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What makes these Utah college basketball players reportedly in the transfer portal so coveted

Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (1) works to get off a shot with USC Trojans guard Isaiah White (5) defending him as Utah and USC play in the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 11, 2021. USC won 91-85 in double overtime.
Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (1) is rated the No. 4 available player in the NCAA transfer portal by 247 Sports’ Eric Bossi.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

It’s a busy time for college basketball player news.

The days following the end of the season are filled with a steady stream of reports about players entering the NCAA transfer portal or committing to new teams.

As such, there are a handful of athletes who played for Utah colleges last season reportedly in the portal, and a few of them are gaining attention as players to watch where they’ll land.

247 Sports’ Eric Bossi lists Utah junior Timmy Allen, who led the Utes with 17.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game last season, as the fourth-best player available in the transfer portal.

“The NCAA Tournament showed the entire country that the Pac-12 was a lot better than given credit for. So, it stands to reason that Timmy Allen, one of the best players in the conference, should be among the most sought-after transfers in the country,” Bossi wrote.

“A four-star prospect coming out of high school, Allen is the complete package on the wing. He scores, he sets up teammates and he’s strong on the glass. Sources close to Allen tell 247Sports that he’s looking into his options now and will look to focus on a more select group (perhaps five) within the next week or so.”

Two others — Utah’s Ian Martinez and BYU’s Connor Harding — also show up in a ranking of the top shooting guards in the portal. Martinez displayed a lot of promise, particularly late in the season, during his freshman season in 2020-21, while Harding has been a key reserve for the Cougars the past three seasons.

Evan Miyakawa, a college basketball advanced analytics, rates Martinez as the No. 2 shooting guard in the portal, while Harding is seventh.

Miyakawa uses a statistical metric, the Bayesian Performance Rating (BPR), to quantify how effective a player is when on the court and their overall value to their team. Martinez has a BPR rating of 51.2, 12th among all players in the transfer portal and two spots behind Allen at 52.7. Another Ute in the transfer portal, guard Alfonso Plummer, has a BPR rating of 45.1, or 20th among portal players.

Harding, meanwhile, is 22nd with a BPR of 42.4.