Seven Early Candidates For 2019-20 Mountain West Player Of The Year
An early glance at next season’s POY candidates
Early candidates for ’19-20 MW POY
As the offseason pushes along, we will continue to unveil early glances at the 2019-20 Mountain West men’s basketball season. With the draft looming and plenty of player movement ahead of us (we can assume), it’s a hectic time of the year. Let’s take some time out of the madness to look at the potential player of the year contenders this season.
Neemias Queta, Utah State
’18-19 stats: 11.8 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 61.4 FG%
The big question (quite obviously) is whether Queta will even be on campus next season. The Portuguese center declared for the draft after an impressive freshman campaign and is currently participating in the draft combine.
Most draft prognosticators expect Queta to return for ’19-20, and if he does, watch out. Queta has all the physical tools to be the best player in the conference and one of the best centers in the nation. A full offseason of improvement in Logan could be all the difference.
Sam Merrill, Utah State
’18-19 stats: 20.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 46.1 FG%
The reigning Mountain West Player of the Year is back for his senior year and there’s no reason why the conference’s top guard can’t take the trophy home once again in 2020. Merrill went from a dark horse to the consensus POY choice in a matter of weeks last season as Utah State blazed its way to a 17-1 stretch between January and the NCAA Tournament.
Known for his elite shooting ability (a career 42.4 percent three-point shooter), Merrill’s lockdown defense is often overlooked. He now has the opportunity to be the first two-time MWC POY award winner.
Nico Carvacho, Colorado State
’18-19 stats: 16.1 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 59.2 FG%
When discussing Nico Carvacho’s POY hopes, the focus shifts to Ram players not named Carvacho. Averaging 16 points and 13 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field on a contending team warrants a player of the year award in just about every conference.
With that being said, if CSU is a top half team in the league next season and Carvacho replicates his junior year stats, it’s his award to lose. But if the Rams lurk towards the bottom of the Mountain West ladder again, the Chilean will have to settle for another all-conference appearance.