LOCALS IN THE NBA

Former Utah State Star Sam Merrill Scores First NBA Bucket

Dec 12, 2020, 8:48 PM | Updated: Feb 26, 2021, 2:23 pm
Utah State guard Sam Merrill (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)...
Utah State guard Sam Merrill (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah State star Sam Merrill drilled his first NBA bucket of career with the Milwaukee Bucks in their preseason opener.

Merrill received the ball on the left angle when he took a dribble towards the basket and then taking a step back behind the three-point line and drilled it with a Dallas Mavericks defender in his face.

The Bucks trailed the Dallas Mavericks 104-92 with over five minutes left in the game when Merrill made that basket.

In his first NBA game, Merrill played 7 minutes and had three points and one foul, while shooting 1-for-3 from the field and from the perimeter. Dallas beat the Bucks 112-102 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Merrill was the 60th pick of the 2020 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bountiful, Utah native joined the Aggies in 2016 where he appeared in 30 games and starting in the final 18 games of the 2016-17 campaign. Averaging 9.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game, Merrill was just beginning a legendary career in Logan. The Aggies went 14-17 that season.

As a sophomore in the 2017-18 season, Merrill posted averages of 16.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per contest. Utah State finished the campaign with a 17-17 record.

During his junior year, Merrill won the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year award and led the Aggies to a conference tournament championship. The 2018-19 season was Merrill’s best in Logan, averaging 20.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Utah State went 28-7 and appeared in the NCAA Tournament. They lost to Washington in the first round.

As a senior during the 2019-20 season, Merrill posted averages of 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. His last game will likely be the most memorable of his career as he drilled the game-winning three-pointer to give the Aggies their second straight Mountain West Conference Championship.

Merrill ended his career at Utah State with 2,197 points, which is good for second in school history behind Jaycee Carroll. Also, second in assists with 477, and second in three-point field goals with 319.

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