Tuesday December 2nd, 2014

An attorney for suspended Minnesota sophomore guard Daquein McNeil told the Minnesota Star-Tribune that McNeil will plead not guilty to felony charges that he attacked and injured his girlfriend.

McNeil appeared in a Hennepin County, Minnesota court behind a glass partition Monday and did not enter a plea. McNeil, 21, was charged last week with two felony counts of assault for allegedly choking his girlfriend and whipping her with a belt.

According to a criminal complaint, McNeil went to the alleged victim’s apartment to retrieve his Gophers backpack from the team’s trip for the Preseason NIT tournament in New York.

McNeil then entered her room with a cooking pan, smashing a mirror and pulling out drawers before the woman’s male roommate made him leave the apartment. The complaint says that McNeil returned the apartment and pushed her against a wall and choked her. He followed the woman into the shower and hit her with a belt.

McNeil remained in jail as of Tuesday morning after his bail was set at $30,000 with conditions. His next court appearance is Jan. 5. McNeil would need $3,000 cash and collateral for the remaining bail amount to be released from jail.

“My immediate plan is to try to get him out,” McNeil’s defense lawyer F. Clayton Tyler said. “Because that’s very important. … We’re exploring all avenues.”

Minnesota’s athletic director Norwood Teague said last week that McNeil will remain suspended until the legal process plays out. McNeil was averaging 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 19 minutes in four games this season for the Gophers (4-2) and played in 30 games off the bench last season.

- Scooby Axson

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