USU men’s basketball rounds out 2016-17 signees with the return of Sam Merrill

Bountiful's Sam Merrill goes for a layup in the 2013 4A semifinal high school basketball game.

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball head coach Tim Duryea announced the final piece of the 2016-17 signing class in the return of Sam Merrill, a Bountiful High School product that originally signed with the Aggies prior to the 2014-15 season. Merrill will rejoin Utah State upon the completion of his two-year LDS Church Mission in Nicaragua.

Merrill is a 6-foot-4 guard, a native of Bountiful, Utah, and finished his career at Bountiful HS averaging 13.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while shooting 52.9 percent (380-of-718) from the field, including 37.7 percent (61-of-162) from 3-point range, in addition to 79.9 percent (219-of-274) at the free throw line.

As a senior, Merrill led the Braves to a state title, scoring a season-high 23 points in the championship game. In all, Merrill scored in double digits in all but one contest during the year and scored 20 or more six times. Merrill was named first-team all-State by both the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune following the season, after averaging 15.8 points, 7.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

As a junior, he was named the Region 6 MVP as well as earning first-team all-state honors by both the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune, after averaging 18.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He scored 20 or more points in 11 games, highlighted by career-high 35 points in the semi-finals of the state 4A tournament before Bountiful lost to current Aggie junior Jalen Moore-led Sky View High School. Merrill helped the Braves to three straight Region 6 championships.

Merrill also played football at Bountiful High School as a wide receiver and defensive back, earning all-region honors as a junior Merrill ended his career with 76 receptions for 955 yards (12.6 yards per catch) with three touchdowns. Defensively, he posted 89 tackles and five interceptions. Merrill also was a two-year letterwinner on the Bountiful HS golf team.

Merrill is one of three children of John and Jenny Merrill. His sister, Molli, is currently an assistant coach on the USU soccer team after a four-year playing career for the Aggies.

Utah State will host its home opener on Tuesday, facing Adams State at 7 p.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

Single game tickets for the 2015-16 season are now available and begin at $17. USU men’s basketball season ticket renewals, new season tickets and mini-plans are also available. Fans can purchase season tickets, starting at $230 and three-, four-, six- and nine-game mini-plans for as little as $30. For more basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.

Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook facebook.com/USUmen’sbasketball and on Twitter @Aggiehoops. Fans can also get USU men’s basketball highlights on YouTube at youtube.com/UtahStateAthletics. Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program at Twitter @USUAthletics, on Facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics, or on Instagram @USUAthletics.

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Posted in USU