First and foremost: We do not count transfers before they hatch. See the ‘Jake Ehlers’ Rule under our Table of Contents.
That being said: Are you ready? Hold onto your shorts ’cause it’s about to look ridiculous, but we promise with what we currently have to go on -it’s not. We like our justifications, which says something because often times we don’t.
1. Alaska-Anchorage. It’s not close. They’ve proven so much more with the guys they return than any other team in the conference that we’re already anticipating booking our tickets to Anchorage for the NCAA tournament. They are deep. And well-tested. Other teams return a lot, but most of them were really bad. The Seawolves basically return everyone they need. It’s fantastic. Go UAA.
Key Returners: Suki Wiggs, Corey Hammell, Sjur Berg, Spencer Svejcar, Diante Mitchell, + more.
2. Western Oregon. Again it’s not close. They return a lot. They lose a lot, but they return a lot. It’s reminiscent of SPU two years ago; yeah, they lost a few major guys but they have guys that have been in waiting that we think aren’t going to miss a beat. With their success, we anticipate them getting the right transfers. They should also procure a trip back to the Regional without much issue.
Key Returners: Tanner Omlid, Alex Roth, Janvier Alaby.
3. Saint Martin’s. This is where it gets to be a complete mess. We ultimately picked SMU because they have a for sure proven center -you gotta have someone that can bang down low. They return plenty of other stuff too and then also proved that this team, keyword team, can dig in and win when it matters down the stretch.
Key Returners: Fred Jorg, Tyler Copp, Trey Ingram, Rhett Baerlocher, and Jordan Kitchen, + more.
4. Western Washington. They return just about everybody needed on a team that was a major disappointment. We think this team is addition by subtraction. They return a core of guys that all try really freaking hard every single second they’re in the game. Do they lose height? Yes. Does it matter? Not necessarily. You can play short as long as every single guy is committed to playing hard 110% of the time.
Key Returners: Trey Drechsel, Jeffrey Parker, Brad Wallace, Isom Brown, Evan Scholten, Brett Kingma.
5. MSU-Billings. Another team that returns a ton but did very little last year. We think that’s going to change because all of the guys have a year in the system and with MSUB it seems to be feast or famine; either they’re playing cohesively and are a good team, or they are a flaming pile of …. fill in the blank. We think this year is going to be an up year.
Key Returners: Kendall Denham, Marc Matthews, Jace Anderson, Emmanuel Olufemi, Preston Beverly.
6. Alaska-Fairbanks. The Nanooks owe this spot purely to Bangaly. Never underestimate a good power forward. The Nooks also have a good home [tundra] advantage. They don’t return much, but Bangaly was able to create like Elsa (from ‘Frozen’) last year and brought tons of energy. They were surprisingly good and we think he’s going to give them a lot to work with once again.
Key Returners: Bangaly Kaba, Zach Pederson, Brandon Davis.
7. Central Washington. They don’t return much, but they do have a good home court advantage. We also really do believe in Terry Dawn.
Key Returners: Terry Dawn, Naim Ladd, Drake Rademacher.
8. Northwest Nazarene. Prime example of a bad team that returns a lot, so they have to be a little better, right?
Key Returners: Nikola Prvulj, Bouna N’Diaye, Pol Olivier, Marko Lepovic.
9. CU-Portland. This is mostly our faith in their coaching staff. They won a lot on the NAIA level so at some point it will start transferring to the D2 level, we hope. They don’t return much, but maybe?
Key Returners: Drew Martin, Tyler Gutierrez, Davis Nuaimi.
10. Simon Fraser. We were going to put them last per usual and then we realized if you made us pick between facing Hidde Vos and JJ Pankratz or Joe Rasmussen and Will Parker, we’d pick the latter two; thus, SFU gets the nod. Their culture desperately needs a re-haul, and honestly we’re starting to kind of feel bad for them. We know they wouldn’t eliminate men’s football and basketball, but seriously: they have so many other sports that are actually good, that we feel like those two sports are just a big money sink.
Key Returners: JJ Pankratz, Hidde Vos.
11. Seattle Pacific. Someone asked us about our projected starters and we intentionally left out Will Parker because we refuse to accept that he has any business still playing for SPU, much less starting for the Falcons. Joe Rasmussen is in that same boat, but 6’8 guys are far less expendable than 5’10 ones. This is going to be a mess and only partly because of the coaching change.
Key Returners: [former assistant, now Head Coach] Grant Leep.
If anyone wants to talk us off the ledge, commiserate, or jump for joy with us (we are genuinely excited for the Seawolves and very curious about the land Wolves), leave a comment!
Yes it’s late; it’s Sunday. Oh well. On with the goings on of yesterday.
Concordia-Portland 69 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 92
The Cavs stayed in it for a while and then UAF opened it up and the rest was history.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 9 rebounds; Latrell Wilson had five boards, 26 points, and went 5/5 from the line; James Phillips had 10 points; and off the bench John Erickson had four assists.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards; Joe Slocum had six assists and 10 points; Almir had a good game with 7 boards and 16 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan and Neal Chavez chipped in 10 points a piece.
Great game for the Nanooks, very proud of them; a great victory lap after the upset of WOU. To Concordia -welcome to playing the Alaska schools in conference. You survived. Be proud of yourselves because it is a beastly feat. Worst conference road trip, by far, we’ve been there done that.
Western Oregon 64 @ Alaska-Anchorage 59
Close game the entire time. Really fun to watch. Really smart play by both the Wolves and Seawolves. Wolves succeeded in getting Suki Wiggs in foul trouble while only sending him to the line a few times; the Seawolves contained Andy Avgi fantastically, coercing him into 4/14 shooting. Great job by both teams. Awesome game and good representation for the GNAC as a whole.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 14 points and six boards rounded out by a full house; Julian Nichols had 17 points, seven assists, seven boards, and played the ENTIRE FORTY MINUTES, whoa; Tanner Omlid had 12 points, eight boards, and six assists; Andy Avgi had six boards. No real bench play, although Janvier Alaby had four fouls.
Seawolf highlights: Christian Leckband started in place of Diante and had six boards; Suki went 5/5 from the line but was otherwise contained; Corey Hammell had eight boards and 11 points; Brian McGill had 15 points and six assists. No real bench play.
Again: Congrats to both teams, lots of good defense.
Central Washington 84 @ Simon Fraser 64
The Clan stayed in this for a while and then CWU started to pull away right as halftime arrived and then was able to keep the ball rolling after that. Good effort by the Clan though, definitely.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 19 points; Gary Jacobs had 16 points while going 7/7 from the line; Joe Stroud had six boards, 12 points, and a full house. Some really good play off the bench: Naim Ladd had nine points; Drake Rademacher had six points; and Jerome Bryant had five points. Great free throw shooting team wide, always good.
Clan highlights: JJ Pankratz had 13 points; and off the bench Bowen Bakken had eight points.
Wildcat defense: Awesome. You bought in. Have fun with the Alaska schools next week.
Northwest Nazarene 66 @ Western Washington 83
Blowout although WWU kept their bench short. Maybe a little iffy with the last home game, but we agree with the decision whole heartedly (and very vocally) because WWU is still trying to solidify a rotation (yes on the second to last regular season weekend of the year) and playing seniors during the final home game is a luxury afforded to really really bad teams and really good teams -not middle-of-the-pack teams trying to make the conference tournament. The chemistry looked a lot better on the Viking side, so that was good. Still: the Crusaders stayed dedicated the entire time and kept their focus and continued to make shots, so… Good to see.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had a great game with 23 points and six boards; Detwon Rogers had 11 points and seven boards; Mike Wright had three steals. Off the bench Joel Devastey had eight points and seven boards.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 18 points; Kyle Impero had a double-double with 15 points and 13 boards; Trey Drechsel had 11 boards, five assists, and 20 points -whoaaaa; Brad Wallace had 11 points; and Jeffrey Parker had 22 points and six boards. Every single person that saw minutes grabbed at least one board, something the Vikings had really been struggling with, so great preparation before facing SPU on Thursday.
We’re finally feeling like the Vikings are clicking. We don’t know if it’s going to be enough, but we’re ridiculously pleased with all five of their starters and Isom Brown did good things off the bench; it didn’t really show up in the stats, but it’s what needed to be occurring, so that was awesome. He should feel very proud of his performance.
MSU-Billings 67 @ Seattle Pacific 93
What to say about this game. It’s not the game the Yellowjackets needed but it’s the game we needed to see from the Falcons -sort of. We felt like the Falcons were pretty sloppy, although blowout. It was a blowout from the get-go, which was a nice change because SPU just hadn’t been taking anyone seriously and it was really starting to get on our nerves. They could have won like this against SMU and CWU, but they chose another method instead, so… Boo Falcons.
Yellowjacket highlights: Emmanuel Johnson had 14 points; Emmanuel Olufemi had seven boards; and off the bench Jordan Perry had seven points. The Jackets collectively shot 90% from the line, so that’s promising.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five assists and a flawless full house (no turnovers, perfect shooting) so that was good; Will Parker had five boards and 12 points; Joe Rasmussen had 15 points; Mitch Penner had 23 points and five boards; Garrett Swanson had five boards. Off the bench Brendan Carroll had 10 points and four boards; and Gilles Dierickx had 10 points and eight boards. EJ Poulsen was perfect in garbage time, making a shot and grabbing a rebound. The black guys the Falcons have saw a whopping eight minutes and the rims are still standing so that’s good.
Really not sure what the Falcons are doing with their line-up, but that’s a potential discussion on Wednesday. We saw Mitch Penner complaining in the Seattle Times about “waiting for his time,” and we’d like to remind him that it’s been his time. He was the sixth man his sophomore year and then started throughout 70% of last year and made our second team all conference, and so he should quit whining.
Interesting-ish day of basketball. POW noms’ll be up at 10 and winner announced at 11am tomorrow.
First things first: Sonoma State killed San Marcos.
Now onto GNAC stuff.
Alaska-Fairbanks 66 @ MSU-Billings 61
Good game, lots of back and forth, lots of clutch shots by MSUB to keep them in it, but ultimately they couldn’t overcome a Nanook team that just got beat by those pesky Seawolves.
Nanook highlights: Travante Williams had 26 points and seven boards; Almir had 10 boards; and off the bench Isaac Ladines had six boards. Lots of little contributions from a number of guys as well as some bad shooting numbers.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had eight boards; Marc Matthews had six boards; Emmanuel Johnson went 9/10 from the line and finished with 21 points and seven boards. Off the bench Jordan Perry had six points and six boards.
Hard defensively fought game, pretty good to see. Less than desirable shooting numbers, but nothing horrible so that’s good. Good game played by both teams.
Saint Martin’s 98 @ Northwest Nazarene 68
A full on blowout? Yup. We credit it with the high that the Saints had to be on after winning at CWU. Not too much to say, so we’ll get right into the numbers.
Saint highlights: Victor Ieronymides had 17 points; Cole Preston had six boards and nine assists -shots weren’t falling so he said “whatever” and got the rock to his teammates, awesome; Jordan Kitchen had 15 points; Rhett Baerlocher had 14 points and four assists. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 12 points and four assists; Isaac Bianchini had six points; Rojhai Colbert had eight points; Michael Painter had nine points; and Brandon Kenilvort had six points. Huge performance from the bench.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had 18 points and six boards; Detwon Rogers had 11 points and six boards; and coming off the bench Joel Devastey had 21 points on dynamite shooting.
This game epitomized the idea that basketball is a team game. We’ve like the Saints all year and are happy to finally see them clicking. Fred has been out; we’re not sure why, we don’t particularly care why, we’re just thrilled that their line-ups are finally working.
Western Washington 76 @ Concordia-Portland 80
Um, well, we said the Vikings were a mess. Case in point. But Concordia is getting better and losing by 20 to a no-win team had to be some nice motivation to at least try harder than WWU. They tried, they succeeded, and they looked good. It was a good game.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 13 points and four assists; Kyle Impero had 17 points; Trey Drechsel had eight boards, four assists, and three steals; Blake Bowen had four assists; and Jeffrey Parker had eight boards and 25 points. No real bench play.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 15 points and 10 boards for the double-double, looking like the real deal; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Riley Hawken had 22 points and eight boards. Off the bench Davis Nuaimi had eight points.
Good game, very good game, lots of back and forth. The Cavs play basketball in the right way and should be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
Simon Fraser 67 @ Western Oregon 77
Actually a really good game. The Clan is waking up and while they didn’t get the win, this is still super good progress.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had 18 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Graham Smith had nine points and six boards. Off the bench Oshea Gairey had 17 points; and Hidde Vos had seven points.
Wolf highlights: Janvier Alaby had 12 points; Julian Nichols had seven rebounds; Tanner Omlid had 17 points and nine boards, rounded out with a full house; Jordan Wiley had 10 points while going 5/6 from the line; and Andy Avgi was held to eight points and nine boards. Best we’ve seen a team get to him this year. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points; Kadeem Strickland had seven points; and Nick Nestell had five points.
Congrats to the Wolves on getting it done, but definitely a hearty congrats to the Clan for keeping the Wolves honest. We rarely see Andy pick up four fouls and he did last night, so that’s huge.
Seattle Pacific 68 @ Central Washington 71
CWU is a hard place to play. We say it regularly. Definitely top three in terms of homecourt advantage if you count the Alaskas as one (which you should) and that was on display tonight. Two years in a row the Falcons have gone into Nicholson and walked away with an ‘L.’
Falcon highlights: N/A, author’s discretion.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had nine points; Gary Jacobs had 10 points; Joe Stroud had 20 points and five boards; and Devin Matthews had five boards, nine assists; and eight points. Off the bench Drake Rademacher had nine points; and Chris-Michael Garret had 10 points.
Hard fought game, proud of the Wildcats for getting it done -great win CWU. Bubble burster for SPU? Maybe. To be discussed on Wednesday.
Sorry about the lack of nightlights. Blame the Falcons; we sunk into a deep, dark depression -although were very satisfied with how the night went overall. POW noms up at 10am tomorrow.
Whoa. Two OT games, one of them being double OT and actually a better game than the great game we anticipated, even. With that, let’s dive in:
UAF 78 @ SFU 68
*shrugs* Well, we did say that this could happen. It took a long time for UAF to actually walk it up on the Clan -it was close for a very, very long time, then the Nooks almost pulled away before the Clan pulled them back in. Good to see a score like this, sort of? Wouldn’t necessarily say it was good defense so much as shots not falling, but… Again: Overlook factor. Big. We always talk about it and the Nooks lingered in the trap for a very long time.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had five boards; Joe Slocum had 10 points and five boards; Travante Williams had eight boards and 13 points, along with a full house; Brandon Davis had five boards; Almir had a monster night going 9/12 and grabbing six board to finished with 24 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan and Neal Chavez had six points a piece.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had 17 points; Michael Harper had a great game with 23 points and six boards; and off the bench Hidde Vos had eight points, while Graham Smith had five points.
The Clan will beat someone this year. It wasn’t the Nooks, we don’t expect it to be the Seawolves, but keep your eyes and ears open because no one goes 0-20.
CWU 88 @ MSUB 78
Big game. It’s hard to play in Billings, they have a great homecourt advantage, but the Wildcats pulled it out. Do we see the Wildcats contending for an at-large berth? Not at all. Because incest. And Simon Fraser as incest on top of it. But they will have a chance to challenge for the conference auto-bid.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 15 points; Gary Jacobs had 20 points and 14 rebounds on perfect free throw shooting; Joe Stroud had 10 points and eight boards; Devin Matthews had 12 points and five boards; and fff the bench Drake Rademacher had eight points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 21 points and nine rebounds; Kendall Denham had 13 points; Marc Matthews had five boards and four assists; Jordan Perry had 10 boards, eight points, and five fouls; and off the bench Emmanuel Olufemi had 13 points.
Crazy intense game, great job by both teams.
WOU 74 @ SMU 62
This game makes us laugh, mainly because we called it. WOU gonna WOU and SMU gonna SMU, but we saw both sides of both teams until WOU finally put the game away. Great job by the Saints for staying in it for so long -if we saw correctly, they stayed in it until about five minutes left in the game.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 13 points; Julian Nichols 17 points while going 9/9 from the line; and Andy Avgi had 18 points, nine boards, and five blocks, rounded out by a full house. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had 10 points; and Alex Roth had eight boards.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 17 points and four assists; Jordan Kitchen had 9 points; Fred Jorg had 14 points; and off the bench Trey Ingram had 14 points and five boards. Brandon Kenilvort also had five boards off the bench.
Congrats to WOU on pulling it out -it was dicey there, but you got your heads in the game. Good luck to the Saints against a Concordia team on the rise.
CU-PDX 54 @ SPU 76
That score is a bit misleading -Concordia led for a bit in the first half (ten minutes-ish) but then the Falcons decided to get serious and put it away as appropriate. To be fair Concordia did play some legitimate defense -the Falcons had tons of missed shots and a lot of their numbers are nauseating.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 12 points and seven boards; and John Erickson had 10 points off the bench.
Falcon highlights: Brendan Carroll had seven boards; Gilles Dierickx had 11 boards; Mitch Penner had a crazy amazing game going 14-16 from the field and grabbing eight boards; GARRETT SWANSON HAD SEVEN BOARDS; we shout because that’s a miracle for that kid. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had five boards; and Gabe Colosimo had 15 points.
UAA 108 @ WWU 105 in 2OT
We’ve gotta be serious: This is definitely in our top 5 favorite attended collegiate games ever. Among those games is Gonzaga @ Washington of ’05-’06, aka the Brandon Roy/Adam Morrison battle, so very high praise. Ridiculously proud of both teams, especially the Seawolves because THEY MADE THEIR DARN FREE THROWS. And they won. As noted on Twitter: this definitely helps the Seawolves in their quest for an at-large berth, while it doesn’t affect the Vikings too much because they have no shot at an at-large and they’re pretty much guaranteed to make the conference tourney and shoot for the autobid anyway.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards, four assists, and shot 75% from the line on 20 shots, only to be rounded out with a full house and culminating in 33 points; COREY HAMMELL HAD 15 BOARDS AND 13 POINTS and went 7/7 from the line -we love his game so much; Brian McGill went 15-15 from the line and finished with 31 points; and off the bench Christian Leckband had six boards and five points.
Viking highlights: Kyle Impero had 37 points, six boards, and five assists; Trey Drechsel had 18 points and a full house; Blake Bowen had seven boards; and Jeffrey Parker had 25 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma had eight points and Colby Mitchell had six points.
The game was nuts, somehow Coach Oz avoided a technical. It was kind of awkward; we were telling the people we were sitting with a story about his propensity for technicals before looking up and realizing he was standing literally right in front of us. Luckily at the end of OT at least two of his players restrained him after he’d already gotten almost to center court, no joke. We swear by nutso coaches, so we love Coach Oz, but… Really: He deserved a technical. The other big thing was that the Seawolves managed to shut down Ricardo Maxwell and the Vikings managed to shut down Spencer Svejcar, so good on that respective defense.
Yes, it’s up late. Throw tomatoes. We’ve actually been working, and then are still recovering from the WWU/UAA game and going over every second of it because IT WAS AMAZING. So thanks to both the Vikings and Seawolves for that.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
Hooooly guacmole, last night was FUN. Lots of GNAC nights are fun, but… What’s that? More chaos? Sure, why not.
Northwest Nazarene 59 @ Western Oregon 62
The Crusaders were in this almost the whole time. The Wolves built up a lead as they are wont to do, the Crusaders came back in and stayed back in. There were moments where just as you thought WOU would pull away for good the Crusaders took it back. Ultimately the win was not to be theirs, but valiant effort all the same. We’re impressed.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had a good game with eight boards and two assists; Bouna had seven boards, five assists, and 13 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright had five boards and 16 points. Off the bench Gonzo Santana had five points; and Marko Lepovic had seven points and six boards.
Wolf highlights: Julian Nichols had five boards and three assists, while going 10/12 from the line; Tanner Omlid had a fantastic game as a starting forward, finishing with 13 boards, three assists, three steals, five blocks, two fouls, and seven points for the full house; Jordan Wiley had 12 points and five boards; and the always amazing Andy had eight boards and 18 points, rounded out with a full house. No real bench play, although Alex Roth provided four fouls.
Central Washington 102 @ CU-Portland 75
CWU was on a mission after the close loss against WWU and knowing they have to play WOU this weekend. Concordia didn’t truly stand a chance.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 29 points, five boards, and went 7-7 from the line; Terry Dawn had six boards and fourteen points, along with four fouls; Joe Stroud had an amazing game with a full house including seven boards, four blocks, and 17 points; Devin Matthews had seven boards, six assists, and 10 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd had seven boards and 12 points on improved shooting; Drake Rademacher had 12 points; and Chris-Michael Garret had four assists and four fouls.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 22 points; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Riley Hawken had nine boards. Off the bench Jace Cates had 13 points and four boards; Davis Nuaimi had seven points; and James Phillips had five points.
CWU had a largely perfect game, except for their defense but… Best defense is a good offense, eh? While Riley Hawken of CU-Portland didn’t have a great game, the biggest thing to note is how many mistakes and traps he refused to fall into -that’s huge, huge, HUGE, so very proud of him for that. Keep building Riley, you’re already good and you’re going to be great.
MSU-Billings 64 @ Western Washington 79
WWU IS FINALLY ACTING LIKE WWU!!!!!! In the last few weeks the Vikings have clicked and clicked big and it’s so fun to watch. We’ve said all year that we like the line-up they have and the guys in the program but it hadn’t been cohesive, and… They’re starting to heat up at exactly the right time.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had five boards, four assists, three steals, and 12 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 25 points; and off the bench Preston Beverley had a crazy amazing 11 boards, four assists, and 14 points for the double-double.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 4 assists and 12 points; Kyle Impero had 17 points, 10 boards (dat double-double), five assists, and four steals; Trey Drechsel had seven boards and three steals; and Jeffrey Parker had five boards. Off the bench Evan Scholten had six boards and nine points; and Colby Mitchell had 10 points.
Blake Bowen went back to normal and how did Brett Kingma end up with five fouls? Like seriously. So confusing.
Saint Martin’s 73 @ Alaska-Anchorage 70
This game was terrifying and amazing and WHAAAAT!??! Part of us is like “oh lord, the Falcons are going to die on Saturday” but the other part of us is like “WHO CARES, THIS GAME WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!” Ridiculously proud of SMU for finally pulling a game like this out -we knew they could do it, always did, we’ve always believed in this team. Still -Anchorage put up a very good fight so congrats to the Seawolves.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had six boards and seven assists; Jordan Kitchen had two blocks and 13 points; Rhett Baerlocher had five boards and nine points; Fred Jorg had five assists and 16 points. Off the bench TREY INGRAM had four assists and five points -welcome back Trey!! He hasn’t been gone, but his numbers have been. Hopefully this does it and means the sophomore slump is over!
Seawolf highlights: Suki had seven boards and went 6/7 from the line, along with a full house; Corey Hammell had 16 poitns, six boards, and three assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband had five boards and 11 points; and the always ballin’ Brian McGill had seven assists, two steals, and 16 points.
Really exciting game, close pretty much the whole time, lots of pins and needles involved. Congrats once again to the Saints -we knew you could do it.
Seattle Pacific 79 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 69
Whoaaa, SPU went up by 22 and UAF battled it back but ultimately couldn’t do it. Still, a very valiant effort by the Nooks -we totally thought you were going to win, especially in the last five minutes. UAF is very difficult to play at and we’re still stunned that the Falcons got the win, to the point that we almost feel like apologizing to the Nooks. Go figure.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had six boards; Brendan Carroll had 15 points and six boards; Mitch Penner had a huge 29 points and five assists; and Coleman Wooten started for the first time and finished with SEVEN boards. Off the bench Gabe Colosimo had 13 points and three steals; Garrett Swanson had seven points; and Joe Rasmussen grabbed five boards and committed five fouls in nine minutes.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had five boards; Travante Williams had 19 points and seven boards; Joe Slocum had four steals; Almir had his way with the Falcons, picking up 18 points and six boards. Very little bench play.
The Falcons were up by a lot and almost choked then managed not to. Fairbanks is an incredibly difficult place to play, so good on them for battening down the hatches and surviving the blizzard. Almir completely had his way with Gilles, which is both hilarious and completely expected. FYR all day.
Ultimately a great night of basketball and one that provided plenty of ammunition for Saturday. Cannot wait to watch those games -it’s going to be a great day of basketball with lots of close match-ups, so… We’ll see. Game previews’ll be up at 11am PST.
Some interesting games last night… Let’s discuss.
WWU 87 @ CWU 84
We know that’s not the official score, but CWU deserves the credit that comes from not fouling. We’ve been really good about not discussing reffing this year and just saying “Good teams overcome bad/inconsistent refs, it’s just part of the game,” but… We’re going to talk about it for this game. We were there. We were sitting by the family of a CWU player, although never bothered to find out who they were related to, and it was very agreed that the reffing was just plain weird. In the first half the game was stopped for a good three minutes only for the refs to assess a foul on one player on each team. Oookay then. Just let the guys play. The second half there was a point where CWU started heading toward center court and it looked like the refs were actually going to do a second tip off with like 17 minutes left in the second half (what???). At the end with like two seconds left, CWU shoots a three to try and tie, it misses, the Vikings get the board, it didn’t appear that CWU fouled, the clock runs out, the refs call time and everyone is stuck in the twilight zone. They determine that there’s 1.4 seconds left on the clock and a Viking player goes to the line, shoots two free throws, makes them, the Wildcats get the ball back for the halfcourt lob and of course miss what wouldn’t have even tied the game anyway. There was no point to those fouls and the CWU players were aware, hence not really appearing to do anything. Beyond strange.
Thanks to both teams for allowing us to witness such a fun game. Y’all played your hearts out and it was great; the epitome of what a rivalry game should be.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 31 points; Kyle Impero had 12 points and five boards; Trey Drechsel had 12 points and eight boards; Jeffrey Parker had nine boards and went 7/7 from the line. Off the bench Evan Scholten had six points.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had 24 points and 10 boards; Joe Stroud had 34 points and seven boards -still not himself, but much more of what we remember; and off the bench Drake Rademacher had six boards.
Really fun game overall. The Wildcats were up by 10, the Vikings got back in it and walked away, being up by something of 17 points. Just at the point of what would be no return, the Vikings collapsed and the Wildcats took advantage, coming all the way back to take the lead, before the Vikings decided that it was not to be and made their shots down the stretch. Congrats to the Wildcats on a game well played.
SFU 77 @ NNU 82
At least the Clan is consistent, holding teams to 82 points per game. Relatively interesting game, and we’ll say that the Crusaders played down to their competition because it would be odd to say that the Clan played up when the Crusaders are really only a hair above them. Strangeness.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had 13 points, seven boards, and four assists; JJ Pankratz had a double double with 13 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had 13 points and five boards; and Gibran Sewani had 11 points and five boards.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye went 16/18 from the line; Nikola Prvulj had nine points; Detwon Rogers had a double double with 10 points and 10 boards; Leoor Konenkov made his debut in the starting line-up and finished with nine points; and Mike Wright had 20 points, six boards, and zero turnovers. Off the bench Joel Devastey had five boards and five points; and Pol Olivier had six points.
It was every bit of the mess anticipated, but a sincere congrats to Mike Wright and his zero turnovers. We’re proud of you.
SMU 77 @ MSUB 60
Uhhhh, we’re not gonna lie: We didn’t see this coming. And what’s really intriguing is that it was a bunch of players having above average games; not anyone having a great game. With MSUB it was a bunch of players having bad games, except we’re kind of mad because… They chose to have bad games. You can always distribute and work together and they didn’t. Fatigue. Overlook factor “We just went toe to toe with SPU, SMU isn’t going to be a big deal.” Uh, yes, they were. We’ve liked the Saints all season, part of the reason we’re so easily disappointed with them. We know how good they are better than just about anybody.
Saints highlights: Each starter besides Fred (Tyler, Rhett, Jordan, and Cole) had seven points; Fred Jorg had 27 points and eight boards. Off the bench Michael Painter had five points; and Brandon Kenilvort and Trey Ingram chipped in seven points a piece. Yes. Six players had seven points. Darn you Michael, one more field goal make and there would have been seven players with seven points. We’re not sure if we’ve ever seen a bigger display of balance and seven is a magical number after all.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had 10 points; Marc Matthews had 13 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 10 boards; Jordan Perry had six boards; Emmanuel Olufemi had five boards; and off the bench Preston Beverley had 10 points.
Scratching our heads at the Yellowjackets but really happy with the Saints. Keep it rolling boys!
UAF 64 @ WOU 69
What is it with the Wolves letting teams creep back in? At least they seemingly learned their lesson from the SPU game and while the creep comes in they hold them off enough. Good job Wolves.
Nook highlights: Bangaly had seven boards; Travante went 7/7 from the line and had five boards; Brandon Davis had five boards and 15 points; and Almir had 10 points and six boards. Off the bench Isaac Ladines had six boards.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had five assists; Julian Nichols had 13 points, six boards, and four assists; Jordan Wiley had eight boards and 17 points; and Andy Avgi had 24 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks. No real bench play, although Alex Roth added 20 minutes of leg relief.
Very, very tense game. The Wolves went up, the Nooks fought back, the Wolves held on but it was terrifying if you’re part of the Wolfpack.
UAA 90 @ CU-PDX 71
That score looks exactly as we predicted, but oh gee oh my it was not. The Cavs were in it and managed to keep Suki out of it for a very, very long time. We were excited to look at the sheet because with how silent he was, we assumed he was in foul trouble. Nope. We keep waiting for someone to do that, but it’s yet to be done. Good effort on the Cavs for staying in it; need more legs. Legs, legs, legs. The last five minutes were a disaster.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 24 points and seven boards; Tayler Thompson had 11 points and six boards; COREY HAMMELL HAD 19 POINTS AND 17 BOARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shhh, we’re building a statue of him, don’t interrupt our focus! Christian Leckband had five points off the bench; and Brian McGill had a whopping 17 points off the bench.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had five boards and 21 points; John Erickson had six assists against his old team; Latrell Wilson had 23 points; Riley Hawken had seven boards. No real bench play.
Fun game. We have so much hope for the Cavaliers -we see the progress they’re making, we really do, but we also know how good the Seawolves are. We discussed it a little bit on Thursday night, but somehow we think we’ll end up talking about them once again on Wednesday, so… That’ll be good.
Great night of basketball.
The standings page has been updated. Not sure what we’re doing to honor the ‘half way’ mark this year. If this week ends up actually calm, mid-season superlatives and all-conference teams and whatnot should go up -but no promises. Maybe some extra discussions? Get in the comments or shoutout on twitter if there’s something you want us to talk about.
POW stuff will be up in the AM.
Alright, here we go, up as close to noon as could be managed while watching this mess of a Seahawks game.
Northwest Nazarene 52 @ Seattle Pacific 69
The game was never truly in doubt for the Falcons and yet it never seemed as though they really pulled away either. There were points that had them up by 20, but aside from those few, 13 seemed to be the average spread. It was what it was.
Crusader highlights: Detwon Rogers had 13 points; Mike Wright had six boards. Off the bench Pol Olivier had five points.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had another “quiet” game with nine boards, six assists, three steals, and five points; Gilles Dierickx had a monster game with 17 boards and 20 points. Lots of really bad shooting from everyone else, so congrats to the Crusaders on achieving that.
The winner of the bake sale that inevitably occurs when Brendan Carroll and Mike Wright get together ultimately is Brendan –he picked up a mere one, while Mike had three. We consider Mike only having three turnovers to be a miracle, so he’s at least got that going for him. Brendan having a mere one, we don’t know what to say; Brendan usually only chokes out turnovers during big games, so it is what it is.
Western Oregon 78 @ Western Washington 58
The good news is this is exactly what we wanted to see from WOU –it was close the entire time, which was good from a WWU perspective- but WOU walked it up and put it away. WWU did an okay job containing Andy; not great, not horrible, but passable, and WOU was far better at containing Kyle Impero than the Vikings were at containing Avgi, so… There’s your answer. Brett Kingma… He’s not technically our problem, but he is still becoming a thorn in our side.
Wolf highlights: Julian Nichols had five boards, seven assists, and fifteen points; Tanner Omlid entered into the starting line-up in place of Alex Roth and had a full house including seven boards and nine points; Jordan Wiley had seven boards; and Andy Avgi had 19 points and six boards in some of the most minutes we’ve seen him play. Off the bench Alex Roth had a huge 18 points on good shooting, along with five boards. The rest of the bench didn’t do too much, even in regard to spelling the starters –they played a collective 11 minutes.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 17 points; Kyle Impero had five assists; Trey Drechsel had eight boards and 16 points; Evan Scholten had six points. We’ve been debating whether or not to start pushing for Trey to start and we’re starting to lean toward it just because Mac is such a mess. Mix it up. Trey isn’t that big, but you don’t technically need a center and really what you want to do is get your best guys on the floor, regardless of size, particularly when your season is looking like WWU’s.
Maybe the most interesting thing is that despite the eventual lead WOU never rotated players. Makes complete and total sense –the Vikings are always going to be a threat- but still, with them having such an off year maybe we expected a little rotation by Jim Shaw? Still, shows you how much respect the Wolves have for the Vikings.
CU-Portland 76 @ Simon Fraser 72
CU-PDX won the battle, that’s all we can really say. Did they do it by the skin of their teeth? Absolutely. Did it get done? Yup. And that’s what ultimately matters, so good on the Cavaliers.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 12 boards; Riley Hawken had six boards and 11 points; Tyler Gutierrez stepped up big with six boards and 16 points; Latrell Wilson made 9/10 free throws. No bench play now that Riley’s starting.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had six boards, five assists, and 15 points; Gibran Sewani had 13 points and nine boards; JJ Pankratz had 10 boards. Off the bench Tyrell Lewin had eight points.
Was it ugly? Yes. But it happened, and again: The Cavaliers scraped up a ‘W,’ so regardless as to what it looked like: It was in fact a victory.
Central Washington 75 @ Saint Martin’s 71
The Saints are like the Mariners; they love finding new ways to let their fans down. We’d be moderately sick to our stomach, except we’ve come to expect this out of them. Maybe they’ll find their consistency against SPU on Tuesday? Hmmm. CWU got it done, good on the Wildcats.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 12 points; Gary Jacobs had ten boards; JOE STROUD was back in the groove finishing with 20 points and eight boards; Devin Matthews had six assists. Off the bench Naim Ladd had 12 points and four boards; and Drake Rademacher had seven points.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had nine points; Rhett Baerlocher had 15 points; Fred Jorg had 21 points and seven boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had four boards.
Congrats to the Wildcats on procuring a hard fought victory.
Alaska-Anchorage 100 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 91 in OT
THIS IS WHAT RIVALRIES ARE ALL ABOUT!!!!!!! Hooooly rancid whale blubber, we are so proud of both of these teams we cannot even begin to get into it. We always say anything can and will happen in a rivalry game, although this time these teams were so closely matched that this feels like a legitimately solid victory for the Seawolves; we’re really proud of it, we really and truly are and the Nooks should take pride in that –serving as a wholly legitimate victory. Pretty cool stuff.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 11 boards; Spencer Svejcar had 22 points; Corey Hammell had 11 points and nine boards –not one of his better games, but isn’t cool we can say that? Such a good basketball player. Off the bench Christian Leckband had nine points; and Brian McGill served as the MVP going 16/16 from the line to finish with 25 points, six boards, and three assists.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 14 points and nine boards; Joe Slocum had six assists; Travante Williams had 10 boards and four assists; and Brandon Davis had 21 points on bordering on great shooting. Off the bench Neal Chavez had eight points; and Zach Pederson had eight points and four boards.
Really exciting game with some truly awful shooting and very little defense, but… Oh well. Fun is fun, right?
Good night of basketball, we feel like we’ve found our love of it again, so thank you guys for bearing with us through the last few weeks of slog. Some fairly decent games on the horizon with the last games of the first round robin finishing up –the Alaska schools are facing Western Oregon, CWU is taking on WWU, and SPU gets to meet up their old travel partner in MSUB. Should be good times. The standings page has been updated; POW nominees will be up tomorrow at 10am pacific, per usual.
Hoooooooly goodness, that Hawks game. While you continue to recover from your heart attack, why not read about some GNAC men’s hoops?
WWU 84 @ UAA 87
Both teams fought hard. It was a close game almost the whole time. There were a few points that UAA would walk up, but WWU didn’t let them get away with it for long. Both teams were great on free throws -shooting above 85%, which is awesome. Really good game, although we were kind of sad that Tony Dominguez’s strategy was also to let Suki shoot until the moose came home. It worked just fine, but again: We want to see a team get Suki in foul trouble, because letting him shoot all day long will only go so far.
Viking highlights: Kyle Impero had 24 points and nine boards; Ricardo Maxwell had nine assists; Jeffrey Harris had 21 points; Mac Johnson grabbed seven boards; and off the bench Colby Mitchell chipped in 10 points. Really no bench play from the Vikings, which ultimately likely did them in.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had six assists; Diante Mitchell had 16 points; Spencer Svejcar had a great game with 18 points and five assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband added eight points and six boards; and Brian McGill continues to adjust back in, adding 14 points, five boards, and five assists off the bench. Awesome.
It was good see Kyle Impero get back in his groove and we still keep crossing our fingers regarding Mac. While we miss Brian McGill starting, all in good time. Fun game from both teams.
MSUB 75 @ CWU 87
Solid game. MSUB stayed in it. We’re really beyond frustrated with the Yellowjackets right now, but that’s another matter. They get to head up to Alaska this week, so that’ll be “fun.” Playing in Alaska is brutal, 100% guaranteed.
Yellowjacket highlights: KENDALL IS STARTING AGAIN!!!!!!!! And he picked up 11 points and five assists. Other than that: Jordan Perry had 10 points; Sven Jeuschede (pronounced like a sneeze) had eight boards; Emmanuel Olufemi had six boards; and off the bench Emmanuel Johnson had 11 points.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 19 points; Gary Jacobs had 16 points and eight boards; Joe Stroud had 14 points and 10 boards; Drake Rademacher had 12 points; and Devin Matthews had 14 points and five boards. Minimal bench play.
The lack of benches is concerning, but we’ll let these two teams worry about it. It’s an odd switch considering last year CWU played essentially two full lines and we liked both of them with the exception of one person.
SPU 91 @ CU-PDX 63
The home teams would have gotten the sweep if not for this game. This game… 50/50 on whether or not to term it a mess. It sort of was considering the Falcons had 21 turnovers, but… Again: Teams do stupid things when they’re up by a lot and so we’re still not sure what side of the argument we fall on.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had 11 points and five boards; Brendan Carroll had five assists; Gilles Dierickx had 16 points and six boards; Mitch Penner had a whopping 30 points, five boards, and four assists; and off the bench Coleman Wooten had 10 points on perfect shooting.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 24 points, five boards, and a full house; Tyler Gutierrez had 14 points. Off the bench Davis Nuami had five points; and Riley Hawken had 10 points.
CU-Portland has been looking better and SPU had been looking worse so it seemed like the game had potential, and… technically it did. While it was never really in doubt, the Falcons had 21 turnovers, so the fact that CU-PDX couldn’t make something happen when they were being given that to work with -next time, do it Cavs!
SFU 56 @ UAF 73
Yet another mess. If a guy scores a bunch of points and yet you don’t see his name, it’s because he had an abomination of a shooting percentage that negates all of the points he scored. Make. Smart. Choices. That goes for every player on every team, not just these two.
Clan highlights: Hidde Vos had 9 points and five boards; Gibran Sewani had 10 points; and Graham Smith had seven points off the bench.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 12 points; TRAVANTE WILLIAMS had 21 points, FIFTEEN boards, EIGHT assists, and rounded it out for a full house; ALMIR had 15 points, eight boards, and a full house. Off the bench Zach Pedersen had 10 points; John Renfro had five points; and Isaac Ladines didn’t have much of anything but he had something of everything with a full house.
Clan… Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The Nooks got it done, and that’s what matters -right?
SMU 61 @ WOU 74
Match-up of the old travel partners. Saint Martin’s disappointed again. They were only down five at the half and then it ended up like this. We’re so sick of their lack of fundamentals -it’s a really, really ugly form of basketball to watch, especially when they have such great moments to contrast it with. It would be one thing if they just played terribly and that was that; it’s that they tease, they play well, they play well, they collapse and you bury your face in your hands because it’s just embarrassing to the GNAC itself. And this was on Root. Ugh. Whatever. No one has cable any more, right? No one was watching it.
Saints highlights: Rhett Baerlocher had 12 points; Cole Preston had six boards and five assists. Off the bench Jordan Kitchen had nine points; and Brandon Kenilvort had 13 points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had five boards; Alex Roth had 10 points; Jordan Wiley had 16 points and seven boards; Andy Avgi had 24 points. Off the bench: Kadeem Strickland had six points; and Tanner Omlid had four boards.
It was a woofer of a game, but again: The Wolves got it done. It would be easy to go “oh well they were exhausted from the SPU game on Thursday,” but if anything that should have had them mad. The Falcons never led during that game and yet still pushed it to over time. Aggravating.
An interesting if not irritating weekend of basketball. We’re still trying to make heads or tails of the WOU/SPU game. MSUB takes on Anchorage on Tuesday, so we’ll see about that.
Should there have been a post yesterday? Maybe. Probably. But a minor concussion got in the way of it, so… That was exciting and terrifying; if our posts this week seem a little off, that’s why.
On the agenda for today: The first Cenazar game, the MSUB/Carroll game, neutralizing Suki, rankings, and power rankings.
Central Washington 98 @ Northwest Nazarene 72
We’d say this was expected, but at this point no result is expected. While we knew the Wildcats were more than capable of doing it, at the same time we knew that NNU is totally capable of keeping it close, if not winning, so what on the surface feels like an obvious result actually isn’t.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had nine points; Gary Jacobs had 18 points and five boards; Joe Stroud had 16 points, six boards, and a full house; Devin Matthews had 13 points and five assists. Off the bench Naim Ladd had 15 points in fourteen minutes; Drake Rademacher had eight points; Jerome Bryant had seven points and five boards; and Desmond Ross had five points.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 17 points and eight boards; Bouna had 14 points and nine boards. Off the bench Nikola Prvulj had 12 points; Leoor Konenkov had six points; and Marko Lepovic had five points.
Overall a pretty typical story; it went back and forth for a while and then CWU put it away and won convincingly.
We’ll be brief: Billings lost to Carroll by 13 playing their usual guys their usual minutes. Carroll is a really good NAIA team that only has one loss to a fellow NAIA school and is currently undefeated in three conference games.
That being said: WHAT THE HECK, BILLINGS. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST DID TO ANY CREDIBILITY WE WERE HOPING TO HAVE?! Granted Carroll is contemplating a move to D2 and so we kind of assume that’s how they’re recruiting -we haven’t heard the latest in that regard- but we’d love to have them in our conference. The deadline to submit an NCAA application for the year is February 1st, so… If they are, we’ll hear something soon.
We got to see Suki game planned for, for the first time in-conference. We’ll get more chances in the coming weeks -we’re really excited to see what Jamie Stevens, Jim Shaw does, and what Tony Dominguez does. There are a lot of great coaches in our conference, but those guys have the player personnel to actually accomplish what they want, theoretically, so we look it as a mark on them as for what their teams do against him. It sounds kind of ridiculous to discuss game planning for a player -ideally you play your game and they play theirs- but Suki is so much the focus of that offense that it would be stupid not to contemplate the dos and don’ts in regard to Anchorage.
This past week we got to see what Ryan Looney did and his strategy of letting Suki do what he wanted and then have his guys avoid fouling him at all costs was brilliant. Suki goes to the line WAY too much and he takes so many shots but usually only shoots like 35%. The Falcons are known for being a team that’s incredibly good defensively. If the Falcons hadn’t choked in regard to rebounding (among other things) it would have been fine. We liked the strategy, but because it’s what we probably would have done, we’re really interested to see what the other coaches come up with.
7. Cal Poly Pomona -lost to UCSD. Dropped two spots. Seems fair.
10. Cal Baptist -Didn’t play, but moved up due to the losses of other teams.
14. Western Oregon -Lost to CWU. Dropped 11 spots. Sadly they likely fell this far because of the conference chaos that happened; it would be one thing to drop a game and have SPU beat the Alaska schools convincingly; it’s entirely different to have them get swept. SOS matters and WOU didn’t have too much of it as it was, and now their opponent that does have some form of it got beat twice.
17. UC San Diego -Beat CPP, lost to Humboldt State; dropped four spots. The four spots feels right, but at the same time… CPP is still ranked so highly. It’s likely on some level reverberating because WOU lost to CWU and SPU lost to the Alaska schools. It’s all SOS. It’s all connected, particularly in regard to the west region.
20. Chico State -WHY IS CHICO STATE STILL RANKED?!?!?! Their schedule doesn’t have ANYTHING on it, except a loss to Seattle Pacific. Put Humboldt in this spot, if nothing else.
24. Seattle Pacific -Lost to UAA & UAF. We’re honestly really shocked they’re still ranked.
Others receiving votes: Azusa Pacific (8), Humboldt State (5), Alaska-Fairbanks (3), Alaska-Anchorage (2). Humboldt should be ranked; Chico State should merely be receiving votes; Azusa Pacific 50/50; We’re not sure why CU-Irvine isn’t getting any votes at all; and then the Alaska schools are benefitting from the Falcon Effect.
This week we feel the need to do a power ranking.
1. Alaska Anchorage. Beat Seattle Pacific, somewhat convincing win at SMU.
2. Alaska Fairbanks. Again, beat Seattle Pacific, survived SMU.
3. Central Washington. Beat Western Oregon, avoided the upset against Concordia-Portland. Their near loss is why they’re so low.
4. MSU-Billings. Good wins over SFU & WWU; succeeded in playing their own game. This doesn’t take the Carroll game into account.
5. CU-Portland. Got their first conference win against NNU, almost got a win at CWU, good place to be. Lots of hope.
6. Western Oregon. Picked up a loss at CWU, but killed NNU. Upsets were going to happen, we knew that, it’s not the biggest deal. They don’t have something to be really excited about from this last weekend, but spiraling isn’t a concern because it was just one game. Totally fine.
7. Simon Fraser. Mainly because it’s hard for this fanbase to spiral downward because there really are no expectations what-so-ever. Kinda neutral.
8. Saint Martin’s. The way they lost these games is wholly unacceptable for any program. The lack of fundamentals and effort was disturbing. Why are these guys playing college basketball at all? The fact that they don’t want to was clearly on display particularly against Anchorage. They had every chance to win that game and they didn’t.
9. Northwest Nazarene. How many expectations can you really have and yet… They’ve shown flashes of brilliance and they stay with teams for a full half before getting blown out, so if they know they can do that, how do they let themselves get blown out?
10. Western Washington. This is Tony Dominguez’s third year with his own guys and he’s still not contending for an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. The play of the guys was uninspired and we just don’t know what to do with this team.
11. Seattle Pacific. They know what we think. They know what we know. It is what it is. This is where they belong.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow morning at the usual time.
…………. What a ride. Holy guacamole. With WOU and SPU losing, the instinct is to overreact to everything and question ourselves, but… We’re not quite ready to do that. We knew upsets would happen. Did we think it would be the first week? No. But the west coast as a whole is seemingly full of parity, so… Whether it’s the sky or merely confetti falling in your world today: Take a deep breath. It’s one game. There are miles to go before we sleep.
Simon Fraser 83 @ MSU-Billings 94
Proud of both teams. SFU was leading for a good long while before the Yellowjackets got serious and put the Clan away. Honestly, a fairly ugly game on behalf of Simon Fraser, but in that we’re ridiculously excited about Billings. Billings played their own game, kept their course, and pulled out a nice ‘W.’
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had nine boards; Max Barkeley had four boards, four assists, and five fouls; Michael Harper went 10/10 from the line, grabbed eight boards, and finished with 21 points; JJ Pankratz had 11 points and eight boards.
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had 27 points and two steals; Emmanuel Johnson had six boards; Jace Anderson went 7-7 from the line, had six boards, six assists, two steals, and finished with 18 points. Off the bench Preston Beverley had nine boards and 13 points; and Kendall Denham had 12 points.
Alaska-Fairbanks 79 @ Saint Martin’s 72
Interesting game. Fairbanks was blowing the Saints out for a good long while before SMU got back in it and then ultimately the game ended in fouling. Really great job by the Nanooks for getting their first win off the tundra, but great effort by SMU.
Nook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 11 boards, four assists, and nine points; Joe Slocum went 6-6 from the line, had 10 boards, and finished with 18 points for the double-double; Brandon Davis went 7-7 from the line, grabbed six boards, and finished with 22 points. The Nooks had just 11 turnovers, and put up a monster rebounding performance grabbing 46, although admittedly it was a high rebounding game; the Saints grabbed 40 themselves.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had six assists and 12 points; Tyler Copp had 15 points; Fred Jorg had 11 boards and 10 points. The Saints as noted grabbed 40 boards overall, and then also had a remarkably low number of turnovers with a mere eight.
Really excited to watch both teams play more. All of the guys showed great promise. Joe Slocum finally started functioning again and then we want to see Fred Jorg progress. Right now Fred is a massive turnover liability, but he has the potential to do well on this level.
Alaska Anchorage 61, Seattle Pacific 59
We knew this game would be close. We thought the Falcons would pull it out, but are ultimately very pleased with the Seawolves for getting a win off the tundra and potentially making a statement.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs grabbed 10 boards; Corey Hammell grabbed seven. Off the bench BRIAN MCGILL finished wtih 11 points in thirty minutes of fantastic play. We’re so glad to have Brian back, can’t express that enough.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had nine boards, four assists, and eight points; Gilles Dierickx had 16 points; Mitch Penner had six boards; Garrett Swanson also had six boards. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had four boards off the bench. Honestly this was a really ugly game, to the point that we’re walking away from how the Falcons were playing because it was that bad.
Overall the Seawolves held the Falcons to 19% from three and 33% from the field, which is amazing. It was a defensive grind it out and we could not be more proud of UAA. They’re going to head into Saint Martin’s all fired up and we’d say we expect them to win by a lot, but this conference has already proven that the vast majority of games are going to be ‘pick’ems’ which is just as well. It makes for tons of fun basketball.
Western Oregon 77 @ Central Washington 81
Unexpected, but definitely not a bad thing. Team Chaos. We weren’t on it, and now we’re bandwagoners and have no shame. More chaos, more fun. The Wildcats made some very, very smart plays, gutted and gritted it out and ultimately got it done. Ridiculously proud of them.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had eight boards and four assists; Alex Roth had 12 points; JULIAN NICHOLS had 29 points; Andy Avgi had 16 points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had four steals. Much like the SPU game, this was ugly. We’re thrilled to see Julian Nichols playing like we know he can, but… This was vomit inducing.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 15 points; Terry Dawn had five boards; Gary Jacobs had five boards; Joe Stroud had seven boards, four assists, and 11 points; and Devin Matthews had five boards. Off the bench Naim Ladd had four boards and 17 points; Drake Rademacher had a good night picking up 15 points on good shooting; Desmond Ross grabbed four boards and picked up 10 points.
Thrilled with the Wildcat performance, it’s one game, it could propel them to more. They shouldn’t have any issues with CU-PDX, so that’ll be good. Great performances in particular from the guys off the bench. At one point we thought Naim was going to get trampled, but he lives, so that’s good.
Concordia-Portland 87 @ Northwest Nazarene 83 in OT
Really exciting game to watch, it was a great way to spend NYE. Great to see Concordia get their first conference win and see their guys actually step into their new roles as D2 basketball players.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had eight boards and 30 points; Jarrett Gray had five boards, five assists, and 13 points; Tyler Gutierrez had seven boards. Off the bench Taylor Harris had five boards and five points; Riley Hawken had 13 boards and 12 points for the double-double. The team as a whole picked up -50- count ’em fifty, boards.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 10 boards; Bouna N’Diaye had five boards; Detwon Rogers had seven boards and 22 points; Mike Wright made 9-10 free throws. Off the bench Pol Olivier had six assists and eight points; while Kyle Bailey had six points and five fouls -you do you, big guy.
Reality says it was an ugly game; both teams had a crazy number of turnovers, but it was progress on both ends -particularly for the Cavs. We’ve been really excited for them to join our conference for a while now -Fall of 2013 was when we learned that they were and we thought it would be great; we had fun being out in Branson, MO with them last year, and we’ll see what they do. This win obviously doesn’t mean a ton, but it’s progress and progress is good.
It feels like we already have stuff to discuss, but the fact is: It was one day of basketball. Instinct is to praise the Wildcats and Seawolves like crazy and the nice thing would be to tell the Wolves and Falcons that it was merely one game. The reality is that the Wildcats and Seawolves need to look at it like “it was one game” and know that they still have a lot to do. With the Falcons and Wolves, it’s gut check time. It just is. It was some really, really, really nasty basketball, to the point that we didn’t single anyone out not because the numbers weren’t there for us to do just that, but because it’s beyond that. Usually we’re yellers, but those two games cause silence; there’s literally nothing we have any desire to say.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11ish.
Happy New Year, blog! Thanks for bringing us so much joy throughout 2015 -we look forward to tons more during 2016.