Every Leading Scorer From Last Year and Their Possible Replacement
Some can be replaced, some can’t, and some are still around.
Who’s leading their team in scoring going into march?
With media day behind us and exhibitions both closed and open taking place around the country. It’s time to take a deeper look at this year’s rosters around the conference while also taking a look at last years. Some guys transferred, some graduated and some opted to go the professional route. Some teams added fire power, others are in rebuilding mode, and some teams look very similar to last years. But regardless of who takes the court this upcoming season for teams around the Mountain West, scorers around the league will be key to their team’s success but also entertaining for the rest of us.
We are going to take a look at the leading scorers from last season on every team and who might replace them this year. Now some guys who led their teams in scoring last season returned, so for those teams we’ll take a look at if they can be dethroned and which guys have the best chance at doing so. Also some teams have more clear cut scenarios, where others need a deeper dive due to higher amounts of roster turnover or limited proven scorers returning.
Last Year’s Leading Scorer: Sr. F Lavelle Scottie (15.3 PPG in 32 GMS)
This year: Probably Still Lavelle
The Falcon’s bring Scottie back for his last season in the Mountain West. He has been the scoring leader for Air Force the last two seasons and I don’t see that changing for the upcoming season. He is a very capable scorer who can create mismatch opportunities in the post while also being able to knockdown mid-range jumpers. The Falcons return their top eight scorers from a team that finished 6th in the conference, I still see Scottie as the top returning scoring option followed by Senior center Ryan Swan and Sophomore guard A.J. Walker who made an impact as a freshman last year and is the first player mentioned on this list who also made our breakout players for 2019-2020 team.
Last Year’s Leading Scorer: Sr. G Justinian Jessup (14.0 PPG in 33 GMS)
This year: Jr. G Derrick Alston (13.4 PPG in 33 GMS)
Our first dethroning comes from the Broncos who had a trio of scorers vying for the title after Chandler Hutchinson’s departure as a first-round draft pick in 2018. While Jessup slightly edged out Alston as last year’s leader, I do predict Alston to be this team’s leader as a complete mismatch nightmare, being a 6-9 scoring guard with a three-point shot (38.4% from deep last year). He was also a feature on our list of break out players for the upcoming season. The difference between their averages was extremely close but Alston having two thirty point games last year while Jessup’s season high was twenty-five is what swayed me. But this team has other scoring threats including Alex Hobbs and RJ Williams though and I am excited to see who all steps up this year.
Others with a chance lead the team: Sr. G Justinian Jessup (14.0 PPG in 33 GMS), Sr. G Alex Hobbs (12.1 PPG in 30 GMS), Sr. F RJ Williams (9.3 PPG in 30 GMS)
Last Year’s Leading Scorer: Sr. C Nico Carvacho (16.1 PPG in 32 GMS)
This year: Probably still Carvacho
Even though the Rams leading scorer returns from last year you probably won’t remember him for his scoring. Nico Carvacho get’s most of his national recognition for leading the country in rebounding last year with 412 total boards and an average of 12.9 per game. Folks can forget he scores too, scoring double figures in all but four games last season.
And I do really like the pair of freshman Niko Medvid brought in as a first-year coach in Fort Collins and their production levels. I don’t see Kendle Moore or Adam Thistlewood outscoring the double-double machine. And the teams second leading scorer from last year guard Anthony Masinton-Bonner (11.2 PPG in 25 GMS) (Update: As of August Masinton-Bonner will no longer play for Missouri State) is suiting up for Missouri State as a grad. transfer. Now I do think the players they bring back will have an opportunity to improve their averages.
I think people dismissed the Ram’s scoring capabilities last year which we saw on full display in two thirty-point wins at Airforce (Feb. 2nd 85-53) and home against Wyoming (Fed. 9th 83-48). So all in all I believe Carvacho leads the team in scoring (and rebounding) again this year.
Others with a chance to dethrone him: So. G Kendle Moore (8.6PPG in 32 GMS), So. F Adam Thistlewood (8.6 PPG in 32 GMS), Sr. Kris Martin (9.2 PPG in 27 GMS)