Alright, here we go. It’s late but it’s still here and that’s what counts, eh? The good news is that all of the math is already done for POW so that’ll go up tomorrow morning on schedule.
Central Washington 93 vs. MN-Mankato 104
The Wildcats got outside themselves =( It was totally within their range and they could have had it and they panicked and it didn’t happen, but we’re still so proud of them. As noted yesterday: It wouldn’t surprise us if Mankato is a very, very good team.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had 18 points; Dom Hunter had 27 points; Terry Dawn had six boards; Jawan Stepney had 15 points and five boards; and off the bench Sage Woodruff had five boards.
Simon Fraser 73, Lindenwood 72
SFU vs. Lindenwood round two and SFU squeaked out another one. Nicely done Clan. Plenty of good numbers to go around, so we’ll jump right in.
Clan highlights: Iziah Sherman-Newsome had eight boards and 10 points; Graham Miller had 9 points and five boards; Michael Provenzano had another good game with 14 points and five boards, along with five fouls; JJ Pankratz had 9 points and five boards; and Tyrell Lewin had 14 points and six boards. Off the bench Andrew Williamson had 9 points; and Hidde Vos had eight points.
Western Washington 94, Holy Names 68
Can’t spell ‘slaughter’ without ‘laughter’? The numbers aren’t as good as they could be, but there are a lot of good ones and we’re very satisfied with WWU.
Vikings highlights: Taylor Stafford had 17 points and 11 boards; Trey Drechsel had 14 points and five boards; Logan Schilder had 10 points, seven boards, and five blocks -good to see the 7’0er getting aclimated; Daulton Hommes had 13 points and six boards; and Jeffrey Parker had a full house with 24 points and seven rebounds, among other stats. Off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had seven points.
Seattle Pacific 72 vs. Dixie State 74 in OT
Dixie State won. We’re not very happy. But it does create a lot parity because it wasn’t a good loss. Dixie State is yet to get a good win. They have good losses, but not any good wins, and a brand new SPU team that doesn’t return anything does not count as a quality win. But looking at the numbers SPU decided they didn’t give a crap about rebounding, so… They get what they get.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten played 40 minutes and had eight rebounds; Sam Simpson had six boards; and Joe Rasmussen had five fouls. Off the bench Sharif Khan had 10 points; and Tony Miller had 21 points and seven boards.
We consider this game to be a complete mess and with a slightly more experienced team the Falcons would have had it, but the fact is they don’t have that experience this year and they can’t get away half-trying like they have in the past. Hopefully they learned something -if they didn’t, their SoCal games this coming week are going to be felt widely and painfully on a conference level.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 vs. BYU-Hawaii 68
Praise Nooks. They got it done. It was desperate considering BYU-H only used six players (essentially five) but it’s still a ‘W.’
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 13 points and five assists; Bangaly Kaba had 14 points and seven boards; LaDonavan Wilder had seven boards; Zach Pederson had 15 points and six boards; Brandon Davis had 12 points, five boards, six assists, five steals, a block, four fouls, and zero turnovers in a perfect full house. Off the bench Michael Kluting had eight points and six boards.
Alaska-Anchorage 73, Cal State LA 68
Thank God, the Seawolves got out of this. Suki was more off on free throws than we’re used to seeing, so that was interesting. Corey Hammell finally had a Corey Hammell game, so that was good. Mixed bag, but what can we say? The Seawolves got it done and we are incredibly relieved.
Seawolves highlights: Suki Wiggs had 27 points and six boards; Corey Hammell had 12 points and 11 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and six boards. No real bench play, which is mildly concerning but Sjur Berg saw almost no minutes, so… Maybe means nothing.
CU-Portland 62, San Francisco State 86
The Gators were in ‘steamroll’ mode. That’s okay. We’re still proud of the Cavs for the progress they’re clearly making. We think they’re going to make some noise in conference -Christopher Edward, among others, is for real.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 14 points; Christopher Edward had a double-double with 10 boards and 10 points; off the bench Davis Nuaimi had five assists; and Taylor Harris had 11 points.
Saint Martin’s 75, San Bernardino State 80
The Saints ALMOST got the win but couldn’t pull it off likely due to a slow 7’0er. He goes in for the tip and nothing else. We like Fred a lot, but… Winning the tip doesn’t matter if he can’t even be counted on to grab one measly board. Naim Ladd is 5’7 and had seven the other night, so… Get with it Fred. You’ve got five fouls. Use them.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had five boards and 17 points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards; Tyler Copp bounced back and had 16 points; Brandon Kenilvort had five boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram had 15 points.
MSU-Billings 50 vs. Cal State East Bay 54
Close and hard fought game but ultimately MSUB couldn’t pull it out. Quite honestly it bugs us because MSUB returns so much, so… Yellowjackets: What are you doing? We know East Bay’s place in conference tends to make them look worse than they are (truly an any given night team) but you were at home and have so many returners. Hmmm. We expect more of you Yellowjackets. Next week, perhaps.
Yellowjacket highlights: PRESTON BEVERLY had a huge game wiht 14 points and 25 points on good shooting; and Christian Evans had five boards.
To be fair, some of the lacking in highlights is because it was a low-scoring game, but… Shooting numbers were also bad.
Western Oregon 63 vs. UC San Diego 75
The Tritons read Western Oregon like a book. They came in apparently very prepared and essentially just shut the Wolves down completely. WOU still had few turnovers, so UCSD could have maybe forced them better, but… This was revenge for the Sweet 16 game and they got it.
Wolves highlights: Ali Faruq-Bey had six boards; and off the bench Demtrius Trammell had 11 points; while Yanick Kulich had 19 points and seven boards; and Malik Leaks had seven points.
Yup. That minimal. Looking forward to the Wolves bouncing back after a painful weekend.
Northwest Nazarene 84 vs. Colorado Christian 103
Weeee. Eeeee. Okay, honestly not surprising because Colorado Christian is often good, as the RMAC is usually really good. This is a quality loss if we’ve ever seen it.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye had six boards; Jalen Shepard had nine assists and 16 points, whoa; Kaileb Rodriguez had 25 points and 12 boards for the double-double; Maurice Jones had 13 points and five fouls. Off the bench Pol Olivier had six points.
Overall a mis-mash of a weekend. We’re not as concerned as we expected ourselves to be, mostly because it does look like so much parity across the region that we feel like if a few teams clamp down and others buck up, things’ll be just fine.
POW noms up tomorrow at 10am, with the announcement at 11.
Embrace the quality losses? Not every team lost. But the Alaskas lost, meaning that UAA officially isn’t hosting the regional so our biggest prediction of the off-season just went kaput two days in. Fun times, eh? But there were a lot of great wins too, so we’ll focus on that.
MSUB 88 vs. Holy Names 80
Jackets pulled it out!! As they should. But it looks like the teams were pretty evenly matched, which theoretically is not a good sign for MSUB. Still, a W is a W.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 20 points; Marc Matthews had 30 and a full house; Christian Evans had a double-double with 10 boards and 12 points; and off the bench Sven Jeuschede had five points and five boards.
CU-PDX 72 @ San Bernardino 85
Not surprising, but definitely disappointing after the previous night’s win. It’s early in the year, it doesn’t mean much, but it does help the SOS start to shake out. The bad thing is, we don’t think CSUSB blew out CU-PDX enough; 13 points is respectable, not dominant. Because CWU got a win in OT, it would have been nice to see CSUSB dominate thus increasing conference strength of schedule. Oh well, nice effort by the Cavs.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards and was 6-7 from the line; Latrell Wilson had 16 points; Christopher Edward had 15 points and five boards; Jarrett Gray had 13 points; and off the bench Harris Taylor had five points and eight boards.
CWU 93 @ Monterey Bay 87 @ 3pm
Congrats Wildcats on pulling out the win! Winning while having off days is great. Honestly, this isn’t the best look for our conference because instead of making us look superior to Monterey Bay with the CU-Portland and CWU victories, it makes all four teams look mediocre. San Bernardino beat Concordia-Portland by 13, but that’s not a blow out, CWU (and the GNAC as a whole) needed a blow out by both CSUSB and the Wildcats themselves.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd was 6-7 from the line; Dom Hunter finished with an incredible 24 points and seven boards while hitting 11-11 from the line. Off the bench Marc Rodgers had 12 points and five fouls; while Fuquan Niles had five boards and nine points.
SFU 62 vs. Humboldt State 87
The result isn’t that surprising, we knew Humboldt was likely to be good, although we’re not sure this win actually quantifies that. HSU did what needed to be done and SFU allowed it to happen so it is what it is. No one in the GNAC is surprised, but at the same time it’s only one game -it doesn’t mean anything, SFU could still get hot and be legit this year. They may be chronically last, but the hope is what makes basketball fun.
Clan highlights: Graham Miller had five boards; JJ Pankratz made some noise with seven boards and 15 points; and off the bench Othniel Spence had six boards; while Hidde Vos had eight points.
SMU 86 vs. Point Loma 80
THE SAINTS ARE ALIVE!!!!!!!!! And won this game in OT and we are so, so, so, so, sooooo proud. Teamwork makes the dream work any way you slice it and the Saints played as a team, ONLY LOST THE REBOUNDING BATTLE BY THREE, and they got the victory. Again: So proud. Love you Saints!
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 19 points and five boards while going 10-12 from the line; Jordan Kitchen had 11 boards and nine points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards and three steals; Tyler Copp had a full house including 22 points; Fred Jorg had FIVE FOULS. Off the bench Brandon Kenilvort had nine points.
Side note: While we’re frustrated that he didn’t grab one measly board, Fred Jorg’s five fouls make us so happy because he’s a broad 7’0/300lbs. Those fouls are bone rattlers, even if they’re incidental. He’s not puffy, his stomach is flat, he’s just a straight up mammoth of a man. We’re a little obsessed with his build because most footers are fat at 300lbs; he’s the rare one that’s not.
UAA 71 @ Hawaii Pacific 77
Oh dear. As noted above UAA is officially not hosting the regional, BUT that doesn’t mean HPU isn’t a very, very good team and thus UAA still very likely is a very, very good team. Just as it’s hard to play the Alaska schools in Alaska, it’s hard to play the Hawaii schools on the islands. It is what it is and the Seawolves fought valiantly.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell was 9-11 from the line, had five assists, and finished with 18 points; Spencer Svejcar had 10 points; Corey Hammell had 10 boards; and Connor Devine had 10 points and a full house. The bench was the silent killer -they’re like a platypus and in that didn’t do much.
SPU 88 vs. Hawaii-Hilo 80
We like a lot of the numbers but we’re not sure what to make of the win because Hilo tends to bounce around a lot in regard to conference standing from year to year. The fact that they only won by eight at home is something that concerns us, but at the same time it’s such a new team that any win and any experience they get is a positive.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double-double with 19 points and 12 boards; Sam Simpson had 10 boards; Joe Rasmussen had a great 19 points and six boards in the closest thing to post we’ve ever seen him play; and Olivier-Paul Betu had 13 points in a nice bounce-back game. Off the bench Tony Miller had 20 points, 10 boards, and five fouls.
UAF 66 @ Chaminade 80
Another quality loss for our conference, eh? If you can beat UAF, you must be really good.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had seven rebounds, eight assists, three steals, a block, a foul, points, and zero turnovers in notching a perfect Full House; LaDonavan Wilder had nine boards; Brandon Davis had 17 points; and Zach Pederson had 10 points. Off the bench Trent Molesworth had six points and six boards; while Michael Kluting had five points.
WWU 107 @ East Bay 81
Caaaaake walk, although we would’ve liked to have seen more defense. Why not play defense against a team that’s looking like it’s going to be pretty bad? Might as well. Oh well, whatever, scoring uber is fun too. Super proud of the Vikings for taking care of business.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 18 points and eight assists; Trey Dreschel had 11 points and six boards; Jeffrey Parker, as noted, had a whopping 32 points on 90% shooting, whoa! Off the bench Blake Fernandez had 10 points and five assists; Brad Wallace had 10 points while being 6-6 from the line; and Trevor Jasinsky had 12 points on elite shooting.
WOU 85 @ Fresno Pacific 54
Beautiful. Just as expected. Very proud of the Wolves, exactly what needed to be done, good numbers too, love the display of defense.
Wolf highlights: Akil Reese had 10 points; Bryan Berg had 10 points and five boards; Tanner Omlid had a full house including a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had 16 points; and Yannick Kulich had 12 points.
Overall a pretty good day and initial D2 weekend for GNAC basketball. Player-of-the-week nominations will be up at 10am tomorrow, with the announcement at 11.
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!
Tonight was arguably the best night of conference basketball we’ve seen this year and we can’t wait to talk about it, so let’s jump right in.
Seattle Pacific 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 71
Was it as bad as it could have been? Absolutely not. Was it good for the Falcons? Not at all. And with that we can’t even say it was good for the Crusaders because that’s just disrespectful. Congrats and good on the Crusaders for continuing to press on.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt finally bounced back on his shooting and had 13 points, seven boards, and six assists; Gilles Dierickx had seven boards; Mitch Penner continued on his tear and had 27 points and seven boards. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had 11 points and three boards on perfect shooting; Gabe Colosimo had five points; and Joe Rasmussen had six boards.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had 15 points; Detwon Rogers had 25 points and seven boards. Pretty much it.
Simon Fraser 90 @ CU-Portland 70
So SFU finally clicked. We knew it would happen at some point. Concordia had been looking better, but… apparently not.
Clan highlights: Andrew Williamson had 12 points; Max Barkeley had 17 points; Michael Harper had 11 boards. Off the bench Oshea Gairey had 22 points and six assists; and Hidde Vos had 15 points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards and four blocks along with a full house; Latrell Wilson had 17 points; James Phillips had 12 points; Riley Hawken had 14 points and eight boards. Off the bench John Erickson had seven points; and Dennis Ahana had 12 points.
Basically not too much bad shooting on behalf of the Cavs, but questionable rebounding and a zillion turnovers will do you in every time. Congrats to the Clan on their first D2 win of the year.
Western Washington 85 @ Western Oregon 90
It happened pretty much as expected. Western Washington proved thoroughly they could hang and then started playing selfishly while Western Oregon continued to play team basketball and Western Oregon got a much deserved victory.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 35 points and five rebounds; Kyle Impero had 12 points and nine boards; Trey Drechsel had 21 points and nine boards. No bench play what-so-ever. Three guys can win if everyone else is playing team basketball; the Vikings don’t.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 11 points; Julian Nichols had a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists, while going 9/10 from the line; Tanner Omlid had 11 points and eight boards; ANDY AVGI had a MASSIVE 34 points and 14 boards. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points.
Really ridiculously proud of the Wolves. They got a major test as number one and overcame it. Good job and enjoy slaughtering SFU.
Saint Martin’s 84, Central Washington 77 in OT
This is a big win, don’t care who you are nor what your record is, because winning at Central is hard, they have a huge home court advantage. That being said: This game was close almost the entire time. There was a bit there when SMU was up by quite a lot, but we didn’t buy it for a second. Not because of SMU; simply because no team in our conference can seemingly hold onto a lead and so of course SMU was no exception, but they still went on to get the job done in overtime. Wow.
Saint highlights: Jordan Kitchen had three steals; Rhett Baerlocher had eight boards, four steals, and rounded it out with a full house; Tyler Copp had five boards, five assists, and 21 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 18 points, four boards, and three assists; and Brandon Kenilvort had 14 points and four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had seven boards; Joe Stroud had 11 boards and 23 points for the double-double; Devin Matthews had seven boards, 10 assists, and 10 points for the near triple-double; and off the bench Naim Ladd hit his stride, scoring 24 points.
The Saints were without Fred Jorg, which oddly enough we thought made a lot of sense in terms of why they won. Not sure if the Widlcats got to game plan for it, but that would explain why Joe had great stats and no onelse really did; game planning gone to waste.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 @ Alaska-Anchorage 76
Close to the point of insanity the whole game. It was amazing. Both teams are really good. Sort of not surprised Anchorage won because their den is hard to penetrate.
Nook highlights: Bangaly had 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists; Travante Williams had seven boards and shot 100% on six free throws; Brandon Davis had 17 points; Almir had 12 points. No real bench play.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards; Corey Hammell had 15 boards; Drew Petersen had 14 points; Brian McGill had 28 points and five assists while going 9/10 from the line; and Christian Leckband had five points off the bench.
Great jobs to the Seawolves for containing Almir -huge, huge, huge. Great rivalry game, definite blessing to get to follow along with. We’re so jealous of the geographic rival thing. So much more fun than anything else because you also actually like each other opposed to just the pure hatred rivalries.
Aaaah, there are only five regular season conference game days left. It’s odd because now we’re alumni and so it’s like “well duh we’re coming back” and yet at the same time… The idea of eight months of no GNAC basketball still makes us really sad, especially because tonight was so amazing. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
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.
Whoa. Two OT games, one of them being double OT and actually a better game than the great game we anticipated, even. With that, let’s dive in:
UAF 78 @ SFU 68
*shrugs* Well, we did say that this could happen. It took a long time for UAF to actually walk it up on the Clan -it was close for a very, very long time, then the Nooks almost pulled away before the Clan pulled them back in. Good to see a score like this, sort of? Wouldn’t necessarily say it was good defense so much as shots not falling, but… Again: Overlook factor. Big. We always talk about it and the Nooks lingered in the trap for a very long time.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had five boards; Joe Slocum had 10 points and five boards; Travante Williams had eight boards and 13 points, along with a full house; Brandon Davis had five boards; Almir had a monster night going 9/12 and grabbing six board to finished with 24 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan and Neal Chavez had six points a piece.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had 17 points; Michael Harper had a great game with 23 points and six boards; and off the bench Hidde Vos had eight points, while Graham Smith had five points.
The Clan will beat someone this year. It wasn’t the Nooks, we don’t expect it to be the Seawolves, but keep your eyes and ears open because no one goes 0-20.
CWU 88 @ MSUB 78
Big game. It’s hard to play in Billings, they have a great homecourt advantage, but the Wildcats pulled it out. Do we see the Wildcats contending for an at-large berth? Not at all. Because incest. And Simon Fraser as incest on top of it. But they will have a chance to challenge for the conference auto-bid.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 15 points; Gary Jacobs had 20 points and 14 rebounds on perfect free throw shooting; Joe Stroud had 10 points and eight boards; Devin Matthews had 12 points and five boards; and fff the bench Drake Rademacher had eight points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 21 points and nine rebounds; Kendall Denham had 13 points; Marc Matthews had five boards and four assists; Jordan Perry had 10 boards, eight points, and five fouls; and off the bench Emmanuel Olufemi had 13 points.
Crazy intense game, great job by both teams.
WOU 74 @ SMU 62
This game makes us laugh, mainly because we called it. WOU gonna WOU and SMU gonna SMU, but we saw both sides of both teams until WOU finally put the game away. Great job by the Saints for staying in it for so long -if we saw correctly, they stayed in it until about five minutes left in the game.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 13 points; Julian Nichols 17 points while going 9/9 from the line; and Andy Avgi had 18 points, nine boards, and five blocks, rounded out by a full house. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had 10 points; and Alex Roth had eight boards.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 17 points and four assists; Jordan Kitchen had 9 points; Fred Jorg had 14 points; and off the bench Trey Ingram had 14 points and five boards. Brandon Kenilvort also had five boards off the bench.
Congrats to WOU on pulling it out -it was dicey there, but you got your heads in the game. Good luck to the Saints against a Concordia team on the rise.
CU-PDX 54 @ SPU 76
That score is a bit misleading -Concordia led for a bit in the first half (ten minutes-ish) but then the Falcons decided to get serious and put it away as appropriate. To be fair Concordia did play some legitimate defense -the Falcons had tons of missed shots and a lot of their numbers are nauseating.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 12 points and seven boards; and John Erickson had 10 points off the bench.
Falcon highlights: Brendan Carroll had seven boards; Gilles Dierickx had 11 boards; Mitch Penner had a crazy amazing game going 14-16 from the field and grabbing eight boards; GARRETT SWANSON HAD SEVEN BOARDS; we shout because that’s a miracle for that kid. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had five boards; and Gabe Colosimo had 15 points.
UAA 108 @ WWU 105 in 2OT
We’ve gotta be serious: This is definitely in our top 5 favorite attended collegiate games ever. Among those games is Gonzaga @ Washington of ’05-’06, aka the Brandon Roy/Adam Morrison battle, so very high praise. Ridiculously proud of both teams, especially the Seawolves because THEY MADE THEIR DARN FREE THROWS. And they won. As noted on Twitter: this definitely helps the Seawolves in their quest for an at-large berth, while it doesn’t affect the Vikings too much because they have no shot at an at-large and they’re pretty much guaranteed to make the conference tourney and shoot for the autobid anyway.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards, four assists, and shot 75% from the line on 20 shots, only to be rounded out with a full house and culminating in 33 points; COREY HAMMELL HAD 15 BOARDS AND 13 POINTS and went 7/7 from the line -we love his game so much; Brian McGill went 15-15 from the line and finished with 31 points; and off the bench Christian Leckband had six boards and five points.
Viking highlights: Kyle Impero had 37 points, six boards, and five assists; Trey Drechsel had 18 points and a full house; Blake Bowen had seven boards; and Jeffrey Parker had 25 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma had eight points and Colby Mitchell had six points.
The game was nuts, somehow Coach Oz avoided a technical. It was kind of awkward; we were telling the people we were sitting with a story about his propensity for technicals before looking up and realizing he was standing literally right in front of us. Luckily at the end of OT at least two of his players restrained him after he’d already gotten almost to center court, no joke. We swear by nutso coaches, so we love Coach Oz, but… Really: He deserved a technical. The other big thing was that the Seawolves managed to shut down Ricardo Maxwell and the Vikings managed to shut down Spencer Svejcar, so good on that respective defense.
Yes, it’s up late. Throw tomatoes. We’ve actually been working, and then are still recovering from the WWU/UAA game and going over every second of it because IT WAS AMAZING. So thanks to both the Vikings and Seawolves for that.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
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.
Somewhat interesting night of conference play?
MSU-Billings 58 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 69
MSUB was actually leading for a good long while before UAF put the Jackets away, so that was kind of exciting. Good to see the Nooks pull it off.
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had six boards; Emmanuel Johnson had 22 points and five boards; Preston Beverley had 9 points off the bench; and Cade Alcorn had four boards off the bench. Yikes. Didn’t realize just how few players were involved in this until now and how badly the Jackets shot. The fact that they were in it at all is kind of a miracle. Going to say it’s a testament to the Nooks realizing they need to play defense rather than MSUB shooting until the polar bears came home (which they did) because MSUB usually doesn’t have a trend of shooting the moon.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 11 points; Joe Slocum had five boards; Travante Williams had seven boards and a full house; Almir had 15 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan had six points and four boards; and Isaac Ladines and John Renfro both also added four boards. Also a night of iffy shooting, which shows why the Jackets were in it for so long, but… Distribute. Distribute, distribute, distribute. Not worried nor ready to complain at Travante because it’s only the second game. Still, he really does need to be aware that he should be distributing if shots aren’t falling.
Kind of an ugly game, but maybe it’s just in the air. Here we were feeling all guilty about feeling all BLAHHH, but apparently it’s just an epidemic. At work that happens too; if one of us is late, all of us are late; if one of us wakes up unhappy, all of us wake up unhappy. No clue why, but it does reduce the guilt and is really fun when people wake up happy. A coworker has termed it the collective consciousness of working there. Seriously good times.
CU-Portland 99 @ Western Washington 119
Concordia was in this game for an uncomfortably long time if you’re a Vikings fan. If you’re a CU fan, you think that you’re showing promise and you sort of are, but sort of are not. WWU is not normal WWU this year and in that the Cavs could have won -they just needed to commit to defense, because clearly WWU wasn’t.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 29 points, four boards, and six assists; Latrell Wilson had 11 points; Jarrett Gray had five boards; RILEY HAWKEN STARTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and had EIGHT ASSIST AND EIGHTEEN POINTS; and Tyler Gutierrez had 13 points and four boards. Bench play was pretty non-existent. Maybe it should have been more so; the bench had a fairly decent number of turnovers, so up that cardio and go hard starters. So glad that Riley is starting!!!!! He reminds us of the other Riley, former conference player of the year Riley, and that is a very good thing.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 25 points and six assists; Kyle Impero had five boards, six assists, and 19 points; Jeffrey Parker had 17 points. Off the bench Trey Drechsel had 27 points and nine boards; and Colby Mitchell had 10 points. We hate to say it, but Mac shouldn’t be starting. Who to start instead? Up for debate. But Mac needs to come off the bench at least for a bit.
Exciting game if not lacking defense. Couldn’t be more proud of Riley, really happy for Trey -he was out all Fall and has made an immediate impact as we’ve entered the new year.
Northwest Nazarene 79 @ Saint Martin’s 72
Can we say that the Saints are officially in free fall? It feels that way, call us Chicken Little. Not that NNU doesn’t have their moments, but… This wasn’t really one of them and the Saints still managed to lose. Yikes. Oh well, good for the Crusaders for getting it done on the road.
Crusader highlights: BOUNA HAD 22 POINTS; Nikola Prvulj had 13 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright had 19 points. Off the bench Pol Olivier had seven points. What can we really say? The Crusaders got it done and Mike didn’t suffer from a case of excessive turnovers; it was officially a good night.
Saints highlights: Jordan Kitchen had 14 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Rhett Baerlocher had 10 points; Tyler Copp had 13 points; Fred Jorg had ten boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had four boards; and Michael Painter had five points.
…………. It was a game. It was played. Jordan Kitchen, Bouna, and Mike Wright all had good nights. Congrats to the Crusaders on the win.
Western Oregon 90 @ Simon Fraser 67
The Clan stayed in this for a longggg time. It’s kind of funny with WOU; ‘lesser’ teams they let hang around for an excessively long time before putting them away, whereas with SPU they put them away immediately but let the Falcons come back to tie the game. Interesting if nothing else.
Wolf highlights: Alex Roth had eighteen points and six boards; Julian Nichols had five boards; Jordan Wiley had five boards and 10 points; and Andy Avgi had 20 points and nine boards. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland and Janvier Alaby both added eight points; and Tanner Omlid added six points and six boards.
Feel like the Wolves overlooked the Clan slightly, but ultimately they got it done and that’s what counts.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had eight boards and five assists; Andrew Williamson had 15 points; Michael Harper had 17 points; and JJ Pankratz had six boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had nine points and four boards.
In the initial posting the Clan got skipped -sorry; we’d accidentally put your name first, so it had been mentally flagged as having been written about, but then we realized you guys weren’t. You played very well against a great WOU team, so our highest congrats on that.
Central Washington 62 @ Seattle Pacific 75
Interesting-ish game. The Falcons were up, then it was tied, then they put it away although there were times when the Wildcats started to reel them back in. Not a bad night for either team, although we’re sure CWU fans would beg to differ because, okay: maybe it was kind of a bad night for the Wildcats. Some of that shooting… woof. But they should take solace in the fact that they nearly matched SPU on rebounding, which is huge.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had eight boards; Joe Stroud had 10 points and five boards; Devin Matthews had 17 points; and off the bench Naim Ladd made his free throws to add nine points and four boards.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a quiet night with eight points and a full house; Brendan Carroll had fourteen points and five boards; Mitch Penner had 22 points and eight boards. Off the bench Joe Rasmussen had 16 points and five boards -interesting that the dude is finally functioning, although he should know that there’s an asterisk because rivalry game. Weird things happen during rivalry games.
This game finally went the way a game should for the Falcons, which is good and particularly excellent against a rival where there’s bad blood. None of the Washington schools like CWU, although we’re not aware if there’s explicitly bad blood between SMU and the Wildcats; we also hear that UAA really doesn’t like them, can assume that MSUB is in that camp, but we’re not aware with the other five teams. CWU is a weird team to dislike because they sit mid-pac and have for a while, but they’re arguably worse than BYU in how dirty they play and BYU is the cream of the crop in terms of dirty D1 teams.
Overall a pretty good night of basketball. There’s some stuff we want to nitpick with a few teams, but… The exhaustion hit early this year and judging by tonight it’s conference wide, so just not even going to go there. Congrats to all of the teams that won. Game previews’ll be up at 11am tomorrow morning.
Hoooooooly goodness, that Hawks game. While you continue to recover from your heart attack, why not read about some GNAC men’s hoops?
WWU 84 @ UAA 87
Both teams fought hard. It was a close game almost the whole time. There were a few points that UAA would walk up, but WWU didn’t let them get away with it for long. Both teams were great on free throws -shooting above 85%, which is awesome. Really good game, although we were kind of sad that Tony Dominguez’s strategy was also to let Suki shoot until the moose came home. It worked just fine, but again: We want to see a team get Suki in foul trouble, because letting him shoot all day long will only go so far.
Viking highlights: Kyle Impero had 24 points and nine boards; Ricardo Maxwell had nine assists; Jeffrey Harris had 21 points; Mac Johnson grabbed seven boards; and off the bench Colby Mitchell chipped in 10 points. Really no bench play from the Vikings, which ultimately likely did them in.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had six assists; Diante Mitchell had 16 points; Spencer Svejcar had a great game with 18 points and five assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband added eight points and six boards; and Brian McGill continues to adjust back in, adding 14 points, five boards, and five assists off the bench. Awesome.
It was good see Kyle Impero get back in his groove and we still keep crossing our fingers regarding Mac. While we miss Brian McGill starting, all in good time. Fun game from both teams.
MSUB 75 @ CWU 87
Solid game. MSUB stayed in it. We’re really beyond frustrated with the Yellowjackets right now, but that’s another matter. They get to head up to Alaska this week, so that’ll be “fun.” Playing in Alaska is brutal, 100% guaranteed.
Yellowjacket highlights: KENDALL IS STARTING AGAIN!!!!!!!! And he picked up 11 points and five assists. Other than that: Jordan Perry had 10 points; Sven Jeuschede (pronounced like a sneeze) had eight boards; Emmanuel Olufemi had six boards; and off the bench Emmanuel Johnson had 11 points.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 19 points; Gary Jacobs had 16 points and eight boards; Joe Stroud had 14 points and 10 boards; Drake Rademacher had 12 points; and Devin Matthews had 14 points and five boards. Minimal bench play.
The lack of benches is concerning, but we’ll let these two teams worry about it. It’s an odd switch considering last year CWU played essentially two full lines and we liked both of them with the exception of one person.
SPU 91 @ CU-PDX 63
The home teams would have gotten the sweep if not for this game. This game… 50/50 on whether or not to term it a mess. It sort of was considering the Falcons had 21 turnovers, but… Again: Teams do stupid things when they’re up by a lot and so we’re still not sure what side of the argument we fall on.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had 11 points and five boards; Brendan Carroll had five assists; Gilles Dierickx had 16 points and six boards; Mitch Penner had a whopping 30 points, five boards, and four assists; and off the bench Coleman Wooten had 10 points on perfect shooting.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 24 points, five boards, and a full house; Tyler Gutierrez had 14 points. Off the bench Davis Nuami had five points; and Riley Hawken had 10 points.
CU-Portland has been looking better and SPU had been looking worse so it seemed like the game had potential, and… technically it did. While it was never really in doubt, the Falcons had 21 turnovers, so the fact that CU-PDX couldn’t make something happen when they were being given that to work with -next time, do it Cavs!
SFU 56 @ UAF 73
Yet another mess. If a guy scores a bunch of points and yet you don’t see his name, it’s because he had an abomination of a shooting percentage that negates all of the points he scored. Make. Smart. Choices. That goes for every player on every team, not just these two.
Clan highlights: Hidde Vos had 9 points and five boards; Gibran Sewani had 10 points; and Graham Smith had seven points off the bench.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 12 points; TRAVANTE WILLIAMS had 21 points, FIFTEEN boards, EIGHT assists, and rounded it out for a full house; ALMIR had 15 points, eight boards, and a full house. Off the bench Zach Pedersen had 10 points; John Renfro had five points; and Isaac Ladines didn’t have much of anything but he had something of everything with a full house.
Clan… Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The Nooks got it done, and that’s what matters -right?
SMU 61 @ WOU 74
Match-up of the old travel partners. Saint Martin’s disappointed again. They were only down five at the half and then it ended up like this. We’re so sick of their lack of fundamentals -it’s a really, really ugly form of basketball to watch, especially when they have such great moments to contrast it with. It would be one thing if they just played terribly and that was that; it’s that they tease, they play well, they play well, they collapse and you bury your face in your hands because it’s just embarrassing to the GNAC itself. And this was on Root. Ugh. Whatever. No one has cable any more, right? No one was watching it.
Saints highlights: Rhett Baerlocher had 12 points; Cole Preston had six boards and five assists. Off the bench Jordan Kitchen had nine points; and Brandon Kenilvort had 13 points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had five boards; Alex Roth had 10 points; Jordan Wiley had 16 points and seven boards; Andy Avgi had 24 points. Off the bench: Kadeem Strickland had six points; and Tanner Omlid had four boards.
It was a woofer of a game, but again: The Wolves got it done. It would be easy to go “oh well they were exhausted from the SPU game on Thursday,” but if anything that should have had them mad. The Falcons never led during that game and yet still pushed it to over time. Aggravating.
An interesting if not irritating weekend of basketball. We’re still trying to make heads or tails of the WOU/SPU game. MSUB takes on Anchorage on Tuesday, so we’ll see about that.
We’re like the Joe Lunardi of GNAC prognostication, and to an extent West Region bracketology. So many guesses, so much BS, but all in good fun. Our “official” pre-season poll will go up in October.
We finally looked at what CU-Portland brings back: zilch. We also lost even more guys than the already insane number we knew we were losing in June. The June prognostication looks ridiculous from where we stand now. Similarly -these are gonna change again next month. And the month after that. And we’ll do a final “SPIT IS GETTING REAL NOW, LET’S GO!!!!!!!!” ranking just before conference play gets cereal in January, because these things are stupid and stupid fun is good fun.
1. Western Washington. They bring back Harris Javier, Mac Johnson, Kyle Impero, Ricardo Maxwell, Jeff Parker, and more. And those are all actual recognizable names that saw some good minutes! They also bring back carpetbagger Brett Kingma, who is the Riley Carel of Mill Creek. He’s a Falcon by blood, the fact that he didn’t end up at SPU speaks volumes.
2. Western Oregon. We won’t know Andy’s status for a while, but… Devon Alexander had some good early season games, Julian Nichols is great and amazing and almost won player of the year, Jordan Wiley picked up some POW noms, new coaching staff, we love Jim Shaw. If we ever list their coach as ‘Brad Shaw’ sorry in advance -Jim’s son, Brad, was in the same class year of WesCo Basketball that we were and so… we go back.
3. Seattle Pacific. HOOOOOMER pick. Sort of. Thing is, they’ve got Mitch, they’ve got Gilles (good for twice as much homerism), they’ve got Brendan Carroll, Bryce Leavitt, and Garrett Swanson, all of whom started multiple games last year, plus they have plenty of guys that have been in the program for multiple years and have never seen more than an ounce of playing time. Good distribution of height, proven coaching staff, and the rest of the GNAC -what are we gonna do? That’s the real thing here.
4. Central Washington. Never underestimate a good power forward and elite teamwork. They probably should actually get the nod over SPU because Joey Roppo is good, Gary Jacobs wasn’t bad, and Prairie, er, Terry Dawn is legit. Guess we’re sticking them at fourth because we usually give the SPU guys too little credit, and so this kind of balances things out. We know the numbers for the CWU guys, but have no clue what the SPU ones are because we never cared. Whoops.
5. Alaska-Fairbanks. They lost a lot: Ruben, Kyle, Adam, BUT they return Joe Slocum, Almir, and Isaac Ladines. Now, do we think it’ll be successful? No. Do we think it’ll be embarrassingly bad? No. They’re lucky in the fact that the GNAC suffered massive skills drain almost everywhere.
6. Alaska-Anchorage. It’s completely unknown, they return Brian McGill and Sjur Berg as for recognizable names, and hmmm… But it’s still always difficult to play in Anchorage and we feel like their recruiting pitch is pretty quality. Still, they go on too many dates… but they can’t make ’em stay… That’s just what we say-ay-ay mmm, and so they’re just gonna shake it off, shake it off.
7. Saint Martin’s. Admittedly, we’re really sad that Brent is gone and Cameron [happily] is on his Mission. Still: Tyler Copp, Trey Ingram, Isaac Bianchini, Victor Ieronymides, new and very promising coaching staff, good things are on the horizon.
8. Concordia-Portland. This is honestly just a shot in the dark, because they’ve got a bunch of transfers coming in and they’re not going to be expected to do much, so expect the unexpected if they can gel and acclimate quickly.
9. MSU-Billings. Yikes. Momir Gataric and Kendall Denham make-up the most quality pair returned from the bottom three teams + proven coaching staff = potential.
10. Simon Fraser. They no longer have Sango, they no longer have Patrick Simon II, they do have Michael Harper,
Adam Westfall, Hidde Vos, and JJ Pankratz which are all recognizable names, but… only Michael Harper received a POW nom, and it’s still Simon Fraser. Another team we’d love to see improve, but we’re a little heartbroken after the major psych-out of last year.
11. Northwest Nazarene. The thing is, this team would be like if SPU’s best returning player was Brendan Carroll; the projected reality would be more turnovers than a bake sale. That’s Mike Wright, without nearly the talent that Brendan would still likely be surrounded with if put into that scenario.
One thing that is going to happen this year that we’re REALLLY excited for (okay, at this point everything’s exciting ’cause we just want basketball) is conference power rankings. Not sure how often we’re gonna post them, but we’ll take the teams we’re projecting to make the conference tourney and throw them up with the reasoning. Depending, we’ll also give you the bottom five and the reasons they’re not, ’cause otherwise there’ll be people going “But UAF beat WWU by five!” Um, yeah: “Mac Johnson was out with the flu THAT DOESN’T COUNT.”
Speaking of which: Get your flu shot early and wash your hands often. The GNAC Basketball Plague makes the rounds every year, so do what you can to prevent it and help keep GNAC basketball great.