Utah State center Neemias Queta declares for NBA draft

Mar 19, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Utah State Aggies center Neemias Queta (23) and head coach Craig Smith watch game action against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the second half in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Utah State star center Neemias Queta said Monday that he will bypass his senior season and enter the 2021 NBA Draft.

The 7-foot Queta won Mountain West Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors and is one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“I’m declaring for the draft because I feel ready to take my game to the next level and fulfilling a lifelong dream of being an NBA player,” Queta told ESPN while indicating he will hire an agent.

The native of Portugal averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots in 29 games this season while leading the Aggies (20-9) to an NCAA Tournament berth. Utah State lost 65-53 to Texas Tech in its first-round matchup.

Queta holds Aggies’ records for blocked shots in a game (nine), season (97 this season) and career (219). He had five or more blocks on nine occasions this season.

Read More: RECAP: Texas Tech grinds down Utah State, will meet Arkansas

Queta averaged 13.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots in 86 career appearances (84 games) for Utah State. He shot 59.4 percent from the field.

NBA talent evaluators project Queta as a second-round selection who could prove worthy of a late first-round pick depending on how his offensive game improves during pre-draft workouts.

“I really want to show my all-around game as more than a rim runner and prove what my potential can be,” Queta said.

–Field Level Media