Missouri men’s basketball guard Xavier Pinson entering transfer portal

The junior guard tied for the team led in scoring and started 49 games during his three years in Columbia.

Junior guard Xavier Pinson will enter the transfer portal, a Missouri men’s basketball spokesperson confirmed to The Maneater.

Pinson also announced his decision on Instagram.

The announcement comes just three days after the Tigers lost their first-round NCAA Tournament matchup against No. 8 seed Oklahoma, 72-68. In that game, Pinson only played four second-half minutes, as grad transfer guard Drew Buggs got the bulk of the playing time Saturday.

Pinson finished with just two points on 1-7 shooting from the field.

The junior guard voiced his frustration with the lack of playing time on Instagram on Sunday and Monday, writing, “I still don’t know what I did tbh,” and “Imma be lost this whole offseason smh.”

Pinson, who finished second on the team in scoring, was expected to be one of just two returning starters for Missouri next season, as five seniors — Dru Smith, Mark Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon, Mitchell Smith and Drew Buggs — are set to leave the team this season.

Pinson was a key cog on the Missouri offense last season, as the Tigers only lost one game where Pinson scored 15 points or more. However, Pinson’s high usage rate meant the team would struggle if he couldn’t get shots to fall or turned the ball over too many times.

Saturday was not the first time Martin pulled Pinson for poor shot selection. In 13 games, the junior guard’s field goal percentage was below his season average of 38.6%.

However, in the other 13 games, Pinson’s field goal percentage was above 45% — a testament to how hot or cold Pinson was this season.

Missouri men’s basketball will have options to replace Pinson and his production over the offseason. It still retains guards Javon Pickett and Torrence Watson, who received minutes off the bench this season. Incoming freshmen guards Anton Brookshire and Caleb Brown could receive starting opportunities right away, and the transfer portal is ripe with talent as the new transfer rules allow for immediate eligibility.

Edited by Jack Soble | jsoble@themaneater.com

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