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Bison men lose reserve point guard to NCAA transfer portal

Dezmond McKinney, who was in his third year with the Bison program, entered the portal on Tuesday and will not return to the team.

North Dakota State's Dezmond McKinney advances against Oral Roberts during their men's basketball game Friday, Feb. 5, in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO — North Dakota State lost a player to the NCAA transfer portal on Tuesday, although it may not be a huge surprise considering Dezmond McKinney did not play this year after suffering an ACL injury the prior season.

McKinney will have three years of eligibility remaining after redshirting this season. He played in 27 games in 2020-21 making one start while averaging 3.3 points in 13.9 minutes of play per game. His sophomore season was interrupted after 23 games with the knee injury.

McKinney came to NDSU from Raytown South High School located near Kansas City, Mo. At Raytown he averaged 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists his senior year. At point guard, the Bison went with true freshman Damari Wheeler-Thomas this season and his improved play as the year progressed contributed to NDSU's strong finish until the Summit League tournament final.

McKinney is the first Bison to enter the portal this season, a different twist from last season when veterans Sam Griesel, Maleeck Harden-Hayes, Tyree Eady and Jarius Cook were among the NDSU players who entered the portal. Griesel had a productive season at Nebraska, Harden-Hayes was a regular contributor at UNC Wilmington while Eady started 34 games at North Texas.

Cook played in 21 of 29 games, missing time with a shoulder injury, averaging 5.4 points a game at Jacksonville University (Fla.).


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Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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