It looks like one of the newest players on Missouri’s campus will be leaving Columbia after all, as Mario McKinney Jr. has entered his name into the transfer portal. Stadium’s Jeff Goodman first reported the news Tuesday afternoon, and an MU spokesperson confirmed the report.
McKinney himself seemed to also confirm the move on his Twitter account:
It’s been real Mizzou But all this comes to a end appreciate everyone that helped me since I been here Love Y’all and wish nothing but the best— Mario McKinney Jr./ HoodieRio.. (@Boog341) January 14, 2020
A product of Vashon High School in St. Louis, McKinney was absent from the 91-75 win over Florida on Saturday at Mizzou Arena amidst news that he had been suspended indefinitely from the team by head coach Cuonzo Martin. At his postgame press conference, Martin address the suspension by simply saying McKinney was “not part of the team right now.”
McKinney, the cousin of former Tiger Jimmy McKinney (2002-06), was among the top ranked players from the state in the Class of 2019 and wowed fans with his athletic plays. However, those athletic plays only came in spurts, as McKinney struggled to carve out a meaningful role in Missouri’s crowded backcourt rotation. He played in just seven games on the year, averaging only 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds on 8.4 minutes per game.
McKinney did manage to play in three straight games over the past two weeks, with him even earning meaningful minutes against Kentucky on Jan. 4, but as of Tuesday, McKinney will be another young, promising guard to transfer from MU at the midseason mark (similar to Blake Harris in 2018).