Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

Happy New Year, DII men’s basketball fans. Before the heart of conference play goes any further, let’s look back on 2021.

We welcome back the DII men’s basketball all-stats team, 2021 style. If you are new to our all-stats teams, we pick a starting five based purely on the statistical leaders as of Jan. 1, 2022. This dream team will be updated throughout 2022, as we try to best fill each spot in the rotation with those that are performing the best… again, statistically speaking.

RANKINGS: Lubbock Christian tops the last Power 10 of 2021

The DII men’s basketball first-half all-stats squad

(Note: All stats through Jan. 2, 2022, per NCAA.org)

Guard: Trevor Hudgins, Northwest Missouri State

Northwest Missouri State Athletics
Trevor Hudgins leads Northwest Missouri State basketball in scoring.

Per usual, the Bearcats are rolling and per usual, Trevor Hudgins is at the forefront. Hudgins continues to do all the intangibles well, controlling the Bearcats’ tempo, but this year he is showing he can dominate in scoring as well. He’s averaging a career-high 25.1 points per game, which is third highest in DII, while hitting a DII-best 5.38 3-pointers per game. Hudgins has two games this season in which he’s sunk 11 3s. It’s amazing to think he may be playing the best ball of his already highly decorated career.

2021 RECAP: Northwest Missouri State repeats as DII champions

Also considered: Nick Smith, Nova Southeastern: Smith is leading the charge for the No. 1 scoring team in DII. He is also top five in DII in assists (third at 7.9 per game), steals (second at 3.8 per game) and assist-turnover ratio (fifth at 4.1). He may not be leading in any one category but is showing how important he is to the Sharks’ style of play.

Guard: Tray Buchanan, Emporia State

Emporia State Athletics
Tray Buchanan is leading DII men's basketball in scoring.

The Hornets were 11-12 last season, but the addition of Buchanan has translated to a 10-3 start with three months to go. The South Dakota State transfer is leading DII in scoring, dropping 27.0 points per game. He’s broken the 20-point barrier in all but one game while shooting an impressive 51% from the floor and 44% from 3. He’s been a welcomed addition and has made the already deep MIAA tougher than before.

Also considered: Brandon Knapper, Cal State San Bernardino: Knapper is the key cog in the impressive 10-1 start for the Coyotes. He’s the fourth-leading scoring guard in DII and leads his conference, which is stacked by the way, in 3-pointers made per game.

HISTORY: Every DII men’s basketball champion

Forward: Joel Scott, Black Hills State

Black Hills State Athletics
Joel Scott is averaging a double-double for Black Hills State basketball.

What a start to the season for Scott. He already has a 50-point game on his resume and is the second-best scoring forward in the division. He edges out Sekou Sylla because Scott is shooting better (64% from the floor) and has more rebounds (11.2 per game) and double doubles (nine) on the season. Plus, his Yellow Jackets are off to a 7-0 start in the RMAC… because we all saw that coming.

Also considered: Sekou Sylla, Nova Southeastern: Sylla was a long-time regular of the all-stats teams at Saint Rose and is now getting the national attention he deserves on one of the best teams in DII right now. He’s averaging 24.3 points per game on 62.8% shooting while ripping down 10.2 rebounds per game.

Forward: Mekhii Noble, Florida Tech

Florida Tech Athletics
Mekhii Noble is averaging a double-double for Florida Tech basketball.

We highlighted Noble in the previous Power 10 rankings as our player to watch, but he is simply too good to ignore here as well. The Panthers big man is third in DII in rebounding (by 0.01 rebounds per game) and second in double-doubles while shooting an impressive 61% from the floor. He’s a large (literally) reason Florida Tech is out to a 9-3 start.

Also considered: Laolu Oke, MSU Denver: This honestly could have gone either way between Oke and Noble. Oke is second in DII in rebounding and third in double-doubles while also shooting 61% from the field. The Roadrunners’ big man is playing the best hoops of his career.

TOURNEY TIME: Everything you need to know about the DII men’s basketball tournament

Big: Andrew Sischo, Daemen

Daemen Athletics
Andrew Sischo is the premier big man in DII men's basketball.

You are probably asking why we are using the term “big” instead of center. The simple reason is many teams in the division roll with different types of rotations and don’t use their big in the traditional center style. Now, we explain all that to hand the first spot of the new year to the best natural center in DII three years running: Andrew Sischo.

Sischo led DII in double-doubles the previous two seasons, while finishing second in rebounds in both 2020 and 2021. This season, he is once again tops in double-doubles, with averages of 22.3 and 13.8 per game, the latter leading all of DII. Aside from Trevor Hudgins, you’d be hard-pressed to find a steadier force in the entire division over the past three seasons.

Also considered: Jaylen Shaw, Clayton State: We’re going to keep our focus on the center this time around, as Shaw is putting up impressive numbers thus far. He’s posting averages of 16 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting 66% from the floor, all numbers among the best of DII centers in 2021.

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