• Derek Murray

Neemias Queta

Neemias Queta

Center, 6'11 - 225lbs

Utah State/Sophomore

Queta won Mountain West Freshman & Defensive Player of the year in 2018-19, and it is no surprise why. His physical capabilities and rim protecting intensity made him very difficult to score around. He’s an excellent shot blocker and long, athletic lob target on offense.

While he’s raw in skill set & will need to refine his feel/basketball IQ, he has major upside and will be a fascinating prospect in 2019-20.

Athleticism: Queta is 6’11 with a 7’5 wingspan, and covers ground well with a reported 9’6 standing reach. When his motor is on he’s arguably the best athlete on the floor, minus pure vertical leap, but there are times where he seems to take plays off. NQ isn’t a leaper but he is so long that it makes up for it most of the time. He’s 225 pounds right now and will probably need to add 10-15 more to hang in the NBA paint. Sometimes he gets bumped around but uses plus length to get a rebound or content shots. At the end of games he tends to look pretty exhausted, needs to work on conditioning.

Offense: He is still pretty raw on the offensive end, turning the ball over a lot, but improved over the duration of the season. It's evident that he's been working on his post moves, using his length and developing his footwork. He can go up and over most opponents inside the restricted area especially if he keeps the ball above his head on OREBs. Again, his vertical jump comes into play here as he can let himself get trapped under the rim and is unable to elevate out of it. One thing he does surprisingly well, but not great, is pass. He passes effectively out of the post, mostly because he can see over everyone around him. He's not going to be a shooter or focal point on offense, but projects to score enough to be a positive.

Defense: NQ is a shot blocking machine, set the Utah State program record with 73 BLK. At times he seems to invite the offensive player into the lane, almost baiting them to take a shot. His perimeter defense will be a point of emphasis in 2019, he spaces well and knows how to employ his length, but his IQ and lateral quickness need to be improved. It's apparent that he's been working on hedging out of PnR. There were two specific instances in the Saint Mary's game where he successfully shuts down potential drives and the rollers, allowing his guards to recover their spots. Fouls a bit more than he should, due to a combination of discipline & fatigue. Queta is also a solid rebounder, gathering 8.9/gm. I worry, however, that his REBs come from length rather than boxing out, strength, or vertical jump. At the next level he'll have to excel in at least one of these other tools.

As seen in the chart below, only 13 freshman since 1992 have registered 225+ boards, 80+ blocks, and 35+ assists. To be in the discussion with the elite of this group, he'll need to improve his FT% and limit turnovers. Refining the parts of his game still raw will be the major component of his draft position.


Swing Skill: Basketball IQ & post-up offense.

Photo via KSL Sports

Overall: Queta is not a Year 1, maybe even Year 2 contributor in the NBA. He’ll be a project at first but his athleticism, shot blocking, & lob target capabilities make him both a risk, as well as a player with serious upside. NQ is a worthwhile selection in the end of RD1 or early RD2 of the 2020 Draft.

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