January is loaded with great high school basketball events throughout the Ozarks. We’ll get into those later in the week. But right now locally, there are several players – either Ozarks’ natives or transplants – that are off to monster starts. Let’s check in on some of those names.
• Isiaih Mosley is really good at basketball
When playing for grassroots power MOKAN Elite, Mosley played alongside elite talents like Christian Braun and Dajuan Harris (Kansas), as well as Malik Hall (Michigan State) and N’Faly Dante (Oregon). Mosley led that team in scoring and is validating why he’s one of the most effortless scorers Missouri has seen in the last decade. MSU’s 8-1 start has been powered by Mosley’s Valley-leading 23.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He’s shooting 58 percent from the field, 38 percent from 3 and 89 percent from the free throw line. The Bears haven’t had a 20-point per night guy since Winston Garland in 1986-87. The only guys to average at least 19 PPG over the course of a full season since 1982 – Garland, Danny Moore and Darryl Reid – all led Missouri State to the NCAA Tournament. And for stat junkies, Mosley’s 11.9 box score plus/minus is the highest in the program over the last decade, topping standouts like former Valley POY Kyle Weems and NBA draftee Alize Johnson. Mosley is already in elite company, cracking the top five nationally in scoring. Keep in mind this was a guy that was recruited by several Power 5 programs. He found a great fit at Missouri State and Dana Ford found a future pro in the 6-foot-5 wing.
• Cam Davis & Katie Scott making conference POY & NCAA Tournament pushes
We talked about both earlier in this season and they’ve just continued to takeoff. Davis and Scott could be the lynch pin that ends historic NCAA Tournament droughts for their respective programs.
Davis helped Navy move to 7-1 on the season with a sweep of Lehigh. They’re now undefeated in the Patriot League and their only loss of the season came on the road against Maryland. Davis continues to be an absolute stud averaging 18.8 points with a 53-42-79 shooting split. Navy hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998, which was also the last time they won the Patriot League Tournament. They haven’t won the regular season conference title since 2000 and haven’t won it outright since 1997. All are still in play. Davis is on pace to cap his career top 20 on the all-time scoring list and top 10 in career 3-point FG.
Katie Scott is treating her freshman year of college the same way she did her freshman year of high school. She’s averaging 20.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals. Her 60-60-81 shooting split would be historically good and she’s won three straight WAC Player of the Week awards. Grand Canyon is 8-1 with the loss coming on the road by one. The Lopes have never been to the NCAA Tournament since transitioning to the D1 level. That could change this year in Molly Miller’s first season at the helm. Scott leads the WAC in scoring and 3-point FG percentage, while ranking second in FG percentage and sixth in rebounding. She’s making a strong case for POY.
• D2 Studs – Conley Garrison (Drury) and Kaylee DaMitz (Pitt State)
When Conley Garrison went off against state-ranked and loaded Grandview in the state quarterfinals, we should’ve known just how special he was. Drury did and he’s been the gift that keeps on giving ever sense. Right now he’s in the midst of a five-game start that has in rare air. He’s averaging 21.2 points – good for third in the league – and he’s leading the GLVC with 6.2 assists and third with 2.2 steals. He’s just 11 points away from becoming the 18th player in program history to reach 1,500 career points, with his current average suggesting he could reach the top 10. Garrison already ranks top 10 in assists, steals and 3-pointers made. Garrison has quietly become an all-time great at Drury. Panther fans enjoy these next few months.
Kaylee DaMitz being a good college player is one of the least surprising things from the local basketball season. The Skyline alum was a state champion and now she’s working on being an all-time great at Pitt State. The junior is averaging 17.2 points and 5.7 assists, which leads the MIAA. If her current averages hold, she’ll end her junior year top 20 in scoring and top five in assists, putting her in positon to surpass her coach – former PSU great Amanda Davied – for the all-time assists records.
Both guards will (obviously) have the possibility to play an additional season.