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!
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!!!! Go Panthers. We’re of the mind that if a team beats us, we want them to do as well as possible to legitimize our loss to them. We’d rather lose to a great team than a bad one.
This’ll be the first of two posts today because OF COURSE we want to check in officially in regard to D2West stuff, but while we contemplated merging the posts… We decided to make them separate.
Northwest Nazarene 54 @ MSU-Billings 75
Not really too surprising. Really happy to see that Emmanuel Johnson was back in the rotation, if not playing well. Billings turned into the black hole that usually is only associated with Nampa or Burnaby, so we have no idea how the game went, but here are the numerical highlights:
Crusaders: Off the bench Gonzo Santana had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Yellowjackets: Preston Beverly had nine boards; Marc Matthews had 25 points and six boards; Emmanuel Olufemi had six boards, four blocks, and 13 points; and off the bench Jordan Perry had five points and six boards; while Sven Jeuschede had eight points.
Alaska-Fairbanks 78 @ Western Washington 64
You mean the Vikings didn’t lose by 25? It felt like they lost by 25. The Vikings had to sign autographs after this game, no joke. We didn’t stick around; we like angry men’s basketball players, and we like torturing men’s basketball players, but we frown on other people doing the torturing. Maybe the biggest question of the night: How do you pronounce Almir’s name? According to the UAF website: Hodd-zee-SAY-ho-vitch. We’d been pronouncing it “Hodds-hi-So-Vich” but that’s mainly so we spell it correctly. Go figure.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had seven boards; Joe Slocum had 10 points; Travante had 29 points and eight boards; Brandon Davis had 10 points; and Almir had 13 points, which we’re kind of surprised about because we expected him to light up the tuckus of WWU’s Blake Bowen. Shockingly minimal bench play, but… The starters were kind of on fire, so how much bench play did they really need? Zach Pederson had six points.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 16 points and five assists; Trey Drechsel had five boards; Blake Bowen had eight points; Jeffrey Parker had nine points; and off the bench Evan Scholten had eight points; while Colby Mitchell had seven points.
Bad night for the Vikings. We’re excited for the Nooks -they were shooting really, really well, but at the same time it doesn’t negate us from bashing our head against a wall in regard to WWU. The conference tourney spots are pretty much set, so now it kind of behooves all of us for every team to play well and be competitive, so even Nook fans should kind of be going “Really WWU, really? We’d like more of a challenge than that.”
Alaska Anchorage 88 @ Simon Fraser 66
Yeah, it eventually ended up looking like that but for a while it was looking like an overlook special was going to come out of it, which admittedly had us quaking in our boots just a bit. Again: the conference tourney teams are solidified, so now on a conference level we want those six teams to look really freaking good.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had five boards, three assists, and two steals; Corey Hammell had 10 points and five boards; Brian McGill had 34 points and four steals while shooting something of 90% collectively and being 11/11 from the free throw line. Off the bench Christian Leckband had eight points and 11 boards.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had six assists; Max Barkeley had 11 points; Gibran Sewani had 16 points; and JJ Pankratz had six boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had eight points and four steals; and Bowen Bakken had seven points.
This game happened. It was played. The Clan continue their quest for 0-20. We still don’t think it’s going to happen, but they are one step closer.
CU-Portland 64 @ Saint Martin’s 81
Very misleading score. Concordia was up. Concordia was dominating. And then they weren’t. And then they really weren’t. And now they lost big at SMU when they had been leading big at SMU because d2west, that’s why. They should just be happy they’re not relevant like CBU and Dixie State. Maybe.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 25 points and 12 boards; James Phillips had five boards; and off the bench John Erickson had eight points.
Saint highlights: Victor Ieronymides had five boards; Cole Preston had eight assists; Rhett Baerlocher almost had a double-double with 12 points and nine boards; Tyler Copp had six assists. Off the bench TREY INGRAM IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ve been waiting SO long and he comes out with a whopping 28 points. Isaac Bianchini also had a MONSTER game of a coming out party, finishing with 23 points while going 6/8 from three.
Proud of the Saints. Scratching our head at Concordia. Youth? Well, the Saints are really young too, but… Sure, youth Concordia. Much like you think the earth has (their official curriculum states that the earth is roughly 8,000 years old, because Jesus).
Western Oregon 84 @ Seattle Pacific 82 in OT
Was this the game of the night, or was this the game of the night? It was the game of the night. The Falcons were up by a ton and then of course let the Wolves come back and here we are. We were following this game super, super closely and the people around us were kind of keeping a thread of it and they’d gasp and be like “but!” and we’d be like “No. This game isn’t over until the bald guy stops fouling intentionally.” It was nuts. It was full on nuts. But alas… Here we go with the numbers. The numbers make us happy because here’s a game that went into OT with fouling on both sides and yet it still only hit the low 80s.
Warning: Some of the numbers we’re going to highlight we usually would never highlight, but this game was between two of the best teams on the west coast and defense doesn’t show up in many box score numbers.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had four rebounds and three assists; Julian Nichols had four boards and four assists and rounded it out with a full house; Tanner Omlid had six boards, 16 points, and five fouls on great shooting; Jordan Wiley had 17 points and three steals; Andy Avgi had 29 points and three steals. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points and three boards.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had eight boards and seven assists; Brendan Carroll had six boards; Gilles Dierickx had 11 boards and 10 points; Mitch Penner had eight boards and 23 points. Off the bench Sam Simpson had six points; Joe Rasmussen had eight points; and Gabe Colosimo had 12 points.
Maybe the weirdest thing about this game is that supposedly the Wolves had 26 boards and the Falcons had 46, and yet the Wolves still won. We’re actually not sure we believe that rebounding score -not on behalf of the Falcons; they get boards, always have, usually will; but it seems shocking that the Wolves had roughly half, granted… 26 isn’t abnormal for a team in the GNAC, especially one that plays SPU, and yet to still walk away with a victory… Huge. We’ll talk about more implications of this game in the next post, but for now… Wow. Congrats to both the Falcons and the Wolves on playing an incredible game.
Later today we’ll go over the West Region stuff and then tomorrow POW noms and announcement.
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.
After nursing an injury throughout the Fall, Trey has come in and taken our conference by storm. He helped lead the Vikings to victory against CU-Portland and did his darndest to keep them in it against WOU -and he succeeded for a while. Trey went 4-5 from three against the Wolves while picking up eight boards. Against the Cavs of Concordia, he went 4/4 from the line, grabbed nine boards, and shot roughly 55% from the field. He was up and down the court and a huge factor in the Vikings being able to sit Mac Johnson.
However, that leads to a question that we’ve been wanting to address: Trey was starting and now he’s not. The Vikings third starter has been very influx this year, but… Should it be? We’re completely confident in Evan Scholten, Harris Javier, Trey, and Colby Mitchell -all guys that have seen starting minutes. Last year we were sooo stoked about having Mac for another year because he’d played so well and we were like “Oh, he’s going to come in this year and know that much more what he’s doing.” That hasn’t happened, at all. We keep waiting, it still hasn’t. The big question is: Should the Vikings be starting someone else at the five?
Our answer: absolutely. They likely haven’t because Mac is a center and the other center they have to pick from is Blake Bowen and Blake is a complete mess, so that’s not going to happen. But why do you need a center? Answer: You don’t. Not even in this conference with Fred and Gilles; particularly in this conference because you only need to deal with Fred and Gilles and those two are so bad half the time anyway, that… Why worry? Just run. Run, run, run. SPU’s board production doesn’t usually come via Gilles; it comes via Bryce and Mitch. What little board production SMU has comes more consistently via Jordan Kitchen and Victor, not Fred.
So with that: Don’t play a five. Kyle Impero is the best rebounder on the team anyway, so just go with something in the realm of Ricardo, Kyle, Colby or Evan, Jeff, and Trey, and then have Harris be your caffeine pill off the bench. Get Brett Kingma in at some point and see if he’s hot, but if he’s not cut your losses and stop playing him for the half. There’s a reason warm-ups exist. It’s one thing to need to get in the game groove, but an entirely different to simply shoot until the ships come home, which is what Brett is starting to border on doing.
Anyway: Congrats on player-of-the-week, Trey; we believe in you and think you should still be starting.
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.