So many great performances this week, lots of great single game performances, but plenty of guys that rocked it for the weekend as well.
UAF: Brandon Davis -continues to will that team on.
UAA: Spencer Svejcar -Is the Man, once again. Like the Aloe Blacc song is pretty much about him at this point. Preston Beverly, next year, hopefully.
SFU: Kedar Wright!! So excited about this one, two great performances including a nice win against WOU.
WWU: Taylor -cray cray for Tay Tay, ’nuff said.
SPU: N/A —> Donated to Rhett Baerlocher of SMU, who was a MONSTER from 3 point land on both nights. Awesome.
SMU: Cole Preston, Point guard of the year. Not official yet, but the performances throughout this season have been incredible.
MSUB: Marc Matthews -did his dardnest against the Alaska schools, didn’t walk away with a win, but two very respectable performances.
CWU: N/A —> Donated to Brandon Kenilvort of SMU -great rebounding performance against both Cenazar schools.
NNU: Maurice Jones needs to stay for another year and not be another one-and-gone NNU player.
CU-PDX: Drew Martin -continues to carry the load. He was impressive in the WWU game, even with the lopsided score.
WOU: N/A —> Donated to Corey Hammell of UAA; not much from the field but grabbed boards and made his free throws = two good performances.
Congrats to all of the guys nominated, winner’ll be up soon!
Whoaaaa. What a night. Root Root for the Home Team -first time that’s happened all year. Simon Fraser got their first in-conference win, there were a lot of blow-outs, and some interesting stuff in the SPU/CWU game.
CWU 61 @ SPU 79
We’re probably biased when we say this, but it wasn’t a blowout. Don’t let the fact that SPU led by between 9 and 13 for a majority fool you; that’s three possessions and in a rivalry game that means exactly nothing. CWU decided to foul at the end and so 18 happened, but they were in it until the last two minutes. Also CWU fans: Naim Ladd may be gone, but SPU didn’t have Tony Miller, so… Fair is fair. Injuries are a part of basketball, but in that sense it was completely even because both teams were missing a key starter.
Wildcat highlights: Dom Hunter grabbed six boards; Jawan Stepney had 16 points and eight boards; and Fuquan had five boards. The Wildcats got some impressive bench play including: Cameron Burton had five fouls; Jerome Bryant had seven points; Sage Woodruff had 13 points; and Chris-Michael Garrett had seven points.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 24 points and nine boards; Joe Rasmussen had six boards and 15 points; Olivier-Paul Betu had 12 points; and Gavin Long had 10 points and five boards. Off the bench Sharif Khan had eight points; and Nathan Streufert had seven points and 12 boards.
CWU, don’t be Chicken Little. Your world isn’t over because Naim is out; you’re still a good team -we love Sage Woodruff, maybe you should start him? You guys still have plenty of good players, and you’ll be able to make noise in the conference tournament. Nothing means anything this year in terms of going from one game to the next. Congrats Falcons on getting you redemption and a nice rivalry win.
CU-PDX 64 @ WWU 87
We don’t even know what happened in this game. We were sitting there not really paying attention to the first few minutes because who cares the game is 40 minutes long and then next thing we knew WWU was up 20. Like in the first three minutes. It was insane and we’re still confused, but congrats Viks! You is scary. Concordia, you still had lots of great moments.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards; Christopher Edward had five boards and five fouls; and off the bench Dennis Ahana had six points; and Latrell Wilson had 14 points.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had six boards, four assists, four steals, and 21 points; Blake Fernandez had nine points and seven boards; Logan Schilder made a statement with 10 boards and four blocks; Daulton Hommes had a quiet game with 12 points and no credited rebounds(??); and Jeffrey Parker had 19 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma went 3-3 from downtown and finished with nine points; Deandre Dickson had 10 points and seven boards; and Trevor Jasinsky had five boards.
One of the most normal games of the year, arguably. Concordia, don’t take this loss to heart -you’re a good team and so is WWU.
WOU 63 @ SFU 68
Interesting. Curious. Peculiar. WOU had been playing badly, SFU had been threatening an upset, and this was the game those things were consummated. Congratulations to all.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 13 points, 11 boards, and five fouls; Ali went 8-9 from the line; and off the bench Akil Reese had seven points and five boards; while Bryan Berg had 10 points; and Connor Thompson had four boards.
Clan highlights: Kedar Wright had 11 boards and 19 points; Iziah had 17 points and 11 boards; Michael Provenzano had 12 points and six assists; and off the bench Tyrell Lewin had four boards.
Big congrats to the Clan for getting the ‘W’ and big congrats to the Wolves for hopefully getting this out of your system.
NNU 81 @ SMU 90
While the CWU/SPU game was never a blowout even though the Falcons won by 19, this game was never close even though the Saints won by only 9. They absolutely decimated the Crusaders from start to finish. The Crusaders ended up with oddly okay numbers because the Saints let off the gas, but don’t let said numbers fool you -this was a butt whooping on all fronts. Although similarly: Don’t let that fool you about NNU. We believe in the Crusaders this year, this just wasn’t their game. Go figure? Congrats Saints.
Crusader highlights: Jayden Bezzant had 21 points and five boards while going 7-8 from the line; Bouna had five boards; Kaileb Rodriguez had 10 points and five boards; and Maurice Jones played 40 full minutes and had 26 points and 11 boards. Good on the coaching staff for keeping the pedal to the metal and never letting the blowout get in these guys heads. 100% at all times on all days.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had 22 points, five boards, and a whopping seven assists; Jordan Kitchen had nine points; Tyler Copp had 18 points; and Brandon Kenilvort had 11 boards and 10 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 11 points; and Rhett Baerlocher had a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards.
Congrats to the Saints on a nice demolishing, congrats to the Crusaders on keeping Fred quiet -Maurice Jones, ya done good.
MSUB 58 @ UAA 74
This game couldn’t decide whether or not it wanted to be interesting. Initially we thought the score wasn’t being updated because no one was scoring at all. That can happen when good teams go up against each other, although we weren’t actually watching so we couldn’t tell you whether it was because both teams were playing well or both teams were playing badly. UAA would walk it up and then MSUB would reel them back in and back and forth and then UAA said “No. We’re done.” And you have the score above. Congrats Seawolves!
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had 17 points and five boards; Jace Anderson had 22 points; and off the bench Jordan Perry had 12 points.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 28 points and nine boards; Diante Mitchell had 10 points; Spencer Svejcar had 17 points and nine boards; Corey Hammell went 8-8 from the line, finishing with a double double of 10 points and 10 boards; and Connor Devine picked up four blocks and five fouls. Off the bench Ashton Pomrehn scored five points; and Travis Parrish grabbed four boards.
The Seawolves kept the sophomore superstar quiet and while the Yellowjackets did their dardnest, they couldn’t overcome it. Still, great job to the Seawolves for accomplishing that and to the Jackets for having moments of where it looked like they were overcoming it.
………….. We’re still discombobulated with these scores. For a lot of reasons. Great night of basketball, congrats to all on bests put forward! POW stuff will go up tomorrow.
UAA 68 @ UAF 61
Exciting game. It was looking dicey for a long time and then we believe Spencer Svejcar hit a three and then the Seawolves were able to walk it up and mostly keep it out of reach.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had eight boards; Diante Mitchell had 21 points; Spencer Svejcar made a statement, getting a double-double with 24 points and 10 boards; Corey Hammell went 4-4 from the line and grabbed 11 rebounds; and Connor Devine grabbed five boards. No real bench play.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had 18 points; Bangaly had five boards and a full house; LaDonavan had six boards; and Brandon Davis played 40 minutes and finished with a full house among 19 points and three steals. Also no real bench play.
NNU 68 @ SPU 83
Falcons showing their youth, but getting it done much better. Even last week, they weren’t able to close games like this and tonight they did. The Crusaders played really hard and did their best to exploit, but ultimately couldn’t quite get it done.
Crusader highlights: Bouna went 9-11 from the line; Kaileb Rodriguez had 14 points; Maurice Jones had a double-double including 14 boards; and off the bench Nikola Prvulj had five points.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 14 points and seven boards; Tony Miller had 24 points; Joe Rasmussen had 14 points and six boards; and Olivier-Paul Betu had six assists. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had seven boards along with a full house; and Hunter Eisenhower had nine points.
This is potentially a big statement for the Falcons -it says that they’re finding themselves, which on a team as young as they are is big. This Falcons team had no concept of how to win earlier this year and slowly but surely they’re learning. As for NNU, no big deal. The conference is a mess. The Crusaders are still a super great and talented team.
CU-PDX 74 @ SFU 73
SFU was — that close to winning and then they committed a stupid foul and they didn’t. The Cavs got out by the skin of their teeth, but it is what it is and was what it was. Congrats Cavs, you done got lucky.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 13 points; Christopher Edward had nine points, 10 boards, and four steals among other stats meriting a full house, Jarrett Gray had 10 points; and Harris Taylor had 19 points. Off the bench Latrell Wilson had 18 points.
Clan highlights: Kedar Wright had 21 points and five boards; Iziah had 15 point,s, five boards, and four steals; Michael Provenzano had 21 points; and off the bench Tyrell Lewin had six boards.
WOU 63 @ WWU 73
This game was a mess. Both teams are good, but it was seriously an ugly game of basketball that the players knew was ugly, thus they made it even uglier by getting all chippy. Because the game was so ugly, the chippyness wasn’t entertaining -it was just desperate. Congrats to the Viks on ultimately getting it done.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 19 points; Ali had 20 points and five boards; JJ Chirnside had five boards; and off the bench Bryan Berg had five points; while Isaiah Edwards had five boards.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 26 points as well as four boards, four assists, and four steals; Logan Schilder had seven boards; and Daulton Hommes had seven boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson had an awesome eight boards and 18 points; and Trevor Jasinsky had five boards.
Yeesh. We’re glad this game is over. Interesting for the Wolves though -their game was ugly against the Falcons too and they got away with it; can’t do that against WWU.
MSUB 74 @ UAF 83
Close the whole game. Agonizing. The parity continues. The Nooks played really well, finally. Great game from them, super proud!
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had nine boards and finished with a full house; Marc Matthews had 19 points and six boards; and Kamal Tall had eight boards. Off the bench Kendall Denham had 11 points; and Cade Alcorn had five boards.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had five boards and six assists; Bangaly had 10 points; LaDonavan had 13 points; Zach Pederson made a statement with a double double of 11 boards and 11 points; and Brandon Davis played another 40 minute game, finishing with 22 points. Off the bench Michael Kluting had nine points.
Again, congrats to the Nooks on a great performance. Good luck to the Yellowjackets against the Seawolves.
CWU 79 @ SMU 80
This game was insane. Naim Ladd didn’t play, Fuquan shut down Fred, and the Wildcats still almost pulled it off. We admittedly fell asleep watching it, but… That was because of the insanity that’s been going on in our state this week. It ultimately had a 9:15 start time because both Cascade passes are closed, thus CWU had to go down around and up. Yup -what would have/should have been a two hour bus ride turned into six. For those that don’t live here -pretty much all of western Washington shutdown on Monday due to snow and then Tuesday due to ice. The entire week has been weird. It’s now 55 degrees outside. Go figure.
Wildcat highlights: Jawan Stepney had 17 points; Fuquan turned in a classic center performance with a double double of 15 boards and 14 rebounds while missing three shots from the line; and off the bench Cameron Burton had six boards and eight points; while Sage Woodruff continues to make a mark with 14 points.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston rocked it yet again, playing 40 minutes and scoring 15 points and dishing out 10 assists for the double-double; Rhett Baerlocher had 20 points and eight boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram added 14 points; and Brandon Kenilvort a double-double with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Big congrats to the Saints, huge win. CWU, we still believe. Not in your bubble, your bubble has now official burst, but we still know you’re a great team and are proud of you all the same =)
What a night. It was incredible. Everyone played really hard (minus the Westerns) and it was a night to be proud of -even the Westerns.
Interesting week for POW. We’re not sure how we feel about it because only a few of the guys being nominated played legitimately well; other guys just played games lacking defense, and while our algorithm takes that into account… It’s complicated.
It’s really not; it’s really the player production stat, at base, and after three years we should trust it fully, but this year is weird and we don’t. We don’t think that shooting until the cows come home is ever a good solution and our formula doesn’t either, but… We’re putting it up just because. It’s a weird year and we still don’t know what we’re talking about.
UAF: N/A —> Donated to Daulton Hommes of WWU.
UAA: Diante Mitchell -great week in a couple of difficult games; smart shooting, high minutes, involved his teammates well.
SFU: N/A —> Donated to Deandre Dickson of WWU.
WWU: Taylor Stafford -yes, the games lacked defense and he shot badly from the field even with the terrible defense, but he made his free throws and involved his teammates, so… Okay?
MSUB: Marc Matthews -Fairly good shot selection and did in fact involve his teammates.
NNU: Maurice Jones -Two very solid games.
CU-PDX: Christopher Edward -limited minutes, but great shot selection and decision making while he’s in the game.
WOU: Tanner Omlid -in the trenches, does what it takes to win -even if his team doesn’t end up with the ‘W.’
Those are the nominations. Those are all of the guys eligible for the award. We were close to putting a couple of people that almost qualified, but all had some massive error that we couldn’t get over. Usually way too many shots taken. There are 13 guys on a basketball team. If you’re cold DON’T SHOOT. More likely than not you have a teammate that isn’t cold that you should be getting the ball to.
Remember: Player-of-the-Week nominations. Not player-of-the-game. It takes two above average games to get on this list.
Winner’ll be up soon.
Happy New Year Blog Fam!!
The last day of 2016 was an interesting day of basketball, very fun, and shockingly we were relatively correct. We told you: this season is nuts, these games are ridiculous; take your victories where you can get them.
NNU 64 @ WOU 59
Talk about a heck of a come back. At the end of the first NNU was down 20. Dead on the court. But whatever their halftime consisted of it worked, and they came back to beat the Wolves. We’re guessing forcing turnovers had a considerable amount to do with it -WOU had 14, which is ridiculously uncharacteristic. Constant vigilance.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye played a full forty minutes, had a full house, including eight boards and 30 points; Maurice Jones also played 40 full minutes, and had a full house with 16 points and 10 boards among other stats. The rest of the team played as a team, acknowledged that it was better with the ball in their hands, no one tried to play hero ball, and they got the team win. Congrats to the teamwork of all the Crusaders.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had a double double with 23 points and 11 boards; Buster Souza had eight boards. Off the bench Akil Reese had a full house; and Demetrius Trammell had 11 points.
Huge game for NNU, not super concerning for WOU, although they’re rapidly approaching needing the auto bid. Not sure what was with the collapse, but it is what it is. This season it’s hard to be freaked out by any one game because the majority are a coin flip.
MSUB 100 @ WWU 93
Can we get a what? what? Honestly the WWU numbers weren’t bad in the slightest, Billings just beat them. No one played any defense, and these were two very evenly matched teams. Not super surprising because WWU is essentially a brand new team, whereas the core of MSUB has been together for three years. That’s the type of recipe that leads to an upset and it happened.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had a full house including six boards and 15 points; Marc Matthews also had a full house with eight boards, five assists, and 28 points; and Jace Anderson had 18 points. Off the bench Kendall Denham had 10 points; Zach Lessinger had eight points; and Cinco Duro had six points.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had four boards, four steals, and 27 points; Logan Schilder had seven boards; Daulton Hommes had a full house including a double double with 20 points and 10 boards; and Jeffrey Parker had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson continues to impress with 18 points and six boards; and Trevor Janisky had five boards.
Very little defense by either team. Good free throw shooting by both teams.
CWU 80 @ CU-PDX 73
The Cavaliers had a lead and then kept it close for the most part but just couldn’t do it. Still a good game for them, especially with Davis Nuaimi being so off. Next time?
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had five assists; Dom Hunter had a double double with 18 points and 10 boards; Jawan Stepney had 12 points and five assists; Sage Woodruff started and had 14 points and nine boards; Fuquan Niles had 11 points and seven boards; and off the bench Marc Rodgers had seven points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards; Christopher Edward had 14 points and 10 boards; Jarrett Gray had nine points and five boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had six boards; and Tre’ Vance had 12 points and seven boards.
Not the shiniest game, but definitely fun to watch, great effort across both teams, acceptable shooting numbers in regard to not being devoid of defense and yet taking smart shots for the most part. We continue to be impressed by the play of Naim Ladd -partly because he’s small, but largely just because he’s scrappy as all heck.
SPU 79 @ UAF 77
For a while there it looked like we were going to be really wrong, then it looked like we would be really wrong in the opposite direction, and then we mostly ended up right. Not that any of it matters, but it is funny. We feel so clueless than any bone the universe throws us, we’ll take.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double double with 11 boards and 22 points; Tony Miller also had a double-double with 32 points and 10 boards; and off the bench Sharif Khan had nine points and six boards.
Nook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had five boards, four assists, and three steals; Bangaly had 11 points; Zach Pederson had 17 points; and Brandon Davis had 12 points. Off the bench Michael Kluting had five boards.
Solid numbers on both sides, for the most part. The Nooks violated the Falcons in terms of shooting within the paint, but it is what it is. SPU just doesn’t have size to match with anyone because they refuse to play the two guys that have size and aren’t terrified of physical play against opponents.
SMU 49 @ UAA 55
Saints and anyone else that wants any success against UAA: DO NOT SEND SUKI WIGGS TO THE LINE. HE WILL MAKE ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE. DO NOT DO IT. P.S. Good job Suki!
Saint highlights: Trey Ingram had 10 points; Cole Preston had 16 points; and Jordan Kitchen had six points while going 3/4. Maybe the most alarming thing was the number of turnovers, but honestly it wasn’t a horrible game; it was just hard. Good shots, okay shooting percentages, just going against a very good team with a great home court advantage.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had five boards and was 12/14 from the line; Diante Mitchell had seven boards, four assists, and 13 points; and Corey Hammell had seven boards.
Impressive feat by the Saints. They need to pull games like this out from now on. They managed to shut down Corey Hammell AND Connor Devine, AND Spencer Svejcar, which is seriously impressive. The bad games of those guys are the good games of just about anyone else, so seriously awesome.
Great day of basketball. Numbers were good all the way around. Parity fully on display. It’s been forever since we’ve done player of the week, but that’ll be up tomorrow -very exciting stuff.
Yup. We’re posting this tonight because it’s 9pm pacific and why not?
Western Oregon 71 @ MSU-Billings 79
Can we pretend that we predicted that? We wouldn’t consider eight points to be a blow-out, especially not in a game that essentially reached eighty. We said that this result was possible. MSUB is a very experienced team, WOU is talented but still inexperienced. It’s easier to win at home than on the road. It’s hard to win at MSUB in general. All of that makes a recipe for MSUB to “upset” the Wolves, but… All the rest of y’all should hold your horses, because what’s that? WOU gained some experience? WOU experienced a road GNAC loss. WOU will theoretically be evolving. Now that the road loss is under their belt, they should be able to take and make quite a bit out of it so it happens less in the coming games.
Sounds like a plan. MSUB… Doesn’t need to learn anything from the win. MSUB is actually arguably the second most experienced team in the conference. Why they’re losing to Frontier schools is anyone’s guess. What happened to Kendall Denham, who knows?
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had a full house with five rebounds, six assists, and five steals among other stats; Yanick Kulich had a good night with 16 points; Ali Faruq-Bey had 19 points; and Malik Leaks was kept quiet, but that’s a credit to the Yellowjackets -he was finally placed in the starting line-up (go Malik!) and we credit him with being hard to guard, so learning experience for him. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had seven points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 13 points and eight boards; Marc Matthews had 20 points; and off the bench Kendall Denham had nine points; while Zach Lessinger had nine boards. Not too many Yellowjacket highlights because overall they had an incredibly balanced performance and moved the basketball a lot, if not distributed particularly well. Their A/TO suggests they didn’t, but the win and array of players with points says otherwise.
There’s a reason we don’t write these posts at night and it’s because we tend to write in the style of Aziz Ansari doing a Joe Biden impression -goofily apathetically enthusiastic.
POW noms and announcement in the AM.
Round robin chart up “soon.”
On the agenda for today: MSUB @ Chadron State, NNU/Sleeper Teams and their bullies, SFU’s schedule, and our posting schedule issues.
MSU-Billings 89 @ Chadron State 69
Just how bad is Chadron State? Answer -them playing in the RMAC may inadvertently cause some of the other RMAC teams to violate the Geneva Convention. It has been said that Green circle runs at The Summit At Snoqualmie are the Bunny Hill at Stevens Pass. Lower-mid teams in the GNAC are JV teams in the RMAC. The RMAC is typically a very, very good conference. So that could actually mean that MSUB just beat a good team by a lot. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime:
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 13 points; Marc Matthews had 12 points and five boards; Kamal Tall had 11 points and six boards; Kendall Denham had 11 points off the bench; and Christian Evans had an insane double double of 23 points and 11 boards off the bench.
Good showing by the Jackets. The rest of you can thank MSUB -they’re a huge part of the reason we don’t write anything about non-D2 games; we love them, but they have a habit of losing to a whole smattering of NAIA teams from the Frontier conference, which is in fact wayyy weaker than the Cascade Conference. GNAC teams often play Cascade teams, but we consider those loses/close wins to be relatively okay because the Cascade Conf. is legit. As we’ve noted before: they often send four teams to a 16 at-large, 32 team overall tournament.
When sleeper teams wake-up.
We’re using NNU as the example because it’s the most recent and they had a schedule quirk that makes it even better:
During the year that NNU got really good once they got Alex Birketoft into their line-up, they played SPU three times. They played them once in December before they had him, and twice in a row in March; once as the regular season cap, and the other in the conference tournament. Okay, NNU played a game in between that, but for SPU it was twice in a row.
The first time SPU blew them out by 30. Okay, whatever, they didn’t have Alex, they were yet to get insane. The second time, SPU got to hear about NNU being soooo good and upsetting WOU on the road (something SPU couldn’t do) and so on and so forth, wow, NNU is great. While normally SPU might keep things humane or overlook the Crusaders because they like them (Christian schools, no real recruiting battles, etc.) this time it was like “NNU thinks they’re so good and are going to come in here and upset us, so let’s kill them.” And they did. And then they did it again out in Billings six days later.
We never know what to think of sleeper teams. We always hope that there is one because they’re so fun and dynamic. Two full years later we’re still mad that we didn’t get to see NNU in person that year. We were originally going on the SPU trip, but ended up going to MSUB at CWU instead (hella good game, btw) and so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, but… Alex, Erik, Kevin. The dream. When Bouna could still be our obsession as the 6th man. And Kendall Denham was a breaking out starting freshman rather than a bench junior. We miss Kendall in the starting line-up, cm bck bby.
We look forward to hopefully another sleeper team this year, although we have no inclination as to who it’ll be because we don’t consider SMU a sleeper. Other people do, we don’t.
On SFU playing tournaments with SPU:
SPU: If you set up these games with us, we’ll bring SFU -guaranteed win against a D2 opponent, plus either a good win or a quality loss against us.
California schools: Deal!
SFU: Ummmmm Falcons, I thought you said there’d be an overlook factor???? Falcons??? FALCONS??? DON’T MAKE US GET OUR BOWS AND ARROWS. WE BEAT YOU TWO YEARS AGO YOU STUPID RETRIEVER BIRDS.
NNU your loss to College of I is completely irrelevant because they in fact are in the Cascade Conference, which is the class of NAIA D2.
We’re from the Cal-Pac, so we’re not even biased when we say that -Cascade is just straight up baller.
Why has the posting schedule been all messed up this year?
A number of reasons:
a. At the beginning of the year 10/11 teams were complete unknowns.
b. Now all 11 teams are completely unknown. SFU has had some good moments, UAA has had some bad moments, but none of that means anything because every conference seems to be in flux.
c. 35+ teams in the West Region are in flux. It makes things more complicated, it makes the extrapolation of data that much more meaningless, and while we’ll speculate on stuff all day long, how much of it any given person needs to read in a blog post is a different matter.
d. We’re finally working 40 (read: 50) hours a week at a somewhat big-person job and it’s exciting and we love it, but we’re yet to catch a rhythm yet and with how much variability there’s been in what’s going on with any conference team, there’s simply less blogging to be done this year so far. Things’ll mellow out and ramp up as we get into conference play.
Alright. Game previews’ll be up Friday morning, go dawgs, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Embrace the quality losses? Not every team lost. But the Alaskas lost, meaning that UAA officially isn’t hosting the regional so our biggest prediction of the off-season just went kaput two days in. Fun times, eh? But there were a lot of great wins too, so we’ll focus on that.
MSUB 88 vs. Holy Names 80
Jackets pulled it out!! As they should. But it looks like the teams were pretty evenly matched, which theoretically is not a good sign for MSUB. Still, a W is a W.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 20 points; Marc Matthews had 30 and a full house; Christian Evans had a double-double with 10 boards and 12 points; and off the bench Sven Jeuschede had five points and five boards.
CU-PDX 72 @ San Bernardino 85
Not surprising, but definitely disappointing after the previous night’s win. It’s early in the year, it doesn’t mean much, but it does help the SOS start to shake out. The bad thing is, we don’t think CSUSB blew out CU-PDX enough; 13 points is respectable, not dominant. Because CWU got a win in OT, it would have been nice to see CSUSB dominate thus increasing conference strength of schedule. Oh well, nice effort by the Cavs.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards and was 6-7 from the line; Latrell Wilson had 16 points; Christopher Edward had 15 points and five boards; Jarrett Gray had 13 points; and off the bench Harris Taylor had five points and eight boards.
CWU 93 @ Monterey Bay 87 @ 3pm
Congrats Wildcats on pulling out the win! Winning while having off days is great. Honestly, this isn’t the best look for our conference because instead of making us look superior to Monterey Bay with the CU-Portland and CWU victories, it makes all four teams look mediocre. San Bernardino beat Concordia-Portland by 13, but that’s not a blow out, CWU (and the GNAC as a whole) needed a blow out by both CSUSB and the Wildcats themselves.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd was 6-7 from the line; Dom Hunter finished with an incredible 24 points and seven boards while hitting 11-11 from the line. Off the bench Marc Rodgers had 12 points and five fouls; while Fuquan Niles had five boards and nine points.
SFU 62 vs. Humboldt State 87
The result isn’t that surprising, we knew Humboldt was likely to be good, although we’re not sure this win actually quantifies that. HSU did what needed to be done and SFU allowed it to happen so it is what it is. No one in the GNAC is surprised, but at the same time it’s only one game -it doesn’t mean anything, SFU could still get hot and be legit this year. They may be chronically last, but the hope is what makes basketball fun.
Clan highlights: Graham Miller had five boards; JJ Pankratz made some noise with seven boards and 15 points; and off the bench Othniel Spence had six boards; while Hidde Vos had eight points.
SMU 86 vs. Point Loma 80
THE SAINTS ARE ALIVE!!!!!!!!! And won this game in OT and we are so, so, so, so, sooooo proud. Teamwork makes the dream work any way you slice it and the Saints played as a team, ONLY LOST THE REBOUNDING BATTLE BY THREE, and they got the victory. Again: So proud. Love you Saints!
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 19 points and five boards while going 10-12 from the line; Jordan Kitchen had 11 boards and nine points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards and three steals; Tyler Copp had a full house including 22 points; Fred Jorg had FIVE FOULS. Off the bench Brandon Kenilvort had nine points.
Side note: While we’re frustrated that he didn’t grab one measly board, Fred Jorg’s five fouls make us so happy because he’s a broad 7’0/300lbs. Those fouls are bone rattlers, even if they’re incidental. He’s not puffy, his stomach is flat, he’s just a straight up mammoth of a man. We’re a little obsessed with his build because most footers are fat at 300lbs; he’s the rare one that’s not.
UAA 71 @ Hawaii Pacific 77
Oh dear. As noted above UAA is officially not hosting the regional, BUT that doesn’t mean HPU isn’t a very, very good team and thus UAA still very likely is a very, very good team. Just as it’s hard to play the Alaska schools in Alaska, it’s hard to play the Hawaii schools on the islands. It is what it is and the Seawolves fought valiantly.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell was 9-11 from the line, had five assists, and finished with 18 points; Spencer Svejcar had 10 points; Corey Hammell had 10 boards; and Connor Devine had 10 points and a full house. The bench was the silent killer -they’re like a platypus and in that didn’t do much.
SPU 88 vs. Hawaii-Hilo 80
We like a lot of the numbers but we’re not sure what to make of the win because Hilo tends to bounce around a lot in regard to conference standing from year to year. The fact that they only won by eight at home is something that concerns us, but at the same time it’s such a new team that any win and any experience they get is a positive.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double-double with 19 points and 12 boards; Sam Simpson had 10 boards; Joe Rasmussen had a great 19 points and six boards in the closest thing to post we’ve ever seen him play; and Olivier-Paul Betu had 13 points in a nice bounce-back game. Off the bench Tony Miller had 20 points, 10 boards, and five fouls.
UAF 66 @ Chaminade 80
Another quality loss for our conference, eh? If you can beat UAF, you must be really good.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had seven rebounds, eight assists, three steals, a block, a foul, points, and zero turnovers in notching a perfect Full House; LaDonavan Wilder had nine boards; Brandon Davis had 17 points; and Zach Pederson had 10 points. Off the bench Trent Molesworth had six points and six boards; while Michael Kluting had five points.
WWU 107 @ East Bay 81
Caaaaake walk, although we would’ve liked to have seen more defense. Why not play defense against a team that’s looking like it’s going to be pretty bad? Might as well. Oh well, whatever, scoring uber is fun too. Super proud of the Vikings for taking care of business.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 18 points and eight assists; Trey Dreschel had 11 points and six boards; Jeffrey Parker, as noted, had a whopping 32 points on 90% shooting, whoa! Off the bench Blake Fernandez had 10 points and five assists; Brad Wallace had 10 points while being 6-6 from the line; and Trevor Jasinsky had 12 points on elite shooting.
WOU 85 @ Fresno Pacific 54
Beautiful. Just as expected. Very proud of the Wolves, exactly what needed to be done, good numbers too, love the display of defense.
Wolf highlights: Akil Reese had 10 points; Bryan Berg had 10 points and five boards; Tanner Omlid had a full house including a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had 16 points; and Yannick Kulich had 12 points.
Overall a pretty good day and initial D2 weekend for GNAC basketball. Player-of-the-week nominations will be up at 10am tomorrow, with the announcement at 11.
First and foremost: We do not count transfers before they hatch. See the ‘Jake Ehlers’ Rule under our Table of Contents.
That being said: Are you ready? Hold onto your shorts ’cause it’s about to look ridiculous, but we promise with what we currently have to go on -it’s not. We like our justifications, which says something because often times we don’t.
1. Alaska-Anchorage. It’s not close. They’ve proven so much more with the guys they return than any other team in the conference that we’re already anticipating booking our tickets to Anchorage for the NCAA tournament. They are deep. And well-tested. Other teams return a lot, but most of them were really bad. The Seawolves basically return everyone they need. It’s fantastic. Go UAA.
Key Returners: Suki Wiggs, Corey Hammell, Sjur Berg, Spencer Svejcar, Diante Mitchell, + more.
2. Western Oregon. Again it’s not close. They return a lot. They lose a lot, but they return a lot. It’s reminiscent of SPU two years ago; yeah, they lost a few major guys but they have guys that have been in waiting that we think aren’t going to miss a beat. With their success, we anticipate them getting the right transfers. They should also procure a trip back to the Regional without much issue.
Key Returners: Tanner Omlid, Alex Roth, Janvier Alaby.
3. Saint Martin’s. This is where it gets to be a complete mess. We ultimately picked SMU because they have a for sure proven center -you gotta have someone that can bang down low. They return plenty of other stuff too and then also proved that this team, keyword team, can dig in and win when it matters down the stretch.
Key Returners: Fred Jorg, Tyler Copp, Trey Ingram, Rhett Baerlocher, and Jordan Kitchen, + more.
4. Western Washington. They return just about everybody needed on a team that was a major disappointment. We think this team is addition by subtraction. They return a core of guys that all try really freaking hard every single second they’re in the game. Do they lose height? Yes. Does it matter? Not necessarily. You can play short as long as every single guy is committed to playing hard 110% of the time.
Key Returners: Trey Drechsel, Jeffrey Parker, Brad Wallace, Isom Brown, Evan Scholten, Brett Kingma.
5. MSU-Billings. Another team that returns a ton but did very little last year. We think that’s going to change because all of the guys have a year in the system and with MSUB it seems to be feast or famine; either they’re playing cohesively and are a good team, or they are a flaming pile of …. fill in the blank. We think this year is going to be an up year.
Key Returners: Kendall Denham, Marc Matthews, Jace Anderson, Emmanuel Olufemi, Preston Beverly.
6. Alaska-Fairbanks. The Nanooks owe this spot purely to Bangaly. Never underestimate a good power forward. The Nooks also have a good home [tundra] advantage. They don’t return much, but Bangaly was able to create like Elsa (from ‘Frozen’) last year and brought tons of energy. They were surprisingly good and we think he’s going to give them a lot to work with once again.
Key Returners: Bangaly Kaba, Zach Pederson, Brandon Davis.
7. Central Washington. They don’t return much, but they do have a good home court advantage. We also really do believe in Terry Dawn.
Key Returners: Terry Dawn, Naim Ladd, Drake Rademacher.
8. Northwest Nazarene. Prime example of a bad team that returns a lot, so they have to be a little better, right?
Key Returners: Nikola Prvulj, Bouna N’Diaye, Pol Olivier, Marko Lepovic.
9. CU-Portland. This is mostly our faith in their coaching staff. They won a lot on the NAIA level so at some point it will start transferring to the D2 level, we hope. They don’t return much, but maybe?
Key Returners: Drew Martin, Tyler Gutierrez, Davis Nuaimi.
10. Simon Fraser. We were going to put them last per usual and then we realized if you made us pick between facing Hidde Vos and JJ Pankratz or Joe Rasmussen and Will Parker, we’d pick the latter two; thus, SFU gets the nod. Their culture desperately needs a re-haul, and honestly we’re starting to kind of feel bad for them. We know they wouldn’t eliminate men’s football and basketball, but seriously: they have so many other sports that are actually good, that we feel like those two sports are just a big money sink.
Key Returners: JJ Pankratz, Hidde Vos.
11. Seattle Pacific. Someone asked us about our projected starters and we intentionally left out Will Parker because we refuse to accept that he has any business still playing for SPU, much less starting for the Falcons. Joe Rasmussen is in that same boat, but 6’8 guys are far less expendable than 5’10 ones. This is going to be a mess and only partly because of the coaching change.
Key Returners: [former assistant, now Head Coach] Grant Leep.
If anyone wants to talk us off the ledge, commiserate, or jump for joy with us (we are genuinely excited for the Seawolves and very curious about the land Wolves), leave a comment!
Really fun week for player-of-the-week, so much parity, lots of guys had two great games which is awesome.
UAF: Travante Williams -was in both games the whole time, helping his teammates. Awesome.
UAA: Brian McGill -‘scuse us Brian “Consistency” McGill. The more he plays, the more we wished he cared about his education.
SFU: Michael Harper -couple of really solid and well balanced games.
WWU: Ricardo Maxwell & Trey Drechsel -both were on it in terms of shooting and Trey is perhaps the only guy on that team besides Kyle Impero that legitimately attempts to rebound; and yeah, they have two centers, so we don’t know what gives either; Not Mac nor Blake, clearly.
SPU: Bryce Leavitt -is back!!! His shots were finally falling again, not that he’s not productive when he’s not shooting.
SMU: N/A —> Donated to Suki Wiggs of UAA. Usual stuff. Boards. Assists. You know.
MSUB: Marc Matthews -does what it takes, decent shooting, smart play, assists, rebounds.
CWU: Devin Matthews -he’s quickly becoming one of our favorites because dude drops dimes like WHOA.
NNU: Bouna + Detwon both had a couple of super consistent, good games, and were very responsible for never letting SPU relax.
CU-P: Riley Hawken -rebounding, smart shooting.
WOU: Andy -put the team on his back during the WWU game, although SFU did do a good job in limiting his touches on Saturday. Still, Andy gonna Andy.
Winner’ll be up in an hour.