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SIU forward Sean O’Brien (33) pressures the shot of Illinois State forward MiKyle McIntosh (11) in the first half of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinal at the Scottrade Center on March 4 in St. Louis. McIntosh will be playing this season at Oregon as a grad student transfer. 

NORMAL — MiKyle McIntosh figured to be the centerpiece in Illinois State's quest to repeat as Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball champions in the 2017-18 season, but that won't happen now.

ISU coach Dan Muller announced Monday that McIntosh will not return for his senior year with the Redbirds. Instead, Muller said the 6-foot-7, 234-pound forward will declare for the NBA draft and, if he pulls his name out, will graduate from ISU this summer and transfer to another school where he will be eligible immediately.

It was a reversal for McIntosh, who said last month he planned on playing for the Redbirds next season.

Muller said McIntosh, who had been going through individual workouts with the Redbirds the last couple weeks, returned home to Canada for Easter to discuss the situation with his parents. The Redbird coach said McIntosh was officially going to get his release from ISU on Monday.

McIntosh averaged 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this past season with the Redbirds. He started 29 of 30 games, missing five games because of surgery to remove a torn meniscus in his right knee, and was named to the All-MVC second team.

— Jim Benson, The Southern Media Services


On Twitter: @THefferman


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