Confession: Every September and October post, with the exception of the October prognostication (because it actually needs to be written in October) is completely done.
WE WANT BASKETBALL!
Yes, football is good, football is really good, but… College football isn’t here for another 10 days, another pro-football pre-season game isn’t until Saturday, and so……….. August rankings, just ’cause, even though we know nothing, we have nothing more exciting to do. We were looking at last year’s pre-season rankings and… hilarious bordering on embarrassing. This year it’s gonna be even worse because the league is literally like 60% incoming transfers and freshmen.
Still, here we go:
1a. Western Oregon -they return a lot. Andy, Julian, Jordan W., they bring in some interesting transfers, and Lew Thomas is no longer there to make stupid decisions. Plus, dynamite coaching hire.
1b. Western Washington -they also return a lot. Mac, Ricardo, Jeff, Harris, Kyle, Blake is coming off of a redshirt, Brett Kingma is coming off of a redshirt, interesting transfers. Their practices have to be nightmarish because so many good guys competing for so few minutes with that much talent.
3. Seattle Pacific -They technically (and we mean technically) return four starters in Mitch, Bryce, Brendan, and Garrett. All started at least a few times. They bring in a transfer center who should be quality. Their big question is point guard, ideally we want to see Mitch kept at small forward, but… we’ll see. No one else returns any more aside from the teams above.
4. Central Washington -Teamwork makes the dream work, and having a power forward as your best returning player is a great thing because we tend to see power forwards as the motor; if your PF is committed to rebounding and exerting tons of effort, everyone is gonna pick up on that.
5. Saint Martin’s. We picked them 5th last year too and it was incredibly stupid, BUT their AD agreed with us (or something) and got rid of the coach. Another year of experience, plus no idea what Anchorage or anyone else brings in.
6. Alaska Fairbanks. We’re shaking our heads because they have something like eight new guys, but they also bring back more than all of the teams below them, sooo… Okay?
7. Alaska Anchorage. Alaska advantage and they do bring back Brian McGill, Christian Leckband, and Sjur Berg. They also lose Derrick Fain; another case of addition by subtraction. Transfers are intriguing, but all transfers are.
8. CU-Portland. This is purely based on the idea that if given the choice of going to MSUB, NNU, or CU-P, it’s gonna be CU-P every single time, so we anticipate that they’re bringing in some really quality guys.
9. MSU-Billings. Momir Gataric and Kendall Denham don’t have the turnover issues that the guys on the teams below them have, so… they’re getting this spot. They play a 50/50 non-conference, which should help them out if it doesn’t demoralize them entirely.
10. Northwest Nazarene. Oh how the mighty mouse has fallen. No Alex, no Erik, no clue. They had one good year. Oh dear.
11. Simon Fraser. They actually return a bunch of guys, problem is they didn’t do anything and it’s not SPU or WWU, where guys playing limited minutes in games still face brutal opponents in practice. If these guys couldn’t handle their 10th place teammates, and their teammates couldn’t handle the rest of the conference… it doesn’t speak to much hope.
Tiered because what else were we supposed to do? If WOU doesn’t see Andy come back, probably will ultimately end up placing them right around third, because while Julian is amazing and Devon is quality they do bring in a new coaching staff and there’s no telling how they’ll mesh. We know CWU meshes fairly well; they just need to find a new scorer, and preferably one that doesn’t play so much iso-ball and actually grasps that it’s a team game.
Regardless of anything else: We’ll find out in a few months.