Big 12 News

BYU’s Richie Saunders Enters Transfer Portal

Mar 21, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Brigham Young Cougars head coach Mark Pope keeps an eye on the action against the Duquesne Dukes in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

With BYU head coach Mark Pope accepting the job as Kentucky’s new head coach, the Cougars roster is already seeing losses.

Sophomore guard Richie Saunders became the third Cougar to hit the portal on Sunday, joining Aly Khalifa and Dallin Hall.

 

While Saunders will likely heavily consider following Pope to Kentucky, the Utah native should generate some solid buzz in the transfer portal. The sophomore guard was a big piece of the Cougars’ offense in 2023-24, averaging 9.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game in his second season of college basketball.

Coming out of high school in the Class of 2020, Saunders was listed as a three-star prospect by the 247Sports index and the nation’s 315th-ranked player. He also checked in as the 29th-ranked player at his position and the fourth-ranked player in the state of Utah.

Saunders announced his decision on social media, saying, “Due to the uncertainty of the coaching situation, I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal. My heart hurts because of this unanticipated change with the coaching staff. With that being said, I would like to be proactive about exploring what is best for my wife and I as we move forward.”

With multiple key members of the team electing to transfer in search of greener pastures, BYU’s new coach will head to Provo with a new spot to fill this offseason. Still, with this offseason shaping up to include one of the busiest portal cycles in college basketball history, they should have some options available for replacement.

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