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State of Hoops team: Breaking down Utah's best Division I college players in 2016-17

This year's top Division I college basketball players in the state of Utah included, from left, Utah's Kyle Kuzma, Weber State's Jeremy Senglin, BYU's Eric Mika, Southern Utah's Randy Onwuasor and Utah State's Jalen Moore.
This year's top Division I college basketball players in the state of Utah included, from left, Utah's Kyle Kuzma, Weber State's Jeremy Senglin, BYU's Eric Mika, Southern Utah's Randy Onwuasor and Utah State's Jalen Moore.
Photos by Deseret News, Associated Press and courtesy SUU

While there wasn't much in the way of team success — none of the six Utah Div. I schools made the NCAA Tournament — there was still plenty of talent that littered the rosters of the instate schools. There were gifted big men who earned all-conference recognition in their respective leagues to go along with some very skilled guards who did some special things.

That gives us a number of players to choose from to create an All-Utah basketball team as well as handing out player of the year and freshman of the year.

Honorable mention


James McGee, junior, guard, Southern Utah

14.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 33 games

Elijah Bryant, sophomore, guard, BYU

11.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 23 games

Kenneth Ogbe, junior, guard, UVU

10.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 33 games

Brandon Randolph, junior, guard, UVU

10 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.0 steals in 34 games

Zach Braxton, sophomore, forward, Weber State

10.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 32 games

Sam Merrill, freshman, guard, Utah State

9.4 points, 3.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 30 games

Third team


Nick Emery, sophomore, guard, BYU

While he didn't match the numbers of his historic freshman season, Emery was one of the key contributors for a 22-win BYU team. Along the way, he had seven games with at least 20 points, including a 37-point performance against UVU where he hit 15 of 28 shots from the floor and 5 of 12 from beyond the arc.

On the season, he averaged 13.1 points on 42.5 percent shooting with 3.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals in 30.1 minutes a contest.

Conner Toolson, junior, guard, UVU

Toolson had a very nice year during his first season with the Wolverines. Whether coming off the bench or in a starting role, he showed he could get buckets. He scored in double figures 19 times, including five games of more than 20 points on his way to leading UVU in scoring. One of his best showings came in an 80-79 loss to Utah State when he had 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor and 7-of-7 from the foul line while adding 11 rebounds in 39 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 11.9 points on 41.5 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 26.8 minutes a game.

Devin Daniels, freshman, guard, Utah

Despite a late-season suspension that cost him three of the last five games, Daniels has a very solid freshman season. He reached double figures in scoring on 13 occasions while shooting a ridiculously high percentage for a guard. One of his best games came in a 94-72 win over Washington when he totaled 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, including 3 for 3 from beyond the arc.

On the season, he averaged 9.9 points on 57.1 percent shooting while adding 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 26.9 minutes.

Yoeli Childs, freshman, forward, BYU

Childs was a huge inside presence for the Cougars on both ends of the floor during a terrific freshman campaign. He was a solid scorer and one of the best finishers at the rim that BYU has had in some time. He also made an impact on the defensive end thanks to his ability to block shots and clean the glass. His most impressive game of the year came in a 68-52 win over San Francisco when he totaled 23 points on 10 for 16 shooting from the floor to go along with 17 rebounds and three blocks.

On the season, he averaged 9.3 points on 55 percent shooting with 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 assists in 25.9 minutes a night to earn All-WCC Freshman Team recognition.

Kyndahl Hill, senior, forward, Weber State

Hill was an outstanding rebounder and a shot blocker while being a nice complimentary scorer for the Wildcats. One of his best outings came in an 80-76 win over CSU Fullerton when he managed 18 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the foul line to go along with 13 rebounds and two blocks.

On the season, he averaged 10.2 points on 49.3 percent shooting with 7.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 assists in 31.2 minutes.

Second Team


Lorenzo Bonam, senior, guard, Utah

Bonam did a little bit of everything for the Utes during his senior season. He was an impressive finisher who also led the team in assists and steals. One of his best games of the year came in a 67-59 win over Stanford when he totaled 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 3 for 4 from distance. He added four assists, three steals and two rebounds in 36 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 12.5 points on 57.4 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds. 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 29.8 minutes.

TJ Haws, freshman, guard, BYU

Haws is a dynamic scorer who could get buckets from inside and out. He also showed flashes of brilliance running the point for the Cougars with solid ball-handling skills and a flair for making the tough pass. One of his best games came in an 89-59 win over Santa Clara when he totaled 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor, including 3 for 3 from 3-point land. He added six rebounds and six assists in 29 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 13.8 points on 40.4 percent shooting from distance to go along with 3.2 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals to earn First-Team All-WCC and Freshman Team honors.

Koby McEwen, freshman, guard, Utah State

McEwen had a fantastic first year in Logan as he stepped right in and handled the ball for the Utah State offense. One of his best games came in a 79-63 win over UNLV when he managed 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, including 5 for 7 from 3-point range. He added seven rebounds, six assists and a pair of steals in 34 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 14.9 points on 46 percent shooting with 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 31.3 minutes to collect the MWC Freshman of the Year.

Isaac Neilson, junior, forward, Utah Valley

It was remarkable the kind of season Neilson had considering the balanced nature of the Wolverines. He was an effective scorer in the paint and the best rebounder and shot blocker UVU had. One of his best games came in an 87-80 loss to Utah when he recorded 28 points and 15 rebounds in 32 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 9.6 points on 57.1 percent shooting to go along with 9.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 21.8 minutes.

David Collette, junior, forward, Utah

Collette was the perfect fit for the Utes from the moment he stepped on the floor in December. He was the Utes most consistent scorer as he finished in double figures in 21 of 22 games while shooting above 50 percent from the floor in all, but two games. One of his best performances came in a 74-70 win over Washington State when he registered 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and 8 for 13 from the foul line. He added six rebounds, three steals and three blocks in 29 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 13.6 points on 59.6 percent shooting with 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 25.4 minutes.

First Team


Randy Onwuasor, junior, guard, Southern Utah

Onwuasor was one of the most prolific scorers the Thunderbirds have seen in a long time as he scored more than 20 points on 22 occasions, including eight games of 30 or more. He wasn't one-dimensional either as he also led the team in rebounds, assists, steals and free-throw percentage. One of his best games came in a 93-80 win over Northern Arizona when he put up 37 points on 12-of-23 shooting from the field, including 7 for 11 from distance. He added 12 boards and three assists in 35 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 23.6 points on 40.9 percent shooting with 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 assists in 35 minutes to earn the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year award.

Jeremy Senglin, senior, guard, Weber State

Senglin capped off a remarkable career at Weber State with a strong senior season that saw him lead the Wildcats to another 20-win season while becoming the school's all-time leader in scoring. He also showed an impressive outside stroke as he led the nation with 132 made 3-point shots. One of his best games came in a 96-93 win over Portland State when he recorded 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field, including 5 for 11 from distance in 43 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 21.2 points on 46.8 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 35.8 minutes.

Eric Mika, sophomore, forward, BYU

Mika was a dominant force for BYU on the offensive end. He was nearly impossible to stop on the block, but also developed a very consistent mid-range jumper. One of his best games of the year came in an 85-75 win over San Francisco when he totaled 31 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field. He added 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 32 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 20.3 points on 52.8 percent shooting from the field while adding 9.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.6 assists in 28.6 minutes a game to garner First-Team All-WCC recognition.

Jalen Moore, senior, forward, Utah State

Moore had an impressive senior year as he set new career highs in scoring, assists, 3-point shooting and free-throw shooting on his way to securing Second-Team All-MWC honors. One of his best games came in an 83-69 loss to Nevada when he finished with 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the floor, including 4 for 7 from distance and 5 for 6 from the foul line. He added four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 40 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 17 points on 47.8 percent shooting with 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 35.5 minutes.

Kyle Kuzma, junior, forward, Utah

Kuzma did a really nice job as the Utes go-to guy putting up career highs in just about every statistical category. He scored in double figures in 26 games, including eight games with more than 20 while totaling 15 double-doubles. One of his best games came in an 88-82 win over Arizona State when he managed 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor, including 3 of 4 from distance. He added 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 36 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 16.4 points on 50.4 percent shooting with 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 30.8 minutes to earn First-Team All-Pac-12 honors.

Freshman of the Year


Koby McEwen

In a deep pool of great freshman contributors, McEwen easily stood out thanks to his scoring ability and 3-point marksmanship. He finished second on the Aggies at nearly 15 points a night on 42 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He was more than just a great scorer though as he also finished second on the team in rebounds and assists.

Player of the Year


Eric Mika

While there were three really good options for player of the year, it was Mika's play in big games that ultimately won out. He started out the year with a 26-point, 18-rebound effort against Princeton. He followed that up with 29 points and nine boards against USC and 25 points and eight rebounds against Illinois. He added 28 points and 10 boards against Saint Mary's before finishing off the regular season with a next-level performance of 29 points and 11 boards in a win over No. 1 Gonzaga.

He was also remarkably consistent on the offensive end as he scored in double figures in every game, including 16 games of at least 20 points. He was also a beast on the backboards as he finished with 17 double-doubles on his way to earning District VIII Player of the Year from the United States Basketball Writers Association.