Usually we try to be relatively positive, but since it’s only junkies that are gonna be reading this anyway… We’re gonna be frank with you guys because we’ve officially lost too many productive guys for this coming year. In the past, we’ve talked about geographic challenges and tried to be positive about each place, but… Let’s talk the reality of attending the GNAC schools opposed to Pac-West or CCAA.
UAF: YOU’RE IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA. It’s dark, it’s cold, you have to buy a car once you get up there (seriously: there should be some type of NCAA clause that allows UAF/UAA to keep practical cars (like early 2000s model Civics & Ford F-150s) and rent them to players.) Not only is it hard to procure transportation once you’re up there, it’s really expensive to get home unless you’re from Alaska. Minimum of $550 to the closet major city, Seattle.
UAA: YOU’RE IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA. It’s cold and dark. The culture is… iffy. It’s a minimum of $500 to get home. Minimum. We’ve stalked ticket prices over the course of a year, that’s the lowest we ever saw them, and it’s likely because nobody goes to Alaska in February. Guess what? These guys aren’t going home in February. So it’s probably closer to a minimum of around $800.
Alaska in general: Just sucks. It costs too much to go home, the schools aren’t ranked very highly academically, basketball isn’t a priority of the student population (hello hockey), and even if you like the cold, dark, and outdoors: Go to one of the Utah or Colorado schools instead. Flights are cheaper, it’s not cold and dark the whole school year, and the educations are better.
SFU: If you’re good enough to be good on an American D2 level, you’re good enough to play at a higher level in Canadian basketball, so why would you go D2? The education is good, but the campus is again isolated, you need a passport to go there, and the student body doesn’t care about basketball. Last year at the game we attended, people were pretty excited, but… we asked how many games they’d ever attended prior to Sango breaking out and no surprise: the answer was zero.
WWU: It’s a good education in an okay city. The Western kids are sooo good about trying to convince you that Bellingham is awesome, and while it’s better than the three schools listed above… as we’re seeing: There are way better schools to attend in California. Bellingham is also a place that you need a car because the campus is huge and isolated. It’s kind of hard to get home from because the tickets out of the local airport are expensive and SeaTac is about three hours away. Great school to go to if you’re from here, but why an out-of-stater would want to, I don’t know.
SPU: If you’re white, middle class+, and from the pacific northwest, it is the best school you could possibly go to on a D2 level. The campus is really nice, it’s close to a ton of stuff and so a car isn’t necessary, the education is great, and the profs genuinely try to work with you on your schedule. However: there are like eight other schools in the Pac-West that match that perfectly, so unless you’re from here… Would you really want to come here? The other bad news about SPU is that outside of conservative Christianity and academics, the rep of the school sucks. Admit you went to SPU and you’ll be labeled stuck-up and/or a homophobic racist. Fun stuff.
SMU: The campus has gone through some amazing renovations, so super nice campus. But it’s still tiny, conservative, Catholic, and another school you wouldn’t really want to go to if you’re black or not from around here. A car is definitely advised. The town is fine, so it’s a good option if SPU doesn’t want you, but… Again, the school is just too little and too expensive for the education you receive, unless you’re getting a full-ride AND happen to be a Washingtonian or Oregonian from that conservative and/or Catholic demographic.
MSUB: Great if you’re from Montana, bad if you’re from anywhere else. The education is inexpensive, although not very high quality, you definitely need a car, there’s not a ton to do, everything closes by 10pm. Go for basketball, and then leave because you played well enough to earn a scholarship somewhere else.
CWU: If you didn’t do very well in school, have character issues, and want to play basketball: Central is the school for you. A car is definitely advised, hard to get home from if you’re not from Washington/Idaho/Montana, and unless you’re majoring in education, aviation, or criminal justice: the education itself is cheap but not worth it; go to a community college and then transfer to a CSU school if you’re still struggling with grades.
NNU: No one wants to go to NNU. That’s a direct quote from someone. It’s tiny, expensive, incredibly insular, the campus is pretty run down, you need a car, and the academics are only okay. Plus, if you’re really committed to a Nazarene school: Point Loma is in San Diego and they sit mid-Pac-West so you should be able to pick up an offer by recruiting them a bit; a roundtrip flight, even at the last minute can be found out of Salt Lake City for right around $200; SeaTac is a usually around $450, so more expensive but still cheaper than an Alaska ticket. If the Nazarene denomination doesn’t matter and you want to stay in the northwest: SPU,
Concordia-Portland, or even Saint Martin’s is a much better idea.
CU-P: Great location, decent education, more diverse team, they’ve just made the switch to D2 so everyone is really excited and they need good guys to come in. Pretty easy to get home, no car necessary because Portland has good public transportation. You actually have NBA basketball nearby, which is great. The downside is hipsters off-campus, and the Concordia denomination of Lutheran, Missouri-Synod believes the earth is only 6,000 years old AND just fired a professor at Valparaiso for performing a same-sex marriage, so if Jesus, reality, AND progressive values are your thing, it’s best to look elsewhere.
WOU: It’s about 80 minutes out of Portland, so getting home is comparatively easy, but you do need a car. The campus is moderately nice, but not great. The education is okay, it’s easy to get into and their standards aren’t particularly high. WOU has a notoriously good sign language interpretation program, but for a legitimate D2 basketball recruit that happens to be Deaf, D1 CSU-Northridge will typically take a shot on them. Fun school because they have football and are close to Oregon State for more college shenanigans, but eh. If you’re picking between WOU and Chico State (similar academics, similar campus), would you really pick WOU?
WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!?!?!
The idea of this is just basically to talk about what we’re up against. SPU/NNU/SMU/CU-P are competing against the likes of Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, Hawaii Pacific, Chaminade, Point Loma, and Dominican. UAA/UAF/WWU/CWU/MSUB/WOU are battling Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State, Humboldt State, Hawaii-Hilo, and UC San Diego. Unless your priorities are staying home, why would you attend one of our schools?
Western Washington = Humboldt State with an extra rainy climate.
Western Oregon = Chico State with a rainy climate.
Hawaii Hilo = Alaska Anchorage with no snow & exotic, perfectly tanned women.
If there are any basketball playing vampires, we have some teams you should check out! It comes with a minimal sparkle time guarantee, and we’ll even look the other way on beastiality.