The DII men’s basketball season is entering February and that means we are roughly one month away from the NCAA DII tournament. Let’s look at some of the top performers in 2022 in this month’s DII men’s basketball all-stats team.
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The “all-stats starting five” is a dream lineup based purely on stats. This team consists of categorial leaders in scoring, ball-handling, rebounding and shooting. An important note to remember is that the all-stats team looks for leaders at their respective position, so while someone may not necessarily be the leading scorer in DII, they may be the best at their position.
This month’s starting five consists of the top scorer in the land, a guard in complete control of one of DII’s last remaining undefeated teams and a double-double machine. All stats are from games played through Sunday, Jan. 30 per NCAA.org.
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The January all-stats starting five
Guard: Nick Smith, Nova Southeastern
The Sharks are a perfect 18-0 behind DII men’s basketball’s second-leading scoring offense, dropping nearly 98 points per game. Smith is leading that high-octane attack, No. 1 in DII in both assists (7.8 per game) and steals (3.8 per game). Nova Southeastern’s offense is fueled by the top turnover margin in DII and Smith running the floor is a large reason why.
Also considered: Trevor Hudgins, Northwest Missouri State — The Bearcats are looking like strong contenders for their third-straight championship. Hudgins is DII’s third-leading scorer and recently became Northwest Missouri’s all-time leading scorer while setting the MIAA record for most 3-pointers in a career.
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Guard: Tray Buchanan, Emporia State
Buchanan is back for a second-straight all-stats team. That’s because he’s been the DII men’s basketball leading scorer for nearly the entire season. He’s averaging 27.5 points per game while shooting an impressive 50.2 percent from the field. He’s scored fewer than 21 points just twice in his 19 games played this season and has broken the 30-point barrier in four of his seven January games. Buchanan is showing no signs of slowing down this season.
Also considered: John Williams Jr., Glenville State — Williams closed out 2020-21 on a tear, scoring 52, 33, 31, 32 and 31 in his last five games. That momentum carried over and he is putting up 23.9 points per game this year. He is also very aggressive on the boards, leading all DII guards with 10 double-doubles.
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Forward: Joel Scott, Black Hills State
Scott is another returner from last month’s team. He now posts nightly averages of 23.5 points and 11.1 rebounds. He leads all DII forwards in scoring and is tied for second overall in double-doubles. Scott is highly accurate as well, shooting 61.2 percent from the floor, adding in many explosive dunks nightly. Black Hills State remains in the postseason hunt at 14-4 thanks to his superb play.
Also considered: Laolu Oke, MSU Denver — Oke has been a steady force since Day 1 of the season. He’s currently posting nightly averages of 14.6 points and 11.5 rebounds with 12 double-doubles and an impressive 63.5 percent field-goal percentage.
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Forward: Antonin Kemkeng, Jefferson
Kemkeng makes his all-stats debut thanks to becoming one of the more prolific rebounders in the division. The versatile big can play both the 4 and 5 in the rotation and has been on fire off the glass: Kemkeng has 14-straight games with at least 11 rebounds. He’s now averaging 12.5 boards a night, which is second to Andrew Sischo in the division, with 10 double-doubles in that same 14-game span.
Also considered: Jordan Simpson, Albany State (GA) — Despite Albany State having a sub-.500 record, Simpson has performed very well. He is currently tied for second in DII with 12 double-doubles, averaging 15.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per night. He is also efficient in his efforts, shooting 62.8 percent from the field.
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Center: Andrew Sischo, Daemen
Sischo might as well be captain of the all-stats team because he hasn’t missed an appearance in nearly three seasons. The Wildcats’ big man is as consistent as they come: He’s scoring 22.5 points a night, while leading DII with 13.4 rebounds per game and an astounding 17 double-doubles in 20 games. More importantly, Daemen is back on track, winners of nine in a row and making another push for a postseason run.
Also considered: Tyshaun Crawford, Augusta — The Jaguars big man is simply a “Steady Eddie” across the board. He averages 15.4 points per game on 60.4 percent shooting, both among the leaders at his position, while chipping in 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Augusta is likely tournament bound, and Crawford’s presence in the paint is one reason why.