Category: regional play

Past Games + Previewing Today’s Games!

Yes, we didn’t do the previews yesterday. Boo us, we suck.

That said: We won Apple Cup and got high-fives from most of the men’s soccer team, Myles Bryant, AND UW President Ana Mari Cauce, so it was a big win all around.

And now let’s get into this week’s basketball.

From Tuesday & Wednesday:

Seattle Pacific 75 @ Sonoma State 55

The Sonoma State coach was stunned by the result, to the point that he publicly stormed over to the CCAA’s ref coordinator and blamed bad reffing. Uh, dude: SPU’s lost to four teams and every single one looks decent at the very minimum; their one win came against the team projected to win the Pac-West.

Falcon highlights: Harry Cavell had 10 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Divant’e Moffitt had 14 points on great shooting, along with a plethora of field stats; Shaw Anderson had 20 points on great shooting as well as a bordering on great free throw shooting; and Gavin Long had 10 points. No outstanding bench play, although some good relief minutes.

Overall the Falcons were in foul trouble and it is what it is; it’s funny, Shaw had a great game on paper but in person it felt very riddled with frosh mistakes. #JustShawThings

Northwest Nazarene 70 @ Cal State LA 74

While we picked the Nighthawks to win, the result really isn’t that surprising. Cal State LA has been very 50/50 and while we firmly believe in this year’s NNU team, it is an adjustment in not having Adonis Arms, and this was a road game.

Nighthawk highlights: Sam Roth had a whopping 16 boards; Beto Diaz had 10 points and five boards; and George Reidy had 14 points. Off the bench Cayden Wright had five points; and Ezekiel Alley had a whopping 16 points and six boards.

Overall, some really bad shooting numbers, but holy guacamole Sam Roth! This loss actually might not look atrocious come March, but because of how the Nighthawks scheduled non-con, we think regardless they’re going to need the autobid.

East Bay 89 @ Saint Martin’s 83

We were there for the second half. Yes, we were a turkey. This game went in waves and was tied at halftime. It was a good game, good experience game for SMU because East Bay projects really well and the Pioneers would work their way up but the Saints would reel them back in, and ultimately the score ended up really respectable. We would consider ourselves an East Bay person (because our beloved grad school coach is the head coach) but we found ourselves rooting hard for the Saints just because they’re young and yet made a lot of really good, high effort plays.

Saints highlights: Demonte Malloy was OUT OF HIS MIND with a full house among 14 points, 10 boards, and seven assists; CJ Jennings was impressive with 22 points on good shooting; MARKY ADAMS had a whopping 12 points and 13 boards; and certified sixth man LOGAN ROONEY had 12 points and six boards.

The Saints won the rebounding battle considerably; 43-36, so that’s awesome. We have to say, we’re excited about this team. While they had a rough stretch in Utah, it appears that they’re learning the right things and should be ready to go come conference play. Ridiculously proud of all of y’all, congrats on a well played and hard fought game, Saints.

Now let’s talk about Friday’s games…

Northern Michigan 95 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 45

This game doesn’t count for SOS (lol), but was scheduled because both schools are D1 in hockey and D2 in almost everything else -including basketball.

Nook highlights: Mawich Kachjaani had seven boards. Off the bench Keshaun Howard had six points; Markel Banks had six points; Quinn Daugharty had four boards; and OBG had 10 points.

Congrats on getting to heal yourselves at a Pokemon Center afterward, Nooks. Y’all need it.

Michigan Tech 83 @ Alaska-Anchorage 80

Another game that doesn’t count for SOS but was scheduled because both schools are D1 in hockey and D2 in almost everything else. We’re not going to get into any implications because the fact is: this game doesn’t matter. It’s better prep than playing D1 or lower division, while at the same time truly doesn’t matter and so while we get the sentiment… Just why. What a waste of energy.

Seawolf highlights: DeAndre Osuigwe had nine points and six assists; Niko Bevens had 12 points; and Tobin Karlberg had five boards. Off the bench Amari Hale had 11 points and five assists; Tyrus Hosley had 11 points; Jack Macdonald had nine points and four boards; and OGGIE PANTOVIC had 16 points and nine boards.

Once again: If Yugoslavia was still intact, the YBL would rival the NBA in terms of being the world’s best basketball league. Balkan heritage > your heritage. And we say this as a Norwegian 😂😂 You didn’t see us going on and on about Sjur Berg. Although we did go on and on about Bouna N’Diaye, but that was strictly basketball.

Colorado Christian 69 @ Western Washington 91

The good news is that this game does count for SOS. The bad news is, Colorado Christian usually is really bad and that appears to hold true this year.

Viking highlights: Tucker Eenigenburg had 11 points on great shooting; D’Angelo Minnis had 21 points and five steals; Logan Schilder is off the DL and had eight points and five boards; Jalen Green had 12 points and five boards; Trevor Jasinsky had 18 points, seven boards, and eight assists; and off the bench Luke Lovelady had 14 points and seven boards among a full house of stats.

Congrats to the Vikings on the win.

Adams State 75 @ MSU-Billings 86

Good come-from-behind win for the Yellowjackets. Adams State is in the RMAC, so the game does count in regard to March (not that it really matters), and they tend to sit in about the same range that MSUB does, so good practice.

Jackets highlights: Clarence Daniels had five boards; Psalm Maduakor had five boards; Chrishon Dixon had a full house among 13 points, eight boards, and four assists; Jordan Lehrer had five boards; and Brendan Howard had 11 boards and 17 points. Off the bench TYLER GREEN had 28 points and four assists; and Stevie James had 11 points and seven boards.

Congrats to the Yellowjackets on great rebounding and a really quality overall performance.

Stanislaus 62 vs. CU-Portland 57 @ San Francisco State

Not sure how to feel about this game. Stanislaus had started looking pretty darn good and then… They almost got beat by Concordia. Or does that mean Concordia is actually starting to look decent? We can only hope.

Cavs highlights: Xavier Smith had eight boards; Hunter Sweet had 18 points and went 7-8 from the line; and Dakota Ayala shot well and had six boards. Off the bench Bryce Cheney had five points; and Dom Bradley had five boards.

We definitely feel like the Cavs could/have should have won this game, and so… Is that a moral victory, or a demoralizing loss? It’s one thing to get blown out, but an entirely different thing to have totally been able to win and yet not done it. Hmmm.

Western Oregon 88 @ San Francisco State 76

Good win for the Wolves who are starting to look like an increasingly good team. One of those situations where it was impossible to say before the season, and yet not surprising now that more games have been played.

Wolf highlights: Jaylyn Richardson was lights out and had 17 points and seven boards; Dalven Brushier had 17 points; and Darius Lubom had 20 points and seven boards. Off the bench TYREEK PRICE had 17 points; and Zach Baugher had eight points.

The 17 points thing reminds us of the Jim Shaw days of every player getting 10 points before getting pulled. Such consistency. Congrats to the Wolves on a good win and great shooting.

Previewing Today’s Games!

Yes, the SPU game will have already started by the time this post goes up, but… Whatever. They’ll live.

All times pacific.

Seattle Pacific @ Point Loma @ 2pm

This SPU team is young, this Point Loma team is new. On the one hand, it’s hard to trust the Falcons because their record is so bad. On the other hand, Point Loma really hasn’t played anybody, with the exception of their blow-out loss to UCSD but that’s par for the course.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

Western Oregon vs. Stanislaus @ San Francisco State @ 5pm

We’re actually really curious about this game. Stanislaus beat SPU and we assumed it was a bad loss because Stanislaus usually isn’t that good, and yet they’ve looked better than normal this year. They’re 5-1 with their only loss being to Dominguez Hills and they count a win at Chico State. If WOU gets the ‘W’, we would count it as quality. A loss wouldn’t quite be quality, but it wouldn’t be awful either.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

Colorado Christian vs. Simon Fraser @ WWU @ 5pm

As noted above: Colorado Christian is rarely projected to be that good, and they’re definitely not this year, so…

Prediction: SFU wins.

MSU-Billings vs. Adams State @ 6pm

Yes, they’re playing a second time. It was close yesterday, so let’s see if there’s a different result today.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

Michigan Tech vs. Alaska Fairbanks @ 6:15pm

Tech and Anchorage played close last night and we expect that Anchorage is a lot better than Fairbanks, so…

Prediction: Michigan Tech wins.

CU-Portland @ San Francisco State @ 7pm

While we expect that SFSU is better than Concordia, we’re not sure by how much and thus this could actually be a pretty interesting game. We’ve liked a lot of the numbers we’ve seen from the Cavs, so hopefully Dakota Ayala can/will stay in a bit longer and tonight the Cavs can get the win.

Prediction: SFSU wins.

Northern Michigan @ Alaska-Anchorage @ 8:30pm

Northern Michigan killed Alaska-Fairbanks last night, but UAA and UAF are quite different teams. While UAA registered a loss to Michigan Tech and we vaguely assume NMU is better… Maybe the Seawolves have improved too? There were some bad shooting numbers admittedly, and we think Jack Macdonald needs to see more minutes, so maybe he will.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

All for today. We’ll see you guys tomorrow morning to discuss these games.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

Previewing Today & Tomorrow’s Games!

Sitting at SeaTac waiting to board our flight to… the Bay Area, of course!

And so let’s jump right into previewing the three games.

All times pacific.

Seattle Pacific @ Sonoma State @ 3pm

If there’s one thing that makes us proud to be an SPU alum, it’s how good they are at logistics. Both Sonoma State AND the CCAA website listed the game time as 5pm, when in reality it was at 3pm the whole time. The Seawolves of Sonoma recently got beat by the Seawolves of Anchorage, and while SPU is sitting at a paltry 1-4, those four losses include being to three of the projected top West Region teams, so… More understandable. The big question in this game is how will the young Falcons respond to an upper classmen-laden Sonoma team? We’ll find out.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

Northwest Nazarene @ Cal State LA @ 7pm

Yes, the conference website is listing screwy times again, woo-hoo. According to Cal State LA’s website the game is in fact at 7pm, not 8pm. The Cal State LA team… Is a bit of a mixed bag. They knocked-off the otherwise current Prince of the Region in Azusa Pacific, and then got blown out by East Bay who we’ll talk about in just a sec. We actually think that this NNU team is looking among the cream of the conference, but… What Cal State LA team is going to show up tonight?

Prediction: NNU wins.

East Bay @ Saint Martin’s @ 1pm

East Bay has a good record, but it’s against traditional basement dwellers and includes a loss to traditional basement dweller Academy of Art. They blew out Cal State LA, but… what does that mean? Not sure yet. SMU is brand new and super young, and like SPU they have a ton of losses, but they have been putting up some good numbers and they’re going to be relying on making the conference tournament and getting the autobid, so it’s still hard to say. This game should be decently interesting -and yes, we’ll be there. Maybe wearing a turkey costume, haven’t decided yet.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

It should be a good couple days of games. We’ll be at 2/3 and are super excited to get down to SMU for the first time this year, so definitely come say ‘hi.’

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

Non-Con Day 6.

Some surprises and so… Let’s talk about them.

UAF 78 @ Dixie State 90

Not a surprising result and we’re actually more excited about Dixie bouncing back than we are in caring about about Fairbanks losing/how they lost etc. UAF seemed hopeless last year, and then this year… We admittedly like a lot of their players, but Alaskans voted to defend their university system, so if they don’t care, why should we care?

Nook highlights: SHADEED SHABAZZ had 28 points while going 8-8 from the line; Spencer Sweet had 16 points; and Mawich Kachjaani somewhat bounced back with 11 boards. Off the bench Markel Banks had four boards; and Quinn Daugharty had five points.

The defense was lacking and OBJ didn’t play, which seems odd. Wonder if he’s battling an injury of some kind. Congrats to the Nooks on a solid outing.

NDNU 70 @ CU-PDX 71

WHAT. A. GAME. And exactly what we were expecting. Super exciting, super happy for the Cavs procuring the win.

Cav highlights: Russ Tillery had 12 points and five boards; Elroi Butler had 10 boards; Hunter Sweet had a whopping 20 points and six boards; and it appears Dakota Ayala broke his face yet again because he doesn’t have many stats, which is odd. Off the bench Caleb Larsen had nine points; and Dane Agost had four rebounds.

This win is oddly critical in that it was a hard fought victory that should help teach the Cavs how to win close games and instill confidence in them and whatnot. While most of the Pac-West and GNAC will scoff and go “It was against NDNU” you have to walk before you can run; NDNU is a peer to CU-Portland, and regardless as to where you sit in your conference, a victory over a peer is important.

Regis 69 @ WOU 90

A somewhat surprising result; we expected Regis to win, but we’ve also really liked a lot of the numbers WOU has put up, and so… Maybe not as surprising as it could have been? This WOU team is going to be hard to figure out because it’s so brand new. We’re excited to get to take a look at them in person, although it won’t happen until mid-January.

Wolves highlights: Jaylyn Richardson had 14 points; Cameron Cranston had 14 points and six boards; DALVEN BRUSHIER had 22 points on good shooting; and Darius Lubom had 14 points, five boards, and six assists for the all around excellence. Off the bench Tyreek Price shot well and had 11 points; and Zach Baugher lit things up with a full house of stats including 15 points, five boards, and four assists among other numbers.

Excited for the Wolves, not entirely sure what it means, but it is somewhere between a good and great win, none-the-less.

Yes, the posting has been a little bit more lackadaisical in November than we’d like it to be, but that happens every year. It’s especially bad this year because the only teams that are truly known are UAA, SFU, and WWU. Everyone else has some type of major variability, so we definitely feel like we know less this year than we usually would, and that says something because we rarely feel like we have a good grasp of anything during non-con.

The good news is conference play should be interesting and things will calm down and be back to a normal schedule; it’s just chaos right now, because… Nutso November.

We’ll see y’all on Tuesday for the Tuesday/Wednesday game previews.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC.

Non-Con Day 1 + Day 2 Game Previews.


And we had a blast last night and hope you did as well, so… Let’s talk about it.

CU-Portland 76 vs. San Bernardino 86

Actually not a bad game. Concordia kept it super respectable in the first half, despite breaking in a largely brand new team with a brand new coach. While they did ultimately get blown out, the numbers are largely fine and so at this point we’ll see what happens. No real inclination as to what type of team they are, but they didn’t come out and fall on their faces, which is something.

Cavs highlights: Dom Bradley had six boards; Caleb Larsen had 16 points and five fouls; and Hunter Sweet had 14 points and six boards. Off the bench Russell Tillery had nine points and five assists; Dane Agost had six points; and Barrett Keith had 12 points and seven boards.

Good effort Cavs, today against the Otters should be interesting/better.

MSU-Billings 77 vs. Fresno Pacific 73 in OT

This game honestly isn’t a good sign. Fresno Pacific is usually atrocious and we’re not thinking they’re going to be shooting high this year, so the fact that it was a big battle for the Yellowjackets is a big yikes. Judging by the numbers, not a lot of defense was played, and so to struggle in a game like this is really concerning, but… Ah well. First game of the year and the numbers were solid even if the defense sucked.

Yellowjacket highlights: Clarence Daniels had 15 points and seven boards; Psalm Maduakor had both a double double AND a full house among 11 points, 12 boards, two assists, one steal, three blocks, three fouls, and just one turnover; Jordan Lehrer had 10 boards; Tyler Green had six assists; Brendan Howard is immediately back in mid-season form finishing with 22 points and five boards; and off the bench Stevie James had six points.

Overall not the game they wanted, but they got the ‘W’ and a ‘W’ is a ‘W’ is a ‘W.’

Central Washington 93 vs. Monterey Bay 73

Pretty much as expected. It’s hard to gather really anything from this game because Monterey Bay tends to be so bad, but it was still a good game for the Wildcats to get out and run.

Wildcat highlights: Xavier Smith had 14 points and five boards; Matt Poquette had 11 points; and Tariq Woody had eight points. Off the bench Jeryn Lucas was on fire, going 9-10 and finishing with 24 points; Amari Stafford had eight points; Micah Pollard had nine points in just 11 minutes; and Marqus Gilson had eight points and seven boards.

Really pleased with the Wildcats bench play, curious about the number of minutes Matt Poquette got; he only was on the court for 21 minutes, and was it because he wasn’t playing D or was it because Rinta didn’t want to waste his legs in a blow-out? Matt was super promising last year as a frosh, so we shall see.

Simon Fraser 70 vs. UCSD 95

Not surprising in the slightest, and pretty par for the course. As much as we LOOOOVE SFU and believe in them wholeheartedly, this was the ideal result. Remember, Saint Martin’s got killed by the Tritons last year and still had a perfectly successful season, so really no big deal.

Clan highlights: Wil Balata had 20 points and five boards among a full house of stats; Mike Provenzano had 13 points on great shooting; and Jasdeep Singh was atrocious from the field but went 7-7 from the line. Off the bench David Penney had five points; and Mike Hannan had seven points.

Julian had a rough game, but UCSD has incredibly good post players, so that’s fine. Break in the season, all good. We’re very convinced that UCSD is all-world, so this game doesn’t really tell us much, but that’s a good thing. We’ll see how they do tonight against Dominguez Hills -that’s way more curious.

Western Washington 92 vs. Dominguez Hills 88

Dominguez Hills is supposed to be much improved this year, but that score is really concerning. Western’s numbers against DH were really good and yet it was still incredibly close, so… Let’s all hope that DH is genuinely good this year.

Viking highlights: D’Angelo Minnis had 22 points; Logan Schilder had 17 points; Jalen Green had 20 points and eight boards among a full house; Trevor Jasinsky shot really well and had 17 points and five boards; and Tucker Eenigenburg had six points off the bench.

The good news is that UW upset Baylor last night. The more curious news is that we’re still not sure UW being insanely good has any implication on WWU being atrocious against them. Really curious about the UCSD game tonight.

Seattle Pacific 53 vs. Chico State 75

The bad news is obviously that SPU got killed. The good news is that Chico looks really legitimate, their post is incredible, and as we knew going into the season: SPU is breaking in a brand new post.

Falcon highlights: Gavin Long went 5-7 from the line; and off the bench Jacob Medjo had nine points.

Woof. It was bad. It was really bad. But we’ll see if it actually means anything. The tournament being hosted at SPU this weekend is meant to be a West Region Tip-Off of sorts, and so this game doesn’t really mean a lot in terms of the context that says ‘oh SPU is awful, no way they’re making the Regional.’

Overall an insanely fun night of hoops and we look forward to it continuing tonight, and so… What are we thinking is going to happen tonight?

All times pacific.

Chaminade vs. Alaska-Fairbanks @ UAA @ 3:15pm

As noted in the season previews, we’re expecting that the dumpster fire Fairbanks was last year to continue this year, and so… Not a whole lot to say, but who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise us.

Prediction: Chaminade wins.

Monterey Bay vs. CU-Portland @ CWU @ 4pm

We’re hoping the Cavs get the win, meanwhile the CCAA is hoping the Otters get the win. Both teams are well matched in terms of conference positioning, but… We still think the Cavs hold the edge.

Prediction: CU-PDX wins.

Dominguez Hills vs. Simon Fraser @ WWU @ 5pm

Beyond curious about this game. It should be really good. Mike Hannan was surprisingly productive on the points front, we’re looking for Julian Roche and Jas to both kick into gear, and then Wil Balata and Mike Provenzano to keep it going. It should be a really good game, although we’re not sure on where we stand in regard to hoping Dominguez Hills is good this year vs. hoping Simon Fraser destroys them.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

MSU-Billings @ Point Loma @ 7:30pm

LOL. Good luck Billings! No but seriously, we like a lot of their guys, we just think Point Loma has been really solid every single year and so we’re betting on regeneration. We’re not sure what to think about Fresno Pacific being good vs. Billings being that bad, but…

Prediction: PLNU wins.

Cal Poly Pomona @ Seattle Pacific @ 7:30pm

Cal Poly Pomona lost a super close game to Azusa Pacific last night, but again: it’s hard to know. This tournament is fantastic and all four teams will be rooting for the other three all year, because it’s meant to be an SOS tournament, but… How bad is SPU? How good is Azusa? How good is Chico? How good is Cal Poly Pomona? Those are the questions and the fact is: We just don’t know yet. That said, there was a lot to be concerned about on the Falcon front last night and we’re just not sure how much they can do about it in 24 hours, so…

Prediction: Cal Poly Pomona wins.

San Bernardino @ Central Washington @ 8pm

This should be a good match-up. The teams are peers in their respective conferences and so it should be a super competitive game. Not entirely sure what to expect out of either team just because both were predicted to win yesterday and they did, so… This game should provide good information.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

Hawaii Pacific @ Alaska-Anchorage @ 8:30pm

Another game that projects super well. We’re hoping Anchorage wins, but there are never any guarantees and… First D2 game of the year, so we’ll see what happens. Should be good.

Prediction: Anchorage wins.

Yeah, we know, the game previews were boring. It’s early in the season, give us a break.

Tonight we’ll be at both the APU/Chico and SPU/Cal Poly Pomona game, so come say ‘hi’ if you want.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

Previewing Today’s Games!

Gooood morning and welcome to the first day of the 2019-2020 season!

Despite the fact that of any day of games this year, this is the one we know the least about, let’s talk about it anyway!

All times pacific.

CU-Portland vs. San Bernardino @ CWU @ 2pm

On the one hand, CU-PDX lost Jarrett Gray, Cody Starr, and Jace Cates; on the other hand, they bring in one of the NNU assistants as their head coach. Losing Jarrett Gray obviously really hurts, but we feel okay about this team. CSUSB had a couple of really good years a while back, but since then hasn’t made the tournament nor much noise, so… It’ll be an uphill battle for the Cavs, but is potentially doable.

Prediction: San Bernadine wins a close one.

MSU-Billings vs. Fresno Pacific @ PLNU @ 2pm

This game should actually be really interesting. In terms of where the teams usually sit in their respective conferences, MSUB tends to sit higher, but not much higher. They should be decently well matched, although if Brendan Howard can continue his late season trajectory and Zharon Richmond can click back into gear, the Yellowjackets could look really good.

Prediction: MSUB wins.

Simon Fraser vs. UCSD @ WWU @ 5pm

This is UCSD’s final year of D2 and the entire Region is relying on them for strength-of-schedule, and thus this becomes a Boise State vs. Nevada situation; for the good of their season and strength of their schedule, SFU ideally loses a close one to UCSD. There are other games on the Tritons schedule that could be considered quality losses, but if UCSD loses to SFU right off the bat, our entire Region is going to likely pay for it all year.

Prediction: UCSD wins.

Central Washington vs. Monterey Bay @ 6pm

Monterey Bay was in the basement last year, and CWU should be much improved, so we’re pretty excited about this game. It should be good. Nice game to get the season started off with.

Prediction: CWU wins.

Seattle Pacific vs. Chico State @ 7pm

GAME OF THE NIGHT. Chico wasn’t as good as they normally are last year, and yet… How long will Chico be bad for? Our guess is probably not that long, and thus this game should be really competitive. SPU is a huge question mark, this is the game where that question mark starts to get answered. With how the Falcons schedule, the rest of the conference needs to be pulling for them to win all of their non-con; an SPU win here, helps literally every GNAC team.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

Western Washington vs. Dominguez Hills @ 7:30pm

DH has been getting better but they’re still not that great. This is an important statement win for the Vikings; take care of business, run them into the ground. Dominguez Hills could be seen as middle-pack, while WWU wants to be seen as the top of the pack, so… Go in and leave no doubt.

Prediction: WWU wins.

Not a ton to say in these previews just because it’s the first of the year. We’ll know a bit more tomorrow morning and so we’ll see you then!

Tonight we’ll be at SPU. As always: Come say ‘hi’; we’ll be sittin’ and we’ll be knittin’ =)

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

The Sweet 16!

We took a week completely off just because… We needed it. Big time. We had a blast at the tournament, seriously couldn’t have had more fun, we loved every second, but the season was exhausting and we knew we intended to write about Point Loma as far as they go, and so… It makes enough sense to talk about the Sweet 16 game today, right before we preview Point Loma in the Elite Eight.

And so… Let’s discuss.

#1 PLNU 60 vs. #3 SMU 54

First and foremost, credit to SMU’s defense. Second: this game was nothing like we expected it to be. We expected Point Loma to come out swinging and at full strength, similarly to their dominance of UCSD two nights earlier. We similarly expected that SMU had finally found their offensive rhythm against SPU and so they would be at at their best as well. We expected that Point Loma would eventually win by 10 or so points, in the realm of 85-75. And yet the fact was: SMU had almost zero offense, kept themselves in it on defense, had every opportunity to win, and yet as somewhat expected: their collectively low basketball IQ made it impossible.

Now, the fact is, everyone was tired. It’s a long season. We were excited for the game and definitely running on adrenaline, but it’s hard to get your body to function as well as you need it to, in our opinion especially after one day of rest. An object at motion stays at motion, but you throw in that day of rest with the compounding exhaustion of the season on top of it, and… Instead of things getting better, they get worse.

That said, SMU should have found a way to win. An all-world Point Loma team was within reach the entire time and SMU couldn’t close the deal, which leaves such a bitter taste in our mouth. Not that we think SMU would have made noise in Indiana (we think PLNU has a way better shot) but in this Sweet 16 game SMU was rarely down more than two possessions and PLNU’s largest lead of the night was 10, despite a massive home court advantage. The difference is when a high basketball IQ team is playing terribly, they still move the basketball and trust each other to get the best shot. SMU kept trying to pick-n-roll and against the larger Point Loma team, it was almost impossible. Low basketball IQ decisions all night long.

We love SMU, we really, really do, but there’s a reason that Jordan Kitchen put up the best numbers: He comes from Seattle Prep. He’s been playing and been expected to play fundamental high IQ basketball for years and years. Because of that… On the one hand, the Saints were always in reach, but on the other hand it never felt like they were actually going to win.

SMU highlights: Jordan Kitchen had nine points and five fouls; and EJ Boyce had six assists. Off the bench BJ Standley had 10 points; and Tavian Henderson went 5-6 and finished with 10 points.

PLNU highlights: Preston Beverly had nine boards; Tanner Nelson had seven boards; Ziggy Satherwaite had seven boards and 15 points; Daulton Hommes had 25 points and five boards; and off the bench Sterling Somers had eight boards.

The Sea Lions collectively out-rebounded the Saints 40-27.

The Saints managed to have a mere SEVEN turnovers, while the Sea Lions had a whopping 15.

Numbers-wise at a glance, this game looks like a defensive grind-it-out, but… Honestly: Point Loma’s defense wasn’t that good, SMU was just missing everything and taking a bunch of terrible shots on bad mismatches.

The good news is… Queens University of North Carolina looks similarly exploitable.

And so… Congrats to SMU on a good season, congrats on making the Sweet 16, and congrats to all of their seniors on great SMU careers.

This is going up later today than we intended, and we’re going to preview Point Loma in a separate post, so that’ll be up hopefully by 5pm, and then we’ll be live-tweeting PLNU vs. Queens starting at 6:30pm.

Congrats to all eight teams on a fantastic Regional.

West Region Day 2!

Gooood morning and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It was another great night of basketball, even if results were less-than-desired for some of us, and so… Let’s talk about it.

#2 SPU 63 vs. #3 SMU 67

This game was amazing. It epitomizes March. Both teams wanted it. Both teams are talented. We’re happy to see EJ Boyce click back into gear, and hope he even cranks it up one more notch against Point Loma on Monday. This game really could have gone to either team; SPU led by four at the half, SMU ended up winning by four at the end.

Saints highlights: Luke Chavez had 10 points, seven boards, and four assists; Jordan Kitchen had seven boards; Rhett Baerlocher had five boards; and EJ BOYCE had 17 points. Off the bench BJ Standley had 18 points; and Tavian Henderson had eight points.

Falcon highlights: Harry Cavell had 13 points; Gavin Long had 16 points and five boards. Off the bench Sam Simpson had 11 boards and went 5-6 from the line; and Divant’e Moffitt had 11 points on great shooting.

The Saints out-rebounded the Falcons 39-33, so that’s exciting. SMU played absolutely elite and stifling defense. The lack of numbers from the SPU starters is huge, although somewhat unsurprising because Nathan Streufert has cooled as the year has gone on, and then Coleman Wooten and Nikhil Lizotte are both really 50/50 from the field; they’re either warm or cold, but rarely have “okay” shooting games. This game they were cold and some of it was a product of the SMU defense, but some of it was just them not making shots. Senior leaders gotta lead and that’s what the SMU seniors did while the Falcon seniors did not.

We’re honestly fine with this result; we love SMU, go to tons of SMU games, always have a great time, we love the SMU players, but… It was a ref show. To the point that both coaches got frustrated about it, even though it was going in one direction and that was in favor of SMU. SPU’s Sam Simpson got a technical. Sam Simpson is 6’8/210 with a giant wingspan and one of the most laidback basketball players we’ve ever met. Nothing phases him. He’s just chill. Think Tim Duncan. And so Sam got the technical and there was a six point swing and ultimately SPU would lose, but…

Good teams find a way to win. SMU found a way to win. Was it entirely on them? No. But as noted above: SPU was cold, and SMU was warm. The Falcons had no answer for Jordan Kitchen in the paint, and took time to figure out an SMU offense that they’ve seen twice before. They quite honestly simply got outmanned, out-bodied, and out-played. For Falcons looking for solace: SMU graduates everybody. SPU returns every notable number of today, with the exception of Sam Simpson’s rebounding. It was a bad game for the SPU seniors to go out on, but… Y’all got one extra game. You shouldn’t have escaped the Chaminade game, and you Houdini’d it, and now congruence has returned.

#1 PLNU 73 vs. #4 UCSD 50

Honestly, as much as it was walking toward a blow-out by the end of the first half, it was a super entertaining blow-out and we enjoyed watching it. Not one team has a match for Daulton. Not one. But UCSD still has some great guys that we enjoyed watching, notably freshman Tyrell Roberts is ridiculously fantastic. Shots weren’t falling quite as well as he would have liked, but… He’s a freshman and we’re ridiculously excited to keep an eye on him for one more year -UCSD bumps up to D1 in the 2020-2021 season. The other Triton that stood out big was Chris Hansen; he’s a 6’7/245 undersized center that did a solid job against PLNU’s Ziggy Satherwaite.

UCSD highlights: Tyrell Roberts had 15 points; Chris Hansen had 14 points and nine boards; Christian Bayne had seven points and five fouls; Scott Everman had five boards; and Gabe Hadley had five fouls.

PLNU highlights: Daulton Hommes had 27 points and 11 boards; Ziggy had six boards; and Preston Beverly had seven boards. Off the bench Ben Okhotin had 10 points in just 11 minutes on perfect shooting; and Sterling Somers had four boards.

It’s funny; we loooove Preston Beverly, loved having him in the GNAC, think he’s a great player, and yet next to Daulton he looks so pedestrian. He is a great player, make no mistake, and remember that he does a lot of Daulton’s dirty work. Speaking of Daulton’s dirty work… Best thing we’ve seen in a game all year: Less than 10 seconds left in the first half, Daulton hits a long three, pats the UCSD head coach’s leg, and then runs back on D. Hilarious. Huge show of dominance. We love it. We love friendly cockiness. Find it hysterical.

Other things about this game… PLNU’s David Frohling drove us absolutely bonkers. Attention seeking celebrations on the bench that eventually got him a very deserved talking to by the whistles. We understand he draws people to games, we assume because he has an outgoing, class-clown personality, but… Dude, you’re a freshman. You made your teammates achievements all about you, and it is icky. Who knows though, maybe it’s a SoCal thing? We’re from the PNW, where humility is the name of the game.

Honestly, there really isn’t much to say about this PLNU win; it was a blow-out. It was a methodical blow-out and in many ways felt exactly like so many of our games from undergrad. Very prototypical Ryan Looney game, although admittedly also featuring arguably the best player he’s ever coached. We’re curious to see the Sea Lions against SMU.

We enjoyed both of these games. We’re enjoying being at the tournament. The Point Loma campus is beautiful, everyone has been super nice, and the weather has been perfect. We’re excited to watch SMU vs. PLNU tomorrow, and on that note…

Congrats to SPU on a good season, the game preview for PLNU vs. SMU will be up tomorrow.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

West Region Day 1!

Hooooly wow.

First and foremost: Kerning has done us dirty. We’ve been calling Darius LuBOM ‘Darius LuBORN’ all year.

That said, it was an amazing first day of the tournament, we’re super pumped about it although sad that WOU is officially out, and so… Let’s talk about it!

#3 Saint Martin’s 63 vs. #6 CU-Irvine 60

The air was thick and this game was frustrating. It never felt like SMU was just going to run away with it, but… Luke Chavez is freaking CLUTCH. Love it. Would it have been nice for it to have been a blow out? Yes. But was it perfect the way it was in its own way? Absolutely. We got the ‘W’, what more can you ask?

CU-I highlights: Brian Chambers had 21 points and 10 boards; Jamel White had five assists; Robert Taylor had 10 points while going 6-8 from the line, as well as having five boards; and Kayle Knuckles had five boards. Off the bench Kyle Gray had seven points; Cameron English had a flawless full house; and Tyler Lacour-Brown had four boards.

SMU highlights: Luke Havez had 18 points and eight boards among a full house of stats; Jordan Kitchen had eight boards; and EJ Boyce had five boards. Off the bench Jared Matthews had seven points and six boards; and BJ Standley had 13 points while going 5-6 from the line.

Absolutely insane game. Huge congrats to the Saints on surviving the upset scare. We maintain that the 3-6 is the 5-12 of D2. Probable upset. Almost an upset. But the Saints did it. Somehow miraculously they did it. Good teams find a way to win and that’s exactly what SMU did. So proud of them!

#2 Seattle Pacific 77 vs. #7 Chaminade 75

Honestly: We thought Chaminade was going to win the entire time. Heck, we’ve thought Chaminade would get the upset all day. And then as soon as we walked into the gym and it was muggy and sleepy, we were like “AAAAH!” and then as the game was going on, we kept yawning, and… It felt so much like San Bernardino in 2014 when SPU went up by 25 only to lose to Stanislaus in OT. And yet… SPU got the ‘W’ because like with SMU: good teams find a way to win.

Chaminade highlights: Andre Arissol had nine points; Grant Dressler had 26 points and five boards among a full house of statas; Tyler Cartaino had 16 points and nine boards among a full house of stats; Erik Scheive had 13 points and six boards; and off the bench Jake Hutchings had 11 points on good shooting.

SPU highlights: COLEMAN WOOTEN had 15 points and 11 boards among a full house of stats; Nikhil Lizotte had 19 points among a plethora of field stats; and Gavin Long had 21 points among a full house of stats. Off the bench Sharif Khan had six points; Sam Simpson had five points and six boards among a full house of stats; and Divant’e Moffitt had seven points and four assists.

SPU only won the rebounding battle by two. Chaminade’s players hit amazing numbers. Chaminade is used to playing in oppressive humidity. We still have no idea how SPU got out of this game. Every minute played by every player mattered. It was a complete team effort. Congrats to the Falcons on a hard fought win.

#4 UC San Diego 61 vs. #5 Cal Poly Pomona 50

The players were in it, but as a whole Cal Poly Pomona was not. They attempted, they fought valiantly there for a while, they tied it up, but it was always property of UCSD. Congrats to Cal Poly Pomona for a great run this year.

CPP highlights: William Christmas had 19 points and five boards; and Chris Sullivan had five boards and eight points. As a whole the Broncos rebounded well; everyone in the game averaged at least three rebounds, which is impressive.

UCSD highlights: Tyrell Roberts had 24 points and five boards; Christian Bayne went 5-6 from the line and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists; and Chris Hansen had 11 boards and 10 points for the double-double.

The most notable thing about this game was it felt like a basket could not be scored. The rims were rejecting everything. The halftime score was 26-16. The Broncos would get back in it, and especially impressive because 10 points in this game was 20 points in another game.

#1 Point Loma 70 vs. #8 Western Oregon 58

Huge home court advantage for the Sea Lions, really fun atmosphere, everyone was super nice. We loved every minute of the 10 hours we spent on campus. Western Oregon led for a decent amount of time. Things were going well. Western Oregon could have won, but they didn’t. Not being able to keep track of the shot clock seemed to be a huge part of it.

WOU highlights: Kaleb Warner had 15 points and five boards; Darius Lubom had 17 points; O’landa Baker had five points; and Buster Souza had four boards. Of note: Riley Hawken was both in foul trouble and completely nullified. It’s hard when there’s one player teams can so easily key in on.

PLNU highlights: PRESTON BEVERLY had 17 points; Josh Rodriguez had seven boards; Tanner Nelson had eight points; Ziggy Satherwaite had 10 points and seven boards; and DAULTON HOMMES had 21 points and five boards. Off the bench Sterling Somers had five boards; and Ben Okhotin had five points.

The other thing that killed the Wolves was rebounding, but that seems par for the course against a Ryan Looney coached team. This game honestly was really just straight up fun. Ideal night of basketball. Super competitive, the teams knew each other, lots jawing and feistiness, and we loved having Daulton and Preston back for a night! Both are former GNAC guys that we absolutely adored, so if you’re curious about them, use the search function on the right and tons of stuff will come up. Daulton was our player-of-the-year last year =)

Congrats to WOU on what was admittedly a frustrating and  rebuilding season, but ultimately a decently fruitful season with an appearance in the NCAA tournament against a great Point Loma team.

Really fun day of games. Really stressful day of games. The cortisol production was real. While we’re sure today is going to be similarly stressful, the heat in the gym should be much less, and so…

Let’s preview today’s games!

All times pacific.

#2 SPU vs. #3 SMU @ 5pm

Oh geez. The good news is, these teams haven’t met in a few weeks. Both feel different. We’re waiting for EJ Boyce to find his groove again, which seems like it could happen today. We’re also waiting for Harry Cavell to find his groove. Both are phenomenal shooters that have been cold as of late. In a perfect world, this could turn into a battle that sees both go 5-7 or so from beyond the arc. The rest of their line-ups… They match-up well. It’s impossible to say what’s going to happen. SPU won the last match-up in a close one, but the prior meeting had seen SMU blow-out the Falcons by 20, so… Who knows. We’re on pins and needles.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

#1 PLNU vs. #4 UCSD @ 7:30pm

These two teams last met a lifetime ago, alllll the way back at the beginning of the season, which saw Point Loma win 75-73. In that time, the Sealions have been really consistent while the Tritons have had some ups and downs, but currently are on a huuuge up, getting two decisive victories over Cal Poly Pomona this past week among others. It should be a really good game. We lean toward Point Loma winning yet again because of the home court advantage thing, but… UCSD is nearby, and we’re guessing their game yesterday was poorly attended merely because the two teams had just played. We’re curious to see about the PLNU students’ attendance; their ASB had purchased 400 tickets, and so their student section was huge. Regardless: We expect a good game and a fun re-match.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

We swear the ‘pick ’ems’ aren’t a cop-out, as much as they sometimes feel like it. The really cool thing about the remaining teams, is that they’re all really familiar with each other, either through ties of tournaments or through head-to-head, with the exception of SPU/UCSD, which is moot at this point.

Looking forward to another great night of basketball, and as always:

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

We Hate the Bracket.

Here is the bracket:

Just so we’re clear:

  1. Point Loma
  2. Seattle Pacific
  3. Saint Martin’s
  4. UCSD
  5. Cal Poly Pomona
  6. CU-Irvine
  7. Chaminade
  8. Western Oregon

Quite honestly… We can’t stand this bracket. This is why D2 brackets should be decided Regionally because unlike D1 where it’s easy to watch all of the good teams and conferences, the Regions know best.

Point Loma at #1 makes sense.

Seattle Pacific at #2 makes sense.

Saint Martin’s at #3 MAKES NO DARN SENSE. They didn’t make their conference championship game and they only barely won their conference regular season title. They’ve been fading. They lost to WOU by 15 and barely beat GNAC #9 Central Washington as the last game of the season. We also dislike it because we consider CU-Irvine to be THE MOST favorable match-up out of any of the top four seeds.

UC San Diego at #4 on the surface makes enough sense.

Cal Poly Pomona at #5 MAKES NO DARN SENSE. Cal Poly Pomona and UC San Diego LITERALLY JUST FACED EACH OTHER. They also both are clearly hotter than Saint Martin’s and UCSD had a blow-out win over the Saints in non-con if you want to make that argument. If you’re making the argument that non-con doesn’t matter, then Cal Poly Pomona ALSO won their conference regular season title AND made it to their conference championship game. Either way it spells UCSD and CPP over Saint Martin’s.

CU-Irvine at #6 makes okay sense, and we are really curious to see them match-up with SMU. While CU-I had a blow-out loss to SPU in non-con, it’s been a long time and they managed to remain #2 in the Pac-West all year, plus lost respectably to Point Loma both late in the season and in the Pac-West championship game.

Chaminade at #7 makes sense. We made that argument in the final bracketology post.

Western Oregon at #8 makes questionable sense. They just beat Saint Martin’s. Yeah, there’s the whole “what have you done for me lately” thing, um, they made the freaking GNAC championship game. “They lost to both SMU and SPU in the second match-up of the season. They just got blown out by SPU.” Yeah, and their non-con was questionable too, we get it: They were an at-large bid and you can’t place them at #7 because SPU was so solidly the #2 seed, buuuuuut now you have a team that just beat the almost-#1 seed, in southern California where they could reasonably upset the actual #1 seed.

All to say: We hate the bracket, but it makes as much sense as it can with the eight best teams in the west all receiving a bid. It would have been easy and far less complicated to leave Chaminade out, but there is no question that they are better than East Bay, and the bracket as it is will make for some really fun match-ups.

A reminder of the match-ups because the screen cap sucks:

#1 Point Loma vs. #8 Western Oregon
#2 Seattle Pacific vs. #7 Chaminade
#3 Saint Martin’s vs. #6 CU-Irvine
#4 UC San Diego vs. #5 Cal Poly Pomona

We wrote all of that as soon as the bracket was announced, and then decided to sit on it for about 24 hours to see if we calmed down.

Overall… We agree with what we wrote last night. Our preferred bracket at this point would be:

  1. Point Loma -Duh.
  2. Seattle Pacific -Questionable non-con, but good run in-conference, and conference tourney champions.
  3. UCSD -Good non-con, questionable in the late season, but righted the ship and became conference tourney champions.
  4. Cal Poly Pomona -Non-existent non-con, but good run in-conference, and made the tourney championship game.
  5. Saint Martin’s -Good non-con, good run in-conference, but starting to look a little tired.
  6. Western Oregon -Upset the would-be #1 seed, has wins over all of the top GNAC teams, peaking at the right time.
  7. CU-Irvine -Questionable non-con but the consistent #2 to a quality Point Loma all year.
  8. Chaminade -Decent non-con, good run in-conference, but #3 in both the regular season and the conference tourney.

The flaws with that bracket include:

  • Two Pac-West teams playing immediately but they were on opposite sides of the conference tournament bracket and so they didn’t just play each other, unlike the actual bracket that has the CCAA championship game being repeated six days later. We’re so annoyed about that. Like we get that it’s only eight teams, but seriously?!
  • Saint Martin’s being seeded higher than the WOU team that just beat them but by WOU not being eighth there is tacit acknowledgement that they did make it to their conference championship game.
  • CU-Irvine was a bubble team; while you could make an argument that they’re seeded lower than they might be, as noted in Bracketology Pt. 4, they had the possibility of their bubble being burst, and so a 7th is still reasonable.

Those arguments made and how much we dislike this bracket covered… The regional format is the Regional format, and it means that you have to play everybody. Our favorite reference: In 2013, three of the top four teams overall nationally were in the west region: Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Cal Poly Pomona. They all played the first round against other opponents, and then SPU and Cal Poly Pomona met in the round of 32, and SPU and WWU met in the round of 16. It sucked.

But that’s not this year. This year, it was amusing watching the selection show and listening to the guys rave about various regions and talk about how “strong Division II is right now,” meanwhile we’re sitting there going “NOT THE WEST REGION!” Thankfully they didn’t wax poetically about how great the West Region is, merely noted the parity. That’s fair, lol. But just a reminder: PARITY DOESN’T MEAN GOOD. It just means parity. West Coast Life. Pac-12 football; different league, different sport, same sh*t.

We’re curious to look at the numbers our Region puts up vs. a few of the other Regions. We’re also curious to see what happens at our Regional. From a match-ups standpoint, the bracket is compelling.

Those are our thoughts on the bracket. Our “all tournament team” and/or our MVP of the GNAC tournament will be up tomorrow.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

The D2 West Regional Championship

Well that didn’t go as expected:

#1 Western Oregon 76 vs #3 Cal Baptist 80

Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 11 boards and five assists; Ali Faruq-Bey was on fire and finished with 26 points; Riley Hawken was solid and had 11 points and five fouls. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell lit it up with 16 points; and JJ Chirnside had eight boards.

WOU never led for any consistent amount of time, at times it would appear Cal Baptist was walking away with it, and then the Wolves would hit shots. In the final minute, we thought “it’s over,” and yet Demetrius hit a three and Cal Baptist missed two free throws meanwhile having no timeouts. WOU had a chance to send it into OT with a two or win it with a three, we agree 100% with the play they ran, but Tanner Omlid missed the lay-up, we believe Ali missed the putback, and then Cal Baptist got their hands on the ball and it was over. Brutal.

It’s especially brutal when you factor in the idea that Cal Baptist was at home for their conference tournament and Western Oregon had to go all the way up to Anchorage.

The UAA Men’s Basketball twitter called us out for our rant, and so we’ll elaborate a bit more: Initially we loved the idea that the tournament was in Anchorage. We were super excited to go, we had a really fun time at the tournament, we liked the idea that the Alaska schools would for once have an advantage, but by the time it was all said and done and we’d been through the back-to-back with NCAAs, we realized that sending it up there isn’t worth it.

It’s a disadvantage to nine teams to send it to Anchorage, and even with the advantage of not having to travel, both UAA teams (men’s and women’s) were bounced in their first respective games anyway -one an upset, one not. It was a good experiment, but in our opinion it failed. We have nothing against the Alaska schools, but when you commit to one of the Alaska schools or MSUB, you’re committing to an insane amount of travel. The GNAC travel schedule is already bad enough for the I-5 corridor schools, so why make it worse?

If you haven’t experienced the GNAC travel schedule… We wouldn’t recommend it. The greatest example that we can give of how exhausting it is, is that we got Hepatitis A just as the season ended one year and we didn’t even realize we were sick for six+ weeks because the major symptom was exhaustion and we simply attributed it to basketball. When we mentioned it to a GNAC coach later, they went “I wouldn’t have realized it either! I would have just assumed I was tired from the season.”

There’s no point to make that exhaustion even worse with an extra trip to Timbuktu. Plus, the Billings tournament was terribly attended as was the Anchorage. Experiment was tried twice. It failed both times. Oh well. These are student-athletes. Keeping it at Saint Martin’s keeps the distraction and missed classes as minimal as possible, the sleep disruption as minimal as possible, and therefore puts us in the best position to have teams ready for the NCAA tournament.

And speaking of the NCAA tournament, as sad as we are that WOU lost in the Sweet 16…. Holy guacamole did we have a blast at the Regional. To those that didn’t make it: If WOU hosts again: GO! Fun gym, fair priced tickets and concessions, good parking, good staff. The school is fairly easy to get to; from Seattle, it was a four hour trip. Other bonuses include the fact that Oregon doesn’t have sales tax + they pump your gas for you! So nice and convenient.

To the West Region teams, staff, volunteers, and fans in attendance: Thank-you again for being so friendly and hospitable! We loved it. The games were so great we wished there had been more of them.

All of that said: the entire season was amazing, we can’t wait to talk about it, player-of-the-year will be up tomorrow, and then all conference teams later this week.

Once again: Congrats and thank-you to Western Oregon for an amazing season & Regional.