What a fun night of games! Don’t let the scores fool you -every game was close.
WWU 69 @ SFU 54
SFU was in it for a good chunk of the first half and then WWU walked it up and walked away and was for the most part able to stay there. Teamwork makes the dream work. Live by the streaky shooter, die by the streaky shooter.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had 13 boards; Siaan Rojas started and had eight boards and 10 points; Deandre Dickson had 13 boards and 17 points -holy guacamole-; Trevor Jasinsky had 13 points; and Daulton Hommes had a “quiet night” with a full house including 11 points and two blocks. Off the bench Brett Kingma had seven points and three steals; and Brad Wallace had six points and four assists.
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam had 26 points and seven boards.
Woof. The fact that the Clan led at one point proves how fickle things were. Once the Vikings kicked into gear it was all over. Congrats to the Viks on a good win and good luck to SFU in bouncing back.
SFU 73 @ MSUB 78
SFU led by 15 at one point. Once again: Live by the streaky shooter, die by the streaky shooter. This is an interesting result because as noted: SFU has better shooters but MSUB has the better fundamentals and… fundamentals won the day. Again.
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam had 22 points and five boards; and Michael Provenzano had five assists; Tyrell Lewin had 17 points and seven boards; and off the bench Othniel Spence had 16 points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Zharon Richmond had 18 points, nine boards, and a full house; and Tyler Green had 22 points and a full house. Off the bench Kobe Tereshima had 11 points and five boards; Kamal Tall had five points; and Daniel Shedden had eight points and five boards.
The “all underachieving team” can basically be made up of players from these two teams. Michael Provenzano, JJ Pankratz, Kendall Denham, and Kamal Tall are all guys we’ve written and highlighted regularly in the past and yet none of them have done much this year. Still -fun game to watch, congrats to both teams on valiant effort.
UAF 80 @ NNU 74
THIS GAME WAS SO MUCH FUN. Despite Maurice Jones being gone, which may or may not have been what made it fun. We’re withholding judgment because you never know and it was still back and forth the whole time. One team would be up for a bit and you’d think “okay, cruise control?” Hoooo no, absolutely not. Went until the final minute or so and then UAF kept the lead, but it was still exciting even then because… Was NNU gonna pull late game theatrics? Didn’t happen, but it very plausibly could have.
Nanook highlights: DONNY WILDER ACTUALLY FUNCTIONED and had 12 points and seven boards; Alex Baham had 17 points, five boards, and four assists; Davis Kimball had 16 points and five assists; and Tre Eisenhut started and had 11 points. Off the bench Amenofis Mitchell had 10 points; and Michael Kluting had six points.
Nighthawk highlights: Obi Megwa had 16 points, six boards, and six assists; Sam Roth had eight boards; and Jayden Bezzant had 24 points. Off the bench Dylan Brink had eight points; Felix White had six points; and Spider Adetunji had five points and eight boards.
Congrats to both teams on a game well played.
UAA 71 @ CWU 72 in OT
What’s funny about this game, is it actually wasn’t that exciting for huge stretches. At one point CWU led by 10 and it was like “alright, they’re rolling.” Nooope. Not with Anchorage around. Poor Anchorage and their growing pains; they’ve lost their last three games by a combined 10 points. Zoinks. It gets better? No, no question: the experience comes and it does get better. While yes, you’d be winning with Jacob, the thing is we’ve seen you grow so much as a team without him, that it may be painful but it’s probably worth it.
Seawolf highlights: DJ Ursery had six boards; Josiah Wood had five boards and eight assists; Jack MacDonald had 17 points; and Brian Peason had six boards and eight points. Off the bench Malik Clements had 11 points; and Drew Peterson had 12 points.
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had five boards; Jawan Stepney had 14 points and six assists; and Fuquan Niles was contained with 11 boards and a mere eight points. Off the bench Naim Ladd had 12 points; Sage Woodruff had seven boards and 13 points; and Cameron Williams had seven points.
Again: fun game and pretty good in terms of not taking mind-blowingly stupid shots. There were definitely some, but it was particular players and not any type of epidemic. Congrats to both teams.
CU-PDX 72 @ SPU 74
Lord knows what went wrong in the final minute, but SMU now knows that they best watch their backs because they’re now the Cavs latest target to get their first GNAC win of the year.
Cav highlights: Jarrett Gray had 27 points and eight boards; Bryan Michaels had nine points; Chris Edward had 13 points and four blocks; Hunter Sweet started and had 10 points and five boards; and off the bench Cody Starr had five boards.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had five boards; Nikhil Lizotte had 10 points; Gabe Colosimo had 10 points; Nathan Streufert had eight points and nine boards; and Gavin Long had 15 points. Off the bench Braden Olsen had seven points; and Harry Cavell had 14 points and seven boards among a full house.
And another team Cougs it against SPU. SPU was missing TWO STARTERS and the Cavs couldn’t pull it off. Interesting. Or SPU is just that good. Who knows?
WOU 79 @ SMU 71
OH MY GOD!!!!!!! This game was fairly nuts. The Wolves were in fact running and Tanner Omlid played a whopping 34 minutes and was on track for it even before SMU came roaring back from a 17 point deficit. There was some fun play from the Wolves bench, but… Never turn your back on the Saints, even if their numbers are collectively laughable.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 19 points and six boards among a full house; Vince Boumann had 10 points and five boards; and Ali Faruq-Bey had 14 points. Off the bench Janvier Alaby had seven points and four boards; and Darius Luborn had five points.
Saint highlights: Luke Chavez had 13 points; and off the bench Jared Matthews had seven points; Jordan Kitchen had eight points and five boards; BJ Standley had 14 points and four boards; and Cameron Chatwin continues to get his legs back with six points.
Really excited about the second match-up for these two teams and it was fun watching Tanner Omlid actually play.
Great night of hoops, congrats to all on a great effort.
Game previews will be up tomorrow at 11am.
These are the Player-of-the-Week nominations from the conference games that were played in the week prior to and after the Christmas break.
UAF: Michael Kluting
UAA: N/A —> Donated to Trey Drechsel of WWU.
SFU: JJ Pankratz
WWU: Daulton Hommes
SPU: Nathan Streufert
SMU: Luke Chavez & Tavian Henderson
CWU: N/A —> Donated to Deandre Dickson of WWU.
NNU: Obi Megwa
MSUB: Zharon Richmond
CU-PDX: Christopher Edward
WOU: N/A —> Donated to Tony Miller of SPU.
A couple of reminders about nominations:
- One good game does not a player of the week make. We use what’s essentially the production stat and there are minimums for each game that need to be hit. It doesn’t matter how well a guy plays in one game if he doesn’t do anything in the other.
- We do take into account minutes restrictions and can modify it as needed; in this particular case, Tanner Omlid’s shooting from the field meant modifying the number of minutes played was moot. He’s wholly capable of hitting the minimums even while restricted to 20 minutes a night.
Winner’ll be up in an hour.
Good morning and what a fantastic night of basketball!
SMU 71 @ UAF 78
We may have been wrong, but the score actually makes us really happy because it is such a good match-up and such a great confidence boost for UAF to win this game. This is the type of team they want to be working toward, and so seeing that you can win that way and beat a team similar to yourselves but farther along in the process is amazing. Never underestimate that home tundra advantage. The score is a little misleading -UAF was leading the vast majority of the way and SMU stayed in it, but never really got close.
Saint highlights: Rhett Baerlocher had a good game, finishing with 16 points and seven boards; Luke Chavez finished with 18 points and seven boards; and off the bench Jared Matthews had five points; and Robert Little had seven points and six boards.
Nook highlights: Donny Wilder had nine points and five boards; Alex Baham had 16 points and five boards while shooting 50% from three; Davis Kimball had 11 points; Tre Eisenhut started and had 11 points and seven assists; and Joe Lendway was lights out going 6-7 and grabbing a full house among 12 points, six boards, and a smattering of other stats. Off the bench Michael Kluting had 14 points and a whopping 12 boards, while Amenofis Mitchell had five points.
So SMU had a bad day while UAF played the best basketball we’ve seen them play so far. That’s great news for both teams -SMU still didn’t get blown out on the road, and UAF was able to win convincingly when they work as a team. All good news. Good job to both teams.
NNU 82 @ SFU 81
Really happy about this game, two insanely well matched teams, we can’t wait for the second round at NNU, although our feeling is that one won’t be quite as close -never underestimate the home nest advantage of NNU.
Nighthawk highlights: Obi Megwa had a good game with 27 points and six assists; Sam Roth shot lights out and finished with 10 points and five boards; Marko Lepovic was cold but productive, finishing with 7 boards and three assists despite zero points; Maurice Jones had a double-double with 24 points and 11 boards. No real bench play, but no doubt some good relief minutes.
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam had 27 points along with six boards and five assists; Iziah Sherman-Newsome had 15 points and 11 boards; JJ Pankratz impressed with 14 points; and off the bench Othniel Spence continued his consistency wtih 13 points.
Really solid game by both teams, we’re super ridiculously pleased with both performances, it was a fun game and we feel like both teams grew from it. This could actually turn into an underrated rivalry -they tend to be around the same location in the conference standings regardless as to how good or bad the year is, and so now that both are good it could be pretty fun.
CWU 67 @ WWU 77
It was a game for SO long and then the Vikings eventually pulled away just enough. But CWU was in it, oh ho ho was CWU in it for an insanely long time, despite atrociously bad numbers. Nicely done Wildcats, you’ll get ’em next time.
Wildcat highlights: Jerome Bryant had 13 points; Fuquan Niles was kept quiet with 12 boards and five fouls. Off the bench was where the Wildcats really saw their big play with Naim Ladd having 14 points and Sage Woodruff 13.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had 18 points and 11 boards while going 8-8 from the line; Logan Schilder had eight boards; Deandre Dickson had 13 boards and a full house; Trevor Jasinsky had 12 points; and Daulton Hommes had 17 points and 10 boards. The Vikings had no real bench play, but did get some good relief minutes especially via Brad Wallace.
Rivalry games gonna rivalry game. Congrats to both teams. Can’t wait for the next one!
MSUB 68 @ WOU 92
There we go. Nicely done Wolves. Minutes restrictionnnn.
Yellowjacket highlights: Zack Rollins had 12 points; and off the bench Kobe Tereshima continues to impress with 17 points and six boards; Zack Lessinger had six points; Hafeez Abdul had seven points and four boards; and Daniel Shedden had 12 points and five fouls.
Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan made noise with 11 points; Tanner Omlid had 10 points, five boards, and a perfect full house; Vince Boumann had eight points; and Riley Hawken had 12 points and nine boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had 14 points (oooh!); Janvier Alaby had 11 points; Darius Luborn had six points; and JJ Chirnside had 10 points, five boards, and five assists.
There we go Wolves, back on it. Big games this week against Spartin, so this is really good to see.
SPU 57 @ UAA 54
So the Falcons get the Alaska sweep. Good times. No Jacob Lampkin. Do they get it if he plays? Probably not, but who knows. UAA put up some really bad numbers and SPU still struggled to beat them, so it is what it is. They got the W and that’s what matters.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 15 points and nine boards; Gabe Colosimo had six boards; Nathan Streufert had 10 points and 11 boards for the double-double; and off the bench Hunter Eisenhower had seven points.
Seawolf highlights: Jack Macdonald had 12 points; Brian Pearson had nine boards; and off the bench DJ Ursery had a fantastic game with 23 points and seven boards; while Josiah Wood had five points.
Interesting game of basketball if not a good game. This is youth showing through on the part of the Seawolves. At some point they’ll start winning these close games. Definitely easier to do it at home, but Coach Oz usually likes life on hard mode, so why not do it on the road? Coach Oz is our spirit animal as it comes to GNAC coaches, so we rib him regularly, but he’s bae.
Really fun night of basketball, lots of great moments. We’ll get caught up on POW for the split week of GNAC play and then this week tomorrow, so that’ll be exciting. Congrats to all teams on hard fought games well played.
All times pacific.
SMU @ UAF @ 3pm
Interesting match-up in the sense that SMU has done what UAF should be trying to do in terms of type of coaching, recruiting, and execution and all of that, but UAF is definitely far behind where the Saints are now. SMU shouldn’t have an issue.
Prediction: SMU wins big.
NNU @ SFU @ 7pm
We’re sooo curious about this game because both teams are better than normal and both have been really up and down. We think NNU has shown a much better ability as it comes to fundamentals, but we’re not sure that this is the type of game where fundamentals are going to win the day. We think SFU is going to try and push the pace, although not quite to the breakneck pace of the Sango Niang days. Still, it should be an interesting game. The evidence suggests that NNU is capable of blowing out SFU, but SFU is also capable of blowing out NNU.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CWU @ WWU @ 7pm
RIVALRY GAME!!!!!!! Last year we were on Team Meteor, this year we’re straight up rooting for WWU, although it’s counterintuitive because we really want their 5-0 start ended. We’ll see what happens. Logan getting manhandled by Fuquan? Could be fun. We feel bad for anyone actually attending this game -we’ve been in the new Carver and while the building seemingly got a huge facelift, the gym didn’t really change at all except we’re convinced they did something to make it way louder. When we were there it was maybe 25% full; this game should be packed and hearing damage will probably be the operative.
Prediction: Pick ’em, although WWU should win fairly convincingly.
MSUB @ WOU @ 7:30pm
MSUB got a nice win over CU-PDX, but WOU really needs a bounce back game. Yes, the Wolves need a bounce back game after winning by 11. It’s how it’s done, not what the score is. We used to try and convince our alma mater of that… They never believed us, just told us to stop whining because we’d won by 25. WOU made the Final Four. Our alma mater hasn’t been able to get past the Sweet 16. Hmmm… We think WOU knows what’s up.
Prediction: MSUB hangs around for a while, but WOU ultimately wins comfortably.
SPU @ UAA @ 8pm
This game should be incredible. SPU just killed UAF, UAA just lost a close one to SMU. We’re not sure what’s going on with Lampkin, because frankly every game will be played regardless as to what’s going on with him and so we haven’t looked into the issue, but… It will be seen. SPU’s style is basically to play big, and so not only do they have the talent advantage, while they don’t have a direct counter for him, even if he returns it shouldn’t require any type of game plan shift.
Prediction: SPU should win, but we’ll still say it’s a pick ’em.
Again: it should be a really fun night of basketball and we can’t wait! We’ll catch-up with you guys in the morning.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Welcome to the second “real” weekend of GNAC play.
All times pacific.
CWU @ SFU @ 7pm
SFU just Coug’d it against SPU, CWU just beat D3 Linfield. While CWU is the better team, it’s a close match-up and so if SFU can learn from their mistakes and not send 95% free throw shooters to the line while leading by two in the final seconds, we think it could be a super competitive game.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
NNU @ WWU @ 7pm
We’re torn on whether or not this should be a good game. NNU looked good early in the season and they have good players but they haven’t been good as of late. WWU is 4-0 in conference. On the one hand there’s a thought that it still should be a good game if NNU can finally wake up, but on the other hand it’s like “Are you joking? NNU isn’t gonna wake up at WWU of all places.”
Prediction: It’s either a pick ’em, or a blow-out; WWU won’t simply win comfortably.
MSUB @ CU-PDX @ 7:30pm
Concordia is currently 0-5 in conference and while MSUB is back on the upswing… It would be a really good game for Concordia to get back into the groove of things. Concordia is irritating us because we look at where they are in the standings and then we think of their player make-up and we’re like “this can’t be happening, it makes no sense, this is the strongest team they’ve had since they’ve been in the conference,” so… We keep expecting something to happen. As with Simon Fraser in other years: something will happen eventually.
Prediction: Pick ’em, but we also won’t be surprised if MSUB straight-up wins.
SPU @ UAF @ 8pm
Who knows? SPU just had a team Coug it against them, meanwhile having as perfect of numbers as we’ve ever seen. The numbers say they should have won by 30 and yet they still almost lost, and so… On the one hand, it should be hard for UAF to win if the Falcons put up numbers like that; on the other hand, they’re now on the road so why shouldn’t the Nooks get the ‘W’?
Prediction: SPU comes away with the ‘W,’ but no inclination on the margin.
SMU @ UAA @ 8pm
We’re super excited for this game because we think SMU has no real good solution for Jacob Lampkin himself, and yet the overall team should have no problem with UAA. Jacob Lampkin has been singlehandedly carrying the Seawolves and so if he has the type of game we know he’s capable of (30 & 15), we think SMU is going down. If he doesn’t and it’s more teamwork reliant, then SMU shouldn’t have any type of problem with the Seawolves and it should be a great middle-of-the-season “grinding,” game.
Prediction: SMU wins comfortably OR the Seawolves win a close one. We don’t think if it’s close it’ll favor SMU.
Overall it should be a good night. Good luck to all of the teams.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Hoooo boy, welcome to our 500th post, what a night of games!
NNU 88 @ MSUB 99
That score looks normal enough. It was anything but a normal game. MSUB went WAYYYY up and then NNU started to battle it back and then MSUB would get it more comfortable and then NNU would come back and finally MSUB got the win, but it was within six with only a couple of minutes left, so… Very exciting game. Almost no defense. We can’t decide that because the GNAC seemingly looks like the strongest conference in the Region wins like this help us or hurt us, because… NNU looked good in non-con, MSUB got swept by the mediocre Alaska schools, and now MSUB convincingly beat NNU. Hmmm.
Nighthawk highlights: Khalil Thompson had 16 points including being 5-5 from the line; Obi Megwa continues to impress with 25 points and five assists; Marko Lepovic had 9 points on great shooting; Maurice Jones continues to be off, but did grab 10 boards. Off the bench Nikola Prvulj had seven points and four boards; Sam Roth had nine points and five boards as well as a full house; and Spider finished with seven points and ten boards.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham was 5-6 from the line; Zharon Richmond had another great game with 18 points and seven boards; Kamal Tall had 10 boards; Zack Rollins had 18 points and seven boards; and Sven Jeuschede had 17 points. Off the bench Daniel Shedden was 8-8 from the field and finished with 21 points.
You know that feeling when you have to sneeze but you can’t? That’s how we feel about those numbers and that result mixed with the events of the game. Congrats to MSUB on a solid win/not choking it away!
SPU 93 @ SPU 98 in OT
We said we were curious about the numbers… They were a douzy. SFU was called for 29 fouls vs. SPU’s 12 and SPU still almost lost. We were honestly really hoping SFU would get the upset and for so long it looked like our wish would come true and then they decided to foul Nikhil completely unnecessarily. Rules to winning against SPU: 1. DO NOT FOUL NIKHIL. He shoots like 25% from the field and 95% from the line. You think that’s an exaggeration. It’s not.
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam had 14 points; Iziah Sherman-Newsome had 22 points; Michael Provenzano had 14 points; JJ Pankratz had 23 points, six boards, and five assists; and off the bench Othniel Spence had 14 points, six boards, and a full house.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 14 points and five boards; Nathan Streufert had another lights out game wiht 18 points and 10 boards along with a full house; Tony Miller had 21 points and eight boards; and Gavin Long had 15 points. Off the bench Harry Cavell had 11 points and nine boards while being 5-5 from the line; Nikhil Lizotte went 10-10 from the line and finished with 16 points.
SPU put up as perfect of numbers as we’ve ever seen, every foul was in their favor, and they still almost lost. How do you do that? We do not consider this to be an SPU win so much as a Simon Fraser loss.
WWU 90 @ SMU 86
This is another game of “don’t let the score fool you,” because WWU was in control consistently and then SMU decided that they were going to get back in it and started putting it together and ultimately never could surmount the Vikings lead, but we’ll be darned if they didn’t give a valiant effort in their attempt.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had 11 points, nine assists, and five fouls; Deandre Dickson had 15 points, nine boards, and a whopping five blocks; Trevor Jasinsky had 11 points and a full house including five fouls; and Daulton continues to make his name a verb, finishing with 29 points, seven boards, and a full house. Off the bench Blake Fernandez had nine points; and Siaan Rojas had 12 points.
Saint highlights: Matt Dahlen went 10-11 from the line, finishing with five boards and 16 points; Tavian Hederson had nine points and nine boards; EJ Boyce had 15 points; and Luke Chavez finished with 25 points, four boards, and five assists. Off the bench Jared Matthews had seven boards; and Jordan Kitchen had six boards and seven points.
These numbers are also really interesting because WWU’s fall on the side of bad, while SMU’s fall on the side of typical, and yet WWU started way up and then we’re guessing got worse as the night went on, whereas SMU just kept grinding and sure enough almost got the victory. SMU is so new this year that losses like this are going to happen, but the score ending like it did shows that a couple of minor tweaks and a bit of the maturation that goes on throughout the season should serve them really well. Very fun game -congrats to the Viks on pulling out a hard fought victory.
Really, really fun night of basketball. Our big plans for NYE are finally finishing printing the non-con stats so we can take a good hard look at them, so… We’ll see. Hopefully that’ll be dealt with tomorrow. The other big plan we have is to tentatively launch the other blog tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that -we’ll keep you guys posted.
In addition to this being our 500th post, we also recently reached 150 followers -thank-you guys so much for following, and reading along, with what is really just a project we work on because we’re thinking about all of this stuff anyway so it’s like “well, may as well blog!” To all of the people that lurk but don’t subscribe -we know you’re there and we love you, thank-you much!
Tonight: Be safe, have fun, if you choose to imbibe DO NOT DRIVE.
Congrats to all teams on sending out 2017 with high octane basketball.
Well… This is unexpected in that it went exactly as we expected, except for a few specific lines, but more about that in a bit.
Simon Fraser 66 @ Saint Martin’s 82
This is what happens when SFU faces a real team that not only has fairly skilled players but also a great amount of teamwork. Their already questionable numbers get more questionable and while they’re able to shoot, shoot, shoot, it doesn’t matter how much they shoot because the other team actually plays defense and so the shots don’t fall as much. It is what it is. It’s a learning experience.
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam went 5-6 from the line and had five boards; JJ Pankratz had a fairly good game with nine boards and 16 points along with a full house; Tyrell Lewin had 13 points and five boards on solid shooting. Off the bench there were decent numbers put up with Othniel Spence finishing with eight points; Jordan Muir-Keung five points and five assists (nice!); and Alex Vranjes five points while being 3-3 from the line. If our first impression of you is that you make your free throws, you’re doing something right.
Saint highlights: Tavian Henderson had 10 points, six boards, and a full house while being 5-6 from the field; EJ Boyce had 12 points; and Luke Chavez had four boards and five assists. Off the bench Jordan Kitchen made a statement with 17 points and five boards on good free throw shooting; Rhett Baerlocher had nine points; and BJ Standley continues on with 13 points.
Nicely done with the Saints -no particularly jaw dropping numbers but a great team effort that got the job done thoroughly while not doing anything stupid to exhaust themselves before the real match-up of the week. This gives us good feelings going into the WWU game on Saturday.
Western Washington 86 @ Seattle Pacific 80
These numbers… Of anyone in the conference, these are the two teams we know by far the best and yet we’re still surprised that the game was pretty much what we expected, and we were even more surprised when we looked at the actual numbers.
Viking Highlights: TREY DRECHSEL played fantastically with 27 points, eight boards, 8-9 from the line, on good shooting from the field; Deandre Dickson bounced back with 17 points and six boards; Trevor Jasinsky played a whopping 39 minutes and finished with 12 points; and Daulton Hommes continued to prove his steadfast amazingness with 17 points and nine boards rounding out a full house. Not much off the bench, although Blake Fernandez did provide 19 great minutes of support relief.
Falcon Highlights: Nathan Streufert started for this first time and had 11 boards; Tony Miller and had 23 points and seven boards while being 7-9 from the line. Off the bench Braden Olsen had 11 points while being 6-7 from the line; Harry Cavell had 12 points and five assists; and Hunter Eisenhower had a fantastic 16 points on knock-down shooting.
WWU got zero bench play, but SPU was lacking in starter play. SPU is still clearly a good team, but it’s really nice to see WWU living up to their potential with having Daulton, Deandre, Trevor, and Trey all functioning well on the same night. Good night for it to happen on. We’re really excited about the SMU game.
Really fun night of basketball. Game previews will be up at 11am tomorrow.
All times pacific.
SFU @ SMU @ 7pm
SMU tested themselves in non-D2 non-con by playing every D1 team in the state. SFU tested themselves in non-D2 non-con by playing a bunch of Canadian schools that GNAC teams annually beat up on. Instinct says this game should be a blow-out for SMU because the Saints are so tested and the Clan are not, but… Simon Fraser is a lot better than normal this year and so we feel like a blow-out might not be the the thing that happens.
Prediction: SMU wins comfortably, but it’s not a blow-out.
WWU @ SPU @ 7:30pm
Rivalry game. This is going to be a really weird game for a lot of reasons. We love WWU and SPU more than anything, but both are having major, major issues. Daulton Hommes is amazing, but really needs Trey Drechsel to shoulder some of the load consistently. When Trey is playing well, the Vikings become the best team in the conference. When he’s not, they’re more like top-3. SPU… They have the most talented team they’ve had since literally 2014 and yet… They’re 6-3. Admittedly against solid opponents, but the way they lost at NNU has made us doubt them.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Super excited about these games, but… Seattle feels like it’s in the twilight zone. Not sure if it extends down to Lacey or up to Bellingham, but guess we’ll find out!
Topic: What we’ve learned and can extrapolate going into conference play.
We used to know something about GNAC men’s basketball. In our first year, we did because the GNAC was knowable. Enter the last two years where it’s been massive amounts of parity, except WOU always being amazing.
This year, admittedly some of what’s making it hard this year is that the Pac-West is an absolute mess in the same way we were last year, and playing so many games against them means that it’s hard to extrapolate the meaning of any given win, so… Maybe it’s not so much that we don’t know anything, as there’s just still not enough data, despite that 1/3 of the season is over.
These are our thoughts on each team as they stand now:
If they can gel, UAF could still put a fairly decent season together. Because of non-con, regardless as to what they do they will need the autobid, but making the conference tournament is still a possibility. Kimball Davis, Michael Kluting, and Alex Baham all show promise, plus Donny Wilder has been slumping and if he bounces back, that could make a huge difference.
This is part of why the season feels so strange. Everyone was telling us UAA would be great, we felt 60/40 about it but thought Jacob was fantastic, but we didn’t expect the Seawolves to be as mediocre as they are nor did we truthfully expect Jacob to have played as well as he has. It’s all going to be about him staying healthy and Coach Oz being able to get the rest of the guys up to speed. For the Seawolves the conference tournament is do or do not; there is no try, plus it would suck to miss it when you finally host it.
BETTER THAN NORMAL!!!!!!! We’re sooo excited about SFU, but unfortunately the other two conferences are such a mess that we can’t give them quite as much credit as we’d like. They’re also 0-2 in conference play, which helps nothing. Wait and see. Unfortunately their “up” year is coming in an up year for the rest of the conference too, so they may still end up in 11th, but they’ll probably actually win five or six games in conference, which is massively better than their usual 3-17 type performances.
We still think that they’re the deepest and the best in the conference, but with Trey slumping and Deandre adjusting to being a starter, Daulton has been carrying the load and it’s a lot different for a sophomore to carry the load than a senior (e.g. Tanner Omlid). We’re not convinced anything can really be done, because they have had performances like the WOU game, thus it’s just a matter of if things’ll click during any given game. It’s interesting -they have a lot of talent and so it’s much less teamwork reliant, but at the same time in games that are hard, they don’t have that propensity for falling back on teamwork.
We love Gabe Colosimo, but we are 100% not convinced that even with as perfect as he was in the Stanislaus game that all of their issues have simply come from not having him. This team is funny in that every single piece is there and yet often they just can’t get it to work as it should. Maybe it’s a youth thing?
This is the blue-collar version of SPU. They’re not as talented, but they’re more athletic, they care more, and they definitely have the mindset of “everyone is doubting us, forget the haters,” which is amazing. It’s funny -we’ve been bandwagon with SMU forever, but this year we feel like it’s so much more because Prib’s system is finally coming into place with his own players and we’re really getting to see this nitty gritty small school, beat the big dawgs, ‘win or lose they’re gonna feel it in the morning’ mindset, which is the best.
This is another school that we’re confused about and they did so little in non-con that we have no idea. On paper their numbers aren’t bad and the win against NNU looked really great, but one of the reasons we really like having CWU tickets: every game is up for grabs. They’re middle of the pack and so winning is always 50/50 in both directions. They can be upset by lower teams, they can beat the top teams, and so… We’ll see. We’re still saying they’ll make the conference tournament, but that’s largely because they did just beat NNU and NNU is going to be their main competition for that final sixth spot.
We loved their non-con and then they just lost convincingly to CWU and now we’re confused. We were like “oh, they’re definitely conference tournament bound,” and now… Who knows? They’ve clearly got the skills and we’re super impressed with Paul Rush’s system now that he’s had time to implement it. Simply getting Maurice Jones to stick around -that would have never happened under a prior coach, and so… Good things are on the horizon, but is the conference tournament one of them this year? We shall see.
They looked soooo good and then reality hit. We’re not anticipating a conference tournament berth. While we don’t talk about non-D2 games on this blog, we still keep an eye on all of them and look at all of the numbers, and… Honestly: We’re really not impressed. Kendall Denham needs to get his head back in the game because he’s a lot better than he’s been playing this year. It would be nice to see him actually play like we know he can, especially because it is in fact his senior year, but… There’s a good amount of doubt that he actually will, which is unfortunate.
*beats head against desk* Can an entire team be slumping? CU-PDX proves that yes, yes they can. They have so many guys that when we look down the roster we’re like “oh, he’s really good!” and yet… No. Literally though, looking down their roster: Jace Cates, Cody Starr, Jarrett Gray, Bryan Michaels, Christopher Edward, Taylor Harris, and Hunter Sweet all are legit, and yet… the Cavs are 4-8. We know Coach B too well for this to be a coaching thing -this is the whole “I sent a raft/boat/helicopter, what are you waiting for?” thing. Hopefully they figure it out, because depending on how much of a mess the rest of non-con is, they could be a dark horse for the conference tournament.
We bow down to Tanner Omlid and Jim Shaw because it appears as though it’s Tanner Omlid with a 2K rating of 99 and everyone else in the high 60s to low 70s, and yet… They have a quality non-con schedule and only one loss, that being to a super talented WWU teams. This is yet another variation on talent vs. teamwork, but they throw the best coach in the conference into the mix, so… No idea what their in-conference record will actually be. Something like 16-4 would be our guess, but it could be less, it could be more, and regardless: We think they’ll win the conference again, although don’t regret picking them 2nd because on paper they should be.
Ultimately: We still feel like we have no idea what we’re looking at, but also feel confident that when we get to the end of the season, we’ll understand why we have no idea.
We’re continuing it because we can and because our brain was too fried to continue yesterday.
Topic: The GNAC as a conference Know/Want-to-Know/Learned chart.
We came into the season with an existential crisis of “what are we even looking at?!” and now that non-conference play is over we’re still in the midst of the existential crisis going “what are we even looking at?!”
The good news is: We collectively did well during non-con; the GNAC looks to be the strongest conference in the Region, and so it’s probably gonna be another year of beating each other up, but it should be really good basketball, ultimately ending with multiple teams making the WOU hosted Regional. And yes: calling it now: WOU hosts, even if they lose four conference games. There’s no way any West Region team is getting through conference play with less than three losses and WOU’s SOS is fantastic and the GNAC is the strongest conference, so… It should be theirs, provided Tanner Omlid stays healthy.
Here is our pre-season prognostication along with our thoughts now. We’re going to go ahead and leave it as it was, even though we now know that WOU is number one, although WWU did kill them.
1. Western Washington -WWU still has more options than WOU, but WOU has Tanner Omlid. P.S. We love you Daulton, that’ll be you as a senior.
2. Western Oregon -Tanner Omlid is putting the team on his back when needed, and honestly: We think it has a lot to do with the coaching. Consider us members of the Church of Jim Shaw.
3. Seattle Pacific -They have the skill and the grit, it’s just a matter of cohesion.
4. Saint Martin’s -LOVE PUTTING THEM HERE NOW!! They’ve been fantastic. Amazing non-con. So excited. We also are members of the Church of Alex Pribble.
5. Central Washington -Exceeding expectations-ish. Coleman Sparling is proving to be legit and not just nepotism, so that’s fun.
6. Alaska-Anchorage -Thank-you Jacob Lampkin for not making this seem completely ridiculous.
7. CU-Portland -This team is slumping. They have way more talent and skills than have been on display as of late, so… Hopefully they come out of it soon.
7. Northwest Nazarene -Solid team, but it’s hard to say just how solid. They played a decent non-con, but we really want to see them in the context of the GNAC.
9. Alaska-Fairbanks -We like a number of their guys, but they seem above average in a conference of good to great. We don’t think they have any guys that would start at WWU/WOU/SPU/SMU except Donny Wilder, and he’s been super quiet this year.
10. MSU-Billings -They have good guys, but their non-con was very side-eyeable considering what their record was with how many NAIA teams they played before losing to 2/3 of the Hawaii schools.
11. Simon Fraser -Definitely better than normal, but also a very side-eyable non-con. We want to see them in the GNAC.
We’re gonna skip noting a set schedule, but… more blog posts are coming today!