Five Mountain West Basketball Records that Could Be Broken in 2019-20
Returning stars have their eyes fixed on the record books
Who has the best chance to make history?
As we prepare for the 2019-20 season, it’s good to put things into perspective. There are a few players who have chosen to return to campus, with their sights set on the record books. Here’s a quick look at which Mountain West records could come under fire this year.
(Note: All stats from Sports-Reference.com.)
Current Record Holder: Jordan Caroline, Nevada – 958 rebounds
Who Could Break It: Nico Carvacho, Colorado State – 947 rebounds
Chances of Being Broken: Extremely High
As soon as the news broke that the Rams’ big man was coming back for his senior season, this thing was all but broken. Carvacho needs only 12 boards to surpass Jordan Caroline as the top rebounder in Mountain West history. Don’t be surprised if he knocks this one out in his first game. In fact, if Carvacho really explodes, he could go even further:
But that feels like a long shot.
Current Record Holder: Jimmer Fredette, BYU – 296 3PM
Who Could Break It: Sam Merrill, Utah State – 230 3PM; Justinian Jessup, Boise State – 227 3PM
Chances of Being Broken: Very High
This one is unique in that there are two guys who are vying for this throne. Both Merrill and Jessup have both made at least 86 three-pointers in each of the past two seasons. If they keep the pace, both guys will easily pass Fredette. The real race will be to see which of these two ends up on top.
Free Throw % (min. 300 FTM)
Current Record Holder: Jimmer Fredette, BYU – 88.2%
Who Could Break It: Sam Merrill, Utah State – 89.0% (298 FTM)
Chances of Being Broken: High
The Aggie star already has Jimmer beat in terms of percentage, but is two free throws away from becoming eligible for this record. In his first two years, Merrill shot 85.8% from the line, but ramped that up to a cool 90.9% last season. If he backslides, this one could slip through his fingers.
Current Record Holder: Marvelle Harris, Fresno State – 4524 minutes
Who Could Break It: Sam Merrill, Utah State – 3252 minutes
Chances of Being Broken: Medium
Surprise, surprise – it’s Merrill again. After logging over 1200 minutes in each of the past two years, the Utah State standout has an outside shot of passing Marvelle Harris. The senior needs 1273 minutes, so if he averages just over 35 minutes again, he’d need 36 games to do it. It will probably require another MWC finals appearance and at least one win in the NCAA Tournament, neither of which is a huge stretch.
Field Goal % (min. 400 FGM)
Current Leader: Matt Nelson, Colorado State – 61.6%
Who Could Break It: Neemias Queta, Utah State – 61.4% (167 FGM)
Chances of Being Broken: Very Low
The Portuguese big man is back for his sophomore season – likely his last – and has a shot to leave his mark on the record books. Queta was hugely effective last season, but he’ll need the ball in his hands much more often to crack the threshold for this record. The rub? If his usage rate (21.9%) goes up too much, he’s likely to see his field goal percentage drop, not rise. But it’s not impossible.
We’re lucky to get to watch some Mountain West all-timers take the floor in 2019-20. It’s just a matter of time to see what kind of daylight these guys put between themselves and the next crop of record-breakers. I’ll be keeping an eye on these marks as the season goes on.
Andrew Dieckhoff covers basketball for Mountain West Wire. He also runs the Dieckhoff Power Index, a website for college basketball analytics and bracketology.