Roughly 24 hours after Memphis guard Markel Crawford announced he was transferring to Ole Miss, Rebels guard Cullen Neal is leaving. Neal, who spent just one season in Oxford after transferring over from New Mexico last year, has asked for and been granted his release, according to Ben Garrett of the Ole Miss Spirit.
Garrett reports that the request comes as no surprise to Rebel coaches. It also won’t be much of a shocker for fans considering 1) Ole Miss’ depth in the backcourt and 2) Neal’s struggles to live up to expectations last season.
Neal arrived in Oxford expected to lock down the top point guard spot, but turnover problems and poor defense relegated him to just 12 starts over the course of the season. He averaged 23.5 minutes, 9.4 points and 2.1 assists per game.
Still, Neal found a role as a three-point contributor off the bench by season’s end, shooting an impressive 41 percent from behind the arc. It’s that ability to spot up from deep that Ole Miss will miss the most. No other Rebel shot better than 38 percent from three and only Deandre Burnett (37 percent) shot better than 35 percent.
On the plus side, Neal’s departure frees up another scholarship for AK.