OREM — About an hour after Mark Madsen was introduced as the next men's basketball coach at Utah Valley University, the first-time head coach gathered his players and met them for a workout at the Nuvi practice facility.
So one week later, it's little surprise that he picked up his first win on the recruiting trail.
After flirting with the NCAA transfer portal, Isaiah White has elected to return to Utah Valley, a source with direct knowledge of the portal confirmed to KSL.com Monday.
The 6-foot-7 sophomore from Rancho Cucamonga, California, averaged 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game as a sophomore for the Wolverines, helping them to a program-record 25 wins in 2018-19.
But when head coach Mark Pope took the same position at BYU, White wanted to see his options. Even after meeting with Madsen on campus — like all but one player did — White submitted his name to the national database, opening himself up to be contacted by other universities.
Players are not bound to leave when they submit their names into the transfer portal, but coaches are not required to renew their scholarship, either.
But in this case, White will be returning to Orem. The former Salt Lake Community College standout led the Bruins in scoring as a freshman with 12.8 points per game, and after taking a redshirt year in Salt Lake, he transferred and took the short drive south on I-15 to join Pope and his staff.
Now he'll factor into a lineup that will be set by Madsen, the former two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers who accepted his first college head coaching job last week.
Other Wolverines who have input their names into the portal include Jake Toolson, the squad's leading scorer in 2018-19, who was named Western Athletic Conference player of the year; and Wyatt Lowell, the WAC Freshman of the Year who is believed to be UVU's top-rated recruit to sign with the Wolverines when he came out of Williams Field High School in Gilbert, Arizona, in 2016.