USU men’s basketball announces return of Collette and signing of Merrill

Bountiful's Sam Merrill goes for a layup in the 2013 4A semifinal high school basketball game.

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball head coach Stew Morrill announced Wednesday that David Collette has committed to rejoin the Aggie program and signed a scholarship agreement, while also announcing that Sam Merrill has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for USU.

Collette is returning from his LDS Church Mission after initially signing with the Aggies in April of 2011, Collette redshirted the 2011-12 season before serving his mission. Collette will have four years of eligibility with the Aggies.

“We are eagerly anticipating having David back in the program,” Morrill said. “He is an active big man with a huge motor. Davis puts a priority on rebounding and defending, which is music to any coach’s ears. His offensive skills are very solid and will continue to grow because of his work habits and high character.”

Merrill will serve his two-year mission after high school before coming to USU.

“Sam is an old school guard and to me, that is a big compliment. He does everything you want a guard to do. He is a great passer, an outstanding shooter and an excellent ballhandler,” Morrill said. “He is tough and physical, and that shines through on the defensive end. Just like David Collette, he is a Utah kid that will take great pride in playing at Utah State.”

A native of Murray, Utah, Collette earned first-team all-state honors at Murray High School from both the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune as a prep senior as he averaged 22.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game. He also shot 60.5 percent from the field (201-of-332), 64.2 percent from the free throw line (106-of-165) and 33.3 percent from three-point range (7-of-21). Collette was also named the 5A-Region 2 Most Valuable Player as a senior as voted on by the coaches.

As a senior, Collette helped led Murray High School to a 20-4 record and a co-Region 2 Championship. During the year, Collette scored in double-figures in all 23 games he played in, including sixteen 20-point games and four 30-point games, to go along with 10 double-doubles. Collette scored a career-high 33 points twice during his senior year against Cyprus High School during the regular season and Brighton High School in the state tournament. His career-high rebound game was 15 against Spanish Fork High School, while he posted a career-high six blocked shots against Granger High School.

Collette earned third-team all-state honors as a junior at Murray High School as he led his team with nearly 18 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

He is one of seven children of Jeff and Diane Collette, and intends on majoring in business at USU.

Merrill is a native of Bountiful, Utah, and is entering his senior basketball season at Bountiful High School. Through his sophomore and junior seasons, Merrill is averaging 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game, while shooting 55.1 percent (222-of-403) from the field, including 42.1 percent (32-of-76) from three-point range, in addition to 79.3 percent (138-of-174) at the free throw line.

As a junior, he was named the Region 6 MVP as well as earning first-team all-state honors by both the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune, after averaging 18.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He scored 20 or more points in 11 games, highlighted by career-high 35 points in the semi-finals of the state 4A tournament before Bountiful lost to current Aggie freshman Jalen Moore-led Sky View High School. Merrill helped the Braves to back-to-back Region 6 championships in 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, advancing as far as the semi-finals of the state 4A tournament.

Merrill also played football at Bountiful High School as a wide receiver and defensive back, recently finishing his senior season after the Braves lost to Logan High School in the first round of the state 4A playoffs. He earned all-region honors as a junior. Merrill ended his career with 76 receptions for 955 yards (12.6 yards per catch) with three touchdowns. Defensively, he posted 89 tackles and five interceptions. Merrill also was a two-year letterwinner on the Bountiful HS golf team.

In the classroom, Merrill is a member of the Bountiful High School National Honor Society.

Merrill is one of three children of John and Jenny Merrill. His sister, Molli, is currently an assistant coach on the USU soccer team after a four-year playing career for the Aggies.

Utah State is 2-0 so far this season and hits the road for the first time this season, heading to Santa Barbara, Calif., to take on UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. (MT). The Aggies return home to host SEC-opponent Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 23.

USU men’s basketball single-game, multi-game and season tickets are on sale. All single-game tickets will go on sale two weeks prior to each game. Single-game tickets will cost $18 for non-priority and $20 for priority, as well as $25 for premium games against Mississippi State (Nov. 23), BYU (Nov. 30 in Salt Lake City) and UNLV (Feb. 15).

USU men’s basketball season ticket renewals and new season tickets are also still on sale. Season tickets start at $230 and they include all 20 home games as well as the BYU game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Nov. 30. Big Blue Scholarship Fund per seat commitment fees apply, ranging from $100-$900 per seat in addition to ticket cost.

Family Plans are also available for purchase at $800 (two adults and three Jr Aggies). Please be aware that there is a limit of one Family Plan per household.

To order a package or for more Aggie men’s basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at

Fans can follow the Aggie men’s basketball program at USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at, on facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on instagram at


Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!