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.
First and foremost: Happy Thanksgiving!
Seattle Pacific 119, Northwest Indian 53
College of Idaho 78, Northwest Nazarene 75
The first game doesn’t even need to be talked about. We’ll do it when it’s SFU, but frankly: Seattle Pacific is expected to get it done. Same with WWU. Same with WOU and Anchorage to some extent. The latter have been much more variable than most of us were hoping, but… so have the first two.
Northwest Nazarene… at least it was close? We’re at the point when we’re rubbing our eyes and groaning mildly but losing to an NAIA school is no longer surprising, so it just feels like another day at the office. There’s also the sentiment that we need to stop coddling the lower half of the conference: Get it done. Period. Shut-up, put the ball in the hoop, get up and get the board, and quit your griping. This blog has sworn off profanity for the sake of being accessible, otherwise there would be much more colorful language being used.
Great Falls 89, MSUB 84
Western Washington 108, Multnomah 75
Western Oregon 67, Dixie State 52
The Frontier Conference continues to own the GNAC, and by the GNAC it means NNU and MSUB because those are the schools that play schools in the Frontier Conference most often. Refresher: The Frontier Conference is an NAIA conference with schools located in Idaho and Montana.
Western Washington beating Multnomah… Good. The Vikings got it done and did exactly what they were expected to do. This is a terrible case where mediocre play is being rewarded for some teams and not others.
There’s no denying that this blog is a lot harder on SPU and WWU, with as noted: attempts to be just as hard on Anchorage and Western Oregon because they were supposed to do more this year and have done more in the past, but we’re headed for as much parity and weakness as last year, to the point that last year looks like really good prep for what is currently going on.
It was surprising when SPU dropped the game to Academy of Art and WWU came back from PR with a losing record, but… much as there’s an urge to be surprised about Anchorage losing, there’s really not the same sentiment. Yes, they were picked second in the conference by the coaches, but that was a pick that the blog openly disagreed with. On the other side, this blog had higher hopes for WOU and yet it seems expectations should truly be tapered. There was a lot of sentiment that since the Wolves had done the win some-lose some thing last year, this year, with so much returning, they’d be able to put it together consistently and yet they haven’t.
Much as there was disagreement that the Seawolves would be second, there was the inherent hope of being proven wrong. It’s not like there’s the overwhelming urge around here that SPU and WWU have to stand at the top -it’s more like we’re hoping for depth of all programs (think Pac-10 basketball in the mid ’00s) rather than mediocrity for everyone (Pac-10 basketball in the early ’10s).
Western Oregon beat Dixie State, which… is it surprising? Sort of? Maybe? Kind of. Haven’t decided on that because as noted: WOU is expected to get it done, except as a conference we’ve been getting our butts kicked by the Pac-West and yet like last year, WOU is appearing to be an incredibly variable team.
Saint Martin’s 82, George Fox 69
Seattle Pacific 84, Hawaii Hilo 74
Pacific 81, Alaska-Anchorage 62
Saint Martin’s got it done against DIII George Fox, which at this point is commendable. Really balanced scoring and a lot of good numbers to sift through: Trey Ingram had seven rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one block, and three points, which is a heck of a full house; Tyler Iwodu had 17 points and seven rebounds; Cameron Chatman had a double-double with fourteen points and ten rebounds; Riley Carel had a balanced five rebounds, five assists, and 10 points off the bench; Brent Counts came insanely close to a double-double off the bench with nine boards and twelve points; finally, Ryan Rogers had 12 points also off the bench.
That is some really good balance. Yes, it was against a DIII team but conference wide everyone’s been losing games they shouldn’t and to a degree winning ones that they shouldn’t either. This game was a coin flip going in and SMU managed to actually do something productive with it, which is at least a start. Not saying it really changes much of anything, but it’s good to see the result none-the-less.
Seattle Pacific switched their starters as of the Hawaii trip? It could be looked up but doesn’t matter that much. The stat line of the new starter, Bryce Leavitt, is less than stellar –Brendan Carroll, the guy he replaced, had a much better game with 13 points off the bench; also of note Mitch Penner had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench. Starters –Riley Stockton had a balanced nine points and eight rebounds; Matt Borton had 14 points; Cory Hutsen had 21 points while fouling out. The entire team had a mere five assists, which is a massive red flag but at least the Falcons won.
Pacific beat Alaska-Anchorage, but Pacific is in the WCC and so it doesn’t really matter. They were respectable and it helps that they were playing at home, and so the Seawolves aren’t particularly concerning in this case. Much as we love non-conference, it’s been so push-pull this year that there’s a numbness that’s starting to transcend during non-D2 games.
As noted in the last post: There is a massive amount of catch-up to do. There’s still the full intention of doing player-of-the-week for the last week, there’s also plans to look at the Pac-West and CCAA, and some other more stat-oriented stuff.
With that: Enjoy your food coma and Go Seahawks!
Rocky Mountain 75, MSU-Billings 73
Washington 85, Saint Martin’s 65
Concordia 79, Alaska-Anchorage 74
Concordia 75, Alaska-Anchorage 73
Western Oregon 57, Oregon State 47
Northwest Nazarene 101, George Fox 76
If MSU-Billings people are starting to get concerned, at this point it seems relatively justified. Dropping one close game, okay, but two in a row? That starts to look like a trend. It’s still so early in the season that overreacting is ill-advised both from a rationality stand point and health stand point, but raising eyebrows skeptically seems fair.
The Washington/Saint Martin’s score is pretty much exactly what was expected. It wasn’t an embarrassingly bad blowout, just a typical one. Hope the Saints had fun playing in a D1 environment close to home.
The Concordia/Alaska-Anchorage scores are moderately surprising. We haven’t talked much about Concordia, but they’re coming into our conference next year and preliminarily it hasn’t seemed as though they’ll pull a Cal Baptist and immediately compete in conference, but with that result maybe they will. That would be really exciting.
Western Oregon/Oregon State is absolutely shocking and it’s a ridiculously good win for WOU regardless as to whether OSU finishes first or last in the Pac-12. They need to embrace every second of beating that team and really enjoy it. The pre-season poll predicted a few weeks ago that WOU has the potential to do some really good things this year and while again: non-D2 is largely meaningless, it’s still a super awesome win and the Wolves should be proud.
Northwest Nazarene, good and expected win over George Fox, nothing particularly notable. It’s George Fox so the stats aren’t really particularly relevant. They got the win they needed to and that’s what matters. Good job Crusaders.
Up next: Non-Conference Normalcy.