Each week this season we will take a look at the top players from a conference, and this week we turn our attention to the Heartland Conference from D2 men's basketball. There were a few factors that went into making this list, but high scoring and all-around stats helped each guy make the cut.
Leave a comment below if you feel a different player should be on this list!
5. Alex Cooper, G, Arkansas Fort Smith
Last season Alex Cooper was an Honorable Mention for the All-Conference Team, and he seems to be on his way to removing the "Honorable Mention" qualifier this time around. He is currently averaging 13.4 points, 6.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game. These are the stats you want to see out of your go-to guard, and if he improves his scoring by a slight amount he could be a lock-in for First Team All Conference honors.
4. Donald Moore, G, Rogers State
After averaging 9.9 points last season, Donald Moore has made a huge jump heading into his senior season, where he has averaged 17.7 points. In addition, he's averaging 4.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals per game with a field goal percentage of 51% – fairly high when you consider that he's a guard. After transferring from D1 East Illinois and beginning his Rogers State career as a junior, it's clear Moore has now found his basketball home.
3. Gary Akbar, G/F, Texas-Permian Basin
In 30 minutes per game, Gary Akbar is currently averaging 17 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2 steals. His field goal percentage is at an amazing 61%, and he's shown great decision making on the court as far as where to take his shots. If he can improve his free throw percentage (which currently sits at 63%), Akbar can be a great all-around player capable of playing guard and forward.
2. Antonio Manns Jr, Oklahoma Panhandle
One of the most interesting aspects of Antonio Manns Jr.'s game is that he takes a lot of charges, last season he drew 41. He said, "it's really reading the defense and being in help side and I've always taken charges because I know how to sell them. I also know I'm not a shot blocker."
He may not block shots, but by drawing charges, averaging 22.6 points and grabbing 5 rebounds per game, he's helping out his team on a nightly basis. To finish out the season Manns hopes to improve his three-point shot and be more aggressive on the rebounding side.
1. John Moon, Oklahoma Christian
Averaging a near double-double with 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, John Moon has clearly earned the #1 spot on the list. He's also averaging 2.4 blocks per game and showing up on the defensive side. During the offseason, Moon said that he worked on, "finishing in different ways with my left hand and adding more post moves and getting better at the ones I already know. I've noticed that my confidence has really started to grow from the trust of my teammates, guidance from my coaches, and experience." So far his confidence in his level of play has paid off, let's hope that his ritualistic wearing of two socks per night can help him continue to excel.