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Mountain West Basketball: The Five Most Important Returners From The NBA Draft Process

Who was the biggest returner to the league before the draft deadline?

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

1. Caleb Martin (Nevada)

Along with his twin brother Cody, Nevada swingman Caleb Martin waited until the last moments of the NBA Draft deadline to announce his decision to return to school, immediately plunging the Wolf Pack into a top-ten group nationally. His team-high averages of 18.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game make him an early front-runner for Mountain West Player of the Year, in what should be a monster senior campaign for the 6’ 7” pro prospect.


2. Deshon Taylor (Fresno State)

New Fresno State head coach Justin Hutson probably wouldn’t argue that Deshon Taylor’s choice to come back to the Bulldogs is by far the biggest positive step that his program took this off-season. The 6’ 2” guard from Riverside, California will not only be Fresno State’s most crucial offensive weapon, but he’ll also single-handedly make the Bulldogs legitimate challengers on a nightly basis in the conference.


3. Jordan Caroline (Nevada)

Jordan Caroline was the first of the Nevada trio to announce that he’d be rejoining the Wolf Pack program, in a move that not only was individually best for him as a player, but in the better interest of Nevada’s Final Four chances. The Martin brothers may be a complete handful for opponents in most of the scouting reports, but it’s a key piece like Caroline that puts this squad over the edge.


4. Jalen McDaniels (San Diego State)

San Diego State forward Jalen McDaniels’s testing of the NBA Draft waters was more of a formality that put the athletic, 6’ 10” forward’s name on most team’s radars for the future. Just as you’d suspect from a raw product who spent only one year in college, McDaniels needs to round out his offensive game and become a more consistent effort players. However, his return gives the Aztecs a future pro talent on the interior.


5. Justin James (Wyoming)

Wyoming doesn’t have the luxuries that a team like Nevada has, in the fact than when their star player tests the NBA Draft process, they sweat out every single second until the stand-out talent returns. That’s why Justin James heading back to the Cowboys is so crucial for head coach Allen Edwards and company. Wyoming might even need his strong 18.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists averages to improve during the 2018-2019 campaign.