The “Man in the Middle”; The force down low that can dominate the boards, take the lob and convert for the sure bucket – on defense nobody drives the lane and gets away with it.
A powerful force at the center position can make all the difference in the game and crush an opposing defense or stymie an offense.
We’ve taken a look at some of the top performing centers in D3 Men’s Basketball – you choose who is the best?
Voting will close at 7pm central time, 1/4
Emeka Obukwelu, So./Texas-Tyler
78.8% – FG% (1st)
20.7 points/gm (3rd in ASC)
8.6 reg/gm (5th in ASC)
Sophmore Emeka Obukwelu established a new single-game program record by scoring 43 points after going 20-for-22 from the field to lead Texas-Tyler to a 110-99 non-conference win over Rhodes earlier this season. Obukwelu matched the American Southwest Conference record with 20 field goals in a game, and also had 17 rebounds and now has four double-doubles. His 78.8 field goal percentage leads all of D3.
Ryan Bruns, Jr./Ohio Northern
26 total blocks (T8th)
22.4 points/gm (29th)
ONU junior Ryan Bruns was named the Ohio Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 4-10. Bruns led the Polar Bears to a perfect 2-0 week in the conference, including a win over Mount Union that moved ONU into first place in the conference standings. Bruns earned the honor for the first time in his career after averaging a double-double during the week with 27.0 points per contest and 10.0 rebounds per game. He followed up with a 34-point effort, pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds to lead the team defensively in a 93-64 win over Denison.
Carlos Gonzalez, Sr./Thomas (ME)
32 total blocks (T3rd)
10.5 reb/gm (T24th)
Thomas (ME) senior Carlos Gonzalez opened the season with 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks for a triple-double as the Terriers defeated the University of Maine at Machias, 85-67. Gonzalez is averaging a double-double through eight games with 13.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. His 32 total blocks ranks third overall in D3 men’s basketball.
Gbolahan Alliyu, Jr./Penn St. Harrisburg
11.6 reb/game (9th)
25 total blocks (T10th)
Penn State Harrisburg junior center Gbolahan Alliyu was selected as the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week back in November after averaging 12.3 points, 15.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per contest in a 3-0 week for the Lions. Alliyu helped PSH to a 3-0 start by defeating Haverford, Immaculata, and Mount Union and was named the MVP of the Penn State Harrisburg Tip-Off tournament posting double-doubles in both tournament wins, including an 18-point, 18-rebound, 8-block performance against Immaculata in the tournament opener. Currently his 11.6 rebounds per game and 25 total blocks both rank in the top-10 of all D3 Men’s Basketball.
Drew Healy, Sr./Salem State
6 double-doubles (T4th)
10.5 reb/game (25th)
60.2% – FG% (47th)
Salem State senior Drew Healy averaged a double-double of 13.8 points on 23-of-37 (62.2%) shooting and 11.3 rebounds in a 3-1 week for the Vikings earning the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors for the week ending December 2.
Healy scored 18 points on 9-of-13 (69.2%) shooting with 13 rebounds in an 87-67 victory over Rhode Island. At the New England Big Four Challenge, he netted 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 77-67 victory over Tufts and followed up with 14 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocks in a 75-70 win over reigning D3 Champion Babson in the championship game to earn all-tournament honors.
Robert Aguilera, So./RIT
32 total blocks (T3rd)
65 rebounds (2nd in Liberty League)
Robert Aguilera’s 32 total blocks ranks third overall in all of D3 men’s basketball. The RIT sophomore led the way with 17 points and 14 rebounds in an 80-75 overtime loss to Nazareth, adding a career-high seven blocks. His 65 rebounds ranks second in the Liberty League.
Kelvin Jones, Sr./Hiram
6 double-doubles (T3rd)
3.8 offensive reb/game (21st)
63.1 % – FG% (28th)
Hiram’s Kelvin Jones leads the North Coast Athletic Conference in rebounding with 9.9 boards/game. Jones is currently tied for third in all of D3 Men’s Basketball with six double-doubles this season and his 3.8 offensive rebounds per game ranks 21st.