Five UI men's hoops players enter transfer portal

Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho
·2 min read

Mar. 13—Two days after their season ended with a 1-21 record, reports surfaced online that Idaho basketball players Scott Blakney, DeAndre Robinson, Hunter-Jack Madden, A.J. Youngman and Ja'Vary Christmas each intend to leave the Vandals' program.

Verbal Commits reported the first four had entered the NCAA transfer portal. Later in the day, Christmas indicated in a tweet he would spend his final year of eligibility elsewhere.

"Thank you to the University of Idaho for (bringing) a kid from the trenches in with open arms and giving me an opportunity! Excited to see what's next on this journey!" wrote the guard, who averaged 6.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and shot 41.2 percent from the field in 22 games, 16 starts.

Blakney, a 6-foot-8 senior forward, is the most significant loss. The three-year starter finished second on the team in scoring at 10.7 points per game this season, adding 3.0 rebounds and converting 59.1 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Blakney took to Twitter to thank UI and the Moscow community, and wrote, "I have made the decision to play my final collegiate basketball season elsewhere while pursuing my masters."

Robinson, a 6-4 junior guard, started 11 games in his first season as a Vandal after transferring from Tallahassee Community College. He averaged 5.9 points and 3.0 rebounds, shooting 42 percent from the field.

Madden, a 6-1 true freshman guard from Australia, started seven of the 17 games he appeared in, and posted averages of 4.9 points and 2.2 rebounds.

Youngman, a 6-3 junior who transferred from a JC in 2019, only played in four games.

Transfers have been an issue the past three years for the Vandals, who lost the majority of their 2018-19 roster to the portal after the firing of longtime coach Don Verlin. Another three departed UI after the 2019-20 season.

Earlier this season, Oregon State transfer center Jack Wilson left the program for unspecified reasons.

Under coach Zac Claus — who directed Idaho on an interim basis in 2019 before last season before being promoted in February 2020 — the Vandals this year posted their worst season in program history in terms of win-loss percentage.

WSU's Abogidi up for Macy honor

BOSTON — Washington State freshman center Efe Abogidi was named a finalist for the Kyle Macy Award, CollegeInsider.com announced.

Abogidi averaged 8.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game for the Cougars, who barring a postseason bid finished 14-13 overall. Abogidi hit 81.1 percent of his free-throw attempts, becoming the first freshman in school history to hit more than 80 percent at the line.

The winner will be announced April 1.