D2 Men's Update - Great 8 who were not in the Tourney
The Division II men’s basketball national tournament is wrapping up in Evansville, Ind. to decide the National Championship. There were 64 teams in the field with countless exciting players on display. Many more teams and players were left out of the national stage without a chance to showcase their skills, so here is a look at eight players that did not make the national tournament, but deserve the recognition.
Tray Buchanan - Emporia State - Guard - Graduate Student
Buchanan led the country in scoring this season at 25.6 points per game. He opened the season with 31 points against Southwestern Oklahoma and never had a game in single-digits and only six under 20 points. He reached such great scoring heights with 40.8% shooting from downtown and made 7.8 free throws a game. The graduate student started every game for the Hornets and averaged 20 points in ESU’s two wins over Northwest Missouri State, last year’s champion and a team in the Elite 8. If given a chance, Buchanan and the Hornets could have made a run in the tournament off of Buchanan’s scoring prowess alone.
Andrew Sischo - Daemen - Center - Graduate Student
The four-time Daemen male athlete of the year paced D-II with 24 double-doubles in 29 games. The Wildcats had a 20-9 record just like Buchanan and the Hornets. The 6-foot-9 center averaged 22.9 points and 13 rebounds a game over the season. His 22.9 points were sixth-best in the country and his 13 rebounds a game lead D-II. He also blocked 185 shots on the year which was a top-10 mark in the East Coast Conference.
He scored over 30 points six times on the year and did so with 59.9% shooting from the field.
The Guilderland, N.Y. native has averaged over 20 points the last four seasons and averaged a double-double for his career.
Devante Brooks - Southern Arkansas - Forward - Senior
Brooks tallied 20 double-doubles on the year and was a force for the 18-12 Muleriders.
He is the single-game rebound record holder in the Great American Conference after grabbing 23 boards last season. He never reached that mark in 2021-22, but hauled in 19 rebounds on three separate occasions. His 759 rebounds are second all-time in Mulerider history.
He also made 116 free throws on the season helping him average 17.6 points per game.
John Williams JR. - Glenville State - Guard - Senior
The T.W. Josey product was second in the nation with 24.4 points per game in 2021-22.He shot 44.6% from the floor and made 30.1% of his 3-pointers. Williams was a big reason why the Pioneers led the country with 3s attempted and he made 66 deep balls on the year. He scored a season-high 36 points in the regular season finale to help get Glenville into the postseason tournament.
Max Jones - Tampa - Guard - Sophomore
As the youngest guy on this list, Jones proved he has big things planned for his upper-class seasons. He was 11th in the country with 21.9 points scored per game. He shot well from all parts of the floor and had the second-best free-throw percentage in the Sunshine State Conference at 85.3% He started all 21 games he played in and hung 30-plus points on opponents four times. He scored a career-high 38 points against No. 17-ranked Barry.
Fonz Hale - Salem (W. Va.) - Guard - Senior
Hale came in just behind Jones with 21.7 points per game for Salem. He scored a season-high 39 against Central State (Ohio) during a stretch of eight games, averaging over 25 points. The four-year starter has added over nine points per game to his scoring average since his freshman campaign. He led his conference in six categories including total points (565) and free throw percentage (84.5).
Tariq McKenith - Bloomfield - Guard - Senior
McKenith was second in the nation with a 4.44 assist/TO ratio making him one of the best creators in the country. He dished out 90 assists on the year while only turning the ball over 18 times. McKenith had five or more assists in six games this season and had seven and six assists in back-to-back games midway through January. The 5-10 guard started each game he played in for Bloomfield and also swiped 40 steals on the season.
Alek West - Ohio Dominican - Guard - Junior
West was one of three players to record multiple triple-doubles on the season. The other two — Armoni Foster and Chase Rankin — were on NCAA Tournament teams. His first triple-double came against Hillsdale with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. His second came against Salem (W. Va.) with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. He could have had four triple-doubles after putting up double-digit assists in four games. West averaged 16 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in his third season and will be a player to watch as a senior in 2022-23.
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