BIXBY — A year ago at this time, Bixby’s Mitchell Solomon was just another 6-foot-9 guy on the recruiting radar.
Enough size and strength to draw some mid-major college interest, but nothing to set him apart, nothing to catch the eyes of the major college programs.
“My summer coaches last year, they really encouraged me to shoot a lot more from deeper,” Solomon said. “I knew that I could. It was just a matter of doing it. That really helped my game take off, and that’s when the big schools really started coming in.”
Among those programs was Oklahoma State, the school where both of Solomon’s parents had attended.
“I’ve grown up a Cowboy, so it was a dream come true when OSU offered me,” he said.
Solomon signed with the Cowboys in November, and spent the rest of his senior season showing the Cowboys that they made a good decision in pursuing him.
A member of The Oklahoman’s Super 5, Solomon averaged a double-double for the year, with 18.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. He showed the toughness to battle inside on both ends of the floor, and the accuracy to stretch the defense with his perimeter shooting.
And Oklahoma State has a clear need for an interior presence.
“There’s definitely a need for a rebounding big man, so hopefully I’ll be able to contribute,” he said. “Just whatever they need, I’ll try to step in and provide.
Meanwhile, Solomon hopes to continue to improve his outside shooting. He’s not trying to turn himself into a perimeter player, but wants to be a consistent threat to score from the edge.
“I don’t have to be like Phil Forte or anything,” he said with a laugh. “I just want to be more and more consistent from 3-point range.”
After Bixby started the season 4-4, a state tournament berth was beginning to look like a longshot. But behind Solomon’s consistent play, the Spartans got on track to finish 18-9.
“Mitch was the single reason this team made it to the state tournament,” coach Scott Padek said.