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Gophers junior starting guard Mike Mitchell Jr., is looking forward to returning to the team next season, his father told the Star Tribune on Saturday.

"He's coming back and excited to start working with coach Ben Johnson, the coaching staff and his teammates to prepare for a great season and to reach their ultimate goal of making the NCAA tournament," Mike Mitchell Sr. said. "He is also very appreciative of how the University of Minnesota community embraced him from the moment he arrived."

After coming off the bench to open the season, the Pepperdine transfer started the last 23 games and averaged 10.2 points and 2.6 assists while shooting 40% from three-point range.

Mitchell, a 6-2 native of San Jose, Calif., joins junior point guard Elijah Hawkins, the league's assist leader, to possibly give the U one of the most experienced backcourts in the Big Ten.

All-Big Ten freshman guard Cam Christie is also considering a return to school, along with the NBA draft process. Isaac Asuma, from Cherry, Minn., is coming in as a top freshman recruit at guard.

The Gophers lost five players to the transfer portal this past week, including Minnesota natives and sophomores Pharrel Payne, Braeden Carrington and Joshua Ola-Joseph.