Yes it’s late; it’s Sunday. Oh well. On with the goings on of yesterday.
Concordia-Portland 69 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 92
The Cavs stayed in it for a while and then UAF opened it up and the rest was history.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 9 rebounds; Latrell Wilson had five boards, 26 points, and went 5/5 from the line; James Phillips had 10 points; and off the bench John Erickson had four assists.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards; Joe Slocum had six assists and 10 points; Almir had a good game with 7 boards and 16 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan and Neal Chavez chipped in 10 points a piece.
Great game for the Nanooks, very proud of them; a great victory lap after the upset of WOU. To Concordia -welcome to playing the Alaska schools in conference. You survived. Be proud of yourselves because it is a beastly feat. Worst conference road trip, by far, we’ve been there done that.
Western Oregon 64 @ Alaska-Anchorage 59
Close game the entire time. Really fun to watch. Really smart play by both the Wolves and Seawolves. Wolves succeeded in getting Suki Wiggs in foul trouble while only sending him to the line a few times; the Seawolves contained Andy Avgi fantastically, coercing him into 4/14 shooting. Great job by both teams. Awesome game and good representation for the GNAC as a whole.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 14 points and six boards rounded out by a full house; Julian Nichols had 17 points, seven assists, seven boards, and played the ENTIRE FORTY MINUTES, whoa; Tanner Omlid had 12 points, eight boards, and six assists; Andy Avgi had six boards. No real bench play, although Janvier Alaby had four fouls.
Seawolf highlights: Christian Leckband started in place of Diante and had six boards; Suki went 5/5 from the line but was otherwise contained; Corey Hammell had eight boards and 11 points; Brian McGill had 15 points and six assists. No real bench play.
Again: Congrats to both teams, lots of good defense.
Central Washington 84 @ Simon Fraser 64
The Clan stayed in this for a while and then CWU started to pull away right as halftime arrived and then was able to keep the ball rolling after that. Good effort by the Clan though, definitely.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 19 points; Gary Jacobs had 16 points while going 7/7 from the line; Joe Stroud had six boards, 12 points, and a full house. Some really good play off the bench: Naim Ladd had nine points; Drake Rademacher had six points; and Jerome Bryant had five points. Great free throw shooting team wide, always good.
Clan highlights: JJ Pankratz had 13 points; and off the bench Bowen Bakken had eight points.
Wildcat defense: Awesome. You bought in. Have fun with the Alaska schools next week.
Northwest Nazarene 66 @ Western Washington 83
Blowout although WWU kept their bench short. Maybe a little iffy with the last home game, but we agree with the decision whole heartedly (and very vocally) because WWU is still trying to solidify a rotation (yes on the second to last regular season weekend of the year) and playing seniors during the final home game is a luxury afforded to really really bad teams and really good teams -not middle-of-the-pack teams trying to make the conference tournament. The chemistry looked a lot better on the Viking side, so that was good. Still: the Crusaders stayed dedicated the entire time and kept their focus and continued to make shots, so… Good to see.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had a great game with 23 points and six boards; Detwon Rogers had 11 points and seven boards; Mike Wright had three steals. Off the bench Joel Devastey had eight points and seven boards.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 18 points; Kyle Impero had a double-double with 15 points and 13 boards; Trey Drechsel had 11 boards, five assists, and 20 points -whoaaaa; Brad Wallace had 11 points; and Jeffrey Parker had 22 points and six boards. Every single person that saw minutes grabbed at least one board, something the Vikings had really been struggling with, so great preparation before facing SPU on Thursday.
We’re finally feeling like the Vikings are clicking. We don’t know if it’s going to be enough, but we’re ridiculously pleased with all five of their starters and Isom Brown did good things off the bench; it didn’t really show up in the stats, but it’s what needed to be occurring, so that was awesome. He should feel very proud of his performance.
MSU-Billings 67 @ Seattle Pacific 93
What to say about this game. It’s not the game the Yellowjackets needed but it’s the game we needed to see from the Falcons -sort of. We felt like the Falcons were pretty sloppy, although blowout. It was a blowout from the get-go, which was a nice change because SPU just hadn’t been taking anyone seriously and it was really starting to get on our nerves. They could have won like this against SMU and CWU, but they chose another method instead, so… Boo Falcons.
Yellowjacket highlights: Emmanuel Johnson had 14 points; Emmanuel Olufemi had seven boards; and off the bench Jordan Perry had seven points. The Jackets collectively shot 90% from the line, so that’s promising.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five assists and a flawless full house (no turnovers, perfect shooting) so that was good; Will Parker had five boards and 12 points; Joe Rasmussen had 15 points; Mitch Penner had 23 points and five boards; Garrett Swanson had five boards. Off the bench Brendan Carroll had 10 points and four boards; and Gilles Dierickx had 10 points and eight boards. EJ Poulsen was perfect in garbage time, making a shot and grabbing a rebound. The black guys the Falcons have saw a whopping eight minutes and the rims are still standing so that’s good.
Really not sure what the Falcons are doing with their line-up, but that’s a potential discussion on Wednesday. We saw Mitch Penner complaining in the Seattle Times about “waiting for his time,” and we’d like to remind him that it’s been his time. He was the sixth man his sophomore year and then started throughout 70% of last year and made our second team all conference, and so he should quit whining.
Interesting-ish day of basketball. POW noms’ll be up at 10 and winner announced at 11am tomorrow.
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.
Up super late, yes, yes, it sucks, but… Birthday shenanigans. Somehow, sometimes a life outside of basketball exists. Most of the time it doesn’t, but occasionally it does.
Seattle Pacific 89 @ Simon Fraser 55
Can’t spell slaughter without laughter? Sure. Not much to be said about this game, so on with the highlights.
SPU highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a low-key game for himself grabbing eight boards, five assists, and 10 points in a quick 26 minutes; Will Parker had five assists; Gilles Dierickx had six boards and seven points; Mitch Penner had six boards, three assists, and 13 points; Garrett Swanson had four boards, two assists, two steals, and fifteen points. Off the bench Sam Simpson had five points; Brendan Carroll had eight points; Joe Rasmussen had a huge night (for him) with five boards and 18 points. Good to see the Falcons use the entirety of their bench.
SFU highlights: Oshea Gairey had four steals; Max Barkeley shot 80% on 10 free throws; Michael Harper had eight points. Really no highlights aside from the free throws because although there were points scored, all of the shooting was so bad (30% from the field, 18% from beyond the arc) that it was negated. Good job SPU defense.
Overall what really is there to be said? Congrats SPU.
MSUB 76 @ Concordia 59
Don’t let the score fool you -this game was close for a long time before MSUB pulled away in the second half. Lots of really good numbers, good win for MSUB to get, although something tells us their coaching staff would disagree. Still, really good defensive effort for the Yellowjackets. Good rebounding by both teams, but MSUB definitely got the best of it finishing with a huge 52 boards.
MSUB highlights: Emmanuel Johnson had a full house with nine boards, one assist, two steals, a block, two fouls, and six points; Jace Anderson had 13 points; Jordan Perry had nine boards and four steals. Off the bench: Kendall Denham had 13 points; and Cade Alcorn had a whopping 13 boards and 12 points.
CU-PDX highlights: Drew Martin had eight boards; Riley Hawken had a full house with six boards, two assists, a steal, a block, three fouls, and 14 points; Tyler Gutierrez had five boards, three assists, and nine points. Off the bench John Erickson had eight points; and Taylor Harris had four boards.
Not the best game for anyone involved but we’re super proud of MSUB for getting it done and look forward to seeing them make some progress against WOU tomorrow.
Saint Martin’s 68, Western Washington 71
This was a really, really, really good game. Maybe the biggest highlight was finally watching Fred Jorg play in person and he is 100% the real deal. That’ll be part of our discussions post on Wednesday. This game was back and forth 100%, SMU did put themselves in a position to win it at the end and just couldn’t get it done. WWU finally started rebounding, which was great because they weren’t shooting well -SMU was playing some amazing defense. This turned out to be the game of the night, so… Exciting stuff.
SMU highlights: Cole Preston had five boards, six points, and 12 points; Jordan Kitchen was a monster with six blocks; Tyler Copp had four assists and nine points; Fred Jorg had 12 points, six boards, and two assists. Off the bench Isaac Bianchini had nine points; and Michael Painer also chipped in nine points.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell played a full forty minutes and grabbed five boards, four assists, and 12 points; Kyle Impero played 38 minutes grabbing nine boards, three steals, and 16 points; Colby Mitchell had nine boards and nine points; Jeff Parker had eight boards, two assists, one steal, and fourteen points; Mac Johnson had 11 points. Off the bench Harris Javier chipped in six points, but the bench really didn’t do much besides relieve the starters.
So glad to see that rebounding number from WWU, ridiculously proud of them. SMU, there really isn’t anything bad to say. WWU shot really poorly, SMU shot really well, so… Good defense. SMU’s defense is impressive. WWU, keep grinding.
Northwest Nazarene 72 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 77
Grind it out close game. The Nooks should be worried. The Crusaders should be proud considering they’ve looked like a mess but went onto the tundra and almost got the win. Very, very back and forth game with some questionable free throw shooting. Make your free throws.
NNU highlights: Joel Devastey had nine boards; Bouna N’Diaye had six boards; Detwon Rogers had 11 boards and 25 points although a terrible six turnovers; Mike Wright had eight assists, four steals, a block, four fouls, and 16 points for the full house, BUT he had five turnovers. This entire team had more turnovers than a bake sale and had they not, then likely would have won. Even with all of those turnovers they almost did.
UAF highlights: Alex Duncan had three steals; Bangaly Kaba had six boards, four assists, and nine points; Joe Slocum had three steals; Travante Williams had 12 boards, two assists, four steals, and 21 points; Almir had nine boards and 17 points. Off the bench Isaac Ladines had 17 points.
Decent game for both teams. Proud of NNU for staying in it when we’d completely written them off. Practice makes progress, they’re heading into the ragingly hot UAA and it’s going to be a battle, but now we’ve seen they’ll at least show up.
Central Washington 65 @ Alaska-Anchorage 93
So much for game of the night. No, we’ve been questioning CWU all year because their non-conference did nothing to improve them. UAA, on the other hand had a good non-conference schedule even if it didn’t help the collective conference much.
CWU highlights: Joey Roppo had 12 points; Gary Jacobs had 10; Joe Stroud had nine boards, four steals, and 14 points; Devin Matthews had seven boards and nine points. CWU got nothing from their bench. UAA shut them down mercilessly.
UAA highlights: Suki Wiggs had five boards and 21 points; Diante Mitchell had six assists and 17 points; COREY HAMMELL had 13 boards and 19 points. Off the bench: Christian Leckband had five boards and 11 points; Damian Fulp had a full house; Tayler Thompson had a full house with six boards, 10 points, two assists, along with one block, one steal, and one foul.
Great performance by UAA. Did exactly what they needed to do. With a performance like that it’s hard to think NNU will come in and be able to do much, but the Seawolves need to commit and hopefully have a similar performance on Saturday.
Good night of basketball. The big highlight was definitely SMU -we’ve liked them all year and were worried about Fred, but that fear has been abated, so that’s great. Really super happy to see WWU find their rebounding chops. UAA was phenomenal. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
Warning: Hyperbole and enthusiasm ahead.
This is our second year with the whole GNAC and there are so many guys we’re excited about. It’s basically this comfortably warm bubble filling up our insides because last year the list merely included guys from WWU, SPU, and MSUB but this year the list is much* more diverse.
Julian Nichols (WOU) -the pre-season premier guard in our conference. He was SO close to winning Player of the Year.
Andy Avgi? (WOU) -the favorite, ’cause football is the best AND he’s a very, very good basketball player.
Mitch Penner (SPU) -Killer SF, great leader, great energy, isn’t getting shoved to PG.
Mac Johnson (WWU) -The premier returning center. He really seemed to click late last year, so lots of potential.
Joe Stroud (CWU) -POWER FORWARDS ARE THE BEST.
John Erickson (CU-P) -Once upon a time played for UAA, now is at CU-P, so curious.
The list is smaller than anticipated largely because so many guys that would be up there, left: Ruben (UAF), Kalidou (UAA), Patrick Simon II (SFU), Joey Schreiber (WWU), Caleb Dressler (CWU), Erik Kinney (NNU), Alex Birketoft (NNU), and potentially Andy Avgi of WOU. Although, we fully support Andy playing football -he’s a Pete Carroll type of player, thus the benefits could be bigger than the GNAC. If Pete Carroll doesn’t see what we see… he may receive a strongly worded letter. Grrrrr. Woof, woof, woof. Arf?
There are also a number of guys left off that list because we’re just not sure about the pieces around them. Guys like Brian McGill (UAA), Almir (UAF), Michael Harper (SFU), Trey Ingram (SMU), Momir (MSUB), and Kendall Denham (MSUB).
Teams to be excited for:
Every. Single. One; it’s a new year of basketball! But specifically WWU because they return far more than anyone else. We actually can see that team and see what it’ll theoretically be like and they look great even without knowing the specific awesomeness the new guys are going to bring.
No one else really has a team coming back. UAF, SPU, CWU, CU-P, WOU all return plenty of pieces but none that really have that “wow” factor collectively. You could make a solid argument for CWU, but why wasn’t Dom off that team? You cannot tell us that if they had truly adequate scoring options he would have still been on it. Why? See: Western Washington saying “good-bye” to Jaamon Echols.
UAA suffers from higher expectations than UAF in any given year. SFU suffers from no expectations in any given year. MSUB suffers from no clue as for what to expect in any given year. SMU we love to death and back but three pieces returning with one not being a center… Yikes.
This is gonna be said over and over again, but: We really don’t know what to make of this coming year. It’s gonna be great, ’cause basketball, but the first eight weeks or so are going to be one steaming pile of puzzlement with a side of schedule reticence.