Head Of The Class: Ranking The Best Players Through The First Month Of Games By Year

Head Of The Class: Ranking The Best Players Through The First Month Of Games By Year

Air Force

Head Of The Class: Ranking The Best Players Through The First Month Of Games By Year


The Seniors

5. RJ Williams, Boise State

Season Stats: 15.8 PPG 9.0 RPG 1.5 SPG (6 GMS)

Best Performance: 18 Points, 7 Rebounds and 1 Steal against BYU 11/20

Williams has become the player a lot of people thought he would be for the Broncos coming out of junior college. While there was no shortage of scorers returning this season for Leon Rice’s squad, Williams has stepped up as a viable option down low who can score and rebound as an under sized post player.

4. Lindsey Drew, Nevada

Season Stats: 13.9 PPG 5.9 RPG 4.3 APG 1.5 SPG (8 GMS) 

Best Performance: 30 Points, 6 Rebounds and 8 Assists against Utah 11/5

Lindsey Drew was a name that should have been high on Steve Alford’s list of guys to keep in Reno. The senior guard has been key to the success this team is having so far and the Wolf Pack’s season could have looked a lot different if he opted to transfer. Drew had an amazing homecoming in the team’s season opener against Utah (stats above). But has since returned to a role most Mountain West fans remember him in, less of a scorer and more of everything else. Drew can distribute the ball, score when needed and plays great defense. I look forward to seeing the rest of Drew’s senior season.

3. Jazz Johnson, Nevada

Season Stats: 18.6 PPG 3.8 RPG 1.2 SPG (8 GMS)

Best Performance: 25 Points, 5 Rebounds and went 7-10 from three against Bowling Green 11/25

Johnson was the lone player returning from the NCAA tournament team that averaged over ten points a game last year and his production has only increased under the new coaching staff. Johnson can flat out score, and when partnered with Jalen Harris or Lindsey Drew can account for half of the Wolf Pack’s scoring total on any given night.

2. JaQuan Lyle, New Mexico

Season Stats: 16.8 PPG 5.1 RPG 4.6 APG

Best Performance: 24 Points, 2 Assists and 3 Steals against New Mexico State 11/21

It had been almost two years since Lyle touched a court at game time. The former Ohio State Buckeye brought a lot of hype with him and he hasn’t disappointed. A Lobo team that struggled to distribute the ball last year a different team with him on the court, not to mention they haven’t had a guy who can make difficult shots and create his own scoring opportunities with efficiency in Albuquerque in a a while and he brings that. He had a tough game against a really good Auburn squad but was key in wins against Wisconsin and New Mexico State. The win against the Aggies being the first in Paul Weir’s tenure in Albuquerque.

1. Sam Merrill, Utah State

Season Stats: 17.4 PPG 4.8 RPG 4.1 APG 47.5% 3PT

Best Performance: 24 Points, 8 Assists and 4 Rebounds against LSU 11/22

Merrill has been the leader we all expected him to be coming off of a historic year in Logan. With the off-season injury to co-star Neemias Queta this summer he hasn’t disappointed in the scoring column and has received support from his teammates. There is still a lot of basketball to be played but the preseason player of the year needs to be a bit more consistent to keep his Aggies a top the conference and to solidify his place as the best player in the conference.

Articles of the week to revisit:

Check out @andrewdieckhoff first DPI rankings of the Mountain West this season. 

And revisit our top-25 list of opposing players to watch out for as BYU plays three Mountain West squads in a row and have star forward Yoeli Childs back in the line up.


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