Less than one week after entering his name into the NCAA transfer portal, Saint Louis point guard Yuri Collins has decided to return to the Billikens according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Collins earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors last season while leading the nation in assists for SLU, averaging 11.1 points per game, 4.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 45.0% from the field and 36.2% from 3-point range.
Multiple high-major programs, most notably Tennessee, had been linked to Collins. Instead, Collins will return to the Billikens to compete for an at-large berth to the 2023 NCAA Tournament in what should be an improved Atlantic 10 led by borderline preseason top-25 Dayton. The Billikens went 23-12 and 12-6 in A-10 play this past season, losing in the first round of the NIT to Northern Iowa.
Collins was the No. 227-ranked prospect from the Class of 2019, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. Out of Saint Louis (MO) Saint Mary’s High, he was the No. 29-ranked point guard and the third-ranked player from Missouri. He chose Saint Louis over offers from DePaul, Iowa, Missouri, Missouri State and SMU.
When Collins announced he would enter the transfer portal, he appeared to imply that his departure from SLU would be permanent in a note posted to his Twitter account.
“I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and Saint Louis University for allowing me to be a part of their family,” Collins wrote. “My three years at SLU will be unforgettable and has taught me valuable lessons both on and off the court. Big thanks to Coach (Travis) Ford and his staff for giving me a chance and pushing me towards greatness. I appreciate Saint Louis University and the fans for accepting me and sticking with me through the good and bad. To my brothers, we locked in for life! With that being said, I will be entering the transfer portal.”
On Wednesday’ 247Sports national basketball director Eric Bossi wrote that Collins was one of the top remaining players in the portal.
“The nation’s leader in assists during the last season, Yuri Collins will soon be ranked pretty highly among the top prospects in the portal,” Bossie wrote. “A native of Saint Louis who is leaving his hometown program, he’s a tough floor general who creates easy scoring opportunities for teammates.
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“While Collins hasn’t ever been thought of as a net burner from deep, he has steadily improved his shooting and made more threes in 2021-22 than the previous two years combined. Tennessee is considered as the team to beat early on.”