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?
Why we felt the need to do this, we’re not sure. RPI is a brat and a half to calculate on the D2 level because everyone counts their non-D2 wins as wins (which they’re not -they’re simply non-losses) so to the SIDs and committee members reading this: You’re sort of welcome. Only sort of, because it really doesn’t matter.
Basically we kicked the butts of the non-west region schools we played, but none of them are doing particularly fantastically except for MN Moorhead, so… Thanks to the Dragons for the OOR (out of region) legitimacy that splitting with you guys brought. RMAC/South Central Region -You’re our OOR buddy, we had fun attending your Regional last year, and we believe in you and your teams, so those games should increase in quality as conference play goes on.
Ultimately after going through all of the non-west region stuff, we circled back around to our original belief that none of it truly matters because of the small chance that any given team is going to match-up with one of these regions in the post-season, and the fact that if and when they do meet up -there’ll be another two thirds of the season between now and then.
Still -interesting and fun numbers. We have all of them, so if you’re curious about a particular context or something such, feel free to ask questions in the comments or on twitter.
For a lot of these guys it’s the last game they’ll play before Thanksgiving and while the vast majority won’t get to go home… All have more than earned the right to celebrate. Congrats to Saint Martin’s and Northwest Nazarene for getting it done!! Hope you guys enjoyed the very well deserved wins.
Central Washington 95, BYU Hawaii 86
We’re not even sure what to say other than: We called it. Lots of good numbers. Pretty much the only bad number came via Naim Ladd and his 2-9 shooting. Other than that, great and fairly complete performance by the Wildcats, so good day.
Highlights: Joey Roppo finished with 20 points, going 6-9 on threes; Gary Jacobs grabbed seven boards, five assists, three steals, and two fouls on his way to 22 points; Joe Stroud added six boards and 13 points along with four fouls; Devin Matthews went 8-10 from the line and finished with 16 points. Good team effort from the Wildcats, getting these two wins are big, especially because it’s literally the only non-conference they play, so really it helps all GNAC teams in some minimal way.
MSU-Billings 82, Black Hills State 80
No clue what to say about this game. Black Hills went 10-19 last year with MSUB killing them 79-61, so going off of that this win is happy but still concerning. Are the MSUB Yellowjackets out of the woods yet? No. The monsters are not yet trees. They’re still monsters and MSUB scheduled themselves very well. Part of that could be teams overlooking them thinking “yeah, we’ll schedule MSUB” and then MSUB thinking of the overlook factor. We’re not sure.
The Jackets haven’t had Momir Gataric, so that could also be playing a big role because he was huge at the end of last year.
Highlights: Marc Matthews had 24 points, six boards, and two steals but all was negated by 5 turnovers; Emmanuel Johnson had 11 points; Jace Anderson had 13 points and four assists; Christian Evans had 17 points while playing a whopping 37 minutes. Off the bench Jordan Perry had 11 points.
Northwest Nazarene 80, CSU-Los Angeles 75
The Crusaders overcame some disastrously selfish shooting and nasty turnovers to ultimately win the game. CSULA is generally speaking not a good team, so we’ll cover this in the discussions post this week, but for conference basement dwellers you basically have two options: Schedule good teams and hope you get good transfers and upset them, or schedule similarly placed teams and hope that it gets you experience and leads you to upsetting conference teams. This is the latter of those two options, we’ll see if it pays off.
Highlights: Joel Devastey had five boards; Bouna N’Diaye had 12 points; Gonzo Santana had four assists; Detwon Rogers had seven boards and 15 points; Mike Wright had 28 points and eight assists with just two turnovers. Off the bench Pol Olivier had three assists; and Kyle Bailey had five boards and eight points.
Seattle Pacific 86, Hawaii Hilo 73
Score ultimately ended up closer than what the game was. Had the huge potential for a let-down and they overcame it. They had Mitch Penner back, but still no Brendan Carroll. The Falcons went 2-2 on this weekend and hopefully it helped prepare them for next weekend because their schedule is brutal from here on out.
Highlights: BRYCE LEAVITT had a full house on good to great shooting finishing with 21 points, four assists, eight rebounds, a block, a steal, and two fouls; Garrett Swanson had seven boards, four fouls, and 16 points; Will Parker had two assists and three steals. Off the bench Mitch Penner had 17 points on 9-11 free throw shooting. Again, congrats to the Falcons for avoiding the let down.
CSU-Dominguez Hills 81, Alaska-Anchorage 78
There were a number of good things about this game and a number of bad things. The bad things largely fell into the fact that both Suki and Diante weren’t shooting well and ultimately the Seawolves (still without Brian McGill) couldn’t overcome it. The good was that there were few turnovers. Another bad thing was that there was very little defense.
Highlights: Corey Hammell had a double double with 10 boards and 17 points; Suki had nine assists and six boards while playing 40 minutes and shooting terribly; Spencer Svejcar had five boards, four assists, and 20 points. Off the bench Christian Leckband had five points and four boards, along with three blocks. The Seawolves were super close to getting it done and ultimately just couldn’t, but hopefully a good learning loss.
Colorado Christian 89, Simon Fraser 79
Another day, another learning experience. Some positively horrifying turnover issues. There were still plenty of good moments though and again: non conference is all about building experience. Colorado Christian is a good RMAC team.
Highlights: Max Barkeley had 22 points and just ONE turnover; Michael Harper had a full house including 15 points, but none of it really matters because he had seven turnovers; JJ Pankratz also had a full house including eight boards, eight points, three assists, and four blocks. Off the bench Oshea Gairey had fourteen points, although four turnovers. Pretty much it. Defense would have been nice. The good news is SFU is making progress, so… more to come.
Saint Martin’s 90, CSU-Monterey Bay 85
Good win for the Saints, super proud of them. Learning how to win is part of the process and they’re in the midst of a massive rebuild, so really good to see. Lots of super good numbers, but not very much defense. Still, a win is a win, and… Shooting 90% as a team on free throws can make us forgive you for a lot.
Highlights: Cole Preston played a whopping 40 minutes and finished with 19 points and five assists; Tyler Copp had 14 points; Jordan Kitchen had a full house including 10 points and two blocks in just 23 minutes;. Off the bench Rhett Baerlocher added four boards and four points.
Overall, a pretty good day for the GNAC. With SFU and UAA -all we ask is that you learned a lot from your losses. Granted, we also ask that of the winning teams -there’s always TONS of room for improvement. So glad to finally have Andy Avgi back, other players we hope to see again soon include: Almir Hadzisehovic, Brian McGill, Brendan Carroll, Trey Ingram, and
Stay warm and hydrated. Player of the week nominations will be up tomorrow at 10am with the winner up at 11.
Game previews for this weekend in regard to D2 action:
- BYU-H vs. CWU & SPU = good match-ups, if not rough. As covered: BYU-H just beat WWU, with a final score of 93-80.
- Hawaii Hilo vs. CWU & SPU = a winnable game for both GNAC teams; Hawaii Hilo tends to sit mid-pack in the Pac-West, so challenging but not breaking. Definitely not a cupcake, but there should be a win for both teams provided they take what’s being offered.
- Simon Fraser vs. Colorado Christian x2; Colorado Christian plays in the always strong RMAC and finished with an 11-11 conference record last year, so not a great team but definitely a good team and should be a good challenge for the Clan.
- WOU & SMU vs. CSU-Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay is perennially in the bottom quarter of the CCAA so WOU should take care of them without issue, and SMU should have the opportunity to win.
- UAA & UAF vs. CSU Dominguez Hills. Dominguez Hills is the SFU of the CCAA. We want to see Suki take fewer shots and for the Seawolves to really focus on distributing and taking good shots rather than just pseudo-available ones. In regard to UAF, we want to see Joe Slocum finally re-acclimate and do what we know he’s capable of.
- MSUB vs. Black Hills State; annual battle of the Yellowjackets. MSUB just “beat” NAIA Rocky Mountain two nights ago, but… Honestly, they didn’t win; Rocky Mountain simply lost. Games like that no one actually wins. And we say this whilst attending an NAIA school.
- WWU vs. Flagler; Flagler is a D2 school in the Peach Belt Conference (home of UNC Pembroke & University of South Carolina Aiken, notably). The Saints of Flagler finished 10-16 last year and have no one on their current roster from the pacific northwest, so… Apparently they just need their fix of rain, wind, and cold but without snow.
Pretty ho-hum weekend of basketball overall with the exception of the BYU-H games. Colorado Christian we’re curious about. GNAC teams have felt just off this year, we feel like we really haven’t started watching GNAC basketball yet because the fundamentals that we’re used to seeing (with the exception of UAF) haven’t been on display, so hopefully this weekend is the one that it clicks.
Disclaimer: This is a place holder post -this isn’t in depth, guys that deserve to be talked about aren’t being talked about. Sorry. November is crazy -it will get better.
And hopefully so will our conference because right now… things look bleak. Notable results from this weekend:
Montana Northern (NAIA) 80, Northwest Nazarene 61
Colorado Christian (D2 RMAC) 63, Saint Martin’s 53
Academy of Art (Pac-West) 107, Simon Fraser 94
West Alabama (D2 Gulf South) 65, Alaska-Fairbanks 58
Azusa Pacific (Pac-West) 81, Western Oregon 74
BYU-Hawaii (Pac-West) 87, Central Washington 61
Some of those point differentials were obviously affected by fouling, but that is a heck of a lot of losses. And the wins: Northwest Indian College (meh) and Hawaii Pacific (hmmm). The worst of it may be the fact that Simon Fraser being a threat may have been debunked and Western Oregon looking like a dark horse for conference favorite may have also been debunked. Then again… it’s WOU. They beat Cal Poly Pomona early last year, lost a bunch of games… that could still be a coin flip. And Academy of Art could be much better than anticipated.
Still, Saturday it only got worse:
Azusa Pacific (Pac-West) 86, Saint Martin’s 69
Hawaii Pacific (Pac-West) 74, Central Washington 62
Westminster (NAIA) 73, Northwest Nazarene 68
Minnesota-Moorhead (Northern Sun) 74, Alaska-Fairbanks 52
Dominican (Pac-West) 114, Simon Fraser 112
BYU-Hawaii (Pac-West) 87, Seattle Pacific 74
So… the GNAC is officially not hosting any tournament games and the NAIA Frontier Conference has our number.
The good news is: both Westerns won! The above paragraph was written before seeing the results of the second game because GNAC knowledge is power, or something. Being an “expert” of D2 basketball on the west coast… I’ll take useless talents for 100, Alex.
Some of the scores inevitably are higher because of fouling, we’ll go for the more in-depth look in the next day or so. Also coming soon is some talk about how the Pac-West and CCAA is shaking out so far.
If the player of the week nominations go up today, it’ll be surprising, but those are also on the horizon… hopefully tomorrow. Good luck tonight to Seattle Pacific and Northwest Nazarene.
The GNAC faces a grand total of nine different non-west division two schools over the course of 12 games. The schools come from three different regions and four different conferences, with an independent thrown in simply for pleasure.
Most interesting is that no west-region school would face any of the teams until the Final Four, and thus these games could help set the tone for what’s seen as a strong region vs. a weak region.
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference:
CWU and SPU play Minnesota-Crookston.
Minnesota-Crookston finished an impressive 1-21 in conference and 4-23 overall. The games are being played in the Seattle Pacific gymnasium and so it’s a literal home game for the Falcons and a virtual one for the Wildcats. While CWU will inevitably have some growing pains this year, seeing as they lost everybody on a team that finished a disappointing 8-10 in conference and 12-14 overall, this game should be a good chance to do some happy growing early in the year. SPU regardless as to the fact that they lost most of their scoring, shouldn’t have any issues considering the potential scoring threats they have waiting in the wings, no pun intended.
UAF plays Minnesota-Moorhead.
Minnesota-Moorhead finished in a three-way tie for first place in their division and a three way tie for 3rd place in their conference with a 15-7 conference record, and a 21-8 record overall. Ultimately, the school did not make the tournament nor did anyone else in their division; the Northern Sun received one auto-bid and one at large bid, both to schools in the other division. UAF is another GNAC team that suffered catastrophic losses, but they’re playing a virtual home game at UAA. The Alaska advantage is huge and Moorhead seems likely to overlook that little fact, thus while it seems likely that the Dragons will win -the Nooks should at least put up a fight.
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association:
SPU plays Washburn.
Washburn finished 5th in the MIAA with a conference record of 10-9 and overall record of 17-10. The conference itself sent four teams to the regional, and so while Washburn didn’t make the tournament, they were likely a very good team. This game is being played in Hawaii and so neither school is expected to hold an advantage nor disadvantage, and it should serve as a relatively good test for SPU with victory eventually being secured by the Falcons.
The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference:
WOU and SMU play Colorado Christian.
Colorado Christian finished 13-9 in conference and 18-15 overall, good for a 7th place standing in a difficult conference. WOU finished 4th and SMU finished 8th last year. Both teams return good cores of players. WOU finished 10-8 and 18-12; SMU finished 8-10 and 9-17. No team of the three made the tournament. The games are being played in Monmouth, thus it’s a home game for WOU. Generally speaking you never know what WOU is going to do, and so the match-up should be interesting; SMU, it’ll be a matter of whether or not they can solidify their identity this early in the season. If the Saints can, the odds seem good for a close game; if they can’t, it’ll likely be a blowout.
MSUB plays Black Hills State.
Both teams are the Yellowjackets. Black Hills State finished 8-14 in conference and 10-16 overall; MSUB finished 8-10 in conference and 12-15 overall. Black Hills State was by and far in the stronger conference, and the Montana Yellowjackets lost a fair bit of their core, but… This is actually a rivalry game. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. Black Hills killed MSUB last year, so it seems like the revenge factor might be there. MSUB is playing at home and they generally have a great home court advantage, but the wildcard of this year: the game lands the day before Elk and Deer season end. No prediction.
The Lone Star Conference:
NNU plays at Texas A&M Kingsville. NNU finished second to last with a 5-13 record in conference and a 7-19 record overall. TAMU-Kingsville finished 7-7 in conference and 19-9 overall. NNU has some interesting transfers coming in that could lead to big things, but it seems likely that Kingsville wins the game easily.
NNU and WWU both play Tarleton State.
NNU, as noted, was second to last in our conference, whereas WWU was second from the top although didn’t make the tournament. Tarleton won their conference with a 12-2 record and a 28-3 record overall. They made the tournament as the 2 seed and progressed to the round of 32, losing by a mere six points. Tarleton, like WWU, is a good team year in and year out; the match-up against NNU shouldn’t be a problem, and the match-up in Vegas with Western Washington should be one of the better games on the GNAC’s non-conference slate.
The Sunshine State Conference:
SPU & SMU play Rollins.
Rollins finished 14-13 overall last year and 8-8 in a conference that sent half their teams to the NCAA tourney, although they themselves didn’t go. Teams are different year to year and even day to day, but judging where each team finished and knowing how both SPU and SMU prepare… St. Martin’s and Rollins should be a fairly compelling match-up, but Rollins definitely holds the advantage. This is the first game either team plays in Vegas, and so the legs should be nice and fresh, which will hopefully lead to a competitive game.
Seattle Pacific is a different story; they’ll have played what’s likely to be a very exhausting game against Dixie State the day prior, and thus… they could be in kill mode, they could be in let-down mode, or they could be in “let’s get this over with mode;” we’ll have to see. It might be a good mis-match in SPU’s favor, or it might be a hard fought battle. It is doubtful, however, that the Falcons’ll get blown out.
Regardless of what actually happens, we’ll hope both GNAC teams show up in “WE LIVE IN CONSTANT DRIZZLE, TAKE YOUR SUNSHINE AND SHOVE IT,” mode. Not because the Sunshine State Conference isn’t fantastic, but simply because you know, stereotypes.
WWU plays Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. The team finished 2-10, and in the games they won had a combined margin of victory of four points. WWU is expected to have a great time on their vacation to Puerto Rico.
That is the D2 non conference for the GNAC; is the analysis in-depth? No. Because it doesn’t matter a ton anyway: the odds of a repeat game between one of the schools this calendar year is small, and the teams would be vastly different anyway. The implication overall will be basic: if we win, it won’t really say a lot; if we lose, it’ll say that we’re not as strong as we could be.
Thoughts on the DII Bulletin Pre-Season Top 25 is up next.