BYU star wing Robinson plans to enter portal



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BYU senior Jaxson Robinson, a projected NBA draft pick, plans to enter the transfer portal, he told ESPN.

Robinson, who graduated Friday, announced this week that he plans to enter the NBA draft, and while the draft process — including a potential invitation to the NBA draft combine — is still his priority, entering his name into the portal before the May 1 deadline allows him to keep his options open.

“The reason I am entering the transfer portal is because of the new coaching change at BYU,” Robinson said. “I want to get to know Coach [Kevin] Young, but at the same time, I need to weigh all of my options. However, my primary focus is still achieving my longtime dream of playing in the NBA.”

The combine is May 12-19, and the deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft is May 29.

Should he opt to return to college, the perception will be that following coach Mark Pope to Kentucky is the most likely route. But Robinson said he will look at other schools too.

“Although Coach Pope and I have a great relationship and had an amazing season this past year, it is important that I still explore what the best fit for me is,” Robinson said. “My recruitment is still 100% open.”

A 6-foot-7 wing from Oklahoma, Robinson was one of the biggest breakout stars in the Big 12 last season. Despite starting just six games, Robinson averaged 14.2 points per game and shot 35.4% from 3-point range. He was named Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year and earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors.

Robinson hit the 20-point mark on five occasions, including three times in a five-game stretch in November and December — capped by a 28-point effort against Denver in which he made eight 3-pointers. He scored 25 points and made five 3s in BYU’s NCAA tournament loss to Duquesne.

After failing to carve out a consistent role during his freshman season at Texas A&M or sophomore season at Arkansas, Robinson transferred to BYU to play under Pope. He started 30 games in his first campaign with the Cougars, showing ability as a perimeter shooter with great size for the position.

Robinson is ranked No. 55 in ESPN’s NBA draft rankings.

BYU saw several players enter the transfer portal after Pope left to replace John Calipari at Kentucky, but Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders announced this week they planned to withdraw from the portal and return to play for Young. Prior to Robinson’s decision, starting center Aly Khalifa was the key departure, transferring to Louisville. Former ESPN 100 recruit Collin Chandler, who is returning from a two-year mission and has yet to play a game in college, followed Pope to Lexington.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.



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