Good Morning! We’re entering our third year and thought it was time to answer some questions:
Question 1: do you have any pets?
Yes. The first season it was Alex Birketoft, Julian Nichols, and Anye Turner. Last season it was Bryce Leavitt and Corey Hammell. This season we’re anticipating it being Suki Wiggs, Corey Hammell, and Tanner Omlid.
Question 2: do you drive? If so, have you gotten a speeding ticket?
Yes. We’ve been to every school in the GNAC at least once, and then have also been to Chico State, San Bernardino State, Dixie State, and Tarleton State. This season we’re going to try to add Concordia-Irvine, Azusa Pacific, UC San Diego, and hopefully at least one more SoCal school to that list. We’re proud to say we’ve somehow managed to never get a speeding ticket nor in an accident while on a basketball trip. *knock on wood*
Question 3: have you ever been to a different country?
Yes. We get up to Simon Fraser at least once per season.
Question 4: where do you buy food on basketball trips?
WinCo. Their prices are amazing and they have an extensive prepared foods section. We highly recommend it.
Question 5: how many siblings do you have?
We have Bit-o-Baca and are crossing our fingers that we ultimately get a Pac-West sib too.
Question 6: do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
This blog is written on a 13″ Macbook Air.
Question 8: tell me something you are planning to do this pre-season?
We’re finally in our third year and so we’ve kind of settled in. We actually really liked what we did with the pre-season stuff last year so you’ll be seeing GIF anticipations, pre-season superlatives, too many prognostications, pre-season all conference teams, and that sort of thing once again.
Question 9: when was the last time you cried?
When we wrote about SPU in the round of 64. We just feel so bad for Bryce.
Question 10: what is your perfect beverage?
Sugar-free Apple Cider. Our throat still hasn’t recovered from undergrad. One game and we’re as hoarse as Doc Rivers.
Question 11: have you ever had an all-nighter?
YES. Double-all nighter. Legendary NNU trip of senior year. We absolutely lost our mind at someone at the CWU game two days before that and it was stressing us out. Because of the NCAA tourney we couldn’t skip our Friday classes nor miss work and so we left at 2am on no sleep. We got to NNU and ended up with the SMU baseball team consoling us during a rain delay. At the game that night we found out that the person was totally fine with us screaming at them and that it completely didn’t matter. Post game we didn’t trust the Pass conditions and so ended up driving all the way back to Seattle and getting home at like 5am. It did turn out that the Pass did in fact close for two days, before we would have gotten across, so… It all worked out.
Question 12: can you taste the difference between water in each of the five states and one province?
Yes and it’s all disgusting except Washington. We pay an arm and a leg for our water infrastructure but it is soooo worth it.
Seriously, we challenge you: drink some water from a drinking fountain at one of the four schools:
CWU: Go all the way down the entranceway and take a left.
SMU: There’s one between the (nice new) bathrooms on your right upon immediately exiting the gym.
SPU: There’s one (two) to the right of the pop machine on the normal concourse.
WWU at Whatcom: Below the stairs. It’s near the concessions.
We couldn’t tell you that for any other school because we never go to any other school without at least 50 ounces of plain water. We had drama at MSUB because they tried to make us dump our (re-usable) bottle:
“But it could be alcohol!”
“I’m sorry, you are sorely mistaken if you think I could be Falcon Girl while drunk.”
Drunk Falcon Girl would sit there and laugh at the rebounding ineptness of the other team and then end up in a huge giggle fit throughout pretty much the entire game regardless as to how SPU was playing. Falcon Girl is way too neurotic to be anything having to do with alcohol; that particular game went to 2OT and ended with her clutching someone’s hand while curled up in fetal position.
Once again, a “real” Welcome Back post’ll go up in early to mid November, but for the hardcore people that are here now: Welcome. We love you. We appreciate you. You guys are the best!
There’s a question we’ve been contemplating since Summer, and that is what to do with GNAC alums that graduated and started playing overseas before we started writing the blog. We know most of the SPU ones and a smattering of others, but because we don’t know all of them, we’re gonna go ahead and limit it to 2014 seniors and beyond. 2014 because that at least was our senior year and we knew by late December that the GNAC Men’s Basketblog was going to be a thing and thus started going through the motions of prepping for it.
Austin Bragg: Currently starting center for the Artland Dragons of Germany’s “B” league. He’s averaging seven points and six boards. Way to go Austin!
Richard Woodworth: Currently playing and starting for the Bellingham Slam; no word on his stats.
David Downs: Currently the starting point guard for Rhein Stars of the German “A” league. He’s averaging 16 points, six assists, and three boards.
Patrick Simon: Currently the starting center for the Oita Ehime club in Japan’s BJ league. He’s averaging 18 points and almost 10 boards. Whoa. Go Patrick.
Riley Stockton: Currently the starting shooting guard for Estela and is shockingly averaging 16 points, four boards, and three assists.
Kevin Rima: Currently the starting power forward for Spain’s Augustino’s Eras and is averaging nine points and seven boards.
Travis Thompson: Currently on the roster of Germany’s Fraport Skyliners, but isn’t seeing any minutes.
Sango Niang: Currently playing in Germany for SSV Lokomotiv Bernau, but we couldn’t find anything beyond that.
Kevin and Riley are actually playing in the same league, which is pretty cool.
We like spying on what Kevin Rima’s up to because in terms of blog metrics, one of the things we get is where your guys’ IP addresses are from and we suspect he’s spying on the blog right back =) Hi Kevin! We miss you. We’re proud of you! Smack Riley Stockton on the back of the head if you get a chance -he deserves it.
There are a smattering of others -we know that Anye Turner, Ryan Todd, and Matt Borton are all playing for a local rec-team-on-steroids that WWU lost to earlier this season. Ryan Todd apparently has the ability to play basketball, which was a big shock to us; Anye balls out, at all times, on all days; Matt is good half the time under certain circumstances and that day didn’t have them.
There a few other guys that we’re curious about what they’re up to as well and it could be somewhat relevant because they’re still in our scope. We’re of course talking about Alex Birketoft, Kalidou Diouf, and Joey Schreiber.
One of the bonuses about writing this blog is that we can totally stalk those three without guilt because we genuinely do have to pay attention to what CBU and APU is doing, so we’re gonna update you guys on them because they’re great and they’re ours 100% even though they’re no longer in our conference. We gon’ have some region pride, up in here, up in here.
Kalidou: Starting and averaging 10 points and four boards for the Lancers of CBU.
Alex: Averaging five points and five boards in 15 minutes a game off the bench, also for CBU.
Joey: Averaging 11 points and five boards coming off the bench for the Cougars of APU.
Those are the obvious ones playing overseas. If you know of others from the classes of ’14 and ’15, let us know.
Here’s a list of the Player-of-the-Week nominees we’ve had so far this year:
UAF: Bangaly Kaba, Travante Williams
UAA: Suki Wiggs, Diante Mitchell, Corey Hammell
SFU: JJ Pankratz
WWU: Kyle Impero
SPU: Bryce Leavitt, Mitch Penner, Gilles Dierickx
MSUB: Jordan Perry
CWU: Gary Jacobs
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye
WOU: Devon Alexander, Andy Avgi, Alex Roth
Last year we questioned that guys that were having really good games week in and week out weren’t getting nominated because their teammates are having better games. This year, that’s not a problem and it’s making us ask a different question: Are our standards too ridiculous? Do they not work for the GNAC? We’re leaning on the side of “no,” but will look into it as we go into conference play.
Our winners have put up really standard numbers in terms of what we saw last year, so… totally possible, it’s not too hard to achieve, it’s that no one’s getting it consistently with the exception of Andy and Bryce. Our formula actually does take defense into account, so it’s not simply a matter of scoring.
Player-of-the-Week Winners, thus far:
UAA: Corey Hammell
SPU: Bryce Leavitt
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye
WOU: Andy Avgi
We’ve given the award out five times; Bryce has won twice, while Cory, Bouna, and Andy have won once each. We like the numbers they’ve put up; the fact that Bouna did in fact play two games during the week he won makes it even better because he hit numbers that put him right in the thick of the other POW winners, so it’s a true win by all accounts.
While we’re proud of those guys, we feel like that list is lacking.
Almir Hadzisehovic (UAF) is still playing a lot, just not playing particularly well. We get that Bangaly Kaba and Travante Williams are good, but that doesn’t inherently make Almir bad, so hopefully he’ll step up more now that conference play is starting.
Brian McGill (UAA) is no longer playing as far as we know. He remains on their roster, but isn’t in their team picture, can’t find anything about injury status, nothing saying “he’s coming back soon,” he’s just gone. We assume if he was participating in an extra curricular program it would be advertised as a GNAC athlete being more than a basketball player. Fact is -he’s a 5th year senior, so as much as we like him: Sometimes you’ve gotta just get a life and ideally that’s what he’s done. We’re hoping that he’s not MIA to deal with his own illness or the illness of a sick family member -if he is, in that case we hope he comes back really soon and everything works out.
Michael Harper (SFU) has a bad case of the turnovers, but is still around.
Mac Johnson (WWU) we have no idea what’s wrong with -he still plays a lot, he’s still 6’8 and 240lbs, but we have no idea where the Mac of the end of last year went and we keep thinking the old him is going to resurface and then it doesn’t.
Mitch Penner (SPU) isn’t taking the step up that we kind of anticipated and yet he’s kinda screwed because every team is just like “Let’s go after Mitch!” because it’s hard to go after Gilles, no one needs to go after Will Parker (he’s the new Lew Thomas), Bryce Leavitt is a point guard -he’s good whether he’s assisting, defending, or scoring; and people just bounce right off of 5th starter Garrett, so what are you going to do? Answer: Go after the ginger.
Trey Ingram (SMU) was our favorite frosh last year and he’s gone into a sophomore slump, so hopefully he’ll bounce back. Not too concerned with this one -it happens, he’ll get through it.
Momir Gataric (MSUB) is redshirting due to injury, which sort of sucks, and sort of is just as well. We’ll be glad to get him back next year and wish him the best in his rehabbing efforts.
Joe Stroud (CWU) is still playing but apparently it’s much harder when you actually have to shoot the ball and are being relied upon -he’s responded poorly so far, granted he’s played somewhere between four and six D2 games, so still plenty of season left.
Mike Wright (NNU) lost all of the people that made him look somewhat decent and so now he just looks like a mess. Yes, he could have stepped up, this theoretically was his team because Bouna was generally the 6th man last year, but… Mike needs to do more. Much more. Maybe during conference play.
Tyler Gutierrez (CU-P) is basically the only returning piece for CU-P and we know we named him as a POW nominee, but he’s not on the list above because he wouldn’t have been nominated if he were on any other team -it was us trying to include the Cavs, and now we’re kind of done. With that: Be adequate.
Julian Nichols (WOU) we really, really don’t know and it’s kind of making us mad to be perfectly honest. Dude is still playing, he’s just not playing well. He was one of our picks for potential player of the year because he had an amazing junior season and not much has really changed and yet he’s not playing well.
With some of that… We feel like writing it off until conference play is kind of weak, considering our conference looked so weak during non-conference. There are good teams, but we feel downright uncomfortable with UAA, WWU, and CWU because non-conference was such a wash and we feel like they’re good teams but they didn’t prove it during non-con and so we’re not sure what it’ll mean during conference play if/when they do win? It seems like it’ll be easy to give them hype and yet what’s the real substance behind that hype?
UAF there’s not as much expectation because they’ve been off for a few years, they’ve got what’s essentially a brand new team, low-pressure; SMU same thing; MSUB and NNU we’re just hoping they don’t drown. CU-Portland and SFU, we hope things remain somewhat humane.
WOU and SPU there’s some concern about upsets and we’ve said this repeatedly: Upsets aren’t a good thing for ANYONE including the teams upsetting them. The better SPU and WOU look the better for our conference as a whole, because they barely proved themselves in non-conference. Our non-con collectively looks much better because of how SPU schedules, never forget that.
When we look at the individual play of guys on other teams… It may just be a more down year on the west coast. Admittedly we really loved last year’s GNAC (shout-outs in particular to non-returners Kevin Rima, Anye Turner, Riley Stockton, Matt Borton, and Alex & Kalidou [no one blames you two for leaving] for helping make our first year of blogging ridiculously fun) and we know that those guys are all super amazing, but… There are amazing guys this year too -Bouna was an irrational favorite last year that’s become legitimate this year; Kyle Impero turned it up at the end of last year and is dominating this year; Bryce Leavitt came out of nowhere and we’re beyond thrilled with his play; Bangaly and Travante are both super fun; Andy we should constantly be in awe of Andy, but still kind of hold a grudge against him because of the second game against SPU last year -we’ll just be honest- even though we know it was Brendan’s fault that the Falcons lost, so… Irrationalities, but we can admit it. We love you Andy, we really do, promise.
So there are plenty of good guys, but there may be far fewer great guys than normal, and that could be making some of the would-be great guys merely look good. We wondered that regularly about Riley Carel’s stats -if they were in fact lower because he’d pass the ball and then the guy he was passing to would turn it over, so he’d skip passing and try and force something and it didn’t work out very well because while they had promising underclassmen, there’s a big difference between promising underclassmen and seasoned upperclassmen. Then again, with Riley -that was his own fault; could have stayed at SPU and been the starting SG on a team with Riley S. and Matt and Mitch, and Cory’s hook shot (Cory and his hook shot we’ve determined to be separate entities) but he decided he wanted to be the star. And that decision proves even more juxtaposed this year with Alex and Kalidou both having transferred to CBU.
Riley got to score a lot of points and be the go-to guy, but never even made the conference tournament. Alex and Kalidou are now playing on a team favored to win the Pac-West and that’s 100% in control of their own destiny regarding an at-large berth in the regional tournament, much less conference tournament.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go as a group.
In an hour we’ll check in with some of our favorite GNAC alums/former players now playing on non-GNAC teams.
Tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll be taking a look at what we currently know vs. want to know about each team/group of guys in our conference currently.
On the agenda for today: Alex and Kalidou are both playing for CBU, Kyle Impero’s weight, why you should be rooting for all eleven GNAC teams right now, and briefly touching the D1 games being played.
Alex and Kalidou both are actively playing for Cal Baptist this year, and this is how they’re eligible:
Maybe the most interesting thing about it is that Riley Carel was still forced to redshirt at SMU, meaning that his exit from SPU wasn’t entirely agreed upon, likely in part because it was an in-conference transfer. We support the SPU coaching staff entirely in their decision to force the RS, considering SPU’s best chance in ages to win the regional would have been last year with Riley Carel at shooting guard. Yeah, there was the difference of being in conference, but if anything we see in-region as worse than in-conference transfers.
Kyle Impero is sitting at 6’4/165 and it is concerning us heavily. He’s a very lithe guy, so it’s not as bad as it could be, but… Our concern comes from watching Spencer Hawes get the flu in his one and only year at Washington. He was sitting at 220, which is already on the low side for a guy that’s 6’11, he got the flu, dropped out to 210, and then never recovered. It was unpleasant.
For men’s basketball, even D2 we’d like to see a low base of roughly 6’2/170, 6’3/180, 6’4/190, etc. The season is grueling, like Kilimanjaro grueling. Looks totally doable, sounds totally doable, but the next thing you know you’re doubled over exhausted. Kyle sitting at 165 means that if he gets even a mild case of the flu, his body has nothing and the odds of his lack of appetite spiraling him into sitting sub 155 are high, which would be bad news all around.
Our annual reminder: The GNAC plague is coming just like every year and the best way to combat it is to get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. You should be drinking half as many ounces of water as you weigh e.g. if you weigh 200lbs you should be drinking 100oz of WATER, not tea, not coffee, not beer, WATER every single day.
Stay healthy, my friends.
Why you should be rooting for every GNAC team now:
Because we need strength of conference. If we want more than one or two teams in the West Region tourney and to otherwise not be relying on the auto-bid, we need GNAC teams to win and win big in non-conference. Doesn’t matter who you are -if you want your team to do well, you need to root for the so-called “Goliaths” like there’s no tomorrow because what they do in non-conference will have a major impact on what the match-ups with your team implicates during conference play.
There’s definitely an undercurrent of dislike around here for WWU/SPU and that’s totally fine: very understandable. They are monstrous because both programs do well in men’s basketball, they’re close together, good to great locations, moderate to great academics, and SPU definitely has the rep for being irritatingly holier-than-thou and uptight regardless of men’s basketball.
Still: the Falcons have far and away the best non-conference schedule of any team and so regardless of how you feel about SPU, for your team’s peace of mind, you need to be hoping like heck that they win. If the Falcons (and every other GNAC team) can play well in non-conference, it’ll pay huge dividends down the line for all eleven teams later.
Touching the D1 games briefly:
- SPU kept it super close against UW for a very long time before ultimately getting blown out.
- WOU also kept it super close against Oregon State -they were leading numerous times as we saw, but didn’t pull off the upset this year.
- UAF got blown out by Nevada, but kept it relatively close against BYU. We don’t trust BYU in the slightest, so no judgment.
Overall not a bad stretch. It means jack all, but hopefully these teams got to know themselves a good bit better without exposing ways of exploitation that’ll be possible to emulate on a D2 level, but we’ll see.
On the horizon: The “official” ‘Welcome’ post’ll go up tomorrow, probably no game previews on Friday, we’re going to be watching/following games all afternoon starting at 4pm pacific, so check our twitter feed and interact with us if you want. The first conference game takes place on Saturday (CWU @ SFU) so Saturday morning’ll be a little chaotic, but:
Nutso November, here we go!
Exactly what was expected happened. Alaska Anchorage got blown out by CBU, WWU blew out Upper Iowa; all the tale of an All Hallows’ Afternoon.
Alaska Anchorage 68, Cal Baptist 79,
Entirely as projected. Suki needs to start taking better shots. We’ll tell you guys now: Be careful about poking the blogger. You tell us how amazing your team and transfers are, we’re gonna give you the needle even when you’re performing exactly as we projected (good but not great) simply because you told us you were all that. Better stick with the humility and let us gush like we got to with NNU last year.
Alright, player highlights: To be fair, Suki did improve with having 34 points, 7 rebounds, two assists, and four steals -still, that was on 10-22 shooting and with six turnovers, which is atrocious; Spencer Svejcar had six points and five fouls, which we consider productive; SJUR BERG had seven points and seven boards; Corey Hammell had some less than stellar shooting to get to 12 points, but made up for it by picking up 11 boards. Bench didn’t do much, but Christian Leckbend had four points and four boards, which is sort of solid.
Western Washington 90, Upper Iowa 75
Exactly, 100% what we were expecting and yet still super proud of the Vikings because especially early season -you need to get those expected victories in a strut-like manner, which is what happened.
Player highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and 16 points; KYLE IMPERO had NINE rebounds, three assists, two steals, and 29 points on prototypical shooting; Colby Mitchell had five points, three rebounds, one steal, one block, and five fouls; Jeff Parker had seven boards, three assists, four fouls, and 17 points; Mac Johnson had five boards and 10 points but none of that matters because he had a whopping six turnovers -yeesh, get it together Mac, you’re better than that. Off the bench: Brett Kingma had eight points.
Pretty much it. Nothing too exciting except the excitement that comes from doing exactly what needs to be done. Today is day three of the D2 Tip-off with Alaska Anchorage facing Colorado Springs and Western Washington facing Minnesota State Moorhead.
We’ll go over the stuff per usual tomorrow morning and contemplating acknowledging a pseudo-player of the week because all of this was against D2. We’ll see.
Is it two whole months late? Yes, yes it is, but… It was always intended to go up; it’s just burnout. We all get burnt out and there’s no real way to do it until the season is over, and then by that point you’re battling both an extreme sense of relief and depression and so nothing really matters. At least that was this year, because the mistake was made of going to a third world country (ahem, the Bible Belt) to end the season and it ended with contracting an illness not typically found in the first world. Good times. Eight weeks of no productivity later…
We have the All-Conference 1st & 2nd teams:
1st Team All Conference:
F Anye Turner -Western Washington, senior
G Riley Stockton -Seattle Pacific, senior
W Alex Birketoft -Northwest Nazarene, freshman
P Kevin Rima -Northwest Nazarene, senior
G Julian Nichols -Western Oregon, junior
2nd Team All Conference
G Sango Niang -Simon Fraser, senior
F Matt Borton -Seattle Pacific, senior
F Mitch Penner -Seattle Pacific, junior
G Erik Kinney -Northwest Nazarene, junior
F Andy Avgi -Western Oregon, junior
Whatever arguments you’re about to make: Yes, the answers are different than what the conference hierarchy thinks, but the same formula that’s been used all season for player-of-the-week was used to get these numbers.
Still: Because you’re thinking it, here are some answers:
UAF: Ruben Silvas didn’t play enough games,
excited to get him back next year.
UAA: Travis Thompson was close. He was the one off. But his play really went on the decline this year and it didn’t help that he’d been hyped so much. Toward the end, his shooting percentages were horrifying and he wasn’t helping his team win. Same with Brian McGill -he’s another guy that is really good but these teams are about great. Look for him next year.
SPU: Cory Hutsen was a 5th year senior, taller and bigger than 95% of the competition he faced, his coaches really only gave him one job: be in the paint, score baskets from two feet away, and he only shot 58%. Let’s not talk about free throws.
CWU: Dom Williams is the equivalent to a fever when you have ebola; helpful at times, but for the most part simply killed the Wildcats.
WOU: Jordan Wiley -just didn’t do enough in enough games; he’s fantastic and only a junior, so definitely on our pre-season list of guys to watch.
Edit: Andy Avgi likely didn’t play enough minutes to make first team; had he averaged 28 minutes rather than 25 he probably would have been on the first team. Erik Kinney was on the second team likely due to turnovers.
Conference player-of-the-year’ll go up in an hour.
Northwest Nazarene 54, Seattle Pacific 73
Seattle Pacific was in control the whole time. The big issue? Turnovers on behalf of the crusaders with a whopping 19. There weren’t a bunch of concerning shooting numbers and the Crusaders rebounded really well -it was simply the turnovers that did them in. Their fouls shooting was less than ideal at 64%, but bigger fish: if they had shot 100% they still would’ve lost by 13. It was the turnovers. But the Crusaders still had a phenomenal season and took advantage of a mediocre GNAC.
NNU highlights: Alex Birketoft had six boards and five points; Erik Kinney had six boards and 16 points on awful shooting; Kevin Rima had three boards and five points along with a nasty five turnovers. Off the bench: Bouna N’Diaye had nine points and three boards.
SPU highlights: Riley Stockton had four boards, five assists, and thirteen points; Matt Borton had six boards and seven points; Mitch Penner had a full house with four boards, four assists, one steal, one block, two fouls, and 12 points; Cory Hutsen went back to normal with three boards and seven points while going 1-4 from the line. Off the bench: Joe Rasmussen had six points; Shawn Reid had 14 points and four boards; and Garrett Swanson had five points.
Not a bad game for the Falcons. They’re going to have their hands full with the Vikings, as everyone does.
Western Washington 88, Western Oregon 79
We called this one. We’re still in the camp that the Vikings’ll win the tournament, although the game against SPU should be really good. It’s not that WOU is bad, it’s that WWU did some major clean-up mid-season, really came together as a team, they’ve been through this before, they know how to win, their underclassmen are stepping up, they’ve bought in, and quite honestly: it’s beautiful to watch.
Viking highlights: RICARDO PLAYED 40 MINUTES, and had five assists and 14 points; Harris Javier had eight points; JEFF PARKER bounced back massively going 8-1o and scoring 20 points; Mac Johnson had eight points, eight assists, and 12 points -c’mon Mac, get a triple double tomorrow, we believe in you! Off the bench: Kyle Impero had eight boards, four assists, and 12 points; Joey Schreiber had 15 points and four boards.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 13 points; Julian Nichols had five boards, five assists, and 15 points; Jordan Wiley had 13 points; Andy Avgi had a whopping 29 points along with six boards. No bench play.
Neither the Wolves nor the Crusaders drive us insane, so… not really worth it to pick on them now that they’ve lost. The Wolves may or may not still be playing. The Crusaders… eh, we’re not impressed by Mike Wright, but he’s not nearly as bad as some of the other selfish players in our conference, so… not worth it.
Cal Baptist 78, Azusa Pacific 67
Somewhat surprising result, but CBU is a good team and had a lot of motivation. Have a hard time thinking that it’s going to displace APU as the host, but it could. Not entirely sure how much it matters -both schools are in the LA-area, if you won’t cross the metro to see your team play, why would you cross campus? Crossing campus actually includes walking. Yuck. At least if it’s across the city you get to drive /sarcasm.
BYU Hawaii 98, Dixie State 75
That’s a good old fashioned shellacking. Hoping that the committee doesn’t take pity on BYU-H and decide to split the tournament -there’s this uneasy feeling in our gut that it could happen even though we really, really, really don’t want it to. It’s kind of good for the GNAC -BYU-Hawaii beat SPU and CWU by more than SPU and WOU beat Dixie State, so strength of schedule wise it could be good.
Cal Baptist vs. BYU-Hawaii in the championship game: Not sure who to pick; we’re not Pac-West experts by any stretch and this tournament was a bit topsy turvy.
Stanislaus 60, Chico State 72
Not unexpected, not a bad result. Chico is a good team. The game was back and forth for a while before Chico State ultimately got it under control. They’re good but not great. They could win a game in the tournament.
Humboldt State 68, Cal Poly Pomona 78
This game went back and forth until finally Cal Poly Pomona put it away. If you’re Western Oregon, you’re breathing a sigh of relief. Cal Poly Pomona… part of the mediocrity that’s reigning on the west this year. They’re a good team, they’ve been here before, blah blah blah, but there’s no telling what they’ll do against Chico. Those are the top two teams, it wouldn’t be unfortunate for both Chico and Cal Poly Pomona to get a bid, there are arguments for both, but… we’ll see.
Seems a bit silly to discuss this, but… just because people are having thoughts anyway, this is in no way seeded, just the teams that we think are in, on the bubble, or whose bubbles have popped:
Dixie State -really want to put them on the bubble, but don’t think we can do that.
Chico State (if not CCAA winner)
Cal Poly Pomona (if not CCAA winner)
Seattle Pacific* (if not the GNAC winner)
Western Washington* (if not the GNAC winner)
From a GNAC perspective, I really, really, really like WWU. Yes, we’ve been in their corner all year, but they’ve just done so many things coming down the stretch in terms of unselfish play, bench play, rebounding, assisting -all of the things that make up a good team. Their arguably best player had a bad game today, but they still won convincingly over a WOU team firing on all cylinders. At this point, I’d give WWU an at-large ahead of WOU because their non-conference resumes are pretty similar and yet WWU’s been convincing at the end and WOU hasn’t so much.
SPU is a hard thing to say. They’re a good team. They have a better non-conference record than WOU, especially knowing what we know now (BYU-H vs PLNU). They do well even when not firing on all cylinders. However, D1 speak: I’d rather play SPU than Cal Poly Pomona; I’d take SPU over Chico State. I don’t know what I’d tell you in regard to SPU or WOU. I think I’d take SPU over WOU which tends to say that WOU should get the nod, but… that’s all on the basis of Andy Avgi. And as was demonstrated tonight: SPU doesn’t need everyone playing well: just okay. WOU needs all five of their starters firing in order to win.
It’s a big toss-up here in GNAC land. We’ll see what we’re thinking tomorrow. This could change by the time the preview of tomorrow’s games goes up because learning to embrace disagreeing with yourself is a quality part of every college education.
How awesome is this madness? We love it. Game day previews up tomorrow at 10am PST.
WE MADE IT!! The final regular season day of conference games. We actually got here! And now things start to get really exciting. Whoa. Here we go with the final post, of the year, about regular season games!
Saint Martin’s 67 @ Alaska Anchorage 101
The Saints stayed with the Seawolves for a good while and it looked like it was going to be a challenge, but UAA then proceeded to put them away. UAA is peaking at the right time and they should be a danger in the conference tournament, which will make things interesting.
SMU highlights: Trey Ingram had 12 points and four assists; Riley Carel almost had a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, three steals, and one block; Tyler Idowu had eight points. Off the bench: Isaac Bianchini had nine points and three assists; Will Bond had a whopping 16 points.
UAA highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and nine assists; Travis Thompson had 22 points and five assists; Derrick Fain, as noted, almost had a triple double with 16 points, nine boards, and eight assists; Brad Mears had seven points and five boards. Off the bench: Sjur Berg had five boards; Dom Hunter had 15 points and five boards; and KALIDOU had six boards and eight points.
Central Washington 104 @ MSU-Billings 99
Very interesting game, pretty horrifying in many senses. There’s this thing called defense. No, this game wasn’t that awful -people were just on and whether it was a matter of poor defense or Alterowitz being hot on the whole matters little. Still, Central… interesting team.
CWU highlights: Terry Dawn had 10 boards and four steals; Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points. Off the bench, Devin Matthews had six boards, nine assists, and 16 points.
MSUB highlights: Antoine Hosley had 50 points (yes, fifty), seven boards, and two assists; Emmanuel Johnson had 12 points and eight boards; Jordan Perry had seven points and seven boards; and Tyler Nelson had 10 points and nine boards.
Northwest Nazarene 49 @ Seattle Pacific 60
This was kind of a weird game -beforehand it was hard to predict because the potential of directions it could go in, and even in the middle of it the game itself struggled to decide. SPU was up by eight pretty consistently, but every time it seemed like the Falcons would break it up, the Crusaders reeled them back in a bit.
NNU highlights: Alex Birketoft had 14 points and six boards; Erik Kinney had a full house with 14 points, four boards, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and four fouls; Kevin Rima had fourteen points and five boards.
SPU highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five boards; Riley Stockton had 14 points and six rebounds; Matt Borton had 13 points and 13 boards; Mitch Penner had 18 points and seven boards; Cory Hutsen had nine points.
The Falcons’ll be an interesting team to watch during the conference tournament, because while we’ve pretty much figured out what CWU, WWU, and WOU are doing… the Falcons are still a conundrum.
Western Oregon 75 @ Alaska Fairbanks 60
Another game in which it was looking like the worse of the two was gonna stick around and take a stand and then didn’t. Congrats to the Nooks for trying?
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander 19 points; Julian Nichols 10 points and five assists; LEW THOMAS 12 points, fifteen boards, three assists, two steals, five blocks, and one foul for a full house; Andy Avgi had 17 points and seven boards. Off the bench: Adam Hastings had seven points.
UAF highlights: Alex Duncan had seven points and five boards; Ashton Edwards went on another spree with 27 points and five boards; Almir had 10 points and six boards.
Player-of-the-week’ll be up later today, promise.
WHOA. There were so many blowouts and then a couple of really, really amazing games in Alaska. There was also a lot of great play -this is yet another day when we’ll probably do a “nightlights” from last night tonight, because last night was too nuts for us to be able to get one up.
Northwest Nazarene 91 @ MSU-Billings 67
NNU did precisely what they needed to and looked night and day from the last time these two teams played -last time the Crusaders just snuck out a win at home, but then again: they have Alex now. MSUB has likely thrown in the towel, so CWU should dodge that bullet, but… MSUB has been decimated; then again: so have a few other teams.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft had 12 points; Erik Kinney had 19 points; Mike Wright had four assists; Kevin Rima had 16 points and six boards. Off the bench: Bouna had 12 points and seven boards; Matyas Herring had five points and five assists; David Shedrick had seven points. Good to see the bench play from the Crusaders.
Yellowjacket highlights: Antoine Hosley had 14 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 20 points and five boards; Jordan Perry had 13 points and five boards. Off the bench: Kendall Denham had eight points; Marc Matthews had five points, four boards, and three assists. The Jackets definitely had some turnover issues, but really just straight up got beat.
The Crusaders are going to have their hands full at SPU on Saturday, but getting that win and sending the conference into a royal standings mess seems completely possible.
Central Washington 47 @ Seattle Pacific 69
Yes, it’s a rivalry game and anything can happen, so CWU has that going for them, but… in the last one, they had won by six -this time, SPU won by… a lot. 22 to be exact. CWU will carry the chip for the conference tournament, so at least they have that going for them; they also get to play MSUB next whereas the Falcons face off with NNU.
Wildcat highlights: Joe Stroud had a full house with 15 points, three boards, one assist, two steals, two blocks, and four fouls; Dom Williams had seven points, three boards, and four assists. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs had eight points.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had seven boards, three assists, and four steals; Riley Stockton had a full house with 12 points, seven boards, four assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls; Matt Borton was amazing with 17 boards and 15 points; Mitch Penner came back strong with 10 boards and seven points; Cory Hutsen had 17 points. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had eight boards and 11 points.
The Wildcats are going to be out for blood if these two teams meet up in the conference tourney, so… at least we have that to look forward to. Before that, SPU’s going to have their hands full with NNU.
Simon Fraser 77 @ Western Washington 110
WE’RE NOT MODIFYING THESE STATS!!!!!!!!!! Why? Because WWU didn’t suffer an insane number of turnovers. That’s the key tipping point and huge focal of the SFU offense; while plenty of guys had 3 and the turnover numbers are high, generally it’ll be at least one guy picking up five that triggers us to modify the stats. Plus… they had 33 assists. That is a good A/TO ratio.
Clan highlights: Sango had 20 points; Justin Cole had five boards; Patrick Simon II had 10 points. Off the bench: Daniel Deflorimonte had 11 points; Hidde Vos had 12. Decent team rebounding effort.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 14 points, six assists, and three steals; Anye Turner with the full house on 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, two steals, three blocks, and just one foul -all in 21 minutes of play: WHOA!; Javier Harris had eight assists; Jeff Parker was a monster with a full house of 31 points, nine boards, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and one foul; Mac Johnson had a more quiet game but still picked up seven boards. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had 13 points, five boards, and four assists; Joey Schreiber had 22 points, eight boards, and three assists in just 18 minutes; finally: Mark Hopkins had nine points.
Crazy amazing game for the Vikings, exactly what we need them to look like, our pick for winning the conference tournament, congrats on a fantastic senior night!
Saint Martin’s 78 @ Alaska Fairbanks 82 in OT
Meaningless game but a good one all the same. Some pretty good play from both teams; stats say Saint Martin’s should have won but they just couldn’t get it done. Congrats to UAF on doing so, despite poor free throw shooting and too many turnovers.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram had 27 points and six steals; Victor Ieronymides had nine boards and six points; Tyler Idowu had 11 points and five boards. Off the bench, Isaac Bianchini had 15 points.
Nanook highlights: Anthony Reese had 10 points and 13 boards; Alex Duncan had 14 points, five boards, and five assists; Ashton Edwards had 11 points; Kyle Tomlinson had 16 points; Almir had 20 points, nine boards; two assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls for the full house. Off the bench: Eric Fongue had eight points.
Again, this game doesn’t matter, but WOU should be happy; the Nooks are gonna be exhausted.
Western Oregon 78 @ Alaska Anchorage 80
Incredibly shocked this game didn’t go to OT. Much thanks to the Seawolves social media for keeping us updated -we were unable to watch the game due to outside circumstances, but it was incredible following along with. Speaking of Seawolves: They finally have a “signature” win and it could be just in time -always good to go into the conference tourney strong.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had a full house with 20 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals, one block, and one foul; Julian Nichols had a full house with 14 points, two boards, four assists, three steals, one block, and three fouls; Jordan Wiley had eight points; Andy Avgi had 19 points and eight boards. Off the bench Nick Nestell had nine points; Marwan Sarhan had three boards.
Seawolf highlights: Brian McGill had six points and eight assists; Travis T. had 11 points. Off the bench: Christian Leckbend had 16 points, five boards, and three assists; Sjur Berg had six boards; Dom Hunter had 14 points, three boards, and three assists. The team made 100% of their rebounds and that was the difference.
There’s a lot to discuss in regard to the conference standings and there’s just not time right now, but there should be a post later tonight about them because the situation is incredibly intriguing.
Tomorrow morning in the Game Day Previews we’ll be sure to clarify who else you should be rooting for, depending on your team situation.
Our player of the week nominees. They tend to be different. We have an algorithm -it’s replicated each and every week. It’s been tested against all sorts of competition, and so while our results may be different from what most people think, the computer doesn’t play favorites. Aside from what went into deciding the formula, but again: the same, every single week.
The formula does require a player to play two games, so in this week… SPU/MSUB have the potential for a nod of nomination but are ineligible to win.
UAF: No one had a consistent week; Alex Birketoft of NNU gets the nomination “donated” instead.
UAA: No one had a consistent week; Ricardo Maxwell of WWU gets the nomination “donated” instead.
SFU: Michael Harper -did he hear us? Great to see him bounce back!
WWU: Jeff Parker -two consistent games, nicely done Jeff!
SPU: Matt Borton -he must’ve heard too.
MSUB: No one had a great game (poor shooting percentages); Mac Johnson of WWU gets the nom instead.
CWU: Dom Williams -had a couple of great games and proved why he’s the MVP of the CWU team.
NNU: Erik Kinney -Two good games, great to see, happy to have him for another year.
SMU: Tyler Idowu -also apparently heard us.
WOU: Julian Nichols -did the most of the least (as in, no one played great) against WWU, but had a fantastic game against SFU.
Things are getting rough. WWU’s getting hot. Honestly, the pickings were kind of slim -there weren’t too many amazing numbers; guys that missed it in the past would’ve won this week. Thems are the breaks. Then again… the player that won has missed out with better numbers in other weeks, so that really is just the way the cookie crumbles.
The announcement of said winner’ll be up at 7pm PST.