After originally cutting to just two schools and then reopening his recruitment in late April, former LSU starter Xavier Pinson has now cut his final list of prospective transfer destinations to three programs.
The 6-foot-2 guard spent his first three seasons at Missouri averaging 10.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 2.7 APG before transferring in-conference and joining the LSU Tigers where his production would decline slightly averaging 9.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 4.8 APG.
Entering the transfer portal for the second time in his career, Pinson could potentially be leaving the SEC and is currently considering offers from Georgia Tech, New Mexico State, and lastly Mississippi State to keep his former conference in the mix.
Let’s take a look at each school and what the current rosters look like to see if we can find where Pinson might slot in best with his traditional lead point guard role.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
With Georgia Tech’s premier guards from a season ago in Third Team All-ACC selection Michael Devoe and 2021 All-ACC Tournament standout Jordan Usher both pushing for the NBA Draft and reportedly impressing scouts, Pinson might be a perfect pick up for GT. Especially given some of the exciting returning talents that Pinson can pair with including former top-100 prospect Dallan Coleman who had a solid freshman season off the bench and junior Kyle Sturdivant who saw a step up in production last year and can expect one next season.
A move to the ACC in an offense run by Josh Pastner that is guard-heavy could be exactly what Pinson needs to help find some of that 2020-21 production that saw the Chicago native average 13.6 PPG and 2.9 APG for the Missouri Tigers.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
2021-22 First Team All-SEC selection Iverson Molinar announced that he would be foregoing his eligibility to enter the NBA Draft and now eight former Mississippi State players have entered the transfer portal this offseason. Pinson might look a certain starter for the Bulldogs, but with who around him? Head Coach Ben Howland hasn’t had the best luck recruiting this offseason outside of a signing from former SEMO guard Eric Reed. But now, 2021-22 AAC Sixth Man of the Year Ricky Council IV has announced that Mississippi State is in his final top-six potential transfer destinations.
If Mississippi State somehow earns commitments from Reed and Council IV, Pinson might be the odd man out for minutes behind two guys who were more productive than him last season, albeit in conferences that aren’t as competitive as the SEC can be. But especially given all the players that Mississippi State lost, this is a program in rebuild mode and a young talent like Council IV might suit that better than Pinson with one year of eligibility.
New Mexico State Aggies
As 2021-22 WAC Player of the Year Teddy Allen hits the transfer portal for the fourth time in search of his sixth ever school, first-year New Mexico State head coach Greg Heiar is in search of his first big-time transfer and perhaps Pinson is that guy. The Aggies return just four players from last year’s squad and have already earned commitments from two transfers in former Missouri and Kansas State standout Dajuan Gordon and CUSA All-Freshman selection Jordan Ivy-Curry as well as several JUCO additions. Alongside Gordon, Pinson could prove a veteran and experienced piece on a squad that’s fairly young and still rebuilding but has the talent to be competitive in the WAC, especially with his commitment.
A backcourt pair of Gordon and Pinson followed by Ivy-Curry should really interest the former LSU and Missouri point guard and would no doubt be the big hit that Coach Heiar wants in his first season in Las Cruces.