Once upon a time, in a land near and dear to our hearts, there was a little falcon known throughout the far and wide West Region for its spirit. After two years, the little falcon’s GNAC basketball fascination was in full effect; it was its third year and rather than just looking at their school, the spirited little falcon began to pay attention to all nine other schools too.
The dominoes started falling when a Twitter fight broke out. Through careful analysis, the little falcon concluded that their school would drop an upcoming game and the GNAC would likely be a one-bid league that year.
First, the team dropped the game; a couple of months later, only one bid was procured.
During those two months, the spirited little falcon had started contemplating; the Twitter fight had triggered an urge, a will: the antagonist had suggested a blog. But the little falcon, ever dedicated, kenned that its current commitment to its own school was far too great -if a blog were to happen, it would start the following year.
Through the twists and turns of the season the spirit of the little falcon longed for someone to speak with in its native tongue, but no one was willing. Classmates ignored, profs rolled their eyes, the men’s basketball team couldn’t be bothered, but then… the Saint Martin’s baseball team faced a rain delay and found themselves captivated by the tiny, spirited creature.
For forty-five minutes, one Saturday morning in March, under the westerly winds and steady drizzle from southern-Idaho skies, the spirited little falcon conversed joyously and knowledgeably, mostly about men’s basketball, to the shocked Saints’ baseball team. Once again: a blog was suggested -begged for, even. The thought made the little falcon grow warm -the spirit of humanity was singing.
That Spring, unexpected triumphs arose: an internship off campus, a graduate program wholly unanticipated but very embraced, a random meeting with the journalism department chair. This time it was the journalism head captivated by the little creature’s ability, “You should start a blog,” he encouraged.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
The little falcon that could, maybe.
That Summer, there was a meeting at Graduate School: the little falcon’s world was shattered; spite set ablaze, hot anger mixed with devastating sadness. Different terms than a blog would usually be purposefully birthed under, but powerful ones all the same.
I theoretically can, I theoretically can, I theoretically can.
The little falcon started on the project -heart heavy between the old familiar world of darkness, that was loved but also hated; and the new world full of light, laughter, and potential: after three years, the skies were starting to open up again. But, after three years of darkness -the little falcon had become accustomed to it; what were these fluffy white puffs of praise? What was this glowing warmth spreading throughout its breast?
Was it possible the little falcon had been wrong the whole time -there had been starlight at home, long unseen? Nope, turned out to be fireworks; stars were beautiful, untouchable, and unable to burn -the bite of the fireworks seared hot on the little falcon’s wings -home was no longer home. Truth be told, home had never been home.
The spirited little falcon took a deep breath, readied for flight, and flew over to a ship -the ship had been warned about the little falcon, but the warnings turned out to be for naught: there was nothing wrong with the spirited little creature. The spirited little falcon was just that: spirited -full of light, love, understanding, and knowledge. With that reassurance, the tiny creature flew home more determined than ever. Now the little falcon was committed to serve the entire conference -bringing joy and a capacious love of division two men’s basketball to all.
And that’s how we got here: The spirited little falcon that could, half way through the season, so far, so good —
I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.
That was the final installment of our mid-season blog blitz; normal posting will resume tomorrow.
Mitch shot 72% against Simon Fraser, finishing with a modified eight rebounds, five assists, and 21 points. Against Western Washington, he hit 9-10 free throws as well as had five rebounds, one assists, two steals, a block, and four player fouls with NO turnovers. Awesome.
As noted earlier: Tomorrow’ll be our discussion day so if you have a question: comment on here or hit up the twitter account @GNACMBBlog.
Simon Fraser @ Alaska-Fairbanks @ 4:15pm PST
Who knows. Who knows what SFU is doing? They clearly do, but whether it’ll work is yet to be seen. They’re going to want to bounce back after the loss to the Seawolves, UAF is gonna want to keep the ball rolling after the win against Western Washington, we’ll see who wins out.
Western Oregon @ MSU-Billings @ 6pm PST
WOU should bounce back, although… Billings displayed gumption, really balanced scoring. MSUB… Bias, because their coaching staff is fantastic and this could be the game that they put it together. They’re finally free of not knowing whether or not they have Austin for any given game, they got to test it out against an admittedly much weaker than WOU Saint Martin’s team, but… it could happen. No one goes 0-for in the GNAC, so any given night.
Northwest Nazarene @ Central Washington @ 7pm PST
CWU needs to win by a lot, but there’s no telling whether or not they will.
Saint Martin’s @ Seattle Pacific @ 7pm PST
SPU should roll over Saint Martin’s and if the Saints keep their same shooting percentages… won’t be an issue. Interesting dichotomy in that the Saints’ best player is a former Falcon and then SPU went 2-0 in Vegas vs. SMU going 0-2 against the same teams. Saint Martin’s could have something up their collective sleeve, but… we’ll see.
Western Washington @ Alaska Anchorage @ 8:30pm PST
Game of the night. Both teams need to get it done; UAA comes off of a great win against SFU (who’d’ve thought we’d be saying that?) and WWU comes off a bad loss against UAF. Everyone wants to keep giving both teams the benefit of the doubt, WWU in particular, and yet it has to stop at some point… Is this the game?
Once again: There’ll be plenty of musings going on, join the conversation on Twitter!
Rollins 73, Saint Martin’s 67
Rollins is from the Sunshine State Conference and came into this game with a 4-4 record. They ultimately beat Saint Martin’s in a close one. Tyler Copp had a decent game –16 points, went 5-6 on free throws; Tyler Idowu had a double-double with 14 rebounds and 18 points, whilst picking up just one foul; Riley Carel had five assists and two steals whilst scoring eight points in 27 minutes off the bench. Not a bad game; the Saints could’ve had it but didn’t. That’ll be something to change down the line.
Dixie State 67, Saint Martin’s 62
The Saints were in it the whole way and again could’ve had it but didn’t. We tend to harp on Riley around here and today is no exception: He played 32 minutes off the bench, went 7-8 on free throws with five rebounds, four assists, six steals, and four player fouls -all of which are impressive; however, he had four turnovers and went 2-8 and 0-2 from the field respectively, which is never gonna work. At least two of the turnovers in particular were totally unnecessary -guys were wide open but he chose to play selfishly instead. In better news: Trey Ingram had nine points; Tyler Idowu went 4-4 and 5-8 with seven boards; and Brent Counts had some good moments ultimately grabbing six boards and eight points.
Seattle Pacific 76, Dixie State 66
This game was nothing short of hilarious: Seattle Pacific was down by A LOT early (something like 15-2) and yet finally displayed some moderately decent back up center play and things finally evened out. They changed their starting line-up yet again, which initially looked like a bad decision but ultimately turned out okay. Shawn Reid was positively out of his mind -went 12-15 and 5-7 from three, ultimately ending up with 30 points; Mitch Penner went 7-9 from the free throw line and with four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and two player fouls picked up a full house along with 12 points; Brendan Carroll added eight points, Garrett Swanson nine points, and Riley Stockton 7 assists. This was a good gut check game against D2 competition for the Falcons.
Seattle Pacific 74, Rollins College 54
No let down game for the Falcons; heavy minutes were back in full force. Riley Stockton had a particularly interesting stat line -he scored no points on 0-8 shooting, but still grades out more than decently because he picked up nine assists, six boards, and a block; Brendan Carroll added 12, Matt Borton added 11 points and seven rebounds; Mitch Penner chipped in a double-double with ten boards and ten points; Cory Hutsen went 9-10 from the field and 3-4 on free throws for a whopping 21 points. Not much drama in this game, but again: good to avoid the let down.
Tarleton State 72, Western Washington 66
The shooting percentages on this team are nothing short of mortifying for all involved, but we’ll get onto the good news: Kyle Impero had eight boards; Jaamon Echols had 21 points; Anye Turner added 14 points and five fouls; Joey Schreiber had ten points. Fairly nice balance in terms of rebounding, but their assist numbers need severe amounts of help.
Western Washington 72, San Bernardino State 66
This is good. This is much better. San Bernardino is a much worse team than Tarleton State, but oh well -we’ll take what we can get. Jaamon massively improved his shooting percentage, ultimately finishing 5-8 from the field and 7-8 on free throws for 18 points in 31 minutes; Mac Johnson had 11 points and 11 rebounds; Ricardo Maxwell chipped in 15 points and ultimately while assists still need work it was a decent game. It felt like the Vikings were more playing down to their level of competition than the score really indicates, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except how low can and will the GNAC go on any given night? Something we’ll be yet to see.
Player-of-the-week nominees will be posted later today, non-Vegas games hopefully tomorrow, player-of-the-week soon after, and then individual team previews will start going up by early next week at the latest.
MSU-Billings 62, Montana Western 72
MSU-Billings 80, Alumni 82
MSU-Billings… What are we going to do with you? A better question might be what are you going to do with yourselves? It is the prerogative for us to keep loving you because conference brethren, but if this weekend doesn’t cause a reality check that makes you start playing defensive basketball rather than shoot until the cows come home and hope it works basketball… Yikes.
Shout out to Simon Fraser… for SFU, it’s mostly working. Or at least half the time. And they’re in every game. The MSUB game started before all of the other games and was pretty compelling simply because at this point the Frontier Conference is looking pretty darn good, and so ultimately almost the entirety of it was watched and… MSUB had their chances, but it definitely had the feel of being Montana-Western’s to lose rather than MSUB’s to win.
Central Washington 82, Quest 49
The main highlights of this game include the fact that a lot of players played quality minutes, Dom continues to impress, and it was just a good win to get. Quest isn’t impressive at all, but there’s starting to be an alarming trend of not resting big minute players in blowouts and quite frankly: it’s incredibly worrisome. CWU is so deep, which is shocking to say, but they are, and it was good to see them use some of that depth.
Seattle Pacific 100, George Fox 62.
Unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we have to take games against D3 and NAIA schools somewhat seriously. George Fox held on for a while and made some really good adjustments, but the Falcons did what’s becoming typical of them in lower division games and walked away after half time. Mitch Penner had a phenomenal game; full house, plus a double-double. The main issue with the Falcons is that they play their starters so many minutes. They win by thirty and yet four out of five starters played more than 25 minutes -good luck with that if/when the annual basketball plague breaks out during conference play.
Western Oregon 94, Camosun 59
Exactly what was supposed to happen. This’ll be discussed more in the power rankings next week, but WOU has had some really good games. This was an incredibly balanced one -they had six players score in double digits, good shooting percentages, not particularly fantastic team stats, but if the shootings happening against a super low level team, it’s hard to nitpick too much because every player that entered the game (12 in all) played double digit minutes which is fantastic.
Idaho State 69, Northwest Nazarene 57
That win actually makes our conference look somewhat respectable. That’s one of the closer scores we’ve seen of our conference vs. D1 this year, and even if Idaho State is terrible… WHO CARES?! We’ve gotten beat worse by NAIA teams, so we’ll take it! Kevin Rima had 13 points and eight rebounds; the team overall had decent rebounding numbers and their A/TO wasn’t horrifying. It would’ve been cool if they’d escaped with the ‘W’ but it’s a very respectable score and theoretically shows the Crusaders making some good progress.
The Seawolf Jamboree
BYU-Hawaii 81, Alaska-Fairbanks 62
The Nooks were doing so well at half time and then collapsed. Not super surprising —BYU-H is looking pretty legit this year, which isn’t a bad thing -quality losses can be quality. It’s disturbing that we’re at that point, but oh well. The big problem with Fairbanks this weekend is that they just showed a fundamental lack of teamwork and lack of desire in that second half. They definitely could have won -it was looking like an upset was potentially on the horizon, and while the arena was dead… No. The Nooks could’ve proven something and they let it slip out of their grasp, which is just sad. Their Big Three of Ruben, Kyle, and Adam can go to the hoop with any Big Three in the conference… now if they can just create some chemistry within the rest of the team.
Humboldt State 87, Alaska-Anchorage 83
Such a close game, Anchorage should’ve/could’ve won -Humboldt got it instead. Derrick needs to learn when to stop shooting. He could be productive if he could start focusing on things that matter, like helping his teammates. Brian McGill had a great game; Travis Thompson had a fantastic game; Kalidou was super solid; Christian Leckbend contributed some quality minutes off the bench, although should’ve quit with the threes much sooner. Still not sure what to make of this Anchorage team… definitely something more for contemplation during Christmas week.
Humboldt State 84, Alaska-Fairbanks 66
Again… Ya need teamwork. This wasn’t an inherently bad game -they rebounded (no pun intended) and grabbed 47 boards, their assist to turnover ratio was fine, Almir stepped up. They actually beat Humboldt in just about every statistical category except shooting percentage, at which point the real story is told. Ya need defense. Which, in the GNAC this year may or may not be unnecessary most of the time, but… gotta put up when you do. If they’d played lockdown D, again: they could’ve likely gotten the ‘W.’
BYU-Hawaii 90, Alaska-Anchorage 69
BYU-H got really lucky playing so many GNAC schools this year, that is incredibly evident. Generally their schedule of teams in terms of us would be considered a gauntlet… We’ll see what they do in conference. As for Anchorage: Brian McGill wasn’t great, but was at least productive when shots weren’t falling; Travis Thompson had an okay game, but could’ve done more 4-10 from three is never acceptable. You may argue that’s 40% is okay, but team numbers and individual numbers are very different heads of a monster; Kalidou continues to be consistent, which is fantastic -reliability in college basketball is highly appreciated and yet usually not talked about until it’s dancing in front of you wearing a tea cozy.
What the Seawolf Jamboree taught us:
A lot of GNAC teams should be salivating about the Alaska trip right now. Those teams are usually darn hard to sweep and yet this year… the potential is there. For a lot of teams. We say any given night in any year… this year that phrase is going to be on steroids and in Alaska, maybe even on whale blubber.
Posted late, but that’s finals for you. There’ll be another few posts that go up today.
Laxatives may be needed for this one, because bricks are on the horizon for defecation.
The Davids went 4/5 on the day and the home teams win out; Goliath who? There were so many great games to watch –UAA/WOU was interesting for the first half, SMU/UAF was interesting until the buzzer sounded -as was MSUB/NNU & WWU/SFU, and then SPU/CWU was probably the weirdest game all day.
Alaska-Anchorage 68 @ Western Oregon 87
At first it was really close and then WOU put it away convincingly, which wasn’t really surprising considering they were playing at home and the Seawolves were without Travis Thompson.
Collectively the concerns for UAA include rebounding, playing cohesively, cold players not accepting that they’re cold, their awful three point shooting, and the lack of teamwork in general. Just because Travis is gone doesn’t mean the teamwork should stop. While the assist number isn’t horrible, it’s largely thanks to Brian McGill -they weren’t distributed well at all, and that’s likely what did them in so nastily.
The good numbers: Brian McGill had 14 points along with six assists and four rebounds; Kalidou Diouf went 7-7, finishing with 16 points and five boards; Sjur Berg went 5-5 for 11 points; Derrick Fain contributed 12 points.
The bad numbers: Brian had 6 turnovers, Christian Leckband went 2-7, Derrick went 3-12, and the bench play overall was not spectacular.
Western Oregon had so many good things, it’s hard to pick a place to start; how about the fact that they shot nearly 50% from three and had 19 assists?
Player highlights: Devon Alexander had 10 points and six assists; Julian Nichols had 21 points and 9 assists; Andy Avgi had 12 points and five rebounds; Adam Hastings had 16 points in just 20 minutes played.
The main place of concern is the fact that Jordan Wiley went 1-6 on field goals and three pointers, but also that Lew Thomas was mostly silent. The bench wasn’t particularly strong, but they won by 20 and did a great job of exploiting the areas presented to them. It was a good and quality win, but will remain with an asterisk due to the absence of Travis Thompson.
Alaska-Fairbanks 64 @ Saint Martin’s 67
The game was interesting, unfortunately it wasn’t actually good -it was incredibly sloppy for both teams. The collective average shooting percentage was 42, which is the answer of “what is a poor FG %?”
Luckily, the guys save the day in terms of being okay because okay is a relative term. Ruben Silvas had 12 points and nine rebounds; Ashton Edwards had 13 points; Adam Griffin had 11 points. Oh shoot -that was worse than previously thought, especially because those are the concerns: Ashton went 5-14 and 3-8 and yet there wasn’t someone else that he could defer to; Kyle Tomlinson went 1-5 and 1-5 –zoinks. There just was not a lot of good and with the numbers, it’s amazing the Nooks kept it as close as they did.
Saint Martin’s… their social media department was too enthusiastic about Riley Carel’s role in this victory. This blog is plenty fond of Riley and yet… the guy went 3-10 for a mere 11 points, yeesh; Trey Ingram had 11 points, five rebounds, and two assists; Tyler Copp had nine points and six rebounds; Tyler Idowu had seven rebounds and five points; Cameron Chatwin had 10 points and seven rebounds; off the bench Brent Counts went 3-3 for 6 points; and Isaac Bianchini added nine points and four assists.
The Saints’ collective number of assists was great and with the exception of Riley the shot selection was good. They were missing Ryan Rogers and yet got an incredibly necessary win, so we’ll see what they do from here.
MSU-Billings 57 @ Northwest Nazarene 59
Another interesting game that in reality is horrible. That’s starting to come up quite a bit -people mistake the parity for our conference being good. It’s not the conference being good, it’s the conference being terrible. The parity is just a nice distraction so we forget how terrible we actually are compared to the rest of the country.
Momir Gataric scored 10 points, Austin Hudson had 15 and nine rebounds for almost a double-double, Antoine Hosley had 12 points. Those were the highs. The lows include the fact that the team only had 11 assists, Marc Matthews went 1-6 and 1-4, respectively. MSUB was like a platypus -they didn’t do a lot.
Northwest Nazarene… Erik Kinney had 10 points and 10 rebounds for a nice double-double; Kevin Rima had 16 points and eight boards; Mike Wright had eight points and four boards; Todd Helgeson had seven points and five rebounds. The bad news: Aubrey was 1-6 and 1-3; the team collectively only had 8 assists; much like MSUB, they ddin’t do a a heck of a lot.
Seattle Pacific 67 @ Central Washington 73
The game looks closer than it actually was -the Falcons didn’t lead at any significant point and the number got up that high through fouling. SPU is the only team I’ve ever seen use the fouling thing and have it work even slightly in their favor. That’s probably not a good thing.
What is a good thing is that Matt Borton had a great game scoring 18 points, picking up 14 rebounds, and ultimately getting a full house with four assists, one steal, one block, and amassing four fouls amongst just ONE turnover; Cory Hutsen had 21 points and eight boards; Shawn Reid (aka Token) had 13 points and three rebounds off the bench; Brendan Carroll had nine points off the bench.
Besides that, the bench was largely a bad thing; the Falcons got hardly anything from it. Starter Riley Stockton had a poor game, Cory Hutsen went 7-16, which shouldn’t happen when the farthest shot you take is from two feet out. It’s not that the Falcons don’t have talent, it’s that they can’t/don’t/won’t utilize it.
Central, on the other hand, has so much talent that can be utilized it’s a grab bag of who’s going to show up on any given night. Gary Jacobs had 14 points; Dom Williams had 19 points and five assists; Jordan Russell had 13 points off the bench; Joe Stroud went 5-5 and had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Wildcats earned the win through their low number of turnovers and scrappy play. Still not sure what to make of this Central team, but so far so good.
Western Washington 118 @ Simon Fraser 122
HOLY BOLOGNA. The Clan beat the Vikings for the first time ever and it was the shootout anticipated. There were a lot of gaudy numbers which have been adjusted for, but ultimately as much pride exists for the Clan, there is more disappointment in the Vikings.
The urge is to simply pick on Western for their lack of defense and for playing the game SFU wanted them to play rather than playing their own game. That shows a lack of discipline. What the coaching staff was thinking… who knows. It’s like Oregon’s horrible uniforms: sure, all of the guys like them and they’re pretty (or something) but it’s not classy and they’re doing nothing for you in reality. WWU should’ve committed to defense and they didn’t, which is quite frankly pathetic and basically tells us that WWU is definitively not the team they’ve been in years past.
All numbers adjusted by x • .65
Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points and three rebounds; Jaamon Echols had 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists; Anye Turner did all he could in the waning minutes, ultimately ending up with a whopping 18 points and 13 rebounds on 10-12 shooting; Jeff Parker finished with 11 points. The Vikings showed rebounding prowess, but got almost nothing from their bench.
In regard to Simon Fraser: they coerced WWU into playing at their tempo, which isn’t as impressive as it could be considering it’s fun to play offense and not so much fun to play defense. Sango Niang finished with 19 points and five rebounds; Justin Cole had 13 points; Roderick Evans-Taylor ended with 12 points and four rebounds.
Once again: the bench play was minimal, which speaks to the overall lack of depth for our conference. This game didn’t necessarily make our conference look great one way or another -it didn’t make us look awful,
This weekend likely perpetuated the idea that the GNAC is having yet another down year, as well as putting us further in the basement. The situation compares well to our D1 counterpart Pac-12; when UCLA and Arizona are down, everyone is down; when they’re up, everyone is up. With SPU and WWU losing we’re in for a harsh reality check that we’re lucky we get an auto bid and for most teams it’ll be lucky that it’s the tournament winner rather than the regular season champion.
Any given night.
In terms of what the week holds: Player-of-the-week nominations will go up tomorrow, there’ll be more reflections on this past weekend, we’ll finally get to talk about the the Pac-West, and hopefully the magic for a shenanigans post will arise at some point too.
Good morning GNAC!
IT FINALLY HAPPENED! We all actually got together and played some conference games last night. Did we learn a lot? Arguably yes. Because we can finally stop making excuses.
Going into the first two games of conference play, the standings were:
Seattle Pacific 5-2
Western Oregon 5-2
Western Washington 5-2
Simon Fraser 4-3
Central Washington 3-2
Saint Martin’s 2-5
Northwest Nazarene 1-7
Teams in italics won their games last night. The records are essentially what we expected with the exception of Anchorage doing poorly and SFU doing well.
The good news about conference play starting is that the guys in our conference are SO great. The bad news about conference play starting is the guys in our conference can be SO grimace inducing. It’s only fair -we have admitted GNAC bias, but it’s not that bad.
This is the final warning to SPU, WWU, Anchorage, and WOU: Being picked as the top of the conference was not something in your favor -you will be nit piqued like a second grade girl and her five best friends. That being said: CWU, NNU, UAF, SFU, NNU, and MSUB; no one is safe. Put up or shut-up, whether you’re first or last.
Alaska Anchorage 75 @ Saint Martin’s 68 in OT
It would be nice to excuse Anchorage, but at this point there is no excuse. They got a necessary win tonight, but it took OT. Road warriors, but… really? For all the hype the Seawolves received, they get the Goliath treatment and thus tonight was not impressive what-so-ever.
Luckily, they really only had a couple of collective areas of concern: their number of assists -as a team, they had nine, which isn’t going to cut it; they also shot a mere 15% from three. Nope.
The good news is Christian Lackband had eight points and five rebounds; Brian McGill had another great game with four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and 22 points while picking up just two fouls; Kalidou Diouf had eight rebounds and 16 points; Derrick Fain, Travis Parrish, and Kevin Bowman all had five rebounds a piece off the bench.
The bad news is Travis Thompson had another fairly silent game, picking up just nine points in 36 minutes; Derrick Fain went 1-9 and 0-5 on threes -there’s a fine line between continuing to shoot and knowing when to stop. Assists as a team were terrible; that would be an ideal time to start converting them.
Saint Martin’s apparently has actually done relatively well at home against UAA and they had a chance to make a huge statement and didn’t take it; incredibly frustrating.
While the team on the whole wasn’t impressive, guys had their moments:
Trey Ingram had 21 points while shooting 4-5 from three; Tyler Copp had 10; Ryan Rogers had 12 points and six rebounds; Tyler Idowu had seven points and six rebounds; Riley Carel had a fantastic seven assists in 16 minutes off the bench -that’s almost as many as the entire UAA team had in 45 minutes.
Concerning areas for the Saints: the fact that they couldn’t close the deal at home against a team that lacked cohesion; Ryan Rogers went 5-17, was 0-7 on threes, and shot a mere 2-7 from the charity stripe; the team shot a whopping 54% from the line; SMU itself had a mere 14 assists, as well as 16 turnovers.
Overall the game was a battle and while it was good for us on a conference level, it wasn’t good for our conference on a national level.
Alaska-Fairbanks 62 @ Western Oregon 67
The good news in terms of UAF is that there isn’t a lot of bad news; the bad news is, there isn’t a lot of particularly good news either. As a team, they shot 50% from the free throw line, but the sample size is too small to really matter -they also picked up few fouls; they had a mere 16 assists, but they also only had 12 turnovers; their shooting percentages aren’t great nor terrible. It was a productive outing in a difficult place to play. The Nooks should be proud, even with the loss.
And they should be proud of these guys in particular: Ruben Silvas had nine points and five rebounds; Ashton Edwards had 19 points; Kyle Tomlinson knew when to stop shooting and instead picked up five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks; Almir Hadzisehovic had 14 points; Alex Duncan had 11 points off the bench.
As for Western Oregon, there was also nothing drastically concerning nor notable about their collective performance. They got it done against a team they were expected to get it done against, with the possibility for a challenge, and came back from a deficit. Always good.
Devon Alexander picked up nine rebounds; Lew Thomas had nine points, nine rebounds, and nine assists -nice PSYCH of a triple double; Jordan Wiley scored 17 points on 6-7 and 5-6 shooting from three, respectively; Andy Avgi scored 26 points and picked up six boards.
Concerns for particularly players… hooo boy. Lew Thomas STOP SHOOTING IF YOU’RE COLD -there is no universe in which 4-17 and 1-7 is acceptable and you likely would’ve had the triple double if you’d stopped looking so hard in the wrong area (remember: we love you Lew!); also of note: Julian Nichols contributed almost nothing, but this is kind of a victim of his own success -it’s notable when he’s quiet. Bench play is probably the one area of concern for the Wolves, because they got almost nothing from it.
Overall once again: this game was good for our conference, and actually wasn’t horrible on a national level either.
MSU-Billings 79 @ Central Washington 88
This was a really hard fought game that was chippy and intense, which is always awesome and as noted: seems to always happen at CWU, regardless as to the team CWU’s playing or what the Central team itself looks like. In terms of the Yellowjackets, the main area of collective concern is the fact that they had a mere 13 assists. The good news is they got some seriously strong bench play.
In terms of the starters: Marc Matthews continues to impress -he had 17 points and nine rebounds; Momir Gataric chipped in 10 points; Tyler Nelson added eight rebounds; Austin Hudson fouled out while contributing 15 points -he’s the only true banger the Yellowjackets have, which puts them all in a really difficult position. As noted, the bench was helpful: Antoine Hosley scored 16 points along with picking up four rebounds, three assists, and two steals; Emmanuel Johnson picked up six boards.
Biggest player concern area is that Gary Gordon was largely silent and Hosley shot 5-16 and 1-6 from three; had those numbers been different, the Jackets likely would’ve won.
In regard to Central, still not sure what to make of this team. They’re going to be helped out by the fact that UAF isn’t eligible for post-season play. It’s hard to say that this game was a disappointment when it was noted as a toss-up; there is some thought that MSUB was in the habit of losing to NAIA schools and so if CWU was for real, they would’ve been able to blow the Yellowjackets out.
Player highlights include Marc Rodgers and his eight points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals, and mere one turnover; Terry Dawn had eight points and five rebounds; Gary Jacobs had fourteen points, five assists, and five rebounds; Dom Williams had a fantastic 31 points and five assists; Joseph Stroud added five rebounds, two blocks, and four fouls off the bench.
The main concerns include Jordan Russell going 1-7, Joseph Stroud having a quiet game, and the bench overall not doing as much as they could’ve done.
On the whole: the game was the toss-up anticipated and it makes sense that CWU won it considering they were at home. However, if the Wildcats really want to be talked about in the same breath as WWU/SPU/UAA/WOU, they needed to make a statement and they failed to do so tonight to the degree that was necessary.
Seattle Pacific 77 @ Northwest Nazarene 51
Where to begin with this game… SPU did exactly what they were expected to do. Considering conference wide no one’s been doing that, there exists some relief.
The great part about the SPU collective game is that they’re really balanced to the point that in terms of player-of-the-week considerations there’s not one option. That is the epitome of what basketball is about, which is super cool. If no one from the Falcons gets it by mid-January, we’ll probably go ahead and split the award because their teamwork is so notable.
Tonight Bryce Leavitt had 10 points; Riley Stockton had 11 points and a whopping seven assists; Matt Borton had 14 points and five rebounds; Cory Hutsen had 16 points and five rebounds; Mitch Penner had 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench; Brendan Carroll picked up six boards off the bench.
Speaking of Brendan Carroll: He was 1-9 and 0-4, yikes; Cory Hutsen was 6-14 which would be fine if they weren’t all from two feet away from the basket; the lack of bench play from the Falcons with the exception of Mitch Penner isn’t sustainable in conference. Collectively they had just 12 assists -seems odd for a team notable for their teamwork, and one that was inevitably playing a game of “everyone needs to touch the basketball” for the last seven or so minutes of clock.
And you were led to believe the Falcons’ play was the end of the world. NNU? Hooo boy. It’s almost more that can be said about the SPU defense than the Crusaders’ offense.
Aubrey Ball scored 13 points; Mike Wright scored 13; Kevin Rima had nine points and seven rebounds.
That was it. Those were the highlights. Areas of concern: Aubrey Ball was 4-12 and 0-5; Erik Kinney was pretty much silent, as was Bouna N’Diaye; the team collectively had a mere five assists and sixteen rebounds; they shot 22.7% from three; they epitomized why they were picked last, even while playing at home. SPU is good, but they’ve shown plenty of ways that they’re weak and NNU failed to exploit them at all.
While this game was predictably boring, it was actually great for our conference so at least it has that going for it.
To anyone that actually read the entirety of that: You are being saluted.
But seriously: How much fun was that? Seems like the only way it could be more fun is if WWU and SFU got involved, which they will on Saturday!
Usually it can be said that it’s great to beat rivals but more useful to beat teammates… It’s great to beat teams from other conferences, but it’s better when the blood is shed from within! So much love when the family gets together -even if we’re all guaranteed to be sick of each other by February 1st.
Concordia-Portland, you shouldn’t be left out so here’s your obligated mention: we look forward to when you come and live with our insane family full time. Speaking of which -are you sure you want to? Like really sure? Like there’s been massive amounts of cannibalism as of late, far more than when you applied to join, so at least be aware of that.
The Cavaliers are sitting here going “Heck yeah, we’re going to feast from the top of the pile of that mother loving cannibalistic mess that the GNAC’s become.” You go Concordia, you go.
Never underestimate our propensity for shenanigans. Ever.
Player of last week nominations will be posted at some point today, promise.
Concordia 85, Saint Martin’s 68
Simon Fraser 147, Douglas 57
Seattle Pacific 86, Evergreen State 62
PR Bayamon 84, Western Washington 78
Dixie State 78, MSU-Billings 56
Concordia vs. Saint Martin’s… It was said in the first post that GNAC bias is fully intended. The problem with this game is that we’re in the process of adopting Concordia and so as much as there’s disappointment in the Saints because they do return a good bit and they should be somewhat okay… We’re very excited for Concordia to get the W. They’ve been doing work. It was really fun watching Cal Baptist come in and make the NCAA tournament from the get-go in the Pac-West and so seeing Concordia take a stand is exciting. Hopefully for the sake of conference strength the Saints come back, but… Concordia! We can’t help but be proud.
In terms of the Saints as players: Tyler Copp had 19 points, four rebounds, and a steal; Trey Ingram had 10 points and a steal, Victor Ieronymidas had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds; Will Bond had 10 points off the bench. Decent balance in scoring, still having problems with turnovers.
Simon Fraser is getting more interesting by the day. As noted on twitter, they’ve been putting up big points regardless as to whether it’s a Big West team or one from a lower level, so… it’ll be interesting to see what happens when defense comes into play. If they can continue to force schools into their tempo it could be some really ugly basketball but also very enjoyable to watch.
When you score as much as SFU, there are always a bunch of guys with a ton of points… the balance the Clan has displayed so far is impressive. Sango Niang continues to impress with 11 assists (DANG!), five steals (GOODNESS!), and 20 points; Justin Cole had a full house with one rebound, three assists, four steals, one block, and 21 points; Roderick Taylor-Evans scored 18 points; Michael Harper had a double-double with 13 rebounds (AWESOME!) and 17 points along with four assists and four steals; Patrick Simon II had 17 points and six rebounds. Off the bench, Daniel Deflorimonte had 11 points; J.J. Pankratz had 16 points, and Hidde Vos had 11 points.
Seattle Pacific vs. Evergreen State looked a lot iffier until the Falcons decided enough was enough. There’s not a bunch to say about this game… they did what they needed to do against a DIII school and while again: it wasn’t always pretty, the score ended up as what it needed to be.
Riley Stockton had a full house with 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and a block!; Matt Borton also had a full house with 13 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block; Garrett Swanson had 14 points; Cory Hutsen had 13 points. Fairly balanced effort from the Falcons. They need to keep building.
Falcons winning the league… we’ll see. Not out of the realm of possibility, but even with as few games as we’ve played as a conference -nothing seems out of the realm of possibility. At this point it seems that SFU has a decent shot of winning the conference. No telling what is gonna happen.
The Western game… not sure. When looking at the teams from PR, they weren’t great last year, hence why it was referred to as WWU’s Puerto Rican vacation. The Vikings are a team that’s easy for eternal optimism and no matter what they do “they’ll come back, it’s no big deal,” and yet… there are more and more implications. It’s not at the point where we’ll state that the GNAC isn’t going to host the tournament, but if many more games look like this… it’s going to get dicey very, very quickly. Although speaking of SFU… SFU hosting? That would be loads of fun. That campus is sublime.
WWU player highlights: Jaamon Echols had 22 points; Kyle Impero had 17 points and six boards; Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points; Jeff Parker had 12 points. Their starters played a lot of minutes, their rebounding… if they’d rebounded properly they would’ve won. Anye was pretty much silent which really shouldn’t happen, ever. He’s better than that.
The Vikings are a better team than has been on display. It’s pretty much been said about every team, but again: GNAC bias is important and it’s still early in the season and we’ll plug our fingers in our ears and scream “LA LA LA,” about whatever implications for as long as we can.
Dixie State against MSUB… MSUB lost to an NAIA school. They lost to Dixie State by 20. There should be panic considering the Yellowjackets are a favorite team (not-so-secret: we have eleven favorite teams and we love all of them to pieces) which is why with this… Dixie State is a good team. The Yellowjackets are going to get better, can’t panic yet. It’s going to be okay. They have a good coaching staff, a great center, plenty of room to grow and improve; parity, parity, parity. Not panicking yet.
Player-wise… the game was ugly. There’s no one really to highlight. The rebounding was atrocious. Not sure whether that’s something positive in terms of Dixie or bad about MSUB. Tending to think positive about Dixie State. Gary Gordon had 10 points; Marc Matthews had 13; the Jackets had a 7 man rotation for the most part and it wasn’t awful. The game was iffy, but… there could be worse things.
The general jist of this post is: We’re refusing to panic yet because it’s still so early even though there may be slight urges to panic because there have been some ugly games and ugly halves of basketball… One game at a time. Let’s get through the first weekend of conference play and then maybe consider bringing out the “bang head here” poster.
Tomorrow we’ll see if WWU has bounced back while in PR.
Good morning! One feature that it became abundantly clear needs to be a thing is a player-of-the-week as designated by the GNAC Men’s Basketblog. Usually this’ll be based around a combination of double-doubles, full houses, or other qualities like that.
A full house is basically the opposite of Club Trillion; a player needs to get at least one of each: a rebound, assist, steal, block, and score points. Turnovers are not necessary, but are forgiven.
If you have someone that didn’t statistically stand out that you think was the heart of your team and should get the nomination instead: tweet at us, or leave a comment.
Nominations will be posted on Mondays, with the winner post occurring on Wednesdays.
UAF: Adam Griffin/Ruben Silvas/Almir Hadsizehovic –No one distinguishes between the three, but all played well.
UAA: Brian McGill –consistency.
SFU: Sango Niang –rebounds + points = wins.
WWU: Anye Turner –blocks.
SPU: Riley Stockton — incredible balance; did what it takes to make the guys around him better.
MSUB: Austin Hudson –double-double.
CWU: Gary Jacobs/Julian Vaughn/Jordan Russell — T/O issues plague two of them, but they’re still valuable.
NNU: Kevin Rima/Bouna N’Diaye –Kevin had a double-double, Bouna had a full house!
SMU: Trey Ingram –assists + full house!!
WOU: Andy Avgi –points + rebounding.
Great job to all of the guys! If there’s a twitter account we haven’t linked that you want linked, please do in fact say something. This blog is about bringing some much deserved attention to some straight up ballin’ guys that don’t usually get it.
It was a fantastic and crazy weekend. The post about Saturday’s games (which these nominations did take into account) should be up by the end of today.
First and foremost: So many games, such a lack of posting and tweeting, never to happen again. This is why you don’t try and sit between two chairs. The blog is committed to all ten teams. We’ll also be regularly checking in with Concordia-Portland in anticipation of next year.
College basketball on a Friday night… sacrilege to the high school game, but oh well.
Central Washington 65, Minnesota-Crookston 52
Nicely done Wildcats!! Admittedly we knew MN-Crookston’s record last year, but they got an entirely new coaching staff, Central is dealing with almost an entirely new team, and… they’ve got a good rotation. Jordan Russell had 17 points off the bench, along with 6 rebounds; Joseph Shroud had 16 points off the bench, Gary Jacobs with a well-rounded performance of a FULL HOUSE. Even with a terrible A/TO, the blocks and steals are hard to come by so we’ll give him credit anyway.
Player of the game: Gary Jacobs.
Hawaii Hilo 89, Northwest Nazarene 81
While not a victory for the Crusaders, that is still a darn respectable score. NNU has potential this year, particularly considering how balanced their minutes and scoring was; nine guys played at least thirteen minutes. Four players scored in the double digits: Bouna N’Diaye, Erik Kinney, Aubrey Ball, and Kevin Rima.
Kevin Rima… HAD A DOUBLE-DOUBLE!! Nicely done Kevin. Kevin is obviously our player of the game.
CSU East Bay 86, MSU-Billings 80.
The bad news? The MSUB bench contributed almost nothing. The good news? Their scorers are starting to come out of the woodwork. Gary Gordon had 22 points and eight rebounds; Momir Gataric had 13 points and a block; Antoine Hosley (formerly of UW) had 21 points; and…
Austin Hudson had a double-double, with 20 points and 12 boards!! He also had TWO blocks. Player of the game, right there.
They may have lost the battle, but we’ll consider this game a step in the right direction in terms of the Yellowjackets winning the war.
Fresno Pacific 87, Saint Martin’s 67
There isn’t much to say when a team loses by twenty. This wasn’t a moral victory. The highlights for Saint Martin’s include that Tyler Copp scored 17 points, Ryan Rogers had 11 points, Isaac Bianchini had 12 points off the bench, and Tyler Iwodu had eight points and six rebounds for the spot as the Saints’ leading rebounder. Trey Ingram highlights with an amazing 7-0 assist to turnover ratio; he scored a mere five points, but… talk about unselfish play and prototypically what you want in a point guard.
Nice job Trey; player of the game.
Academy of Art 70, Seattle Pacific 67
The Falcons need to prove themselves and they need to do it now. Academy of Art could be better than we were thinking they’d be, or they could be terrible. They looked good against SPU. There’s rational to say that we should still remain calm about the Falcons because the season is so early and they lost by so little, but like Western… What SPU does or doesn’t do holds so much on how the rest of the conference is perceived that… GET IT TOGETHER.
Player highlights include Mitch Penner with 17 points and nine rebounds, Riley Stockton with nine rebounds and eight points, and Cory Hutsen with 10 points and six rebounds.
Player of the game: Mitch Penner.
Simon Fraser 160, Northwest Indian 99
At this point, it doesn’t matter that the defense looks like bologna and the team is way below D2. SFU BEAT A NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT. And they scored 160. There are teams like SPU where we expect more and teams like SFU where we expect less; sorry Falcons, Vikings, Wolves, and Seawolves in advance. Still… SFU, go Clan!
Seven players scored at least 10 points. In order of the stat sheet: Sango Niang 14 points, eight assists, three steals, 0 turnovers; Justin Cole 16 points, three steals; Roderick Evans-Taylor 19 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, three assists, and one block -again a bad A/TO but the man still had a full house; Patrick Simon II 14 points, six rebounds; JJ Pankratz 13 points; Adam Westfall 21 points; Hidde Vos 17 points, five assists.
Player of the game of course goes to Roderick Evans-Taylor.
Western Washington 78, Notre Dame de Namur 52
Sorry Vikings; you did exactly what you were supposed to do. Good job. This is mundane: Joey Schreiber had 19 points, seven rebounds; Jeffrey Parker had 21 points, seven rebounds; Anye had five points, seven blocks and seven rebounds; Kyle Impero had seven rebounds and picked up four fouls, which is impressive for a guard.
Vikings, your bench provided almost nothing in any statistical category; there is the concern. Our entire conference relies on you, which you know. Sorry about that. We believe in you Vikings, hence the bashing of heads going “you won by 26, but…” Seriously WWU, gotta do it, gotta set the standard. Ahem, last year; let’s not talk about it all that often.
Player of the game: Anye. Yes it’s biased. Sorry Jeff and Kyle. But especially in a gym like Carver, blocks can change an outcome massively.
Point Loma 64, Western Oregon 54
Here we go again… Wolves, you’re better than this. You beat Oregon State. You need to bounce back. The Nike U. loss meant nothing. Your rebounding performance and play off the bench in this game was dismal. Andy Avgi had 15 points and four rebounds; Lew Thomas had 11 points and six rebounds… Wake up Wolves. You’re supposed to be challenging for second place, considering what Anchorage has been dealing with.
Player of the game: Lew Thomas.
Sonoma State 74, Alaska Anchorage 66
Once again: Seriously Seawolves? Were you drinking too much Coppertone while you were down there? You’re better than this. We outrage because we adore. Aaaaand we find that answer in your rebounding. Commit Seawolves, you gotta commit. You have the second best home advantage in the conference and just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean anything. You can do this. Brian McGill had 25 points, Travis Thompson had 21 points, and no one else really had anything of note. The starters played a lot of minutes.
Trinity Int’l 83, Alaska-Fairbanks 73
Really Nooks? At Home? You let Trinity beat you at home? Your home court advantage is another that shouldn’t be understated. The good news is Adam Griffin scored 17 points off the bench; Ruben Silvas had an incredibly balanced seven rebounds, two steals, four assists, and nine points; and four players had at least six rebounds. While you didn’t win the war, you won many battles. We know you’re rebuilding and from the looks of the effort -you’re going to be just fine.
There is still plenty of hope left for you UAF.
Player of the game goes to Ruben Silvas.
Wow! Yes this went up late. If we missed anybody, please let us know. Leave a comment, tweet at us. Up next is our Player of the Week nominations.