Both teams lost and yet it wasn’t a bad day for the GNAC overall because they were some of the first games these teams played, AND our suspicion is that the losses were mostly quality.
UC Colorado Springs 79, Alaska Anchorage 70
Christian Leckbend got to start! Exciting stuff. While the result is less than desirable, this game wasn’t horrible. Everyone shot terribly, which would allude to good defense being played and the Seawolves getting tested, which is totally fine. They shot 65% from the line; neither good nor bad. It was a good test. The Seawolves got down early and then couldn’t overcome it, but not a bad game by any stretch and we look forward to seeing their improvements from it.
Player highlights: Christian Leckband had 15 points and six boards; SUKI WIGGS (apparently reads this blog) because he had 21 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists (hot dang), and five fouls -love, love, love it; Corey Hammell had five boards, three assists, and five points -all negated by four turnovers. Off the bench: Spencer Svejcar had 13 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals off the bench.
Not sure where we fall on the Spencer vs. Christian starting question. We like both. We’re excited to see Suki play off of Brian McGill because if this is how Suki is now, with a master distributor he’s going to be even more insane. Not worried about the turnovers because with Brian back it should be fine. Diante Mitchell should ultimately be the guard off the bench going forward, but with him the Seawolves are demonstrably going at least seven if not eight deep, therefore life is good. Corey had a bit of a rough game, but it’s so early that it’s neither here nor there.
Western Washington 71, MN-Moorhead 74
So… MN-Moorhead went to the Elite Eight last year and WWU almost beat them meanwhile shooting an atrocious 35% from the line. There is NO excuse for that. None. Make those free throws, win that game. The other issue is that they shot poorly; again, could be attributed to good defense being played, but… Wouldn’t have mattered if they’d made their free throws. Still, great chance to see the Vikings respond and almost pull it out. Relatively okay with this result; it’s never good to pick up a loss, but if you have to this opponent isn’t terrible to have it occur against. Incredibly, incredibly displeased with the FTs and some of the shot selection, but again: early season.
Player highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 11 points; Kyle Impero had 14 points, seven boards, four assists, and a steal; COLBY MITCHELL had 14 points, 10 boards, and four fouls, which would have been perfect had he not gone 0-4 on his free throws; Jeff Parker had six boards and 16 points on abysmal shooting; Mac Johnson had nine boards and six points on similarly abysmal shooting -woof. Off the bench: Brett Kingma had 10 points.
Overall not a bad weekend, in fact we’d say it was pretty good. There’s not really anything D2 for a couple of weeks now, and so we probably will go ahead and stick up some POW noms and then a POW just because it’ll be a while before it’s relevant.
There will be a discussions post on Wednesday and then probably some other stuff? For the most part because we did a more intensive October than expected, these first two weeks are going to be pretty chill. November 13th is when things’ll really get crazy.
Keep in mind we won’t do team previews until the December dead period, but other than that:
Leave a comment or Tweet at us if there’s something you’re curious about!
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.
Obviously we really don’t know a heck of a lot about what these results mean, but… Some of these players had seriously good games, looking at you Cory Hammell and Ricardo Maxwell.
Alaska Anchorage 84, Upper Iowa 81
Upper Iowa is in the Northern Sun conference and finished with a conference record of 12-10 last year and played one game in the conference tournament. Sounds like a good match-up for the Seawolves and it turns out that it was -the Seawolves won in a close one and as projected -had transfers step-up. The good news is -the transfers stepped up and they got the win; the bad news is, the overall production was relatively atrocious. Anchorage wants to be treated same as the contenders? With numbers like this with the Vikings or Falcons, we’d be pissed despite the win, particularly at Suki. Who does he think he is? Dom Williams? Jaamon Echols? Yikes.
Player highlights: Suki Wiggs had 20 points; Diante Mitchell had 12; Spencer Svejar had 14; SJUR BERG had 11 rebounds; Cory Hammell had a double-double with 10 boards and 18 points on not bad shooting. Off the bench, Christian Leckbend added in six boards; Tayler Thompson added 7 boards. Pretty much it. Ridiculously proud of Sjur and Corey!!!!!! Alright -Suki, Diante, and Spencer were horrible, but the rest of you guys were great. We is proud of you!
Western Washington 95, UC Colorado Springs 84
UC Colorado Springs was actually witnessed in person by us last year in the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they got blown out by Tarleton State – a team that we’d watched WWU play earlier in the year- so overall not a surprising result but a very good one for the Vikings. This is a good win, nice way to start the season, even if Colorado Springs didn’t really return anything (we’re not sure and too lazy to find out).
Player highlights: RICARDO MAXWELL HAD 27 POINTS!!!!! Little off on his field goals, but easily forgivable because is was seriously only a tiny bit off and he went 12-13 on free throws along with picking up SEVEN assists; Kyle Impero had an awesome 9 rebounds, five assists, three steals, FIVE FOULS, and fourteen points; Jeff Parker had 7 boards and 23 points while making ALL of his free throws; Mac Johnson had a FULL HOUSE with six boards, three assists, two steals, a block, three fouls, and nine points, although his free throws need help. Off the bench: Brett Kingma had 15 points.
Overall, a great first day of basketball for the GNAC. Can’t want to see the stats from today. Congrats to both the Vikings and Seawolves on their respective victories.
We’re like the Joe Lunardi of GNAC prognostication, and to an extent West Region bracketology. So many guesses, so much BS, but all in good fun. Our “official” pre-season poll will go up in October.
We finally looked at what CU-Portland brings back: zilch. We also lost even more guys than the already insane number we knew we were losing in June. The June prognostication looks ridiculous from where we stand now. Similarly -these are gonna change again next month. And the month after that. And we’ll do a final “SPIT IS GETTING REAL NOW, LET’S GO!!!!!!!!” ranking just before conference play gets cereal in January, because these things are stupid and stupid fun is good fun.
1. Western Washington. They bring back Harris Javier, Mac Johnson, Kyle Impero, Ricardo Maxwell, Jeff Parker, and more. And those are all actual recognizable names that saw some good minutes! They also bring back carpetbagger Brett Kingma, who is the Riley Carel of Mill Creek. He’s a Falcon by blood, the fact that he didn’t end up at SPU speaks volumes.
2. Western Oregon. We won’t know Andy’s status for a while, but… Devon Alexander had some good early season games, Julian Nichols is great and amazing and almost won player of the year, Jordan Wiley picked up some POW noms, new coaching staff, we love Jim Shaw. If we ever list their coach as ‘Brad Shaw’ sorry in advance -Jim’s son, Brad, was in the same class year of WesCo Basketball that we were and so… we go back.
3. Seattle Pacific. HOOOOOMER pick. Sort of. Thing is, they’ve got Mitch, they’ve got Gilles (good for twice as much homerism), they’ve got Brendan Carroll, Bryce Leavitt, and Garrett Swanson, all of whom started multiple games last year, plus they have plenty of guys that have been in the program for multiple years and have never seen more than an ounce of playing time. Good distribution of height, proven coaching staff, and the rest of the GNAC -what are we gonna do? That’s the real thing here.
4. Central Washington. Never underestimate a good power forward and elite teamwork. They probably should actually get the nod over SPU because Joey Roppo is good, Gary Jacobs wasn’t bad, and Prairie, er, Terry Dawn is legit. Guess we’re sticking them at fourth because we usually give the SPU guys too little credit, and so this kind of balances things out. We know the numbers for the CWU guys, but have no clue what the SPU ones are because we never cared. Whoops.
5. Alaska-Fairbanks. They lost a lot: Ruben, Kyle, Adam, BUT they return Joe Slocum, Almir, and Isaac Ladines. Now, do we think it’ll be successful? No. Do we think it’ll be embarrassingly bad? No. They’re lucky in the fact that the GNAC suffered massive skills drain almost everywhere.
6. Alaska-Anchorage. It’s completely unknown, they return Brian McGill and Sjur Berg as for recognizable names, and hmmm… But it’s still always difficult to play in Anchorage and we feel like their recruiting pitch is pretty quality. Still, they go on too many dates… but they can’t make ’em stay… That’s just what we say-ay-ay mmm, and so they’re just gonna shake it off, shake it off.
7. Saint Martin’s. Admittedly, we’re really sad that Brent is gone and Cameron [happily] is on his Mission. Still: Tyler Copp, Trey Ingram, Isaac Bianchini, Victor Ieronymides, new and very promising coaching staff, good things are on the horizon.
8. Concordia-Portland. This is honestly just a shot in the dark, because they’ve got a bunch of transfers coming in and they’re not going to be expected to do much, so expect the unexpected if they can gel and acclimate quickly.
9. MSU-Billings. Yikes. Momir Gataric and Kendall Denham make-up the most quality pair returned from the bottom three teams + proven coaching staff = potential.
10. Simon Fraser. They no longer have Sango, they no longer have Patrick Simon II, they do have Michael Harper,
Adam Westfall, Hidde Vos, and JJ Pankratz which are all recognizable names, but… only Michael Harper received a POW nom, and it’s still Simon Fraser. Another team we’d love to see improve, but we’re a little heartbroken after the major psych-out of last year.
11. Northwest Nazarene. The thing is, this team would be like if SPU’s best returning player was Brendan Carroll; the projected reality would be more turnovers than a bake sale. That’s Mike Wright, without nearly the talent that Brendan would still likely be surrounded with if put into that scenario.
One thing that is going to happen this year that we’re REALLLY excited for (okay, at this point everything’s exciting ’cause we just want basketball) is conference power rankings. Not sure how often we’re gonna post them, but we’ll take the teams we’re projecting to make the conference tourney and throw them up with the reasoning. Depending, we’ll also give you the bottom five and the reasons they’re not, ’cause otherwise there’ll be people going “But UAF beat WWU by five!” Um, yeah: “Mac Johnson was out with the flu THAT DOESN’T COUNT.”
Speaking of which: Get your flu shot early and wash your hands often. The GNAC Basketball Plague makes the rounds every year, so do what you can to prevent it and help keep GNAC basketball great.