After nursing an injury throughout the Fall, Trey has come in and taken our conference by storm. He helped lead the Vikings to victory against CU-Portland and did his darndest to keep them in it against WOU -and he succeeded for a while. Trey went 4-5 from three against the Wolves while picking up eight boards. Against the Cavs of Concordia, he went 4/4 from the line, grabbed nine boards, and shot roughly 55% from the field. He was up and down the court and a huge factor in the Vikings being able to sit Mac Johnson.
However, that leads to a question that we’ve been wanting to address: Trey was starting and now he’s not. The Vikings third starter has been very influx this year, but… Should it be? We’re completely confident in Evan Scholten, Harris Javier, Trey, and Colby Mitchell -all guys that have seen starting minutes. Last year we were sooo stoked about having Mac for another year because he’d played so well and we were like “Oh, he’s going to come in this year and know that much more what he’s doing.” That hasn’t happened, at all. We keep waiting, it still hasn’t. The big question is: Should the Vikings be starting someone else at the five?
Our answer: absolutely. They likely haven’t because Mac is a center and the other center they have to pick from is Blake Bowen and Blake is a complete mess, so that’s not going to happen. But why do you need a center? Answer: You don’t. Not even in this conference with Fred and Gilles; particularly in this conference because you only need to deal with Fred and Gilles and those two are so bad half the time anyway, that… Why worry? Just run. Run, run, run. SPU’s board production doesn’t usually come via Gilles; it comes via Bryce and Mitch. What little board production SMU has comes more consistently via Jordan Kitchen and Victor, not Fred.
So with that: Don’t play a five. Kyle Impero is the best rebounder on the team anyway, so just go with something in the realm of Ricardo, Kyle, Colby or Evan, Jeff, and Trey, and then have Harris be your caffeine pill off the bench. Get Brett Kingma in at some point and see if he’s hot, but if he’s not cut your losses and stop playing him for the half. There’s a reason warm-ups exist. It’s one thing to need to get in the game groove, but an entirely different to simply shoot until the ships come home, which is what Brett is starting to border on doing.
Anyway: Congrats on player-of-the-week, Trey; we believe in you and think you should still be starting.
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.
Wow, what a night! Defense was a little on the low side and overtime was on the agenda. Four games finished within one possession OR went into overtime. One of the overtime games even finished by one possession; really great and yet ugly night of basketball.
MSU-Billings 96 @ Northwest Nazarene 98
For a while there NNU was moving up and it looked like Billings wasn’t coming back. Then the Yellowjackets did. It became a very close game. We’re completely fed up with the SID at that school, because who’s gonna trek out to Nampa (hint: it’s four mountain passes) and yet getting information out of there is like trying to get it from a blackhole -even while you’re actively watching the game. Go figure. Apparently they don’t want people to care about Crusader basketball. They’re wrong, but apparently that’s what they want.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverley had six boards and 17 points; Emmanuel Johnson had six boards and four assists. Off the bench KENDALL DENHAM (we’ve missed that name) had six assists and 25 points off the bench; and Jordan Perry had eight boards and 12 points.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 10 points; BOUNA had nine boards and 19 points; MIKE WRIGHT HAD 12 ASSISTS AND MERELY -2- TURNOVERS -how long have we been waiting for that?- and also had six boards and nine points. Off the bench Nikola Prvulj had 16 points; and DETWON ROGERS had eight boards and 27 points.
Simon Fraser 83 @ Alaska-Anchorage 96
Anchorage ran it up early and we were like “it’s over,” then SFU got back in it and we were like “whaaa?” and then Anchorage ran it back up. That seems to happen to teams that play Anchorage a lot. We’re not sure whether Anchorage needs to dig in more or the other teams need to stop letting go…
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had six boards and four assists; Hidde Vos had six assists. Off the bench Bowen Bakken had five boards; and Graham Smith had 14 points and eight boards.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had eight boards and 23 points; Diante Mitchell had five boards; Spencer Svejcar had 13 points; Corey Hammell had nine boards, four assists, and nine points. Off the bench Christian Leckband had 21 points and five boards; Drew Peterson had six points; Brian McGill had three boards, six assists, two steals, and 17 points.
Overall not a bad game. The Seawolves got a little turnover happy at the end, but when you’re up by a lot it becomes less of a concern and so guys start trying to be fancy rather than playing fundamental basketball until the end. We’re 50/50 on whether or not we’re okay with it.
Saint Martin’s 59 @ Concordia-Portland 62
We’d say it was the only defensively adequate game of the night, but the reality is it was just an absolute ton of missed shots. Ugly, ugly game. Glad the Cavs pulled it out, mildly disappointed in SMU.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had 16 points, six boards, fou rassists, and two steals; Fred Jorg had six boards. Woof.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin made 6/7 free throws; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Jarrett Gray had 6 boards; Tyler Gutierrez bounced back with six boards and 20 points. Off the bench Taylor Harris had seven boards; and Riley Hawken had seven boards and 13 points.
We’re really interested to see what happens to these two teams tomorrow. We no longer trust anything. This game was ugly, but tomorrow has no promises.
Seattle Pacific 90 @ Western Oregon 96 in OT
We don’t even know what to say about this game. This was one we watched very intensely. The Falcons seemed perpetually down by 15 and then the end happened and it was like “whaaaat?” The score reflects what’d you’d expect out of these two teams and yet the game itself only kind of did? Weird, weird game.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had 10 boards, seven assists, and 18 points; Gilles Dierickx had 25 poitns and six boards; Garrett Swanson had seven boards and five fouls. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had six boards and six points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Aledxander had seven boards and 13 points; Julian Nichols had six assists and 23 points; Andy Avgi completely had his way with the Falcons, finishing with 34 points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had five boards and 15 points on near perfect shooting both from the floor and the line.
Western Washington 100 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 99 in OT
THE VIKINGS WON IN THE FAIRBANKS GYM!!!! In Viking Land that constitutes a miracle. Another fairly ugly game, but oh well. Interesting to see these teams go back and forth. We felt going in that they matched-up pretty well and sure enough they did.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 9 boards; Kyle Impero had 13 boards and two assists; Trey Drechsel had 7 boards; Jeff Parker had 11 boards and 29 points; Mac Johnson continues to be invisible but grabbed five boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had five boards and 17 points.
Nanook highlights: Joe Slocum had eight assists and four boards; Travante Williams made 12-13 from the line, grabbed 12 boards, and had six steals; Brandon Davis scored 19 points; and Almir had 17 points, five boards, and ultimately finished a full house. No quality bench play except relieving the starters here and there.
Intense game. Ugly game. We’ll be interested to watch the flip when the Nooks come to the Vikings.
In other news; Azusa Pacific beat Dixie State by six and Chico beat Humboldt by 18. We’re still not sure how we feel about those last two teams because we’ve been questioning Humboldt’s schedule and now Chico makes them look like a cakewalk, so… Hmm. Food for thought.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
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.
Simon Fraser 64 @ Western Washington 101
Vikings say what?? Things finally clicked. Really, really good to see. It’s hard to say in a sense because it was against SFU, SFU was missing Max Barkeley, and the Vikings finally got Evan Scholten back, so… mix of a few things, but very, very good to see. SFU was up early, then it was tied for a while, then WWU was up by 10 going into halftime, and then post halftime they broke it open and that was it. Still -gotta hand it to the Clan for playing tough all the way through and never giving up.
Clan highlights: JJ Pankratz had 17 points and five boards; Tyrell Lewin had 10 points and four boards. Off the bench Denver Sparks-Guest had 6 points; Andrew Williamson had seven points; Graham Smith had five boards and four points. Not too much there. The Clan was super hot early and making absolutely everything, then they cooled down, and that’s how you get the final score.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had six boards and 10 assists; Kyle Impero shot 95% and had five boards, finishing with 23 points; Jeff Parker had five boards and 22 points; Mac Johnson had seven boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma was on fire from three, going 5-7 and ending up with 19 points; Harris Javier ended up with three boards and four assists; and Blake Bowen grabbed five boards and added some great toughness.
Overall a good game; met our expectations of not knowing what it was going to do. All the more excited to watch the Vikings come January, and all the more reason to discuss the transitive property during our “Discussions” post tomorrow.
It’s time… For player-of-the-week nominees! Remember, these are only from one game being played by these teams, but because a bunch of teams only played one we might as well do it anyway.
SFU: JJ Pankratz; good game against the Viks.
WWU: Kyle Impero; we were joking before this game that he needed to hurry up and do what he was going to do so we could officially stick him onto our POW noms sheet.
SPU: Gilles Dierickx; good free throws, decent boards against Azusa Pacific.
MSUB: N/A –> SPU’s Mitch Penner; great free throws, grabbed some boards, scored some points against Azusa.
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye; two great games against Dominican and CSULA.
WOU: Alex Roth; good numbers against UCSD and made a bunch of really critical plays on top of it.
Player-of-the-week will be up in an hour, and then this week’s Discussions post’ll be up tomorrow morning.
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.
After last weekend’s grossness, we feel like so far… We’ve turned a corner. At least for a day.
Central Washington 100, Hawaii-Hilo 87
Um: Wildcats got it done. And it wasn’t looking good there for a while, but they finished with some really solid numbers. There really isn’t anything bad to say about this game, which is awesome. Yeah, there was some less than ideal shooting but nothing horrifyingly unpalatable.
Highlights: Joey Roppo had 18 points; Terry Dawn wasn’t shooting well but switched to rebounding and picked up seven boards in just 13 minutes; Gary Jacobs went 8/11 and 4/4 on free throws to finish with 23 points along with six boards; Joe Stroud had a FULL HOUSE grabbing six boards, two assists, one steal, four blocks, two fouls, and finished with 18 points; Devin Matthews grabbed SEVEN boards and SIX assists along with 15 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd was guilty of bad shooting but went 5/5 on free throws and grabbed five boards, so… Still not a bad day.
Alaska Fairbanks 81, CSU Dominguez Hills 73
We don’t consider this off-the-tundra and so it’s a little concerning but they pulled out the win, and a win is a win. Pretty good shooting with the exception of Ashton Edwards and Joe Slocum -they should feel ashamed of making what was a great performance by the rest of their team slightly off color. They peed in the perfectly pristine snow and now Olaf is sad.
Highlights: Bangaly Kaba had a double double with 10 boards and 18 points, along with picking up five assists and three fouls; Travante Williams had a FULL HOUSE with 15 boards, one assist, two steals, one block, two turnovers, three fouls, and sixteen points. Everyone else wasn’t great but wasn’t horrible either and it was enough. Less than ideal to rely on essentially two players, but… We continue to wait for Almir and Joe to show up.
Seattle Pacific 84, BYU-Hawaii 60
Um, Falcons say what?!? And this was without starters Brendan Carroll and Mitch Penner playing at all. Joe Slocum may not have shown up for UAF, but Joe Rasmussen showed up in a big way for Seattle Pacific. Joe’s performance is what a center should be: he missed two threes and then realized that the paint is his life’s will and made every single shot. It’s not that complicated. Other GNAC centers, please take note. We never thought we’d say that about Joe Rasmussen (okay, we did like three years ago when he committed to SPU, but not since then) and yet, here we are.
Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five assists, 12 points, and three fouls; Will Parker had seven assists and just two turnovers; and Gilles Dierickx went 6/6 and grabbed seven boards. Off the bench Joe Rasmussen picked up five boards while scoring 20 points; Nathan Streufert went 4-4 on FTs and grabbed five boards.
Western Washington 92, Flagler 53
Nothing bad about this game except the competition, ha! But seriously: The competition was bad and the Vikings got let out for a much needed run. Wednesday night was brutal. Good to see them bounce back, but really hard to know what it means. Flagler was 10-16 last year, so… The Vikings did what they needed to do, but it won’t feel right until they do it against a school that actually matters and they may not play one until January 7th. We’re sure everyone’s eyeing the SPU game on December 5th, but… We don’t necessarily agree. It’s at WWU, the Vikings should win because they have tons of experience and the Falcons have none. WWU rarely has a good time against UAF in Fairbanks and so from our perspective… That’ll be the bar.
Highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had five assists; Kyle Impero had 13 points; Colby Mitchell grabbed 11 boards and four fouls; Jeff Parker had seven boards and 20 points; Mac Johnson is slowly getting back to where he was with eight boards, 13 points, and two blocks, but… Really? Against Flagler? It still should have been more. Off the bench Brett Kingma had 13 points; and Harris Javier had five assists, three steals, and five points.
Colorado Christian 89, Simon Fraser 82
Not a bad night besides the shooting of Max Barkeley, the turnovers of Michael Harper, and the shooting of Oshea Gairey. No seriously, it was a good night. The Clan had every chance to win it and couldn’t get it done, but huge for growth. If you’re getting to the point of playing the fouling game with a very quality RMAC team, you’re making progress. They play the Cougars again today and hopefully will get the ‘W.’
Highlights: Hidde Vos had six assists and seventeen points; Max Barkley had six assists; Michael Harper had 13 points; JJ Pankratz had 12 points, nine boards, one assist, three steals, five blocks, three fouls, and ZERO turnovers for a gold star full house (that is: a full house without filling in the T/O column); finally, Tyrell Lewin had 10 points. Off the bench Gibran Sweani had 12 points on 6-7 shooting.
Western Oregon 79, CSU Monterey Bay 67
ANDY’S FIRST GAME BACK!!!!! And he came off the bench. Very exciting stuff. The team finally clicked, 100% what we expected, and we’re so glad to see the Wolves do exactly what we know they’re capable of. Still, let’s be real: This was CSU-Monterey Bay. It’s good to see them click, but there’s miles to go before they sleep.
Highlights: Devon Alexander had seven assists, three steals, and 10 points; Julian Nichols had a full house with two boards, two assists, three steals, one block, two fouls, and 20 points; Jordan Wiley also had a full house with four boards, one assist, one steal, one block, two fouls, and eight points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had eight points and four boards; ANDY AVGI, the man himself, had three boards, two assists, one steal, and 20 points.
Definitely a good night for the GNAC. Not really concerned with a loss to the RMAC just because the RMAC is projected as good and SFU is seen as a cupcake, so if the Clan can get the win today that would be really good, but it shouldn’t affect SOS too much -if anything it’ll affect Colorado Christian’s, so… Do it Clan!
What else? Travante Williams. Joe Rasmussen. JJ Pankratz. An Andy sighting. Definitely the most exciting parts of the evening. Ridiculously proud of all four of them. Intrigued by what’s on the horizon for today.
Alright GNAC: Onward!
Both teams lost and yet it wasn’t a bad day for the GNAC overall because they were some of the first games these teams played, AND our suspicion is that the losses were mostly quality.
UC Colorado Springs 79, Alaska Anchorage 70
Christian Leckbend got to start! Exciting stuff. While the result is less than desirable, this game wasn’t horrible. Everyone shot terribly, which would allude to good defense being played and the Seawolves getting tested, which is totally fine. They shot 65% from the line; neither good nor bad. It was a good test. The Seawolves got down early and then couldn’t overcome it, but not a bad game by any stretch and we look forward to seeing their improvements from it.
Player highlights: Christian Leckband had 15 points and six boards; SUKI WIGGS (apparently reads this blog) because he had 21 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists (hot dang), and five fouls -love, love, love it; Corey Hammell had five boards, three assists, and five points -all negated by four turnovers. Off the bench: Spencer Svejcar had 13 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals off the bench.
Not sure where we fall on the Spencer vs. Christian starting question. We like both. We’re excited to see Suki play off of Brian McGill because if this is how Suki is now, with a master distributor he’s going to be even more insane. Not worried about the turnovers because with Brian back it should be fine. Diante Mitchell should ultimately be the guard off the bench going forward, but with him the Seawolves are demonstrably going at least seven if not eight deep, therefore life is good. Corey had a bit of a rough game, but it’s so early that it’s neither here nor there.
Western Washington 71, MN-Moorhead 74
So… MN-Moorhead went to the Elite Eight last year and WWU almost beat them meanwhile shooting an atrocious 35% from the line. There is NO excuse for that. None. Make those free throws, win that game. The other issue is that they shot poorly; again, could be attributed to good defense being played, but… Wouldn’t have mattered if they’d made their free throws. Still, great chance to see the Vikings respond and almost pull it out. Relatively okay with this result; it’s never good to pick up a loss, but if you have to this opponent isn’t terrible to have it occur against. Incredibly, incredibly displeased with the FTs and some of the shot selection, but again: early season.
Player highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 11 points; Kyle Impero had 14 points, seven boards, four assists, and a steal; COLBY MITCHELL had 14 points, 10 boards, and four fouls, which would have been perfect had he not gone 0-4 on his free throws; Jeff Parker had six boards and 16 points on abysmal shooting; Mac Johnson had nine boards and six points on similarly abysmal shooting -woof. Off the bench: Brett Kingma had 10 points.
Overall not a bad weekend, in fact we’d say it was pretty good. There’s not really anything D2 for a couple of weeks now, and so we probably will go ahead and stick up some POW noms and then a POW just because it’ll be a while before it’s relevant.
There will be a discussions post on Wednesday and then probably some other stuff? For the most part because we did a more intensive October than expected, these first two weeks are going to be pretty chill. November 13th is when things’ll really get crazy.
Keep in mind we won’t do team previews until the December dead period, but other than that:
Leave a comment or Tweet at us if there’s something you’re curious about!
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.
Obviously we really don’t know a heck of a lot about what these results mean, but… Some of these players had seriously good games, looking at you Cory Hammell and Ricardo Maxwell.
Alaska Anchorage 84, Upper Iowa 81
Upper Iowa is in the Northern Sun conference and finished with a conference record of 12-10 last year and played one game in the conference tournament. Sounds like a good match-up for the Seawolves and it turns out that it was -the Seawolves won in a close one and as projected -had transfers step-up. The good news is -the transfers stepped up and they got the win; the bad news is, the overall production was relatively atrocious. Anchorage wants to be treated same as the contenders? With numbers like this with the Vikings or Falcons, we’d be pissed despite the win, particularly at Suki. Who does he think he is? Dom Williams? Jaamon Echols? Yikes.
Player highlights: Suki Wiggs had 20 points; Diante Mitchell had 12; Spencer Svejar had 14; SJUR BERG had 11 rebounds; Cory Hammell had a double-double with 10 boards and 18 points on not bad shooting. Off the bench, Christian Leckbend added in six boards; Tayler Thompson added 7 boards. Pretty much it. Ridiculously proud of Sjur and Corey!!!!!! Alright -Suki, Diante, and Spencer were horrible, but the rest of you guys were great. We is proud of you!
Western Washington 95, UC Colorado Springs 84
UC Colorado Springs was actually witnessed in person by us last year in the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they got blown out by Tarleton State – a team that we’d watched WWU play earlier in the year- so overall not a surprising result but a very good one for the Vikings. This is a good win, nice way to start the season, even if Colorado Springs didn’t really return anything (we’re not sure and too lazy to find out).
Player highlights: RICARDO MAXWELL HAD 27 POINTS!!!!! Little off on his field goals, but easily forgivable because is was seriously only a tiny bit off and he went 12-13 on free throws along with picking up SEVEN assists; Kyle Impero had an awesome 9 rebounds, five assists, three steals, FIVE FOULS, and fourteen points; Jeff Parker had 7 boards and 23 points while making ALL of his free throws; Mac Johnson had a FULL HOUSE with six boards, three assists, two steals, a block, three fouls, and nine points, although his free throws need help. Off the bench: Brett Kingma had 15 points.
Overall, a great first day of basketball for the GNAC. Can’t want to see the stats from today. Congrats to both the Vikings and Seawolves on their respective victories.