Happy Boxing Day!! Do you like that SFU? Canada actually celebrates Boxing Day as a real thing. Super cool.
This was written while we were waiting for the “results” games to be played, so we’re still including the previews.
UAA 50 @ WOU 82
Jacob Lampkin didn’t play. This game was never close. Oh dear. Congrats Wolves!! The evidence currently stands as: Wolves > Seawolves.
Seawolf highlights: Brian Pearson had eight boards and 16 points; and off the bench: DJ Ursery had seven points in just ten minutes; and Drew Peterson went 5-5 from the line. The Seawolves shot 81% from the line overall! Yay! Bright spot!
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 10 points, five boards, and a full house in just 20 minutes of play; Vince Boumann had 15 points and was 7-9 from the field; and Riley Hawken was back in the starting line-up and had five boards. Off the bench Nick Nestell went 3-3 and had nine points; Janvier Alaby and Darius Luborn both had six points; Dustin Triano had six points and four boards; Ali Faruz-Bey had 12 points and four boards; and JJ Chirnside had six points and four boards.
Low rebounding numbers, but… WOU shot 66% from the field and 46% from three specifically. Wow. Nicely done by the Wolves, great job sharing the wealth, and good luck to the Seawolves in bouncing back.
UAF 81 @ CU-PDX 66
At one point CU-PDX led… And then they didn’t. We’re confused about this Concordia team, but we’re confused about a lot of GNAC teams and will get into that more later.
Nook highlights: Amenofis Mitchell had eight points; Alex Baham went 6-6 from the line; Davis Kimball had 17 points, eight boards, and a full house; Joe Landway had nine points; and Michael Kluting was dominant with 23 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Tre Eisenhut had seven points.
Cav highlights: Jace Cates had 7 points and five boards; Jarrett Gray had 22 points and seven boards; Chris Edward had 11 points and 14 boards!! for the double-double; and off the bench Taylor Harris had five points. Lots of good individual numbers, but apparently not cohesion as a team.
Congrats to the Nooks on a great one… Again: CU-PDX, we’re confused. The numbers are fine, and you’re a good team and we know it, and yet… This, at home, okay? Um, what?
Tampa 77 vs. WWU 86 @ Hawaii Pacific
Solid result, if not irrelevant. Congrats to the Viks on another win.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel was once again playing great with 30 points and seven boards on good shooting; Logan Schilder had 10 points; Deandre Dixon had 10 points and six boards; Trevor Jasinsky had eight boards and eight points; and Daulton had 13 points and and seven boards, but it wasn’t a particularly good game for him -key word: HIM. Off the bench Brett Kingma had seven points; and Siaan Rojas had eight points and four boards.
Congrats to the Viks on the win -the numbers looked good.
MSUB 81 vs. Hilo 63 @ Hawaii Pacific
Hilo has a losing record, but all good: A West Region win is a win we’re grateful for. Nicely done MSUB!!
Yellowjacket highlights: KENDALL DENHAM WAS HIMSELF!!!!!! He had 17 points including going 5-5 from the line; Zharon Richmond had a great game going 4-5 from the field and finishing with 11 points and a full house; Zach Rollins had 15 points and eight boards; and Sven Jeuschede had 12 points. Off the bench Zack Lessinger had a solid game with 10 points and five boards.
Nicely done Yellowjackets! Is it a road game technically? No. Will we count it as one? For now. We feel like being nice.
All times pacific.
SPU @ Stanislaus @ 7pm
This game is way more interesting than we thought it would be at the beginning of the season, largely because Stanislaus is way better than anticipated. The Warriors are currently 8-2 and SPU still has no idea what their identity is, so…
Prediction: Stanislaus gets the ‘W.’
MSUB vs. Chaminade @ Hawaii Pacific @ 9:30pm
Chaminade is looking really solid with wins over the Alaska schools, Dominguez Hills, Cal Baptist, and Hawaii-Hilo and losses coming via CU-Irvine and Hawaii Pacific. It’s essentially a home game for the Swords, and thus…
Prediction: Chaminade wins. No idea on the margin.
Oh dear Spillings… What is happening to you?
Next post’ll be up at 1pm.
We’re going to go ahead and do the UAF/UAA preview first to get it out of the way:
Anything can happen in a rivalry game and neither team has looked particularly impressive thus far, although Anchorage definitely more so than Fairbanks. We’re curious to see what Jacob Lampkin does against the Nooks, but that’s pretty much it.
Now, for the Bracketology:
Teams that we think have a legit shot at an at-large bid even if they lose several games during conference play:
Cal State LA -they got killed by Cal Baptist, but it was on the road and they played non-con largely within the region with a solid mix of A-B-C teams.
UCSD -While they have three losses, those three losses come from Azusa Pacific, Cal Baptist, and Dixie State; all traditionally strong teams. They also have a win against WWU -another team that projects to be strong.
San Marcos -Solid non-con; only loss was a blowout against CU-Irvine, and they have wins against both Azusa Pacific and CU-Portland, both of whom project as middle-of-the-pack teams in their respective conferences. They’re honestly the epitome of a bubble team in regard to how non-con looks.
Cal Baptist -Only loss comes from a surprisingly good SMU team.
CU-Irvine -Only loss is to Seattle Pacific, has wins against San Marcos (A), Central Washington (B-), and Chico (B+).
Point Loma -They have wins against an SMU team that beat Cal Baptist, and a Simon Fraser team that doesn’t look as bad as it usually does. Their losses come from GNAC-leading WOU and a good UCSD team.
Western Oregon -Our choice for now to host the regional; they got through a quality non-con schedule completely unscathed and then their formal travel partner upset Cal Baptist for them.
Saint Martin’s -Stellar non-con, only loss is to Point Loma, and they have a win over Cal Baptist. Love it.
Seattle Pacific -We’re not thrilled with how the Falcons have looked as of late, but the fact is: They have wins over CU-Irvine and Dixie State, one of their losses was on the road in 2OT, and then the other loss was D2 but non-west region on the road.
MSUB -isn’t on this list because while undefeated, they play the bulk of their non-con schedule in a few weeks.
Teams to keep an eye on despite a meh non-con:
Cal Poly Pomona -Lost to Azusa Pacific, beat Dixie State, but both were home games and that was the entirety of their D2 non-con.
Chico State -Lost a close one on a neutral court to CU-Irvine, killed Biola and Dominican; this is a terrible non-con schedule, just saying.
San Fran State -Lost to CU-Portland on a neutral court, beat NNU in OT on the road, barely beat Academy of Art & Dominican. All four teams project to be B & C teams in their respective conferences, so while SFSU has an okay record right now, we’re not impressed.
Dixie State -They went through a positively brutal non-con, with losses coming via Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State LA, Western Oregon, and Seattle Pacific, and then their one win was against UCSD. Do they need to have a great regular season? Yes. Should they be able to do it? Absolutely. Dixie usually gets better as the year goes on, and again: they couldn’t have tested themselves any more in non-con.
Azusa Pacific -Another brutal non-con, and they have wins against UCSD, Cal Poly Pomona, and an SFU team that isn’t as bad as it normally is. Their losses come via WOU and San Marcos, so completely legitimate.
Chaminade -We want to see them win on the mainland. They barely beat Dominguez Hills, and while they beat the Alaska schools in Alaska, the Alaska schools are worse than normal this year.
Shockingly, we’re going to do the GNAC differently, because despite a meh non-con, almost every team is still in contention. Here are the teams that we think could only lose one or two games in conference, otherwise they’ll rely entirely on the auto-bid:
UAF -They barely played anyone and they only beat Hawaii Pacific.
UAA -Playing Holy Names is subtraction by addition. We get that they didn’t return anything, but they were projected to be wayyy better than they’ve proven thus far.
CWU -Played no one except CU-I and Hilo in non-con and they lost to CU-I at that. Sorry, but seriously two schools? Nope.
The good news for the three schools above is that CWU is a notoriously hard place to play, as are the Alaska schools, and then the conference tournament is hosted in Alaska. The bad news is that if everybody beats everybody and everyone ends up with four or five losses, they’re not going to deserve nor should they get the benefit of the doubt.
Is there quite a bit of the benefit of the doubt being given by teams that have proven themselves in the past, particularly in the Pac-West? Yes. But regeneration is much easier than starting from the bottom, and it’s such a big everybody’s-beaten-everbody-except-WOU that it’s what we’re going with. It’s awesome. It should be a really fun regular season.
And yes: the GNAC came out looking fantastic in non-con. Congrats in particular to CU-Portland, Northwest Nazarene, and Simon Fraser for still being in contention for at-large bids!
One question we’re now contemplating… If by February 1st it looks like neither Alaska school is going to make the conference tournament, is there any way we can send it back to Lacey instead? Just thinking out loud here.
Have fun, be safe, go GNAC!
Nutso November, welcome back; hope everyone had a great first weekend of D2 play.
Jumping right in…
MSUB 67 vs. Sonoma State 61 @ Cal State East Bay
Fun game. We have no idea what it means. Sonoma isn’t sure themselves if they’re supposed to be good, so… It’s a little complicated. MSUB struggled against NAIA Rocky Mountain and then beat Sonoma whom had just beaten Seattle Pacific, whom (spoiler) proceeded to beat East Bay far more convincingly than MSUB did. In other words: the Pioneer Challenge was fantastic from a basketball perspective, but unhelpful from a “how good are these teams?” perspective.
Yellowjacket highlights: Tyler Green had five boards; Kamal Tall had a good game with 16 points and eight boards in just 16 minutes; and Zack Rollins had seven boards. Off the bench Hafeez Abdul had six points; Zharon Richmond had eight points and five boards; and Daniel Shedden had eight boards.
Congrats to the Yellowjackets on a sweep for the weekend!
SPU 70 @ Cal State East Bay 59
The Falcons at one point led by 19. We expected them to win, but we also expected it to be closer. A little annoyed at the Falcons for letting East Bay creep back in, but oh well; all’s well that ends in a W.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had six boards; Nikhil Lizotte had 10 points; Tony Miller had 12 points and seven boards; Gavin Long had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six points; Hunter Eisenhower had 17 points; and Nathan Streufert had five points and eight boards.
The Falcons had 17 turnovers, but when you’re leading by 15 for a huge stretch of the game you tend to start doing stupid stuff, so… We won’t consider it concerning just yet, although East Bay did do a great job taking advantage of it, scoring 16 points off of the turnovers.
CSU Monterey Bay 67 vs. CWU 72 @ CU-PDX
Hallelujah Wildcats. A win against a CCAA team. Yay! Thank-you for getting it done. Monterey Bay tends to sit right in the middle of the CCAA so it should be a moderate add of SOS, which is really nice. We’re still not entirely sure what to make of this CWU team, but a W is a W.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had 11 points and four steals; Jawan Stepney had 25 points; and Fuquan had seven boards. Off the bench Sage Woodruff had seven points; Cameron Williams had five boards; Karsten Chaplik had five boards; and Jerome Bryant had five points.
We’re curious about Fuquan -he only had two fouls, the largest lead CWU had was 12, so why didn’t he play more? We get that he had 3 turnovers, but… Fuquan is completely legit, so we’ll see. Hopefully no injury.
San Bernardino State 64 @ CU-PDX 65
HECK YES CU-PORTLAND, THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE. We’re not convinced San Bernardino is going to be particularly amazing, but this falls into the W is a W thing and Ws against the CCAA are very, very good regardless.
Cavalier highlights: Jace Cates had five assists; Cody Starr had 9 points; Jarrett Gray had 20 points and five boards; and Christopher Edward had an incredible double-double with 15 points and 15 boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had 10 points and seven boards; while Taylor Harris had five points and four boards.
Very excited about this result, two in a row for CU-Portland, keep grinding Cavs!
Point Loma 85 vs. SMU 77 @ WOU
Pretty much what we expected but we’re still ridiculously proud of the Saints. These are the losses you learn from, completely respectable score, the numbers are fine.
Saint highlights: Matt Dahlen had 15 points; Rhett Baerlocher had 12 points; Luke Chavez had 20 points; and off the bench BJ Standley had 13 points; while Tavian Henderson had five boards and seven points.
Again: Saints, you’re looking somewhere between just fine and good, so we’re excited to write the preview about you taking on Hilo tonight -it’ll be up an hour after this post.
SFU 80 vs. Notre Dame de Namur 51 @ WWU
AAAAAH, GO CLAN!!!!! Now, ND de Namur is usually the Simon Fraser of their conference, so everything in moderation, but that means our chronic basement dweller > the Pac-West’s chronic basement dweller, and we’ll take it!
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam had 17 points; Michael Provenzano had seven assists; JJ Pankratz had a good game with 15 points and nine boards; and Tyrell Lewin had five boards. Off the bench Othniel Spence had 12 points; and Bowen Bakken had 11 points.
Again: Nicely done Clan, we’re proud of you, we’re excited about your sweep of the weekend, and continue getting it done!
UAF 97 vs. Hawaii Pacific 90 @ UAA
This is why we have to take all of when we’re right when we can. That said: we’re ridiculously happy that UAF won and so we’re happy to be wrong. Conference strength of schedule is everything to us, and this helps.
Nook highlights: Amenofis Mitchell had 13 points on good shooting; LaDonavan Wilder had 16 points, six boards, six assists, two steals, two blocks, and two fouls for a nice full house; Alex Baham had 20 points and five fouls; Davis Kimble had a double-double with 15 points and a whopping 11 assists with only ONE turnover -that’s amazing!; and Michael Kluting had five assists. Off the bench Jalon McCullough had five points; Zach Hatch had six points; Tre Eisenhut had eight points; and Joe Lendway had eight points.
Super balanced performance. We feel like it still doesn’t tell us a ton, but again: it adds to conference strength of schedule, so while we don’t know what it means in regard to what UAF does in conference, it does help everyone.
Hilo 80 @ WWU 76
AHAHAHA. We don’t even know what to say about this game except to be fair, while the Viking players played well and saw tons of minutes, their starters are still pretty darn young.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had five assists; Logan Schilder continues to get up to speed with 15 points and nine boards; Deandre Dickson had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards; and Daulton Hommes had nine boards and 22 points among a full house. Off the bench Blake Fernandez had 11 points, five assists, and five fouls among a full house.
Alright Vikings, back in it. Growing pains but we still believe in you.
Fresno Pacific 67 @ Western Oregon 123
Ouch. Go Wolves!
Wolf highlights: Dustin Triano had 17 points; Tanner Omlid was back in it but not super required with 10 points, seven boars, and four assists in just 22 minutes; Darius Luborn had nine points; Riley Hawken was perfect from the field including 4-4 from three and finished with 14 points; and JJ Chirnside had nine boards and five assists. Off the bench Demetrius was BACK with 26 points on 8-9 shooting; Nick Nestell had six points; Janvier Alaby had 11 points; Brandell Evans had five points and five assists; Vince Boumann had 12 points on good shooting; and Buster Souza had five points.
Congrats to the Wolves on a, ahem, convincing win.
Chaminade 71 @ UAA 65
Interesting result. We’ll cross our fingers both schools are good. Both schools actually host D1 tournaments that they themselves compete in, so we won’t know much about either of them for a while, but it was clearly a hard fought game with some good numbers by both teams.
Seawolf highlights: Jacob Lampkin continues to impress, getting another double-double with 16 points and 10 boards; DJ Ursery had 21 points and nine boards; Josiah Wood had five fouls; and off the bench Curtis Ryan had five boards.
Congrats to UAA on the rebounding margin -they actually out-rebounded Chaminade 41 to 28, which is amazing, with effort like that we’re sure you’ll get it done next game and many thereafter.
Nicely done GNAC, great first weekend of D2play; NNU we’re excited to see you play D2 games very soon.
POW noms & the preview of the Hilo/SMU game are up next.
Holy guacamole, welcome to Nutso November. Our schedule is a little wacky today (as is the game schedule), so the highlights of yesterday’s games will probably go up this afternoon at some point.
That said, let’s jump into previewing today’s games, seeing as one starts in under an hour.
All times pacific standard.
MSUB vs. Sonoma State @ Cal State East Bay @ 12pm
We’re curious about this game because not even Sonoma knows if Sonoma is going to be good, and both of these teams are coming off of close wins -Sonoma in 2OT and MSUB in regulation- and so we’ll see what happens. If both games in this tournament end as they did yesterday, it’ll be arguably the best basketball tournament we’ve witnessed… This year. Okay, the GNAC tourney was unbelievably fantastic too, but the more great basketball the better!
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ Cal State East Bay @ 2pm
No idea; we know nothing because it’s early in the season, the two games played in this tournament yesterday were insane, and there’s arguably an interesting dynamic that could be on display between these two teams in particular.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CWU vs. Monterey Bay @ 3pm
CWU suffered a bit of an embarrassing loss yesterday, because seriously Wildcats?! You return more than anyone else in the conference outside of the Westerns and that’s how you play?! C’mon men.
Prediction: Monterey Bay wins.
CU-PDX vs. San Bernardino State @ 5pm
We’re sooo proud of the Cavs play yesterday and feel like they’re in a great position to keep the momentum going and get a win today.
Prediction: CU-PDX wins another close one.
SMU vs. Point Loma @ 5pm
Gah, we wish we were attending this game. It should be fantastic.
Prediction: Point Loma wins a close one.
SFU vs. Notre Dame de Namur @ 5pm
Is SFU legitimate or is Hilo terrible? If we go with the ‘SFU is legit’ argument then we expect them to beat ND de Namur convincingly.
Prediction: SFU is good this year; wins by 10 or so.
UAF vs. Hawaii Pacific @ 6:30pm
UAF lost to Chaminade by a fair bit, Hawaii Pacific beat Anchorage by a fair bit, thus…
Prediction: HPU blows out UAF.
WWU vs. Hilo @ 7:30pm
Our prediction is going to be that WWU wins every game until they don’t. Their team is stacked and we’re really excited about it.
Prediction: WWU blows out Hilo.
WOU vs. Fresno Pacific @ 7:30pm
Our prediction is going to be that
WWU WOU wins every game until they don’t. Their team is stacked and we’re really excited about it.
Prediction: WOU blows out FPU.
UAA vs. Chaminade @ 9pm
Another game we’re really curious about because with the results of yesterday it looks like Chaminade and UAA could be a couple of well-matched teams because we think UAA is better than UAF and HPU is better than Chaminade.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Have fun, be safe, go GNAC!
It’s finally here!!!!! We ultimately swapped a couple of our prognostication picks just because we have a standard of not projecting transfers to do anything until we actually see them play D2 games.
This year the only teams that truly return adequately proven D2 basketball players are the Westerns -that is Western Washington and Western Oregon- and so we abandoned all of our pre-season gifs and basically everything and figure the last week of November is destined for our blog blitz because we’ll finally actually know something. Maybe.
That said… We can preview today’s games, because we do have lots of questions about them.
All times pacific standard.
Seattle Pacific vs. Sonoma State @ Cal State East Bay @ 12pm
Seattle Pacific was terrible last year but in our opinion it’s addition by subtraction; we like what they have coming back seeing as they return basically everything on a team that displayed good fundamentals -just an exceptional amount of youth and a brand new coaching staff. Sonoma is usually upper middle of the CCAA and made the Regional last year, so it should be a good battle.
Prediction: Sonoma State wins a close one.
MSU-Billings @ Cal State East Bay @ 2pm
MSUB loses Preston Beverly but returns Kendall Denham, Kamal Tall, and Sven Jeuschede, so they’ve got that going for them. Cal State East Bay is breaking in a new coach, but we swear by him (our grad school coach) and they did better than they have in the past last year, so… We think they’ve got potential.
Prediction: East Bay wins, but no idea on the margin.
Central Washington vs. San Bernardino State @ CU-PDX @ 5pm
San Bernardino didn’t do much last year and we like what CWU returns, despite their embarrassing performance against NAIA Northwest.
Prediction: CWU wins, but not particularly comfortably.
Saint Martin’s vs. Fresno Pacific @ WOU @ 5pm
We ended up switching them ahead of Anchorage in our prognostication because they return more than we realized, which is awesome. They should win without issue, although they are a team that tends to improve quite a bit throughout the season, so a loss would be nothing to panic about.
Prediction: SMU wins a close-ish one.
Simon Fraser vs. Hawaii-Hilo @ WWU @ 5pm
BRAND NEW CARVER!!!!!!!! Simon Fraser actually returns a lot, and so we’re not entirely confident in our pick of them being last in the GNAC. Players we’re really curious to see the improvement of include Othniel Spence, Michael Provenzano, JJ Pankratz, and Tyrell Lewin. We’re also excited to see what Hilo does against GNAC teams this year -thanks again to the Vulcans for coming up and swinging down through the Washington schools; everyone benefits from it.
Prediction: Hilo wins, although not a blow-out.
Alaska-Fairbanks vs. Chaminade @ 6:30pm
No idea, but it should be a good match-up because the teams usually sit in fairly similar places in their respective conferences. We’re curious about UAF, but honestly they return so little that we’re not sure this game is really going to tell us anything.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CU-Portland vs. Monterey Bay @ 7pm
We’re reaaaaally intrigued by this game because it’s yet another match-up of teams that have started to sit in similar spots in regard to middle of the conference. We love what CU-Portland returns and we can’t wait to see the great numbers they’ll put up.
Prediction: CU-Portland pulls out a win at home.
Western Oregon vs. Point Loma @ 7:30pm
We’re super curious about this game. A couple of really good coaches that almost willed their teams to NCAA Tournament bids facing off to start the season. Western Oregon, obviously we’re excited about keeping Tanner for a year -we didn’t expect him to win player of the year last year, but numbers are numbers, and this game should have fantastic ones for both teams, although probably nothing insane regard to being super low scoring or high scoring; it should be balanced.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Western Washington vs. Notre Dame de Namur @ 7:30pm
WWU returns everything and NDdN is usually terrible, so it should be a good warm-up for the Viks, provided they take it with at least a modicum of seriousness.
Prediction: WWU wins in a blow-out.
Alaska-Anchorage vs. Hawaii Pacific @ 9pm
HPU had a good run last year and Anchorage returns almost nothing, but supposedly they’ve gotten in some really amazing transfers. Unfortunately for Anchorage, we were subject to an awful former D1, two-time Oregon 5A state player of the year that was bad enough we named a rule after time: The Jake Ehlers Rule, which means we don’t count transfers in regard to pre-season rankings nor predictions -we need to see people play in actual D2 games.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Good luck to all involved, we’ll be keeping a super close eye on everything, and…
Let’s go GNAC, get some Ws!
We didn’t end up doing a preview for WWU vs. UCSD because we’re lazy. We didn’t watch the game because we were busy being poked and prodded because our tonsils decided to grow back.
Here’s our prediction prior to looking at the results or knowing ANYTHING. Kid on Christmas, right here:
UCSD is a good team. They went legendary in our mind last year when the coach won a game with four guys, due to foul-outs and injuries. We consider them and Chico State to be our “CCAA” teams. They also wear shorts of a good length -none of this man-pris junk.
Western is of course our second favorite team; we love them, we’re obsessed with them this year because they’re actually playing functional basketball and they have a ton of guys that play in the style we love. We haven’t been to as much as we have in the past because we’re not missing Husky and Seahawks games to watch teams like Quest and Fresno State.
All of that said: We expect when we reveal the results to be a battle that either team could have won. We’re hoping it was fairly close and neither team blew the other out, because SOS matters. We’re hoping the numbers are okay. Not good, because that would mean no defense. So we’ll see. It’s a toss-up. Our gut says that Western could have won big and might’ve won big, but… We’ll see.
Western Washington 104 @ UC San Diego 81
Western won big. Our gut was right. And we’re 50/50 on it. We’re the anti-bandwagon and we feel like we’re bandwagoning Western, which is uncomfortable, even though we’re well aware that we’re truer than 98% of “fans” that went there and/or live in the area.
Vikings highlights: Holy guacamole, Taylor Stafford had 44 points on 15/21 shooting, as well as picked up five assists; Trey Drechsel had 15 points, eight boards, and five assists; Logan Schilder had nine points and eight boards; Daulton Hommes had six boards; Jeffrey Parker went off, scoring 15 points; and off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had seven points and four boards.
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Not a ton of bench play, but oh my goodness. We trust Western completely, the style they’re playing is amazing, but at the same time we also trust UCSD and wonder if it was a situation like the Seahawks this weekend where they basically rolled over and died.
We looked over the UCSD numbers… Nothing horrible, nothing great. Really average game. Which is great for WWU because it means it wasn’t a bad night that can be written off; WWU was using teamwork, moving the ball, their shots were falling, and we saw them at the best of their ability against a good team.
We’ll see if we preview the Chaminade game tomorrow…
There’s so much parity and the SPU team is such a mess while still being SPU, so… Who knows? And maybe what’s even funnier is that while we know SPU is a mess, our conference overall has looked really strong, while the Pac-West in particular has looked full of parity straight up, so… It would be nice to get a win, we think the Falcons could get a win, but will they make the choice to go in and take a win? It’s hard playing Hawaii, so it’s going to have to be an active decision rather than the passiveness they’ve shown as of late.
Congrats Vikings + Good Luck Falcons!
We don’t get many statistics back about our readers, but one thing we do get is what country you’re reading from, and as such: We see you Kevin Rima =) ❤
On the horizon for today: Can we pick the Regional host after just one weekend of play? Can we pick the teams likely to make the tournament? Strength of Schedule? And why we don’t pay attention to non-D2 results.
Can you pick the Regional host after just one weekend of play?
No. But we can tell you that a bunch of teams are eliminated. SOS counts officially for D2 now. Here are the teams that by our calculation are still vying for the chance to host:
Chico -wins over CU-I and Dominican.
UCSD -wins over Dixie, Azusa, and Point Loma.
Those two are legit in the hunt to host. San Marcos and CSULA haven’t played any D2 opponents yet and so while they’re technically still in the hunt, it seems unlikely. The rest of the teams have either not strong enough wins or losses to teams that are likely middle-of-the-pack in their respective conferences. While there are always exceptions, generally speaking they aren’t regular. The last four years we’ve successfully picked the Region Host in December of that year. This is premature, but not very.
Chaminade -Beat the Alaska schools, still has to play SPU.
Azusa Pacific -lost to UCSD, but their projected strength of schedule is still insane.
Cal Baptist -undefeated with good SOS still to play.
Hawaii Pacific -Beat the Alaska schools, but doesn’t have any strength of schedule besides that. They’ll have to lose a max of one game in conference to make this schedule work.
Point Loma -Lost to WOU and SMU, we think the loss to SMU officially rules them out because we don’t think SMU is anything but an auto-bid tournament team, but PLNU theoretically has plenty of SOS left -they still play SPU and CSULA. We think CSULA will be good in conference, but if you don’t schedule yourself well in non-con there are teams that do and so it becomes a win out scenario.
WWU -this one is interesting because we’re not sure they can host because they’re playing at Whatcom Community College, which only seats like 750 people. Maybe Carver will be done in time? Maybe the low capacity isn’t a problem? They’re still definitely in the running via play -two wins on the road and still plenty of SOS available in a road game against UCSD and a neutral site game against perennially good Tarleton State.
SPU -We’re as shocked as anyone with how little they return, and while we don’t think it’s going to be a possibility much longer the fact is they won both games and they have plenty of SOS available with a game at Azusa, a neutral site game against Point Loma, and then games against the Hawaii schools in Hawaii.
CWU -That would be fun. We’d love to see CWU host again because the E-burg drive is our favorite. They won both games in California, although their SOS is suspect because they didn’t blow either team out and the only other west region SOS they have comes from Dixie State. CWU needs to be rooting like heck for SPU, WWU, and WOU in particular during the rest of non-con, because those teams all have better SOS and thus the Wildcats need regular season wins against those teams to look elite.
WOU -Took care of business on the road, but their SOS is also lacking in that all they have left is Dixie State and Westminster (RMAC). We love the Wolves and still think they’ll be fine in terms of making the tournament, but it seems like the odds of doing to the conference schedule what they did last year are much slimmer, and thus it would really help to have scheduled more SOS. In the era that Jim Shaw was at UW, that was the biggest knock on Romar’s teams -they lacked non-conference SOS, and it made Selection Sunday stressful. Granted, the Wolves won’t get sent cross country, but they could get sent to Hawaii. And saying that… Wow, Hawaii, that just sounds horrible. Sarcasm.
We think the Alaska schools are officially out of the run to host because both dropped two games in Hawaii and the only other D2west games they play are against middle-of-the-pack opponents at home this weekend. Either team would need basically an undefeated season in conference or all of the teams above them to completely fall apart. Not just one team above. Every team above from all three conferences. NNU is like CSULA/San Marcos; they just don’t play anyone in non-con and thus will need to run the table in conference and that’s hard to do that even with an NCAA tournament veteran, return-every-key-piece team like WOU had last year; considering what NNU has chronically been, it’s for all intents and purposes impossible.
Strength of Schedule is like applying to med school. There’s the method of having a bunch of extra curriculars, volunteering, and/or being a student athlete and submitting a 3.3 gpa (losing to quality opponents in non-con) vs. only focusing on school, and thus needing the 3.98 (either win out or only lose once in conference play). Two different paths, both a way to the dance, but we see the former as much more preferable to the latter. The autobids are often like the kids that have 2.0s coming out of high school, but score 2350 on the SAT and have their pick of colleges because the reality is they’re smart, they just didn’t care.
In summary, potential hosts still include: UCSD, Chico State, Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, Chaminade, WWU, SPU, CWU, and WOU. Oddly enough that’s nine teams -one more team than will be eligible to qualify for the regional, and yet we don’t think those are necessarily the teams that will qualify. It’s much easier to qualify than it is to host, because qualifying allows conference losses, auto bids, that sort of thing. The only way you’re going to host as an autobid is if you’re within those nine teams, and those nine teams are likely to get paired down substantially in the coming weeks.
Who do you think is still in the running for an at large bid?
Well, first of all: UCSD, Chico State, Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, Chaminade, WWU, SPU, CWU, and WOU.
But also: CSULA, San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona, Dixie State, BYU-Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific, CU-Irvine, Point Loma, UAF, UAA, SMU (technically), and MSUB. The GNAC teams we obviously know more -MSUB returns a ton. They’ve been playing terribly, but they return a bunch of proven-to-play well D2 guys. Same with SMU, it feels unlikely for them to qualify for an at-large bid, but we believe in that team and they host the conference tournament, so it feels like of all years, this could be the year they break through and get that auto bid. Humboldt also seems like they again have the potential for the autobid but aren’t likely for an at-large.
Basically half the teams are still in the running. The conference gauntlet is intense for every conference and we just don’t see any other team being able to overcome their lack of SOS by losing fewer than five conference games. We’re guessing that four is going to be the magic number, and that’s with SOS. A number of the teams listed above will require three losses or less, and more likely two, plus at least a win or two in their respective conference tournament.
We’ll see if we disagree with ourselves by this time next week, or better yet the week after.
Why don’t you count D1/other division games when looking at teams and how good they are?
Because they’re one-offs on both sides. D1 teams will often write off D2 opponents and play down to our level. We as D2 often write off D3/NAIA opponents and do the same thing. EJ Poulsen just had five boards against Lewis and Clark. Who cares? He was probably the tallest guy in the game by four inches and he would never play enough minutes to do that in an actual D2 game. That’s what happens in a lot of D1 games too -they do a lot of player rotation early and then go “oh shoot, these guys are better than we were thinking,” and they clamp down and blow a team out. The other side is they continue to rotate players knowing the talent gap and it remains closer than would be if they were playing for real but the fact is they’re not; it doesn’t count against their SOS to lose to a D2 opponent, even if it is embarrassing.
The only teams that have made the tournament in recent history after beating D1 opponents have been SPU in 2012 (Arizona) and WOU in 2015 (Oregon State) and both were at-large bids, thus still had incredible D2 evidence for being elite in the west. The Arizona and Oregon State games made exactly zero difference, because it’s a one off. Why would anyone put much precedence in one game when there are 25 others against truly similar opponents to look at? It’s just straight up cray, but when you make it to the NCAA D2 West Regional: you’re playing D2 opponents. If you want the D1 games to matter, be like Seattle U., abandon the GNAC and join the ranks of D1. *shakes head* Redhawks are such losers.
Pretty much it for today. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow AM and then… Nightlights? Most likely.
We mean previewing in a very abbreviated way. Mostly this is a chance to tell you what time any game is going to be played at because for the vast majority we have no clue what to expect. How about we promise NightLights tonight after all of these games go down? That seems better.
All times Pacific Standard.
SFU vs. Hawaii Hilo @ 3pm
SFU just lost to Quest, so we’re thinking Hilo is going to win.
MSUB @ Cal Baptist @ 4pm
Cal Baptist is ranked 9th in the pre-season poll. Good luck MSUB! Procure us/UAA some strength of schedule by either playing them tough or getting a win!
CWU vs San Bernardino @ 5pm
Very excited to see what the Wildcats do and hopefully pick up some SOS with a nice win against CSUSB!
WWU @ Sonoma State @ 5:30
They better bleeping win, after almost beating Washington. Let’s go Viks!
WOU @ Point Loma @ 5:30
We loved Point Loma last year and this year we’re not sure we can root against them at all no matter what, even when rationally we desperately want/need the Wolves to beat them and beat them good. C’mon WOU, you can do this. *cries*
UAA @ Chaminade @ 7:30
The Seawolves also better bleeping win. C’mon Suki, you’re our pre-season player of the year -that means you have to make us proud or we’ll sit behind you and talk mess in the future. Judging by the way you play the game of basketball you’d probably be okay with that, so we’re good. P.S. Good luck Corey Hammell, Sjur Berg, etc!
CU-PDX @ Monterey Bay @ 7pm
Expecting the worst, hoping for the best. Good luck Cavaliers!!
SPU vs. Humboldt @ 7pm
Humboldt was really good last year. *covers eyes* C’mon Falcons! They have so much history of regenerating that we feel ridiculous for doubting, but… They return NOTHING. Not even their head coach.
SMU @ Fresno Pacific @ 8pm
So freaking excited for this game. It should be fairly evenly matched, so… We’ll see. Good luck Saints!!
UAF @ Hawaii Pacific @ 9:30
This falls into the CWU category -we’re really, really, really curious. Good luck Nooks!
NNU is playing an NAIA game, so… Pray for them? They should be fine. Simpson is usually upper middle in their conference, and hasn’t been to the NAIA tournament in a while (we only know this because they’re our grad school rival) so the Crusaders should have a good chance to see what they’ve got.
Alright. Night Lights tonight will go up initially around 10pm and then we’ll update them after that so Fairbanks is included. We’ll be on twitter periodically, so feel free to @ us with your thoughts on any given game.
Let’s go GNAC -Great is in our name, time to prove it.
HOOOOLY GUACAMOLE. We’re proud of and stunned over the vast majority of the West Region right now because there were SO many close games being played today. Teams were playing up, teams were playing down, and battles were being had up and down the entirety of the west coast (including up in Alaska and out in Hawaii) and WOW.
So let’s talk about it. Here are all of the games that came down to a possession-ish:
Seattle Pacific 74 @ Alaska-Anchorage 71
Northwest Nazarene 70 @ Concordia-Portland 72
MSU-Billings 76 @ Simon Fraser 72
Fresno Pacific 94 @ Azusa Pacific 90
Hawaii Hilo 80 @ ND de Namur 82
BYU Hawaii 87 @ Point Loma 71 -not a close game, but a big upset
Hawaii Pacific 63 @ Dixie State 84 -also not a close game, but a surprising blowout
Cal Baptist 81 @ Concordia-Irvine 82
San Bernardino State 92 @ Humboldt State 93
Sonoma State 65 @ Dominguez Hills 88 -unexpected blowout, although we’ve been preaching DH since mid-November.
UC San Diego 41 @ Cal Poly Pomona 35 -meditate on this; we’re still confused and are going to end up re-watching it closely.
San Fran State 49 @ Cal State LA 63 -huge upset.
The CCAA Friday night games are what make some of those results particularly interesting. You see: Friday night was normal. Sonoma beat CSULA and San Fran State beat DH, both with roughly 10 point margins.
Records of potential conference tournament-bound teams:
Overall while the GNAC is experiencing chaos and parity, there also is separation. The CCAA, there are seven teams competing for theoretically six bids and it’s going to be a bit chaos-y, but not anywhere close to as nuts as the Pac-West. The Pac-West is a full on glorious mess. Think Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off food fight mess; yes, that good.
We’ve been following the Pac-West but hadn’t looked at the standings and now that we have… We’re aware of just how nuts they truly are: Nine teams are .500 or above in conference and Fresno Pacific is a mere two games out, with two games against 2-10 ND de Namur and a game against 2-11 HNU still to play. Granted, the rest of FPU’s schedule is terrifying, but they upset Azusa tonight AT Azusa, so… Maybe not as undoable as it looked yesterday?
With the GNAC… UAF, UAA, WWU, SPU, CWU, and WOU (in our usual blog order) are all pretty locked into their spots in the conference tournament. While we fully expect 0-12 SFU to beat someone (even someone in the top six) we still don’t expect it to undo the standings. We’re through just over half of conference play and because each pair is represented once in the top six (except the Alaskas, who are both in there) it should be fairly maintainable for all six teams.
As for the CCAA, it’ll get dicey but UCSD, Chico State, and Cal Poly Pomona can probably feel safe about their conference tournament bids. The other four it’s going to be nuts and that’s all we can say. We may be talking about another team here in the coming weeks, it all depends.
The region motto this year might as well be “Expect the unexpected,” and thus the seatbelt sign remains on. We’ve had two games in the second half of conference play and would like to remind you that seatbelts need to remain fastened until conference play comes to a full and complete stop.
What are we thinking in regard to the West Region? Who. The. Falcon. Knows.
Not them. Not the Falcons. That’s just our latest rated ‘R’ term gone ‘G.’
Here’s a west region prognostication maybe with a little bit of seeding but kinda sorta maybe not really who knows. It’s so much chaos it seems ludicrous to make a list like this, particularly with seeding, but… Here we go:
1. Western Oregon -best record, holds the tiebreaker over UCSD and it was great because it was a road win.
2. UC San Diego -great team, think they’re amazing, very solid CCAA resume.
3. CU-Irvine -we’ve liked them since they beat SPU in the first game of the year and continue to believe in them.
4. Seattle Pacific -We’d rather stick Anchorage here, but SOS counts this year and the Falcons undeniably have it.
5. Cal Baptist -another nod because of SOS with Moorhead, but we’re really not sure how we feel placing them here.
6. Chico State -their only SOS continues to be their losses to the Falcons and Cal Poly Pomona by 10 points a piece. They’re a good team, but the game at UCSD on the 12th looms rather large.
7. Alaska-Anchorage -We want them higher, but their biggest win was at SPU a month ago and the Falcons just beat them. Aside from that, they lack a quality road win because their wins against Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific were at home.
8. Azusa Pacific -Between them and BYU-Hawaii it’s not close because BYU-H’s non-conference was a mess while APU’s was quality, plus BYU-H really hasn’t had too bad of a conference schedule so far and it’s about to get brutal.
Shockingly we feel kind of comfortable with that. We don’t think it’s right in the slightest, but we feel like it’s well-reasoned at the very least, which is kind of the best you can go for right now. This is all theoretical physics, basketball edition.
Alright. Now we’re off to go write the GNAC Recaps and maybe start on some of the math for POW stuff because we like doing it by hand rather than letting a program do it for us. Statistics are good therapy, which… With this region, we need it. We need a way to let our brain relax with formulas that are consistent.
Have a great night, thanks for coming on the ride with us, it’s far from over, and for the non-GNAC, West Region people: We’ll catch-up with you on Wednesday for some discussions about national rankings.
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.