Category: nuts and bolts

NNU Broke Our Hearts

It’s a day late, but… We were planning and plotting things *strokes beard.* First though, let’s talk about the disaster that was the latest Northwest Nazarene game.

Northwest Nazarene 50 @ San Francisco State 81

And yes: It was that bad. It was that bad throughout the whole game. The number of sarcastic jokes we made was higher than the number of shots NNU made, not that it took much. A disaster to the Nth degree. See, this is what happens when you do things like not lose to Dominican -we start actually critiquing your play and treating you like you should be playing somewhat adequately. And yes: The win against Dominican has been down-graded to simply a non-loss, rather than a win, because the Crusaders didn’t win: the Penguins beat themselves because why would they wake up to play a team like NN-who?

Highlights: Bouna played -40- minutes!! And had 10 points. Off the bench Joel Devastey had 11 points; and Marko Lepovic had nine points. The rest of the guys made too many stupid mistakes (turnovers and terrible shooting percentages) to count.

Basically what this game taught is if you feel the need to quadruple team Bouna, you’ll be just fine because no one else can do anything anyway. You broke our hearts NNU, how dare you.

In better news… An unexpected Blog Blitz is coming!! Because this non-conference was such a complete wash, here are some of the in-depth discussions we have planned for Christmas week:

  • The West vs. the West
  • The West vs. the Rest
  • Discussing the Top 25, post non-conference. Theoretically a new one will come out this week.
  • The Transitive Property of D2 Basketball.
  • Christmas Shenanigans!
  • GNAC K-W-L, non-conference edition.
  • Non-Conference POW acknowledgements -who we’re excited about, what we want to see more of, etc.

And then we’ll be back to the normal schedule of discussions, game previews, etc.

Finally: We will be acknowledging Christmas. Christmas is an American holiday. Christians co-opted the trees from pagans, Christ from the Ancient Egyptians, and Santa Claus from the Turks. There is nothing sacred about Christmas unless you think of it as a melting pot holiday and a reminder that the USA has been and should continue to be made strong and great because of diversity, not in spite of it.


Previewing This Week

MID-SEASON!! We’ve officially made it half way through. So far, so exhausted. But it’s a good exhausted right? And kind of terrifying and sad to think that it’s pretty much half over. Probably more than half over because let’s be real: No GNAC team is making the Elite Eight.

Still -there are all kinds of fun posts planned for this week, starting today tomorrow! Unfortunately there’s going to be a slight delay because the GNAC website was down last night as of roughly 9:30pm PST and didn’t go back up until at least 3am.

To tide you over, here is the gist of what happened:

WOU 90 @ WWU 87

The Vikings went up, went down, went up, and then couldn’t hang on and the Wolves got the victory in Carver. Really, really good news for said Wolves, really bad news for everyone else.

SMU 87 @ SFU 97

Similar back and forth game -SFU would go up, SMU would reel the Clan back in, SFU would go up, SMU would reel them back in, and ultimately SFU went up and stayed there. But only once; no need to preemptively put your arms up and down; they simply won.

NNU 57 @ UAA 67

Similarly -UAA would go up, NNU would get back in it; UAA goes up, NNU gets back in it; UAA goes up. They had Brian, which obviously helped, but it was a close game. This is the other side of the learning experience for NNU. We’ll see what they do with it.

CWU 74 @ UAF 70

Huge win for the Wildcats. They swept the Alaska schools. Fourth time in conference history it’s been done. UAF was back in it at the very last second and just couldn’t hang on. They’re going to kick themselves for a long time on this one.

SPU 60 @ MSUB 44

There were tense moments but ultimately the Falcons pulled through it. Nothing too much to say; the Falcons got it done, per usual. Big thing was they needed WWU and UAF to win and the fact that neither team did means the Falcons’ position is precarious at best.

What happened yesterday will go up tomorrow, likely along with the usual POW stuff, but all of it’ll be later in the day than usual.

A New Metric

Tentatively there is now an actual algorithm that will be used when deciding the player-of-the-week. So far it seems to hold up well and has been checked against most short term variables such as player position, wins/losses, blow-outs/close victories, and tempo of offense; it was checked against SFU’s prolific offense, as well as UW’s display of defense against SDSU, and then a middle-of-the-pack starting line-up, and various other performances of the week.

The good news is it also makes our conference look fairly respectable -it hasn’t been tested against the line-ups of any of the current top 5 teams, but it should give players in context, rather than the league itself because it negates a lot. The idea is essentially hockey weighted basketball stats and thus player effectiveness rating.

Also, here’s where there’s some crow-eating about Riley Carel: he was the most effective guy on his team during the UAF game, BUT compared to other effective guys that night he was middle-of-the-pack. He can play better and he knows it.

It’s been tested quite well for how brief of a time it’s actually been played with (roughly five hours), but here are some major questions with answers that should be delivered over the next couple of months:

  • Trends -will the same guys win all the time and does it matter if they do?
  • Does it take into account stylistic differences among teams?
  • What are the long-term lurking variables and can they be nullified?
  • Do teams that go deeper inevitably suffer because things are more spread out?

With the first question: that happens anyway -guys are called starters and/or play major minutes for a reason. The second, so far so good, but again: long term trends. Obviously some of the lurking variables are known, but it’s the more esoteric that there aren’t answers for yet. Teams that go deep still have guys that are scoring most of the points to get them that deep; this was checked against a prep team that played a majority of blowouts (90% of regular season games).

Player-of-the-week will be posted soon.

Hokay, So Here’s the Blog

If you’re missing that reference, click. You’re welcome.

Good morning and welcome to the first day of conference play!

Tuesday’s result:

Western 105, Quest 48

A salmon cheers in the distance; no one cares. This blog is a pretty big homer of WWU and yet… no.

This is the third post of four that’ll be going up today because November was insane and December is less insane. Thankfully. It was fun though, was it not? And we know a heck of a lot more than we did a month ago (duh).

As such, we never looked at who the CCAA was playing in non-region and to be frank: It doesn’t matter at this point either. It will be something to look at come the end of the month, as will the conference preview.

This isn’t us dodging a bullet; this is us wanting to look at everything in one lump sum.

Tonight’s games:

Seattle Pacific at Northwest Nazarene
MSU-Billings at Central Washington
Alaska-Anchorage at Saint Martin’s
Alaska-Fairbanks at Western Oregon

The urge to make predictions has arisen:

  • UAA and SPU should both win.
  • WOU should win.
  • MSUB at CWU is theoretically going to be a heck of an amazing game. Central has a better resume, but MSUB has played a lot of obligation teams that kind of screw them over regardless; if they win, it means nothing, and if they lose it looks horrible. We love the Yellowjackets, so we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt and they just came off a great win against Black Hills State, so… toss up, the game is likely to be a toss-up.

WWU and SFU have their travel pairing day and so they only play a game on Saturday. The game is at SFU, and… count us as very intrigued, but that’s a post for either tomorrow or Saturday morning.

Tonight’s games will be tweeted live updates of, woo-hoo! Things are finally calming down enough to allow it again. Very exciting stuff.

Speaking of which: we just unfollowed a ton of people on twitter, but fear not: it was all various D2 athletic conferences from around the country and then CCAA/Pac-West schools; our feed was just too crazy and full of irrelevant information.

The general athletic feed of every Pac-West school can be found here; the general athletic feed of every CCAA school can be found here; feeds of various conferences can be found here; finally, the GNAC feeds can be found here.

Player of the week for the past week will still be named; hopefully tomorrow.

Anything else? OH. Patrick Simon II. We call him Patrick Simon the Second because Seattle Pacific had a different 6’8 Patrick Simon the last couple of years (currently playing in Germany); SPU is a prominent team in our conference, Pat was arguably the best player in our conference, and he just graduated last year, so it makes sense to distinguish and we want the current Pat to make his own name.

Good luck tonight to the Crusaders, Falcons, Yellowjackets, Wildcats, Saints, Seawolves, Wolves, and Nanooks!

Player-of-the-Week Nominations

Good morning! One feature that it became abundantly clear needs to be a thing is a player-of-the-week as designated by the GNAC Men’s Basketblog. Usually this’ll be based around a combination of double-doubles, full houses, or other qualities like that.

A full house is basically the opposite of Club Trillion; a player needs to get at least one of each: a rebound, assist, steal, block, and score points. Turnovers are not necessary, but are forgiven.

If you have someone that didn’t statistically stand out that you think was the heart of your team and should get the nomination instead: tweet at us, or leave a comment.

Nominations will be posted on Mondays, with the winner post occurring on Wednesdays.

This week:

UAF: Adam Griffin/Ruben Silvas/Almir Hadsizehovic –No one distinguishes between the three, but all played well.
UAA: Brian McGill –consistency.
SFU: Sango Niang –rebounds + points = wins.
WWU: Anye Turner –blocks.
SPU: Riley Stockton — incredible balance; did what it takes to make the guys around him better.
MSUB: Austin Hudson –double-double.
CWU: Gary Jacobs/Julian Vaughn/Jordan Russell — T/O issues plague two of them, but they’re still valuable.
NNU: Kevin Rima/Bouna N’Diaye –Kevin had a double-double, Bouna had a full house!
SMU: Trey Ingram –assists + full house!!
WOU: Andy Avgi –points + rebounding.

Great job to all of the guys! If there’s a twitter account we haven’t linked that you want linked, please do in fact say something. This blog is about bringing some much deserved attention to some straight up ballin’ guys that don’t usually get it.

It was a fantastic and crazy weekend. The post about Saturday’s games (which these nominations did take into account) should be up by the end of today.


Here is some of what’s on the horizon:

  • conference perspective
  • schedule musings
  • results
  • hyperbole
  • GNAC bias

Covering the non-conference analysis is really, really important. One of the things that makes Division II different than D1 is knowing the potential opponents we’ll face in March from the first game of the season. This past year, by January 1st, the regional was going to be in southern California, with the 90% odds on San Bernardino hosting.

After non-conference season comes conference play (mostly) and this past year because non-conference was such a wash for the GNAC, every conference result had potentially huge implications. It was really funny to get to the end of the first conference round robin and realize we knew exactly as much as we did when non-conference play ended. That was hilarious if not aggravating.

People will probably be worried that since this blog is being written by an alum of a particular GNAC school that it’ll have biases about that school… meh. I picked my school to lose in the middle of a game when the opposing team was down by 10 and had a sub .500 record. Oh and it was our senior night. The opposing team won, I took a bunch of heat for it… Fact is: it wasn’t my fault.

And while it might be hard to believe: I know men’s basketball. I’ve watched a heck of a lot of it. I watch a heck of a lot of it every year. I’ve watched 35+ games a year in person since 2004, ranging from middle school select to NBA. I’m a straight-up hoopaholic and I’m not looking to go to rehab any time soon.

I never expected to find myself caring about division two basketball, but… here we are, and thus:

Welcome to the coverage of GNAC Men’s Basketball.