COLUMBIA — Mario McKinney Jr., the cousin of former Tiger standout Jimmy McKinney, was Missouri's first basketball commitment for the 2019 class.
Tuesday, he announced his intention to transfer away from the program.
Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin never hinted at any issues with the freshman guard, other than he was working hard to fit into his system with the Tigers. But the program announced before Saturday's win against Florida that McKinney had been suspended indefinitely. Martin did not elaborate on the reason for the suspension after the game.
Stadium's Jeff Goodman broke the news McKinney had entered his name into the transfer portal, which gives players a chance to be contacted by prospective coaches, and McKinney tweeted out confirmation shortly after.
"It's been real Mizzou," he wrote on social media, "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."
McKinney played a total of 59 minutes across seven games and zero starts, averaging 8.4 minutes and 2.6 points per game. he played a career-high 14 minutes and scored a career-high seven points in the Tigers' season opener against Incarnate Word and also played against Xavier, Morehead State and Butler before not playing in five straight games. McKinney played 12 minutes against Chicago State, 10 against Kentucky and two minutes against Tennessee before he was suspended.
Missouri women's basketball coach Robin Pingeton announced at a fan luncheon on Tuesday redshirt freshman forward/center Brittany Garner had also entered her name into the transfer portal. The news was first reported by KTGR. Garner was not with the team for either of its two losses last week against Mississippi State and Arkansas.
Garner sat out all of her freshman season with a shoulder injury that required two surgeries, she told the News Tribune during last year's NCAA Tournament appearance in Iowa City, Iowa, and played in 13 games this season, averaging 6.2 minutes and 1.4 points per game.
Garner is the fifth player to leave Pingeton's program in the last year, following guard/forward Grace Berg, who transferred to Drake in February of last year to be closer to home, and Emmanuelle Tahane, a French international player who is now at Rhode Island, who left at the end of last season. Also at the end of the 2018-19 season, Kelsey Winfrey transferred to D-II Drury, and Akira Levy to Vanderbilt after tearing her ACL, both to be closer to home.
The Tigers brought in three transfers with this year's recruiting class — Shug Dickson (Texas Tech), LaDazhia Williams (South Carolina) and Shannon Dufficy (Utah State) — but none were granted immediate eligibility.
McKinney is the third player to transfer in 2 years under Martin, following Blake Harris and CJ Roberts, who departed for North Caorlina State and Texas Tech, respectively, in the middle of the 2017-18 season. The program also dismissed point guard Terrence Phillips in early 2018 for alleged Title IX violations including stalking, harassment and sexual assault. The two former MU students who brought the allegations to the University's Title IX office filed a lawsuit against the University for mishandling the investigation.
Harris left Missouri to be closer to home, while Roberts transferred because of a lack of playing time. Harris left the NC State program before the start of this season and landed at HBCU North Carolina A&T. Roberts is now at Ranger (Texas) Junior College, the same JuCo former Missouri guard Jordan Geist attended out of high school.