Two weeks after national college basketball reporter Jeff Goodman said Yoeli Childs told him he would not return to BYU, we appear to have a last-minute change of heart.
Childs will withdraw from NBA draft consideration and return to BYU for his senior season, he tweeted Wednesday night, catapulting expectations forward for a Cougars squad packed with senior experience.
The 6-foot-8 forward was an All-WCC first team selection last year, averaging 21.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Childs did not receive an invitation to the NBA Draft combine but garnered team workouts with the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings. While NBA prospects weren’t considered likely, it was expected Childs would at least still pursue a path to overseas professionalism similar to Eric Mika’s.
Childs joins TJ Haws, Nick Emery, Zac Seljaas and Dalton Nixon as seniors for BYU — along with the return of Jake Toolson, the sharpshooting grad transfer from Utah Valley who is the reigning WAC player of the year.
Aside from the obvious boost to BYU’s overall talent level, Childs’ return is also key for a Cougars frontcourt that otherwise appeared to be thin headed into the 2019-20 season with junior-to-be Richard Harward and sophomore-to-be Wyatt Lowell both sitting after transfers from UVU.
Lowell, the WAC freshman of the year, is said to be pursuing a waiver to play immediately. Though it would seem there is only a small case for immediate eligibility (coach left), there’s no rhyme or reason to how the NCAA decides those cases so ... cross your fingers, if that waiver pursuit is a reality.