The First Discussions Post in Ages!!

WE FINALLY HAVE A DISCUSSIONS POST THAT’S WORTHWHILE TO WRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We used to have these regularly, then the conference became the pointedly weakest in the west and these became pointless to write. This is so exciting and so let’s jump right in.

The UAF athletics website spells ‘Petroleum’ Wrong.

We found that out when we were looking up how tall Mawich Kachjaani is:

Good on Mawich for participating in the BEST major at UAF. We didn’t major in petroleum engineering; we just bossed around the undergraduate engineers at SPU and then proceeded to get a masters in engineering management from a maritime academy, so while not undergrad, there is a kinship.


Where In the World Do GNAC Players Come From?

With Mawich being from South Sudan and taking on Mehdi El-Mardi from Morocco, we wanted to go through and see who in the GNAC is from where and whether or not they can go to Canada. It was going to be a separate post, but we’ll stick it here.

Guys that are part of their team’s regular rotation are in italics.

Alaska-Fairbanks

Mawich Kachjaani
Nationality: South Sudanese.
VISA required.

Alaska-Anchorage

Jack Macdonald
Nationality: Australian.
VISA definitely not required. Common Wealth, what what?!?!

Oggie Pantovic
Nationality: Serbian.
VISA required.

Simon Fraser

Why are we including Simon Fraser? Because they do have a couple of foreign born players, and one in fact can’t enter the United States, which we find really interesting, because… They play 50% of their games in the United States.

Mikkel Aames
Nationality: Norwegian.
VISA not required to enter the United States.

Kemo Sonko
Nationality: Gambian.
VISA required to enter the United States.

Western Washington

N/A

Seattle Pacific

Filip Fullerton
Nationality: Swedish.
VISA not required.

^Okay, this one doesn’t count because he has dual citizenship, but we think it’s super cool and so we’re including it anyway.

Mehdi El-Mardi
Nationality: Moroccan.
VISA required.

Saint Martin’s

Brendan Freire
Nationality: Australian.
VISA not required.

Alex Clinton
Nationality: Australian.
VISA not required.

Central Washington

N/A

Northwest Nazarene

Felix White
Nationality: Nigerian.
VISA required.

Jayden Bezzant
Nationality: Kiwi/New Zealander.
VISA not required.

Spider Adentunji
Nationality: Nigerian.
VISA required.

MSU-Billings

N/A

CU-Portland

El-roi Butler
Nationality: Israeli.
VISA not required.

Israeli passport regulations are actually kind of interesting; many Israeli citizens hold dual citizenship partly because there are a lot of places in the world where you wouldn’t want to be traveling under an Israeli passport. Even visitors to Israel are often advised to have two passport books; one that gets the Israeli stamp, and one that doesn’t, because there are a number of nations that even restrict the movement of people that merely have an Israeli stamp in their book.

Western Oregon

N/A

All of this is interesting because it feels like there should be some type of reciprocity, of if you have a VISA that allows you to study in the United States or Canada, you should be able to take day trips into the other country without issue. Alas, we’re sure there are good reasons that it doesn’t exist, and so… Is what it is.

Thank-you for indulging our inner geography nerd. We’re proud of and grateful to all of these guys for trekking across the globe to participate in NCAA basketball in the pacific Northwest.


Checking in with the CCAA…

Now that more of conference play has happened, we thought we would check in with the other two conferences and see what we can glean.

First, looking over the Pac-West…

And now, the CCAA…

UCSD is 7-1 with their only loss having come against Chico State in early December. Most recently they narrowly beat East Bay at home, winning 76-73, but that actually behooves the GNAC; SMU has a close loss to UCSD, so if you’re a big transitive property person, this means that SMU would have kept UCSD close. Does it mean that in reality? Probably not, but delusional fans are an important part of college basketball.

The Tritons are still on track to host the Regional, which is good for all involved because we had an absolute blast in San Diego last year.

Chico State is 7-2 with one loss coming to Stanislaus back in mid-late November, and the other loss coming to Cal Poly Pomona in early-mid December. They’ve had a couple of close wins as of late, at Cal State LA and at Dominguez Hills, but hey! A win is a win and they’re still looking great. Their schedule is about to calm down; they have a game on Thursday, and then don’t have another game for a week and it’s against D1 Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!) and then they have another week before hosting Dominguez Hills.

San Bernardino is currently 6-2, but they haven’t really beat any CCAA heavy weights; their losses come via East Bay & UCSD, and hten they have a close win over Stanislaus.

Cal Poly Pomona is also 6-2 with their losses being to UCSD and then San Bernardino in OT. Still definitely in the fight for an at-large.

Stanislaus is 5-3 and continues to look pretty legit with a close win at East Bay, although also a close win at Humboldt State, so yikes.

East Bay at 5-4 is fighting to stay relevant. They officially require the autobid in order to make the tournament, but the autobid is going to be insanely hard to procure in this conference, so… They’re basically out. They include recent losses to UCSD (quality), Stanislaus (quality), and a blow out loss to San Marcos (yikes), and so as much as we love this team… Yeah, no. See you next year, Rooney ❤

What all of that means in GNAC terms is that it’s going to be really hard to get an at-large berth if you’re in the GNAC. The CCAA is the cream of the crop in the Region this year, and the top teams all scheduled really well; UCSD, Chico State, and Cal Poly Pomona all played and beat a few of the GNAC’s top teams, so… They’re going to own the tiebreaker.


Checking in with the Pac-West…

After the bad news above, you’re probably ready for some good news and these results absolutely qualify because they are hysterical. We love you Pac-West, promise.

But here’s the thing…

CU-Irvine is 5-0 in conference, but they haven’t really played anybody just yet. They have a big game on Thursday at Azusa, and so we’ll see how that goes. This’ll be hard to make a judgement on until early February, because they do have a gauntlet coming up: At Azusa Pacific, hosting Biola, at Point Loma, at Chaminade, and then hosting Point Loma. Let’s see what their record looks like at the end of that, just because… They lost both WWU and SPU on the Eagles home court. WWU it is what it is, but that early season SPU team was bad considering they were breaking in an almost brand new team, yet CU-I still couldn’t get the ‘W.’ We’ll see how it shakes out, ultimately. We know we’d rather play CU-I than PLNU or APU again, and that doesn’t bode well for getting an at-large berth, but a lot can happen and we shall see.

Point Loma is 6-1 in conference with their one loss coming at Azusa Pacific, which is fine. They have a close win over Biola, and then play at Chaminade tonight, so… We’ll see how that goes. This team still absolutely could win the conference and so it’ll be curious to see how they do in conference.

Azusa Pacific is 6-2 in conference, with losses against Hilo and Chaminade. Both were respectable losses, and they boast a win over Point Loma, so this is a team we’re just going to have to wait and see. For them it really seems like it’ll depend on how the standings finish and who gets the autobid, whether or not it’ll be possible for them to get an at-large bid. If PLNU wis the tournament and APU gets second, it seems like they might get a bid; if CU-I gets the guarantee, it’s a little dicier because we’re not sure about CU-I being an at large team. We shall see.

Chaminade is 5-2 in conference, with losses against Academy of Art (wth) and Biolo in FOUR OT, holy guacamole. They play Point Loma tonight, but then won’t play another big game until CU-I on the 25th. Good record, still great potential for an at-large, but lots of big games left to come and so we’ll see what happens.

Biola is 5-3 in conference, with a close loss at Point Loma, a close loss at HPU, a close loss at Hilo, and not having played any of the heavyweights just yet. Because of those losses and because of their non-con, we would consider them out of vying for an at-large berth, but still at team to keep an eye on.


This didn’t go the direction we meant it to, which just means we’ll have to have another ‘Discussions’ post next week.

We were also going to check in with the GNAC for the Pac-West and CCAA peeps, but the fact is that we’ve only played two-ish games since we last checked in, and so… That’s all for today. We did see that CWU beat NNU on the road, nicely done Wildcats, very unexpected result, we’ll go over it more on Friday.

Game previews will be up tomorrow morning.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!