HOW ARE THEY DOING? An update on area boys and girls basketball players in college opening respective conference seasons
SIKESTON — January in college basketball means that 13 respective area boys’ and girls’ basketball players are opening up their conference slates.
Below is how each athlete is fairing heading into a decisive time of the college basketball season.
FRED THATCH JR. (SIKESTON, SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY)
December wasn’t a kind month to one of the greatest basketball players to lace up a pair of sneakers for the Sikeston Bulldogs.
Saint Louis University sophomore Fred Thatch Jr. suffered an injury around Thanksgiving, sidelining him for the entire month, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article by Stu Durando.
Durando said that Thatch Jr. came down with a form of “myalgia or an isolated myopathy,” which is muscle-related, and added that the return for the ex-Bulldog could be near.
Thatch Jr. is averaging 4.8 points, on 33% shooting, and 3.5 rebounds, 15.7 minutes per game this season for an 11-2 Billikens team.
PARKER LONG (SIKESTON, MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY)
Freshman guard Parker Long continues to impress for Maryville University this season.
The former Sikeston Bulldogs leads the team with 131 points on the season, which is good for a 16.4 average. He also tops the team in assists (42), steals (12), and minutes (36.2) for a 4-4 Saints team that opens its conference season tonight against the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Normandy, Mo.
In his last five games, Long is averaging 13.8 points per game, 5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.
OWEN LONG (SIKESTON, MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY)
Owen, Parker’s twin brother, has started six games for the Saints this season, which ties for second on the team.
He is averaging 9.1 points per game, on 37% shooting, and 33% from three-point range. He also ties for the second-most minutes on Maryville, at 26.5.
In his last five contests, Owen is averaging 5.6 points per game.
KEVIN JONES (SIKESTON, THREE RIVERS)
Sidelined with injury for most of the season, former Sikeston Bulldog Kevin Jones has appeared in three games for the Raiders.
He is averaging 5.3 points per game on 36.4% shooting, and 35.3% from three-point range. Additionally, Jones is adding 2.3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game as well.
JACOB SHOEMAKER (ORAN, THREE RIVERS)
The former Oran Eagle is averaging 2.3 points per game, on 40.7% shooting (44.4% from three) in 16 games played this season.
Shoemaker has not started a game so far and is averaging 9.3 minutes per contest.
TREY JENKINS (SIKESTON, SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS)
The former Standard Democrat Boys’ Player of the Year has appeared in four games this season for Southwestern Illinois and is averaging 5.8 points per game, on 55.6 percent shooting. He is adding 1.8 rebounds per game as well.
Southwestern Illinois is 5-7 this season and has lost its last four games.
DEREZ TIPLER (EAST PRAIRIE, BLACK HAWK-MOLINE)
In 15 games this season, Tipler is averaging 4.5 points per game, on 34.4% shooting (33.3% from three).
He plays around 15 minutes per game and adds 2.4 rebounds per contest for a 6-9 team.
Tipler has not reached double-figures in scoring, since Nov. 19, when he scored 14 against Mount Mercy College.
DEMARCUS SHARP (CHARLESTON, COLBY)
Sharp has started 11 of Colby’s 12 games this season and is averaging 14.1 points per game, on 47.7% shooting.
He is also averaging 5 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.5 for a 10-2 Colby team.
In his last five games, Sharp is averaging 14.4 points per game to go along with 6.4 assists and 5 rebounds per contest.
LEAH CAUBLE (ORAN, UNION UNIVERSITY)
A two-time Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Week winner, Leah Cauble has had a strong start to her first season of college basketball.
However, Cauble is only averaging 12.8 minutes and 7.3 points per game for the Bulldogs.
She is shooting 45% from the floor and 43% from three-point range and is the team’s fifth-leading scorer.
CONNOR WATKINS (CHARLESTON, STATE FAIR)
In 16 games this season, Watkins is averaging 6.9 points per game, on 33.9% shooting, to go along with 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Watkins’ best game of the season was against Kennedy-King on Nov. 30, when she posted a double-double, with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
She scored a season-high 23 points, on 9 of 10 shooting, against John Wood in mid-November as well.
HANNAH THURMON (DEXTER, THREE RIVERS)
A University of California-Riverside commit, Thurmon is averaging 9.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for Three Rivers this season.
She is shooting 40.3 percent from the floor, and 39.4 percent from three and is coming off her first double-double of the season, against Lewis & Clark, where she scored 16 points and hauled 11 rebounds.
CHAYLEA MOSBY (DEXTER, THREE RIVERS)
The reigning Standard Democrat Girls’ Player of the Year is coming on strong for Three Rivers in her first college campaign.
Mosby is averaging 10.4 points per game, on 46.6% shooting, to go along with 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
In her last game, against Lewis & Clark, she finished with 10 points, on 2 of 8 shooting, five rebounds, and five assists, in 22 minutes.
MELANIE McKUIN (DEXTER, WILLIAMS BAPTIST)
A senior for Williams Baptist, McKuin has played and started in all 10 games for the 8-2 Eagles, averaging 5.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and playing an average of 27.6 minutes.
McKuin leads the team in total rebounds (53) and is second on the team in steals (26) and fourth on the team in assists (27).