All-Utah College Hoops Awards: Honoring the best players from BYU, Utah State and the other Utah D.1 schools in 2019-20

By: Jay Yeomans

Published: March 19, 2020

Despite the season’s abrupt end, it really was a special year for college basketball here in the state of Utah. Not only were there some powerful teams and great storylines, but there were some tremendous players leading the way for all six of the D. 1 schools. Some teams had veteran leadership where much was expected while others relied on incoming talent to carry the load and that is exactly what they did.

Whether they were new to the college game or returning stars, most of the local teams got great production from their star players. Now the only question is, who were the best of the best on the court from Utah schools during the 2019-20 campaign. We are here to answer just that as we hand out our All-Utah college hoops awards and pick our first, and second teams.

Stats from Sports-reference.com and NCAA.com.

Most Improved Player

Justin Bean, sophomore, Utah State

Bean was a solid contributor as a freshman where he chipped in with 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds. But those numbers pale in comparison to what he meant to the Aggies this season. He was a double-double machine who nearly tripled his scoring and rebounding numbers while showing off some nice passing skills.

The Assist King

T.J. Haws, senior, BYU

Haws was the huge reason why the BYU offense was one of the best in the country. Not only was he a fantastic shooter, but he always seemed to make the perfect pass. He finished the season with a career-best 183 assists, including an impressive 6.6 per game in conference play.

Best Defender

Neemias Queta, sophomore, Utah State

Queta is one of the best rim protectors to ever play in Logan. Not only does he block a ton of shots but he also alters how teams attack the Aggies. In an injury-shortened season, he still swatted away 38 shots for the MWC tournament champs.

The Block King

Emmanuel Olojakpoke, senior, Utah Valley

Olojakpoke made a huge difference for the Wolverines during his lone season in Orem. Despite playing just 20.3 minutes a game he managed to finish in the top 10 in the NCAA with 81 blocks in 30 games.

Most Clutch

Sam Merrill, senior, Utah State

There is an argument for T.J. Haws here with massive shots to beat St. Mary’s and Houston, but Merrill came up clutch when it mattered most to give the Aggies the automatic bid as he drilled a contested 28-foot three with time running down to upset the Aztecs.

Best Shooter

Alex Barcello, junior, BYU

Barcello was a huge reason why the Cougars had such a good season. He was the ultimate floor spacer for the big three of Childs, Haws, and Toolson thanks to his remarkable shooting numbers. He finished the season with an effective field-goal percentage of 61.4 percent while shooting 48.6 percent from 3-point range and 87.9 from the foul line.

The PER King

Yoeli Childs, senior, BYU

Childs missed 13 games, but when he was on the floor he was nearly impossible to stop. He had an effective field-goal percentage of 61 while setting new career highs in field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage, and scoring average. That translated into a ridiculous player efficiency rating of 33.9. For reference, the next highest PER for players from Utah schools was Justin Bean who came in at 26.1.

Most Explosive Scorer

Jerrick Harding, senior, Weber State

This was a tough call, but Harding ‘s ability to score in bunches ultimately won out. He finished the season averaging 22.2 points a night on 48.8 percent shooting from the floor and 86.3 percent from the foul line. He produced 18 20-point games, five games with more than 30 points and s season-best 44 points in a win over Sacramento State to end his career with 2,266 points.

Newcomer of the Year

Jake Toolson, senior, BYU

Toolson clearly isn’t new to Utah schools, but he qualifies for this award since he returned to the Cougars for his senior campaign. And BYU fans were sure grateful that he did. He did a little bit of everything for the Cougars during the season. He finished second on the team in scoring, rebounds, assists, and steals while shooting 47 percent from beyond the arc to take home All-WCC First-Team honors.

Freshman of the Year

Rylan Jones, Utah

Jones had some really impressive moments during his first year on the Hill. He started all 28 games he played and led the Utes in assists and steals while shooting 38 percent from 3-point land.

Player of the Year

Sam Merrill, senior, Utah State

There would’ve been a huge debate between Merrill and Childs for this award, but since Yoeli missed 13 games, Merrill takes it home. He led the Aggies to 26 wins while easily leading the Aggies in minutes, scoring, assists, 3-point percentage, and free-throw percentage.

Second Team

Cameron Oluyitan, senior, Southern Utah

Oluyitan averaged 13.3 points on 44.4 percent shooting from the floor, 37.2 percent from distance and 85.3 percent at the line. He added 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals in 32 games.

Justin Bean, sophomore, Utah State

Bean averaged 11.9 points a night on 51.8 percent shooting from the field and 80.6 percent at the free-throw line. He also managed 10.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 32 games.

Neemias Queta, sophomore, Utah State

Queta averaged 13 points on 62.4 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.7 blocks in 22 games.

Isaiah White, junior, Utah Valley

White averaged 14.5 points on 51.7 percent shooting from inside the arc. He also chipped in with 8.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 30.4 minutes a night.

Jerrick Harding, senior, Weber State

Harding averaged 22.2 points a game on 59 percent shooting from inside the arc to go along with 2.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.0 steals in 29 games.

First Team

T.J. Haws, senior, BYU

Haws averaged 14 points a contest on 45.9 percent shooting from the field, 37.1 percent from deep and 76.2 percent at the foul line. He added 5.7 assists, 2.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in 32 games.

Jake Toolson, senior, BYU

Toolson averaged 15.2 points a night on 47.2 percent shooting from the floor, 47 percent from 3-point range and 79.7 percent from the free-throw line. He also chipped in with 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.1 steals in 32 games.

Sam Merrill, senior, Utah State

Merrill averaged 19.7 points a night on 46. percent shooting from the field, 41 percent from 3-point range and 89.3 percent at the line. He added 4.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 32 games.

Timmy Allen, sophomore, Utah

Allen led the Utes in scoring with 17.3 points a night on 44.1 percent shooting from the field and 72.2 percent from the line. He added 7.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.2 steals in 31 games.

Yoeli Childs, senior, BYU

Childs averaged 22.2 points a game on 57.4 percent shooting from the floor and 48.9 percent from 3-point range. He also chipped in with 9.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 28.8 minutes a night.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s