#3 WWU vs. #6 Chico State @12pm pacific.
We love Chico, full disclaimer. They’re one of our CCAA teams, with the other being UCSD. That being said, we like WWU’s chances. The teams share similar records, with Chico being 25-7 and WWU being 25-5. Their mutual opponents include CSU East Bay, Sonoma State, and UCSD, with the following results:
WWU 107, EB 81
Chico 78, EB 66
WWU 72, Sonoma 64
*Chico 53, Sonoma 50
*Chico 50, Sonoma 66
WWU 104, UCSD 81
Chico 56, UCSD 60
Chico 64, UCSD 59
Not much info to be gleaned because we assume UCSD was missing someone during the WWU game, Chico vs. Sonoma is a rivarly, and East Bay is usually in the bottom third of the conference. On the surface it looks like WWU is a much better team, but… They barely escaped against a WOU team that had only taken UAA to triple OT the night before via UAA (and the conference’s) best rebounder being out through the entire second half. And while that may scream ‘parity’ and that WWU has risen above that parity, there’s no telling exactly how much they’ve risen above it.
Taylor Stafford is the real deal, Jeffrey Parker has moments of being the real deal, Blake Fernandez has been great, Deandre Dickson is streaky but has his moments, Daulton Hommes consistently does good things for the team, Brad Wallace decided that he didn’t care how tall he was in the WOU game and just decided to go for it, which was awesome. We know a lot about the WWU team, we have a great respect and fondness for them, but this is the 2016-2017 season, which if anything has proven one thing: There are no guarantees. Chico always recruits well and is super well coached, we feel like they’re far more tested than WWU (see: four teams in the tournament vs. one), but…
Prediction: WWU wins. This is a homer pick. We know they’re capable, but we also know the Region is crazy, so we’re crossing our fingers just incase.
After one weekend of play, we told you teams that were still officially in the running to host the Regional:
Nine teams could’ve potentially hosted, when there are only eight bids. Here are the teams from that list still in the running, along with the reasons as to why:
Chico -still in, still definitely; they’ve only dropped one game and that was to a very good UCSD team. We think at this point, provided they don’t self implode, they’re making the Regional 100%. Hosting is the question.
UCSD? – definitely maybe; they only have losses to WWU and Cal Baptist, but now they’re in the awkward position of needing to hope that CBU does incredibly well, but still loses three or four games to knock them out of hosting.
Chaminade -No; not the convincing strength of schedule and winning numbers to split the regional. Their best win is against SPU and that win doesn’t look very good this year. They also have a lot of losses already, even with leaving out the D1 losses.
Azusa Pacific -No. Lost to SPU, beat WOU, their record is 7-7, nope.
Cal Baptist -Absolutely. Even with the mess of parity, their only loss is to Dixie State and they played both Cal Poly Pomona and UCSD in non-con. Great strength of schedule.
WWU -We’re still not sure if they’re even eligible to host because of playing at Whatcom and the logistical/infrastructure nightmare that would be, but we don’t think they’re going to host unless other teams majorly implode. The Vikings simply don’t have the West Region SOS nor the out of region wins. They have a massively good win at UCSD, but that’s literally the only amazing highlight of their non-conference.
SPU -LOL. No. But last time we didn’t want to include them; we had to.
CWU -They have a great record, with only losses to Mankato and Anchorage on their sheet, but again: they lack strength of schedule. Although we’d kill for the Regional to be hosted in Ellensburg -definitely our favorite GNAC trip.
WOU -No. Too many losses and too many other teams without losses to their big tests in non-conference.
We had Hawaii Pacific on our “ish” list and while they’ve now won out, they still don’t have the strength of schedule and we don’t see them getting through the conference season with a max of two losses, which is what they’d need, in order to split the regional. It’s true that Cal Baptist/Chico/UCSD could implode and that could shove it Hawaii Pacific’s way, but… We’d assume the selection committee would rather keep the region together and with SOS being such a new criterium, weight it heavily.
Is there anyone we want to add to the list? Yes and in a big way:
San Francisco State. They’ve won out in non-conference and are currently undefeated, although their strength of schedule is somewhat lacking; their best win is @ WOU and that went to triple OT in the first game of the season. Right now they’re our pick to host the Regional as of now, because just win baby, win!
The Regional could end up being split between SFSU and Hawaii Pacific, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but… We still feel like hosting is Cal Baptist’s to lose. Being undefeated is one thing, but being truly tested before conference play is another and Cal Baptist definitely has the latter.
What teams do we have making the Regional 100%?
San Fran State
Here’s a list of all of the teams that are currently in control of their own destiny regarding making the Regional:
San Fran State
East Bay -only two losses come via SF State and Western Washington, but they got killed by both. We’ve liked East Bay for a while -they give teams fits at Mac Martin every year.
Hawaii Pacific -they’re only a maybe, because they didn’t play any true road games in non-con.
Azusa Pacific -they’re currently 7-7, but they have wins over Dixie State and Western Oregon, as well as a couple of potentially quality losses to West Texas A&M & Seattle Pacific-ish.
The following looks excessive, but seriously: We can justify it.
Western Washington -because duh. The two teams they just lost to by a collective five points or so will likely be 1-2 in the Lonestar Conference and both are 100% in the South Central Regional.
Central Washington -why they lost to Anchorage, we don’t know, they have the most minimal of non-con, but if they win 14 games in conference, there’s no reason they wouldn’t be in the tournament.
Alaska-Anchorage -lose one more game and we say they no longer control their own destiny, but they have a good team and for right now: they are in control.
Seattle Pacific -We constantly talk crap about the Falcons, but the fact is that they have SOS, have a history of doing well, and we firmly believe that it’s the coaching staff holding this team back -not the players. When the coaching staff decides they want to win, they’ll be able to.
Saint Martin’s -they did what they needed to in non-con. Every conference team is going to lose multiple games. Non-con saves them. They’re in control right now.
MSU-Billings -they are as close to not being in control as you can possibly get, but while they lost in non-con, it was to East Bay and Cal Baptist on the road, which looks legit.
We originally had WOU on that list, but we honestly hadn’t looked at just how bad their non-conference went. They have no SOS, what-so-ever. They don’t control their own destiny -they need other teams to lose in order to make it in. When we think about it, would we take a 17-1 WOU team over a 17-1 Hawaii Pacific/Dixie/Azusa/UCSD/Chico/San Fran/East Bay? No. East Bay is the only ‘maybe’ in there, and all of that requires those teams to lose.
14 teams. Eight spots. Five at-large. We think the five at-large bids are already spoken for. This is a year when the auto-bid is going to be dire. We have no idea what’s going to happen at all. Literally, the prediction posts are going to be 100% pointless. We just don’t know.
In the GNAC, here’s what’s happened so far:
MSUB beat WOU
Concordia beat MSUB
NNU beat Anchorage
Pick ’em Games:
UAA @ CWU = UAA
UAF @ CWU = CWU
WWU @ SPU = WWU
There’ve only been 10 conference games played and three of them were upsets while three of them there was no way to pick a winner prior. It’s just going to get worse. If this blog has taught us one thing in regard to predicting basketball games: the more knowledge we have, the less we know. Darn all of these really good players that we know can completely change a game on any given night!
If you have something you want us to discuss tomorrow, tweet at us or leave in the comments -otherwise, we’ll catch you guys on Thursday for the game previews.
Alright, here we go. It’s late but it’s still here and that’s what counts, eh? The good news is that all of the math is already done for POW so that’ll go up tomorrow morning on schedule.
Central Washington 93 vs. MN-Mankato 104
The Wildcats got outside themselves =( It was totally within their range and they could have had it and they panicked and it didn’t happen, but we’re still so proud of them. As noted yesterday: It wouldn’t surprise us if Mankato is a very, very good team.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had 18 points; Dom Hunter had 27 points; Terry Dawn had six boards; Jawan Stepney had 15 points and five boards; and off the bench Sage Woodruff had five boards.
Simon Fraser 73, Lindenwood 72
SFU vs. Lindenwood round two and SFU squeaked out another one. Nicely done Clan. Plenty of good numbers to go around, so we’ll jump right in.
Clan highlights: Iziah Sherman-Newsome had eight boards and 10 points; Graham Miller had 9 points and five boards; Michael Provenzano had another good game with 14 points and five boards, along with five fouls; JJ Pankratz had 9 points and five boards; and Tyrell Lewin had 14 points and six boards. Off the bench Andrew Williamson had 9 points; and Hidde Vos had eight points.
Western Washington 94, Holy Names 68
Can’t spell ‘slaughter’ without ‘laughter’? The numbers aren’t as good as they could be, but there are a lot of good ones and we’re very satisfied with WWU.
Vikings highlights: Taylor Stafford had 17 points and 11 boards; Trey Drechsel had 14 points and five boards; Logan Schilder had 10 points, seven boards, and five blocks -good to see the 7’0er getting aclimated; Daulton Hommes had 13 points and six boards; and Jeffrey Parker had a full house with 24 points and seven rebounds, among other stats. Off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had seven points.
Seattle Pacific 72 vs. Dixie State 74 in OT
Dixie State won. We’re not very happy. But it does create a lot parity because it wasn’t a good loss. Dixie State is yet to get a good win. They have good losses, but not any good wins, and a brand new SPU team that doesn’t return anything does not count as a quality win. But looking at the numbers SPU decided they didn’t give a crap about rebounding, so… They get what they get.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten played 40 minutes and had eight rebounds; Sam Simpson had six boards; and Joe Rasmussen had five fouls. Off the bench Sharif Khan had 10 points; and Tony Miller had 21 points and seven boards.
We consider this game to be a complete mess and with a slightly more experienced team the Falcons would have had it, but the fact is they don’t have that experience this year and they can’t get away half-trying like they have in the past. Hopefully they learned something -if they didn’t, their SoCal games this coming week are going to be felt widely and painfully on a conference level.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 vs. BYU-Hawaii 68
Praise Nooks. They got it done. It was desperate considering BYU-H only used six players (essentially five) but it’s still a ‘W.’
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 13 points and five assists; Bangaly Kaba had 14 points and seven boards; LaDonavan Wilder had seven boards; Zach Pederson had 15 points and six boards; Brandon Davis had 12 points, five boards, six assists, five steals, a block, four fouls, and zero turnovers in a perfect full house. Off the bench Michael Kluting had eight points and six boards.
Alaska-Anchorage 73, Cal State LA 68
Thank God, the Seawolves got out of this. Suki was more off on free throws than we’re used to seeing, so that was interesting. Corey Hammell finally had a Corey Hammell game, so that was good. Mixed bag, but what can we say? The Seawolves got it done and we are incredibly relieved.
Seawolves highlights: Suki Wiggs had 27 points and six boards; Corey Hammell had 12 points and 11 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and six boards. No real bench play, which is mildly concerning but Sjur Berg saw almost no minutes, so… Maybe means nothing.
CU-Portland 62, San Francisco State 86
The Gators were in ‘steamroll’ mode. That’s okay. We’re still proud of the Cavs for the progress they’re clearly making. We think they’re going to make some noise in conference -Christopher Edward, among others, is for real.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 14 points; Christopher Edward had a double-double with 10 boards and 10 points; off the bench Davis Nuaimi had five assists; and Taylor Harris had 11 points.
Saint Martin’s 75, San Bernardino State 80
The Saints ALMOST got the win but couldn’t pull it off likely due to a slow 7’0er. He goes in for the tip and nothing else. We like Fred a lot, but… Winning the tip doesn’t matter if he can’t even be counted on to grab one measly board. Naim Ladd is 5’7 and had seven the other night, so… Get with it Fred. You’ve got five fouls. Use them.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had five boards and 17 points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards; Tyler Copp bounced back and had 16 points; Brandon Kenilvort had five boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram had 15 points.
MSU-Billings 50 vs. Cal State East Bay 54
Close and hard fought game but ultimately MSUB couldn’t pull it out. Quite honestly it bugs us because MSUB returns so much, so… Yellowjackets: What are you doing? We know East Bay’s place in conference tends to make them look worse than they are (truly an any given night team) but you were at home and have so many returners. Hmmm. We expect more of you Yellowjackets. Next week, perhaps.
Yellowjacket highlights: PRESTON BEVERLY had a huge game wiht 14 points and 25 points on good shooting; and Christian Evans had five boards.
To be fair, some of the lacking in highlights is because it was a low-scoring game, but… Shooting numbers were also bad.
Western Oregon 63 vs. UC San Diego 75
The Tritons read Western Oregon like a book. They came in apparently very prepared and essentially just shut the Wolves down completely. WOU still had few turnovers, so UCSD could have maybe forced them better, but… This was revenge for the Sweet 16 game and they got it.
Wolves highlights: Ali Faruq-Bey had six boards; and off the bench Demtrius Trammell had 11 points; while Yanick Kulich had 19 points and seven boards; and Malik Leaks had seven points.
Yup. That minimal. Looking forward to the Wolves bouncing back after a painful weekend.
Northwest Nazarene 84 vs. Colorado Christian 103
Weeee. Eeeee. Okay, honestly not surprising because Colorado Christian is often good, as the RMAC is usually really good. This is a quality loss if we’ve ever seen it.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye had six boards; Jalen Shepard had nine assists and 16 points, whoa; Kaileb Rodriguez had 25 points and 12 boards for the double-double; Maurice Jones had 13 points and five fouls. Off the bench Pol Olivier had six points.
Overall a mis-mash of a weekend. We’re not as concerned as we expected ourselves to be, mostly because it does look like so much parity across the region that we feel like if a few teams clamp down and others buck up, things’ll be just fine.
POW noms up tomorrow at 10am, with the announcement at 11.
We’re going to post these in reverse order and then swap the times because we want what times the games are being played at to be at the top, but we’re writing this one first because last night was whoa. On a lot of levels. We don’t know whether to climb into our conspiracy bunker of “ZOMG the GNAC is so bad, we’re going to be a one bid league” or “Our region looks okay and has parity all up and down, so we’ll be fine.”
November. Beautiful November.
All times pacific.
Central Washington vs. MN-Mankato @ 12:30
Want CWU to win sooo badly, it should be a battle, we’re ready for it to be a battle, and we’re ready to see the Wildcats come out on top.
Simon Fraser vs. Lindenwood @ 2pm
We somehow missed that Lindenwood is actually a D2 school; we assumed they were a Canadian school. They’re D2. And SFU beat them yesterday, but it was close, so we’ll see what happens today.
Western Washington vs. Holy Names @ 2pm
WWU gets it done, no problem, no doubt. They’re at home, HNU is never good, it’ll be fine. WWU’s got actual teamwork this year and no drag-their-feet post players, which makes everything better.
Seattle Pacific vs. Dixie State @ 3pm
No idea. The Falcons just lost to Mankato, but we don’t know what that means -we actually haven’t even looked at the numbers. CWU beat Dixie in overtime yesterday, Dixie has some mad strength of schedule and so they’ve played good teams are already well-seasoned. Dixie State has often beat the Falcons at home in non-conference and were responsible for dislodging SPU’s number one ranking a few years ago, so… What can we say? Those proud bearers of the confederate flag are probably going to win.
Alaska-Fairbanks vs. BYU-Hawaii @ 3pm
Seasiders just got killed by UAA. Time for the Nooks to get it done too. UAF wins big.
Alaska-Anchorage vs. Cal State LA @ 5pm
CSULA is starting to come into its own with a win over UAF yesterday, but so is UAA and… “The Seawolves up there in their hella nice lair” will take care of the Eagles just fine. Yes, we just plagiarized ourselves, we’re okay with that.
CU-Portland vs. San Francisco State @ 5pm
SFSU just won a triple over time game against WOU. We’re not sure whether that means this is a prime chance for CU-Portland to upset SFSU because they’re exhausted and likely to over look the Cavs, or if they’re going to get killed because SFSU is going to be like “WE JUST BEAT THE WOLVES, WE CAN DO ANYTHING!” and be in steamroll mode. We shall see.
Saint Martin’s vs. San Bernardino @ Sonoma State @ 5:30
The Saints got straight-up murdered by Sonoma last night, which actually doesn’t hurt our conference that badly because WWU had a convincing win over them last week without blowing them out, so Sonoma is looking good. Also tells you that there may be some separation between WWU and SMU, which wouldn’t be surprising, but still leaves plenty of room for the idea that both are good teams. Bernardino took CWU to OT but CWU got the win, it seems likely that Bernardino will win this one, but who knows. We love the Saints -they could absolutely bounce back.
MSU-Billings vs. Cal State East Bay @ 6pm
MSUB has a great homecourt advantage and yet East Bay is one of those teams that always gives GNAC teams problems, even when they’re lower-middle of the CCAA. Not sure what’s going to happen with this one. Nothing would surprise us in any direction unless both teams ended up scoring under 50. That would surprise us.
Western Oregon vs. UC San Diego @ 7pm
We cannot wait for this game. UCSD is boasting mad SOS, WOU just lost a triple OT game to SFSU, it’s in the New PE Building, what is going to happen? UCSD just had a heck of a time against CU-Portland, so we have no idea what to expect out of this game.
Northwest Nazarene vs. Colorado Christian @ 7pm
Who knows? We want NNU to win, we somewhat expect them to lose, but that’s just because “oh NNU,” and prior conceptions from previous years, but that’s not fair now is it? NNU hasn’t even played any D2 games this year. Who knows what might happen?
We have all the numbers (yes: all the numbers) but we’re not sure what you guys want, so… If you’re here, you’re probably just as basketball-geeky as we are, so we’re going to give you all the numbers. Merry Christmas.
Please keep in mind: We sorted through every schedule of every opponent a west region team plays and we ONLY counted D2 opponents in these records because that’s how it should be. The number of schools that count wins against non D2 opponents is too darn high.
Hawaii Pacific (2-4)
Dominguez Hills (2-4)
Northwest Nazarene (2-4)
Central Washington (2-2)
They do have neutral site losses to Dixie State (4-4) and Dominican (5-3). Basically what this tells us is that UAF has ruled themselves out of at-large contention. Regional road wins are huge and there’s really no excuse for not picking some up if you want to be seriously considered to make the Tourney.
Current D2 Record: 5-2.
Current opponent record: 25-30
At-large bid potential: 0.
We like Fairbanks, love Bangaly and Travante and obviously Almir, and while we think they’re pretty secure in getting a bid to the conference tournament, they’re going to have to win it in order to get a berth in the Big Dance.
Hawaii Pacific (2-4)
Northwest Nazarene (2-4)
Central Washington (2-2)
Upper Iowa (5-8)
Current D2 Record: 5-3
Current Opponent Record: 33-38
At-large bid potential: 0.
Suki drives us nuts, we can just say that. He’s not quite the cancer of Dom Williams, but no coach would green light someone to regularly go 10-21 if they had any better options at all. We consider the Seawolves to be secure in their berth to the conference tournament, but they definitely need the auto-bid in order to become one of sixty-four.
Honestly the opponent record doesn’t even matter because SFU’s not going anywhere without the auto-bid and the odds of them even making the conference tournament are quickly approaching zero.
Colorado Springs (3-5)
Upper Iowa (5-8)
Current D2 record: 4-4
Opponent Record: 34-31
At-large potential: 0
We see their odds of making the conference tournament to be almost 100%. They got Evan Scholten back, he’s looked really good, the Vikings have the history. Do we see them getting the auto-bid? Too soon to say. But they will need it in order to go dancing.
We want to group SPU and WOU together, so the Falcons are being skipped right here, but you can find them farther down.
Hawaii Hilo (0-6)
Monterey Bay (3-6)
Current D2 record: 3-3
Opponent Record: 17-31
At-large potential: 0
Making the conference tournament? 50/50. We see their odds of making the dance as being incredibly small, but the Saints will keep improving and we’ll see where we stand after the first half of the conference round robin.
Black Hills State (2-4)
U of Mary (9-2)
Current D2 record: 3-6
Opponent Record: 45-31
At-large potential: 0
They have zero at-large potential, but they did challenge themselves thoroughly, there’s no denying that, it’s a great schedule, and had they come out on top they’d have every reason to think they were heading to the Dance provided they kept winning. As it is, they’re going to fight for a bid to the conference tournament and then try and use the experience they build in non-con to get that auto-bid and make it happen.
Current D2 record: 2-2
Opponent record: 15-14
At-large potential: 0
On the one hand, we really want to judge this CWU team, but then on the other hand we feel like we don’t have enough yet to make a pronouncement, and yet that in itself lends it to us making a pronouncement. The Wildcats returned almost everything and yet they scheduled themselves pathetically. They should be hoping they make the conference tournament, it’s far from a guarantee, and they missed out on getting two big road wins in Alaska -in both cases by a lot. Those games weren’t close. So we’ll see.
Current D2 record: 2-4
Opponent record: 25-26
At-large potential: 0
There’s really not much to be said. The Crusaders actually scheduled themselves pretty well but ultimately couldn’t do anything with it and then came really close to getting a few wins in Alaska but couldn’t do it. Hopefully they’ve seasoned themselves and with conference play they’ll turn around and at least make the conference tourney? Maybe. Not out of the realm of possibility.
The Cavaliers are cold porridge at this point. If they make the conference tourney it’ll be a miracle. They had a nice mix with MSUB and WOU being their first two conference opponents, but couldn’t get it done. They also had a good chance to learn from their first loss against CU-Irvine, but couldn’t do anything with it -in fact CU-Irvine did a lot with it, beating the Cavs by considerably more. It’s gonna be a rough year, but know that we’re in your corner Baby Bro.
Alright, now let’s talk about the realistic at-larges. And yes -they both are, which is GREAT news for everyone else.
Azusa Pacific (7-3)
East Bay (2-5)
Dixie State (4-5)
Chico State (7-2)
Azusa Pacific (7-3)
Current D2 record: 8-1
Opponent record: 36-35
At-large potential: high
We’re obsessed with the Falcons schedule, we’ll just say that straight up. We know it didn’t end up as quality as they were hoping it would, but they genuinely attempted to schedule really well and regardless as to how it worked out: they won. They have one loss to a 7-1 CU-Irvine team, they have road wins, they have a neutral win, they have home wins.
Their road win against WWU isn’t as quality as it might be but that game always has a lot of emotion and they came in and did what they needed to do, and it seems like it was good mental prep. Same with Azusa Pacific -there was potentially a lot of emotion riding on that game because Azusa, while a very different team this year, did make the Elite Eight last year. They got it done and did so convincingly. And that’s what we think regarding the tourney: It’s always a matter of winning, but this non-conference has indoctrinated this latest group of Falcons in what it takes to win and theoretically they’ll continue to make the statement that they know how throughout conference play.
Monterey Bay (3-6)
Point Loma (5-5)
Fresno Pacific (5-3)
ND de Namur (0-9)
Holy Names (2-7)
Current D2 record: 9-0
Opponent record: 27-45
At-large potential: high
We love this Western Oregon team because they’re coming in with a new-to-them coach and getting it done. New to them, because he’s new to the current crop of guys, but he is a Western Oregon guy -so he gets it. This schedule isn’t as ideal as it might be, but they got it done and decimated it as they should have and that UCSD road win means the world. That in itself is huge, especially because we really, really, really like that UCSD team -they’re our current CCAA obsession, if you follow us on twitter- and so we think that win is going to get more and more quality as the year progresses, which is huge huge HUGE.
We’re waiting for Julian Nichols, Jordan Wiley, and Devon Alexander to really click into gear because it still feels like they haven’t, but luckily… They have the big bad beast that is Andy to make them all look better. Aside from Alex Roth, we feel like we haven’t seen much out of the new guys, but SPU demonstrated last year that you only need four + a coach or two, in order to do pretty well, and we love Julian and Devon in particular so we think they’re going to ultimately be just fine.
From a realistic standpoint: If you’re not a WOU or SPU person, you should be hoping like heck that they win against everyone that isn’t you, because now what your team needs to focus on is simply making the conference tournament. We’ll get more into the wider west region picture (and the potential Regional host) tomorrow, but the quick version is that it’s a wash outside of a few schools. There will be a potential for the GNAC to be a three-bid league, but the only way that happens is if neither SPU nor WOU claims the auto-bid from the GNAC tournament.
We used to be in the camp that “Oh, we’d rather have more teams go, so it’s fine if our team doesn’t win the conference tournament,” but that was a very different time. While we see things getting back to where there were of a couple of teams not needing that auto-bid, after 2014 (one bid year) it just seems like too much of a risk. 2014 saw the Pac-West and CCAA both qualify an auto-bid only entrant, which semi-burst WWU’s bubble. Semi, because if you want to go dancing: WIN. That’s it. WIN.
The good news is: We might get the chance to return the bubble bursting favor this year. But the only way that happens is if WOU and SPU both win, win, win, so grit your teeth and become part of the Wolfpack/Falcon Faithful, and then come conference tournament time you can go back to hating the Falcons like normal. We get the feeling that there’s not nearly so much resentment toward the Wolves, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t get it because… We hated attending SPU and hated being a part of their athletic department in particular. Good teachers, horrible students, toxic athletic department. Some of our most vivid memories of undergrad include waking up to find that we were throwing ourselves against the wall of our dorm room in hopes of knocking ourselves out cold so we would then have a legitimate excuse to not have to deal with our day.
So yes: We get the hate, we feel it much deeper than likely almost anyone reading this, but basketball over everything and right now you need to root like heck for SPU. The rest of the year you can hate them with our wholehearted approval.
Tomorrow: Discussing the West Region as a whole, potential host sites, etc.
It was a rough day. Two Pac-West teams collapsed down the stretch and the GNAC failed to take advantage of it. CU-PDX is having some growing pains. WOU and SPU played a couple of ugly games, but at least got it done.
Dominican 74 vs. Alaska-Fairbanks 69
The good news is that this game was ultimately as evenly matched as we thought it would be. The bad news is the GNAC did not come out on top and this one hurts and hurts big because it wasn’t an actual road game; it was a neutral site and Dominican was collapsing down the stretch and UAF did nothing. While getting a win at UAF will always be seen as quality, this loss diminishes the strength of what a win against UAF means at home, and that is bad for all GNAC teams -UAF most definitely included.
Highlights: Bengaly Kaba had nine boards and nine points; Joe Slocum had a full house consisting of five boards, three assists, two steals, one block, four fouls, and 10 points; Trevante Williams had four assists, two steals, and 18 points; Almir had five boards, two assists, and 11 points. Off the bench Brandon Davis was again providing quality minutes with five boards, three assists, and 16 points.
No truly horrible numbers from a team standpoint, although there were some bad numbers from various people, but… We won’t get into that. You know you who are.
Cal State East Bay 57, Seattle Pacific 71
Don’t let the score fool you -this game was garbage. It had the potential to be a let down game and 100% was. It’s good to see the Falcons get this win rather than giving it up ala their loss to Concordia Irvine, but at the same time we’re really not happy with it because it was so sloppy.
Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a full house with seven boards, five assists, two steals, two blocks, four fouls, and 11 points; Mitch Penner had a full house with seven boards, two assists, a steal, two blocks, three fouls, and 24 points. Off the bench Sam Simpson had nine points and Nathan Streufert had 14 points and four boards.
Concordia Irvine 97, Concordia Portland 78
Not as bad as yesterday, but much worse than they did against CU-Irvine previously. Sad moment to realize that they weren’t fired up to get a redemption victory. Oh well.
Highlights: Drew Martin had 18 points; Davis Nuami had six assists, two steals, and 10 points; Latrell Wilson had 17 points; Tyler Gutierrez had 13 points. Off the bench Jarrett Gray had seven points and three boards.
The team finished with a whopping 20 turnovers, which will never be a recipe for success. Concordia-Irvine was NAIA D1, whereas Concordia-Portland was NAIA D2, so… You could make an argument that it makes sense that CU-I is having an easier time, except that’s BS because there’s this thing called recruiting, and it can be pretty cool if you do it right. C’mon CU-PDX, you can do this, we believe in you.
Dixie State 75, MSU-Billings 72
SO. MUCH. RAGE. Really MSUB, really? You couldn’t get this freaking win even though Dixie State was doing everything in their power to hand it to you? We mentioned Dominican collapsing down the stretch… Dixie was literally trying to vomit this win on top of you and you couldn’t do it even at home. Shame on you.
Highlights: Marc Matthews had 22 points; Emmanuel Johnson had eight boards and seven points; Christian Evans had seven boards and 12 points. Off the bench Jordan Perry had another really good game finishing with seven boards, three assists, and fourteen points.
Let’s hope you learned your lesson and will now take advantage of teams properly when they attempt to gift you a win. Got it? Good. Glad we could have this talk, Yellowjackets.
Holy Names 75, Western Oregon 84
Another let down game, although how you play a let down game when you played Monterey Bay we’ll never figure out, but go figure. Call it playing down to the competition, WOU did just that.
Highlights: Devon Alexander had a full house with seven boards, one assist, three steals, one block, three fouls, and eight points (on less than stellar shooting); Julian Nichols had six boards, six assists, two steals, three fouls, and 16 points; Andy Avgi had a great game grabbing five boards, one assist, three steals, and 29 points, while shooting 80% on 10 FTs. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland grabbed four assists and a steal, while JJ Chirnside had five points and three boards.
We wouldn’t call this a good day for the Wolves considering the team they were facing was 1-6, but they got it done and that’s exactly what good teams do, so onward.
Because SFU is in fact playing two D2 games this week, just today and tomorrow, we’re gonna go ahead and postpone the POW nominations and announcement until Tuesday. Tomorrow we’ll check in with the D2 non-conference schedule and discuss what we know so far. Yes, SFU will play a game tomorrow as well, but that’s easy to modify when they win 😉
The WWU & SFU game previews will be up in an hour.
Yeah, all of this stuff is up late -yesterday was kind of a big deal in our world because we were at Apple Cup all day and then got to go home, obsess about, and then freak out through the Chico State/SPU game. Exhaustion would be a good word for what’s going on.
UAF vs. Dominican @ MSUB @ 2pm PST.
Game of the day. This should be a really good game. Dominican is all pumped after a good win against MSUB, UAF is all mad after a loss to Dixie State, both teams feel that it’s well within reach to be bound for the tournament, and a win would be valuable for both programs. UAF really needs to clamp down on their shooting and take smart shots rather than any shots available. We want to see movement. Glad this game is being broadcast out of MSUB -not sure if we’ll get commentary, but it should be noted that in terms of the GNAC the MSUB commentators are by far our favorites.
Concordia-Irvine vs. Concordia-Portland
Second match-up of these two teams. Would love it for CU-PDX to have a bounce back game and say “Hey, we only lost to these guys by 10 last time, we can do it this time,” but… Losing by 30 in the manner that they did is just a bit demoralizing, so… We doubt it. But we’ll see.
Holy Names vs. Western Oregon @ ND de Namur
Can’t spell slaughter without laughter and WOU should be laughing all the way home.
Cal State East Bay vs. Seattle Pacific @ Chico State
Beware of the let down game. We think SPU is going to get it done, they should get it done, but last night’s game was exhausting and so it wouldn’t surprise us if CSU-East Bay hangs around for a while. Ideally that doesn’t happen, but we shall see. Hopefully it doesn’t turn into a “youth moment” for the Falcons of losing yet another game that should have been won, but… We’re pretty wary.
Dixie State @ MSU-Billings
Could be interesting. Dixie didn’t shoot particularly well last night so they’re going to want to bounce back. It seems unlikely that MSUB would procure a win against Dixie after losing by a lot to Dominican, so… Not betting on that. Should be a good win for the Rebels, but as always we’ll be crossing our fingers for the GNAC upset.
CWU 94, SFU 82
WWU 115, Multnomah 71
WOU 82, Fresno Pacific 73
UAA 69, Hawaii Pacific 65
CU-Irvine 72, CU-PDX 62
CSU-East Bay 64, MSUB 50
SPU 80, Dixie State 74
UAF 112, Chaminade 102
Not going to cover the SFU/CWU & WWU/Multnomah games just because we count both as exhibitions rather than just the latter. In the one sense we got a sense of what CWU wants to do and yet in the other sense we haven’t seen either team at all, so… We’re gonna hold our judgment for now.
WOU 82, Fresno Pacific 73
A cleaner game than Friday, that is for sure. There’s a fine line between “keep shooting” and “start distributing” and the Wolves continue to cross it, particularly regarding three pointers. Highlights: Devon Alexander had five boards and four assists while finishing with 17 points; Alex Roth had nine boards and 16 points; JULIAN NICHOLS had six boards, six assists, three steals, four fouls, and sixteen points; Jordan Wiley had seven boards while finishing with 13 points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had 12 points, four boards, and three steals.
Not a bad win for the Wolves -closer than expected, but they got it done once again without Andy. It’s hard to say whether or not it was a good learning experience -coaches would say yes, but having All-American (in multiple ways) Andy in there makes the flow entirely different, so… They were cohesive enough, but having him back should up it tenfold.
CU-Irvine 72, CU-PDX 62
Anything can happen in a “rivalry” game? Something like that. CU-PDX did much better than expected, which is great to see, Still have no idea what’s going on with them for good or bad; just that they’re new. Highlights: Drew Martin had seven boards, five assists, and 10 points; Riley Hawkin had 11 boards, five fouls, and eight points; Tyler Gutierrez had five boards and 19 points. Off the bench Jarrett Gray had five boards.
UAA 69, Hawaii Pacific 65
UAA wins a close again without Brian McGill. Christian Leckband had nine boards and fourteen points; Corey Hammell had 13 points and 12 boards but an awful six turnovers; Suki Wiggs had five boards, 26 points, and four assists. The Seawolves collectively shot 84% from the line -awesome. Great job. Good learning experience, winning in a close match-up. Kinda feel like the Seawolves played down to their competition, so that’s something to work on, but not a bad day.
Cal State East Bay 64, MSUB 50
Not a whole lotta good coming from the Yellowjackets. Horrifying shooting numbers and more turnovers than a bake sale. Emmanuel Johnson had five boards and fourteen points; Marc Matthews had five boards and 18 points; Christian Evans had nine boards and six points. Guess the thing to keep in mind is that the Yellowjackets often play low scoring games, which leads to less than spectacular numbers but just because of how low the score is. Last year there was a kid that should have been guaranteed a double-double but didn’t get one against MSUB just because the collective numbers were super low (he was one short).
SPU 80, Dixie State 74
The Falcons were leading by roughly 20 at the half and it was fantastic and then they decided to stop rebounding. It’s rare we see a number this low from SPU, but they’re young. They’re learning. Rebounding shouldn’t be something you need to learn if you’ve managed to make your way to playing DII college basketball. Riley Stockton is spinning in Spain.
Grumbles aside: Brendan Carroll had 30 points while shooting 75% -YES 75%- from three, grabbing two steals, and managing just one turnover; Mitch Penner had nine points; BRYCE LEAVITT had eight boards, 14 points, and 12 assists, getting crazy close to that triple double action; Garrett Swanson had eight points. Also of note: Nathan Streufert had five fouls -he’s a big dude, so we like to see that; if you’re gonna foul, make sure they feel it. It got rough, but the Falcons pulled it out, and we’re sure their coach is tearing his hair out… er, growing hair? Over the rebounding number.
Point Loma 74, SMU 59
Good outing for the Saints. Really good growth and learning experience. 11 guys saw more than 10 minutes; eight guys saw more than fifteen. Because of the minute distribution not tons of highlights by our usual standards, but seven guys had at least five points. Jordan Kitchen had 10 points; Tyler Copp had nine points. Not great rebounding numbers, but everyone had at least one. The Saints are young, with a new coach, and just trying to feel things out. Of note Fred Jorg only picked up four boards -at 300lbs, his conditioning is likely terrible, so we’re thinking it’s the “second game” effect; GNAC teams, be aware.
UAF 112, Chaminade 102
What is there to say about this game? Amazing minute distribution. A ridiculously tiny amount of turnovers to the point that we’re questioning if the stat taker knows what turnovers are because there were that few mixed with very few rebounds in such a high scoring game, so… Hmmm.
Great building game for the Nooks. Chaminade tends to be pretty good; middle to upper middle pack of the Pac-West. Highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 7 boards and 17 points; Joe Slocum was terrible from the field but 100% on his six free throws; Travante Williams had a FULL HOUSE with six boards, two assists, three steals, one block, one foul, and 25 points; Almir had five boards. Off the bench Ashton Edwards had 15 points; and Zach Pederson grabbed four boards in just 10 minutes.
Probably the most interesting thing is that this is what SMU wants to do, but isn’t quite able to do just yet. We see it though, we see the goal.
Player-of-the-weekend will be posted tomorrow. This week continues the crazy -lots of match-ups with BYU-H, which will be a great chance for us to see what the Wildcats and Vikings really look like, and we’ll see about the discussions. As always -drink water, get sleep, and have a great Sunday!
Last year we did an absolute TON about the non-conference schedule. This year because so few guys are coming back and we really don’t know what to expect out of our own conference there’s not nearly as much, BUT we will go through some of the stuff here and discuss what we like and don’t like. Hint: We don’t like weak non-conference opponents & non-west region games.
- Alaska Anchorage @ Cal Baptist.
- WOU vs. Point Loma -not a tourney team, but close.
- Seattle Pacific @ Dixie State.
- Western Washington vs. BYU-Hawaii
- Seattle Pacific vs. BYU-Hawaii
- Seattle Pacific vs. Azusa Pacific
- Seattle Pacific @ Chico State
Here’s the sitch as to why that list so heavily favors the Falcons: SPU plays four tournament teams. SPU was a tournament team. Yes, they lost almost everything, BUT much as we don’t talk about it: their roster isn’t unrecognizable.
The games that are highlighted are games that are going to tell us things. If Anchorage keeps it close against CBU or beats them, that could be really good. If WOU beats the pants off of Point Loma, again, good. All of the BYUH games are big.
Here’s the break down of each school and their West Region opponents:
Cal State Dominguez Hills
Not a bad schedule. Should be pretty interesting, they should be able to at least be in every game and win 2-3 of them.
Cal State Dominguez Hills
This is gonna be a bit of a challenge. Only Dominguez Hills is gonna be a gimme on that schedule, so… we’ll see what they do. It’ll be great to compare the Seawolves performance against CBU vs. CU-Portland’s. Hawaii Pacific is another great comparison school.
@ CSU Monterey Bay
Disappointing. It’s hard to say that we don’t expect them to lose. It’ll be great if they can get a win, but if they can’t, well, it’s SFU.
So unappetizing. They do play a couple of other D2 opponents that aren’t west region, but… eh. The BYU-Hawaii game is going to be full of intrigue. Both games are completely winnable, so… We shall see. It doesn’t do our conference any favors, that’s for sure. We need WWU to start playing in more in-region and fewer cupcakes, especially now that SOS is officially being considered for bids.
Cal State East Bay
Pretty near perfect. It’s entirely chock full of West Region teams, lots of ways to test themselves before conference play, it might not always be ideal results but they’re gonna learn from it and be that much stronger than they would be playing cupcakes. This schedule is designed to show them who they are and figure out how to make their weaknesses strengths; the only guarantee we see is East Bay. If they can somehow miraculously win five of these games… it’ll help everyone, conference wide. Good luck Falcons, we believe in you.
Good schedule considering it’s a new coaching staff and some young but good guys. It should test them and teach them and give us a fair bit of information. Like the match-ups because it should bend but not break them; the games should be close, although no predicting who’ll win.
SPU + MSUB = FOREVER. Though far more brutal on the side of the Yellowjackets. Chico State, Dixie State, Azusa, heck even Dominican? Yikes. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Jackets go 0-4. That’s okay, it won’t be the end of the world for our conference, no one is really expecting MSUB to be super good, so if they pull a couple of upsets it’s great, but if they don’t it’s par for the course.
Not digging this. Kind of a lose-lose. If they win both, it’s only two games. If they lose both, it’s a big yikes. If they split winning against BYU-H and losing to Hawaii Hilo everyone’s gonna cringe, and if they beat Hawaii Hilo and lose to BYUH it’s just par for the course.
San Francisco State
Yikes. That’s pretty much NNU in a nutshell until we see otherwise. With Alex and Erik this schedule would be doable and teach them a lot. Without those two… It honestly doesn’t matter who they play. At least they’re gonna lose against mediocrity so it won’t make the other conferences look extra good?
They’re trying to make the Concordias rivals, which is kind of stupid honestly. Dixie State and Cal Baptist will probably brutalize them, so hopefully they can win against their sibling. Their non-con is mostly NAIA, which makes sense and isn’t the worst thing this year because the big problem is they just can’t prepare because regardless of whom they play: they don’t return enough. So we’ll see. They could do really well. You never know.
CSU Monterey Bay
Notre Dame de Namur
Ewww. C’mon WOU, you knew you were going to be better than that and this isn’t going to teach you anything. It’s also not doing our conference any favors, much less yourselves. You want to compete for an at-large NCAA bid? Prove your strength of schedule. SPU does that -you don’t. Heck, Anchorage does that. MSUB does that. If you’re counting on an at-large bid -you just made it that much more difficult for you AND all ten other conference teams. If SOS was being counted last year… Iffy. Your entire schedule would have rested on a win against Dixie, a couple of close losses to APU & Point Loma, a quality-ish loss to SPU on the road, and then a 2OT win against the Falcons at home.
That’s what we’re thinking. Excited to dive in.