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In-State College Hoops Starting Lineup

Utah State Aggies guard Sam Merrill (5) drives past Weber State Wildcats center Zach Braxton (44) at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah, Utah State, Utah Valley, Weber State, and SUU have either started or are starting their quest for conference tournament championships.

There have been no shortage of great players in the state this year, fielding the Mountain West Conference and WAC players of the year in Sam Merrill and Jake Toolson.

However, if you were to put together a team consisting of just local college basketball players, to compete with the best teams from every conference tournament going on this week (including the WCC), what does your team look like? Who is your number one pick? Let’s have some fun shall we.

Matt’s Starting Lineup

Sam Merrill, Utah State

With the first pick, taking the reigning MWC Player of the Year is the obvious choice. Besides putting up nearly 30 points per game in the Aggies’ final 4 games of the season, he also played every minute of those games. while his offense is always talked about, his defense remains overlooked. He consistently guards the best player of every opposing team. He’ll carry any team to glory.

Yoeli Childs, BYU

Sure the Cougars were upset in their first game of the WCC tournament, but that’s not going to stop any team from getting a power forward, who can run the floor and get buckets in the paint whenever he wants.

Jake Toolson, Utah Valley

All the scoring. Toolson shot a blistering 49 (!) percent from three this season and 56 percent from the field. That will be sufficient to space the floor.

Jerrick Harding, Weber State

Every team needs an electric playmaker and Harding fits the bill. He scored 30 plus points in four games this season and averaged 21 points per game. If things start to break down, any coach can give him the ball and watch with reverent awe as he’ll make something out of nothing.

Neemias Queta, Utah State

Rounding out the starting five is center Neemias Queta. The MWC Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year will guard the rim and posterize every player in the tournament. He’ll also add an element of confidence and swagger that every great team needs.

Matt’s Bench

Sedrick Barefield, Utah

Hard to leave him off the starting five, but he’ll lead the second unit and keep the game under control.

Justin Bean, Utah State

Energy, energy, ENERGY. The “Bean Machine” does everything off the bench; rebounding, scoring, and defense.

T.J. Haws, BYU

Haws is a playmaker and has never met a shot that he didn’t think he could make.


If you have a better team or just plain don’t like this one, tweet your starting 5 to @kslsports.