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Wayne Cavadi | | January 3, 2020

Here's a DII men's basketball starting five based on the best stats from the first half

Northwest Missouri State claims the 2019 DII Men's Basketball Championship

The 2019 portion of the DII men's basketball season is in the books. As teams gear up for an NCAA DII tournament run this March, let's turn our attention to the players that have been stuffing the box scores thus far.

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Here is your first DII men's basketball all-stats team for the 2019-20 season. Every two weeks, we'll circle back and pick a starting five based purely on the stat leaders at each position, with a few shoutouts to some honorable mentions as well. While not every player leads a specific DII statistical category, they may find themselves in the top 15 across the board, separating themselves into the illustrious starting spot.

The DII men's basketball all-stats starting five (all stats through 1/1/2020)

G — Harrison Cleary, Minnesota Crookston

Minnesota Crookston Athletics Cleary leads DII men's basketball in scoring.

This was the easiest pick in our lineup. Cleary is scorching hot for the Golden Eagles, having broken the 40-point mark three times already this season. He closed 2019 with a 52- and 44-point performance and is leading DII men's basketball with 30.4 points per game. He's shooting an outstanding 92.4 percent from the charity stripe, sinking 97 of 105 free throws so far.

G — Jhonathan Dunn, Southern Nazarene

Southern Nazarene Athletics Jhonathan Dunn is a scoring machine for Southern Nazarene.

We decided to run without a true point guard because Dunn is too hot to ignore. Dunn started the season with eight-straight games scoring more than 25 points before a Nov. 30 game where he was held to just nine points. He responded with 29-, 34-, and 33-point performances for the red-hot Storm. He's doing it a very respectable 55.8 percent field goal rate while hitting 48.5 percent from beyond-the-arc, 15th-best in DII men's basketball.

Other guards considered: Romeo Crouch, Embry-Riddle; Adam Dworsky, Southeastern Oklahoma State; Trevor Hudgins, Northwest Missouri State

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C  — Andrew Sischo, Daemen

Daemen Athletics Sischo leads DII men's basketball in rebounding and double-doubles.

Andrew Sischo is another pretty easy choice. Daemen's big man leads DII in total rebounds (196) and rebounds per game (13.1). Establishing himself as a scoring machine, Sischo also has 12 double-doubles in his first 15 games, No. 1 in DII. He's scoring 25.1 points per game while shooting 64.6 percent from the floor, a top 10 mark in DII. 

Other centers considered: Trevor English, Mansfield; Luka Majstorovic, Embry-Riddle; Drew Noble, Ashland 

F — Selom Mawugbe, Azusa Pacific and Jalyn Hinton, Florida Southern (tie)

Azusa Pacific Athletics Mawugbe has been a force in DII men's basketball in 2019.

Since these two players are nearly identical in stats, we called it a tie as they both deserve a spot. Hopefully by our next all-stats starting five, one separates themselves from the other. Just look at the numbers and you try and decide (DII men's basketball rank in parenthesis):

  • Mawugbe: 15.3 ppg (N/A), 69.3 FG% (4), 10.6 rpg (9), 3.0 bpg (T-4)
  • Hinton: 15.2 ppg (N/A), 67.1 FG% (8), 10.7 rpg (8), 4.3 bpg (1)

F — Sekou Sylla, Saint Rose

Saint Rose Athletics Sylla has 10 double-doubles for Saint Rose basketball.

The Golden Knights are 3-9, so you may have missed what Sylla did in the season's first half. He's averaging 20.5 points per game, which puts him in the top 40 of DII men's basketball, but he's excelling all across the stat sheet. His 11.3 rebounds per game are fourth-best and his 10 double-doubles in his first 12 games are tied for second-most in the division. 

Other forwards considered: Phil Bledsoe, Glenville State; Ryan Hawkins, Northwest Missouri State; Josh Hawley, Tarleton; Mark Matthews, Nova Southeastern