Bethune-Cookman

MEAC Players To Watch 2019: Part I

MEAC RJ Cole

HBCU hoops is all about conference play and the MEAC has some players who you should look out for this winter.

Conference season clearly matters most to most HBCU Basketball fans. A non-conference slate is filled with buy games, even some contests against division two opponents, and a blowout or two. The first week of January is when fans come and when teams face more even competition.

In the MEAC, things will heat up and of course, you will need to know who’s hot and who’s going to be worth watching. Here are the players to watch in the MEAC this year.

Cole

RJ Cole – Howard

RJ Cole is just that guy. No matter the results for the Bison, Cole will get his and he isn’t shy about it. He’s coming off a season-high 29 points against Hampton and followed it up with 28 points against Georgetown. He helped pushed the Bison to wins over American and UMass. Although his numbers have been off as of late, he’s lethal from the three-point range.

One of the highest regarded MEAC recruits in years, he won 13 Rookie of the Week awards and was even top-10 in scoring nationally as a freshman. And as his latest game against more even competition proved, he’s ready to attack and torture any defense that’s in front of him.

Malik Maitland – Bethune Cookman

Back in October, BCU was projected to finish first in the MEAC with good reason. They return the majority of their pieces, which is not common for most teams in the conference.

So far this season, Malik Maitland has been a big factor on this team. He dropped a season-high 29 points on Miami. The guard missed the end of last season but now he’s back. Maitland is good at attacking the rim but also spreading the ball around. He currently leads the team in points (12.5), assists, three-point percentage and steals.

Nic Thomas – Norfolk State

Norfolk State is a true standard of consistency within the MEAC. Ever since their first MEAC schedule in 1998, the Spartans have never had a losing record during conference play. Nic Thomas is looking to continue that consistency.

Thomas played 30 games, only making five starts last season. This season, his role is increasing and Thomas is ready to breakout. He scored a season-high 25 points during an overtime thriller against Hampton. Thomas plays mostly 30 minutes a game is truly a key component for the Spartans.

Davis Raasean

Raasean Davis – NC Central

Raasean Davis will truly make his impact, especially on the glass. He’s second in the MEAC in rebounding. Making it even better for Coach Lavell Moton, Davis is also an efficient shooter. He was third in the nation last season in field goal percentage. So far this season, he’s made the majority of the shots he’s attempted. He’s fourth in the conference, averaging 16.1 points per game.

Damani Applewhite – SC State

Applewhite is the heartbeat of this Bulldogs squad. He’s 6’8 and can score on almost anyone, putting up 18.3 ppg on 53 percent shooting. His team has had a tough schedule so far but expect his numbers to increase when conference play starts.

Be afraid MEAC. Be very afraid.

Stay tuned for Part II.

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