March is always right around the corner once the basketball season is under way. Take a look at area players (Lake Country/Now Newspapers coverage area) competing at the NCAA Division 1 level. Missing anyone? Email email@example.com
Joe Sherburne, soph., Maryland-Baltimore County (Whitefish Bay). He officially leads the nation in 3-point percentage with qualified metrics, shooting 55.1 percent from distance. The 6-6 sophomore, a member of the America East All-Rookie Team last year, is second on the team at 14.1 points per game and has made 43 of 78 takes from beyond the arc. At 11-4 overall and 2-0 in conference, UMBC is a team to keep an eye on as we move toward March, even though it was picked to finish sixth in the league’s preseason poll.
Riley LaChance, jr., Vanderbilt (Brookfield Central). It should be noted that LaChance actually shoots better from 3-point range but doesn’t have enough makes to qualify for the NCAA leaderboard. He’s made 32 of 55 for 58 percent and has started all 15 games for the Commodores, but a 3-point loss to Alabama on Jan. 7 interrupted the team’s 2-0 start in SEC play.
Paul Miller, jr., North Dakota State (Kettle Moraine). After getting shut out of the scoring column in 21 minutes against North Dakota on Dec. 7, Miller has hit double figures in six straight games and leads the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game. The Bison are 3-0 in Summit League play heading into a big clash Jan. 11 against South Dakota, which stands at 3-1 while NDSU is the only undefeated team left in league play. Miller is shooting 44 percent from the field and has hit 19 of 39 (49 percent) in league play. He had a double-double (21 and 10) in a win over reigning league champion South Dakota State on Dec. 28, a game in which NDSU trailed by 16 with 15 minutes left to play. For his role, Miller was named Summit League Player of the Week. He had eight rebounds, 16 points and four assists in the second half alone against SDSU.
Zak Showalter, sr., Wisconsin (Germantown). After a career-high 18 points against Rutgers, Showalter added another 14 in a big win over Indiana on the road Jan. 3, including a crucial 3-pointer in a late-game run that put a close game away. He averages 8.4 points per game for the Badgers, who fell to 13-3 with a loss to Purdue on Jan. 8 but still find themselves ranked in the nation.
Darrell Bowie, sr., Iowa State (Wauwatosa East). Bowie has started the last five games for the Cyclones, during which ISU has gone 4-1, with the lone loss an impressive 65-63 near-miss on the road against Baylor, which was ranked No 1 at the time but is now the No. 1 team in the country. Bowie played 26 minutes in that game, with 5 points and five rebounds, and he’s one of three Wisconsin players in the starting lineup (Deonte Burton of Milwaukee, Matt Thomas of Onalaska). Bowie averages 7.9 points and 5.9 boards per contest.
Tray Palmer, sr., Chicago State (Brown Deer).After scoring 19 against New Mexico State on Jan. 7, Palmer’s streak of games in double figures has reached 12, and he’s had double-figure rebounds each of the last three games (and eight double-doubles overall this season). However, Chicago State is 4-14 overall and 0-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Jaylen Key, soph., Northern Illinois (Homestead). With 16 points and 6 of 12 shooting, Key helped the Huskies take down Central Michigan on Jan. 7, 87-83, moving to 9-6 overall and 1-1 in MAC play. Key has started every game this season and averages 8.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest.
Reed Timmer, jr., Drake (New Berlin Eisenhower). A season-best 28 points on Jan. 8 helped Drake take down Evansville and move to 2-2 in Missouri Valley Conference play. That matches the number of league wins Drake had last year, when it went 2-16. Timmer’s 16.6 points per game easily lead the team.
Mehryn Kraker, sr., UW-Green Bay (West Allis Central). At 13-2 and 4-0, UW-Green Bay is once again the cream of the crop in the Horizon League, and Kraker is putting up numbers that could merit a league Player of the Year honor. She leads the team with 18.8 points per game, with a 58 percent field-goal percentage and an 86-percent mark at the free throw line. She also leads the team with 26 steals and is second in assists.
Steph Kostowicz, jr., UW-Milwaukee (Oak Creek). Averaging 17.7 points per game and 8.9 rebounds, Kostowicz continues to lead the way for a Panthers team that is 11-4 overall and 3-1 in Horizon League play. The Panthers have won three straight after a blip in the league opener against Wright State, a 69-51 loss.
Allazia Blockton, soph., Marquette (Dominican). At 17.3 points per game, she leads a Marquette team that is 12-4 and 3-2 in conference, and she's led the team in scoring four of the last five times out. She's been named to the Big East Honor Roll twice so far this season.
Katie Salmon, jr., Loyola of Chicago (Wauwatosa East). She leads her team at 9.3 points per game, but the Ramblers have struggled to 2-13 overall this year. She’s also tops on the team with 6.6 rebounds.
Taylor Gradinjan, jr., Florida Gulf Coast (Cudahy) and Jessica Cattani, jr., Florida Gulf Coast (Muskego). Florida Gulf Coast sits at 12-6 overall and 1-0 in league play. Gradinjan is second on the team at 9.2 points per game, and she leads the squad with 30 steals, not to mention 3.5 rebounds per game. Cattani is fourth on the team at 7.8 points per contest.
Renee Bennett, sr., Ball State (Muskego). Bennett recorded her fourth double-double of the year Jan. 7 against Western Michigan and now averages 15.9 points and 8.0 boards per game, part of a massive breakout season that has helped Ball State start the year 10-5 and 3-0 in the MAC, tied with Northern Illinois for best record in the league. Ball State has a battle looming Jan. 11 against preseason division favorite Central Michigan.
Kelly Smith, jr., Northern Illinois (Arrowhead). Northern Illinois is 3-0 in MAC play and has won four straight overall, with Smith in the starting lineup and averaging 11.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. The Huskies are 10-4 overall. Northern Illinois was picked to finish fifth in the MAC West preseason poll, and Ball State was picked to finish tied for second.
Lydia Rohde, jr., Northwestern (Brookfield Central). Rohde has started every game for the Wildcats (13-4), scoring 6.0 points per game and shooting 45 percent from the field.
Chelsea Brackmann, fr., Bradley (New Berlin Eisenhower). Brackmann set a number of career highs against Indiana State on Jan. 6, including points (23) and rebounds (19), but Bradley lost the contest and now sits at 5-9 overall and 1-2 in the Missouri Valley. Brackmann averages 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest, with back-to-back double-digit efforts in the latter category.
Taylor Higginbotham, soph., Western Illinois (Germantown). She exploded for a career-high 28 points against Denver on Jan. 5 and followed that up with a 20-point performance against Oral Roberts in a game where she played a season-high 38 minutes. At 14.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, she’s become a key part of the Leathernecks lineup, third on the team in scoring, second in assists and second in rebounds.
Mackenzie Latt, jr., Davidson (Sussex Hamilton). She leads the team with 15.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, but Davidson has struggled to 2-13 thus far.
Riley LaChance, jr., Vanderbilt (Brookfield Central). He's made 24 of 36 shots from 3-point range, a crazy percentage of .667 that would rank No. 1 in the country, but he's just shy of the standard of minimum 2.5 makes per game (Vandy has played 11 games). LaChance was officially the leader in 3-point percentage in the nation two weeks ago, and he could return to that standing depending on how many made threes he compiles. Vandy is 6-5 overall.
Joe Sherburne, soph., Maryland-Baltimore County (Whitefish Bay). Meanwhile, Sherburne is on the list of the nation's best 3-point shooters, ranking fifth. He's made 32 of 59 for 54.2 percent. He recently played 45 minutes in a 120-111 double-overtime marathon win over Citadel, scoring 18 points, snapping a two-game losing streak for the 8-3 Retrievers. At 14.9 points per game, he is second on the team in scoring.
Darrell Bowie, sr., Iowa State (Wauwatosa East). Iowa State is 8-3, and Bowie is fifth on the team in scoring at just more than 8 points per game, but he has also started his first two games of the year in the past two outings.
Tray Palmer, sr., Chicago State (Brown Deer). After seven straight games reaching double figures, Palmer is up to 14.5 points per game, good for second on the team. The team is 4-9 overall.
Luke Fischer, sr, Marquette (Germantown). Fischer most recently scored 15 points in a win over SIU-Edwardsville, and he continues to lead the Golden Eagles in scoring at 13.5 points per game. Duane Wilson, jr., Marquette (Dominican) had 11 points in the most recent game off the bench.
Zak Showalter, sr., Wisconsin (Germantown). He scored a season-best 16 points in Wisconsin's most recent win, a victory over UW-Green Bay. The Badgers remain one of the favorites in the Big Ten as we head toward conference play.
Reed Timmer, jr., Drake (New Berlin Eisenhower). Drake has struggled at 2-10, but Timmer again leads the squad in scoring at 15.6 points.
Bryce Nze, fr., UW-Milwaukee (Arrowhead). The freshman scored 5.8 points per game and has worked his way into the starting lineup for the Panthers the past two contests.
Paul Miller, jr., North Dakota State (Kettle Moraine). Miller still leads the team in scoring (12.9 ppg) but his scoring load has fallen off in recent games for the Bison. Still, the team stands at 8-5 with league play kicking into gear on Dec. 28 in a big battle with South Dakota State.
Steph Kostowicz, jr., UW-Milwaukee (Oak Creek). The Horizon League Player of the Week for Dec. 5 continues to be a force at 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. We're talking about a bona fide league Player of the Year candidate, and the 8-3 Panthers will try to upset the apple cart and powerhouse Green Bay as league battles get under way.
Mehryn Kraker, sr., UW-Green Bay (West Allis Central). And Mehryn Kraker, herself scoring 17.2 points per game and leading her team in scoring, will try to ensure that doesn't happen. Kraker leads the 9-2 Phoenix in assists, as well, and she has scored at least 17 points in five straight games.
Renee Bennett, sr., Ball State (Muskego). Her 28 points against Lipscomb on Dec. 18 matched a career high that she had set just days earlier Dec. 11 against Oakland, and she now averages 17 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. She was named the MAC West Division Player of the Week on Dec. 13. She has reached double figures in 10 of 11 games this season. The Cardinals are 6-5.
Allazia Blockton, soph., Marquette (Dominican). She had 24 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Wisconsin and 13 points and seven assists in a win over UW-Milwaukee, and 9-2 Marquette has won three straight. Her 17.4 points per contest easily lead the team.
Mackenzie Latt, jr., Davidson (Sussex Hamilton). It's been a monster run of scoring success for Latt, with 28 points and 14 rebounds most recently against Charlotte on Dec. 21. She scored 25 and 19 in the previous two games, contests that marked Davidson's first two wins of the year. She was the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Dec. 20 before that huge game against Charlotte.
Jessica Cattani, jr., Florida Gulf Coast (Muskego) and Taylor Gradinjan, jr., Florida Gulf Coast (Cudahy). Florida Gulf Coast has won six of seven games, with the lone loss against a Big Ten program in Illinois, with Gradinjan scoring 9.0 points and Cattani is scoring 8.8 points per game. Gradinjan also has 26 steals.
Chelsea Brackmann, fr., Bradley (New Berlin Eisenhower). She still comes off the bench but is her team's third-leading scorer at 9.0 points per game.
Kelly Smith, jr., Northern Illinois (Arrowhead). After missing three weeks with injury, Smith is back and averaging close to 20 minutes per game, with a 10.5 ppg scoring average for the 7-4 Huskies.
Taylor Higginbotham, soph., Western Illinois (Germantown). Higginbotham has scored in double figures in five straight games and also averages 5.7 rebounds per contest, and the Leathernecks are 10-3 overall with wins in all five of those games. WIU's three losses have been to UW-Milwaukee, Marquette and Missouri.
Riley LaChance, jr., Vanderbilt (Brookfield Central). Has started all 9 games with a team-best 4.7 assists per contest and 10.6 points per game. Had 14 points and seven assists in a win over High Point on Dec. 6. More impressively, he's hit 23 of 32 shots form 3-point range (72 percent), a mark that leads the nation among qualified shooters.
Joe Sherburne, soph., Maryland-Baltimore County (Whitefish Bay). UMBC has won three straight games, and Sherburne has been a huge reason why. He hit all six of his 3-point shots and finished 9 of 12 overall in scoring 28 points Dec. 7 in a win over Mount St. Mary's, coming off a 14-point performance against Messiah and 16-point showing against Duquesne. He's second on the team in scoring and shooting 58 percent for a squad that has started the year 7-1.
Darrell Bowie, sr., Iowa State (Wauwatosa East). Bowie missed last season with injury at Northern Illinois and then transferred to Iowa State. He's averaging 20 minutes per game off the bench, averaging 8.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest.
Tray Palmer, sr., Chicago State (Brown Deer). He may have missed the final shot in regulation, but he still scored 16 points and helped Chicago State down Western Illinois in overtime on Dec. 3, 83-76. He also had a team-best seven rebounds in the win.
Luke Fischer, sr, Marquette (Germantown). His 13.9 points per game are second on the team, and his 6.2 rebounds are tops for a tea now 7-2. He scored 18 points in his team's 3-point win over Fresno State on Dec. 6.
T.J. Schlundt, soph., Wisconsin (Oconomowoc). In his lone minute of play against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 27, Schlundt scored 3 points.
Steph Kostowicz, jr., UW-Milwaukee (Oak Creek). She's scored in double figures in every game and is nearly averaging a double-double at 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds with her team at 7-1. She had 26-8 and four blocks in a 79-74 win over North Dakota State on Dec. 3.
Mehryn Kraker, sr., UW-Green Bay (West Allis Central). She posted 19 points and four assists in a win over Marquette on Dec. 6. The Phoenix are 7-1 and she's leading the way with 17.0 points per game along with a team-best 35 assists. There was some thought that Kraker was short changed a bit last season when she was named to just the second-team All Conference list for a second straight year, but she's going to make a Conference Player of the Year push at this rate (perhaps competing directly with Kostowicz for the award).
Katie Salmon, jr., Loyola of Chicago (Wauwatosa East). Her 8.9 points per game are second on the team and 4.9 rebounds are first, but the Ramblers are still looking for their first win this season.
Jessica Cattani, jr., Florida Gulf Coast (Muskego). Has enjoyed back-to-back strong games, with 15 points in a loss to Kent State and 16 points and four assists in a win over Ave Maria. FGCU is 3-5 thus far.
Chelsea Brackmann, fr., Bradley (New Berlin Eisenhower). Recorded a career-high 19 points Dec. 5 in a loss to Western Illinois. Hasn't started a game yet but is third on the team in scoring (9.1) and also brings in 4 rebounds per contest.
Renee Bennett, sr., Ball State (Muskego). Continuing to rack up big scoring performances, averaging 15 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for a team that's 5-3 thus far.
Kianna Keller, sr., New Mexico (Waukesha West). At 8.6 rebounds per game, she's fourth in the Mountain West -- and somehow third on her own team. New Mexico is 3-5 thus far.
Zak Showalter, sr., Wisconsin (Germantown). Has started all six games for Badgers, averaging 6.0 points, 2.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Luke Fischer, sr, Marquette (Germantown). Leading Marquette with 5.8 rebounds per game and also scored 12.4 per contest in the first five contests of the season.
Duane Wilson, jr., Marquette (Dominican). Comes of the bench to average 8.6 points per game for Marquette through the first five games.
Bryce Nze, fr., UW-Milwaukee (Arrowhead). After missing his senior season at Arrowhead with injury, averaging 7.0 points through the first three Panthers games this season.
Brady Ellingson, jr., Iowa (Sussex Hamilton). Has seen 14 minutes per game in four contests, coming off the bench but third on the team in scoring at 9.3 points per game. Has hit 12 of 17 shots (71 percent).
Riley LaChance, jr., Vanderbilt (Brookfield Central). Has started strong after a sophomore slump, scoring 9.5 points per game and handing out 3.3 assists as a regular starter for the Commodores.
Paul Miller, jr., North Dakota State (Kettle Moraine). Junior who led the Bison in scoring last season is back on top again with 15.3 points and 4.0 rebounds through the first six games of the season. He had a double-double in a win over High Point. NDSU was slotted third in the Summit League preseason poll.
Jaylen Key, soph., Northern Illinois (Homestead). After starting most of his freshman year, Key has been even better in the early going this year with 11.4 points per game (third on the team) and a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game.
Jarvis Garrett, jr., Rhode Island (West Allis Central). After overcoming a serious injury scare when he was transported off the court on a stretcher with a potential neck injury, Garrett was cleared to play one game later against Duke. The Rams lost that game to the No. 1 team in the country, 75-65, but have won the rest, including a game over nationally ranked Cincinnati. Garrett was one of the team's top scorers last year and has only racked up 5.4 points per game this season, but he starts every contest.
Reed Timmer, jr., Drake (New Berlin Eisenhower). Timmer was third in the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring last year, though the Bulldogs struggled all year. Through three games, his 17.7 points per game are again best on the team.
Juwan McCloud, fr., Northern Iowa (Germantown). Has started all four games thus far as a true freshman for the Panthers, helping facilitate with 2.3 assists per game. Averages 3 points and two rebounds per contest.
Tray Palmer, sr., Chicago State (Brown Deer). Averages 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while starting every game for the Cougars. Against East-West on Nov. 22, he had a huge day with a career-best 34 points and a season-best 15 rebounds, shooting 16 for 20 and also handing out three assists.
Joe Sherburne, soph., Maryland-Baltimore County (Whitefish Bay). Recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds in a Nov. 19 win over Kennesaw State, starting and averaging 10.4 points per game for the 4-1 Retrievers.
Garrison Goode, soph., UC-Davis (Dominican). Has started all four games in which he's appeared.
Steph Kostowicz, jr., UW-Milwaukee (Oak Creek). The driving force for the Panthers has been a monster thus far, with three double-doubles in four games and averages of 19.8 points and 10.0 rebounds (she had 17 points and nine boards in the fourth game). She had 30 points in an overtime loss to Northern Illinois and is purely one of the best players in the Horizon League.
Allazia Blockton, soph., Marquette (Dominican). The Big East Freshman of the Year last year isn't slowing down, having scored 19.5 points per game with 6 rebounds through the Golden Eagles' first four games, all victories. She will be the focal point as the team aims to reach the NCAA Tournament this season.
Mehryn Kraker, sr., UW-Green Bay (West Allis Central). After playing a huge role in getting the Phoenix back to the NCAA Tournament yet again in 2015-16, she's the leading scorer (16.0 points per game) through the team's 3-1 start, and the one loss came in a close call against No. 1-ranked Notre Dame. She also has a team best 20 assists.
Lexi Weitzer, sr., UW-Green Bay (Waukesha South). Weitzer has started two games for UWGB and has 2.3 points and 3.5 boards in four games overall.
Bre Cera, fr., Iowa (Mukwonago). Has started all five games thus far as a true freshman, struggling a bit in scoring (1.2 points per game) but also averaging 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest.
Lydia Rohde, jr., Northwestern (Brookfield Central). Starts and has hit 12 of 19 shots from distance thus far, helping her average 10.5 points per game for the 3-1 Wildcats.
Mackenzie Latt, jr., Davidson (Sussex Hamilton). She averaged more than 14 points per game last year and was named Team MVP. This year, she has brought in 9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game through four contests, though her team is still looking for its first win. Latt spent three seasons at Hamilton before moving to Michigan for her senior year.
Katie Salmon, jr., Loyola of Chicago (Wauwatosa East). Has started all four games for a Ramblers team still looking for its first win. Has averaged more than 7 points and four rebounds per game.
Taylor Gradinjan, jr., Florida Gulf Coast (Cudahy). Averaging 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds for Gulf Coast, which went undefeated in conference play last year and fell just short of the NCAA Tournament with a loss in the conference-tourney final to Jacksonville.
Jessica Cattani, jr., Florida Gulf Coast (Muskego). Has seen an uptick in floor time and coming off the bench to average 7.0 points per game thus far.
Kelly Smith, jr., Northern Illinois (Arrowhead). Smith averaged 11.5 points through the first two games but hasn't played in the two since. Had some big baskets in a 114-104 win over Milwaukee in double overtime.
Chelsea Brackmann, fr., Bradley (New Berlin Eisenhower). Averaging 8.8 points and bringing in 5.5 rebounds per game while coming off the bench as a true freshman for the Braves.
Renee Bennett, sr., Ball State (Muskego). Has seen an uptick in floor time, starting all four games as a senior and sitting second on the team in scoring at 14.0 ppg for a 3-1 team. The 6-5 center is also hauling in 7.8 rebounds per contest.
Kianna Keller, sr., New Mexico (Waukesha West). Coming off the bench but soaking up big minutes and bringing in 8.3 rebounds per game. The 6-4 post also scores 4.3 points per contest for the Lobos.
Taylor Higginbotham, soph., Western Illinois (Germantown). After getting named to the All-Newcomer Team in the Summit League last year, she has started the year third on the team in scoring (11.8 points per game) and also brings in greater than five boards per contest.
Michelle Farrow, jr., Western Illinois (Waukesha West). Has started a pair of games and averages 7 points per game thus far.
Others:Abby Gerrits, fr., Northern Iowa (Pewaukee) | Morgan Glatczak, fr., Ball State (Mukwonago) | Briana Gray, jr., Bradley (Nicolet) | Amber Gray, sr., Northern Illinois (Mukwonago) | Jazmine Harris, jr., Northern Illinois (Heritage Christian -- West Allis native) | Maya Jonas, soph., Northwestern (Whitefish Bay) | Ally May, soph., Northern Illinois (Arrowhead) | Mariah Miller, fr., Cleveland State (Brookfield East)
Lamonte Bearden (Germantown) was one of Buffalo's key players last season but has transferred to Western Kentucky and will play again in 2017-18.
Tamya Sims (Oak Creek) has transferred from Bradley to IUPUI, eligible in 2017-18.