NORMAL -- Illinois State men's basketball star MiKyle McIntosh will be leaving the Redbirds and not return for his senior season. McIntosh will declare for the NBA Draft and then graduate and transfer, if he does not go pro, announced by ISU coach Dan Muller Monday.
Muller’s announcement comes after The Vidette published a story online Saturday stating McIntosh was planning to leave ISU, according to mulitple sources close to the team.
“I want to thank everyone at Illinois State for all they have done for me,” McIntosh said in a press release Monday. “This school has made me into the player and person I am today, and for that, I am forever grateful. I could have never done it without God, my coaches, my teammates, and of course, without the community. I thank the fans for believing in me and always supporting me. After a lot of prayer and consideration, I have decided this is the best decision for my future as I pursue my life goals. This does not take away anything this institution has done for me, and Illinois State will always have a special place in my heart.”
McIntosh is expected to graduate this summer and will be able to pursue the graduate transfer rule, which makes him immediately eligible if he transfers to another school.
McIntosh, who turns 23 in July, helped lead the Redbirds to a program-best 28 wins, along with 17 conference victories in 2016-17.
A native of Pickering, Ontario, McIntosh averaged 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game during his junior year. His best stretch was at the beginning of January, when he scored a combined 93 points over the span of five games before tearing his meniscus at the end of the month. McIntosh was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Jan. 16.
McIntosh earned All-MVC Second Team honors despite missing five games due to injury. He was a team captain this season and was expected to be a preseason favorite for 2017-18 MVC Player of the Year.
McIntosh was part of Muller’s first recruiting class, which included Paris Lee,
Tony Wills, Deontae Hawkins and Reggie Lynch. Lynch transferred to his home state school, the University of Minnesota, in 2015. Lee and Wills are expected to graduate this spring and Hawkins declared before the season he will not return in 2017-18.
ISU’s roster was previously full with the signing of Zach Copeland last Wednesday. But after McIntosh’s departure, Muller now has one available scholarship to fill.
“I want to thank MiKyle for all that he has done since he’s been here,” Muller said in Monday’s press release. “I certainly wish him nothing but the best wherever he ends up next year.”
The Redbirds are scheduled to host a season celebration at 6 p.m. April 24 at Redbird Arena. ISU Athletics could not confirm if McIntosh will be in attendance at the celebration.
Editor’s Note: In an original publication of this story online on Saturday, The Vidette gained information regarding MiKyle McIntosh from one source close to the team. Before publication, Dan Muller declined comment to The Vidette, while messages to McIntosh were not returned. Since then, multiple sources close to the team confirmed the same information and McIntosh announced officially Monday he will not return.