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Zach Pekale | | December 9, 2020

DII men's basketball: Ryan Hawkins, Masen Miller lead this week's starting 5

Northwest Missouri State Athletics Northwest Missouri forward Ryan Hawkins. Ryan Hawkins averaged 29.5 points per game last week for Northwest Missouri.

Following another week of DII men's basketball, it's time to announce our next starting five for games through Dec. 7. Let's run it back with the latest group of top-notch performances from around the Division.

In case you're not familiar, this is our bi-weekly team of the week, crafted to highlight some of the top individual performances throughout DII. Teams are chosen using statistics as well as milestones and moments from throughout the week. 

Note: All games played from Tuesday, Dec. 1, through Monday, Dec. 7, were taken into account.

Masen Miller — Truman State, guard

Miller may not have been on your preseason radar considering some of the returning talent in the GLVC. Not only should he be on your radar now, but also the scouting reports of every team in the conference. Miller erupted for 25 points in Truman State's 81-69 win over then-No. 9 Missouri-St. Louis. It was the freshman's third career game and he put the entire Division on notice after shooting 9-of-14 from the field and burying seven triples in the upset.

Caleb Williams — Northeastern State, guard

Williams didn't break 21 points during his first DII season at East Central (OK). In his second game at Northeastern State, he smashed that career-high with a 36-point offensive masterpiece as the RiverHawks downed then-No. 21 Missouri Southern 90-89. The senior poured in 24 points by the end of the first half and added another dozen over the final 20 minutes. Williams finished 10-of-20 from the floor with seven made 3's and nine free throws on 11 attempts.

MORE: 9 things you may have missed in DII basketball last week

Will Eames — Missouri Western, forward

Eames had a tough time finding the bottom of the net in the Griffons' season-opener. Fortunately for first-year coach Will Martin, the reigning MIAA Freshman of the Year didn't take long to rediscover his shooting touch. Eames averaged 20.5 points and nine rebounds over the past week as Missouri Western improved to 3-0 this season with wins against Lincoln (MO) and Central Missouri. The sophomore forward shot just below 50 percent from the field and made seven 3's over the course of the week. He also had his first double-double of the year with 25 points and 11 rebounds against Lincoln.

Ryan Hawkins — Northwest Missouri, forward

Like Eames, Hawkins also had a slow start to his 2020-21 season before breaking out. The senior was held to 12 points in the Bearcats' opener. Last week, he averaged 29.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while Northwest Missouri moved to 3-0. Hawkins lit up opposing defenses, shooting 56 percent from the floor and knocked down the long ball at 50 percent clip on 20 attempts. Hawkins' already owns the NWMSU single-game scoring record with 44 points. If he keeps this up, it's not out of the question that he breaks his own record.

MORE: Here is your first DII men's basketball all-stats team of the season

Chris Metzger — Flagler, forward

Flagler pulled off its first-ever win against a DI opponent when it beat Central Michigan on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Metzger led the way with a career-high 26 points on an efficient 13-of-15 shooting performance. The Chippewas had no answer for Metzger, who also pulled down seven rebounds in 29 minutes. You could make a case for a number of Saints' players here after a historic win, but Metzger gets the nod following a career night.