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BYU Basketball Player Preview: Physically mature beyond his years, Yoeli Childs looks to make an instant impact

The freshman forward has all of the physical tools and skills to develop into a great player at BYU.

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BYU lost one of their most versatile players in program history after last season Kyle Collinsworth exhausted his eligibility. One player who will look to fill his production void is Yoeli Childs, a true freshman who averaged over 18 points and 10 rebounds per game last season for Bingham High School en route to the Utah 5A State Championship. Despite being the #53 recruit in ESPN’s Class of 2016 rankings, Childs hasn’t been surrounded with the same amount of hype and expectation as return missionaries T.J. Haws and Eric Mika. That was until Wednesday night’s exhibition game, when he did this on his way to a double-double:

What’s most impressive about that put-back throwdown (or as BYU play-by-play voice Greg Wrubell called, a “Yoe-down”) was how far away from the rim the ball was when the rebound landed in his hand. Offensive rebounds are nothing new for Childs, who grabbed almost 3 of them per game during his last two seasons of high school. He also shot 42% from beyond the arc on about four attempts per game. However, he has a very unorthodox release, where the ball is placed in the middle of his body instead of on the right side. It remains to be seen if the long ball will be a consistent part of his repertoire at BYU, as he did not make any three pointers in either exhibition game.

Watching his high school highlight film, Childs showed the ability to score in transition, facing up and attacking the basket with explosiveness around the rim, and a decent mid-range game off the dribble. He also utilized a strong jump hook in the post from 6 to 8 feet out. He has a very complete skill set that should give him the ability to play multiple positions on offense.

After averaging 8.0 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game in those two exhibition games, Childs looks poised to be the first player off the bench at either the small forward or power forward positions. Interestingly enough, he did see some time at center in the game against BYU-Hawaii, but that likely won’t continue once Corbin Kaufusi returns to the basketball team. If he continues to outplay Jamal Aytes and works to add strength to his frame, he appears in line for at least 10-15 minutes per game this season. Down the road, he could very easily become the starting power forward next season after Kyle Davis has graduated.