Who are the best scorers in the country?
When it all comes down to it, basketball is a simple game. The team that scores the most points wins. Having one of the top scorers in the league can really help in that endeavor. The Mountain West has no shortage of high level scorers this season.
To be one of the best, it’s not just about putting up points in bunches. A player needs to be efficient with their scoring as well. It’s more helpful to score ten points on ten shots than it is to score ten points on twenty shots.
5. Mike Nuga, UNLV – Mike Nuga will be a new face for Mountain West fans. The 6’2″ transfer from Kent State averaged 18 points a game last season on 50/39/81 from the field. He posted a true shooting of 63%, which would’ve been second in the Mountain West last season behind only Jordan Schakel. It takes a special kind of player to be that efficient with as high of a usage as Nuga had. Synergy ranked him better than 97% of division 1 basketball players in terms of efficiency.
He is held back in these rankings by two things. First, he’ll be facing a tougher level of competition in the Mountain West, and so his numbers will likely take a step down. Going up against Players like Desmond Cambridge and Adam Seiko will be tougher than what he’s used to from his years in the Big Sky and the MAC.
Second, his scoring repertoire is limited. He’s really good at the things he does, but he’s not as versatile of a scorer as the players above him on the list. There’s definitely value in a player knowing their role and limiting themselves to the shots they’re good at, but it can also make it easier for a defense to take the player out of the game.
4. Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State – Stevens is a weapon that will keep opposing coaches up at night. The 6’0″. 180 lbs. guard is coming off a Mountain West second team performance where he averaged 15.3 points and 5.4 assists. He finished 5th in the conference in total points and 9th in points per game. What sets Stevens apart is his efficiency. He finished last season with an TS% of 58.2%, good for 6th best in the conference. It’s hard to be the player the offense runs through and still be that efficient.
Stevens makes it look easy. One could make the argument that he’s the best point guard in the conference. Synergy ranks him in the 93rd percentile of offensive efficiency when accounting for his scoring and passing. If he didn’t have so much offensive help he could probably average 18+ a game. Luckily, he does have help, so he doesn’t need to score that much. Make no mistake, he is capable of dropping 20 points in any given game.