UVA picks up second commitment of day in SDSU’s Saunders

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Virginia may have started slow in the transfer portal, but made up for it on Monday, when the Cavaliers gained commitments from two standout prospects.

San Diego State 6-foot-8 forward Elijah Saunders announced Monday evening that he is committed to UVA, joining 6-9 former Duke stretch-4 forward T.J. Power, who left the Blue Devils program after one season (see related story on this site). Saunders has two years of eligibility remaining, while Power has three remaining.

Two days ago, Virginia picked up 6-7 point guard Jalen Warley from Florida State. He has one year of eligibility. UVA has one scholarship available.

Saunders visited both Washington and UVA over the weekend and was scheduled to visit Clemson on Monday.

At San Diego State, Saunders appeared in 53 games and went from starter to reserve late in the season. He started 21 games before finishing up coming off the bench.

As a starter, Saunders averaged 6.0 points per game and shot 40.4 percent from the field and 29 percent from the arc, but his numbers improved as a reserve over his last 16 games when he averaged 6.4 points and his percentages jumped to 44 percent and 35.6 percent, respectively.

Saunders chose Virginia over Washington, Clemson, Texas, Arizona, Ohio State and Miami.