Kinsey is back


Zachary Hiser

Junior guard Taevion Kinsey pulls up for a jumper against North Texas Saturday, Feb. 27. He scored 18 points, helping lead a Jarrod West-less Marshall basketball team to a 73-72 victory.

Junior guard Taevion Kinsey announced Friday that he is returning for his senior season as a part of the Marshall men’s basketball team.

“I will be removing my name (from the NBA Draft) and will be returning to Marshall,” Kinsey said. “I have looked at myself and evaluated my game, and there are still things that I want to do better. Right now, I’m just trying to be patient.”

Projected in some places earlier this year to get drafted in the first round of the NBA draft, Kinsey chose instead to play his fourth season at Marshall.

Kinsey said that completing his senior season is within his best interest.

Not heavily recruited out of high school, Kinsey had nine offers including one from Marshall. He committed to the university on April 18, 2018.

Kinsey, throughout his three seasons at Marshall, has improved his game in a variety of areas statistically. Most notably, he has improved his scoring average each season.

He averaged 10.5 points per game his freshman year, 16.4 his sophomore year and 19.5 his junior year.

Kinsey averaged the fifth most points per game in Conference USA his sophomore year and the second most points per game in C-USA his junior year, behind UTSA’s senior guard Jhivvan Jackson.

Another key area in which his game improved is free throw shooting. After being a sub-70% free-throw shooter his freshman and sophomore year, his free-throw shooting percentage increased to 81.8% his junior year.

Not only is he a good scorer, but he has also proven to be a team player, averaging 4.2 assists per game in the 2019-20 season and three assists per game the following year.

Kinsey has also been one of the top rebounding guards in C-USA. Each year, Kinsey has gotten more active on the boards, averaging four rebounds per game his freshman year, five his sophomore year and 6.2 his junior year.

For Marshall, Kinsey making a return is good news after it recently lost a major contributor, senior guard Jarrod West. On March 31, West committed to the University of Louisville for his extra year of eligibility to play for Cardinals head coach Chris Mack.

Not to be forgotten, Marshall also lost longtime forward Jannson Williams.

Pullquote Photo

I’m back.

— Taevion Kinsey

Kinsey will be joined next year in the backcourt by redshirt junior Andrew Taylor. Taylor and Kinsey could form a potent duo for the Herd next season.

After falling in the first round of the C-USA tournament this season, Kinsey said that another key to his return is the unfinished business he has at Marshall.

Noah Hickman can be contacted at [email protected].