BYU COUGARS

BYU Women’s Basketball Makes Pitch To Bring Shaylee Gonzales Back

Jun 7, 2022, 12:42 PM | Updated: 12:49 pm
Shaylee-Gonzalez-BYU-Basketball...
BYU women's basketball made a pitch to bring star guard Shaylee Gonzales out of the Transfer Portal. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s basketball star Shaylee Gonzales continues to explore her options in the NCAA’s Transfer Portal.

A two-time WCC Player of the Year, Gonzales is one of the top athletes in the portal –regardless of the sport– at the moment.

Last week, she announced her intentions to go into the portal with a social media post that thanked BYU’s athletic department, donors, and BYU’s student section, the ROC.

When student-athletes enter the portal, they can return if their original university provides the opportunity. BYU is definitely leaving the door open for a return from a player of Gonzales’ caliber.

BYU associate head coach Lee Cummard joined BYUtv’s BYU Sports Nation for an interview and was asked for the latest regarding Gonzales.

Shaylee Gonzales “is not all the way out yet” 

“I will tell you this; she’s not all the way out yet,” Cummard said to BYUtv. “I had a great conversation with her yesterday. She is exploring, and every single school is reaching out.”

Cummard then made a pitch on BYU’s television network to bring Gonzales out of the portal and back to BYU.

“My thing I want to share is, Shaylee, our arms are right here. Anytime you want to come back, we’ll have you. Come be great at BYU.”

Through the three seasons she has played, Gonzales has scored 1,555 points. She’s 1,204 points away from becoming the all-time leading scorer in BYU basketball history (men’s or women’s). With two years of eligibility remaining, Gonzales has a chance to set the record. Especially if she continues to score at her average of 18.3 points from last season.

Cummard put that in his pitch to bring the heralded guard back.

“Fly past Jimmer (Fredette), fly past Lexi Eaton, fly past Danny (Ainge), fly past Tina Gunn, come get the scoring title. Let’s hang your jersey in the rafters, is what I think and what I see playing out. We’ve got a good roster; she makes it even better.”

If BYU doesn’t get Gonzales back into the fold, it would be a significant loss to a team that already has to move on without sharpshooting guard Paisley Harding, who had a tryout with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. And veteran leaders Maria Albeiro and Sara Hamson, who both signed professional contracts overseas.

A new era for BYU Women’s Basketball

The Cougars are also breaking in a new head coach in Amber Whiting. Whiting comes from Burley High School in Idaho, where she won a 4A state championship. She takes over a BYU program that experienced its best season and lost the winningest coach in school history in Jeff Judkins.

Cummard also noted that Shaylee Gonzales shared with him that “she wants to play at the highest level.” Along with reaching goals that would allow her to “get to a Final Four and play for a National Championship” and play in the WNBA.

“It’s just a new landscape of college basketball where roster maintenance is a real thing and trying to always have the best competitive roster to go in and compete year in and year out,” said Cummard. “Because people want to play on the big stage, and that’s just what it is.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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