Here’s at least one extra discussion post. Our POW nominees have basically been the same week after week and comparatively guys are, in a sense, a lot closer together. This year we seem to have the great guys, the good guys, the okay guys, and everyone else. The great guys have won these, the good guys have gotten nominated multiple times, the okay guys have occasionally gotten nominated, and no one else really has done either. It’s very stratified.
Ultimately we’ve given the award nine times thus far and here are your honorees:
Bryce Leavitt (PG) x2
Andy Avgi (SF) x2
Corey Hammell (P)
Bouna N’Diaye (SG)
Consider that your All-GNAC first team, with Andy getting the nod as mid-season player-of-the-year. It’s a little small, but we actually really like that as an actual line-up. Bryce and Suki would probably play off of each other pretty well, Bouna would be a great sixth man, Corey is only 6’6 but we’re amazed at how big he plays, and that leaves Travante and Andy to do what they will (in a good way). While it would be frighteningly short without both Andy and Corey in there at all times, we trust the respective motors of the other four completely, and thus… We’d let the birdies fly without both Big Birds from time to time.
Here’s a list of the nominees thus far by school:
The red signifies how many times they’ve been nominated for Player-of-the-Week. Because the play this year has largely been simply above average rather than great, for the most part if a guy had a good week -he got nominated, even if a guy from his school had a better week. We’ve been struggling to fill 11 spots. It is what it is. There’s a lot of parity. There’s been a lot of losing and a lot of really ugly basketball. From what we’ve seen (and we’ve seen a lot) we don’t think the west coast as a whole is particularly strong. Again: It is what it is. Only one west region school will see a non-west region school during post-season play, so… The GNAC has as good of a shot as anybody to be the home of that one school.
The biggest thing we’ve noticed about our own conference is the lack of rebounding compared to last year. Last year we wouldn’t mention a starter’s rebounding number if it was under 10; this year, as long as it’s five or above we’ll highlight it. You could say “well, maybe everyone is rebounding more,” except no that’s not the case. We’d see far more player-of-the-week nominees if that were the case. Last year there would be a 10 boarder in just about every game; this year, we’re shocked and thrilled to see a double-double, even more so if the guy shot a normal number of free throws. There’s a lot of very gimmicky basketball being played and to beat a dead horse: it is what it is. We’re kind of fascinated by it, to be perfectly honest.
If we had to fill a second team:
Brian McGill (G)
Trey Drechsel (P)
Joe Stroud (P)
Is it short? Yes. We’re hurting for bigs, big time. All of our best rebounders this year are 6’6 or less. That sixth spot was a process of elimination. Mitch Penner is too much of a cancer. Gilles Dierickx is more of a disaster than his 6’11 body can make up for. JJ Pankratz just missed the nod, because we’re not sure if his game would translate to a team where he has a specific role to fill, rather than just trying to be okay at basketball. Tyler Gutierrez same thing as JJ. Mike Wright has good moments but we can’t trust his turnovers at this point. Joe Stroud gets the nod because he’s 6’8 and has proven in the past that he can rebound and score successfully, provided there’s someone to take the focus off of him; in this case: Bangaly, Diante, and Brian.
All-conference underclassmen? These are just off the top of our head and guys that week think show promise:
Riley Hawken (CU-P) -Riley Stockton II, mark our words. And we love the other Riley a lot, so that’s high praise.
Naim Ladd (CWU) -He’s crazy little and his shooting is highly questionable, but dude gets boards.
JJ Pankratz (SFU) -He’s old for being a soph, but whatever, he’s good.
Trey Drechsel (WWU) -Just came back off of injury, very impressive thus far.
Coleman Wooten (SPU) -has played very limited minutes, but has played really well.
Jordan Kitchen (SMU) -continuing to rep the Jordans from Seattle Prep; they always had a couple of good ones back in our day.
Tyler Gutierrez (CU-P)-we forgot he wasn’t a junior, hence being so far down this list.
Alex Roth (WOU) -another old sophomore, but whatever; he’s pretty legit.
If we had to name a team: Riley, Trey, Coleman, Jordan. The other four all have their merits, but we honestly don’t know who we’d pick as the final two.
Other underclassmen whose names we actually know because of this year: Evan Scholten (WWU), Gabe Colosimo (SPU), Michael Painter (SMU), Rhett Baerlocher (SMU), Jordan Perry (MSUB), Drake Rademacher (CWU), and the Europe to NNU pipeline: Nikola Prvulj, Leoor Konenkov, and Marko Lepovic; we’ll be honest: we suspect they’re all the age of juniors or above, because that’s how Europe works, so… Maybe they shouldn’t be on this list, but NNU is second to last in the conference and deceived these guys so much it should be a crime (they are attending NNU, after all) so… Gitmo is a resort, NNU is a fun place to play basketball, Crusaders = Jihadists, and glad we could have this talk about why you shouldn’t care that we still put the NNU Euros on this list of underclassmen.
Guys missing from those lists: Kendall Denham and Trey Ingram most notably. They’re still in conference, but we wouldn’t recognize their names from what they’ve done this year. We keep waiting =( Hopefully second half of conference play is the trick.
Tomorrow will be our usual discussions and potentially a double-post day.
Good luck to the Vikings and Clan on their match-up tonight.