College basketball fans in the state of Utah are well aware of the great impact BYU’s Yoeli Childs and Utah State’s Sam Merrill made on their respective teams as they were surefire bets to make the NCAA Tournament had it been held.

On Thursday, the pair received some national recognition, as they were both included in Sports Illustrated’s list of the Top 50 players in the country this season. Childs came in at No. 20 and Merrill No. 29.

Of Childs, Jeremy Woo wrote, “A vacuum on the defensive boards and 22.2 ppg scorer, he was the perfect interior piece to complement the nation’s No. 1 three-point offense. Nothing might illustrate his impact more than BYU’s 23-point loss to Gonzaga without him and 13-point win with him.”

Wrote Woo of Merrill: “The cold-blooded shot Merrill hit in the Mountain West title game to punch what would’ve been Utah State’s NCAA tournament ticket was the signature moment in another prolific, under-the-radar year. You may not hear much about it, but he’s flirted with 50-40-90 shooting splits each of the last two seasons, and was the top dog for another strong Aggies team.”

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Dayton’s Obi Toppin came in at No. 1 on the list.

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