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Future Aggies highlight Utah state tournament basketball wins

Published February 27, 2013 10:07 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Two future Utah State basketball players had a strong showing yesterday at the first round of the Utah 4A state tournament, and came away with impressive wins.

If you haven't been following the Tribune's prep basketball coverage, I direct you to the following stories with my added observations from the game:

• Jalen Moore showed out as Sky View defeated Timpview 78-58. The Bobcats senior and Aggie signee had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists and a pair of blocks as his team ran away with it. The Tribune's Chris Kamrani said that although Sky View got the early edge with defense, Moore helped give them so much more:

But Moore's first-round outing was more than just defense. It was a little bit of everything. He dunked, followed shots, spun shots off the backboard at difficult angles. He dominated.

He finished with a game-high 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting along with seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. It was a cosmic improvement from last year's 38-31 first-round loss to Skyline, a game in which Moore scored just six points.

If you step away from next year's lineup for a minute, it seems clear that Moore could be an early contributor. He has great length, and he runs the floor quickly to get back on defense. He also follows up for offensive boards and easy putbacks. He has great athleticism for the Mountain West, and he's a great team player who is unselfish and looks for the extra pass.

In the first half, he was slightly taken out of the offensive game when a fellow future Aggie — football signee Dax Raymond — bodied him up to keep him far outside the perimeter. He made him pay later by taking him and every other defender off the dribble. For a 6-foot-8 kid, he has great ballhandling.

His dunks and and alley-oops were the talk of the late games. He may not start from his first day on campus, but he has the potential to be an impact player as a freshman.

• Sam Merrill was the leader in Bountiful's 67-53 win over Westlake that started out a little rugged. A second-quarter run helped bring the Braves to a commanding lead that lasted for the rest of the contest. Again, Chris Kamrani:

Such was the case after Bountiful struggled to contain the Thunder offense in the first quarter. But Bountiful junior Sam Merrill went to work once the second quarter started.

The Utah State University commit spearheaded a 21-0 run, scoring 11 of his game-high 22 points during the stifling second-quarter outburst.

Merrill is a versatile player, and as he became more involved in offensive possessions, the team improved. His five steals helped lead to fast breaks, and Merrill was always the first one down the floor. He acts as the team's point guard on most possessions, but told me that he's likely to be a 2-guard at Utah State.

He's another player who adds a little bit of everything, and at about 6-foot-4, he's got good size for the backcourt. In the class of 2014, he'll take a two-year LDS Church mission and won't be joining the team for a while.

Keep up with tribpreps.com to see how the future Aggies are keeping up with a chase for the title.

— Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon

Such was the case after Bountiful struggled to contain the Thunder offense in the first quarter. But Bountiful junior Sam Merrill went to work once the second quarter started.

The Utah State University commit spearheaded a 21-0 run, scoring 11 of his game-high 22 points during the stifling second-quarter outburst.

- See more at: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/tribpreps/55904096-190/param-value-braves-points.html.csp#sthash.SyArBgPC.dpuf

Such was the case after Bountiful struggled to contain the Thunder offense in the first quarter. But Bountiful junior Sam Merrill went to work once the second quarter started.

The Utah State University commit spearheaded a 21-0 run, scoring 11 of his game-high 22 points during the stifling second-quarter outburst.

- See more at: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/tribpreps/55904096-190/param-value-braves-points.html.csp#sthash.SyArBgPC.dpuf