Defense? What’s That?

Western Washington 102, Team Another Level 100
Saint Martin’s 92, Evergreen State 89
Seattle Pacific 77, Pacific Lutheran 59

Team Another Level appears to be a mash-up of players from teams in the International Basketball League (IBL), some local guys, and other former college players. This was yet another pro-am style game, which is fine, but the score is totally meaningless. The minute distribution was fairly even across a lot of players, so that’s a good sign. One potentially huge thing this game did was give the Vikings a chance to come from behind, which is critical especially for a relatively young team that isn’t likely to experience it all that often.

Saint Martin’s against D3 Evergreen State is where the alarm bells start ringing. Their starters played a majority of minutes, there was again a clear lack of defense (that seems like a trend), and they almost didn’t pull it off. You should not be almost losing to a D3 school when you return as much talent as anyone in the conference. Now, granted all of that talent returns from a team that finished 7th but still. The Saints play Washington on Thursday and while UW isn’t expected to be particularly good… Good luck with that.

The Seattle Pacific score looks somewhat respectable. They beat a D3 team by 18 points, used 10 players for at least 10 minutes each, and there wasn’t some glaring lack of defense. The main issue with this in terms of SPU, is that PLU did terribly last year, this is an in-conference margin without much player rotation, and the Falcons’ second half shooting percentage was terrible. Cool to see them utilizing a true center, rather than the center/forward hybrid we so often see now-a-days.

Overall, all of these games are much less concerning than they initially appear to be. The Saint Martin’s one is iffy, but generally speaking so are the Saints; was hoping that they’d take advantage of the fact of how much they return and make some good statements during non-con, but this was only one game.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss the tournaments GNAC teams are playing in during November and December.

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