His hoops career in Albuquerque never really took off as he, or Lobo fans, had hoped.
But college basketball isn’t over yet for Connor MacDougall, the 6-foot-9 forward who graduated from the University of New Mexico this semester and announced on Wednesday he will transfer to Utah Valley University.
“It all fell into place as soon as I stepped off the plane for my official visit,” MacDougall said in a news release posted on the Wolverines athletics website. “I felt something really special at UVU and everything felt right. Coach (Mark) Pope is obviously an exceptional coach and his staff is high class. I’m excited. I’ll be able to go there and be myself, and the staff at will help me grow my game.”
Lobos head coach Paul Weir has regularly been complimentary of MacDougall’s buy-in and work ethic throughout last year’s offseason as the new coach was trying to build a foundation for his first season.
“I am really happy he found a school he is excited about and wish him all the best,” Weir said. “He’s a terrific young man.”
As a graduate transfer, MacDougall will be eligible to play immediately and have, for now, one season of eligibility remaining. He missed this past season at UNM with a high ankle sprain suffered in a preseason exhibition against BYU.
MacDougall also worked through a lengthy appeal process with the NCAA throughout this past season, trying to regain a season of eligibility after playing just 23 minutes due to injury at Arizona State as a freshman in the 2014-15 season. Toward the end of the 2017-18 season, there was a reversal from the Pac-12 Conference on its initial denial of his medical hardship appeal. It means after this coming season at UVU, MacDougall can apply for a sixth season of eligibility, meaning he could play for UVU two seasons.
MacDougall played as a sophomore at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix before signing with former coach Craig Neal for the UNM 2016-17 season, when he played 27 games.
He is the first of four Lobo transfers from the 2017-18 team to announce his landing spot. Forward Jachai Simmons, point guard Chris McNeal and shooting guard Troy Simons have all been granted their releases to transfer.
SEASON TICKETS: UNM announced Wednesday morning they had sold 52 new season tickets since Monday morning, when men’s basketball season tickets went on sale. Those are new customers and not considered “renewal” ticket holders from last season.