MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Sean McNeil made his West Virginia debut in Friday’s charity exhibition against Duquesne, where he scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds.
During the second half, McNeil seemed to settle in with the Mountaineers and found his stride.
“It took a little bit to get comfortable for things to start to feel natural of course playing at this level,” he said. “But time went on, the game went on and I felt more comfortable and I think my play showed that too.”
For the 6-foot-3, 207-pound guard, getting on the court was exciting and the everything he thought it would be. WVU is exactly where McNeil wants to be.
“I tell everybody that I love it more now than I did when I knew I was going to commit here,” he said. “Not only the basketball stuff but the people here. Just the atmosphere. It’s everything I could have asked for and more.”
Becoming a Mountaineer wasn’t a difficult decision for the Union, Ky. native. In fact, he knew the moment he stepped foot on campus that the Mountain State was his new home and it wasn’t just one thing that stuck out.
It was numerous factors.
“Obviously the coach, legendary, Hall of Fame coach. He knows what he’s talking about,” McNeil said. “The level, the Big 12, you can’t ask for a higher level than that. And my teammates was the biggest thing. I knew when I came on my visit here. I hung out with them. I knew I was going to commit here that night, the first night I was here, just from being around them.”
This year’s team is a close-knit group of players with a lot of chemistry. McNeil instantly meshed with them.
Prior to coming to Morgantown, the sophomore played at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. Last season he averaged 29.7 points per game and shot 43 percent from 3-point range.
McNeil shot 87.6 percent from the free throw line and averaged 6.1 rebounds per contest.
All of that came a year after McNeil sat out an entire season but getting back on the court with Sinclair, gave the Cooper High School native a newfound love of the game.
“It sparked it. It renewed it, them giving me the opportunity, it was a confidence thing for me, going there and not really knowing what to expect out of JUCO level and trying to make it out, trying to play basketball, trying to do what I do well and trying to present an opportunity for myself after that,” he said.
Now, he is ready to show Mountaineer nation what he is made of.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS