Neemias Queta Announces He'll Return to Utah State, Forgo 2020 NBA Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2020

Utah State's Neemias Queta (23) blocks a shot from New Mexico's Anthony Mathis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Mountain West Conference men's tournament Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

Utah State big man Neemias Queta announced he will return to school instead of entering the 2020 NBA draft. 

"My dream has always been to play in the NBA, but now is not the right time to declare for the Draft," he wrote. "We have continued to build a great program here at Utah State and it is one that I am very proud of representing." 

Jeff Goodman of Stadium noted Sunday was the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft.

This is welcome news for Utah State considering Sam Merrill, who led the team in scoring last season, graduated and Abel Porter, who was second on the team in assists per game last season, transferred to Ohio State.

Queta has been a consistent force for the Aggies in each of his two collegiate seasons.

In 2018-19, he averaged 11.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game and then followed with 13.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this past season along with 62.4 percent shooting from the field.

He is an eraser at the back end of the defense who helps make up for the mistakes of perimeter players and also controls the glass for extended stretches.

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Utah State made the NCAA tournament in Queta's first season and was poised to do so again in 2019-20 before it was canceled because of the coronavirus. The Aggies were 26-8 this past season, finishing just outside the AP Top 25 in the final rankings, and won the Mountain West tournament championship over San Diego State.

Queta finished that game with 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

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