Tagged: CSU Monterey Bay

Late Night Hoops: West Region Chaos

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.

Previewing Today’s Games

And the Clan’s game tomorrow.

WWU @ Hawaii Pacific @ 4pm PST

Hawaii Pacific is 0-2 against the GNAC, having lost to both Alaska schools. Time for WWU to make them 0-3. If WWU fails to do that, Viking fans you have permission to grab a beverage of choice and chug until you feel content -no judgement.

SFU @ CSU Monterey Bay @ 5pm PST

Like Hawaii Pacific, Monterey Bay is 0-2 against the GNAC with their losses coming against SMU and WOU, respectively. SFU fans, today is your day. Prepare your body for the win. If you drink after this, we will judge you because wins should be soaked in -not stupored in. And if you drink after SFU losses in general, you’re probably not sober right now anyway so it doesn’t matter, eh? But today. Today is the day no booze will be necessary.

SFU @ Sonoma State @ 2pm PST tomorrow.

This is going to be a challenging game. We’re friends with some Chico people and they hate playing Sonoma. Admittedly there’s a rivalry, so it’s a little different, but if Chico fears Sonoma that means you should too. The Wolves’ record makes that fear even more pronounced: They have wins against Dominican, Holy Names, and Dixie State, plus a close loss to Academy of Art -which they avenged handsomely by killing them by 20 in their next meeting. We’re not saying “Be afraid” (okay, maybe we are a little bit) we’re saying “Bring your “A” game.”

Good luck Vikings & Clan. Make the GNAC proud!

Turkeys Earning Pumpkin Pie

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 Momir Gataric.

Stay warm and hydrated. Player of the week nominations will be up tomorrow at 10am with the winner up at 11.

So Much Good Stuff.

After last weekend’s grossness, we feel like so far… We’ve turned a corner. At least for a day.

Central Washington 100, Hawaii-Hilo 87

Um: Wildcats got it done. And it wasn’t looking good there for a while, but they finished with some really solid numbers. There really isn’t anything bad to say about this game, which is awesome. Yeah, there was some less than ideal shooting but nothing horrifyingly unpalatable.

Highlights: Joey Roppo had 18 points; Terry Dawn wasn’t shooting well but switched to rebounding and picked up seven boards in just 13 minutes; Gary Jacobs went 8/11 and 4/4 on free throws to finish with 23 points along with six boards; Joe Stroud had a FULL HOUSE grabbing six boards, two assists, one steal, four blocks, two fouls, and finished with 18 points; Devin Matthews grabbed SEVEN boards and SIX assists along with 15 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd was guilty of bad shooting but went 5/5 on free throws and grabbed five boards, so… Still not a bad day.

Alaska Fairbanks 81, CSU Dominguez Hills 73

We don’t consider this off-the-tundra and so it’s a little concerning but they pulled out the win, and a win is a win. Pretty good shooting with the exception of Ashton Edwards and Joe Slocum -they should feel ashamed of making what was a great performance by the rest of their team slightly off color. They peed in the perfectly pristine snow and now Olaf is sad.

Highlights: Bangaly Kaba had a double double with 10 boards and 18 points, along with picking up five assists and three fouls; Travante Williams had a FULL HOUSE with 15 boards, one assist, two steals, one block, two turnovers, three fouls, and sixteen points. Everyone else wasn’t great but wasn’t horrible either and it was enough. Less than ideal to rely on essentially two players, but… We continue to wait for Almir and Joe to show up.

Seattle Pacific 84, BYU-Hawaii 60

Um, Falcons say what?!? And this was without starters Brendan Carroll and Mitch Penner playing at all. Joe Slocum may not have shown up for UAF, but Joe Rasmussen showed up in a big way for Seattle Pacific. Joe’s performance is what a center should be: he missed two threes and then realized that the paint is his life’s will and made every single shot. It’s not that complicated. Other GNAC centers, please take note. We never thought we’d say that about Joe Rasmussen (okay, we did like three years ago when he committed to SPU, but not since then) and yet, here we are.

Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five assists, 12 points, and three fouls; Will Parker had seven assists and just two turnovers; and Gilles Dierickx went 6/6 and grabbed seven boards. Off the bench Joe Rasmussen picked up five boards while scoring 20 points; Nathan Streufert went 4-4 on FTs and grabbed five boards.

Western Washington 92, Flagler 53

Nothing bad about this game except the competition, ha! But seriously: The competition was bad and the Vikings got let out for a much needed run. Wednesday night was brutal. Good to see them bounce back, but really hard to know what it means. Flagler was 10-16 last year, so… The Vikings did what they needed to do, but it won’t feel right until they do it against a school that actually matters and they may not play one until January 7th. We’re sure everyone’s eyeing the SPU game on December 5th, but… We don’t necessarily agree. It’s at WWU, the Vikings should win because they have tons of experience and the Falcons have none. WWU rarely has a good time against UAF in Fairbanks and so from our perspective… That’ll be the bar.

Highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had five assists; Kyle Impero had 13 points; Colby Mitchell grabbed 11 boards and four fouls; Jeff Parker had seven boards and 20 points; Mac Johnson is slowly getting back to where he was with eight boards, 13 points, and two blocks, but… Really? Against Flagler? It still should have been more. Off the bench Brett Kingma had 13 points; and Harris Javier had five assists, three steals, and five points.

Colorado Christian 89, Simon Fraser 82

Not a bad night besides the shooting of Max Barkeley, the turnovers of Michael Harper, and the shooting of Oshea Gairey. No seriously, it was a good night. The Clan had every chance to win it and couldn’t get it done, but huge for growth. If you’re getting to the point of playing the fouling game with a very quality RMAC team, you’re making progress. They play the Cougars again today and hopefully will get the ‘W.’

Highlights: Hidde Vos had six assists and seventeen points; Max Barkley had six assists; Michael Harper had 13 points; JJ Pankratz had 12 points, nine boards, one assist, three steals, five blocks, three fouls, and ZERO turnovers for a gold star full house (that is: a full house without filling in the T/O column); finally, Tyrell Lewin had 10 points. Off the bench Gibran Sweani had 12 points on 6-7 shooting.

Western Oregon 79, CSU Monterey Bay 67

ANDY’S FIRST GAME BACK!!!!! And he came off the bench. Very exciting stuff. The team finally clicked, 100% what we expected, and we’re so glad to see the Wolves do exactly what we know they’re capable of. Still, let’s be real: This was CSU-Monterey Bay. It’s good to see them click, but there’s miles to go before they sleep.

Highlights: Devon Alexander had seven assists, three steals, and 10 points; Julian Nichols had a full house with two boards, two assists, three steals, one block, two fouls, and 20 points; Jordan Wiley also had a full house with four boards, one assist, one steal, one block, two fouls, and eight points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had eight points and four boards; ANDY AVGI, the man himself, had three boards, two assists, one steal, and 20 points.

Definitely a good night for the GNAC. Not really concerned with a loss to the RMAC just because the RMAC is projected as good and SFU is seen as a cupcake, so if the Clan can get the win today that would be really good, but it shouldn’t affect SOS too much -if anything it’ll affect Colorado Christian’s, so… Do it Clan!

What else? Travante Williams. Joe Rasmussen. JJ Pankratz. An Andy sighting. Definitely the most exciting parts of the evening. Ridiculously proud of all four of them. Intrigued by what’s on the horizon for today.

Alright GNAC: Onward!


Previewing This Weekend’s Games

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.

The Non-Conference Schedule

Last year we did an absolute TON about the non-conference schedule. This year because so few guys are coming back and we really don’t know what to expect out of our own conference there’s not nearly as much, BUT we will go through some of the stuff here and discuss what we like and don’t like. Hint: We don’t like weak non-conference opponents & non-west region games.

Non-Conference Highlights:

  • Alaska Anchorage @ Cal Baptist.
  • WOU vs. Point Loma -not a tourney team, but close.
  • Seattle Pacific @ Dixie State.
  • Western Washington vs. BYU-Hawaii
  • Seattle Pacific vs. BYU-Hawaii
  • Seattle Pacific vs. Azusa Pacific
  • Seattle Pacific @ Chico State

Here’s the sitch as to why that list so heavily favors the Falcons: SPU plays four tournament teams. SPU was a tournament team. Yes, they lost almost everythingBUT much as we don’t talk about it: their roster isn’t unrecognizable.

The games that are highlighted are games that are going to tell us things. If Anchorage keeps it close against CBU or beats them, that could be really good. If WOU beats the pants off of Point Loma, again, good. All of the BYUH games are big.

Here’s the break down of each school and their West Region opponents:

Hawaii Pacific
Cal State Dominguez Hills
Dixie State

Not a bad schedule. Should be pretty interesting, they should be able to at least be in every game and win 2-3 of them.

Cal Baptist
Hawaii Pacific
Cal State Dominguez Hills

This is gonna be a bit of a challenge. Only Dominguez Hills is gonna be a gimme on that schedule, so… we’ll see what they do. It’ll be great to compare the Seawolves performance against CBU vs. CU-Portland’s. Hawaii Pacific is another great comparison school.

@ CSU Monterey Bay
Sonoma State

Disappointing. It’s hard to say that we don’t expect them to lose. It’ll be great if they can get a win, but if they can’t, well, it’s SFU.

Hawaii Pacific

So unappetizing. They do play a couple of other D2 opponents that aren’t west region, but… eh. The BYU-Hawaii game is going to be full of intrigue. Both games are completely winnable, so… We shall see. It doesn’t do our conference any favors, that’s for sure. We need WWU to start playing in more in-region and fewer cupcakes, especially now that SOS is officially being considered for bids.

Dixie State
Hawaii Hilo
Cal State East Bay
Chico State
Azusa Pacific

Pretty near perfect. It’s entirely chock full of West Region teams, lots of ways to test themselves before conference play, it might not always be ideal results but they’re gonna learn from it and be that much stronger than they would be playing cupcakes. This schedule is designed to show them who they are and figure out how to make their weaknesses strengths; the only guarantee we see is East Bay. If they can somehow miraculously win five of these games… it’ll help everyone, conference wide. Good luck Falcons, we believe in you.

Fresno Pacific
Point Loma
Hawaii Hilo

Good schedule considering it’s a new coaching staff and some young but good guys. It should test them and teach them and give us a fair bit of information. Like the match-ups because it should bend but not break them; the games should be close, although no predicting who’ll win.

Chico State
Dixie State
Azusa Pacific

SPU + MSUB = FOREVER. Though far more brutal on the side of the Yellowjackets. Chico State, Dixie State, Azusa, heck even Dominican? Yikes. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Jackets go 0-4. That’s okay, it won’t be the end of the world for our conference, no one is really expecting MSUB to be super good, so if they pull a couple of upsets it’s great, but if they don’t it’s par for the course.

Hawaii Hilo

Not digging this. Kind of a lose-lose. If they win both, it’s only two games. If they lose both, it’s a big yikes. If they split winning against BYU-H and losing to Hawaii Hilo everyone’s gonna cringe, and if they beat Hawaii Hilo and lose to BYUH it’s just par for the course.

San Francisco State

Yikes. That’s pretty much NNU in a nutshell until we see otherwise. With Alex and Erik this schedule would be doable and teach them a lot. Without those two… It honestly doesn’t matter who they play. At least they’re gonna lose against mediocrity so it won’t make the other conferences look extra good?

Dixie State
CU-Irvine x2
Cal Baptist

They’re trying to make the Concordias rivals, which is kind of stupid honestly. Dixie State and Cal Baptist will probably brutalize them, so hopefully they can win against their sibling. Their non-con is mostly NAIA, which makes sense and isn’t the worst thing this year because the big problem is they just can’t prepare because regardless of whom they play: they don’t return enough. So we’ll see. They could do really well. You never know.

CSU Monterey Bay
Notre Dame de Namur

Ewww. C’mon WOU, you knew you were going to be better than that and this isn’t going to teach you anything. It’s also not doing our conference any favors, much less yourselves. You want to compete for an at-large NCAA bid? Prove your strength of schedule. SPU does that -you don’t. Heck, Anchorage does that. MSUB does that. If you’re counting on an at-large bid -you just made it that much more difficult for you AND all ten other conference teams. If SOS was being counted last year… Iffy. Your entire schedule would have rested on a win against Dixie, a couple of close losses to APU & Point Loma, a quality-ish loss to SPU on the road, and then a 2OT win against the Falcons at home.

That’s what we’re thinking. Excited to dive in.

The Non-Vegas Games

Welcome to the Day After Christmas Blog Binge… there are four posts ahead of you today, all going up one hour apart, just to avoid spamming your inboxes that much, because stuff is about to get real here in the GNAC.

First things first: Non Las Vegas games.

Chaminade 82, MSU-Billings 65

At least this loss is out of the way. No one played particularly well, but Momir Gataric at least went 6-6 on free throws; make them count, right?

Hawaii Pacific 73, MSU-Billings 45

Is it over yet? Can we unplug our ears? Good. Uh oh. At least they had 28 rebounds as a team? There’s something okay.

CSU Monterey Bay 75, Northwest Nazarene 68

There were so many great things about watching NNU actually play cohesively as a team. When you play like that, upsets almost happen; when you play like that, everyone’s stats look pretty okay. Both Keven Rima AND Matyas Hering had a double-double; Mike Wright had 18 points, seven assists, and five boards; Erik Kinney had 15 points and four rebounds; David Shedrick had 11 points off the bench.

Northwest Nazarene 60, Dominican 51.

Erik Kinney had a great game; Alex Birketoft had a full house; Bouna N’Diaye was finally productive again. Awesome win for the Crusaders, for whom wins have been far and few in between.

Up next: A conference ranking in order of how things stand now.

Pac-West vs. the CCAA

Holy Names plays @ CSU Monterey Bay, @ CSU Dominguez Hills, and Sonoma State.

Dominican plays @ CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU East Bay, Sonoma State, @ Chico State, and San Francisco State

Cal Baptist plays @ CSU Dominguez Hills, and @ San Francisco State,

Point Loma plays CSU Dominguez Hills, @ Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal State Los Angeles.

Fresno Pacific plays @ Cal State Los Angeles.

Academy of Art plays @ San Francisco State.

Dixie State plays Stanislaus.

A final tally of 19 games involving all but four Pac-West conference schools; the Hawaii schools are too busy playing GNAC schools to get into the mix against the CCAA.

The first thing that stands out is that Dixie State plays CSU-Stanislaus. From a conference perspective, Stanislaus was the team that beat SPU in the tournament during OT, Dixie State beat SPU in OT in non-conference last year, the teams are going to be different but there’s still a connection. Stanislaus is rather reminiscent of MSUB in terms of the GNAC; they got really good as the season progressed and so their conference record didn’t necessarily reflect their capabilities. Always fun to watch those teams.

For the most part the schedule above shows mismatches of the strong playing the theoretical weak. There are only a few tournament teams that play each other. It’s becoming a trend that the tournament teams tend to play smaller division schools. I wish this was more frowned upon; as I’ve noted: I’m a big fan of strength of schedule, just because… compelling match-ups are compelling. While we’ll always say ‘any given year’ c’mon! Let’s get more of the frequent tournament teams playing each other. I grew up in the Pac-10, where beating each other up is not only expected but encouraged.

And unlike football, basketball schedules aren’t set in stone years ahead of time; while there’s some early scheduling, there’s still plenty of room to move even during the month of August. No, there’s probably concern about reputation on a national level and the whole “no one really wins when everyone has an average record” but… even as a REGION, the number of D2 teams we collectively play outside of our region is negligible, plus doesn’t really matter because only one team is gonna make the Elite 8 anyway.

Originally the plan was to post the CCAA, GNAC, and Pac-West D2 non-west region match-ups, but the CCAA is yet to post their composite schedule, so we shall see what’s on the horizon for tomorrow.