There’s a question we’ve been contemplating since Summer, and that is what to do with GNAC alums that graduated and started playing overseas before we started writing the blog. We know most of the SPU ones and a smattering of others, but because we don’t know all of them, we’re gonna go ahead and limit it to 2014 seniors and beyond. 2014 because that at least was our senior year and we knew by late December that the GNAC Men’s Basketblog was going to be a thing and thus started going through the motions of prepping for it.
Austin Bragg: Currently starting center for the Artland Dragons of Germany’s “B” league. He’s averaging seven points and six boards. Way to go Austin!
Richard Woodworth: Currently playing and starting for the Bellingham Slam; no word on his stats.
David Downs: Currently the starting point guard for Rhein Stars of the German “A” league. He’s averaging 16 points, six assists, and three boards.
Patrick Simon: Currently the starting center for the Oita Ehime club in Japan’s BJ league. He’s averaging 18 points and almost 10 boards. Whoa. Go Patrick.
Riley Stockton: Currently the starting shooting guard for Estela and is shockingly averaging 16 points, four boards, and three assists.
Kevin Rima: Currently the starting power forward for Spain’s Augustino’s Eras and is averaging nine points and seven boards.
Travis Thompson: Currently on the roster of Germany’s Fraport Skyliners, but isn’t seeing any minutes.
Sango Niang: Currently playing in Germany for SSV Lokomotiv Bernau, but we couldn’t find anything beyond that.
Kevin and Riley are actually playing in the same league, which is pretty cool.
We like spying on what Kevin Rima’s up to because in terms of blog metrics, one of the things we get is where your guys’ IP addresses are from and we suspect he’s spying on the blog right back =) Hi Kevin! We miss you. We’re proud of you! Smack Riley Stockton on the back of the head if you get a chance -he deserves it.
There are a smattering of others -we know that Anye Turner, Ryan Todd, and Matt Borton are all playing for a local rec-team-on-steroids that WWU lost to earlier this season. Ryan Todd apparently has the ability to play basketball, which was a big shock to us; Anye balls out, at all times, on all days; Matt is good half the time under certain circumstances and that day didn’t have them.
There a few other guys that we’re curious about what they’re up to as well and it could be somewhat relevant because they’re still in our scope. We’re of course talking about Alex Birketoft, Kalidou Diouf, and Joey Schreiber.
One of the bonuses about writing this blog is that we can totally stalk those three without guilt because we genuinely do have to pay attention to what CBU and APU is doing, so we’re gonna update you guys on them because they’re great and they’re ours 100% even though they’re no longer in our conference. We gon’ have some region pride, up in here, up in here.
Kalidou: Starting and averaging 10 points and four boards for the Lancers of CBU.
Alex: Averaging five points and five boards in 15 minutes a game off the bench, also for CBU.
Joey: Averaging 11 points and five boards coming off the bench for the Cougars of APU.
Those are the obvious ones playing overseas. If you know of others from the classes of ’14 and ’15, let us know.
Here’s a list of the Player-of-the-Week nominees we’ve had so far this year:
UAF: Bangaly Kaba, Travante Williams
UAA: Suki Wiggs, Diante Mitchell, Corey Hammell
SFU: JJ Pankratz
WWU: Kyle Impero
SPU: Bryce Leavitt, Mitch Penner, Gilles Dierickx
MSUB: Jordan Perry
CWU: Gary Jacobs
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye
WOU: Devon Alexander, Andy Avgi, Alex Roth
Last year we questioned that guys that were having really good games week in and week out weren’t getting nominated because their teammates are having better games. This year, that’s not a problem and it’s making us ask a different question: Are our standards too ridiculous? Do they not work for the GNAC? We’re leaning on the side of “no,” but will look into it as we go into conference play.
Our winners have put up really standard numbers in terms of what we saw last year, so… totally possible, it’s not too hard to achieve, it’s that no one’s getting it consistently with the exception of Andy and Bryce. Our formula actually does take defense into account, so it’s not simply a matter of scoring.
Player-of-the-Week Winners, thus far:
UAA: Corey Hammell
SPU: Bryce Leavitt
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye
WOU: Andy Avgi
We’ve given the award out five times; Bryce has won twice, while Cory, Bouna, and Andy have won once each. We like the numbers they’ve put up; the fact that Bouna did in fact play two games during the week he won makes it even better because he hit numbers that put him right in the thick of the other POW winners, so it’s a true win by all accounts.
While we’re proud of those guys, we feel like that list is lacking.
Almir Hadzisehovic (UAF) is still playing a lot, just not playing particularly well. We get that Bangaly Kaba and Travante Williams are good, but that doesn’t inherently make Almir bad, so hopefully he’ll step up more now that conference play is starting.
Brian McGill (UAA) is no longer playing as far as we know. He remains on their roster, but isn’t in their team picture, can’t find anything about injury status, nothing saying “he’s coming back soon,” he’s just gone. We assume if he was participating in an extra curricular program it would be advertised as a GNAC athlete being more than a basketball player. Fact is -he’s a 5th year senior, so as much as we like him: Sometimes you’ve gotta just get a life and ideally that’s what he’s done. We’re hoping that he’s not MIA to deal with his own illness or the illness of a sick family member -if he is, in that case we hope he comes back really soon and everything works out.
Michael Harper (SFU) has a bad case of the turnovers, but is still around.
Mac Johnson (WWU) we have no idea what’s wrong with -he still plays a lot, he’s still 6’8 and 240lbs, but we have no idea where the Mac of the end of last year went and we keep thinking the old him is going to resurface and then it doesn’t.
Mitch Penner (SPU) isn’t taking the step up that we kind of anticipated and yet he’s kinda screwed because every team is just like “Let’s go after Mitch!” because it’s hard to go after Gilles, no one needs to go after Will Parker (he’s the new Lew Thomas), Bryce Leavitt is a point guard -he’s good whether he’s assisting, defending, or scoring; and people just bounce right off of 5th starter Garrett, so what are you going to do? Answer: Go after the ginger.
Trey Ingram (SMU) was our favorite frosh last year and he’s gone into a sophomore slump, so hopefully he’ll bounce back. Not too concerned with this one -it happens, he’ll get through it.
Momir Gataric (MSUB) is redshirting due to injury, which sort of sucks, and sort of is just as well. We’ll be glad to get him back next year and wish him the best in his rehabbing efforts.
Joe Stroud (CWU) is still playing but apparently it’s much harder when you actually have to shoot the ball and are being relied upon -he’s responded poorly so far, granted he’s played somewhere between four and six D2 games, so still plenty of season left.
Mike Wright (NNU) lost all of the people that made him look somewhat decent and so now he just looks like a mess. Yes, he could have stepped up, this theoretically was his team because Bouna was generally the 6th man last year, but… Mike needs to do more. Much more. Maybe during conference play.
Tyler Gutierrez (CU-P) is basically the only returning piece for CU-P and we know we named him as a POW nominee, but he’s not on the list above because he wouldn’t have been nominated if he were on any other team -it was us trying to include the Cavs, and now we’re kind of done. With that: Be adequate.
Julian Nichols (WOU) we really, really don’t know and it’s kind of making us mad to be perfectly honest. Dude is still playing, he’s just not playing well. He was one of our picks for potential player of the year because he had an amazing junior season and not much has really changed and yet he’s not playing well.
With some of that… We feel like writing it off until conference play is kind of weak, considering our conference looked so weak during non-conference. There are good teams, but we feel downright uncomfortable with UAA, WWU, and CWU because non-conference was such a wash and we feel like they’re good teams but they didn’t prove it during non-con and so we’re not sure what it’ll mean during conference play if/when they do win? It seems like it’ll be easy to give them hype and yet what’s the real substance behind that hype?
UAF there’s not as much expectation because they’ve been off for a few years, they’ve got what’s essentially a brand new team, low-pressure; SMU same thing; MSUB and NNU we’re just hoping they don’t drown. CU-Portland and SFU, we hope things remain somewhat humane.
WOU and SPU there’s some concern about upsets and we’ve said this repeatedly: Upsets aren’t a good thing for ANYONE including the teams upsetting them. The better SPU and WOU look the better for our conference as a whole, because they barely proved themselves in non-conference. Our non-con collectively looks much better because of how SPU schedules, never forget that.
When we look at the individual play of guys on other teams… It may just be a more down year on the west coast. Admittedly we really loved last year’s GNAC (shout-outs in particular to non-returners Kevin Rima, Anye Turner, Riley Stockton, Matt Borton, and Alex & Kalidou [no one blames you two for leaving] for helping make our first year of blogging ridiculously fun) and we know that those guys are all super amazing, but… There are amazing guys this year too -Bouna was an irrational favorite last year that’s become legitimate this year; Kyle Impero turned it up at the end of last year and is dominating this year; Bryce Leavitt came out of nowhere and we’re beyond thrilled with his play; Bangaly and Travante are both super fun; Andy we should constantly be in awe of Andy, but still kind of hold a grudge against him because of the second game against SPU last year -we’ll just be honest- even though we know it was Brendan’s fault that the Falcons lost, so… Irrationalities, but we can admit it. We love you Andy, we really do, promise.
So there are plenty of good guys, but there may be far fewer great guys than normal, and that could be making some of the would-be great guys merely look good. We wondered that regularly about Riley Carel’s stats -if they were in fact lower because he’d pass the ball and then the guy he was passing to would turn it over, so he’d skip passing and try and force something and it didn’t work out very well because while they had promising underclassmen, there’s a big difference between promising underclassmen and seasoned upperclassmen. Then again, with Riley -that was his own fault; could have stayed at SPU and been the starting SG on a team with Riley S. and Matt and Mitch, and Cory’s hook shot (Cory and his hook shot we’ve determined to be separate entities) but he decided he wanted to be the star. And that decision proves even more juxtaposed this year with Alex and Kalidou both having transferred to CBU.
Riley got to score a lot of points and be the go-to guy, but never even made the conference tournament. Alex and Kalidou are now playing on a team favored to win the Pac-West and that’s 100% in control of their own destiny regarding an at-large berth in the regional tournament, much less conference tournament.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go as a group.
In an hour we’ll check in with some of our favorite GNAC alums/former players now playing on non-GNAC teams.
Tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll be taking a look at what we currently know vs. want to know about each team/group of guys in our conference currently.
On the agenda for today: Alex and Kalidou are both playing for CBU, Kyle Impero’s weight, why you should be rooting for all eleven GNAC teams right now, and briefly touching the D1 games being played.
Alex and Kalidou both are actively playing for Cal Baptist this year, and this is how they’re eligible:
Maybe the most interesting thing about it is that Riley Carel was still forced to redshirt at SMU, meaning that his exit from SPU wasn’t entirely agreed upon, likely in part because it was an in-conference transfer. We support the SPU coaching staff entirely in their decision to force the RS, considering SPU’s best chance in ages to win the regional would have been last year with Riley Carel at shooting guard. Yeah, there was the difference of being in conference, but if anything we see in-region as worse than in-conference transfers.
Kyle Impero is sitting at 6’4/165 and it is concerning us heavily. He’s a very lithe guy, so it’s not as bad as it could be, but… Our concern comes from watching Spencer Hawes get the flu in his one and only year at Washington. He was sitting at 220, which is already on the low side for a guy that’s 6’11, he got the flu, dropped out to 210, and then never recovered. It was unpleasant.
For men’s basketball, even D2 we’d like to see a low base of roughly 6’2/170, 6’3/180, 6’4/190, etc. The season is grueling, like Kilimanjaro grueling. Looks totally doable, sounds totally doable, but the next thing you know you’re doubled over exhausted. Kyle sitting at 165 means that if he gets even a mild case of the flu, his body has nothing and the odds of his lack of appetite spiraling him into sitting sub 155 are high, which would be bad news all around.
Our annual reminder: The GNAC plague is coming just like every year and the best way to combat it is to get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. You should be drinking half as many ounces of water as you weigh e.g. if you weigh 200lbs you should be drinking 100oz of WATER, not tea, not coffee, not beer, WATER every single day.
Stay healthy, my friends.
Why you should be rooting for every GNAC team now:
Because we need strength of conference. If we want more than one or two teams in the West Region tourney and to otherwise not be relying on the auto-bid, we need GNAC teams to win and win big in non-conference. Doesn’t matter who you are -if you want your team to do well, you need to root for the so-called “Goliaths” like there’s no tomorrow because what they do in non-conference will have a major impact on what the match-ups with your team implicates during conference play.
There’s definitely an undercurrent of dislike around here for WWU/SPU and that’s totally fine: very understandable. They are monstrous because both programs do well in men’s basketball, they’re close together, good to great locations, moderate to great academics, and SPU definitely has the rep for being irritatingly holier-than-thou and uptight regardless of men’s basketball.
Still: the Falcons have far and away the best non-conference schedule of any team and so regardless of how you feel about SPU, for your team’s peace of mind, you need to be hoping like heck that they win. If the Falcons (and every other GNAC team) can play well in non-conference, it’ll pay huge dividends down the line for all eleven teams later.
Touching the D1 games briefly:
- SPU kept it super close against UW for a very long time before ultimately getting blown out.
- WOU also kept it super close against Oregon State -they were leading numerous times as we saw, but didn’t pull off the upset this year.
- UAF got blown out by Nevada, but kept it relatively close against BYU. We don’t trust BYU in the slightest, so no judgment.
Overall not a bad stretch. It means jack all, but hopefully these teams got to know themselves a good bit better without exposing ways of exploitation that’ll be possible to emulate on a D2 level, but we’ll see.
On the horizon: The “official” ‘Welcome’ post’ll go up tomorrow, probably no game previews on Friday, we’re going to be watching/following games all afternoon starting at 4pm pacific, so check our twitter feed and interact with us if you want. The first conference game takes place on Saturday (CWU @ SFU) so Saturday morning’ll be a little chaotic, but:
Nutso November, here we go!
Exactly what was expected happened. Alaska Anchorage got blown out by CBU, WWU blew out Upper Iowa; all the tale of an All Hallows’ Afternoon.
Alaska Anchorage 68, Cal Baptist 79,
Entirely as projected. Suki needs to start taking better shots. We’ll tell you guys now: Be careful about poking the blogger. You tell us how amazing your team and transfers are, we’re gonna give you the needle even when you’re performing exactly as we projected (good but not great) simply because you told us you were all that. Better stick with the humility and let us gush like we got to with NNU last year.
Alright, player highlights: To be fair, Suki did improve with having 34 points, 7 rebounds, two assists, and four steals -still, that was on 10-22 shooting and with six turnovers, which is atrocious; Spencer Svejcar had six points and five fouls, which we consider productive; SJUR BERG had seven points and seven boards; Corey Hammell had some less than stellar shooting to get to 12 points, but made up for it by picking up 11 boards. Bench didn’t do much, but Christian Leckbend had four points and four boards, which is sort of solid.
Western Washington 90, Upper Iowa 75
Exactly, 100% what we were expecting and yet still super proud of the Vikings because especially early season -you need to get those expected victories in a strut-like manner, which is what happened.
Player highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and 16 points; KYLE IMPERO had NINE rebounds, three assists, two steals, and 29 points on prototypical shooting; Colby Mitchell had five points, three rebounds, one steal, one block, and five fouls; Jeff Parker had seven boards, three assists, four fouls, and 17 points; Mac Johnson had five boards and 10 points but none of that matters because he had a whopping six turnovers -yeesh, get it together Mac, you’re better than that. Off the bench: Brett Kingma had eight points.
Pretty much it. Nothing too exciting except the excitement that comes from doing exactly what needs to be done. Today is day three of the D2 Tip-off with Alaska Anchorage facing Colorado Springs and Western Washington facing Minnesota State Moorhead.
We’ll go over the stuff per usual tomorrow morning and contemplating acknowledging a pseudo-player of the week because all of this was against D2. We’ll see.
For those that weren’t with us in October: We don’t judge incoming transfers until we’ve seen them play in the GNAC. Period. We wait for non-conference to entirely finish up and then start making our predictions because we want to see how the teams mesh. This means that not only do we get to see non-conference, we get to see two conference games.
Still, we’ll go over the incoming coaches briefly just to give you some idea:
Incoming coaches: Jim Shaw (WOU via Saint Mary’s), Alex Pribble (SMU via Eastern Washington).
Alex Pribble: Likely hired at Saint Martin’s because he’s got a good mix of Washington AND California on his resume. As we’re starting to see -guys want to go the California schools; which makes sense. They’re in great locations, are starting to do really well, and the schools are credible academically. There are a lot of guys that we really liked on the SMU team last year and it’ll be interesting to see how he develops them. Still, can he get guys to stay? If he can, he’s well stocked because as we’ve noted: We strongly believe in the underclassmen at SMU.
Note to Coach Pribble if he sees this: I’M TRUSTING YOU WITH THOSE YOUNG GUYS. I BELIEVE IN THEM. I LOVE THEM. DO NOT SCREW THIS UP.
Jim Shaw: Love this hire. Loved Jim when he was coaching at UW, definitely some bias there with him being a part of the Sweet 16 teams. He also has California recruiting on his resume, working with Randy Bennett -a favorite west coast coach. He knows the northwest, he knows how to recruit, he himself attended WOU although in a very different era. His skills are there, but we’ll see what he does. It’s not this year that we should really be concerned about -it’ll be a year or two from now, so he’s at least got substantial job security because any real scrutiny of him probably won’t hit until year four or five.
The modified transfer acknowledging prognostication with should-be-obvious explanations:
1. WWU -one guy does not define a WWU team.
2. WOU -they could very well overtake WWU; Andy, Julian, Jordan. Who are the other two and can they make it happen?
3. CUP -Good until proven bad.
4. SPU -they have a 1-4 and a 5; it’s only two guys, but this coaching staff is undeniable.
5. NNU -this still may be too high.
6. CWU -Never underestimate a good power forward.
7. UAA -Brian McGill may be rather impotent without anyone to distribute to.
8. SMU -Their young guys are capable and if the coaching hire is right 8th could be too low.
9. UAF -Ruben was The Great Eskihope. And now he’s gone.
10. MSUB -Sorry Momir Gataric, Kendall Denham + Coaching staff.
11. SFU -Patrick Simon II transferred.
Outgoing Transfers of Note: Northwest Basketball Drain Edition.
Kalidou is transferring from UAA to Cal Baptist; Joey Schreiber from WWU to Azusa Pacific. The UAA one is a bit understandable and kind of funny: they got that really nice brand new arena for their D1 tournament, but it doesn’t change the fact that you still have to live in Alaska for most of the year and it’s really hard to get home. Joey Schreiber, the suspicion is that APU has a lot of outgoing guys and he didn’t like his prospects at WWU. We’re assuming it’s a playing time/starting issue, but it could be very well that he thinks they’re screwed without Anye; we don’t. We think WWU is going to be just fine.
The 30 Second Shot Clock
Love it. The point guards may have some issues with it, but keep your eye on Julian Nichols. When the season gets started he’s the one in our conference that you should be looking at in terms of what to expect. Honestly, it’ll be an adjustment but should be fine. Hopefully it doesn’t make the “chuck and hope” more predominant -ideally it leads to better center play because teams will want to go down low more for the high percentage shots, getting people involved, getting people banging. Bang, collapse, kick-out, sure-fire three, this speeds the whole thing up. Excited to take a look at it.
Questions you may have that won’t be addressed until September at the earliest:
- Thoughts on incoming transfers.
- 2015 GNAC grads getting signed to overseas contracts.
- Does a GNAC team deserve to be ranked to start the year?
If other info circulates or we feel the need to argue with ourselves publicly, we’ll post a re-rank of the teams; there are definite arguments that WOU should be number one.
Be safe, have fun, play basketball, don’t get injured, enjoy the Summer!
WE MADE IT!! The final regular season day of conference games. We actually got here! And now things start to get really exciting. Whoa. Here we go with the final post, of the year, about regular season games!
Saint Martin’s 67 @ Alaska Anchorage 101
The Saints stayed with the Seawolves for a good while and it looked like it was going to be a challenge, but UAA then proceeded to put them away. UAA is peaking at the right time and they should be a danger in the conference tournament, which will make things interesting.
SMU highlights: Trey Ingram had 12 points and four assists; Riley Carel almost had a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, three steals, and one block; Tyler Idowu had eight points. Off the bench: Isaac Bianchini had nine points and three assists; Will Bond had a whopping 16 points.
UAA highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and nine assists; Travis Thompson had 22 points and five assists; Derrick Fain, as noted, almost had a triple double with 16 points, nine boards, and eight assists; Brad Mears had seven points and five boards. Off the bench: Sjur Berg had five boards; Dom Hunter had 15 points and five boards; and KALIDOU had six boards and eight points.
Central Washington 104 @ MSU-Billings 99
Very interesting game, pretty horrifying in many senses. There’s this thing called defense. No, this game wasn’t that awful -people were just on and whether it was a matter of poor defense or Alterowitz being hot on the whole matters little. Still, Central… interesting team.
CWU highlights: Terry Dawn had 10 boards and four steals; Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points. Off the bench, Devin Matthews had six boards, nine assists, and 16 points.
MSUB highlights: Antoine Hosley had 50 points (yes, fifty), seven boards, and two assists; Emmanuel Johnson had 12 points and eight boards; Jordan Perry had seven points and seven boards; and Tyler Nelson had 10 points and nine boards.
Northwest Nazarene 49 @ Seattle Pacific 60
This was kind of a weird game -beforehand it was hard to predict because the potential of directions it could go in, and even in the middle of it the game itself struggled to decide. SPU was up by eight pretty consistently, but every time it seemed like the Falcons would break it up, the Crusaders reeled them back in a bit.
NNU highlights: Alex Birketoft had 14 points and six boards; Erik Kinney had a full house with 14 points, four boards, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and four fouls; Kevin Rima had fourteen points and five boards.
SPU highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five boards; Riley Stockton had 14 points and six rebounds; Matt Borton had 13 points and 13 boards; Mitch Penner had 18 points and seven boards; Cory Hutsen had nine points.
The Falcons’ll be an interesting team to watch during the conference tournament, because while we’ve pretty much figured out what CWU, WWU, and WOU are doing… the Falcons are still a conundrum.
Western Oregon 75 @ Alaska Fairbanks 60
Another game in which it was looking like the worse of the two was gonna stick around and take a stand and then didn’t. Congrats to the Nooks for trying?
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander 19 points; Julian Nichols 10 points and five assists; LEW THOMAS 12 points, fifteen boards, three assists, two steals, five blocks, and one foul for a full house; Andy Avgi had 17 points and seven boards. Off the bench: Adam Hastings had seven points.
UAF highlights: Alex Duncan had seven points and five boards; Ashton Edwards went on another spree with 27 points and five boards; Almir had 10 points and six boards.
Player-of-the-week’ll be up later today, promise.
There have been a number of guys in our conference that have seemingly disappeared as of late, and so today we’re going to finally address them. Players to be discussed: Ruben Silvas, Kalidou Diouf, Patrick Simon II, Michael Harper, Jaamon Echols, Matt Borton, Momir Gataric, Jordan Russell, and Tyler Copp. If there’s someone or something we’re forgetting: speak up and we’ll update the post.
Ruben Silvas (UAF): Out due to academics, back next year. Case closed.
Kalidou Diouf (UAA): Got injured a few games back, didn’t play against MSUB nor SPU… In fact, the last game he played in was against Central Washington, way back on January 22. Guessing that it’s mostly a thing where they for the most part can win without him and so on a lingering injury there’s no use in wasting a frosh’s body that way if you can avoid it. Good on the Seawolves. They’re in great position, so if it’s not also the result of an academic issue or anything really severe, then expect to hopefully see him back in the next two weeks of conference play OR the conference tournament. If you have better info, let us know.
Patrick Simon II & Michael Harper (SFU): Still playing -growing pains.
Jaamon Echols (WWU): Off the team due to a violation of team rules. We love and believe in every player holistically, but this is seen as a net positive, because we got that cancer-y feeling from him and WWU’s been much better without.
Matt Borton (SPU): Got injured, but… who knows. He’s still starting. It’s something we’ve kind of been tracking because he was a dark horse player of the year candidate, so we’ll see. We keep saying “this’ll be the week” and tentatively this will be the week, but eh. Lurking variables.
Momir Gataric (MSUB): Didn’t play against the Alaska schools, possibly got injured against WWU, feel like there was something, so again: they may be resting him or deciding it’s not worth it because he still has another year and considering this year is essentially a lost cause, there’s no use in pushing him when he doesn’t need to be. However, he may very well play against SPU -it wouldn’t be surprising, because odd as it is: there’s a bit of a rivalry developing, so undoubtedly that game’ll be prioritized.
Jordan Russell (CWU): Violated team rules apparently while in Alaska. How do you violate team rules in Alaska? Was it for smoking rancid whale blubber? If it was, pretty sure that’s not in the NCAA handbook and we consider it worth it by all accounts -CWU is hella deep anyway; they’ll live and it’s a great story.
Tyler Copp (SMU): Assuming growing pains -he’s still been playing in games, just very silent.
Usual game day previews’ll be up at 11am PST tomorrow.
Wow. That was a really fun night of GNAC games. The madness started at 6pm PST and for the most part didn’t overlap at any super critical part, so enjoying the games was in full force.
In every instance the team with the better FT shooting won, so there’s that note.
If you need some extra entertainment, check out the UAF fan in the comments. UAF’s currently suspended from post season play due to APR, so… on that note:
WWU 60 @ UAF 64
There’s the sense from Vikings fans that this wasn’t an unexpected loss -that team just can’t win in the Patty Center, and yet… that needs to stop. WWU had every opportunity and they didn’t take it and while there were a lot of things wrong with the performance… Free throw shooting seems to be the biggest culprit. Make your free throws. The Vikings went 10-22 from the line and that is never gonna work.
The good things that stood out for WWU? Mac Johnson went 5-7 and 2-3 on FTs with seven rebounds, five blocks, and 12 points; Anye Turner was 4/5 from the line and had seven boards, three assists, and scored eight points; Harris Javier scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting, and finally: Jaamon Echols had 20 points and six boards, but his shooting percentage was horrifying.
In regard to UAF: Isaac Ladines had seven boards; Ashton Edwards dropped 30, going 6/7 from the line; Eric Fongue added nine points and five boards; Kyle Tomlinson was mostly silent as was Ruben Silvas, but this is a good moment to point out: they weren’t hot shooters and so they stopped and tried to contribute in other ways.
Overall, this was an ugly, ugly game of basketball full of selfish play and poor FT shooting. The two teams had 18 assists combined, which while admittedly they didn’t have many turnovers… the incredibly low shooting percentages of their respective leading scorers… Ick. It’s an interesting question: If shots aren’t falling, should one person just keep shooting, or should they start deferring and getting everyone in the game? Honestly it seems like more guys should at least get shots, rather than having someone go 8/20 and 3/8 or 10/22.
Congrats to the Nanooks on the win, but as noted with CWU: This means nothing and in your case: you can’t go anywhere anyway.
SMU 66 @ MSUB 65
This blog is a pretty big fan of Momir Gataric and yet… he pretty much ran under a big tree during a lightening storm. In the final seconds of the game, MSUB was down 63-66 with a great chance to tie it -those cunning Saints left Momir a wide open path to a layup, which he took, and then the game ended.
Fear not: In the realm of other stupid decisions, the Saints have some big moments too -like Riley Carel going 6-16. But they pulled it out. The shooting percentages all around were just terrible; Tyler Copp scored 9 but was 3/8 and 2/6; Trey Ingram was 1-4; they had some nicely balanced rebounding numbers –Tyler Idowu, Cameron Chatwin, and Brent Counts all had five; no one had too many assists; Will Bond had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block, and two fouls in twenty-five minutes, so that was good.
Even with Momir’s Minor Mistake Marvin moment, MSUB was incredibly balanced: Kendall Denham had 14 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 13 along with seven boards; Jace Anderson had 13, Momir had 14 points along with a fantastic 13 rebounds and three assists. Austin Hudson is out for the season (and his career) due to academic difficulties, but they kept missing him during non-conference for various reasons, and so it’ll be interesting to see if the Yellowjackets can find an identity without him… there’s a distinct possibility that the consistency of not having him will benefit them far more.
As noted: Sloppy, sloppy game, but Saint Martin’s got it done.
SFU 86 @ UAA 108
SOMEONE FINALLY DID IT. It’s that raging moment of being torn because defensive, stifling basketball is awesome and yet it’s so great to see the Clan doing well and they do play fairly unselfish basketball. That’s one really interesting thing about the breakneck pace: You’d expect it to be sloppy and selfish, but it’s largely not. They distribute and rely on each other; at their breakneck pace, they look a lot more cohesive than other teams do playing slower.
Sango: So proud of Sango. He had an off night for shooting, but instead picked up nine assists; Roderick Evans-Taylor had seven rebounds and 10 points; Patrick Simon II went 6-8 from the line and had five boards along with 19 points; Adam Westfall had 11 points; Hidde Vos had 15. Some of the shooting percentages are incredibly alarming –Justin Cole was 1-9, Roderick was 2-9, but no one else was particularly bad.
Anchorage: Really, really proud of the Seawolves. The Clan started to get into transition and push the tempo and I’ll be honest: I was screaming at my computer screen for them to commit and they did it and clamped down and got it done and still got to score a whopping 108 points. Fantastic. Brian McGill had an amazing game with 28 points, five fouls, six rebounds, and four assists, going 7-9 from the line; Travis Thompson went 7-8 from the line and finished with 15 points; KALIDOU had 19 points on 9-11 shooting, grabbing a whopping 15 boards; Christian Leckband grabbed eight boards and scored nine points; Sjur Berg also had eight boards; Derrick Fain added 11 points; and then Boomer Blossom chipped in five assists. Bad moments for the Seawolves include Travis’s 3-10 shooting and Kevin Bowman’s 3-9 shooting, but… when your scoring is as balanced as the Seawolves, we’ll give it a pass.
Overall the game was a blowout, still very proud of the Clan because it should teach them a lot and then with the Seawolves… It’s good to see them back to being themselves. Unfortunately: this game doesn’t mean anything for either team because it doesn’t continue a trend of any kind, so it’s hard to say if SFU is bad or UAA is bouncing back and actually good.
WOU 76 @ SPU 84
This game was closer than anticipated, so that was good. It was a fun game to watch, really interesting.
In regard to the Wolves… shooting percentages, oh dear. Devon Alexander was 4-13, Lew Thomas was 2-8. In better news: Andy Avgi was fantastic, picking up six boards and 19 points; Julian Nichols was also great, going 4-6 from three, picking up five boards, four assists, two steals, one block, and five fouls for a FULL HOUSE and 18 points; Adam Hastings added nine points. Overall not a bad game; the Wolves had many chances to procure the win and simply didn’t. It happens.
Seattle Pacific: Riley Stockton was solid, 5-6 from the field, three boards, four assists; Brendan Carroll went 2-3 from three and scored 12 points; Mitch Penner had some nasty shooting percentages but grabbed nine boards and four assists; Cory Hutsen went 5-7 and scored 13 points; off the bench, Shawn Reid added 14 but his shooting percentage wasn’t great. Now let’s talk about Matt; he went 10-10 from the line, had eight boards, three assists, three steals and almost had a block; he had four turnovers which is a big no-no, but… he plays such an unselfish form of basketball, that the turnovers generally are easily excusable.
Game previews/predictions’ll be up tomorrow morning.
GNAC FAM! First time this is being done on a first name basis. If you’re confused, look at the tags.
UAF: Almir -Went 7-9 against WOU and still had eight points in a close loss to SMU; most of those points were in fact FTs, but basketball 101: make your free throws.
UAA: Kalidou -He’s starting to make a name for himself as part of the Seawolves’ Terrific Trio, averaging 16 points and going 7-7 against WOU.
SFU: Sango -Not if but when he’ll be named player of the week again; he should up his rebounding game just ’cause he can. This guy is the Rodney Stuckey of the GNAC thus far.
WWU: Anye -Even adjusted, the dude had 13 rebounds and 18 points while going 10-12… plus again: watch him play in person if you haven’t.
SPU: Matt -Because someone with a normal name needed nomination; no the guy had a full house AND a double-double at CWU, averaged 35.5 minutes for the trip, AND went 5-7 in the game against NNU.
MSUB: Momir & Austin -Ultimately couldn’t pick; Austin needs to stay out of foul trouble because his rebounding numbers are getting screwed; Momir needs to improve his court vision, but he’s a great scoring threat with great stamina.
CWU: Dom -Needs to improve his shooting percentage but gets it done; led CWU straight-up with 19 points against SPU and 31 against MSUB.
NNU: Kevin -Had a full house against SPU without a single turnover, and then had 16 points and eight rebounds in the Crusaders’ win over MSUB.
SMU: Trey -scored 21 points against UAA, seemed off with the absence of Ryan Rogers during the UAF game but was the best option the Saints had.
WOU: Andy -Went 10-14 against UAF, finishing with 26 points and six rebounds, then had 12 and five against UAA; likely would’ve had more in the second game, but wasn’t needed because blow-out/lack of Travis Thompson.
There is no clear favorite. Reminder that every school gets a nominee each week. If someone you think should be nominated wasn’t, odds are it’s due to their shooting percentage and/or lack of minutes. Leave your suggestions/votes in the comments -your name and email are entirely unnecessary.
Laxatives may be needed for this one, because bricks are on the horizon for defecation.
The Davids went 4/5 on the day and the home teams win out; Goliath who? There were so many great games to watch –UAA/WOU was interesting for the first half, SMU/UAF was interesting until the buzzer sounded -as was MSUB/NNU & WWU/SFU, and then SPU/CWU was probably the weirdest game all day.
Alaska-Anchorage 68 @ Western Oregon 87
At first it was really close and then WOU put it away convincingly, which wasn’t really surprising considering they were playing at home and the Seawolves were without Travis Thompson.
Collectively the concerns for UAA include rebounding, playing cohesively, cold players not accepting that they’re cold, their awful three point shooting, and the lack of teamwork in general. Just because Travis is gone doesn’t mean the teamwork should stop. While the assist number isn’t horrible, it’s largely thanks to Brian McGill -they weren’t distributed well at all, and that’s likely what did them in so nastily.
The good numbers: Brian McGill had 14 points along with six assists and four rebounds; Kalidou Diouf went 7-7, finishing with 16 points and five boards; Sjur Berg went 5-5 for 11 points; Derrick Fain contributed 12 points.
The bad numbers: Brian had 6 turnovers, Christian Leckband went 2-7, Derrick went 3-12, and the bench play overall was not spectacular.
Western Oregon had so many good things, it’s hard to pick a place to start; how about the fact that they shot nearly 50% from three and had 19 assists?
Player highlights: Devon Alexander had 10 points and six assists; Julian Nichols had 21 points and 9 assists; Andy Avgi had 12 points and five rebounds; Adam Hastings had 16 points in just 20 minutes played.
The main place of concern is the fact that Jordan Wiley went 1-6 on field goals and three pointers, but also that Lew Thomas was mostly silent. The bench wasn’t particularly strong, but they won by 20 and did a great job of exploiting the areas presented to them. It was a good and quality win, but will remain with an asterisk due to the absence of Travis Thompson.
Alaska-Fairbanks 64 @ Saint Martin’s 67
The game was interesting, unfortunately it wasn’t actually good -it was incredibly sloppy for both teams. The collective average shooting percentage was 42, which is the answer of “what is a poor FG %?”
Luckily, the guys save the day in terms of being okay because okay is a relative term. Ruben Silvas had 12 points and nine rebounds; Ashton Edwards had 13 points; Adam Griffin had 11 points. Oh shoot -that was worse than previously thought, especially because those are the concerns: Ashton went 5-14 and 3-8 and yet there wasn’t someone else that he could defer to; Kyle Tomlinson went 1-5 and 1-5 –zoinks. There just was not a lot of good and with the numbers, it’s amazing the Nooks kept it as close as they did.
Saint Martin’s… their social media department was too enthusiastic about Riley Carel’s role in this victory. This blog is plenty fond of Riley and yet… the guy went 3-10 for a mere 11 points, yeesh; Trey Ingram had 11 points, five rebounds, and two assists; Tyler Copp had nine points and six rebounds; Tyler Idowu had seven rebounds and five points; Cameron Chatwin had 10 points and seven rebounds; off the bench Brent Counts went 3-3 for 6 points; and Isaac Bianchini added nine points and four assists.
The Saints’ collective number of assists was great and with the exception of Riley the shot selection was good. They were missing Ryan Rogers and yet got an incredibly necessary win, so we’ll see what they do from here.
MSU-Billings 57 @ Northwest Nazarene 59
Another interesting game that in reality is horrible. That’s starting to come up quite a bit -people mistake the parity for our conference being good. It’s not the conference being good, it’s the conference being terrible. The parity is just a nice distraction so we forget how terrible we actually are compared to the rest of the country.
Momir Gataric scored 10 points, Austin Hudson had 15 and nine rebounds for almost a double-double, Antoine Hosley had 12 points. Those were the highs. The lows include the fact that the team only had 11 assists, Marc Matthews went 1-6 and 1-4, respectively. MSUB was like a platypus -they didn’t do a lot.
Northwest Nazarene… Erik Kinney had 10 points and 10 rebounds for a nice double-double; Kevin Rima had 16 points and eight boards; Mike Wright had eight points and four boards; Todd Helgeson had seven points and five rebounds. The bad news: Aubrey was 1-6 and 1-3; the team collectively only had 8 assists; much like MSUB, they ddin’t do a a heck of a lot.
Seattle Pacific 67 @ Central Washington 73
The game looks closer than it actually was -the Falcons didn’t lead at any significant point and the number got up that high through fouling. SPU is the only team I’ve ever seen use the fouling thing and have it work even slightly in their favor. That’s probably not a good thing.
What is a good thing is that Matt Borton had a great game scoring 18 points, picking up 14 rebounds, and ultimately getting a full house with four assists, one steal, one block, and amassing four fouls amongst just ONE turnover; Cory Hutsen had 21 points and eight boards; Shawn Reid (aka Token) had 13 points and three rebounds off the bench; Brendan Carroll had nine points off the bench.
Besides that, the bench was largely a bad thing; the Falcons got hardly anything from it. Starter Riley Stockton had a poor game, Cory Hutsen went 7-16, which shouldn’t happen when the farthest shot you take is from two feet out. It’s not that the Falcons don’t have talent, it’s that they can’t/don’t/won’t utilize it.
Central, on the other hand, has so much talent that can be utilized it’s a grab bag of who’s going to show up on any given night. Gary Jacobs had 14 points; Dom Williams had 19 points and five assists; Jordan Russell had 13 points off the bench; Joe Stroud went 5-5 and had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Wildcats earned the win through their low number of turnovers and scrappy play. Still not sure what to make of this Central team, but so far so good.
Western Washington 118 @ Simon Fraser 122
HOLY BOLOGNA. The Clan beat the Vikings for the first time ever and it was the shootout anticipated. There were a lot of gaudy numbers which have been adjusted for, but ultimately as much pride exists for the Clan, there is more disappointment in the Vikings.
The urge is to simply pick on Western for their lack of defense and for playing the game SFU wanted them to play rather than playing their own game. That shows a lack of discipline. What the coaching staff was thinking… who knows. It’s like Oregon’s horrible uniforms: sure, all of the guys like them and they’re pretty (or something) but it’s not classy and they’re doing nothing for you in reality. WWU should’ve committed to defense and they didn’t, which is quite frankly pathetic and basically tells us that WWU is definitively not the team they’ve been in years past.
All numbers adjusted by x • .65
Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points and three rebounds; Jaamon Echols had 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists; Anye Turner did all he could in the waning minutes, ultimately ending up with a whopping 18 points and 13 rebounds on 10-12 shooting; Jeff Parker finished with 11 points. The Vikings showed rebounding prowess, but got almost nothing from their bench.
In regard to Simon Fraser: they coerced WWU into playing at their tempo, which isn’t as impressive as it could be considering it’s fun to play offense and not so much fun to play defense. Sango Niang finished with 19 points and five rebounds; Justin Cole had 13 points; Roderick Evans-Taylor ended with 12 points and four rebounds.
Once again: the bench play was minimal, which speaks to the overall lack of depth for our conference. This game didn’t necessarily make our conference look great one way or another -it didn’t make us look awful,
This weekend likely perpetuated the idea that the GNAC is having yet another down year, as well as putting us further in the basement. The situation compares well to our D1 counterpart Pac-12; when UCLA and Arizona are down, everyone is down; when they’re up, everyone is up. With SPU and WWU losing we’re in for a harsh reality check that we’re lucky we get an auto bid and for most teams it’ll be lucky that it’s the tournament winner rather than the regular season champion.
Any given night.
In terms of what the week holds: Player-of-the-week nominations will go up tomorrow, there’ll be more reflections on this past weekend, we’ll finally get to talk about the the Pac-West, and hopefully the magic for a shenanigans post will arise at some point too.