The Starting Five series is a series that will put the spotlight on the players of the NAIA who are in action today. This series will be in replace of the old Five Players to Watch series that was part of our Schedule and Links Articles. Each Starting Five segment will consist of a captain and four players. The captain spot is simply a way of giving extra focus to a player by giving them a little bit of a deeper dive into their season. While there are always more than five players to watch every day, this article is more so to just highlight the great talent around the NAIA more than it is to say these are the five best players playing on that day.
#25 Matt Simpson 6’0 Senior, Florida College
2019-20 NAIA All-American. Matt may be one of the more underrated players in the NAIA, but today he garners our first Starting Five Captain spot. For those who don’t know, Matt is a bucket getter. He currently sits 9th in the NAIA in scoring at 23.1ppg. He is shooting at a 56% clip from the field and 53.4% from 3 while being 7th in the NAIA in 3 pointers made per game at 3.9. His 52.4% from 3 puts him 5th in the country in 3FG% compared to players who make 2+ 3’s per game. His play has Florida College RV in the NAIA Coaches Poll for the 1st time in program history.
Rest of Today’s Starting Five
#23 Zach Wrightsil 6’7 Senior, Loyola (LA)
Coming off of a MVP performance of the Battle at the Beach in which he went for 24pts and 21rebs in the Title game. He was named the SSAC Player of the Week last week!
#24 Tamon Scruggs 6’4 Senior, WVU Tech
Toughness, grit, talent. That is what Scruggs brings to the table each and every night. Scruggs brings it at both ends of the floor and has take over the game type talent as we have seen on display. Hard nosed kid who knows how to win ball games.
#23 Dan Largey 6’5 Senior, Indiana Wesleyan
Largey is averaging 21.3ppg while shooting 51.8% from 3 and has four games of 20+ this season including putting up 30pts on Indiana Tech and 32 on Olivet Nazarene. He has been able to fill the scoring void left by 2x NAIA POY, Kyle Mangas, quite well.
#2 Donnie Miller 6’3 Sophomore, Midway
Donnie is a player you may not hear much about, but he is having a quietly good season at Midway as his 22.5ppg sits him 12th Nationally in points per game. The Sophomore has two 30pt performances in his first 8 games this season and has only been held below 20, twice. He put up 22 on #16 Georgetown earlier in the season and has a real knack for scoring the rock!