Neemias Queta Named National Defensive Player of the Year by Bleacher Report
Queta receives first postseason accolade
The seven-foot shot blocking sensation takes home his first award of the postseason.
Neemias Queta has been on an absolute tear of late, terrorizing his Mountain West opponents in the paint. For that and more he was declared the BleacherReport.com National Defensive player of the Year on Monday, one of eight awards the organization gives out.
The junior forward finished the regular season with averages of 14.7 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 3.0 BPG & 1.2 SPG in just 29.0 MPG in twenty-five contests, all starts. He’s also 4th in the nation in block percentage and 20th in defensive rebounding percentage. Also not many shot-swatting 7-footers can pass the ball and log consistent steals like Queta does.
The last player to log a familiar stat line to Queta you may ask? Current Los Angeles Laker and former Kentucky Wildcat Anthony Davis. Who like Queta, is the only other person in men’s college basketball in the last decade to average 9.5 RPG, 2.9 BPG & 1.0 SPG for an entire season.
His play of late has been stellar, not only on the defensive side of the ball but also scoring too. Since his last game being held to single-digits against UNLV on January 25th (an Aggie loss), Queta has gone on to average 19.8 PPG, with eight consecutive double-digit performances, including back-to-back 30-point outings against Boise State.
The hardware should keep flowing Queta’s way in the coming weeks, but a certainly nice start and amazing recognition given the company he has on the list.
A familiar face also recognized by Bleacher Report was former UNLV big man Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua who awarded Most Underrated Playerand has become a key fixture in No. 2 ranked Baylor’s frontcourt.
The full list of award winners:
National Player of the Year: Luka Garza, Iowa
Freshman of the Year: Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
Coach of the Year: Juwan Howard, Michigan
Transfer of the Year: Carlik Jones, Louisville
Defensive Player of the Year: Neemias Queta, Utah State
6th Man of the Year: JD Notae, Arkansas
Most Improved player of the Year: E.J. Liddell, Ohio State
Most Underrated Player: Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Baylor
Larry Muniz covers college basketball as a writer for Mountain West Wire and WAC Hoops Digest. Also as a co-host of the college basketball podcast “Hoops Talk W/Jay & Larry”. He is also a USWBA Member.