The 2017-18 season saw the end of the careers for two of DII men's basketball's most prolific scorers. Justin Pitts, who led Northwest Missouri State to the 2017 national championship, ended his career atop the Bearcats' record books, while West Texas A&M's David Chavlovich set the Lone Star Conference career scoring record.
But neither came close to the greatest single-season scoring records in DII history.
Let's take a look at the ten 10 dominating scoring seasons in the DII men's basketball record books.
Clarence “Bevo” Francis, Rio Grande
Just how absurd was Francis’ 1954 record-setting campaign? The closest anyone has come to it is roughly four points per game. Oh, and he also has the DII men’s basketball player of the year award named after him.
Francis scored 1,255 points in just 27 games for a 46.5 points per game average. What’s most impressive is that Francis set the three top DII single-game scoring records in history in that 1954 season, dropping 113 points on Hillsdale, 84 on Alliance and 82 on Bluffton.
Earl Glass, Mississippi Industrial
Glass didn’t play many games in 1963 — just 19 — but that didn’t stop him from putting in buckets. He scored 815 points for a 42.9 average. There isn’t much to be found on Glass, as Mississippi Industrial closed its doors for good in 1982. What we do know is that his best game of the season was a 60-point output against Texas College, all of which came in the second half (per ESPN’s College Basketball Encyclopedia).
Earl Monroe, Winston-Salem State
"The Pearl" is probably the best-known name on the list, going on to become an NBA Hall of Fame World Champion. But before that, he took Winston-Salem State to the 1967 national championship, the first HBCU to win a College Division title. Monroe averaged 41.5 points per game that season, the third-best mark in DII history, scoring 1,329 points that season, still an NCAA record. Those numbers bested the Division I AP Player of the Year Elvin Hayes (36.8 points per game) and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (26.2 points per game). That’s not bad company at all.
Jon Rinka, Kenyon
Rinka’s 41.0 points per game in 1970 rank fourth all-time for a single season and the most recent player on the list to do so. It's also tops in Kenyon basketball history. He holds the five highest single-game scoring marks in Kenyon history, scoring a career-best 69 against Wooster in 1969. Rinka’s celebrated Lords career saw him finish with the three best single-scoring seasons in program history, scoring 33.9 points per game in 1969 and 31.8 points per game in 1968. That’s what you call year-by-year improvement.
Willie Shaw, Lane
Shaw needed just 18 games to win the 1964 DII men’s basketball scoring title. He’s the last player on the list to break 40 points per game in a single season, averaging 40.4.
Travis Grant, Kentucky State
LEE G NEWS: Honoring Kentucky State University (@KYSUAthletics) legend Travis 'The Machine' Grant at Halftime.— Lee G News (@TheRealLeeGNews) February 11, 2018
Grant played for KSU 1969-72, winning 3 consecutive NAIA titles and scoring 4,045 pts.#KentuckyStateVSCentralState#SIAC #RivalryWeek #LeeGNews for #KySportsTV pic.twitter.com/sNLNpq1RlL
What is surprising about Grant is that his name is only on this list once. "The Machine" scored 4,045 points from 1969 to 1972 for the Thorobreds. His best single season came in 1972, when he scored 1,304 points in 33 games, a 39.5 average. Grant was the 13th overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1972 NBA Draft and went on to play in the NBA and ABA for four seasons, finishing fourth in the ABA in scoring with the San Diego Conquistadors in the 1974-75 season.
Thales McReynolds, Miles
McReynolds converted his Miles career into an NBA draft selection. He had a very brief one-season career with the Baltimore Bullets after they took him in the 11th round of the 1965 NBA Draft. His 39.2 points per game with Miles that season is what put him on the map.
Bob Johnson, Fitchburg State
Johnson was the first Fitchburg State player to eclipse the 1,000-point mark, and he did it in just two seasons. His 39.1 points per game in 1963 were second to Earl Glass, but still finds him a spot on the all-time top 10. He scored 29.1 points the following season, finishing in the top 10 nationally.
Roger Kuss, Wisconsin-River Falls
One of the WIAC’s all-time greats, Kuss finished his illustrious career with 1,924 points. His 38.9 per game during the 1953 season was best in the land and is still the WIAC record today. He broke his own record of 29.1 points per game set the year prior, which is also still the second-best mark in the now-Division III conference’s history. Cuss turned that into an 18th round draft pick with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Florindo Vieira, Quinnipiac
Florindo, or Frank as he’s listed in the Quinnipiac record books, was an absolute beast for the Bobcats. He led the team in scoring all four years, posting his best mark as a freshman with 35.8 points per game. He scored 31.5, 29.1 and 35.3 his sophomore through senior seasons respectively, and also led the team in free throw shooting his final three years as well. He still holds 20 of the 32 highest-scoring games in program history.