Big 12 News

Four-Star SG Collin Chandler Released From NLI at BYU, Commits to Kentucky

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

According to Travis Branham of 247Sports, Collin Chandler, the former No. 33 overall recruit in the Class of 2022, will follow Mark Pope to Kentucky after being released from his NLI with BYU.

The former four-star shooting guard has been away on a two-year mission on behalf of the Cougars but will now begin his college basketball career in Lexington (Kent.) instead.


“I am grateful for Cougar Nation in taking me in as family from day one and supporting me in a precious time of my life,” Chandler said in a statement. “I have been blessed to be able to experience such a passionate and loving fan base. I am especially grateful for Coach Pope and the mentorship and trust he has given me from the very beginning.”

Last week, Pope left his post as the head coach at BYU to become the 23rd head coach at Kentucky. Returning to his alma mater is an incredible accomplishment for Pope, and there’s little doubt that he will find success there.

Pope’s exit does provide some challenges for the Cougars, who are coming off a very successful first season in the Big 12. Not only will BYU have to find a replacement for the head coaching position, but they’ll also have to retool their roster, which is easier said than done in Provo (Ut.).

One of the biggest reasons for that is players like Chandler are away on missions before they return to BYU to play basketball. Chandler was set to return from a two-year mission after signing with the Cougars in 2022, but now that time invested will send one of the top players in that class to Kentucky.

That’s the joys of modern-day college basketball with the transfer portal.

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