By: Jay Yeomans
Published: March 16, 2020
With the season now behind us, it is time to look at the new faces coming to the BYU program to see how they performed at the high school or junior college level this past season.
Richie Saunders, guard, Wasatch Academy
Saunders had a terrific senior season playing for one of the top high school basketball teams in the entire country. He was a huge part of the Tigers’ success thanks to his clutch shooting from all over the floor. He scored in double figures in 23 of 29 games, including five games with at least 20 points. He did that while shooting at least 50 percent from the floor 18 times. He also proved deadly from beyond the arc as he connected on 48 percent of his attempts from 3-point range, including 12 games where he made at least four shots from distance.
One of his most complete games of the season came in a huge win over Layton Christian when he registered 21 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field to go along with seven steals, five rebounds, and four assists.
On the season, Saunders averaged 14.6 points on 53 percent shooting from the field and 81 percent from the free-throw line. He also contributed 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals according to MaxPreps.com.
Spencer Johnson, wing, Salt Lake Community College
Johnson had a terrific season on the floor for a loaded Bruins squad that easily took home the Region 18 title before securing the conference tournament title and then the NJCAA West District championship. He led the Bruins in scoring nine times and topped the team in rebounding on seven occasions.
Like Saunders, Johnson proved to be a fantastic shooter as he connected on 49 percent of his field-goal attempts and 37.1 percent of his 3-point shots for the 29-4 Bruins to take home All-Region 18 Second-Team honors. But more importantly, he stepped up during some of the biggest games of the season. For example, he registered his best scoring night of the season in the conference tournament championship game as the Bruins outlasted Snow College, 84-81. In the win, he recorded a game-high 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the field, including 4-for-7 from 3-point land and 2-for-3 at the foul line. He added a team-best eight boards and a block in 35 minutes on the floor.
Through 33 games, Johnson averaged 13.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.4 steals in 25.1 minutes.
Gideon George, forward, New Mexico junior college
George is a tremendous athlete who showed off his versatility as a scorer and rebounder for a very talented Thunderbirds squad. He scored in double figures in 23 of 26 games, including five games of 20 or more. He also did great work on the backboards with eight double-doubles in his first 12 games before an ankle injury slowed him down. He was especially impressive on the offensive glass where he registered seven games with at least five rebounds.
One of his most eyepopping performances of the year came in a 64-53 win over Midland College when he recorded 27 points on 66 percent shooting from the floor and 50 percent shooting from 3-point range. He added a game-high 11 rebounds (three on the offensive end) and a pair of steals in 35 minutes on the floor.
On the season, George averaged 14.5 points on 50.8 percent shooting from the floor and 69.6 percent at the foul line. He also chipped in with 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 26 games.
Dallin Hall, guard, Fremont
Hall is the only lead guard in the bunch and is a terrific playmaker and scorer. He had a fantastic senior season as he led the Silverwolves to 23 wins and a state championship in Utah’s largest classification. One of his most outstanding performances came in a matchup with Layton where he drilled nine 3-points shots on his way to 42 points. He added six rebounds, six assists, and three steals to cap off the well-rounded game.
In 26 games, Hall averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 2.0 steals according to Deseret.com.
For more on Hall click here.