Biggest Newcomer For Each Mountain West Basketball Team
Predicting each team’s most important newcomer
Selecting the biggest newcomers in the Mountain West
The 2019-20 men’s basketball season is still about five months from tip, but it’s never too early to take a look at the upcoming campaign. I take a stab at which players I expect to be the most important newcomers for each Mountain West basketball team.
Honestly, your guess is as good as mine here. Year in and year out, we have very little knowledge about what Air Force is bringing in as it regards to newcomers. Last season, freshman A.J. Walker finished as the Falcons’ third-highest scorer, averaging 8.5 points per game while shooting 40 percent from deep.
Few teams (if any) nationally return as much from the previous season in terms of percentage of minutes played and scoring as Air Force. This means that we can expect the Falcons to lean on its experience and returning talent much more than newcomers.
This choice is dependent on when (and if) Akot becomes eligible for the Broncos. The Arizona transfer and former five-star recruit has started 15 of his 48 appearances with the Wildcats as an underclassman before opting to transfer in January.
Akot might have to sit at least the first semester of the season or possibly the entire year if the NCAA doesn’t rule in favor of the 6-7 wing. Length and positional versatility make Akot a valuable piece for the BSU future.
Not often will you find Colorado State reeling in highly rated recruits, but the program has found ways to produce quality newcomers regardless. Thomas is an unranked recruit himself, though he has size at 6-9/215, averaged 15.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game at Hillcrest Prep in Arizona, and also played with AAU’s Compton Magic. With Nico Carvacho being the only returning Ram listed taller than 6-6, the door is wide open for Thomas to make his presence felt immediately.
The 7-2, 275-pound Senegalese mammoth could end up being an absolute force in this league. Ranked as a top 20 center by 24/7 Sports out of the class of 2018, Diouf was forced to redshirt last season after an appeal to the NCAA was denied.
Labeled as a back-to-the-basket center with a great deal of size and surprising mobility, Diouf has quite a bit of upside as he continues to develop and learn the game. Diouf could blossom into the conference’s next Neemias Queta.
There was plenty of reason to believe Harris would never suit up for the Wolf Pack. Harris committed to Nevada after transferring out of Louisiana Tech following his sophomore season, which led to the 6-5 guard sitting the ’18-19 campaign.
Following Eric Musselman‘s departure, Harris posted his name to the transfer portal but later chose to return to the Wolf Pack under Steve Alford and company. In his two seasons with Louisiana Tech, Harris averaged 12.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He’s arguably the best scorer on the team.