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.
For a Sunday Funday post, it seems appropriate to talk about some of the favorites in our conference and basically just have some good old fashioned praise. The season is getting more and more intense and difficult and you kind of just need those moments to sit back and go “Hey, these guys are awesome. It’s such a blessing to watch them, even when they’re making poor on-court decisions.”
It’s been well documented that “pets” definitely exist, so… We’ll just go with the usual order.
UAF: Almir. This isn’t really basketball related; he’s a decent player heading toward good, but the fact that he’s from the Balkans is amazing and as much as they’re not happy with each other, the FYR on the whole are awesome and have such a great culture and it’s great that we get to have a piece of it in our conference. Also love the fact that we have Ruben -he is Native American, which is so cool and yet another blessing. He’s out right now due to academics, but we look forward to getting him back next year; temporarily gone but definitely not forgotten and if he finds this: We still believe in you!
UAA: Brian McGill does so much for his team. Love his game, love his facial expressions as he’s running down the court, his mindset seems fantastic. He does everything in his power to procure a win and that means playing unselfishly. He’s awesome on the whole. Travis Thompson isn’t having the year that he wanted to have, but he’s still so valuable and after going through the mid-season all conference teams and looking at and comparing his stats this year and last and beginning to understand all of that… So proud of the kid. Derrick Fain should be mentioned because we give him crap all the time, but he’s starting to deserve less and less of it and we couldn’t be happier.
SFU: Sango -impossible not to love Sango. Does so much for his team, plays so unselfishly even though he’s got relatively little to work with. He’s in it. He’s another guy that we went back and compared his stuff from last year to this year to see where he’s at and they have made him even more useful and again: Just a good guy that’s easy to root for. Rod Evans-Taylor is becoming a pet with his awesome play and effort, but that’s as of late. Still love Michael Harper although he hasn’t been doing as much lately; same with Patrick Simon II -that kid has so much room for growth and can’t wait to see it over the coming few years.
WWU: ANYE. Anye is probably the biggest pet in the conference at this point, although Alex of NNU is starting to make a run for it. Anye graduates this year and it’s happy but sad. He’ll be moving onto better things and it’ll be good to keep an eye on him in Europe. His mindset is great, he smiles all the time, he works for his teammates, he gets the boards, he picks up fouls, and when knocks a guy down he picks them right back up. Such a blessing to watch. Love Mac, really excited for another year of him. He’s improving by the game and it’s great. He’s a massively different player than he was earlier this year and that’s awesome. Kyle Impero and Joey Schreiber are young and promising and are another couple of great guys to watch their development in. Been watching Joey for years now, even when he was at EC, and it’s exciting. It’s cool to see the development and he landed with such a great program in terms of top-notch D2.
SPU: Riley Stockton. It’s been amazing to watch him make the switch to point guard this year and watch him near the triple doubles and his fundamental understanding of the game is great. Matt Borton -another great forward, has aggression issues (meant in the best way possible), he does what it takes for his team, and between him and Anye… that is how basketball is supposed to be played. Mitch Penner. Psycho P. It’s been a growing process this year, but we have full faith that he’ll break out next year. Cory Hutsen, he’s right up with Austin Hudson and Mac Johnson in terms of favorite centers, and his play has finally been getting better lately, can’t wait for it to go further.
MSUB: Austin. Austin will not be forgotten. He was SO great and still a valuable part of our conference. MSUB is starting to be another program that has a zillion blog pets so-to-speak. Jace Anderson is improving, Antoine Hosley has his moments, MOMIR GATARIC; his game is getting better and better and he’s another FYR player! Those guys are bad to the bone.
CWU: Caleb is great. Will be interested to see what he does with his body; it needs major, major work on his part and not so much in the gym as in the kitchen, but the gym could be of some help too. Full faith that he’ll be one of our conference’s top centers by the time he’s done. Joe Stroud is great and getting better by the game and love his rebounding and his blocked shots are awesome and again -this is another guy that smiles while he does it, very approachable, just fun. Gary Jacobs is another guy that’s gonna be interesting to watch develop -he already does so much and will undoubtedly get better and better. Dom Williams is finally starting to be liked around here -it’s taken a lot, but very proud of Dom and his improving shot selection.
NNU: The entire team? It’s not even a matter of if they do anything during post season, just love their camaraderie. Alex is so great, even in his widdle frosh status, and it’s such a blessing that we’ll get to watch him for another few years, hopefully. Kevin -great attitude, team first mentality, gets the boards, smiles while he does it. He epitomizes the idea that you can be both aggressive and happy simultaneously; accidentally knocks you down, immediately reaches to pick you back up too. He plays a hard game of basketball, but jolly giant. Erik Kinney -needs some help and improvement, but another guy that’s awesome and we’re excited to see for another year. Bouna is one of those “there’s not necessarily any reason for this in terms of his game, he’s just great” and he’s a favorite. He’s smiley. NNU has lots of smiley people.
SMU: Trey Adams. He’s going through some growing pains, but can’t wait to see what he does next year. Tyler Idowu -sucker for smiley people and Tyler is that and does some good board work. Riley Carel, of course, bad decision maker in chief, but much as we give him crap all the time he’s a good baller. Tyler Copp -no clue where he’s disappeared to, but he’s been another favorite all year. Rising stars. Honestly, SMU is like NNU; that whole team is just fantastic. If only they could put it together. Ryan Rogers, Cameron Chatwin, Victor Ieronymides, Brent Counts, all are great.
WOU: JULIAN NICHOLS!! Favorite point guard, love his game, love his attitude, he’s come into our conference by storm, made WOU even better than expected and really elevated them -it’s been phenomenal. Lew Thomas -this is a weird one; he just is a favorite. He’s not that good, takes a lot of poor shots, turns the ball over more than any forward should, but he’s still a favorite, no clue why. Andy Avgi, he’s oddly enough not really a favorite, but maybe just because he’s so good that he’s hard to appreciate because you feel like you don’t have to; he’s just Andy, he does what he does, and he always does it. And that’s why even though he’s not a favorite we really should realize he is a favorite because just because someone’s consistent and does what they want, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be appreciated for it. Andy is awesome. Not sure what his speed and strength metrics are, but before heading for Europe, he might consider working out for a few NFL teams -at 6’6/260 you can’t teach size and he’s so good at shoving his way through -TE or DE may hold promise.
At times this blog is tough on guys and teams, but there’s no vindictiveness behind any of what gets written. All of these guys are such a blessing to get to watch so closely and that’s why it was important to cover the whole conference. It’s just not something that really happens on a D2 level; we mostly see school publications giving the highlights, and so when critiques get thrown out it can feel like a major affront when it’s not; it just happens rarely because writing a blog is a big commitment and we don’t really see that fan/community commitment on a D2 level.
Just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be there. These guys are great; they absolutely get down night in and night out; they deserve attention; they deserve praise; and they deserve that fan and community commitment on a level to match D1. Engage the culture, change the world; a blog isn’t much, but it definitely is a way to engage the culture, and hopefully on some minute level change the world of at least someone. There’s the whole thing that “I Chose Division II” and yet for many it’s not that easy. There’s a feeling of failure that you ended up D2 and [potentially] unable to succeed on a D1 level; maybe if more people cared, some of that burden could be relieved.
Have a fantastic week, a NightLights post that should’ve gone up last night will go up tonight at about 11pm, usual POW stuff tomorrow.
Eff. That. Superbowl.
Alaska Anchorage 115 @ Simon Fraser 98
That score is misleading -Anchorage’s victory was never in doubt, far as we saw. Simon Fraser… nice victory over UAF, couldn’t keep it going. All numbers modified.
Seawolf highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and six assists; Travis Thompson had 20 points and four assists; Derrick Fain had 15 points and six boards; Dom Hunter had 9 points off the bench. The team shot 60% overall and 62% from three -wow.
Clan highlights: Sango had 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists; Justin Cole had nine points; Roderick Evan’s Taylor had 10 points.
Alaska Fairbanks 57 @ Western Washington 80
The Nooks put up a valiant fight, but… trying to take on WWU out home without your best player is usually going to end badly and badly it did.
Nook highlights: Ashton scored 13 points and had three assists; Eric chipped in 11 along with a nice nine rebounds; Almir finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds; and then off the bench Isaac had nine points. Nothing too shabby. Shooting for the most part wasn’t atrocious.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals; Anye Turner had a full house with eight boards, three assists, three steals, one block, four fouls, and two points; Jeff Parker had 26 points, along with three boards, two assists, and two steals; Mac Johnson had 12 points, seven boards, two assists, and four steals. The team went 8-8 from the line, which was great.
Seattle Pacific 84 @ Western Oregon 94 in 2OT
Andy Avgi had his way with the Falcons, Brendan Carroll was a turnover machine, the reffing was terrible on behalf of SPU, and Julian Nichols more than earned his nod as the conference’s best and one of the most consistent players thus far. This game’ll be in major focus during our Tuesday discussions.
Falcon highlights: Riley Stockton played a whopping 49 minutes and had 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and managed to not foul out; Brendan Carroll had six boards, two assists, six points, and a horrible six turnovers; Matt Borton had nine points, four boards, one assist, two steals, and fouled out; Mitch Penner had 19 points, seven boards, five assists, one steal, and fouled out; Cory Hutsen had 18 points, three boards, one assist, and fouled out. Off the bench: Joe Rasmussen had seven points and four boards; and Shawn Reid had seven points and three boards on terrible shooting.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander scored 20 points and had three assists, three rebounds, two steals; Julian Nichols scored 18 points and had six boards, six assists, and three steals; Lew Thomas had five boards, four assists, and three blocks; Jordan Wiley scored 10 points; Andy Avgi was amazing -finishing with 33 points, four rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks but no fouls.
Central Washington 64 @ Northwest Nazarene 66
This game was insane! And the Crusaders did it, learning from the Alaska trip; super great.
Central highlights: Marc Rodgers had 10 points and five assists; Joey Roppo had 13 points and three boards; Devin Matthews had five boards and 11 points off the bench.
Northwest Nazarene highlights: Alex Birketofte! He had 16 points, eight boards, two assists, two steals, FIVE blocks, and two fouls while shooting a whopping 90%; Erik Kinney made his free throws -had a bunch of nasty turnovers, but: make your free throws so he’s fine and ultimately finished with 11 points; Kevin Rima had a double-double with 10 boards and 14 points, also making his free throws. Off the bench: Bouna N’Diaye managed to collect a full house with one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block, a foul, and eight points.
MSU-Billings 64 @ Saint Martin’s 75
Congrats Saint Martin’s on a nice victory. MSUB playing without Momir Gataric definitely helped -it probably would’ve been much closer had they had the man that’s become their main squeeze. All the same -exploit the weakness, take advantage where you can, that’s exactly what the Saints did.
Yellowjacket Highlights: Emmanuel Johnson finished with a full house with nine boards, one assist, one steal, three blocks, two fouls, and seven points; Jace Anderson added nine points; Jordan Perry added 11 points and nine boards; Tyler Nelson had seven boards. Off the bench: Antoine Hosley had 14 points, three boards, and two assists; and Marc Matthews had 21 points and four boards on 8-11 shooting.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram had 15 points and six assists; Ryan Rogers had six boards; Tyler Idowu had seven points; Cameron Chatwin had 15 points and four rebounds on 5-8 shooting. Off the bench: Victor Ieronymides had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, three fouls, and five points; Brent Counts had five boards; Isaac Bianchini had 11 points; and Tyler Copp had 15 points.
In the jungle, the GNAC jungle, it’s cool to follow the crowd. In the jungle peer pressure leads us to take bad shots all around… Some weeks there are endless highlights from tons of teams; this weekend it was pretty minimal. We’ll have to see about POW; we may go back to highlighting every team without even doing the “ten best players” thing because highlighting the 10 best players can at times be grimace inducing.
Regardless of how it’s calculated: POW noms & POW will be up in the AM.
Good luck recovering from that Super Bowl.
Wow. That was a really fun night of GNAC games. The madness started at 6pm PST and for the most part didn’t overlap at any super critical part, so enjoying the games was in full force.
In every instance the team with the better FT shooting won, so there’s that note.
If you need some extra entertainment, check out the UAF fan in the comments. UAF’s currently suspended from post season play due to APR, so… on that note:
WWU 60 @ UAF 64
There’s the sense from Vikings fans that this wasn’t an unexpected loss -that team just can’t win in the Patty Center, and yet… that needs to stop. WWU had every opportunity and they didn’t take it and while there were a lot of things wrong with the performance… Free throw shooting seems to be the biggest culprit. Make your free throws. The Vikings went 10-22 from the line and that is never gonna work.
The good things that stood out for WWU? Mac Johnson went 5-7 and 2-3 on FTs with seven rebounds, five blocks, and 12 points; Anye Turner was 4/5 from the line and had seven boards, three assists, and scored eight points; Harris Javier scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting, and finally: Jaamon Echols had 20 points and six boards, but his shooting percentage was horrifying.
In regard to UAF: Isaac Ladines had seven boards; Ashton Edwards dropped 30, going 6/7 from the line; Eric Fongue added nine points and five boards; Kyle Tomlinson was mostly silent as was Ruben Silvas, but this is a good moment to point out: they weren’t hot shooters and so they stopped and tried to contribute in other ways.
Overall, this was an ugly, ugly game of basketball full of selfish play and poor FT shooting. The two teams had 18 assists combined, which while admittedly they didn’t have many turnovers… the incredibly low shooting percentages of their respective leading scorers… Ick. It’s an interesting question: If shots aren’t falling, should one person just keep shooting, or should they start deferring and getting everyone in the game? Honestly it seems like more guys should at least get shots, rather than having someone go 8/20 and 3/8 or 10/22.
Congrats to the Nanooks on the win, but as noted with CWU: This means nothing and in your case: you can’t go anywhere anyway.
SMU 66 @ MSUB 65
This blog is a pretty big fan of Momir Gataric and yet… he pretty much ran under a big tree during a lightening storm. In the final seconds of the game, MSUB was down 63-66 with a great chance to tie it -those cunning Saints left Momir a wide open path to a layup, which he took, and then the game ended.
Fear not: In the realm of other stupid decisions, the Saints have some big moments too -like Riley Carel going 6-16. But they pulled it out. The shooting percentages all around were just terrible; Tyler Copp scored 9 but was 3/8 and 2/6; Trey Ingram was 1-4; they had some nicely balanced rebounding numbers –Tyler Idowu, Cameron Chatwin, and Brent Counts all had five; no one had too many assists; Will Bond had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block, and two fouls in twenty-five minutes, so that was good.
Even with Momir’s Minor Mistake Marvin moment, MSUB was incredibly balanced: Kendall Denham had 14 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 13 along with seven boards; Jace Anderson had 13, Momir had 14 points along with a fantastic 13 rebounds and three assists. Austin Hudson is out for the season (and his career) due to academic difficulties, but they kept missing him during non-conference for various reasons, and so it’ll be interesting to see if the Yellowjackets can find an identity without him… there’s a distinct possibility that the consistency of not having him will benefit them far more.
As noted: Sloppy, sloppy game, but Saint Martin’s got it done.
SFU 86 @ UAA 108
SOMEONE FINALLY DID IT. It’s that raging moment of being torn because defensive, stifling basketball is awesome and yet it’s so great to see the Clan doing well and they do play fairly unselfish basketball. That’s one really interesting thing about the breakneck pace: You’d expect it to be sloppy and selfish, but it’s largely not. They distribute and rely on each other; at their breakneck pace, they look a lot more cohesive than other teams do playing slower.
Sango: So proud of Sango. He had an off night for shooting, but instead picked up nine assists; Roderick Evans-Taylor had seven rebounds and 10 points; Patrick Simon II went 6-8 from the line and had five boards along with 19 points; Adam Westfall had 11 points; Hidde Vos had 15. Some of the shooting percentages are incredibly alarming –Justin Cole was 1-9, Roderick was 2-9, but no one else was particularly bad.
Anchorage: Really, really proud of the Seawolves. The Clan started to get into transition and push the tempo and I’ll be honest: I was screaming at my computer screen for them to commit and they did it and clamped down and got it done and still got to score a whopping 108 points. Fantastic. Brian McGill had an amazing game with 28 points, five fouls, six rebounds, and four assists, going 7-9 from the line; Travis Thompson went 7-8 from the line and finished with 15 points; KALIDOU had 19 points on 9-11 shooting, grabbing a whopping 15 boards; Christian Leckband grabbed eight boards and scored nine points; Sjur Berg also had eight boards; Derrick Fain added 11 points; and then Boomer Blossom chipped in five assists. Bad moments for the Seawolves include Travis’s 3-10 shooting and Kevin Bowman’s 3-9 shooting, but… when your scoring is as balanced as the Seawolves, we’ll give it a pass.
Overall the game was a blowout, still very proud of the Clan because it should teach them a lot and then with the Seawolves… It’s good to see them back to being themselves. Unfortunately: this game doesn’t mean anything for either team because it doesn’t continue a trend of any kind, so it’s hard to say if SFU is bad or UAA is bouncing back and actually good.
WOU 76 @ SPU 84
This game was closer than anticipated, so that was good. It was a fun game to watch, really interesting.
In regard to the Wolves… shooting percentages, oh dear. Devon Alexander was 4-13, Lew Thomas was 2-8. In better news: Andy Avgi was fantastic, picking up six boards and 19 points; Julian Nichols was also great, going 4-6 from three, picking up five boards, four assists, two steals, one block, and five fouls for a FULL HOUSE and 18 points; Adam Hastings added nine points. Overall not a bad game; the Wolves had many chances to procure the win and simply didn’t. It happens.
Seattle Pacific: Riley Stockton was solid, 5-6 from the field, three boards, four assists; Brendan Carroll went 2-3 from three and scored 12 points; Mitch Penner had some nasty shooting percentages but grabbed nine boards and four assists; Cory Hutsen went 5-7 and scored 13 points; off the bench, Shawn Reid added 14 but his shooting percentage wasn’t great. Now let’s talk about Matt; he went 10-10 from the line, had eight boards, three assists, three steals and almost had a block; he had four turnovers which is a big no-no, but… he plays such an unselfish form of basketball, that the turnovers generally are easily excusable.
Game previews/predictions’ll be up tomorrow morning.
Laxatives may be needed for this one, because bricks are on the horizon for defecation.
The Davids went 4/5 on the day and the home teams win out; Goliath who? There were so many great games to watch –UAA/WOU was interesting for the first half, SMU/UAF was interesting until the buzzer sounded -as was MSUB/NNU & WWU/SFU, and then SPU/CWU was probably the weirdest game all day.
Alaska-Anchorage 68 @ Western Oregon 87
At first it was really close and then WOU put it away convincingly, which wasn’t really surprising considering they were playing at home and the Seawolves were without Travis Thompson.
Collectively the concerns for UAA include rebounding, playing cohesively, cold players not accepting that they’re cold, their awful three point shooting, and the lack of teamwork in general. Just because Travis is gone doesn’t mean the teamwork should stop. While the assist number isn’t horrible, it’s largely thanks to Brian McGill -they weren’t distributed well at all, and that’s likely what did them in so nastily.
The good numbers: Brian McGill had 14 points along with six assists and four rebounds; Kalidou Diouf went 7-7, finishing with 16 points and five boards; Sjur Berg went 5-5 for 11 points; Derrick Fain contributed 12 points.
The bad numbers: Brian had 6 turnovers, Christian Leckband went 2-7, Derrick went 3-12, and the bench play overall was not spectacular.
Western Oregon had so many good things, it’s hard to pick a place to start; how about the fact that they shot nearly 50% from three and had 19 assists?
Player highlights: Devon Alexander had 10 points and six assists; Julian Nichols had 21 points and 9 assists; Andy Avgi had 12 points and five rebounds; Adam Hastings had 16 points in just 20 minutes played.
The main place of concern is the fact that Jordan Wiley went 1-6 on field goals and three pointers, but also that Lew Thomas was mostly silent. The bench wasn’t particularly strong, but they won by 20 and did a great job of exploiting the areas presented to them. It was a good and quality win, but will remain with an asterisk due to the absence of Travis Thompson.
Alaska-Fairbanks 64 @ Saint Martin’s 67
The game was interesting, unfortunately it wasn’t actually good -it was incredibly sloppy for both teams. The collective average shooting percentage was 42, which is the answer of “what is a poor FG %?”
Luckily, the guys save the day in terms of being okay because okay is a relative term. Ruben Silvas had 12 points and nine rebounds; Ashton Edwards had 13 points; Adam Griffin had 11 points. Oh shoot -that was worse than previously thought, especially because those are the concerns: Ashton went 5-14 and 3-8 and yet there wasn’t someone else that he could defer to; Kyle Tomlinson went 1-5 and 1-5 –zoinks. There just was not a lot of good and with the numbers, it’s amazing the Nooks kept it as close as they did.
Saint Martin’s… their social media department was too enthusiastic about Riley Carel’s role in this victory. This blog is plenty fond of Riley and yet… the guy went 3-10 for a mere 11 points, yeesh; Trey Ingram had 11 points, five rebounds, and two assists; Tyler Copp had nine points and six rebounds; Tyler Idowu had seven rebounds and five points; Cameron Chatwin had 10 points and seven rebounds; off the bench Brent Counts went 3-3 for 6 points; and Isaac Bianchini added nine points and four assists.
The Saints’ collective number of assists was great and with the exception of Riley the shot selection was good. They were missing Ryan Rogers and yet got an incredibly necessary win, so we’ll see what they do from here.
MSU-Billings 57 @ Northwest Nazarene 59
Another interesting game that in reality is horrible. That’s starting to come up quite a bit -people mistake the parity for our conference being good. It’s not the conference being good, it’s the conference being terrible. The parity is just a nice distraction so we forget how terrible we actually are compared to the rest of the country.
Momir Gataric scored 10 points, Austin Hudson had 15 and nine rebounds for almost a double-double, Antoine Hosley had 12 points. Those were the highs. The lows include the fact that the team only had 11 assists, Marc Matthews went 1-6 and 1-4, respectively. MSUB was like a platypus -they didn’t do a lot.
Northwest Nazarene… Erik Kinney had 10 points and 10 rebounds for a nice double-double; Kevin Rima had 16 points and eight boards; Mike Wright had eight points and four boards; Todd Helgeson had seven points and five rebounds. The bad news: Aubrey was 1-6 and 1-3; the team collectively only had 8 assists; much like MSUB, they ddin’t do a a heck of a lot.
Seattle Pacific 67 @ Central Washington 73
The game looks closer than it actually was -the Falcons didn’t lead at any significant point and the number got up that high through fouling. SPU is the only team I’ve ever seen use the fouling thing and have it work even slightly in their favor. That’s probably not a good thing.
What is a good thing is that Matt Borton had a great game scoring 18 points, picking up 14 rebounds, and ultimately getting a full house with four assists, one steal, one block, and amassing four fouls amongst just ONE turnover; Cory Hutsen had 21 points and eight boards; Shawn Reid (aka Token) had 13 points and three rebounds off the bench; Brendan Carroll had nine points off the bench.
Besides that, the bench was largely a bad thing; the Falcons got hardly anything from it. Starter Riley Stockton had a poor game, Cory Hutsen went 7-16, which shouldn’t happen when the farthest shot you take is from two feet out. It’s not that the Falcons don’t have talent, it’s that they can’t/don’t/won’t utilize it.
Central, on the other hand, has so much talent that can be utilized it’s a grab bag of who’s going to show up on any given night. Gary Jacobs had 14 points; Dom Williams had 19 points and five assists; Jordan Russell had 13 points off the bench; Joe Stroud went 5-5 and had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Wildcats earned the win through their low number of turnovers and scrappy play. Still not sure what to make of this Central team, but so far so good.
Western Washington 118 @ Simon Fraser 122
HOLY BOLOGNA. The Clan beat the Vikings for the first time ever and it was the shootout anticipated. There were a lot of gaudy numbers which have been adjusted for, but ultimately as much pride exists for the Clan, there is more disappointment in the Vikings.
The urge is to simply pick on Western for their lack of defense and for playing the game SFU wanted them to play rather than playing their own game. That shows a lack of discipline. What the coaching staff was thinking… who knows. It’s like Oregon’s horrible uniforms: sure, all of the guys like them and they’re pretty (or something) but it’s not classy and they’re doing nothing for you in reality. WWU should’ve committed to defense and they didn’t, which is quite frankly pathetic and basically tells us that WWU is definitively not the team they’ve been in years past.
All numbers adjusted by x • .65
Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points and three rebounds; Jaamon Echols had 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists; Anye Turner did all he could in the waning minutes, ultimately ending up with a whopping 18 points and 13 rebounds on 10-12 shooting; Jeff Parker finished with 11 points. The Vikings showed rebounding prowess, but got almost nothing from their bench.
In regard to Simon Fraser: they coerced WWU into playing at their tempo, which isn’t as impressive as it could be considering it’s fun to play offense and not so much fun to play defense. Sango Niang finished with 19 points and five rebounds; Justin Cole had 13 points; Roderick Evans-Taylor ended with 12 points and four rebounds.
Once again: the bench play was minimal, which speaks to the overall lack of depth for our conference. This game didn’t necessarily make our conference look great one way or another -it didn’t make us look awful,
This weekend likely perpetuated the idea that the GNAC is having yet another down year, as well as putting us further in the basement. The situation compares well to our D1 counterpart Pac-12; when UCLA and Arizona are down, everyone is down; when they’re up, everyone is up. With SPU and WWU losing we’re in for a harsh reality check that we’re lucky we get an auto bid and for most teams it’ll be lucky that it’s the tournament winner rather than the regular season champion.
Any given night.
In terms of what the week holds: Player-of-the-week nominations will go up tomorrow, there’ll be more reflections on this past weekend, we’ll finally get to talk about the the Pac-West, and hopefully the magic for a shenanigans post will arise at some point too.