COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri freshman guard Mario McKinney Jr., suspended from the team since Saturday, has entered the NCAA transfer portal, MU confirmed Tuesday. The St. Louis native from Vashon High School had just started to see some playing time before Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin suspended him for undisclosed reasons before Saturday's home game against Florida.
McKinney posted this on his Twitter account and Facebook page Tuesday: "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 nun but the best"
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
McKinney was unavailable for further comment. His father, Mario McKinney Sr., declined to comment on the situation when contacted Monday.
The Tigers (9-6, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) play at Mississippi State (9-6, 0-3) at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Starkville, Miss.
"He’s not part of the team right now," Martin said after Saturday's 91-75 win over the Gators, "so I'll leave it at that."
The backup from Vashon High School in St. Louis appeared in seven of MU's first 14 games and averaged 2.6 points in eight minutes per game. McKinney played 10 minutes in MU's SEC opener at Kentucky then just two minutes in last Tuesday's loss to Tennessee.
He sat out five straight games during nonconference play, including the Dec. 21 Braggin' Rights Game against Illinois in his hometown.
McKinney was not on the team bench during Saturday's home game but posted several messages on his Twitter account during the game, including a strangely timed retweet of Florida's official team account shortly before the game started, followed by another tweet that seemed to address his situation with the team.
After the game, in a post on one of his two public Facebook accounts, McKinney indicated that he didn't know Mizzou had other guards on the roster when he joined the program, even though three others are also from the St. Louis area in Mark Smith, Torrence Watson and Javon Pickett: "obviously they been wanted me gone from the get go," he wrote, "ain't tell me they had 5 other guards that was gone be there so y'all don't know what's really going on ..."