Three games in three days for Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington. While we don’t know a whole lot, it is D2 competition and obviously we’ll find out more about these games as they year progresses. These were some really, really great match-ups in terms of level appropriate. Sad that WWU vs. CBU wasn’t on the schedule, but that’s about the only complaint.

Some stuff that got overlooked in our game reviews:

-Diante Mitchell had a 40 minute game, which is nuts -especially this early in the year. All hail the cardio master that is Diante.
-Suki Wiggs had a couple of 38 minute games.
-Jeff Parker hit 36, but for the most part Western didn’t need to use their guys for that many minutes. We’re totally not against 40 minute games, but ideally you can rotate a bit more.
-Along with the 35% free throw shooting game, WWU posted an 83% FT game, so… Tough team. Early season. Dig in Vikings.

Overall just a good time. Proud of these teams. Really can’t/shouldn’t say too much yet, but both look very promising. The production stats we’re getting are intriguing; it’s looking like it’ll be a better year in the GNAC and guys are going to need to be more productive on average in order to get a sniff at player of the week this year.

Suki Wiggs… We’re both in awe and horrified simultaneously. This is a kid that managed a great production rating while shooting 10-22. Had he simply taken fewer shots, he would have hit amazing with a snap of the fingers. We were told he was special -we knew that, we watched him play (and torch our team) while he was attending O’Dea, so… Pretty excited to be in a position where we just get to be happy about what he’s doing, rather than internally burning.

As it comes to player of the weekend noms, a few guys deserve mention:

Suki Wiggs -Averaged 34 minutes, 25 points, and four rebounds. He’s already to the point where we glance at a sheet and we’re like “wait, he only had 20 points?” We’re not thrilled with how he’s getting there in terms of shot selection, but again: the return of Brian McGill should help immensely so we can’t be too picky right now.

Corey Hammell/Christian Leckband/Sjur Berg/Spencer Svejcar -All played two out of three good games. We’ll be keeping a close eye on what the four of them do, whether starting or coming off the bench. Very promising. Very intriguing. We still think Coach Oz is crazy (because he is) but it’s already looking like he’s right in that he’s got something special brewing up there.

Ricardo Maxwell -Averaged 35 minutes, 18 points, and was positively balling on his free throw shooting. Beyond thrilled with this kid. He was a near-miss on the All Conference teams last year, so good to see him immediately come in and make strides.

Jeff Parker/Colby Mitchell -Both played super well in two out of three games. Looking forward to seeing more progress out of them. Pleasantly surprised by Colby. Guess we felt like on last year’s team it went Anye-Ricardo-Mac-Jeff-Harris-Kyle/Joey, which was in fact pretty much their line-up, and now Jeff doing really good things is exactly as projected.

Kyle Impero -Averaged 36 minutes and not gonna mince words: He had an incredibly outstanding weekend. If he could be at 80% of this level for the rest of the games this year, he’d be player of the year in a landslide. He’s just doing so much. His decision making is fantastic in regard to shooting, he makes his free throws, he rebounds, he assists, he fouls, and he still walks away with plenty of points. Absolutely phenomenal.

Player of the weekend is Kyle Impero, hands down. His production ratings were insane, he was involving and backing up his teammates, fantastic shot selection, great free throws, absolutely awesome. Guess our main concern with Kyle going forward is his stamina -at 6’4/165, dude is tiny so whether or not he can maintain playing so many minutes is yet to be seen. Our advice is that he eat his chicken and peanutbutter -not necessarily together, but then again: Slow cookers are your friend.

Congrats Kyle!!



  1. LG

    Totally agree. Impero’s stats looked pretty darn good. It’s nice to see or to think that WWU won’t/shouldn’t be having another “weird” year, even if it means fewer of the rest of the GNACers will get to beat them this year, but it’ll be a better gauge if you can beat them. Feeling as if there is less to be known about UAA after the games though. Seems like a lot could change there, but interesting to see a team without McGill, Thompson or Fossman at guard for them… Now, kinda interested to see how the exhibitions against DI teams go this week for SPU, UAF and SMU. I think it’s probably hard to start with this level of competition for SPU and UAF, but it’ll be good to see if they can stay together and stay organized and with their fundamentals on D… Yipppeee! So much fun!


    • GNAC Men's BasketBlog

      Impero… I want it to continue so badly but he’s just so little. It was a really good series of games for both schools and hopefully our conference as a whole. Odd with McGill out, but probably good for us all to see what Suki looks like without an elite distributer feeding him.

      From last year, UAF’s biggest problem at BYU is going to be the whistles. They were a nightmare. SPU’s coach almost picked up a Technical. If the guys can hold the mindset that it’s entirely up to themselves whether or not they win or lose the game, it could be really good. WOU beat OSU last year, so we’ll see what they do this year. SPU vs. UW should be one big eye roll. I’ve actually talked to like half the UW team and they’re all like “Oh no, we’re looking right at SPU, we cannot wait to beat them by 30,” so honestly not expecting much out of the Falcons if Washington is coming in with that mindset.


      • LG

        I’m not so convinced Impero’s size is a problem. You must be a dietician on the side, huh? I forgot about the WOU DI exhibition and am thinking that like UAA, it’ll be interesting to see how they fare without Avgi. Hmmm. At this point I’m kinda cheering for everyone, so hoping everyone can keep it tight with the DI schools this week or at least not let it get too outta control.


        • GNAC Men's BasketBlog

          Nutrition is my joie de vivre. Agree about non-conference being great. Arguably you have to root for everybody due to the fact that the weight of your schedule and your wins in conference are determined by the wins of other conference teams now.

          Those two subjects are actually great for discussions, so that’ll be on this week’s horizon.


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