Jared Bynum may not look like your prototypical basketball player. Standing at just 5-feet-10 inches, Bynum is one of the shortest players every time he steps on the hardwood. But that hasn’t prevented the 24-year-old point guard from making his mark on college basketball.
“I’ve been doubted my whole life based on my size,” Bynum said. “I don’t pass the eye test when I walk in the gym; I’m usually the shortest, if not the second-shortest player on the court. But I don’t usually think about that too much because basketball is about the results and the work that you put in.”
The newest member of Stanford men’s basketball has experienced both individual and team success within the collegiate ranks. After transferring from Saint Joseph’s following his freshman year, Bynum helped the Providence Friars win the Big East during the 2021-2022 season while winning the conference’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
Postseason success followed, as the Friars reached the Sweet Sixteen, where they barely lost to eventual national champions Kansas 66-61. This past season, Providence once again reached the NCAA tournament as a No. 11 seed. Bynum recognizes that the team’s success was in part due to its resilience, and hopes to bring a similar toughness to Stanford.
“I learned that throughout the season, and throughout life, there’s going to be ups and downs,” the lead guard from Maryland said. “But at the same time there’s going to be success too, so I just approach basketball like I approach my life: whatever comes my way, I’m going to fight through.”
After coming off a disappointing 14-19 season, Stanford men’s basketball is looking to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014. Bynum certainly knows a thing or two about snapping tournament skids, as the Georgetown Prep product was part of a core group of players who led Providence to its first NCAA tournament appearance in three seasons.
“I’ve been around multiple teams that had success and had down years,” Bynum said. “I’m definitely looking forward to coming to a team like Stanford that has high expectations for what they can do. I believe that with the pieces that they already have, and with the incoming freshmen as well, I feel like this upcoming year could be a special year, putting Stanford basketball back in a good position.”
Bynum will join a Cardinal roster filled with talent, as in addition to the returns of junior forward Brandon Angel, sophomore center Maxime Raynaud and fifth-year guard Michael Jones, the Cardinal also bring in two top-50 recruits from the high school ranks in Andrej Stojakovic and Kaanan Carlyle. The prospect of playing with a promising group of players was part of the reason the veteran guard ultimately chose Stanford.
“The coaching staff expressed to me that they have guys that can score the ball and playmake,” Bynum said. “There are like five or six guys that can shoot 40% from three. That’s like a point guard’s dream.”
With the losses of sophomore guard Isa Silva (Long Beach State) and junior guard Michael O’Connell (NC State) to the transfer portal, Bynum will likely prove valuable to a team in need of an experienced point guard and voice in the locker room.
“I feel like with me coming in and the players they already have, I’ll be able to find a good balance of being a facilitator and also being able to pick my spots,” Bynum said.