August Rankings

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.


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.


  1. Anonymous

    Any hate mail from Anchorage yet? I’m of the understanding that CU-P will not be eligible for post season play for their first two years in DII. Does this mean they are ineligible for the GNAC tourney or just West Regions and beyond? I would imagine that would be a recruiting challenge right now, especially for junior college transfers. I would agree that most rankings right now will be hilarious in a few months, but I can’t really argue too much with this… Can’t wait to find out who’s hilarious and who’s scary good this year!


    • GNAC Men's BasketBlog

      Haha, no hate mail that we can take seriously. Some along the lines of “Brian and Travis were injured!!!!!1!!1!” WOU was being crippled by an injured Andy, SPU was being crippled by a terrible AD doubling down on her stupidity. Both teams still made the tournament, and neither saw their best returning player transfer.

      With CU-P: They’ve still gotta be one of the top three diplomas in the GNAC, and at least it’s not like SFU where you’re not making post-season because you’re finishing in the bottom two. Regardless of where you go, unless you commit to SPU/WWU, your odds of making NCAAs are somewhere south of 6% at this point. Anchorage would love to be included in that, but I just don’t see it any more. I’ll put up a post about that here in a bit, because it’s an interesting discussion.


  2. Jay

    Looking forward to the upcoming season in the GNAC. In regards to SFU, with youth, a new coach and a new mind set, looking for the Clan to build and become more and more competitive in the conference over the next few seasons.


    • GNAC Men's BasketBlog

      So ready for it. Eight weeks! SFU is such a difficult thing because of how good the school is academically. You need to win in order to attract quality guys and in order to attract quality guys you need to win. Catch-22.


      • Anonymous

        Yes. Agreed. I think Coach Hill and staff have that in plan. Canadian basketball talent is getting stronger by the minute, stretching across the country and continent. With that being said, kids that are on that D1 bubble, or even high level CIS, will hopefully start looking at SFU as a place to come and strive both on and off the floor. It will be a year of growth for sure, and winning would definitely help the recruiting process but developing a basketball culture back at SFU is key. A solid first recruiting class for the Clan is coming in so again looking forward to growth and gaining a competitive edge for the program in the GNAC.


  3. Anonymous

    As eluded to above, I think SFU is going to shock a lot of people in and out of the GNAC this year. Coach Hill and staff have an enticing first recruiting class in a shorter timeframe than usual, add on top of that two big wings that are technically forgotten D1 bouncebacks, and one of the top CA JUCO guards transferring in, it makes for a good balance of young and old. Although it was fun to watch (at times) and the scoreboard lights were being tested each night, the brand of basketball Coach Blake implemented last year does not translate to success and the culture has already started to change up on that mountain north of the border! Honestly, this will be fun…


    • GNAC Men's BasketBlog

      My heart was broken after last year’s non-conference and salt was rubbed in the wound when informed by the women’s golf team that Sango was positive he was NBA-bound. They apparently are the dankest of dank and with that: I’m holding my breath.


  4. Anonymous

    Lol, touché! We shall see, a lot of new talent including older guys and a Juco guy, look forward to the writeup tomorrow! Respect is earned at the end of the day!


    • LG

      Hey Anonymous~Your enthusiasm is awesome. The coming season will be super fun. Not sure how much you follow the other GNAC teams, but EVERYBODY is claiming to have had a great recruiting year this year, and, on paper, it does look interesting for a lot of GNAC teams this year… But, we’ve all seen wonderful recruiting seasons turn into duds of an actual season. Plus, as our ever critical blogger has pointed out, we lost a ton of good players last year and not to graduation, which could very easily translate into talented teams with no cohesiveness. Good recruits don’t mean good teams. Almost half the league will be sporting new coaches and every team has had enticing looking JUCO transfers and so, with most of the teams this year, I’m with our blogging friend, holding my breath. It would be awesome to see SFU have a competitive season, they seem to have more outside fans than any other GNAC team and I’m sure if they do well, we’ll all be rooting them on, but what you are saying about their transfers and recruits, every other team is also saying. Lotsa talk about DI transfers, everywhere.
      And, if I can say, coach Blake’s style of ball he implemented last year was not fun to watch. It was ugly, real ugly. Everyone can have the style of play they like, so to each their own, but I definitely am a fan of good defensive play.
      Only 7 weeks and couting till the viewing action starts!


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