Mike McGuirl is a part of our Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s Top 25 returning players countdown as we get closer to the 2021-22 college basketball season opener.
No. 18: Mike McGuirl, G, Kansas State
Where he left off: McGuirl finally had a breakthrough season for the Wildcats, as he earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. He averaged 11.8 points per game on 35.6 percent shooting, including 31.6 percent from 3-point range, with 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He led the Wildcats in practically every offensive category.
In the Big 12, he finished among the Big 12’s Top 15 in several categories, including fifth in minutes, 10th in 3-point field goals made (2.07) and assist/turnover ratio (1.34) and 12th in assists. Under normal circumstances, McGuirl, a senior, wouldn’t be back this coming season. But he tapped into the additional year of eligibility offered by the NCAA due to COVID-19.
Where he’s headed: McGuirl’s improvement in production last season was overdue. His return means a lot to the Wildcats, who are still incredibly young, even with some veteran transfers joining the program. It’s possible McGuirl’s numbers could go up this year, assuming he can improve his 3-point shooting and he remains one of the perimeter’s primary ball handlers. But how much those numbers could go up is up for debate. I suspect the Wildcats will look to share the ball more in the backcourt this season, and that could take a little time away from the super senior. McGuirl’s defense was consistent and there’s room for growth there, too. I could see everything in his game taking another jump this season, albeit not as big a jump as it did last season.
Top 25 criteria: ONLY players that played in the Big 12 last season were considered. Rankings are based on where players left off at the end of last season, as we are not able to make assumptions about the improvements players have made this offseason.
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You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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