We have now had a few days to digest what was an amazing Mountain West Conference Tournament final. We saw Utah State and Sam Merrill take down San Diego State who had only one loss on the season coming in. Merrill had a historic performance in that Final and I am now sitting here ready to claim that this wasn’t even the best we’ll see from Sam.
I first remember getting to see Sam Merrill back in Portland in November of 2017, during his sophomore season. I was initially sent there to see Koby McEwen, who is now on Marquette, but he was unfortunately out with an injury. Fortunately, Sam Merrill showed out and scored a career high 23 points (at the time). He wasn’t the quickest, but had a beautiful stroke and a solid handle for his size as he didn’t appear as fit as he is today.
Fast forward to this season and we see some of the same from Merrill, but with a lot more added to his game. Sam Merrill has turned into an elite shot creator. He’s become Mr. Reliable for Utah State and now puts up 23 points even on a bad night. Now, when scouts are going to games, they are specifically going to see Sam Merrill.
Which scouts exactly am I talking about? There are varying opinions on what professional basketball league Merrill can play in. I, for one, believe he is an NBA talent. He won’t be a primary ball handler, but he has the capability of being a solid secondary ball handler and is one of the best shooters in the nation:
Out of players that have attempted 200 3PAs this season, he ranks 11th in the nation in 3-point percentage as he sits at 41%.
Out of players who have attempted 150 FTAs this season, he ranks 3rd in the nation in Free Throw percentage as he sits at 89.3%.
Sam Merrill isn’t done with this season. Utah State is an extremely feared team going into the NCAA Tournament and with a healthy Neemias Queta, there is a chance for this team to make a deep run. But, no matter the result, Sam Merrill is not done playing basketball at a high level once this Tournament comes to a close as numerous NBA teams will be giving him a hard look in this Tournament, at PIT, and beyond.
Don’t think that the shot Merrill hit against San Diego State was a one of a kind thing. He’ll be hitting more of those shots as time goes on, so trust me on this one final note:
Don’t forget the name Sam Merrill, because it is a name you’ll hear for years to come.