Happy 1st Day of Practice!

The GNAC blog’s rankings went up super late yesterday, you can find them here. Check them out. Comment or re-rank them if you feel the need to; you don’t have to leave your email nor name; just what you think.

Honestly… Not sure. I don’t make definitive predictions. I say things like “We’re gonna rebound and we’re gonna play defense,” or “Program X is completely capable of beating Program Y given the chance.”

There’s not a team in the GNAC that doesn’t deserve praise, how about that? College basketball (and life for that matter) is about growth and development as coaches and players and people, and enjoying the blessing of our human experience.

Here are some reasons that I’m looking forward to watching each team, besides that whole it’s basketball and basketball is the best.

Anchorage: Travis Thompson, their new arena, player development; if Travis and the coaching staff can get everyone working together cohesively, they could do big things.

Fairbanks: They lost a lot, but Alaska is Alaska. Again, they’ve got a lot of young guys, a lot of step-up potential, and since everything is so wide open, hopefully the gymratitude was in full force this summer and we’ll see multiple guys step up and go “Let’s make something of it, let’s surprise some people.”

Simon Fraser: Again, it’s all about the player potential, it’s all about having fun with the roundball. They’re not going to lose every game, so it’ll be interesting to who they can catch sleeping on them.

WWU: They return so little and yet have such an amazing reputation for regeneration. The program of the starfish; their arms get cut-off and they just keep regrowing. Can’t wait to watch their style and really see what they do in non-conference. Every team needs to do well in non-con but what WWU does really sets the tone of how the GNAC is seen.

Seattle Pacific: Another team with huge amounts of responsibility in regard to conference perception. They’ve got guys waiting in the wings that didn’t have a chance before… It’s hard to surprise people when you’re picked #3, but that’s very well what could happen with SPU.

MSUB: The coaching staff has a strong history of taking a group of guys and turning them into a team; for that alone it’s impossible to count them out. They beat just about everybody last year, half way through the season they weren’t doing that great, they turned it around… MSUB is such a fun team, as much as you can get frustrated with them, they’re very hard to dislike.

CWU: The team is primarily young, so it’ll be a developing year and a great chance to keep an eye on what could happen in the future.

Saint Martin’s: They return three starters, everyone keeps overlooking them, they dealt with a bad case of the injury bug last year, and this time if they make the conference tournament they’ll do it in a gym that’s not their own.

WOU: Like SMU and SPU, they return three starters. They also did really well last year, circling on the outskirts of one of the “in crowd” teams. They made the conference tourney, they’ve had a chance for guys to develop, their experience alone is truly what gives them a chance to shake-up the order for the season, and they very well may do just that.

NNU: Same thing as every other team that’s getting a bunch of new guys; there’s always the chance that a few of them will break out and be complete game changers and turn everything on its head.

That’s right: Each team is going to be interesting and there’s not one that I’m uninterested in watching what they can and will do. As college football has taught us this year: anything can happen, so play defense because…

The Committee is Watching.

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