Our hope, with this article, is to simply point out a few teams each week who are on the rise! Most of our “Stock Risers” will be teams who are outside the Top 25. We will also put a focus on a player or two each week who may not be a household name quite yet, but who is a player, in our opinion, who people need to start to know!
Rocky Mountain (MT)
Rocky sits at 2-1, but have wins over Jamestown and OUAZ who both are RV in the preseason poll. The Bears also had No. 3 Arizona Christian down five late in the game, on the road. Kael Robinson, who was just named the Frontier Conference Player of the Week, is a 6’7 guard who is currently averaging 25.3ppg and 8rpg. Maxim Stephens (6’9 F) gives them size on the interior and Jesse Owens and AJ Wilson have been proven scorers already this season as well. This is a talented and well coached team who has really looked good thru their first three games this season!
The Lakers, unfortunately, are in their last season as an NAIA program, but they have decided to make a little noise on the way out! Roosevelt is now 3-0 on the season and are coming off nice wins vs Lawrence Tech and @ Madonna. They currently have a win margin of 23.3ppg. Dee Brown has brought in a ton of transfers to get ready for NCAA D2 play and this is a very talented group who can compete for a CCAC title this season. However, it’s returning Sophomore, Julio Montes II, who has been phenomenal through the first three games including a 38pt outburst against Lawrence Tech. He currently sits tied for 2nd in made 3’s with 15 and is shooting it at a 57% clip. As a team, Roosevelt is 8th in the NAIA in 3FG%!
Briar Cliff (IA)
Briar Cliff is 4-0 on the young season. The Chargers have wins over Dakota State, Mount Mercy, Bethany (KS) and No. 16 Kansas Wesleyan. They have four straight games with having a 30pt scorer, with three different players hitting the 30pt mark. Matthew Stillwell leads Briar Cliff with 25.0ppg and currently sits in second place in the NAIA in Total points with 100. Blake Sindelar (19.3ppg) and Jamison Helmers (15.5ppg) are the other two players who have a 30pt performance already this season. Throw in 1k career scorer, Quinn Vesey and this is a Charger group who is ready to make a move in the GPAC and certainly, a team who is making some early noise in non-conf. play and who we could see crack the Top 25 very soon!
fRESHMAN to be BULLISH ON
We have had quite a few Freshmen who are seeing some early season success and seeing their stock rising! Our players segment won’t always be Freshman, but here are a few who have caught our eye in the first two weeks:
#21 Jayden Cooper (Faulkner)
Has started off his career with a 25pg game against Fisk, a 15pt game against No. 11 St Thomas and then a 37pt showing against RV Southeastern, on the road, in a tough place to play! The Freshman has burst onto the scene and showed no signs of youth. He is tied for 2nd in the NAIA in 3-pointers made with 15 and is shooting at a 48% clip from deep. Jayden is also averaging 5.3rpg, 2apg and 2spg.
#44 Parker Jewell (Oklahoma City)
The 6’8 Freshman out of Australia put up 13pts and 7rebs against No. 15 The Master’s (CA) in his debut. He wasn’t able to do much against Florida College the next night, but did put up 11pts against Northern New Mexico and is averaging 8.7ppg and 5.3rpg thru 3 games. Like most Freshman, he may be a bit inconsistent from time to time, but what we saw in the opener, against the reigning GSAC Player of the Year, Kaleb Lowery and company, Parker is one to keep an eye on in the SAC!
#30 Gage Sefton (Grace)
Gage has a TON of talent around him, so he may not always put-up big numbers this season. However, I think we have already seen early on, how good Gage is going to be moving forward! He is averaging 8.8ppg including putting up 17pts on Bushnell and 16 on Kentucky Christian in his debut.