LOGAN, Utah – Neemias Queta, the all-time leader in blocked shots in Utah State history, was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft, marking the second-straight year that an Aggie has been drafted, following Sam Merrill’s selection in 2020. Furthermore, Queta and Merrill are the first Aggies to be drafted in the first two rounds in back-to-back years. Queta was selected with the No. 39 pick by the Kings, marking the highest spot for an Aggie since Brian Jackson was drafted 26th overall by the Portland Trailblazers in 1981.
With the 39th pick of the NBA Draft, the @SacramentoKings select Neemias Queta!
2021 #NBADraft presented by State Farm
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) July 30, 2021
Sacramento let’s do this!!!!!!!!🔥🙏🏿
— Quetão🔥 (@nemi1599) July 30, 2021
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) July 30, 2021
Queta punctuated his career at Utah State as the best rim protector in school history, setting single game, single season and career block records over the course of his stay in Logan. Queta recorded a USU single-game-record nine blocks in the Aggies’ 62-50 victory over Colorado State in the Mountain West Tournament semifinals, finishing with a near-triple-double of 18 points, 14 rebounds and nine rejections. The performance was one of nine during the 2020-21 campaign and one of 15 during his career where Queta finished with five or more blocks in a game. In the final game of the season, Queta finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds, seven blocks, six assists and one steal against Texas Tech, marking just the second time that a player has recorded 10+ points, 10+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 5+ blocks in an NCAA Tournament game since the 1985-86 season.
On the year, Queta totaled an NCAA-best 97 blocks, breaking the single-season record at Utah State as Queta passed his own record of 84 set during his freshman year in 2018-19. Overall, Queta recorded 219 blocks over the course of his career, far surpassing the previous Utah State record of 155 set by Gilbert Pete from 1986-89. Furthermore, Queta’s 219 put him tied for third in Mountain West history, matching the University of Utah’s David Foster (2006, 09-11). Queta is one of only five players in Mountain West history to record 200 or more blocks in a career. Queta’s 137 blocks in conference games ranks second all-time in Mountain West history, second only to San Diego State’s Skylar Spencer, who recorded 138 blocks during his career from 2012-16.
In addition to his prowess as one of the top rim protectors in the nation, Queta also finished second on the team with 31 steals in 2020-21, led the Mountain West and ranked second in the nation in total defensive rating (80.6), led the Mountain West and the nation in defensive win shares (2.9), and led the Mountain West and the nation in defensive box plus/minus (6.9).
Queta balanced his defensive excellence with a strong showing on the offensive side of the ball, finishing as the only player in the Mountain West in 2020-21 to average a double-double on the year with 14.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Queta finished third on the team with 77 assists, averaging 2.7 per contest and was the only player in the nation with 75 or more assists and 95 or more blocks. In fact, Queta is one of only 10 players since 1992-93 to surpass 95 or more blocks and 75 or more assists in the same season, joining the likes of Tim Duncan, Erick Dampier and Joakim Noah.
Queta is one of only two players in the NCAA since 1992-93 to finish the year averaging more than 14.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game, joining Houston’s Bo Outlaw (1992-93) with that distinction.
On the glass, Queta finishes his career ranked ninth in school history with 764 career rebounds and recording the two of the top-20 single-season rebounding performances in school history with 312 boards during his freshman year and 294 during the 2020-21 campaign.
Queta, a 2021 Associated Press honorable mention All-American, garnered numerous accolades during his time at Utah State, including being named one of four finalists for the 2020-21 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, and earning two Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors. Queta earned all-Mountain West honors each year, picking up first-team accolades this year and a pair of second-team honors during his freshman and sophomore campaigns, while also being named the 2019 Mountain West Freshman of the Year. Queta was a three-time all-district selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the 2021 US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District VIII Player of the Year, in addition to a pair of all-district VIII honors by the USBWA, three-time MW all-tournament honoree and the 2020-21 National Defensive Player of the Year by bleacherreport.com.
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