Previewing the Elite Eight!

We a Pac-West blog now đŸ˜‰

We wouldn’t do it for every Pac-West or CCAA team, but… We feel like we have a good handle on what Point Loma does, what their players can do, how their coaching staff functions, and otherwise the info that gives us the capability to write decently competently regarding their post-season run.

We didn’t talk too much about their play in the Sweet 16 post, because we planned on discussing it more in this post.

Now that the Elite Eight is here, the winners of each regional bracket have been re-seeded and as such, the top eight are:

  1. Northwest Missouri State (1)
  2. West Texas A&M (1)
  3. Queens (NC) (1)
  4. Nova Southeastern (FL) (1)
  5. Saint Anselm (NH) (1)
  6. Point Loma (CA) (1)
  7. Southern Indiana (4)
  8. Mercyhurst (PA) (4)

In parenthesis is the team’s non-obvious state, as well as their seed in their respective Regional.

At that time of this post being published, Northwest Missouri State and Saint Anselm are officially in the Final Four.

And so… 6/8 number one seeds made the Elite Eight and PLNU is seen as the weakest of the bunch.

We could agree with that, seeing as they played terribly in the Sweet 16.


If SMU put up the numbers PLNU put up, we would have considered them to have played flawlessly, minus the turnovers.

Point Loma played terribly in the way we consider Seattle Pacific to often play terribly. SPU can win by 25 and we’ll unapologetically complain about it. Point Loma is a Looney team, Daulton and Preston are beloved former GNAC’ers, Tanner Nelson is a fellow Latter Day Saint, Brock Mackenzie and Sterling Somers were both recruited by SPU, and so we consider y’all 100% ours, but… It means that we will ride you.

So… What did we like about Point Loma in the Sweet 16? Namely that guys didn’t shoot if they were cold. Looney keeps y’all on a tight leash and while we love Grant Leep, we soooo miss the tight leash from our undergrad. We’ve been losing our minds all year over the shot attempts put up by a number of the SPU upperclassmen.

We feel that way about every other GNAC team, even if we don’t express it.

Preston Beverly: 2-5.
Josh Rodriguez: 2-4
Tanner Nelson: 1-3
Ziggy Satterwaite: 7-10
Daulton Hommes 10-15
Brock Mackenzie: 0-3
Sterling Somers 1-4
Ben Okhotin: 0-3

LITERALLY ZERO BAD SHOOTING NUMBERS. Yes, there are guys that didn’t make any shots what-so-ever, but guess what?!? THEY STOPPED SHOOTING.

Here are some more fun numbers:

Preston Beverly: 9 boards.
J-Rod: 2 boards -the paint gets crowded, it’s okay.
TANNER NELSON: 7 boards.
Ziggy: 5 boards.
Daulton: 5 boards.
Ben Okhotin: Two boards.

While PLNU did in fact have 15 turnovers and it could have killed them (thankfully it didn’t), no one had more than three. Handling the ball, especially against a good defensive team like SMU, turnovers are going to happen.

Preston Beverly… We weren’t the most impressed with his play against SMU, but he’s a chronically bad free throw shooter and it was one game. We feel like he got targeted because the Saints knew they weren’t likely to stop Daulton nor Ziggy, and so Preston was where they tried to clamp down. And yet… He still got nine boards. Solid.

J-Rod… Can we call you that? A ‘no’ for a nickname has never stopped us before, so here we go. J-Rod, We like the line. Is it great? No. But is it solid? Yes. Does it make your teammates better? Yes. Does it help lead to wins? YES. Would we like a better line tonight against Queens? Sure. Always love to see the seniors doing work. But can PLNU win with a line like this? Definitely.

Tanner… We’re so impressed. Tanner is definitely a shooter, but he was cold and he found ways to help his teammates. He played 29 great minutes all without needing the ball to be effective. We love it. We love a team player SO MUCH. We’d love to see him have a great scoring game against Queens, but we know that even if he doesn’t he’s still going to be playing really effective basketball.

Ziggy… Oh goodness. We’re in love. Big force down in the paint. Love his line. 21 minutes, 7-10 from the field, no three point attempts, 1-1 from the line, five boards and four fouls. Would it be nice for him to stay out of foul trouble? Yes. But is it a battle we feel is worth picking? No. Because PLNU got the win anyway. If they hadn’t, we would pick it.

Daulton… Prototypical Daulton game. 25 and five, nothing flashy except you can’t take your eyes off of him. It wasn’t one of Daulton’s better nights, but he’s just so capable. How can you turn 25 points into a typical performance? He was our GNAC player of the year last year and had thoroughly won it by halfway through the season, and so… There’s not much we can really say beyond that. Would we like a higher rebounding number? Yes. But does he have teammates that are a better option to do that dirty work? Yes. We would also looove to see a few Daulton blocks if the opportunity arises, which it arguably should against Queens.

As for the bench…

Kaden: 6,000,000,000,000. Club Trill FOR LIFE. Especially off the bench. Six minutes, zero stats including ZERO MISSED SHOTS and ZERO TURNOVERS. We prize those that relieve starters without trying to do too much.

Brock: Two turnovers in 19 minutes, only three shots taken, one assist, one steal, and all while only a frosh. Nothing concerning. Good experience. The paint again is pretty crowded so not worried about the lack of boards.

Sterling: Really happy with Sterling’s line. Eight boards off the bench is great. Two turnovers as a junior we’re a little more dicey about, but again not a battle we’re going to pick because Point Loma got the win.

Overall for as much as this was somewhere between an average game and a not-so-good game, we still feel fully confident in these numbers, and that’s why despite the seed differential, we feel pretty solid about Point Loma going into the match-up with Queens.

At this point in the season, we feel like season statistics give a pretty solid overall picture of any given player, and so… Here’s what we’re thinking about the Queens players.

First of all: As a whole, they’re short but many of them are stocky.

Second of all: We have a feeling that the reffing is not going to go in Point Loma’s favor. But Ryan Looney likely already knows that.

Third: They go about nine guys deep.

Their regular rotation consists of:

Daniel Carr
Shaun Willett
Lewis Diankulu
Van Turner Jr.
Kenny Dye
Kevion Blaylock
Blake Morrow
Jermaine Patterson
Josh Brodowicz

All of their guys shoot near 50% from the field, so beware of that. Not a super great rebounding team, so that’s relieving from a Point Loma perspective. More details…

Shaun Willett is their go-to guy. He’s a senior, 6’4/210, and averages 20 points, 11 boards, and 1.5 or so steals in 32 minutes a game. He also tends to stay out of foul trouble, so… Good luck Daulton.

Daniel Carr is their workhorse of a 6’0/180lb junior. He sees about 34 minutes a game while scoring 16 points and dropping five dimes on 47% from the field including 41% from downtown. He’s an 80% free throw shooter, so don’t foul the guy.

After those two, the minutes drop-off a cliff.

Lewis Diankulu is 6’7/220 and their big paint presence. He averages 25 minutes, 12 points, and seven rebounds a game. He only shoots 50% from the line, so go ahead and foul him.

Van Turner Jr. is 6’2/180 and shootings 85% from the free throw line, so another not to foul.

Kenny Dye appears to be a replacement for a guy they lost for the season early, and so sixth man bumped up to a starter. He shoots 50% from three, so be aware of that.

Kevion, Blake, Jermaine, and Josh seem largely to be fillers; none average a ton of points nor field stats, but they do give the starters a break, and so it seems like their starting five are the big concerns. I trust Sterling Somers a lot more than I trust anything the Royals have off of the bench.

The context of them being a #1 seed in the Southeast Region…

Honestly: They didn’t even win their conference tournament and yet they received a #1 seed. At this point we don’t trust the Southeast Region any more than we trusted the West Region, and so a win should be totally doable.

We like Point Loma’s rebound prowess, we like their fundamentals, we think they had a bad game against SMU and it got them a lower ranking in the Elite Eight than they should have, so… Time to prove them wrong.

Prediction: PLNU wins.

It could be close. It could be by a lot. But we believe in PLNU’s numbers and we believe in Point Loma’s teamwork.

We’ll be tweeting the whole time, so tweet back at us! Cyber tailgating, let’s do it.