Cougars sign three basketball recruits and add walk-on

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The BYU men’s basketball team picked up three commits during Signing Day.

Ari Davis
Kyle Collinsworth leads the team cheer before the game against ACU. The Cougars added three new recruits for the 2016 season. (Ari Davis)

Yoeli Childs, Connor Harding and Gavin Baxter all committed to the Cougars, giving head coach Dave Rose the No. 35 2016 recruiting class in the nation, according to ESPN.

It’s also worth noting that 2016 will mark the return of guard TJ Haws, forward Payton Dastrup and forward/center Eric Mika. The three players are currently serving missions for the LDS Church. 2016 will also mark the debut of Elijah Bryant, who transferred from Elon University in the offseason.

Yoeli Childs 

Childs is ranked by ESPN as the No. 16 center in the 2016 class and a four-star recruit. He is listed between 6-feet-6-inches and 6-feet-8-inches tall and 225 lbs. Childs also received offers from Auburn, Arizona State, Boise State, Idaho State, Utah State, Vanderbilt and Wyoming before deciding on the Cougars in September.

Rose said Childs is a polished post scorer.

“Yoeli is a physical and aggressive player,” Rose said in a press release. “He can score on the low block and in face up situations. He’s a high level rebounder with great hands. We feel like his ability to move his feet and run the floor will fit our up-tempo style perfectly.”

Childs averaged 16.1 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game and 2.5 blocks per game during his junior season at Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah. ESPN ranked him as the No. 4 prospect in the state.

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Connor Harding

Harding is listed as the No. 27 shooting guard and a four-star prospect by ESPN. He stands at 6-foot-5-inches tall and weighs in at 180 pounds. Harding received offers from Arizona State, Idaho and Stanford, and had interest from Oregon, UCLA and Utah. Harding announced his commitment to BYU over Twitter in July.

As a junior at Highland High School in Pocatello, Idaho, Harding averaged 16.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game and was named to the Idaho 5A All-State First Team. He was also named to USA Today’s All-USA Idaho boys basketball team.

Rose said that Harding can do a little bit of everything for the Cougars.

“Connor is a tough kid,” Rose said in a press release. “He’s a fierce competitor. He has the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands and is also great on the wing. We noticed early his leadership ability and willingness to do whatever it takes to hep his teams be successful. We are excited about having Connor in the program.”

Harding is expected to go on an LDS Church mission before enrolling.

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Gavin Baxter

Baxter is listed as a 6-foot-7-inch, 175-pound forward. ESPN rated Baxter as a four-star overall prospect. Baxter also received offers from Arizona State and UCLA before he committed to the Cougars in June.

Baxter averaged 15.5 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game as a junior at Timpview High School in Provo, Utah.

Baxter has ties to BYU already. His father, Kurt, played basketball for BYU in the 1980s, and his mother, Angela, was an All-American sprinter for the Cougars.

Rose said Baxter’s athleticism sets him apart.

“Gavin is an extraordinary athlete,” Rose said in a press release. “He has the ability to play above the rim, but can also step out and be effective on the perimeter. He’s an excellent shot blocker and rebounder. He will help us on both ends of the floor. We’ve watched Gavin from a young age, and identified him early as a player we needed in our program.”

Baxter is planning on serving an LDS Church mission before joining the team in 2018.

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Steven Beo

Beo didn’t sign a letter of intent because he will be joining the Cougars as a preferred walk-on. Beo is listed at 6-feet-3-inches and is an explosive scorer.

He averaged 27 points per game at Richland High School in Richland, Washington, as a junior and set the school record with 49 points in a single game.

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“We are so excited about the class we’ve signed this year,” Rose said in a press release. “We feel like these three guys (Childs, Baxter and Harding) have excelled at the high school level and in national AAU competition. I fully expect each of these players to make significant contributions on really good teams in the future.”

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