Photos courtesy of Xavier Athletics, BYU Athletics, St. Cloud State Athletics
When Jordan Poydras, Isaac Neilson, and Brandon Randolph transferred to Utah Valley University to play basketball, they knew they would have to sit out a season due to the NCAA transfer rules.
Some people might think that it was a difficult decision and that these players regret it. Those fans would be wrong.
“It’s very hard,” Brandon Randolph said. Randolph transferred from Xavier University. “But I was kind of looking forward to it when I was transferring. To get better at stuff that I wasn’t good at Xavier as far as shooting and making other people better.”
Randolph averaged 2.4 points and 1.2 assists per game at Xavier, but he also played on a team that went to the NCAA Tournament twice, including one trip to the Sweet 16.
“I felt like me leaving a big time school like that to a school like this, I can help turnaround some things and lead a school in a good direction,” Randolph said. “I’ve been experienced with the going to the (NCAA) tournament twice and just experiencing those things, I kind of know what it takes now to get there.”
BYU transfer, Isaac Neilson, feels that it is actually helping him to sit out a year. The 6-foot-11-inch redshirt sophomore averaged 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game at BYU while playing in 34 games. At BYU, he was long and skinny weighing in at 225 pounds, and got pushed around inside the paint. Since coming to UVU, he has put on 20 pounds of muscle and is getting stronger with each workout and practice.
“The transition here has been awesome,” Neilson said. “Just having all the coaches and the one on one individual practice with them and workouts. It’s been really good. They are solid guys that know what they are talking about. I honestly believe that this is a much better fit for me.”
Jordan Poydras is the third transfer that has to sit out due to the NCAA transfer rule but the 6-foot-3-inch guard from St. Cloud State knew right away that coming to UVU was the right decision.
“I wasn’t even going to visit (UVU),” Poydras said. “But my buddy told me that I should go visit so I did and I loved it. I loved the coaches, loved the team, and liked the facilities. I signed before I even left. I think it really came down to the school and the coaches.”
These three players know that they won’t get the chance to take the floor for the Wolverines until the 2016-17 season but they can still have a positive impact on their teammates during this transition period.
“I think that the growing pains this year are something that we all need,” Poydras said. “Even though we’re not in the games, we’re still experiencing the wins and we’re seeing how we lost that game or how we won this game. So I think the growing pains are necessary right now. The best part is that we are all playing together and hopefully it will make it easier to communicate through it.”
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