Men's Basketball, WVU Sports

West Virginia guard Sean McNeil enters transfer portal for his final season of eligibility

MORGANTOWN — Sean McNeil became the fifth West Virginia men’s basketball player to transfer following a 16-17 season and a last-place finish in the Big 12 by the Mountaineers.

The WVU guard announced on his Twitter account he will enter the transfer portal.

“My time at West Virginia and the memories I’ve made will hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my life,” McNeil said. “After much thought and consideration, I have decided it is in my best interest to enter the transfer portal.”

Along with McNeil, WVU has also lost Isaiah Cottrell, Jalen Bridges, Seny N’Diaye and Taj Thweatt to the portal.

That leaves the Mountaineers with just one returning starter in point guard Kedrian Johnson, as well as just nine of 13 scholarships filled heading into next season.

WVU has cast a wide recruiting net to a number of players in the transfer portal and to junior-college recruits in order to fill those vacancies.

The school hosted South Carolina transfer guard Erik Stevenson last Friday, and Stevenson, at 6-foot-4 and with 192 3-pointers in his college career, could be an instant fill-in for McNeil.

As for McNeil, he will be a graduate transfer with one season of eligibility remaining. He had already earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management from WVU and was working on a master’s degree in business administration this past year.

In three seasons, McNeil scored 900 points and finished 12th all-time in school history with 155 3-pointers.

He averaged 12.2 points per game over the last two seasons, while shooting 36.8% from behind the arc over his career.

McNeil’s journey into college was anything but traditional.

He led Cooper (Union, Ky.) High School to a state runner-up finish as a senior in 2017, but had no offers from Division I schools.

He enrolled at Bellarmine in Louisville, which was a Division II power back then, but withdrew from the school just two days after classes began.

McNeil was in limbo for a year, before getting a shot to play at Sinclair (Dayton, Ohio) Community College, a small Division II junior college.

It was at Sinclair where McNeil made his way onto WVU’s radar. He averaged 29.7 points per game in his lone season at Sinclair.

“I want to say thank you to coach (Bob) Huggins and the entire West Virginia staff,” McNeil said. “You all took a chance on me from junior college and gave me an opportunity, and I am forever grateful for that.”

West Virginia has now had eight players — six had been starters — enter the transfer portal in the last two years.

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