UCSB Basketball player named in 2023 Lou Henson All-American team
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — After a stellar season for UC Santa Barbara's men's basketball team, one player is being recognized for his achievements.
According to the College Insider, the Guachos guard Ajay Mitchell, 20, was recently named in the 2023 Lou Henson All-American team.
The Lou Henson All-American team is a tribute to coach Lou Henson of the Illinois and New Mexico State basketball team, who capped the most wins as a college basketball coach with 775 games in 41 seasons from 1966-2005 for both teams.
Henson passed away in July 2020 at the age of 88.
Henson took Illinois to 12 National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments with a Final Four appearance in 1989. With New Mexico, he took them to 19 NCAA appearances, including a Final Four appearance and four National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances.
The Liege, Belgium native therefore made the All-American team by carrying the Gauchos in the Big West conference and in their run at the NCAA tournament, also known as March Madness.
It was at the NCAA tournament where UCSB bowed out to number three seed Baylor University 56-74. The Gauchos finished the season with an overall of 27-8 and 15-5 in the Big West conference.
According to ESPN, Mitchell ended the season with an average of 16.3 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game and 5.1 assists. He also averaged a field goal percentage of 50.6 for the Gauchos.
The 20-year-old was named the Big West player of the year with a contribution of 13 points and 4 assists for UCSB.
In Mitchell's second season with the Gauchos, the 6'4 left-handed Belgian, has upped his average points per game from the previous year (11.6) by 4.7 points.
Emmy-Award winning analyst and commentator Dave Miller said in a recent broadcast that Mitchell is a player to look out for.
"He's such an efficient scorer. He's got high level vision. I like guys that can see over the defense," said Miller. "He's the best pro prospect that I've seen in a couple years out of the Big West conference."