Good evening! Putting this up now so there’s some space between tonight and tomorrow’s post.
Shouted out the Saints in the hashtags because we are sincerely grateful for them hosting it, they do a fantastic job. We deal with every staff in the GNAC and we’ll say it again: Saint Martin’s is the best, and it’s not close.
Quick Pac-West update:
#3 Cal Baptist 84, #6 Dominican 72
#5 BYU-Hawaii 96, #4 Hawaii Pacific 78
#3 Cal Baptist vs. #2 Dixie State
#5 BYU-Hawaii vs #1 Azusa Pacific
Chico State fans -take a deep breath. SOS + RPI. We’re all in this together, from the D2 Tip-off through Selection Sunday, and it’s far from over.
#6 Western Washington 78 “@” #3 Alaska-Anchorage 73
This game was nuts the entire way through. We only watched half of it and didn’t look at the score at all until we walked into the gymnasium and actively looked up at the scoreboard. Were we surprised? In a big way. We’re ridiculously happy for the Vikings, although a little terrified to be honest because UAF is a really good team that’s coming on strong at exactly the right time, so… that’s terrifying. Still -our biggest commends to Alaska-Anchorage, welcome to the bubble.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs was 9/11 from the line and grabbed 12 boards, three assists, and four steals; Corey Hammell had nine boards and 12 points; Brian McGill had 16 points; and off the bench Christian Leckband had seven points and four boards. Seawolves were fantastic at making their free throws and positioning themselves under the basket.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had six boards and six assists; KYLE IMPERO had 12 boards and four assists while playing 40 FULL MINUTES; and JEFFREY PARKER had 31 POINTS and six boards while also playing 40 FULL MINUTES. Off the bench Brett Kingma had six points; and Colby Mitchell had four rebounds. The Vikings were also fantastic at making their free throws and needed every single one.
Great rebounding and free throw shooting by both teams; 80% free throws and 36 rebounds straight across the court. Props to Rusty Osborn for remaining on his bench -we’re proud of you Coach.
#5 Central Washington 65 “@” Seattle Pacific 69
We said this game would be nuts and it was 100%. Maybe not quite 100%; for a while there it looked like the Falcons had no idea what they were doing. #33 on the Falcons still doesn’t know what he’s doing, aside from nursing his acute case of “whiny b*tch.”
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had 10 points and eight boards; Joe Stroud had 19 points and six boards; Devin Matthews had 12 points, eight boards, and EIGHT assists. Off the bench Naim Ladd won the battle of the shorties (him vs. Will Parker) and finished with 11 points. Congrats on a great season Wildcats!
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt played -40- MINUTES and had seven boards while going 5/5 from the line; Gilles Dierickx had 10 boards; Mitch Penner had a whopping 25 points and eight boards; and off the bench Gabe Colosimo had five points. Maybe the most interesting stat is Will Parker’s 27 unobtrusive minutes. Generally speaking he shoots way too much and misses way too many shots and picks up too many turnovers, but today he played 27 minutes of defensively effective, fundamental basketball. Fantastic game for Will Parker.
Seriously nutso game until the very end. As noted on Twitter: Will Parker makes a 3, SPU’s now up 3, .6 left on the clock; CWU coach takes a timeout, then the SPU coach decides to take a timeout, then the CWU coach “takes another one” only to find out he doesn’t have any available; CWU gets a technical
Heart attack for basically four straight hours. It was crazy. We feel like it might get better tomorrow because it’s really hard to bet against the Nooks right now and the Falcons have never been able to do anything about Andy Avgi. Game previews up tomorrow at 10am.
IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN. And it actually worked out perfectly in terms of number of spots and number of guys in contention. We originally were going to combine the Anchorage noms into one (because they were all really equal), but then we had spots, so… Brian and Corey get to share, but Suki gets his own as the best above the other two (by the tiniest of bits).
UAF: The always awesome Bangaly had two incredibly solid games against the Oregon schools.
UAA: Suki gets the nod as the official nomination -he in particular had a great shooting game against Concordia.
SFU: N/A —> Corey Hammell and Brian McGill of UAA; Corey’s always got dat rebounding, Brian with the assisting.
WWU: Kyle Impero, heart and soul of the team, played an excessive number of minutes and grabbed an excessive number of boards -which is always a good thing.
SPU: Bryce Leavitt -rebounds, assists, being a leader. He leads by example. Super high motor, gym rat, blah blah blah.
SMU: N/A —> Gilles Dierickx of SPU, good to great shooting and grabbed a bunch of boards. Awesome. Shocking. Very efficient, finally.
MSUB: N/A —> Devon Alexander of WOU, two good games against the brutality that is the Alaska schools.
CWU: Gary Jacobs, played some big minutes against WWU and then kept his head in the game at SFU.
NNU: Bouna -two good games, really good game against the Vikings of Western Washington.
CU-P: N/A —> Trey Dreschel of WWU, had some issues in the CWU game but really went for it against NNU and grabbed a bunch of rebounds -he and Kyle got almost half of the rebounding total in the game themselves.
WOU: Julian Nichols; Julian gonna Julian, great to see him back to his old self in terms of playing tons of minutes and really running that offense against two very good teams.
Everyone was really close. Lots of effort, lots of distribution, although kind of a week of the haves and the have nots in terms of nominations. Go figure. Bouna bucked that trend, so that was great. Winner’ll be up in an hour.
Yes it’s late; it’s Sunday. Oh well. On with the goings on of yesterday.
Concordia-Portland 69 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 92
The Cavs stayed in it for a while and then UAF opened it up and the rest was history.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 9 rebounds; Latrell Wilson had five boards, 26 points, and went 5/5 from the line; James Phillips had 10 points; and off the bench John Erickson had four assists.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards; Joe Slocum had six assists and 10 points; Almir had a good game with 7 boards and 16 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan and Neal Chavez chipped in 10 points a piece.
Great game for the Nanooks, very proud of them; a great victory lap after the upset of WOU. To Concordia -welcome to playing the Alaska schools in conference. You survived. Be proud of yourselves because it is a beastly feat. Worst conference road trip, by far, we’ve been there done that.
Western Oregon 64 @ Alaska-Anchorage 59
Close game the entire time. Really fun to watch. Really smart play by both the Wolves and Seawolves. Wolves succeeded in getting Suki Wiggs in foul trouble while only sending him to the line a few times; the Seawolves contained Andy Avgi fantastically, coercing him into 4/14 shooting. Great job by both teams. Awesome game and good representation for the GNAC as a whole.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 14 points and six boards rounded out by a full house; Julian Nichols had 17 points, seven assists, seven boards, and played the ENTIRE FORTY MINUTES, whoa; Tanner Omlid had 12 points, eight boards, and six assists; Andy Avgi had six boards. No real bench play, although Janvier Alaby had four fouls.
Seawolf highlights: Christian Leckband started in place of Diante and had six boards; Suki went 5/5 from the line but was otherwise contained; Corey Hammell had eight boards and 11 points; Brian McGill had 15 points and six assists. No real bench play.
Again: Congrats to both teams, lots of good defense.
Central Washington 84 @ Simon Fraser 64
The Clan stayed in this for a while and then CWU started to pull away right as halftime arrived and then was able to keep the ball rolling after that. Good effort by the Clan though, definitely.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 19 points; Gary Jacobs had 16 points while going 7/7 from the line; Joe Stroud had six boards, 12 points, and a full house. Some really good play off the bench: Naim Ladd had nine points; Drake Rademacher had six points; and Jerome Bryant had five points. Great free throw shooting team wide, always good.
Clan highlights: JJ Pankratz had 13 points; and off the bench Bowen Bakken had eight points.
Wildcat defense: Awesome. You bought in. Have fun with the Alaska schools next week.
Northwest Nazarene 66 @ Western Washington 83
Blowout although WWU kept their bench short. Maybe a little iffy with the last home game, but we agree with the decision whole heartedly (and very vocally) because WWU is still trying to solidify a rotation (yes on the second to last regular season weekend of the year) and playing seniors during the final home game is a luxury afforded to really really bad teams and really good teams -not middle-of-the-pack teams trying to make the conference tournament. The chemistry looked a lot better on the Viking side, so that was good. Still: the Crusaders stayed dedicated the entire time and kept their focus and continued to make shots, so… Good to see.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had a great game with 23 points and six boards; Detwon Rogers had 11 points and seven boards; Mike Wright had three steals. Off the bench Joel Devastey had eight points and seven boards.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 18 points; Kyle Impero had a double-double with 15 points and 13 boards; Trey Drechsel had 11 boards, five assists, and 20 points -whoaaaa; Brad Wallace had 11 points; and Jeffrey Parker had 22 points and six boards. Every single person that saw minutes grabbed at least one board, something the Vikings had really been struggling with, so great preparation before facing SPU on Thursday.
We’re finally feeling like the Vikings are clicking. We don’t know if it’s going to be enough, but we’re ridiculously pleased with all five of their starters and Isom Brown did good things off the bench; it didn’t really show up in the stats, but it’s what needed to be occurring, so that was awesome. He should feel very proud of his performance.
MSU-Billings 67 @ Seattle Pacific 93
What to say about this game. It’s not the game the Yellowjackets needed but it’s the game we needed to see from the Falcons -sort of. We felt like the Falcons were pretty sloppy, although blowout. It was a blowout from the get-go, which was a nice change because SPU just hadn’t been taking anyone seriously and it was really starting to get on our nerves. They could have won like this against SMU and CWU, but they chose another method instead, so… Boo Falcons.
Yellowjacket highlights: Emmanuel Johnson had 14 points; Emmanuel Olufemi had seven boards; and off the bench Jordan Perry had seven points. The Jackets collectively shot 90% from the line, so that’s promising.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five assists and a flawless full house (no turnovers, perfect shooting) so that was good; Will Parker had five boards and 12 points; Joe Rasmussen had 15 points; Mitch Penner had 23 points and five boards; Garrett Swanson had five boards. Off the bench Brendan Carroll had 10 points and four boards; and Gilles Dierickx had 10 points and eight boards. EJ Poulsen was perfect in garbage time, making a shot and grabbing a rebound. The black guys the Falcons have saw a whopping eight minutes and the rims are still standing so that’s good.
Really not sure what the Falcons are doing with their line-up, but that’s a potential discussion on Wednesday. We saw Mitch Penner complaining in the Seattle Times about “waiting for his time,” and we’d like to remind him that it’s been his time. He was the sixth man his sophomore year and then started throughout 70% of last year and made our second team all conference, and so he should quit whining.
Interesting-ish day of basketball. POW noms’ll be up at 10 and winner announced at 11am tomorrow.
WOU lost to UAF and UCSD lost to San Marcos, but none of it surprises us any more because that is life in the D2West right now. Before we get into how it affects bids and things like that, we’re going to go over some NIGHTLIGHTS!!!!!! Yay. GNAC Men’s Basketball players are AWESOME. Not sarcastic, promise.
CWU @ WWU
Really sloppy game by both teams, but:
- KYLE IMPERO (WWU) HAD 15 REBOUNDS.
- JOE STROUD (CWU) HAD 11 BOARDS!!!!!!!
- Both favored the defensive side of things, interestingly enough.
MSUB @ SMU
The Saints fought valiantly after being down by a lot but ultimately couldn’t complete the come back.
- PRESTON BEVERLY HAD 13 BOARDS!!!!!!
- EMMANUEL JOHNSON HAD 22 POINTS!!!!!!! On roughly 80% shooting.
- Mr. Sneeze (aka Sven) shot 100%.
- TYLER COPP WAS 8/8 FROM THE LINE!!!!!!! If the Saints had pulled it off, he’d be our MVP.
It’s interesting Preston (we swear we didn’t forget you in frosh of the year stuff, only that you’re a freshman) responded huge to a completely unintentional overlook (you follow us on twitter, that gets you uuuuber bonus points with us, duh) and yet Rhett Baerlocher had a terrible game. We didn’t watch, but we’ll credit Preston with the defensive shut down of Rhett, just ’cause congruence.
CU-P @ UAA
- COREY HAMMELL HAD 13 BOARDS. Aka played typically for Corey. We heart that kid soooo much.
- BRIAN MCGILL HAD NINE ASSISTS. And is benefitting because we can’t find his listed turnovers, so that may or may not deserve to be highlighted, but oh well.
CU-PORTLAND DIDN’T SEND SUKI TO THE LINE 20 MILLION TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!! They limited him to four free throws, which is a miracle and amazing and congrats Cavaliers, ridiculously proud of you.
WOU @ UAF
- TRAVANTE HAD 11 BOARDS AND 25 POINTS!!!!! While going 10/12 from the line.
- EVERY SINGLE PLAYER IN THE GAME HAD A REBOUND. That’s huge.
- THE NOOKS COLLECTIVELY HARASSED ANDY AVGI INTO BEING 2/11 FROM THE FIELD. Worst performance of the year. By far.
- DEVON ALEXANDER HAD A FULL HOUSE AND PLAYED REALLY SMART BASKETBALL.
West Region Stuff to Know
On Monday Cal Baptist beat Concordia-Irvine by 10, but we wonder if CU-Irvine is just tanking at this point to try and make sure the Pac-West gets more than merely their conference tournament auto-bid.
San Marcos upset UC San Diego, but San Marcos is ineligible for a bid to the tournament because they’re also in a transition year. They’re currently fifth in the CCAA so wouldn’t be looking at an at-large bid anyway. We don’t think it affects UCSD in any meaningful way because everyone has weird losses and San Marcos is a good team.
WOU lost to Alaska-Fairbanks. That means both the Falcons and the Wolves have losses to UAF and CWU. We’re still fully in the camp that WOU is pretty much hosting no matter what, because SPU just lost to CWU and SMU. Had the Falcons won, we’d still say that we’re all trooping down to Monmouth, but it would be much more of a discussion.
UAA beat CU-Portland, the Seawolves are still in contention for at-large bid, but who knows.
We honestly won’t have any real idea of non SPU/WOU/USCD/Chico bids until after the conference championship games have been played. It’s actually kind of a good year for whoever’s on the selection committee because it’ll be really hard to truly screw up our region. There are so many solid arguments for about 10 different teams, so… Provided those four are in, from where we stand now we’re prepared to not complain about any of the seeding nor any of the teams that get the nod/don’t get the nod.
See y’all tomorrow morning for a bigger run down of the GNAC games.
A beautiful, fantastic mess, and one in which bubbles don’t have to burst because we rule the world! Er, blog.
There was no separation. No separation what-so-ever. We had six guys end up within a point or two of each other and we don’t feel like separating it, so we’ll simply give you the list:
Travante Williams (UAF)
Brian McGill (UAA)
Ricardo Maxwell (WWU)
Trey Drechsel (WWU)
Devin Matthews (CWU)
Andy Avgi (WOU)
All six had some amazing weeks, we feel lucky to get to watch this group play, our conference finally started functioning as a conference with lots of hard play, and tough games. It’s the dog days of the season and people are digging in, shots are being made, rebounds are being grabbed, and it’s an awesome time to be in the GNAC, let alone the West Region. The West Region is nuts this year and we’re looking forward to getting to hopefully watch a few of those guys compete in Monmouth in just under a month.
Congrats to all, and we’ll see you Wednesday for our weekly ‘Discussions’ post.
Really fun week for player-of-the-week, so much parity, lots of guys had two great games which is awesome.
UAF: Travante Williams -was in both games the whole time, helping his teammates. Awesome.
UAA: Brian McGill -‘scuse us Brian “Consistency” McGill. The more he plays, the more we wished he cared about his education.
SFU: Michael Harper -couple of really solid and well balanced games.
WWU: Ricardo Maxwell & Trey Drechsel -both were on it in terms of shooting and Trey is perhaps the only guy on that team besides Kyle Impero that legitimately attempts to rebound; and yeah, they have two centers, so we don’t know what gives either; Not Mac nor Blake, clearly.
SPU: Bryce Leavitt -is back!!! His shots were finally falling again, not that he’s not productive when he’s not shooting.
SMU: N/A —> Donated to Suki Wiggs of UAA. Usual stuff. Boards. Assists. You know.
MSUB: Marc Matthews -does what it takes, decent shooting, smart play, assists, rebounds.
CWU: Devin Matthews -he’s quickly becoming one of our favorites because dude drops dimes like WHOA.
NNU: Bouna + Detwon both had a couple of super consistent, good games, and were very responsible for never letting SPU relax.
CU-P: Riley Hawken -rebounding, smart shooting.
WOU: Andy -put the team on his back during the WWU game, although SFU did do a good job in limiting his touches on Saturday. Still, Andy gonna Andy.
Winner’ll be up in an hour.
Tonight was arguably the best night of conference basketball we’ve seen this year and we can’t wait to talk about it, so let’s jump right in.
Seattle Pacific 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 71
Was it as bad as it could have been? Absolutely not. Was it good for the Falcons? Not at all. And with that we can’t even say it was good for the Crusaders because that’s just disrespectful. Congrats and good on the Crusaders for continuing to press on.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt finally bounced back on his shooting and had 13 points, seven boards, and six assists; Gilles Dierickx had seven boards; Mitch Penner continued on his tear and had 27 points and seven boards. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had 11 points and three boards on perfect shooting; Gabe Colosimo had five points; and Joe Rasmussen had six boards.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had 15 points; Detwon Rogers had 25 points and seven boards. Pretty much it.
Simon Fraser 90 @ CU-Portland 70
So SFU finally clicked. We knew it would happen at some point. Concordia had been looking better, but… apparently not.
Clan highlights: Andrew Williamson had 12 points; Max Barkeley had 17 points; Michael Harper had 11 boards. Off the bench Oshea Gairey had 22 points and six assists; and Hidde Vos had 15 points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards and four blocks along with a full house; Latrell Wilson had 17 points; James Phillips had 12 points; Riley Hawken had 14 points and eight boards. Off the bench John Erickson had seven points; and Dennis Ahana had 12 points.
Basically not too much bad shooting on behalf of the Cavs, but questionable rebounding and a zillion turnovers will do you in every time. Congrats to the Clan on their first D2 win of the year.
Western Washington 85 @ Western Oregon 90
It happened pretty much as expected. Western Washington proved thoroughly they could hang and then started playing selfishly while Western Oregon continued to play team basketball and Western Oregon got a much deserved victory.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 35 points and five rebounds; Kyle Impero had 12 points and nine boards; Trey Drechsel had 21 points and nine boards. No bench play what-so-ever. Three guys can win if everyone else is playing team basketball; the Vikings don’t.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 11 points; Julian Nichols had a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists, while going 9/10 from the line; Tanner Omlid had 11 points and eight boards; ANDY AVGI had a MASSIVE 34 points and 14 boards. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points.
Really ridiculously proud of the Wolves. They got a major test as number one and overcame it. Good job and enjoy slaughtering SFU.
Saint Martin’s 84, Central Washington 77 in OT
This is a big win, don’t care who you are nor what your record is, because winning at Central is hard, they have a huge home court advantage. That being said: This game was close almost the entire time. There was a bit there when SMU was up by quite a lot, but we didn’t buy it for a second. Not because of SMU; simply because no team in our conference can seemingly hold onto a lead and so of course SMU was no exception, but they still went on to get the job done in overtime. Wow.
Saint highlights: Jordan Kitchen had three steals; Rhett Baerlocher had eight boards, four steals, and rounded it out with a full house; Tyler Copp had five boards, five assists, and 21 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 18 points, four boards, and three assists; and Brandon Kenilvort had 14 points and four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had seven boards; Joe Stroud had 11 boards and 23 points for the double-double; Devin Matthews had seven boards, 10 assists, and 10 points for the near triple-double; and off the bench Naim Ladd hit his stride, scoring 24 points.
The Saints were without Fred Jorg, which oddly enough we thought made a lot of sense in terms of why they won. Not sure if the Widlcats got to game plan for it, but that would explain why Joe had great stats and no onelse really did; game planning gone to waste.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 @ Alaska-Anchorage 76
Close to the point of insanity the whole game. It was amazing. Both teams are really good. Sort of not surprised Anchorage won because their den is hard to penetrate.
Nook highlights: Bangaly had 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists; Travante Williams had seven boards and shot 100% on six free throws; Brandon Davis had 17 points; Almir had 12 points. No real bench play.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards; Corey Hammell had 15 boards; Drew Petersen had 14 points; Brian McGill had 28 points and five assists while going 9/10 from the line; and Christian Leckband had five points off the bench.
Great jobs to the Seawolves for containing Almir -huge, huge, huge. Great rivalry game, definite blessing to get to follow along with. We’re so jealous of the geographic rival thing. So much more fun than anything else because you also actually like each other opposed to just the pure hatred rivalries.
Aaaah, there are only five regular season conference game days left. It’s odd because now we’re alumni and so it’s like “well duh we’re coming back” and yet at the same time… The idea of eight months of no GNAC basketball still makes us really sad, especially because tonight was so amazing. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
We’ve already had two other discussions post,
so this one is going to be relatively brief just kidding: UAA @ MSUB. Did UAA just burst their own at-large bubble? Could MSUB mathematically make the conference tourney? Rankings. Brian McGill converts.
UAA 71 @ MSUB 90
Yes. That happened. As noted last night: We only ended up watching the final two minutes and we were wholly stunned. From UAA’s twitter we discovered that MSU-B led the entire time. At halftime they were up by roughly 25. They came out on fire, they stayed on fire, they played defense, and then put an exclamation point on it by not falling into a false sense of security. The last point is huge because it seems like an ongoing issue in our conference: One team goes up big, gets complacent, the other team comes back, and the team that originally led either loses or gets out by the skin of their teeth. Constant vigilance.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 27 points and seven rebounds; Corey Hammell had six boards and 13 points; Brian McGill had five assists and continues his FT streak, going 4/4. Off the bench Christian Leckband had seven points, five rebounds, and four fouls.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 25 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists -absolutely nuts; Kendall Denham had a great game with 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists while shooting 90% including going 4/4 from the line; Marc Matthews had 12 points, six boards, and five assists; Emmanuel Johnson scored 19 points; and Emmanuel Olufemi had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Jordan Perry scored eight points. Hella complete and balanced performance by the Jackets.
What’s maybe most interesting about the final score is the Seawolves shot 40%. MSUB was just playing such stifling defense that it appears they couldn’t get many shots off, and then the Yellowjackets took advantage of it at the other end of the court. Syncopated is what the score makes us think, although again: We didn’t watch so we’re not sure.
Did UAA just ruin their chance for an at-large bid?
We’re honestly not sure. Potentially, which sucks. But not entirely. What this is coming back to is strength of schedule. Because there’s been so much parity across all three conferences during conference play, we’ve got about 10 teams with really similar resumes, UAA being among them. The good news for the Seawolves is that no one has particularly good SOS and the early season wins/losses teams have against Cal Baptist are going to be negated by question marks because of the fact that the Lancers are collapsing down the stretch.
It’s hard to truly say where Anchorage falls because there are still six games left to play and you can look at the records of any given team and any given opponent, but this year is chaos and so it really doesn’t matter. We raised the argument super early in the season that we wanted to see the Seawolves win off the tundra, and now it seems like all of the wins off the tundra that they have include asterisks. They won at SPU over winter break. They won in double OT at WWU partly because their coach wasn’t given a technical that he 110% deserved; he made it to center court and three players were having to restrain him. That deserves an ejection + probably missing the next game. And if he misses that next game, do the Seawolves pull it out against SFU? Maybe, maybe not. They let SFU hang around a really, really long time. And now you have their most recent loss to MSUB. It wasn’t close. And you could go “Oh well they’ve been on the road for a week,” yes, welcome to the dog days of the season. This’ll come as a shock, but during the NCAA tournament you’re on the road for a week. Crazy stuff.
Win the conference tournament and the bubble doesn’t matter. If the bubble does matter? Not sure. There are approximately 13 teams that deserve consideration for at-large berths, and we think three of them are relatively safe: WOU (best record, benefit of the doubt fully earned), UCSD (great record, good non-conference), and SPU (good record, great non-con).
Can MSUB still make it into the conference tourney/what would have to happen?
In short, yes they can. And that should worry the Vikings. The Yellowjackets are 2.5 games back of WWU, with their remaining schedule looking as follows:
The good news is they have three home games. The bad news is two of them are against really good teams. The good news is they just beat a really good team. The bad news the remaining teams either match them well or come in as a huge favorite. CU-Portland and SMU should be competitive. WOU, UAF, and SPU are going to be hard, although it should be noted that MSUB doesn’t usually have any type of issue with the SPU gym, so a win there is definitely a possibility.
WWU’s schedule looks like this:
Very similar schedules, but MSUB plays mostly at home whereas WWU has a lot of road games. The Vikings are likely going to have a rough ride. Partly because of all the parity, partly because four away games, and partly because it’s hard to win six straight, and MSUB only needs to win one game they “shouldn’t,” to make it really dicey. The only games we see as a guarantee for the Vikings are @CU-Portland & vs. NNU. That’s it. And we could be wrong about those. WOU is going to be incredibly difficult. CWU is going to be unpleasant. SPU is likely to be challenging. SMU could go either way.
Alright, rankings, holy guacamole, they are a doozy. They’re fine; we see the arguments people are making, but they’re still whoa.
1. Western Oregon -we agree with the ranking, even if it makes us nervous. Stay humble Wolves.
6. UCSD -love it. It’s mostly because other teams lost, but we still love it.
9. Chico State -love Chico, still think Cal Poly Pomona is better; Friday night against UCSD will be interesting.
11. MSU Moorhead
14. Cal Poly Pomona -we get it, they have four losses, but we swear that Dominguez Hills is quality this year and while they slept on CSULA, they beat Chico by 13; that ain’t no foulin’ score.
22. Seattle Pacific -fell three spots after losing to the now-#1 WOU in OT. We have no opinion on this one.
Others receiving votes: Azusa Pacific (2), Alaska-Anchorage (1).
Azusa… We don’t know. We really don’t know. We’ve been watching Joey Schreiber play since high school; now he plays for Azusa, therefore Azusa is now ours and therefore we have no opinion because rankings are what they are.
we think deserves more than one vote. Do we think they’d beat Chico State? Maybe. We honestly really don’t know much at all about Chico State other than that their play-by-play guy is amazing and their biggest statements have been losses to Cal Poly Pomona and Seattle Pacific, but part of that is because the two other good teams they’ve played (Sonoma and Humboldt) are rivals, which… Maybe means we should give them more credit because anything can and will happen in a rivalry game? We still think their non-conference schedule was pathetic, which sadly is still relevant because of the chaos that’s gone on in the regular season. As noted a few days ago: The Chico Wildcat schedule enters its in-conference gauntlet now, so we’ll see how they respond. The Pac-West looks like such a mess that it doesn’t seem like a stretch that both the GNAC and the CCAA would get three bids, but whether or not UAA is one of them will really depend on who wins the GNAC tournament; if it’s SPU or WOU the odds of UAA getting an at-large seem high, whereas we’re starting to lean that Chico will be in no matter what simply because no one else played anyone either.
Not listed there, but Augustana received one #1 vote, while Wheeling received four, and WOU received 11. The Augustana thing is interesting because we contemplated making an argument about leaving Augustana as number one even with two losses because there’s so much parity, the number one spot is basically switching between “who lost most recently” but the top are all only really losing to good teams and the outsider there isn’t playing good teams, so… It’s an interesting idea. Glad to see we weren’t the only ones that thought Wheeling looked really good.
The Consensus is: Brian McGill is awesome.
We know he just won player of the week, but probably one of the best parts of a great weekend was how much we got asked about Brian and how excited people were to talk about him. Western Washington fans know basketball, particularly the ones we sit with, and going into the game we were like ‘Brian McGill is super super good and he makes the people around him better,’ and maybe being a little fan-girly, but by the end of the game everyone around us was like “OH MY GOD, HE’S AMAZING.” He’s not flashy, he gets the job done, he does the little things, and is a very humble player even though he’s arguably the #2 guy in the conference. It was fun to listen to our friends go “Okay, I’m not thrilled with what he’s doing to us, but he’s a really good basketball player -if we have to lose and get torched by someone, he’s fine.”
Game respects game. It also helps that when opponents would go down, Brian was always reaching a out a hand to help them up. Sportsmanship rocks; between his game and his attitude, it wasn’t surprising but it was still awesome how much praise we heard. Even after a 2OT loss, we got tons of questions and gushing about him in the middle of the UAF blowout two days later.
So once again, congrats Brian -more people than you know think you’re fantastic.
We were going to talk about Cal Baptist, but this is long enough. We’ll deal with the Lancers either later this week or next Wednesday.
MAKE. YOUR. DARN. FREE. THROWS.
Brian’s response? Okay. Sure. You got it. He shot 26 free throws this weekend and made every. single. one. Yes. 26-26. We don’t care who you are and at what level you play -sixth grade select to NBA, if you go 26/26 from the line during game play, that is freaking impressive.
We have a policy on not blaming end-of-game free throws on losses, because there are plenty of things people can do leading up to that point in order to not make those free throws so critical, and yet… We’re positive thinkers (mostly) and so we’ll go ahead and give Brian McGill credit for nailing the game sealing free throws.
Seriously though: Just two really, really, really good games. It makes us wonder what would have happened had he decided to actually pay attention to the student part of the phrase student athlete. No doubt he’d be right in the race with Andy for player-of-the-year. And you guys are like “your rules determine who you name player of the year, you could modify them for Brian.”
No, no we can’t because that would compromise our personal integrity. Particularly in the case of Brian, because we dealt with a similar issue. We applied for our major at the end of sophomore year, the paperwork got lost, it was never caught, and all of a sudden it was the first week of senior year and we still hadn’t been admitted to our major. Guess what happened? They shoved the paperwork through, no harm no foul, because we had plenty of credits; it was only the piece of paper. The fact that Brian didn’t have enough credits to be considered a senior in his fifth year of college says some really, really bad things about his personal accountability.
That being said: He has more than earned player of the week, we got lots of fun feedback about him and how amazing he is from the people around us this past weekend, and aside from the school stuff and implicated character question marks: He’s a darn good basketball player.
Wow. What a week for Player-of-the-Week. There were some really, really crazy amazing performances, and then there were teams that had no good performances what-so-ever -looking -at you NNU and Simon Fraser. Simon Fraser was admittedly getting brutalized by the Alaska schools, but… Woof. Coach Oz, Seawolves, and Polar Bears, oh my.
We will say that a lot of the guys that merely got nominated this week would have won in almost any week prior to this, so yeah. Performances were that good.
UAF: Travante Williams -a couple of great games against SFU and WWU.
UAA: Brian McGill -he’s amazing, he makes his free throws, we got tons of questions about him when he played WWU, and the biggest sentiment was what if he was actually a student athlete and had played the whole year.
SFU: N/A —> Donated to Suki Wiggs of UAA. Terrible from the field but draws the foul and makes his free throws.
WWU: N/A —> Donated to Corey Hammell of UAA. Rub salt in the wound for the Vikings, but we love Corey and while we noticed he’s definitely 6’5 rather than his listed 6’6, we swear by undersized power forwards so we take no issue with it.
SPU: Mitch Penner. Two great games, kept his intensity and got people back in it against Concordia when the Cavs were threatening to make a game of it.
SMU: N/A —> Donated to Gilles Dierickx of SPU. Don’t get us started on the number of shots he misses, but he did manage to stay out of foul trouble.
MSUB: Marc Matthews -two solid games, led the Yellowjackets to overtime against CWU and helped in the blowout of NNU.
CWU: Gary Jacobs -dude gets boards like whoa and makes his free throws. What more could you ask for?
NNU: N/A —> Donated to Julian Nichols of WOU. Makes his teammates better, although his shot was definitely off in both games.
CU-P: Drew Martin -two really good games, shockingly. It’s hard to have good games when your team is getting blown out and yet Drew kept his fundamentals going and did his best to lead his team.
WOU: Andy Avgi. Actually had a couple of merely “okay” games offensively, but his defense and body control is nuts.
Winner’ll be up in an hour.