Better late than never, eh? Told y’all this would get done. As a reminder: SFU/WWU are ineligible to win because of only playing one game. Honestly, only a couple of guys had two good games.
UAF: Almir Hadzisehovic
UAA: No one.
SFU: Sango, of course.
WWU: Jeff Parker -kid’s come on strong late in the season, had a monster of a game against SFU.
SPU: Matt Borton -double-double in both games.
MSUB: Antoine had an out-of-his mind game against CWU, but also played decently well against NNU.
CWU: Joe Stroud -only player to score in double figures against SPU, had 24 with decent shooting against MSUB.
NNU: Erik Kinney -full house against SPU, 19 points against MSUB.
SMU: Isaac Bianchini -off the bench, decent shooting in both games, love it.
WOU: Andy Avgi -good shooting, decent rebounding in both games against the Alaska schools.
Reminder: this is done by an algorithm, it’s biased in terms of what we weighted the algorithm to, but from game-to-game it’s always the same. What guys in our conference do on any given night varies. Player of the week announcement will be up in an hour.
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.
Just kidding -there’s no such thing in basketball.
The seeding was announced by the GNAC on twitter and we’re going to post it here for you before anything else just ’cause:
#1 Western Oregon = BYE
#2 Seattle Pacific = BYE
#6 Northwest Nazarene vs. #3 Central Washington
#5 Western Washington vs. #4 Alaska Anchorage
How interesting are those match-ups? NNU swept CWU and UAA swept WWU. If WWU and CWU both win (which is our prediction, actually, then…
WOU faces WWU, having been swept by the Vikings.
SPU faces CWU, having recently murdered the Wildcats.
Any more speculation than that, we’re not going to go for. It’s too much. And we could be totally wrong about WWU and CWU winning the first rounds; being wrong is great -too competitive to be able to stand filling out real brackets; it’s more fun to watch the chaos and simply enjoy basketball being unpredictable.
What’s not unpredictable is the guys in our conference being AMAZING.
Here are the most fantastic of tonight’s highlights:
- Riley Carel of SMU went out with a bang, picking up almost a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, and three steals.
- Will Bond, also of SMU, had 16 points off the bench.
- Derrick Fain was insanely close to a triple double with nine boards, eight assists, and 16 points. UM WHAT??
- Dom Hunter had 15 points off the bench.
- KALIDOU PLAYED!!!!!!!! He had eight points off the bench. Missed you Kalidou!
- From CWU: Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points whilst going 15-18 from the line.
- Antoine Hosley, of MSUB, had an insane 50 points -going 16/25 from the field and 16/18 from the line, along with picking up seven boards, two assists, and five fouls.
- NNU’s starters actually logged substantial field numbers; usually when teams play SPU you see a lot of 1s, 2s, and 0s.
- Erik Kinney (of NNU) had a full house.
- Matt Borton of SPU had 13 boards and 13 rebounds.
- LEW THOMAS HAD 15 REBOUNDS AND 12 POINTS!!!!!! Little more enthusiastic because he hasn’t really done that much in weeks.
The full run down and thoughts about every game’ll be posted around midday tomorrow.
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.
For a Sunday Funday post, it seems appropriate to talk about some of the favorites in our conference and basically just have some good old fashioned praise. The season is getting more and more intense and difficult and you kind of just need those moments to sit back and go “Hey, these guys are awesome. It’s such a blessing to watch them, even when they’re making poor on-court decisions.”
It’s been well documented that “pets” definitely exist, so… We’ll just go with the usual order.
UAF: Almir. This isn’t really basketball related; he’s a decent player heading toward good, but the fact that he’s from the Balkans is amazing and as much as they’re not happy with each other, the FYR on the whole are awesome and have such a great culture and it’s great that we get to have a piece of it in our conference. Also love the fact that we have Ruben -he is Native American, which is so cool and yet another blessing. He’s out right now due to academics, but we look forward to getting him back next year; temporarily gone but definitely not forgotten and if he finds this: We still believe in you!
UAA: Brian McGill does so much for his team. Love his game, love his facial expressions as he’s running down the court, his mindset seems fantastic. He does everything in his power to procure a win and that means playing unselfishly. He’s awesome on the whole. Travis Thompson isn’t having the year that he wanted to have, but he’s still so valuable and after going through the mid-season all conference teams and looking at and comparing his stats this year and last and beginning to understand all of that… So proud of the kid. Derrick Fain should be mentioned because we give him crap all the time, but he’s starting to deserve less and less of it and we couldn’t be happier.
SFU: Sango -impossible not to love Sango. Does so much for his team, plays so unselfishly even though he’s got relatively little to work with. He’s in it. He’s another guy that we went back and compared his stuff from last year to this year to see where he’s at and they have made him even more useful and again: Just a good guy that’s easy to root for. Rod Evans-Taylor is becoming a pet with his awesome play and effort, but that’s as of late. Still love Michael Harper although he hasn’t been doing as much lately; same with Patrick Simon II -that kid has so much room for growth and can’t wait to see it over the coming few years.
WWU: ANYE. Anye is probably the biggest pet in the conference at this point, although Alex of NNU is starting to make a run for it. Anye graduates this year and it’s happy but sad. He’ll be moving onto better things and it’ll be good to keep an eye on him in Europe. His mindset is great, he smiles all the time, he works for his teammates, he gets the boards, he picks up fouls, and when knocks a guy down he picks them right back up. Such a blessing to watch. Love Mac, really excited for another year of him. He’s improving by the game and it’s great. He’s a massively different player than he was earlier this year and that’s awesome. Kyle Impero and Joey Schreiber are young and promising and are another couple of great guys to watch their development in. Been watching Joey for years now, even when he was at EC, and it’s exciting. It’s cool to see the development and he landed with such a great program in terms of top-notch D2.
SPU: Riley Stockton. It’s been amazing to watch him make the switch to point guard this year and watch him near the triple doubles and his fundamental understanding of the game is great. Matt Borton -another great forward, has aggression issues (meant in the best way possible), he does what it takes for his team, and between him and Anye… that is how basketball is supposed to be played. Mitch Penner. Psycho P. It’s been a growing process this year, but we have full faith that he’ll break out next year. Cory Hutsen, he’s right up with Austin Hudson and Mac Johnson in terms of favorite centers, and his play has finally been getting better lately, can’t wait for it to go further.
MSUB: Austin. Austin will not be forgotten. He was SO great and still a valuable part of our conference. MSUB is starting to be another program that has a zillion blog pets so-to-speak. Jace Anderson is improving, Antoine Hosley has his moments, MOMIR GATARIC; his game is getting better and better and he’s another FYR player! Those guys are bad to the bone.
CWU: Caleb is great. Will be interested to see what he does with his body; it needs major, major work on his part and not so much in the gym as in the kitchen, but the gym could be of some help too. Full faith that he’ll be one of our conference’s top centers by the time he’s done. Joe Stroud is great and getting better by the game and love his rebounding and his blocked shots are awesome and again -this is another guy that smiles while he does it, very approachable, just fun. Gary Jacobs is another guy that’s gonna be interesting to watch develop -he already does so much and will undoubtedly get better and better. Dom Williams is finally starting to be liked around here -it’s taken a lot, but very proud of Dom and his improving shot selection.
NNU: The entire team? It’s not even a matter of if they do anything during post season, just love their camaraderie. Alex is so great, even in his widdle frosh status, and it’s such a blessing that we’ll get to watch him for another few years, hopefully. Kevin -great attitude, team first mentality, gets the boards, smiles while he does it. He epitomizes the idea that you can be both aggressive and happy simultaneously; accidentally knocks you down, immediately reaches to pick you back up too. He plays a hard game of basketball, but jolly giant. Erik Kinney -needs some help and improvement, but another guy that’s awesome and we’re excited to see for another year. Bouna is one of those “there’s not necessarily any reason for this in terms of his game, he’s just great” and he’s a favorite. He’s smiley. NNU has lots of smiley people.
SMU: Trey Adams. He’s going through some growing pains, but can’t wait to see what he does next year. Tyler Idowu -sucker for smiley people and Tyler is that and does some good board work. Riley Carel, of course, bad decision maker in chief, but much as we give him crap all the time he’s a good baller. Tyler Copp -no clue where he’s disappeared to, but he’s been another favorite all year. Rising stars. Honestly, SMU is like NNU; that whole team is just fantastic. If only they could put it together. Ryan Rogers, Cameron Chatwin, Victor Ieronymides, Brent Counts, all are great.
WOU: JULIAN NICHOLS!! Favorite point guard, love his game, love his attitude, he’s come into our conference by storm, made WOU even better than expected and really elevated them -it’s been phenomenal. Lew Thomas -this is a weird one; he just is a favorite. He’s not that good, takes a lot of poor shots, turns the ball over more than any forward should, but he’s still a favorite, no clue why. Andy Avgi, he’s oddly enough not really a favorite, but maybe just because he’s so good that he’s hard to appreciate because you feel like you don’t have to; he’s just Andy, he does what he does, and he always does it. And that’s why even though he’s not a favorite we really should realize he is a favorite because just because someone’s consistent and does what they want, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be appreciated for it. Andy is awesome. Not sure what his speed and strength metrics are, but before heading for Europe, he might consider working out for a few NFL teams -at 6’6/260 you can’t teach size and he’s so good at shoving his way through -TE or DE may hold promise.
At times this blog is tough on guys and teams, but there’s no vindictiveness behind any of what gets written. All of these guys are such a blessing to get to watch so closely and that’s why it was important to cover the whole conference. It’s just not something that really happens on a D2 level; we mostly see school publications giving the highlights, and so when critiques get thrown out it can feel like a major affront when it’s not; it just happens rarely because writing a blog is a big commitment and we don’t really see that fan/community commitment on a D2 level.
Just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be there. These guys are great; they absolutely get down night in and night out; they deserve attention; they deserve praise; and they deserve that fan and community commitment on a level to match D1. Engage the culture, change the world; a blog isn’t much, but it definitely is a way to engage the culture, and hopefully on some minute level change the world of at least someone. There’s the whole thing that “I Chose Division II” and yet for many it’s not that easy. There’s a feeling of failure that you ended up D2 and [potentially] unable to succeed on a D1 level; maybe if more people cared, some of that burden could be relieved.
Have a fantastic week, a NightLights post that should’ve gone up last night will go up tonight at about 11pm, usual POW stuff tomorrow.
Good morning! What an intense night of basketball. WWU is finally starting to look like the old WWU (awesome), CWU still looked strong even in their loss, MSUB held on for a ridiculously long time before letting it go, SFU got the upset! Way to go Clan!! And finally: SPU managed to squeak past Fairbanks, but the Nooks held on strong and admirably.
WOU 66 @ SMU 56
Let’s all take a minute to appreciate how much their key guys really didn’t play, except for Julian Nichols. Julian is probably one of those guys that if you don’t put him in, he’ll pace around the end of the bench itching to get in, because it seems likely the coaching staff would’ve rather played him less.
WOU highlights: Julian had 11 points, four assists, four rebounds, three steals, and one block, just missing the foul for a full house; Lew Thomas had seven boards; Andy Avgi had 22 points on an amazing 10-11 shooting. Off the bench, Marwan Sarhan scored eight points.
SMU highlights: Riley Carel had 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block for a full house; Ryan Rogers had eight points and four rebounds. Off the bench, Victor Ieronymides had 15 points and eight boards.
Not much to write home about, but still feel like it shows an improvement in the Saints because before it would be likely that they got blown out entirely?
CWU 77 @ WWU 83
Good to see the Vikings get this home victory against their rivalest of rivals. Around here, we always say free throws win the day and while the percentage was minute -71 vs 73, WWU got the free throw win and won the game. It could be unsurprising, but in this conference: at this point, I don’t know that there’s any surprise/non surprise. Ready for anything on any given night.
CWU highlights: Marc Rodgers with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls for the full house; Joe Stroud, not as good of a game as hoped, but grabbed five boards and scored 12 points; Dom Williams had 23 points. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs with a phenomenal 15 points and seven assists… that assist number is positively glorious; good on the rest of the guys for making the shots that came their way.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell with 20 points; Anye had 17 points and 12 boards for the double-double; Jeff Parker had 18 points and nine rebounds, just missing the double-double; Mac Johnson had 10 points and seven boards -bit of a let down game, but we still believe in Mac. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had seven points; Joey Schreiber had nine.
Overall a less-than-idea performance for the Vikings, but they got it done.
NNU 88 @ SFU 92
Oh NNU… showing so much promise and then doing this. Oh well. Bounce back. Oh wait, they have to play WWU. Good luck with that. Congrats on the win SFU!! Super proud of you. Per usual: these stats are modified; in terms of when they get modified, the kicker isn’t number of points: it’s number of turnovers. If a single player has more than five turnovers, that’s how we can really judge the tempo.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft with 11 points and seven rebounds; Erik Kinney with 11 points and four boards; Matyas Herring with seven points; Kevin Rima with 15 points and 11 boards (dat double-double, even with modification!). Off the bench: pretty much nothing. That explains the loss -usually they get more from their bench play.
Clan highlights: Sango had a good night with 14 points; Justin Cole had a good night with 12; Rod Evans-Taylor had an amazing night, picking up a full house with three rebounds, three assists, four steals, a block, and four fouls, as well as 23 points; Patrick Simon II had a decent night with eight points. Off the bench, JJ Pankratz had seven.
The Clan was functioning on all cylinders and it looked moderately okay. Hopefully they keep it up.
MSUB 68 @ UAA 82
The Yellowjackets were in it for a long time, but you can’t overcome the power that is Travis Thompson when he’s having a good night. Still, props to the Yellowjackets for the solid effort.
MSUB highlights: Antoine Hosley had 10 points; Marc Matthews had a whopping 25 points along with three boards and four assists; Emmanuel Johnson had 17 points and five boards; Tyler Nelson picked up a massive 12 rebounds; and that was pretty much it. Poor MSUB team. They’re the epitome of a poor man’s WWU right now with their short rotation and WWU winning and them not. No one wants to go to Billings, which is sad because that coaching staff is great and deserve more.
UAA highlights: Brian McGill had 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists; Travis Thompson had 23 points with some awesome shooting, in particular going 7-8 on free throws; Derrick Fain with that development -he had 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Off the bench, Dom Hunter had 10 points.
Not the prettiest game all around but the Seawolves got it done. Good on them.
SPU 74 @ UAF 64
UAF was leading at the half and was showing so much promise and then… nope. Falcons took care of it. Not too much to write home about on this one, but here we go:
SPU highlights: Riley Stockton had nine boards; Mitch Penner had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double; Cory Hutsen had 2o points. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had 14 points and six boards.
Nook highlights: Anthony Reese had 10 points; Alex Duncan had 10 points; Ashton had 14 points; Almir had 14 points, five boards, and five blocks.
Overall not a great night of basketball, but not bad either. There are already discussion points popping up from this, so… could make for a late night post, which might be fun. Once again: Congrats to the Clan!
Eff. That. Superbowl.
Alaska Anchorage 115 @ Simon Fraser 98
That score is misleading -Anchorage’s victory was never in doubt, far as we saw. Simon Fraser… nice victory over UAF, couldn’t keep it going. All numbers modified.
Seawolf highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and six assists; Travis Thompson had 20 points and four assists; Derrick Fain had 15 points and six boards; Dom Hunter had 9 points off the bench. The team shot 60% overall and 62% from three -wow.
Clan highlights: Sango had 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists; Justin Cole had nine points; Roderick Evan’s Taylor had 10 points.
Alaska Fairbanks 57 @ Western Washington 80
The Nooks put up a valiant fight, but… trying to take on WWU out home without your best player is usually going to end badly and badly it did.
Nook highlights: Ashton scored 13 points and had three assists; Eric chipped in 11 along with a nice nine rebounds; Almir finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds; and then off the bench Isaac had nine points. Nothing too shabby. Shooting for the most part wasn’t atrocious.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals; Anye Turner had a full house with eight boards, three assists, three steals, one block, four fouls, and two points; Jeff Parker had 26 points, along with three boards, two assists, and two steals; Mac Johnson had 12 points, seven boards, two assists, and four steals. The team went 8-8 from the line, which was great.
Seattle Pacific 84 @ Western Oregon 94 in 2OT
Andy Avgi had his way with the Falcons, Brendan Carroll was a turnover machine, the reffing was terrible on behalf of SPU, and Julian Nichols more than earned his nod as the conference’s best and one of the most consistent players thus far. This game’ll be in major focus during our Tuesday discussions.
Falcon highlights: Riley Stockton played a whopping 49 minutes and had 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and managed to not foul out; Brendan Carroll had six boards, two assists, six points, and a horrible six turnovers; Matt Borton had nine points, four boards, one assist, two steals, and fouled out; Mitch Penner had 19 points, seven boards, five assists, one steal, and fouled out; Cory Hutsen had 18 points, three boards, one assist, and fouled out. Off the bench: Joe Rasmussen had seven points and four boards; and Shawn Reid had seven points and three boards on terrible shooting.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander scored 20 points and had three assists, three rebounds, two steals; Julian Nichols scored 18 points and had six boards, six assists, and three steals; Lew Thomas had five boards, four assists, and three blocks; Jordan Wiley scored 10 points; Andy Avgi was amazing -finishing with 33 points, four rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks but no fouls.
Central Washington 64 @ Northwest Nazarene 66
This game was insane! And the Crusaders did it, learning from the Alaska trip; super great.
Central highlights: Marc Rodgers had 10 points and five assists; Joey Roppo had 13 points and three boards; Devin Matthews had five boards and 11 points off the bench.
Northwest Nazarene highlights: Alex Birketofte! He had 16 points, eight boards, two assists, two steals, FIVE blocks, and two fouls while shooting a whopping 90%; Erik Kinney made his free throws -had a bunch of nasty turnovers, but: make your free throws so he’s fine and ultimately finished with 11 points; Kevin Rima had a double-double with 10 boards and 14 points, also making his free throws. Off the bench: Bouna N’Diaye managed to collect a full house with one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block, a foul, and eight points.
MSU-Billings 64 @ Saint Martin’s 75
Congrats Saint Martin’s on a nice victory. MSUB playing without Momir Gataric definitely helped -it probably would’ve been much closer had they had the man that’s become their main squeeze. All the same -exploit the weakness, take advantage where you can, that’s exactly what the Saints did.
Yellowjacket Highlights: Emmanuel Johnson finished with a full house with nine boards, one assist, one steal, three blocks, two fouls, and seven points; Jace Anderson added nine points; Jordan Perry added 11 points and nine boards; Tyler Nelson had seven boards. Off the bench: Antoine Hosley had 14 points, three boards, and two assists; and Marc Matthews had 21 points and four boards on 8-11 shooting.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram had 15 points and six assists; Ryan Rogers had six boards; Tyler Idowu had seven points; Cameron Chatwin had 15 points and four rebounds on 5-8 shooting. Off the bench: Victor Ieronymides had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, three fouls, and five points; Brent Counts had five boards; Isaac Bianchini had 11 points; and Tyler Copp had 15 points.
In the jungle, the GNAC jungle, it’s cool to follow the crowd. In the jungle peer pressure leads us to take bad shots all around… Some weeks there are endless highlights from tons of teams; this weekend it was pretty minimal. We’ll have to see about POW; we may go back to highlighting every team without even doing the “ten best players” thing because highlighting the 10 best players can at times be grimace inducing.
Regardless of how it’s calculated: POW noms & POW will be up in the AM.
Good luck recovering from that Super Bowl.
Wow! What a great night for college basketball. The briefs include that WWU continues to confuse, UAA continues to bounce back, parity reigns, WOU and SPU appear to know what they’re doing (that game is gonna be great tomorrow). It was good to see the SPU bench open up a bit -nine guys played at least 10 minutes.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 @ Simon Fraser 79
Good to see the Clan beat the Nooks -this falls into our “best case scenario” idea. Pretty bad shooting on both sides. While this score is normal, it’s still really tempting to modify it, but to be honest: it wasn’t a game watched and so it’s unclear whether or not SFU abandoned their breakneck offense, or if both teams were truly just that bad. The numbers support both sides, so we’ll see more on Saturday.
Fairbanks highlights: Anthony Reese went 6-8 from the line, grabbed 10 boards, and finished with 14 points; Alex Duncan grabbed six boards, two assists, two steals, and went 4-4 from the line, finishing with 15 points; Alex Ladines chipped in five rebounds and 10 points; Eric Fongue off the bench went 4-6 and 3-5, getting seven rebounds to ultimately finish with 12 points. Still no Ruben Silvas.
SFU highlights: Sango had seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and 23 points; Roderick Evans-Taylor almost had the double-double with nine boards and 13 points; Daniel Deflorimonte finished with 10 points; finally, Hidde Vos grabbed seven boards and twelve points.
Overall, very poorly shot game but not entirely unexpected. Those numbers are all unmodified, but… we’ll see what Anchorage does on Saturday for for whether or not we come back and modify them. SFU has the decided the offense they’ll employ and that’s fine, but we’ll stick to it even on nights that they find it impossible.
Alaska-Anchorage 81 @ Western Washington 76
The score is misleading -Anchorage led by quite a bit for HUGE stretches of it. This year is going to live in infamy in the hallowed halls of Carver. The game ultimately shows a differential of five, and guess which team won? Yup, the better free throw shooting team.
Anchorage highlights: Brian McGill -pretty modest, six assists and 10 points, BUT went 6-6 from the line; Travis Thompson finished with 16 points; Derrick Fain added five boards, two assists, and 19 points; Travis Parrish chipped in six boards, four fouls, and 10 points; Dom Hunter was hella clutch, going 12-13 from the line, picking up four fouls, and finishing with 22 points.
WWU highlights? Lordy. His name is Anye and he was BALLIN. Easily the best performance we’ve seen this year. In fact, his performance by himself was better than the second and third best Anchorage player combined. And that includes minutes played. If you combine the two best players into a one player average, he was better than both of them combined. What were his numbers? 31 minutes played, 12-15 from the line, 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, five player fouls, and he finished with 24 points. Double-double AND a full house. Whoa.
Other good highlights from the Vikings: Ricardo Maxwell finished with 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists; Jeff Parker added five boards, one assist, and 15 points; Mac Johnson added eight points. Anye was doin’ it all, but he did it in the right way. You procure the board and can take the shot -okay; he shot 55% from the field on the night.
Seattle Pacific 84 @ Saint Martin’s 52
Yes, I never give the Falcons credit -ever. It’s painful to do it right now, but… they had a decent game and they finally used their bench. It was pretty funny to be like “wait, who are these guys?” but oh well. Saint Martin’s… a correction is being issued: Ryan Rogers apparently was simply bloated while they were in Vegas, because the dude has a really good body. Still, that means the Saints literally have no classified bangers, which is a whole ‘nother issue.
Seattle Pacific highlights: Riley Stockton was perfect from the field, 4-6 from the line, and picked up a full house -five boards, five assists, one steal, one block, and one foul, to finish with 16 points; Brendan Carroll had a good game with perfect shooting on all fronts, finishing with 10 points, and picking up four boards, three assists, one steal, and three fouls; Matt Borton also had a full house, grabbing five boards, four assists, three steals, two blocks, and one foul -um, what?- and finished with eight points; Cory Hutsen went 5-6 and finished with 11 points. Off the bench, Shawn Reid scored 23 points; Joe Rasmussen added 7; and Garrett Swanson also added 7. Also of note: there was a stretch where the Falcons were playing with a pretty massive line-up; a 6’4 backcourt and 6’8 front court, which was interesting.
Saints highlights: Victor Ieronymides finished with 10 points and three boards; Riley Carel four boards, two assists, two steals, and 13 points; Ryan Rogers nine points; Brent Counts off the bench, a straight up five fouls. Guess that’s who they’re using as their banger… so high school, it’s hilarious. And he fouled out with like seven minutes left. “Seriously, just go in and hit some poeple.” “Coach, it’s not football.” “I don’t care, go in and hit some people.” Don’t get the wrong impression -they weren’t hard fouls, it wasn’t nasty, it was just funny.
Actually, the hardest foul of the game was friendly-fire: Riley Stockton positively clobbered Matt Borton. That was hilarious, Matt was bum over tea kettle. You don’t mess with Riley Stockton, dude is stocky and fearless.
MSU-Billings 74 @ Western Oregon 94
Remember how it was said “pick your poison and they’ll do it better” and hoped that MSUB would have an antidote? Nope. Western Oregon apparently was looking at the game as a warm-up for SPU and thus set on kill mode. A lot of guys played really well. MSUB… no one played particularly well.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had nine points; Jace Anderson had eight points; Jordan Perry had five boards; Tyler Nelson had five boards and eight points. Off the bench: Antoine Hosley had five boards, four assists, three rebounds, and finished with 23 points; Emmanuel Johnson added six boards, three assists, two steals, four fouls and 17 points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander with 10 points; Julian Nichols with four boards, 11 assists, four steals, and seven points; Lew Thomas added 14 points; Andy Avgi added four boards and 13 points. Off the bench: Adam Hastings added 17 points; Marwan Sarhan added eight points; and JJ Chimside grabbed five boards.
Good warm-up game. Both the Falcons and the Wolves look ready. Interestingly enough, this game was very necessary for the Wolves; they’ve got a pretty brutal stretch coming up with SPU on Saturday, a now good NNU team on Thursday, and then CWU next Sataurday. Gonna be some fun times coming up.
Not a bad day for basketball. As noted, we got the best performance of the year thus far in Anye Turner’s play. Anye’s day was so good, that he could not play on Saturday and still make the top 10 players -that’s how amazing it was- however not playing would disqualify him from POW considerations, so… hopefully he’ll turn in another monster game.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow morning per usual.
Updated from pre-season:
Most Likely to Succeed: CWU.
Biggest Drama King: SMU or WWU.
Life of the Party: WOU -defense or offense, pick your poison and they’ll do it better.
Night Owl: UAA/UAF.
Early Bird: MSUB/NNU.
Underachiever: SFU -non-conference got peoples’ hopes up.
Teacher’s Pet: SFU -everyone wanted to believe, now no one wants to doubt for fear of being called a jerk.
Best Dressed: SPU, which is a miracle because when Adidas posted this year’s D1 uniforms they were ugly; really ugly.
Biggest Gossip: CWU -someone’s always talking.
Best Smile: NNU -they’re happy to be here.
Biggest Prankster: WWU -everyone’s still on their toes at all times and no one has figured out what they’re doing yet.
Best Couple: Cenazar, shockingly -they have the best record out of any pair, winning 76% of their games.
Player-of-the-half way mark: Julian Nichols, as noted.
Team of the half way mark: Northwest Nazarene. Dropped a game at UAA but has come on super strong with nice wins at CWU, UAF, and SMU.
Most unexpected team: WWU for being bad, NNU for being good.
Most unexpected player: Travis Thompson (UAA) for being relatively bad, Alex Birketoft (NNU) for being a rockstar frosh.
Best 6th man: Sjur Berg, Shawn Reid, Gary Jacobs, Brent Counts.
Best team performance: WOU vs. SFU. Straight domination. SPU is second with their win against NNU.
Best player performance: Matt Borton against CWU -full house and a double-double with great shot selection.
Best team road trip (thus far): CWU @ UAA & UAF. Got the wins in a Alaska -that’s huge.
Best player back-to-back: Riley Stockton -had a double-double against the Alaska schools, on the prowl for a triple-double.
Teams on the rise: NNU, CWU, MSUB.
Teams at par: SPU, WOU, UAF
Teams that will get their spit together NOW: WWU, UAA, SMU, SFU.
Best coaching staff so far: MSUB & NNU -Central is impressive, but people want to go to Central which is not an advantage the other two schools have.
Coaching staff that needs to start believing in themselves again: WWU & UAA.
Coaching staff that needs to stop slacking in their mediocrity: SPU. Cory Hutsen looks lost on the court -the projected best center in the conference looks like he has no idea what he’s doing and has gotten worse as the season’s gone on.
MVPs thus far: Sango Niang, Momir Gataric, Ruben Silvas, Brian McGill –if SFU/MSUB/UAF/UAA loses that guy, their chances of recovery are about zero.
Could-be MVPs: Travis Thompson, Cory Hutsen, Riley Carel. Travis will be featured in our general discussion post tomorrow; Cory may end up getting tag-teamed with it.
Up next: Second half of the season predicted finishes and other musings on conference play and/or bracketology.
The big news of the day seems to be that Dixie State beat BYU-H. The reason this is big news for us is because WOU and SPU both beat Dixie State but BYU-Hawaii was 4-0 against the GNAC, so… could have bracketology implications in terms of procuring or losing an at large bid if we manage by some miracle to be in the running for one.
Back in our own conference: the status quo ruled the day. WWU won, SPU won, WOU won, and CWU won, and then the Alaska schools are enjoying rivalry week so we’ll check in with them on Saturday/Sunday.
MSU-Billings 68 @ Western Washington 88
There’s the Vikings we all know and love/hate. Honestly, this victory says good things about the Vikings but nothing particularly bad about the Yellowjackets. They’re probably pretty disappointed in themselves thinking that now would be the prime time to beat the Viks, but… MSUB is dealing with a lot right now in terms of figuring out their identity.
Player highlights include Momir Gataric’s 25 points on 10-14 shooting and 3-5 shooting from three; Tyler Nelson had a team high six rebounds; Antoine Hosley chipped in 17 points on 8-11 shooting and honestly: that’s about it for that team. Their free throw shooting wasn’t great, they only had 25 rebounds and 11 assists, it wasn’t a particularly cohesive game. Oh well: Again, it’s hard to play the Vikings, even harder at Carver, and MSUB’ll figure out their identity as they go on. The SFU game looms large, they should feel no shame about this one, and get right into focusing on beating the Clan.
As for the Vikings highlights: HOLY GUACAMOLE. Where to even begin: Kyle Impero may not have had the best shooting night, but he still chipped in a whopping seven assists; Anye Turner got a full house with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, five blocks, and 11 points; Harris Javier also had a poor shooting night but still turned in 10 assists; Jeff Parker chipped in 17 points; Mac Johnson went 7-11 for fifteen points, and had nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal; and Joey -the-man-himself- Schreiber went 6-6 from the line, 6-9 from three, had 12 rebounds, and 38 points -that is one heck of a double-double.
Seattle Pacific 115 @ Simon Fraser 81
It was beyond thrilling to get to watch SFU in person and started to make a lot more sense of what they do and how they win. Sango is such a cool player and there is no way he’s 6’0 but all the same he does what he does. It was in his play that we can really appreciate how much SPU did to disrupt their offense, even while the score crept up substantially.
Usually Sango is really good at getting the guys around him involved, but this game he had comparatively fewer assists and his stats were definitely down. While he scored 27 points total before the usual modification, that’s not a number that’s out of the ordinary for any player. No SFU player really scored a bunch or did much in the field, which is really a testament to SPU. Justin Cole had eight, Michael Harper had eight, Adam Westfall had seven, Patrick Simon II had 14, and then their bench didn’t really do much. There was a horrifying fall by Roderick Taylor-Evans, which haven’t heard the official word yet but looked season ending; his knee completely buckled and it looked like it had to tear something.
Seattle Pacific: These are all modified numbers so you know in context of what they normally do -that being said, so many guys had fantastic games even still. Riley Stockton went 5-7 from the field for eight points, although was in foul trouble for much of the game; Brendan Carroll made his minutes productive; Matt Borton had 10 rebounds, and fourteen points for the double-double; Mitch Penner went 11-15, 2-3 from three, and 7-9 from the line finishing with eight boards, five assists, and 21 points; Cory Hutsen picked up three rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block, and finished with a full house on 20 points -AWESOME. Again, the bench didn’t really contribute although Bryce Leavitt was helpful with ball distribution in Riley’s absence.
Here it comes again: Okay game for the Falcons -not great. They should’ve been able to control the tempo more. It’ll be interesting to see what they do against WWU on Saturday at Carver.
Central Washington 70 @ Saint Martin’s 68
This was a really interesting game, mainly because CWU played terribly and yet still pulled out the ‘W’ and that’s what you’ve gotta do. It’s gotta be a bad loss to swallow for the Saints because… it was theirs and they let it go. It would be easy to blame their 60% free throw shooting, but when it comes down to two points and your team has a hefty seven assists -it’s not the free throws, it’s the cohesion, which has been the complaint now for weeks against SMU.
SMU could be a mediocre team that does well through teamwork, or a mediocre team that does poorly through lack of teamwork. They should choose the former.
CWU didn’t have many highlights, here they are: Joe Stroud was 7-9 for 15 points; Jordan Russell was 5-8 for 15 points; Dom Williams had a game high four assists; Gary Jacobs was 5-6 from the line, picked up six boards, and ultimately had fifteen points. Balanced scoring, but not cohesive basketball either. Still, the Wildcats managed to do just enough and get it done and more power to them for that.
Saint Martin’s highlights: Trey Ingram went 7-11 overall, 3-5 from three, and 3-3 from the line to finish with 20 points, unfortunately he also had eight turnovers -zoinks; Ryan Rogers picked up eight boards and 10 points; Tyler Idowu picked up six boards; Riley Carel went 6-8 from the line and finished with 22 points.
On the whole this game went down to the wire but was rather disjointed through it’s entirely.
Northwest Nazarene 59 @ Western Oregon 66
The good news is: both teams wanted it, badly; both teams were really committed to defense; this game was a battle for the better and WOU did exactly what they needed to do in coming out on top.
In terms of Northwest Nazarene: Alex Birketoft had nine rebounds and ten points; Erik Kinney had seven rebounds and 21 points, going 5-6 from the line; Mike Wright chipped in seven assists; Matyas Hering added 14 points. The bad -Erik had five turnovers, Kevin Rima was almost silent, and they got pretty much nothing from their bench.
WOU: Devon Alexander had four rebounds, three assists, and eleven points; Julian Nichols went 4-4 from the line, had eight rebounds, five assists, five steals, and finished with ten points; Lew Thomas also had eight rebounds, though a mere two assists, one steal, two blocks, and two fouls, as well as an abomination of a shooting percentage; Jordan Wiley added 16 points, four rebounds, and two assists; Andy Avgi 18 points, three rebounds, and one steal. Like the Crusaders, WOU received almost nothing from their bench.
Overall, good game for WOU to pull through and good game for NNU to get experience.
As noted: This was a really status quo day. Saturday looms large -there is not going to be a bad game to watch on Saturday. Game previews’ll go up tomorrow morning.