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Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo
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Yoeli Childs Gets A Second Chance By Returning To BYU

Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo

PROVO, Utah – New BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope landed his best recruit to date when forward Yoeli Childs announced that he was removing his name from the NBA Draft and returning to Provo for one final year.

Coming back to the Cougars basketball program does a lot of good for Childs who can get better and improve his NBA Draft stock. It will also make BYU a very formidable team in the West Coast Conference.

Childs was First Team All-WCC selection last year by averaging 21.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, so having him back will make the Cougars one of the best teams in the league.

Count everyone in as being extremely excited for Childs to be back, just scroll through the mentions on his tweet announcement, it’s a big party.

Childs initially had every intention to stay in the NBA Draft when he tweeted out thanking BYU back on March 27.

“The time has come for a new chapter in my life,” Childs wrote. “I will be declaring for this year’s NBA draft with [the] intent to hire an agent. Thank you for everything Cougar Nation.”

Why Did Childs Return?

One would be hard pressed to find a mock draft that included Childs being selected, and then his workouts were few and far between with just a couple that included the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

Another blow to Childs’ draft prospects was not earning an invite to the NBA Combine which included 66 players with the majority of that group expected to be selected in the draft.

With the rules that allow a player to return, Childs made the correct choice to come back to Provo and that will only help his stock for next year.

KSL Sports Scott Mitchell says Childs should be grateful he is able to get another chance to improve at the college level.

“I think that maybe it’s a situation that may create that humility. When there is no validation of being any good — like for whatever reason — I seriously think if I was a player in that situation I would be ‘thank you so much for being honest with me and telling me where I really am,'” Mitchell said on KSL’s Unrivaled.

“As a player, you think, ‘I have a second chance to go and prove and show.’ Maybe a new coach, maybe a new scenario, maybe a new environment is that thing. Maybe you then get the very best version of Yoeli.”

What Does This Mean For BYU?

With a new head coach in Mark Pope and Childs declaring for the NBA Draft, it seemed that the Cougars would have a down year going into next year.

However, with a potential conference player of the year in Childs back in the fold and then include BYU landing All-American Jake Toolson from UVU, this Cougars team now has a chance to compete with the best of the WCC.

KSL Sports Sam Farnsworth joined KSL’s Unrivaled and he has high expectations for BYU heading into next year with Childs back on the team.

“This could be their best chance, maybe since joining the West Coast Conference, to actually win the conference,” Farnsworth said.

“I know Gonzaga is always going to be a strong power in that conference but this is a team when you look at it on paper and you look at what they have done with who is coming back and coming in, shoot, they should be able to compete.”

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast.