us.”

Mitchell (6-foot-1) was an All-Jayhawk West player in two seasons for the Blue Dragons, then signed with Ohio and spent the summer of 2011 there before deciding to transfer to Wichita State. He sat out all of 2011-12 and paid his own way to attend Wichita State, then quit the team in October, telling The Eagle that he believed WSU coach Gregg Marshall had failed to follow through on the offer of a scholarship.

Marshall denied offering Mitchell a scholarship. Mitchell could not be reached for this article.

“I think (Mitchell) was in a difficult situation with trying to find a place to play on the NCAA level,” Faber said. “I think Friends is a good place for him. I think it was important for him to stay in Wichita.”

The Falcons, who play in the KCAC, are 8-10 overall and 5-3 in league play. Mitchell will have three semesters to play for Friends, including nine regular-season games this season plus postseason play and the entire 2013-2014 season.