Boys 5a state quarterfinals 07

American Fork guard Spencer Johnson (32) takes the ball to the hoop during the boys state 5A quarterfinals between American Fork and Bingham on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

BYU men’s basketball coach Mark Pope announced Wednesday that Spencer Johnson and Richie Saunders have signed national letters of intent to play for the Cougars.

Johnson is currently playing his redshirt freshman season for Kyle Taylor at Salt Lake Community College. Through four games, Johnson is averaging 14.0 points and 6.3 rebounds for the Bruins. He will have three years of eligibility remaining when he comes to Provo next season.

“We’re so excited to get Spencer and Richie,” Pope said. “Spencer is a battle-tested, high-ceiling, tough winner who has a chance to come and make an immediate impact on our roster. He is crushing it in the junior college ranks right now and we expect his to game to continue to grow throughout this season.”

Johnson prepped at American Fork High School where he played for Doug Meacham. As a senior, Johnson led American Fork to the quarterfinals of the 5A Utah state tournament and averaged 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He was named first-team all-state by the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune. Johnson earned second-team all-state honors as a junior when he averaged 18.2 points and 7.0 rebounds.

Following high school, Johnson served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Italy.

Saunders is currently at Wasatch Academy where he plays for Dave Evans. As a junior in 2018-19, Saunders averaged 11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals while helping Wasatch to a 26-4 record, a final national ranking of No. 10 in the USA Today Sports Super 25 Expert Rankings and a fifth-place finish at the GEICO Nations in New York City.

“Richie is truly one of the elite shooters in the western United States,” Pope said. “His 6-foot-6 frame is going to grow into a punishing body and he has a heart that’s even bigger. Richie is one of the best young men that I’ve ever met. He’s going to leave a great legacy at BYU.”

Prior to Wasatch, Saunders played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Riverton High School for Skyler Wilson. As a sophomore he earned 6A first-team all-state honors from the Deseret News and second-team recognition form the Salt Lake Tribune. That season he led Riverton to a record of 18-6 while averaging 18.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Saunders plans to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU.

Spencer Johnson

6-5, 175, Guard

American Fork/Salt Lake Community College

  • Plays for Kyle Taylor at Salt Lake Community College.
  • Redshirted at Weber State in 2018-19 before transferring to Salt Lake CC.
  • Prepped at American Fork High School for Doug Meacham.
  • As a senior in 2015-16 was named first-team all-state (5A) by the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News.
  • Senior year (2015-16) averaged 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.8 steals, 19-6 5A quarterfinals.
  • As a junior in 2014-15 was named second-team all-state (5A) by the Deseret News.
  • Junior year averaged 18.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.2 steals.
  • Served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Italy after graduating from American Fork.

Richie Saunders

6-5, 185, Guard

Riverton/Wasatch Academy

  • Plays for Dave Evans at Wasatch Academy.
  • Averaged 11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.1 steals as a junior in 2018-19.
  • Helped Wasatch Academy to a 26-4 record, a final national ranking of No. 10 in the USA Today Sports Super 25 Expert Rankings and a fifth-place finish at the GEICO Nations in New York City.
  • Played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Riverton High School for Skyler Wilson.
  • As a sophomore in 2017-18 was named first-team all-state (6A) by the Deseret News and second-team all-state by The Salt Lake Tribune.
  • Led Riverton to a record of 18-6 in 2017-18 and averaged 18.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals and made 47 3-point field goals.
  • Scored 20-plus points 10 times including a career-best 36 vs. Murray.

Daily Herald sports reporter Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or jlloyd@heraldextra.com. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram:

@JaredrLloyd.