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Richie Saunders Withdraws From Transfer Portal, Returning To BYU

Apr 25, 2024, 8:44 PM | Updated: 8:45 pm

BYU Basketball, Richie Saunders, Returns...

BYU basketball guard Richie Saunders announced he is returning to the Cougars to play under Kevin Young. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Richie Saunders is coming back to BYU basketball.

A key guard off BYU’s bench last season, Saunders shared a post on Instagram that said, “I’m in.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Richie Saunders (@rsaunders15)

The message from Saunders comes days after he had a visit to Lexington with the Kentucky Wildcats and Mark Pope. There was a photo of Saunders and his wife being greeted at the airport by Pope and his wife, Lee Anne.

Despite the courtship from the Wildcats, Saunders is running back at BYU to now play under head coach Kevin Young.

Now that Young has Saunders back in the BYU fold, he will look to get guard Dallin Hall to return. Hall remains in the portal and is pursuing options from Creighton, Oklahoma, Duke, Clemson, and others.

Richie Saunders was a key guard for BYU basketball last season

Saunders, a 6-foot-5 prospect from Riverton, Utah, was an instant spark plug off the bench for BYU last season. Saunders finished the 2023-24 season averaging 9.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game.

He posted career highs in field goal percentage (52%), three-pointers (36.4%), and free throws (71.2%) last season.

Saunders was a physical player in a rugged Big 12 Conference during BYU’s inaugural season in the league. The reserve, who started two games this past season, consistently got downhill and attacked the basket.

One of his highlight games was an 11-point performance off the bench that helped BYU comeback from a 17-point deficit to defeat TCU.

He signed with BYU over heavy interest from Creighton out of Wasatch Academy in the 2020 recruiting cycle. Saunders served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU.

He has two years of eligibility remaining in his collegiate career.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Richie Saunders Withdraws From Transfer Portal, Returning To BYU