Probably the best thing about writing this blog is getting to appreciate guys on a bunch of teams rather than just one or two. As such, there came to be favorites on each and we wanted to take a chance to appreciate them, even in the irrationality as exists sometimes.
Kalidou -honestly: it’s his name, the fact that he’s a frosh, and dude can hoop.
Anye -If you don’t love him, I question your fondness of college basketball; his heart is insane, he helps his teammates, he’s jovial, he obviously loves to play basketball, does what it takes to win, he’s athletic, and he’s cerebral (ahem, he talks), but strategy is strategy. Really proud to call this guy a GNAC alum.
Matt Borton -he plays basketball in the way it’s meant to be played.
Joe Stroud -what can we really say? There’s definitely a preference around here for power forwards -Matt, Anye, Lew- but Joe shot great, rebounded great, he’s gonna be awesome as a senior, so excited to keep him for another year.
Alex Birketoft -sucker for good frosh. Aware that he’s old. Best time to play a frosh is when they’re a junior; with Alex, you get to have your cake and eat it too.
Riley Carel -straight up bias for the former Falcon because in all honesty: he’s a lot like Lew Thomas; he makes the same darn mistakes over and over again and quite frankly it’s a relief that his college career is over. All the same, hopefully he provided some good leadership because the Saint Martin’s underclassmen were really promising.
Lew Thomas -this kid is not good at basketball, in fact he’s a walking disaster 75% of the time, but he’s still a favorite because as much as you’re grimacing about whatever he’s trying to do, he doesn’t seem to get why you’re grimacing and continues to do it over and over again. It’s like a toddler that keeps pinching himself.
We covered the GNAC first and second teams yesterday, but it was done by math not by preference. Obviously there is going to be overlap, but these are some hypothetical starting fives that could be interesting.
The dream team:
Riley Stockton -assisting and rebounding.
Matt Borton -rebounding and fouling.
Anye Turner -rebounding and fouling.
Alex Birketoft -master of transition.
Julian Nichols -assisting and shooting.
MO: Unselfish play. I would trust any guy on that team except maybe Riley to be able to break out scoring wise. Gave up center play because I’d rather have athleticism and there just wasn’t a true elite center in the conference this year.
The mean team:
MO: If they’re all selfish and/or incompetent (minus Andy) then something has gotta give and it’ll either benefit all of them and they’ll play well or it’ll benefit no one. Place your bets on Andy getting fed up and railing on them to work together.
Prediction: The dream team in a landslide. The only match-up the mean team wins is Andy, but you’ve got to remember you’ve got Matt/Riley/Anye available down low.
The secular team:
MO: Balance. Actually really love this team. Julian is a master distributor, Andy can be inside or outside, Anye just wants to be down low, Jeff is obviously your mid-range guy, and then Sango isn’t bad at getting assists -he just rarely has someone, so now that he doesn’t have to create his own shot I’d expect his shooting percentage to go way up.
The sacred team:
MO: Laughter. Riley is the point guard allowing Erik to play pure shooting guard, Matt and Kevin clean-up down low, Alex goes on a tear.
Sacred vs. Secular… Brutal match-up. Stuck Jeff in over Travis Thompson because of the size discrepancy that would occur otherwise. This is interesting. This is really interesting.
Prediction: It’s a push, but the nod goes to the sacred team because they’ll theoretically have better chemistry. Matt and Riley both play with incredibly good fundamentals and so it should be pretty easy for the NNU guys to play off of them.
GNAC Class Play. Where I come from (not D2) we have a huge tradition of pitting all of the classes against each other every year, and so we’re going to do that here. It may seem like a no-brainer that seniors win, but there are always talented guys in every class, so it really depends. Anyone can and will win in any given year. We’re gonna base this off the idea of FIBA’s pod-play, so each team will play the three others.
Kalidou Diouf -UAA
Kendall Denham -MSUB
Trey Ingram -SMU
Brent Counts -SMU
Things to like: Distribution, some good height.
Concerns: Shot selection, rebounding; no real forward.
Conclusion: Definitely will win against the sophomores, but the juniors and seniors are going to be problematic.
Isaac Bianchini -SMU
Jeff Parker -WWU
Joey Schreiber -WWU
Terry Dawn -CWU
Brett Kingma -WWU
Things to like: They’ve all got talent.
Concerns: Can they put that talent together? You know if we stuck a redshirt on there, things were looking grim.
Conclusion: DFL. 0-3.
Julian Nichols -WOU
Erik Kinney -NNU
Joe Stroud -CWU
Ruben Silvas -UAF
Andy Avgi -WOU
Things to like: Rebounding, shot selection, assisting, three pointers, this is a very good team.
Concerns: Nothing in particular.
Conclusion: Two wins for sure, but can their chemistry allow a win against the seniors?
Anye Turner -WWU
Riley Stockton -SPU
Sango Niang -SFU
Matt Borton -SPU
Kevin Rima -NNU
Things to like: Rebounding, fundamentals.
Concerns: Foul numbers.
Conclusion: Two wins likely, their chemistry is probably better than the juniors, but flip a coin on whether or not they win that game.
Yeah, a lot of those teams are repeated over and over again, but after watching all of them play against each other so much, you really want to see them play with each other. Bring the best together, even though it’s D2. The hypotheticals are probably more fun than the actual games would be in that they allow you to envision defense, rather than the reality of an all-star game or pro-am or whatever. Good times.