Jaxson Robinson: My BYU basketball story

After completing my freshman and sophomore years at Texas A&M and Arkansas, I found myself in the transfer portal for the second time in my early collegiate career. I was looking for a new opportunity where I could develop myself as a player and a person. After having conversations with the coaching staff at Brigham Young University, I felt confident that the program was the perfect fit for me. 

In late June of 2022, I made the trip from Oklahoma out to Utah where I would call my new home. I quickly got into a routine with my coaches and my teammates where we would put in constant work over the following months to prepare for the upcoming season. Shortly after moving into town, I built a strong relationship with my teammate Noah Waterman. We bonded over our commonalities of being transfers and first-year players at BYU. 

Then starting the fall of 2022 I continued to work with my teammates and coaches as we were now on a more regular practice schedule. At the beginning of the semester coach Mark Pope has a tradition of two-a-day practices. The first practice started at six in the morning which consisted of hundreds of shots. Then the afternoon practice was more focused on the team’s schemes and plays leading into the season. 

After competing two seasons in the Southeastern Conference, I was excited to join BYU and compete for its last year in the West Conference Conference. After a tough year in the WCC that didn’t go how we would have liked, we were anxious to work in the off season in order to be able to compete our first year in the Big XII. 

In the off season, Coach Pope made sure we as a team were locked in and ready to get to work. I spent countless hours in the gym to make sure that my jumpshot and handle was dialed in as we were preparing for our Foreign Tour to Croatia and Italy. This trip was an opportunity for us to bond as a team and also compete against other pro club teams. We had the chance to play against Kresimir Cosic’s team as well as meeting his family and hearing about his life experiences. 

After this trip, our team was better prepared for the season ahead of us. We again did two-a-days and focused on our ability to shoot the basketball more consistently as a team and also being more in shape. 

After the offseason and putting in a lot of work, we as a team were looking forward to showcasing what we had gotten better at. We were able to finish non-conference with a 12-1 record and ranked No. 14 in the AP Poll. During our non-conference run, we were able to compete in the Las Vegas Showdown where we beat both Arizona State and North Carolina State. 

Following our non-conference schedule, we were eager to compete against some of the best teams in the country in our conference schedule. After a 2-4 start, we as a team recognized the need for improvement and changes in order to put ourselves in a good position to win the league. Soon after the rough start to conference play we had notable wins against teams like Texas, Baylor, and Kansas. 

Although we weren’t able to go as far as we liked in the postseason, it was fun to see the improvement from my first year to my second both as a team and individually. 

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