There are thousands of players in mid-major basketball, so to be mentioned in both the preseason and postseason as some of the best in the sport is a feat in itself.
All five members of the Mid-Major Madness second team did that. They’re all NBA talents, and each of them led their school to either a conference title or an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021.
Here is the All-Mid-Major Madness Second Team:
Neemias Queta, Jr., Utah State
The Aggie big man is about as good as it gets on the defensive end, and he has the accolades to show it. Along with winning the Mountain West Player of the Year award, Queta was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, the Bleacher Report Defensive Player of the Year, an AP All-America Honorable Mention and a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
Neemias Queta is just sending everything back tonight.pic.twitter.com/9ah79R8OJJ— Heat Check CBB (@HeatCheckCBB) March 13, 2021
This season, along with setting the Utah State single-season record for blocks at 97, he was one of 18 players in the country to average a double-double. An impressive 62-point and 21-rebound series against Boise State led the Portuguese star to an average of 14.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game during the season.
As of now, Queta is projected as a late second-round pick. Many believe that he could be a rim-protection specialist.
Charles Bassey, Jr., Western Kentucky
Along with Queta, Bassey was one of the 18 players in college basketball to average a double-double. While being a force on the defensive end, Bassey also picked up loads of accolades. Just like Queta, Bassey won both the conference player of the year and defensive player of the year awards while being named an AP All-America Honorable Mention.
Bassey led the Hilltoppers to their first conference regular season title since 2009, but they fell short in the conference title game and advanced to the NIT Quarterfinals.
Western Kentucky’s Nigerian star helped the Hilltoppers pull off one of the most notable upsets of the regular season, beating SEC champion Alabama, 73-71. Bassey scored 27 points that afternoon, complementing that with 12 rebounds. It was one of his 18 double-doubles.
Bassey finished the season averaging 17.6 points and 11 rebounds per game, along with being ranked in the top 100 of six KenPom categories.
He is listed as an early second-round talent, due in large part to his play around the rim and potential of offense from further out.
Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, So., VCU
The sophomore from Delaware led the young Rams to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament. He was hurt for a good bit of the season, and VCU didn’t even get to play its tournament game, but the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year had a season to remember in Richmond.
Analysis: Bones Hyland is officially ridiculous.— VCU Basketball (@VCU_Hoops) March 5, 2021
VCU 37, Dayton 26 -- Halftime
Bones has 23 points. #ThisIsRamNation #LetsGoVCU pic.twitter.com/K18Gh6Ag5t
To clinch an at-large bid to the big dance, Hyland scored 23 points in the first half of VCU’s A-10 Quarterfinal against Dayton. That was nothing for him, though, as he averaged 19.5 points per game while shooting 44.7% from the field.
Hyland is also projected as a mid-second round pick if he chooses to leave school. His crafty scoring along with his deep range can land him a spot on an NBA roster.
Isaiah Miller, Sr., UNCG
Only one player in UNCG history had played in two NCAA Tournament games. That one might be the best Spartan ever, in Isaiah Miller.
The guard for Georgia won both the SoCon Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards, while averaging 19.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He also ranked in the top ten of % of possessions, % of shots, and steal percentage on KenPom.
UNCG's Isaiah Miller is taking over pic.twitter.com/rQFo8OLSJM— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 20, 2021
Miller really shined in conference play, as he had a 30-point performance against The Citadel and 32 against ETSU. Only once during the season he scored single digits. In the Spartans’ NCAA Tournament game against Florida State, he scored 17.
On April 6, he declared for the draft. Miller is currently not on many draft boards, but a solid pro day could get him drafted. His defensive skills along with a solid 46% shooting percentage should turn some heads.
Colbey Ross, Sr., Pepperdine
One of the most electric players in the country starred in one of the most desirable places in the country. Along with averaging 17.5 points per game and being named first-team All-WCC, Ross became the first player in NCAA history to score at least 2,200 points, pick up at least 800 assists, and grab at least 400 rebounds.
He shined once again on the big stage, scoring 33 points in a near-upset victory over UCLA. In March, he hit a buzzer beater against BYU, before the Waves lost the game in OT. He also played all but three minutes in the CBI, as the Waves took home their first postseason tournament title since 1994.
COLBEY ROSS SENDS IT TO OT!pic.twitter.com/4AUZBHRrNF— Heat Check CBB (@HeatCheckCBB) March 9, 2021
Ross has also declared for the draft, and is projected as a late-second round talent. His speed and ability to make plays are what’s getting NBA scouts’ attention.