Who Will Be The Mountain West Basketball Player Of The Year?
Predicting the Mountain West’s best player.
Could Brandon McCoy be the first freshman to earn player of the year?
The Mountain West non-conference season is in the books and we published a first-and second-team of players based on play during non-conference action. Our staff put UNLV true freshman Brandon McCoy as the MVP so far, and he has shown that by averaging a double-double with over 20 points per game.
The next step in this is to predict what player could be the Mountain West player of the year. We will be using past stats of players who won the award, and also how their team did, to try to predict who could win that honor.
First off here is who won the award each year since the league was formed back in 1999.
|2002-03||Ruben Douglas||New Mexico||PG/SG|
|2003-04||Nick Welch||Air Force||Center|
|2005-06||Brandon Heath||San Diego State||Shooting Guard|
|2007-08||Lee Cummard||BYU||Small Forward|
|2007-08||J. R. Giddens||New Mexico||Shooting Guard|
|2009-10||Darington Hobson||New Mexico||Small Forward|
|2010-11||Jimmer Fredette||BYU||Point Guard|
|2011-12||Jamaal Franklin||San Diego State||Shooting Guard|
|2012-13||Kendall Williams||New Mexico||Shooting Guard|
|2013-14||Xavier Thames||San Diego State||Shooting Guard|
|2014-15||Derrick Marks||Boise State||Shooting Guard|
|2015-16||Marvelle Harris||Fresno State||Shooting Guard|
|2016-17||Gian Clavell||Colorado State||Shooting Guard|
With nearly 20 years of the Mountain West being around there are some numbers to back up what a player of the year candidate looks like.
The most common position is shooting guard where nine of the 20 play that position and 11 guards overall have won the award.
The player to win the award finished on a team that finished first or second all but two times. The outliers both came from New Mexico with J. R. Giddens on the 2007-08 where the Lobos finished third but it was Ruben Douglas of the 2002-03 which finished seventh in Mountain West play and a 4-10 record in league play. Douglas had a one of a kind season where he averaged 28 points per game.
As for who could win the Mountain West player of the year at this point it seems like McCoy could be that guy, but history in the Mountain West has shown that to win the league a player must be on a team that finishes first or second. Out of the 20 winners (two years there were co-POY’s) the player finished 18 times.
While UNLV has far exceeded everyone’s expectations based on history of who wins the Mountain West player of the year award it will likely only go to McCoy if the Rebels do finish in the top two.
Now, that is very plausible as UNLV is currently the fourth rated team in KenPom from the Mountain West, and our win/loss predictions have them tied for second with Boise State at 13 wins while Nevada leads the way at 14.5.
If UNLV were to finish third or lower than McCoy will need to have an amazing stat line to win player of the year. Currently, he leads the league in scoring at 18.9, second in rebounding at 10.9 and fourth in blocks at 1.8 per game.
If the Rebels do finish outside the top two the next likely candidates at this time would come from Nevada in Caleb Martin or Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison.
This will be an ongoing series and next week we will compare the stats of all the past winners to see what a Mountain West player of the year should be laying down on the stat sheet.