Mountain West Basketball: Extra Eligibility Tracker
Which seniors are officially leaving and sticking around in the Mountain West? Find out here.
Keep track of the returning and departing seniors this offseason right here.
The offseason for some teams is here and well underway, with it comes the expected player movement. Though something that is very new to coaches novice and veteran alike is the extra eligibility afforded to winter athletes by the NCAA due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are a lot of moving pieces with this extra year of eligibility afforded to winter sport athletes. But the main thing to keep in mind is any seniors that decide to use their extra year of eligibility with the program will not count against the NCAA’s scholarship limit (13 for D-1 basketball programs).
Though, this doesn’t mean the NCAA is paying for that scholarship, so programs will have to assess exactly what they can afford to pay for and what their roster will look like next season.
In turn, this makes recruiting with returning players a little tricky for coaching staffs nationwide. But with a very, “testing NBA Draft waters” sort of feel, players are keeping this logistical headache their coaching staffs will undergo in mind, with several already announcing their plans for next season.
Also, this doesn’t mean every player will want to return either, some will pursue the transfer portal, professional opportunities and others will simply trade in their gameday sneakers for Sunday league ones.
Above is one of the better breakdowns I found on the extra year of eligibility awarded to athletes by the NCAA, from Next College Student Athlete recruiting service.
So remember to check back, as this tracker will updated until all decisions have been announced.
Chris Joyce-No word yet
Akaya Ameka-No word yet
Keaton Van Soelen-No word yet
2020-2021 Stats: 17.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG & 2.2 APG 28 games (28 starts)
Alston Jr. is officially done with his college career and plans to make the jump to the professional ranks after this season. The 6-9 combo guard came to Boise as a walk-on and leaves as one of the most accomplished Broncos in Boise State history. His departure is big but no expected, as Alston Jr. explains himself, he will leave the program better and stronger than when he arrived.
“I was able to leave this program better than when I found it, and that was my goal,” Alston said. “I’m just thankful that I got the opportunity to showcase my talents but also who I am as a person. I grew so much not only as a basketball player but as a person. I came in as a 19-year old kid and I’m leaving as a 23-year old man.”
Abu Kigab-No word yet
Christian Gray-No word yet
Devin Gage-No word yet
Zachary Williams-No word yet
2020-2021 Stats: 15.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.9 APG & 1.0 SPG in 22 games (21 starts)
The 2020-2021 season was likely not the senior season Makuach Maluach had in mind. But you got to give it to him, he played his game throughout. Now he has decided to move on, after graduation he will look for a professional gig, maybe in the G-League he told KRQE.
Makuach was one of the few four-year players New Mexico has had in quite a while. His presence on the court and behind the scenes will certainly be missed, but doesn’t seem like there much else to prove in Albuquerque.
20-21 Stats: 5.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG & 0.3 APG in 8 games (0 starts)
McGee was a fan favorite in Albuquerque, for his antics on the bench to his high-flying fast break dunks. His announcement to opt-out of the rest of the season in mid-January was the beginning of the end for the Lobos.
New Mexico would go on to lose 10 of their next 13 games, ultimately all but signing Coach Paul Weirs resignation letter for him when the school announced their “mutual decision to part ways” at the end of the season in February. New Mexico’s disaster of a season doesn’t fall solely on McGee’s shoulders, but he was the first domino to fall.
His attempt at a fresh start elsewhere is understandable, it was an unorthodox season for the Lobos, to say the least, a possible move to the east coast could be in the cards for McGee.
Cheikh Mbacke Diong-No word yet
San Diego State
2020-2021 Stats: 8.6 PPG, 2.3 APG &1.5 RPG in 28 games (16 starts)
Gomez came to San Diego from Cal-State Northridge where he developed a reputation as a high level scorer (16.9 PPG at CSUN). He adapted to his new role quickly, as a scorer and facilitator (2.3 APG, 2nd on team) off of the bench for the eventual Mountain West regular season and tournament champions.
His decision to look towards professional options is very understandable. He’s done it all in college and can surely find a spot on a roster somewhere making a living. He is the first domino to fall for the Aztec’s five man senior class.
Trey Pulliam-No word yet
2020-2021 Stats: 15.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.0 APG & 1.4 SPG in 25 games (24 starts)
Mitchell is officially done with his college career, and after testing NBA Draft waters last year before ultimately deciding to return for his senior year, he has declared himself eligible for the 2021 NBA Draft. Mitchell leaves with multiple accolades and as stated below having hung multiple banners inside Viejas Arena. He departs as one of the Mountain Wests best.
# AztecForLife ❤️🖤 pic.twitter.com/2Sw4DSH8X1
— I AM (@iammattmitch11) April 1, 2021
2020-2021 Stats: 14.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.0 SPG and shot 46.1% from deep
Schakel is now the second Aztec senior with an official announcement surrounding his extra year of eligibility. Like teammate Terell Gomez, he too intends to forego his remaining eligibility in order to play professionally.
Schakel turned into an incredible player for San Diego State over his four year career. A part of Aztec squads that claimed two Mountain West regular season titles, two conference tournament championships and made two (should have been three) NCAA Tournament appearances, his influence on the program is undeniable. Finishing his senior season leading the conference in field goals made (83) and field goal percentage (46.1%).
After all of that, it is completely understandable to look for professional opportunities. He has been a tremendous player for San Diego State and the conference.
— Jordan Schakel (@jordanschakel) March 29, 2021
Joshua Tomaić-No word yet
San Jose State
Richard Washington-No word yet
Eduardo Lane-No word yet
Ralph Agee-No word yet
Alphonso Anderson-No word yet
Kuba Karwowski-No word yet
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.