Good morning GNAC!
IT FINALLY HAPPENED! We all actually got together and played some conference games last night. Did we learn a lot? Arguably yes. Because we can finally stop making excuses.
Going into the first two games of conference play, the standings were:
Seattle Pacific 5-2
Western Oregon 5-2
Western Washington 5-2
Simon Fraser 4-3
Central Washington 3-2
Saint Martin’s 2-5
Northwest Nazarene 1-7
Teams in italics won their games last night. The records are essentially what we expected with the exception of Anchorage doing poorly and SFU doing well.
The good news about conference play starting is that the guys in our conference are SO great. The bad news about conference play starting is the guys in our conference can be SO grimace inducing. It’s only fair -we have admitted GNAC bias, but it’s not that bad.
This is the final warning to SPU, WWU, Anchorage, and WOU: Being picked as the top of the conference was not something in your favor -you will be nit piqued like a second grade girl and her five best friends. That being said: CWU, NNU, UAF, SFU, NNU, and MSUB; no one is safe. Put up or shut-up, whether you’re first or last.
Alaska Anchorage 75 @ Saint Martin’s 68 in OT
It would be nice to excuse Anchorage, but at this point there is no excuse. They got a necessary win tonight, but it took OT. Road warriors, but… really? For all the hype the Seawolves received, they get the Goliath treatment and thus tonight was not impressive what-so-ever.
Luckily, they really only had a couple of collective areas of concern: their number of assists -as a team, they had nine, which isn’t going to cut it; they also shot a mere 15% from three. Nope.
The good news is Christian Lackband had eight points and five rebounds; Brian McGill had another great game with four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and 22 points while picking up just two fouls; Kalidou Diouf had eight rebounds and 16 points; Derrick Fain, Travis Parrish, and Kevin Bowman all had five rebounds a piece off the bench.
The bad news is Travis Thompson had another fairly silent game, picking up just nine points in 36 minutes; Derrick Fain went 1-9 and 0-5 on threes -there’s a fine line between continuing to shoot and knowing when to stop. Assists as a team were terrible; that would be an ideal time to start converting them.
Saint Martin’s apparently has actually done relatively well at home against UAA and they had a chance to make a huge statement and didn’t take it; incredibly frustrating.
While the team on the whole wasn’t impressive, guys had their moments:
Trey Ingram had 21 points while shooting 4-5 from three; Tyler Copp had 10; Ryan Rogers had 12 points and six rebounds; Tyler Idowu had seven points and six rebounds; Riley Carel had a fantastic seven assists in 16 minutes off the bench -that’s almost as many as the entire UAA team had in 45 minutes.
Concerning areas for the Saints: the fact that they couldn’t close the deal at home against a team that lacked cohesion; Ryan Rogers went 5-17, was 0-7 on threes, and shot a mere 2-7 from the charity stripe; the team shot a whopping 54% from the line; SMU itself had a mere 14 assists, as well as 16 turnovers.
Overall the game was a battle and while it was good for us on a conference level, it wasn’t good for our conference on a national level.
Alaska-Fairbanks 62 @ Western Oregon 67
The good news in terms of UAF is that there isn’t a lot of bad news; the bad news is, there isn’t a lot of particularly good news either. As a team, they shot 50% from the free throw line, but the sample size is too small to really matter -they also picked up few fouls; they had a mere 16 assists, but they also only had 12 turnovers; their shooting percentages aren’t great nor terrible. It was a productive outing in a difficult place to play. The Nooks should be proud, even with the loss.
And they should be proud of these guys in particular: Ruben Silvas had nine points and five rebounds; Ashton Edwards had 19 points; Kyle Tomlinson knew when to stop shooting and instead picked up five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks; Almir Hadzisehovic had 14 points; Alex Duncan had 11 points off the bench.
As for Western Oregon, there was also nothing drastically concerning nor notable about their collective performance. They got it done against a team they were expected to get it done against, with the possibility for a challenge, and came back from a deficit. Always good.
Devon Alexander picked up nine rebounds; Lew Thomas had nine points, nine rebounds, and nine assists -nice PSYCH of a triple double; Jordan Wiley scored 17 points on 6-7 and 5-6 shooting from three, respectively; Andy Avgi scored 26 points and picked up six boards.
Concerns for particularly players… hooo boy. Lew Thomas STOP SHOOTING IF YOU’RE COLD -there is no universe in which 4-17 and 1-7 is acceptable and you likely would’ve had the triple double if you’d stopped looking so hard in the wrong area (remember: we love you Lew!); also of note: Julian Nichols contributed almost nothing, but this is kind of a victim of his own success -it’s notable when he’s quiet. Bench play is probably the one area of concern for the Wolves, because they got almost nothing from it.
Overall once again: this game was good for our conference, and actually wasn’t horrible on a national level either.
MSU-Billings 79 @ Central Washington 88
This was a really hard fought game that was chippy and intense, which is always awesome and as noted: seems to always happen at CWU, regardless as to the team CWU’s playing or what the Central team itself looks like. In terms of the Yellowjackets, the main area of collective concern is the fact that they had a mere 13 assists. The good news is they got some seriously strong bench play.
In terms of the starters: Marc Matthews continues to impress -he had 17 points and nine rebounds; Momir Gataric chipped in 10 points; Tyler Nelson added eight rebounds; Austin Hudson fouled out while contributing 15 points -he’s the only true banger the Yellowjackets have, which puts them all in a really difficult position. As noted, the bench was helpful: Antoine Hosley scored 16 points along with picking up four rebounds, three assists, and two steals; Emmanuel Johnson picked up six boards.
Biggest player concern area is that Gary Gordon was largely silent and Hosley shot 5-16 and 1-6 from three; had those numbers been different, the Jackets likely would’ve won.
In regard to Central, still not sure what to make of this team. They’re going to be helped out by the fact that UAF isn’t eligible for post-season play. It’s hard to say that this game was a disappointment when it was noted as a toss-up; there is some thought that MSUB was in the habit of losing to NAIA schools and so if CWU was for real, they would’ve been able to blow the Yellowjackets out.
Player highlights include Marc Rodgers and his eight points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals, and mere one turnover; Terry Dawn had eight points and five rebounds; Gary Jacobs had fourteen points, five assists, and five rebounds; Dom Williams had a fantastic 31 points and five assists; Joseph Stroud added five rebounds, two blocks, and four fouls off the bench.
The main concerns include Jordan Russell going 1-7, Joseph Stroud having a quiet game, and the bench overall not doing as much as they could’ve done.
On the whole: the game was the toss-up anticipated and it makes sense that CWU won it considering they were at home. However, if the Wildcats really want to be talked about in the same breath as WWU/SPU/UAA/WOU, they needed to make a statement and they failed to do so tonight to the degree that was necessary.
Seattle Pacific 77 @ Northwest Nazarene 51
Where to begin with this game… SPU did exactly what they were expected to do. Considering conference wide no one’s been doing that, there exists some relief.
The great part about the SPU collective game is that they’re really balanced to the point that in terms of player-of-the-week considerations there’s not one option. That is the epitome of what basketball is about, which is super cool. If no one from the Falcons gets it by mid-January, we’ll probably go ahead and split the award because their teamwork is so notable.
Tonight Bryce Leavitt had 10 points; Riley Stockton had 11 points and a whopping seven assists; Matt Borton had 14 points and five rebounds; Cory Hutsen had 16 points and five rebounds; Mitch Penner had 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench; Brendan Carroll picked up six boards off the bench.
Speaking of Brendan Carroll: He was 1-9 and 0-4, yikes; Cory Hutsen was 6-14 which would be fine if they weren’t all from two feet away from the basket; the lack of bench play from the Falcons with the exception of Mitch Penner isn’t sustainable in conference. Collectively they had just 12 assists -seems odd for a team notable for their teamwork, and one that was inevitably playing a game of “everyone needs to touch the basketball” for the last seven or so minutes of clock.
And you were led to believe the Falcons’ play was the end of the world. NNU? Hooo boy. It’s almost more that can be said about the SPU defense than the Crusaders’ offense.
Aubrey Ball scored 13 points; Mike Wright scored 13; Kevin Rima had nine points and seven rebounds.
That was it. Those were the highlights. Areas of concern: Aubrey Ball was 4-12 and 0-5; Erik Kinney was pretty much silent, as was Bouna N’Diaye; the team collectively had a mere five assists and sixteen rebounds; they shot 22.7% from three; they epitomized why they were picked last, even while playing at home. SPU is good, but they’ve shown plenty of ways that they’re weak and NNU failed to exploit them at all.
While this game was predictably boring, it was actually great for our conference so at least it has that going for it.
To anyone that actually read the entirety of that: You are being saluted.
But seriously: How much fun was that? Seems like the only way it could be more fun is if WWU and SFU got involved, which they will on Saturday!
Usually it can be said that it’s great to beat rivals but more useful to beat teammates… It’s great to beat teams from other conferences, but it’s better when the blood is shed from within! So much love when the family gets together -even if we’re all guaranteed to be sick of each other by February 1st.
Concordia-Portland, you shouldn’t be left out so here’s your obligated mention: we look forward to when you come and live with our insane family full time. Speaking of which -are you sure you want to? Like really sure? Like there’s been massive amounts of cannibalism as of late, far more than when you applied to join, so at least be aware of that.
The Cavaliers are sitting here going “Heck yeah, we’re going to feast from the top of the pile of that mother loving cannibalistic mess that the GNAC’s become.” You go Concordia, you go.
Never underestimate our propensity for shenanigans. Ever.
Player of last week nominations will be posted at some point today, promise.
Missouri State 55, Alaska-Anchorage 51
Simon Fraser 123, Holy Names 121
Texas A&M Kingsville 84, Northwest Nazarene 70
Western Oregon 84, CSU Monterey Bay 73
Alaska-Fairbanks 78, Notre Dame de Namur 68
Hoooly bologna there are the results against the Pac-West that we’re looking for.
Missouri State and Alaska-Anchorage… congrats to the Seawolves on keeping it respectable! It’s great particularly right now not because that’s a D1 team, but because they’re showing growth and growth is everything. The main problem with the conference results thus far is how much the “growth” will be taken seriously once we enter into exclusive conference play in January.
Player highlights: Brian McGill with 12 points and four fouls; Travis Thompson with 14 points and four steals; Kalidou Diouf with 11 points and eight rebounds. Overall pretty balanced performance; doesn’t mean much, but those guys got it done and again: it was respectable.
SFU won the battle of “who can play the most offense and just enough defense,” in what is becoming a common theme: heart attacks for all of us watching. It’s so exciting though because last year SFU had a bunch of games like this and DIDN’T win and now they’re starting to; watching the progression is simply amazing.
Player highlights: Sango Niang once again –29 points, three rebounds, six assists, and four steals; Justin Cole with 27 points, Roderick Evans-Taylor with 13 points and seven rebounds; Michael Harper with 11 points, Patrick Simon II with 10 points and five boards; finally: Hidde Vos with 15 points off the bench.
We all know the Clan’s style helps them significantly in terms of sheer numbers, but whatever gets it done. This is looking like a drastically improved team, which is fantastic. Really excited to get to watch them in person later this year.
Northwest Nazarene lost, which, okay… not unexpected. That’s not a knock on the Crusaders; at this point anyone winning or losing a game isn’t surprising. It was mentioned a bunch pre-season: predictions are pointless. Sometimes they happen just for skits and giggles, but most of the time they’re not something to even bother with.
In terms of player highlights the first thing that stands out is that Bouna didn’t have a particularly good game, which could explain the loss. Bouna is already massively standing out as a player to watch in conference, and he’s really becoming the Austin Hudson of the Crusaders; Erik Kinney had a great game full of balance with 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and one steal; Aubrey Ball had 22 points; Mike Wright had 10 points; Kevin Rima had 10 points and seven rebounds; finally, David Shedrick had eight points off the bench.
The Crusaders continue to struggle with turnovers and their bench play needs to get better now, but… they still look mildly promising, at least in regards to improvement over last year.
WESTERN OREGON, YOU ARE SEEN! Picking up that win against CSU-MB. Balanced scoring is always a great thing. Turnovers however… oh dear. And five assists? No way Jose.
Devon Alexander had 13 points; Julian Nichols had a full house with 17 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block; Lew Thomas had a double-double with 14 REBOUNDS and 11 points; Jordan Wiley had 16 points; Andy Avgi had a relatively quiet game (for him) with six boards, two steals, and eight points. Nothing particularly of note from the bench, so… we’ll look for the Wolves to improve on that.
UAF: Stop trying to make “Alaska” happen, it isn’t going to happen. You are Fairbanks. Deal with it. Yes it’s a recruiting disadvantage to admit you’re in Fairbanks -we get it, but seriously: just stop. On the brighter side of things (of which, there’s not much brightness in Fairbanks at this point) you picked up a ‘W’ against ND de Namur.
Ruben Silvas had 10 points; Ashton Edwards had a fantastic 24 points; Kyle Tomlinson had nine points and seven rebounds; Adam Griffin had 10 points; and finally: Isaac Ladines contributed seven rebounds and five fouls off the bench -shout out to the big man defensive specialist for gettin’ it dirty and done.
Up next is Saturday’s games; on the horizon this week is looking at the conference games that start on Thursday, and what the Pac-West and CCAA are up to/how we’ve faired thus far.
First and foremost: So many games, such a lack of posting and tweeting, never to happen again. This is why you don’t try and sit between two chairs. The blog is committed to all ten teams. We’ll also be regularly checking in with Concordia-Portland in anticipation of next year.
College basketball on a Friday night… sacrilege to the high school game, but oh well.
Central Washington 65, Minnesota-Crookston 52
Nicely done Wildcats!! Admittedly we knew MN-Crookston’s record last year, but they got an entirely new coaching staff, Central is dealing with almost an entirely new team, and… they’ve got a good rotation. Jordan Russell had 17 points off the bench, along with 6 rebounds; Joseph Shroud had 16 points off the bench, Gary Jacobs with a well-rounded performance of a FULL HOUSE. Even with a terrible A/TO, the blocks and steals are hard to come by so we’ll give him credit anyway.
Player of the game: Gary Jacobs.
Hawaii Hilo 89, Northwest Nazarene 81
While not a victory for the Crusaders, that is still a darn respectable score. NNU has potential this year, particularly considering how balanced their minutes and scoring was; nine guys played at least thirteen minutes. Four players scored in the double digits: Bouna N’Diaye, Erik Kinney, Aubrey Ball, and Kevin Rima.
Kevin Rima… HAD A DOUBLE-DOUBLE!! Nicely done Kevin. Kevin is obviously our player of the game.
CSU East Bay 86, MSU-Billings 80.
The bad news? The MSUB bench contributed almost nothing. The good news? Their scorers are starting to come out of the woodwork. Gary Gordon had 22 points and eight rebounds; Momir Gataric had 13 points and a block; Antoine Hosley (formerly of UW) had 21 points; and…
Austin Hudson had a double-double, with 20 points and 12 boards!! He also had TWO blocks. Player of the game, right there.
They may have lost the battle, but we’ll consider this game a step in the right direction in terms of the Yellowjackets winning the war.
Fresno Pacific 87, Saint Martin’s 67
There isn’t much to say when a team loses by twenty. This wasn’t a moral victory. The highlights for Saint Martin’s include that Tyler Copp scored 17 points, Ryan Rogers had 11 points, Isaac Bianchini had 12 points off the bench, and Tyler Iwodu had eight points and six rebounds for the spot as the Saints’ leading rebounder. Trey Ingram highlights with an amazing 7-0 assist to turnover ratio; he scored a mere five points, but… talk about unselfish play and prototypically what you want in a point guard.
Nice job Trey; player of the game.
Academy of Art 70, Seattle Pacific 67
The Falcons need to prove themselves and they need to do it now. Academy of Art could be better than we were thinking they’d be, or they could be terrible. They looked good against SPU. There’s rational to say that we should still remain calm about the Falcons because the season is so early and they lost by so little, but like Western… What SPU does or doesn’t do holds so much on how the rest of the conference is perceived that… GET IT TOGETHER.
Player highlights include Mitch Penner with 17 points and nine rebounds, Riley Stockton with nine rebounds and eight points, and Cory Hutsen with 10 points and six rebounds.
Player of the game: Mitch Penner.
Simon Fraser 160, Northwest Indian 99
At this point, it doesn’t matter that the defense looks like bologna and the team is way below D2. SFU BEAT A NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT. And they scored 160. There are teams like SPU where we expect more and teams like SFU where we expect less; sorry Falcons, Vikings, Wolves, and Seawolves in advance. Still… SFU, go Clan!
Seven players scored at least 10 points. In order of the stat sheet: Sango Niang 14 points, eight assists, three steals, 0 turnovers; Justin Cole 16 points, three steals; Roderick Evans-Taylor 19 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, three assists, and one block -again a bad A/TO but the man still had a full house; Patrick Simon II 14 points, six rebounds; JJ Pankratz 13 points; Adam Westfall 21 points; Hidde Vos 17 points, five assists.
Player of the game of course goes to Roderick Evans-Taylor.
Western Washington 78, Notre Dame de Namur 52
Sorry Vikings; you did exactly what you were supposed to do. Good job. This is mundane: Joey Schreiber had 19 points, seven rebounds; Jeffrey Parker had 21 points, seven rebounds; Anye had five points, seven blocks and seven rebounds; Kyle Impero had seven rebounds and picked up four fouls, which is impressive for a guard.
Vikings, your bench provided almost nothing in any statistical category; there is the concern. Our entire conference relies on you, which you know. Sorry about that. We believe in you Vikings, hence the bashing of heads going “you won by 26, but…” Seriously WWU, gotta do it, gotta set the standard. Ahem, last year; let’s not talk about it all that often.
Player of the game: Anye. Yes it’s biased. Sorry Jeff and Kyle. But especially in a gym like Carver, blocks can change an outcome massively.
Point Loma 64, Western Oregon 54
Here we go again… Wolves, you’re better than this. You beat Oregon State. You need to bounce back. The Nike U. loss meant nothing. Your rebounding performance and play off the bench in this game was dismal. Andy Avgi had 15 points and four rebounds; Lew Thomas had 11 points and six rebounds… Wake up Wolves. You’re supposed to be challenging for second place, considering what Anchorage has been dealing with.
Player of the game: Lew Thomas.
Sonoma State 74, Alaska Anchorage 66
Once again: Seriously Seawolves? Were you drinking too much Coppertone while you were down there? You’re better than this. We outrage because we adore. Aaaaand we find that answer in your rebounding. Commit Seawolves, you gotta commit. You have the second best home advantage in the conference and just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean anything. You can do this. Brian McGill had 25 points, Travis Thompson had 21 points, and no one else really had anything of note. The starters played a lot of minutes.
Trinity Int’l 83, Alaska-Fairbanks 73
Really Nooks? At Home? You let Trinity beat you at home? Your home court advantage is another that shouldn’t be understated. The good news is Adam Griffin scored 17 points off the bench; Ruben Silvas had an incredibly balanced seven rebounds, two steals, four assists, and nine points; and four players had at least six rebounds. While you didn’t win the war, you won many battles. We know you’re rebuilding and from the looks of the effort -you’re going to be just fine.
There is still plenty of hope left for you UAF.
Player of the game goes to Ruben Silvas.
Wow! Yes this went up late. If we missed anybody, please let us know. Leave a comment, tweet at us. Up next is our Player of the Week nominations.