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Gonzaga-BYU key matchup: Zags’ trio of bigs tangles with Cougars’ Yoeli Childs

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 30, 2019, 6:38 p.m.

This should be one of the marquee matchups of the West Coast Conference season. BYU junior forward Yoeli Childs is 16th nationally in scoring (22.3) and 26th in rebounding (9.7). He has 12 double-doubles, tied for seventh nationally.

Gonzaga counters with three of the country’s best bigs in Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke and Killian Tillie. All three will probably have stints guarding Childs, but Clarke will probably start out on Childs, with Hachimura matching up against 6-foot-10 Luke Worthington.

Childs is used to a heavy workload, averaging 33.1 minutes. He’s highly efficient inside the arc, and he’s hit 22 3-pointers after making just 15 last season. He scored 31 points in three straight games against in-state rivals Weber State, Utah State and Utah.

Gonzaga would love to apply foul pressure on Childs at the offensive end, but BYU often employs a zone defense. The 6-8, 225-pound Childs has fouled out three times this season, but he was called for just one foul in 75 minutes in BYU’s last two games against Saint Mary’s and San Francisco.

Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie tries to stop a shot by BYU forward Yoeli Childs in a WCC Tournament game last March. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie tries to stop a shot by BYU forward Yoeli Childs in a WCC Tournament game last March. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

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