BYU’s best basketball player is in the transfer portal. Will he follow Mark Pope to UK?

Jaxson Robinson was BYU’s leading scorer this past season, and he could follow Mark Pope to Kentucky.

The leading scorer from Mark Pope’s final BYU men’s basketball team is now in the NCAA transfer portal.

On Saturday, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello reported that Jaxson Robinson — who averaged more than 14 points per game for the Cougars last season — has entered the NCAA transfer portal for the third time in his college career.

A 6-foot-7, 190-pound guard originally from Oklahoma, Robinson played one season each at Texas A&M and Arkansas to begin his college basketball career. He spent the last two seasons playing for Pope at BYU.

Robinson led last season’s Cougars — who went 23-11 overall and earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament — in scoring, and shot 42.6% from the field, 90.8% from the foul line and 35.4% from 3-point range.

Robinson is a career 34.3% 3-point shooter on significant shot volume: He’s made 164 of his 478 career attempts from deep.

Robinson arrived at BYU in the 2022 offseason after being mainly a bench player with both the Aggies and Razorbacks.

He initially joined Texas A&M as a four-star recruit out of high school. Robinson was originally part of the 2021 recruiting class before reclassifying to the 2020 recruiting group.

In the two seasons that Robinson played for Pope at BYU, he exploded in productivity.

He played in 33 games with 30 starts for the Cougars during the 2022-23 season, and averaged more than 8 points per game. Robinson played in 33 games as mainly a bench player last season, but averaged a career-best 14.2 points.

In addition to being BYU’s leading scorer last season, Robinson was the team’s best free throw shooter (90.8%).

Robinson was the 2024 Big 12 Conference Sixth Man of the Year.

Per KenPom, Robinson had among the best marks nationally when it came to effective field goal percentage (53.1%) and true shooting percentage (56.3%) last season.

Prior to entering the NCAA transfer portal on Saturday, Robinson declared for the NBA draft on April 23.

This chain of events — declaring for the NBA draft before then entering the NCAA transfer portal — mirrors what former UK center Ugonna Onyenso did earlier this offseason.

All eyes will now be trained on Pope to see if the new Kentucky coach can secure a transfer portal commitment from his leading scorer with the Cougars last season.

So far, Pope’s first Kentucky basketball roster for the 2024-25 season has five confirmed players: First-year guards Collin Chandler and Travis Perry, third-year guard Otega Oweh, formerly of Oklahoma, fifth-year forward Amari Williams, formerly of Drexel, and fifth-year guard Lamont Butler, formerly of San Diego State.

Williams and Butler were Pope’s first transfer portal pickups at UK.

College basketball players (including graduate transfers) have until May 1 to enter the transfer portal. The early-entry deadline for the 2024 NBA draft was Saturday, and players who enter the draft with remaining NCAA eligibility will have until May 29 to remove their names from consideration and return to school.

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