LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- After playing two seasons at Auburn and earning All-SEC honors, former five-star recruit Robyn Benton has decided to transfer to Kentucky.
Photo: UK Athletics
The guard played against Jazmine Massengill and Rhyne Howard on the AAU circuit and says those interactions led her to Lexington.
"We played each other in AAU," said Benton. "I knew they were good players and that was a huge factor. The coaches reached out to me. Coach Mitchell, Coach Elzy, Coach Butts, Coach Smith and they made me feel really wanted. They let me know I could be an important factor for their team for the years coming. I knew they were a good team and a good program because they have good pedigree and I am excited to be a Wildcat."
Benton will have to sit out the 2020-21 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Benton will transfer to Kentucky after playing 52 career games at Auburn the last two seasons, earning All-SEC Freshman Team honors in 2018-19.
Last season, Benton upped her numbers even though she missed the first nine games of the season due to injury. The guard played in 20 games with 14 starts averaging 10.1 points per game with 27 3-pointers, 56 steals and 28 assists. Her best game came vs. Missouri where she posted a career-high 23 points hitting three 3s with four steals and went a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Benton also scored 15 points at South Carolina, hitting two 3s with two steals, while she had 17 points against Ole Miss with three treys. In all, Benton scored 10 or more points in 11 games and hit at least one 3-pointer in 16 of her 20 games played.
Benton was a five-star recruiting and ranked as the No. 17 overall player nationally by ESPN.com entering college. The outlet also tabbed Benton the No. 6 guard in the class after an impressive high school career at Greater Atlanta Christian.
The guard was the GHSA Class AAA Player of the Year and an Atlanta Journal-Constitution First-Team All-State performer as a junior averaging 17 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Benton also excelled in the club circuits helping her team to Nigh National Girls Championship in 2016 and Nike National Girls EYBL Platinum Championship in 2017. Robyn is the daughter of Mary and Robert Benton and has two siblings, Inky Johnson, who played college football at Tennessee and Myla Benton.
The Wildcats will return a large portion of their production for 2020-21 even with the departure of five seniors. Kentucky will be led by three-time first-team All-America honoree Rhyne Howard, who finished second nationally in scoring last season with 23.4 points per game while she hit a school-record 84 3-pointers during the year.
Also returning will be guard Chasity Patterson, who averaging 11.5 points in 19 games last season while guard Blair Green will also return after averaging 5.8 points per game. In the post, UK returns KeKe McKinney, who averaging 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds, and Tatyana Wyatt, who averaged 5.5 points and 3.7 rebounds. Guard Emma King also returns after playing in 15 games last year.