On the day that Arizona officially signed McDonald’s All-American Paris Clark, reports also came out that Bendu Yeaney and Semaj Smith are in the transfer portal as grad transfers. The development was reported by Raoul of wbbblog.com who tracks recruiting and transfers across women’s basketball.
Two more into the portal out of Arizona WBB, both grad xfers:— Raoul (@Raoul_000) April 13, 2022
—Semaj Smith, 6-6 SR center, Long Beach, CA (played in just 9 games in 2021-22)
—Bendu Yeaney, 5-10 SR wing, Portland, OR (started every game in 2021-22: 6.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG; began college career at Indiana)
The addition of Smith to the portal is not a surprise. Head coach Adia Barnes said before senior day that Smith would not be back, but that the coach would help her find a good place for her final year if she wanted to play the extra year granted by the NCAA due to COVID-19. Smith had stayed at Arizona for four years despite getting little playing time after her sophomore year.
Yeaney is a bigger surprise. It was known that she would be back for a final year midway through the season and she announced as much after the senior day game. Yeaney has already removed references to Arizona and Tucson from her social media bio. About 9 p.m. on April 12, she cryptically tweeted, “You can’t trust everyone that’s my biggest lesson learned.”
You can’t trust everyone that’s my biggest lesson learned— Bendu yeaney (@Benduyeaney1) April 13, 2022
UPDATE: Yeaney issued an update to this after this story.
Let me clarify real quick, my tweet last night had no correlation to me entering the transfer portal.. don’t make assumptions please. No bridges were burned. I’m in good standing w everyone. https://t.co/sesEUchWUb— Bendu yeaney (@Benduyeaney1) April 13, 2022
Barnes has also confirmed that both players are in the portal, as well as Taylor Chavez.
It will be Yeaney’s second transfer of her career. She came to Arizona two years ago from Indiana and started for most of the past two seasons. She averaged 6.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game this season. That was up from 4.1 ppg the year before. She becomes the first player who has significantly contributed on the court to transfer from the program.
Arizona now has five returners and four incoming freshmen on the roster for next season. That leaves six available scholarships.