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Kentucky wildcat basketball

SAD NEWS: Richie Saunders returning to BYU was rejected team decision

The Kentucky Wildcats won’t be landing BYU Cougars guard Richie Saunders.

After Saunders visited Lexington this past Sunday and Monday, it appeared Kentucky was on the verge of landing his commitment.

However, Saunders has opted to remain at BYU instead.

Saunders entered the transfer portal shortly after Pope’s announcement to become head coach at Kentucky and instantly became a player many foresaw following his coach.

Originally a 3-star prospect in the 2020 class, Saunders has played the last two seasons at BYU as a productive piece off the bench. He has averaged 7.6 points and 3.3 rebounds on 49.6% shooting from the field and 35% from 3-point range. His numbers this past season were 9.6 points on 52.3% shooting (36.4% from 3-point range), 4.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 20.7 minutes per game.

Even more valuable is his experience in Pope’s system, which could have brought some continuity to Kentucky, as well as his motor skills and consistency.

Saunders also strives to make a positive change in the community, which included a duck-feeding business to fund his two-year mission trip to Madagascar, which COVID-19 changed to Seattle.

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