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BYU Star Yoeli Childs Will Start Against Pacific

STOCKTON, California – BYU basketball star Yoeli Childs will start tonight against the Pacific Tigers. Head coach Mark Pope said in his pregame interview heard on KSL NewsRadio with Greg Wrubell.

This will mark Childs’ first start since suffering an open dislocation to his right index finger back on January 7th. Childs missed four games and BYU posted a 2-2 record and the two losses were against Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s on the road.

BYU comes into tonight’s game against Pacific with a 14-6 record and in a second-place tie for the West Coast Conference. Within those first 20, Childs has only appeared in seven games and the Cougars have posted a 6-1 record with him on the court. The one loss came against rival Utah when Childs left the game early due to cramps.

In those seven-game appearances, Childs is averaging a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

The news was trending towards Childs making his return tonight after he appeared in his first full-contact practice since suffering the finger injury back on Tuesday.

“It was nice to see him out there running around a little bit. It was good for everybody. Clearly, Yoeli’s such a talented player and clearly we all want him back and he makes a huge impact on the game. And just the fact of having another body out there is so important, too. Even if he wasn’t one of the top players in college basketball, it still would be great just to have another functioning body. So we get a double bonus with him being on the practice court for a couple of drills,” Pope said on Tuesday.

With BYU in the thick of the hunt for an NCAA Tournament bid, every game is critical in the pursuit of an at-large tournament bid, something the Cougars haven’t secured in five years. Pacific — like BYU — is in a tie for second place in the West Coast Conference standings and the Tigers are a Quadrant Two opponent according to the NCAA NET rankings.

Tip-off between BYU and Pacific is at 8 p.m. (MST) on WatchStadium.com and can be heard on KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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