BYU Basketball Turns To Youth Movement In Starting Lineup

Dec 7, 2022, 7:04 PM

BYU Basketball, Dallin Hall...

BYU basketball freshman Dallin Hall gets his first career start against UVU. (Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

(Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball is making changes after a disastrous loss to South Dakota last week. Tonight against crosstown foe Utah Valley University, Mark Pope is switching up the starting five.

Last Saturday, BYU lost to South Dakota 69-68, a game that saw the Cougars down by 21 points at one point.

The youth movement is on for BYU as true freshmen Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders move into the starting five. Moving out of the starting five is grad transfer guard Rudi Williams and stretch four Noah Waterman.

It’s the first time in the Mark Pope era that BYU will start two true freshmen in a starting five.

Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders earn first career starts

Hall is averaging 5.9 points and nearly three assists in 17 minutes of action per game. The former Fremont High star has a game-winner already in his back pocket from when he helped lift BYU to a last-second victory over Missouri State on November 16.

Wednesday night’s game against UVU will also be the first career start for Richie Saunders. A former Wasatch Academy standout, Saunders has been an important piece to BYU’s defensive efforts. Saunders had five rebounds and two steals in BYU’s loss to South Dakota.

On November 19 against Nicholls, Saunders pulled down a career-best nine rebounds. Then, in a blowout win over Westminster on November 29, he scored a career-high 12 points.

The rest of the starting five will include Jaxson Robinson, Gideon George, and Fousseyni Traore.


Utah Valley will go with its projected starting five in Trey Woodbury, Le’Tre Darthard, Justin Harmon, Tim Fuller, and 7-foot center Aziz Bandaogo.

BYU versus Utah Valley tips off at 7 p.m. on BYUtv and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM). UVU won the last meeting 72-65 in overtime on December 1, 2021, in Orem. BYU leads the all-time series against the Wolverines 5-2.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch and his BYU basketball coverage on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball Turns To Youth Movement In Starting Lineup