Jeff Price knew that it was a long shot, even more than one of the three directions of Sean McNeil, but Sinclair Community College basketball coach did his best to keep the American jersey McNeil on the roster for next season.
“I did my best park. (Coach Bob West West Bob) Huggins wins him on, ”Price said, a little tongue-cheeks about McNeil giving promise to West Virginia Mountains Sunday.
»ARCHDEACON: The coaches go to Sinclair to see McNeil
McNeil's single season with the Tartan Pride made one of the most popular recruits at the Junior National College Athletic Association level. Classify McNeil, guard 6-4-4, No. 1 in Junior Division Division II in scoring goals (29.7 points per game) and field goals by point (132). It was named as the first American team D-II.
West Virginia won over five other competitors McNeil, Dayton, Miss Ole, Oregon, Texas Tech and West Kentucky. Toledo and Virginia McNeil recruited heavily too.
McNeil officially visited West Virginia last week and met with players for the first time.
“This was a great thing, tackling the people I have had for the last three years,” said McNeil. “We succeeded well. Guys are very similar to me, not just on the court but outside court. He sent that to me. … I hope I can enter and play an immediate effect. That's what they're telling me. I have to go in and do the work and I hope the best thing I can do is move to the floor. ”
Although he never announced his three biggest finalists, Dayton was considered among the front runners.
“Because of being five minutes from UL it was very convenient to go on to practices and games and so I developed a good relationship with their team and some of their players,” said McNeil. “There have been a number of things between staff and myself, we decided it was better to go in different directions.”
McNeil will have three qualifying seasons with West Virginia.
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“I think it helped greatly in the amount of work that West Virginia put into Sean with Huggins coming in several times,” Price said. “I would like to say that the US was the same as the amount of work. We developed a bond and a very good relationship with US. ”
Price said McNeil received offers from two D-II programs and at least one school in each Power 5 Conference (Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern). McNeil said he was interested but did not receive D-I scholarship offers coming from High School Union in Kentucky. He accepted an offer from the University of Bellarmine from Louisville, one of the best basketball programs by NCAA Division II men, but left school after one week.
Sinclair was a second chance after he realized that he had made a mistake.
“More than anything I get missing the rest of the team and the Price coach,” said McNeil. “All the prizes were nice and things like that. I made a lot of good relations with Sinclair and I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me. I'm going to a great university in West Virginia and I'm very excited about that.
“I came with the mentality I had to do the best thing I did and I created everyone wrong. Scoring, rebounding, winning. Try to improve myself. I was lucky to have won the prizes I made. ”
»ARCHDEACON: Sinclair freshman ful appreciated from second chance
McNeil was in charge of the Pride Tartan in scoring, three directions and made it free-throws, he was runner-up and it helps him.
“We knew it was a good player. But on believing he worked on his game, ”Price said. “He put the time in the gym. He worked hard with assistant coach Jason Williams and did a solo work. He worked hard with team chemistry and he feels all he has in his place. ”
Price said McNeil was Sinclair's first player to be transferred to the Power 5 Conference program and the first D-I recruit from Akiean Frederick at Kent State University is two seasons ago.
Although he is no longer at Sinclair, McNeil will remain part of a Pride Tartan recruitment campaign. Visits from coaches like Chris Bennett and Tony Tech to Virginia Virginia – who hit their programs for a national title Division I NCAA on April 8 – increased the national profile of Students, as McNeil's commitment to West Virginia.
“It sells our environment and our culture. This extra little boost is fantastic, ”Price said. “We are going to put it on our recruitment brochures, completely.
“He did a community service, he was very good in the classroom and he is very proud to be able to get a scholarship and move on to the next level. We wish him well. We thank him for choosing Sinclair. ”