There is about one month left of DII basketball before the tournaments of March commence. That means there has been a lot of points scored, a lot of rebounds ripped down and a lot of assists dished out.
RELATED: The January All-Stat Staring Five
Each month, we here at NCAA.com will take a look at the top student-athletes across the different statistics of DII basketball. Here’s a position-by-position look at some of DII’s standout players as the calendar turns to February.
David Dennis, Guard, Nova Southeastern
The point guard category is stacked, with three standout performers earning praise this month. David Dennis shined just a little brighter than the rest.
The junior guard transfered in from West Liberty’s high-scoring offense and kept it rolling with Nova Southeastern. He leads the team with 20.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. The assists land him in the Top 10 in DII, but his steals (4.0 per game) are second to none. He led the Sharks to their best start in program history and has already aided in an eight-win improvement from last year with six regular season games remaining.
Honorable mentions: Juvaris Hayes can’t be overlooked. The sophomore guard continues to rack up stats across the board, leading DII is assists with 8.2 per game for Merrimack. Hayes also leads the Warriors in scoring, rebounding and steals, with per game averages of 18.4, 6.5 and 3.82. Don’t sleep on Kutztown’s Ethan Ridgeway either. The Golden Bears guard is second to Hayes in assists with 8.1 per game, while chipping in 18.0 points per night for 15-5 Kutztown.
Charles Eaton, Guard, West Alabama
Tommy Bolte still leads DII in scoring, but Charles Eaton has been inching closer all season. Eaton is scoring 27.5 points on the year after a big January (27.4 points per game on the month) got him within striking distance of the lead. He’s broke the 30-point mark nine times this season, and scored less than 20 just three times, two of which were 18-point performances. Eaton can be a menace on the boards as well, averaging 5.3 per game on the season.
Honorable mentions: There’s something to be said for Texas-Permian Basin’s Sammy Allen. Allen is currently fourth on his team in scoring, averaging 10.3 a night, but that’s not Allen’s game. The 6-foot-2, hard-nosed Allen is leading all guards in rebounds, pulling down 11.4 per game, good for eighth overall in DII. He also leads the Falcons in assists at 4.2 per game.
Haywood Highsmith, Forward, Wheeling Jesuit
Highsmith has been a stat leader since he stepped on the court this season. Wheeling Jesuit’s big senior forward leads DII with 12.7 rebounds per night. He’s scoring 23.0 points per game on the season — 12th in DII — but he has been scorching hot of late, averaging 30.8 points over his last four games.
Highsmith is also tied for the lead in double-doubles across all three divisions with 20. Most remarkably, he’s done that in 21 games. He’s double-doubled seven games in a row after seeing his 13-game streak broken in a 20 point, six rebound outing on January 13. Highsmith isn’t a two-trick pony either. He’s shooting well over 50 percent from the floor while adding 1.7 steals per game, as well as 1.7 blocks per game which leads the Mountain East Conference.
Kendarius Ash, Forward, Lane
Ash has long been a double-double machine, and the junior is back at it again in 2018. In fact, Ash has reeled off seven straight double-doubles, highlighted by a 27-point, 27-rebound performance to kick off February.
Ash is leading the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in rebounds with 12.5 per game, second in DII to Highsmith. His 14 double-doubles are tied for fourth in DII, but as already mentioned, he is streaking. He’s known for his defense, picking up SIAC Defensive Player of the Year honors last year, but don’t rule him out on offense. He adds 16.2 points per game, while ripping down 4.58 offensive boards a night, second-best in DII.
Honorable mentions: Kyle Monroe from Michigan Tech finds himself fourth in DII in scoring, averaging 25.4 points per game. Justin Reyes of St. Thomas Aquinas has been a beast his entire career. He recently went over the 2,000-point mark and became the East Coast Conference’s all-time leading scorer, averaging 23.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game this season. Dustin Sleva from Shippensburg has long been one of the premier forwards in DII, and he’s on another hot streak with four double-doubles in a row.
Nolan Berry, Center, Maryville
The Saints redshirt-senior is having a monster season. He’s second amongst all centers, scoring 18.1 points per game, hitting 62 percent of his field goals. He leads all centers in rebounds per game (10.5 per game). He saw a recent four-game, double-double streak come to an end, but has posted 14 this season.
Honorable mention: Malik Toppin returns to the All-Stats team after earning top spot in January. Salem (WV)’s big-man leads all centers in scoring, throwing down 21.3 points per game. Zach Hankins is having a big year for 23-1 Ferris State, leading all centers in blocks with 3.46 per game.