First and foremost: So many games, such a lack of posting and tweeting, never to happen again. This is why you don’t try and sit between two chairs. The blog is committed to all ten teams. We’ll also be regularly checking in with Concordia-Portland in anticipation of next year.
College basketball on a Friday night… sacrilege to the high school game, but oh well.
Central Washington 65, Minnesota-Crookston 52
Nicely done Wildcats!! Admittedly we knew MN-Crookston’s record last year, but they got an entirely new coaching staff, Central is dealing with almost an entirely new team, and… they’ve got a good rotation. Jordan Russell had 17 points off the bench, along with 6 rebounds; Joseph Shroud had 16 points off the bench, Gary Jacobs with a well-rounded performance of a FULL HOUSE. Even with a terrible A/TO, the blocks and steals are hard to come by so we’ll give him credit anyway.
Player of the game: Gary Jacobs.
Hawaii Hilo 89, Northwest Nazarene 81
While not a victory for the Crusaders, that is still a darn respectable score. NNU has potential this year, particularly considering how balanced their minutes and scoring was; nine guys played at least thirteen minutes. Four players scored in the double digits: Bouna N’Diaye, Erik Kinney, Aubrey Ball, and Kevin Rima.
Kevin Rima… HAD A DOUBLE-DOUBLE!! Nicely done Kevin. Kevin is obviously our player of the game.
CSU East Bay 86, MSU-Billings 80.
The bad news? The MSUB bench contributed almost nothing. The good news? Their scorers are starting to come out of the woodwork. Gary Gordon had 22 points and eight rebounds; Momir Gataric had 13 points and a block; Antoine Hosley (formerly of UW) had 21 points; and…
Austin Hudson had a double-double, with 20 points and 12 boards!! He also had TWO blocks. Player of the game, right there.
They may have lost the battle, but we’ll consider this game a step in the right direction in terms of the Yellowjackets winning the war.
Fresno Pacific 87, Saint Martin’s 67
There isn’t much to say when a team loses by twenty. This wasn’t a moral victory. The highlights for Saint Martin’s include that Tyler Copp scored 17 points, Ryan Rogers had 11 points, Isaac Bianchini had 12 points off the bench, and Tyler Iwodu had eight points and six rebounds for the spot as the Saints’ leading rebounder. Trey Ingram highlights with an amazing 7-0 assist to turnover ratio; he scored a mere five points, but… talk about unselfish play and prototypically what you want in a point guard.
Nice job Trey; player of the game.
Academy of Art 70, Seattle Pacific 67
The Falcons need to prove themselves and they need to do it now. Academy of Art could be better than we were thinking they’d be, or they could be terrible. They looked good against SPU. There’s rational to say that we should still remain calm about the Falcons because the season is so early and they lost by so little, but like Western… What SPU does or doesn’t do holds so much on how the rest of the conference is perceived that… GET IT TOGETHER.
Player highlights include Mitch Penner with 17 points and nine rebounds, Riley Stockton with nine rebounds and eight points, and Cory Hutsen with 10 points and six rebounds.
Player of the game: Mitch Penner.
Simon Fraser 160, Northwest Indian 99
At this point, it doesn’t matter that the defense looks like bologna and the team is way below D2. SFU BEAT A NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT. And they scored 160. There are teams like SPU where we expect more and teams like SFU where we expect less; sorry Falcons, Vikings, Wolves, and Seawolves in advance. Still… SFU, go Clan!
Seven players scored at least 10 points. In order of the stat sheet: Sango Niang 14 points, eight assists, three steals, 0 turnovers; Justin Cole 16 points, three steals; Roderick Evans-Taylor 19 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, three assists, and one block -again a bad A/TO but the man still had a full house; Patrick Simon II 14 points, six rebounds; JJ Pankratz 13 points; Adam Westfall 21 points; Hidde Vos 17 points, five assists.
Player of the game of course goes to Roderick Evans-Taylor.
Western Washington 78, Notre Dame de Namur 52
Sorry Vikings; you did exactly what you were supposed to do. Good job. This is mundane: Joey Schreiber had 19 points, seven rebounds; Jeffrey Parker had 21 points, seven rebounds; Anye had five points, seven blocks and seven rebounds; Kyle Impero had seven rebounds and picked up four fouls, which is impressive for a guard.
Vikings, your bench provided almost nothing in any statistical category; there is the concern. Our entire conference relies on you, which you know. Sorry about that. We believe in you Vikings, hence the bashing of heads going “you won by 26, but…” Seriously WWU, gotta do it, gotta set the standard. Ahem, last year; let’s not talk about it all that often.
Player of the game: Anye. Yes it’s biased. Sorry Jeff and Kyle. But especially in a gym like Carver, blocks can change an outcome massively.
Point Loma 64, Western Oregon 54
Here we go again… Wolves, you’re better than this. You beat Oregon State. You need to bounce back. The Nike U. loss meant nothing. Your rebounding performance and play off the bench in this game was dismal. Andy Avgi had 15 points and four rebounds; Lew Thomas had 11 points and six rebounds… Wake up Wolves. You’re supposed to be challenging for second place, considering what Anchorage has been dealing with.
Player of the game: Lew Thomas.
Sonoma State 74, Alaska Anchorage 66
Once again: Seriously Seawolves? Were you drinking too much Coppertone while you were down there? You’re better than this. We outrage because we adore. Aaaaand we find that answer in your rebounding. Commit Seawolves, you gotta commit. You have the second best home advantage in the conference and just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean anything. You can do this. Brian McGill had 25 points, Travis Thompson had 21 points, and no one else really had anything of note. The starters played a lot of minutes.
Trinity Int’l 83, Alaska-Fairbanks 73
Really Nooks? At Home? You let Trinity beat you at home? Your home court advantage is another that shouldn’t be understated. The good news is Adam Griffin scored 17 points off the bench; Ruben Silvas had an incredibly balanced seven rebounds, two steals, four assists, and nine points; and four players had at least six rebounds. While you didn’t win the war, you won many battles. We know you’re rebuilding and from the looks of the effort -you’re going to be just fine.
There is still plenty of hope left for you UAF.
Player of the game goes to Ruben Silvas.
Wow! Yes this went up late. If we missed anybody, please let us know. Leave a comment, tweet at us. Up next is our Player of the Week nominations.
You may have noticed that we took the entirety of last week off. That was semi-intentional because there’s just not a lot of actual relevance, so why waste anyone’s time?
Individual coaches likely have a fairly solid idea as to what to expect out of their respective new guys, but even for them to get it as a collective and what the conference dynamic is going to be seems messy.
The good news is that games have started! The bad news is this week’s games mean nothing.
A huge part of why we left last week blank was because of the philosophy that pre-season predictions don’t matter and until we start playing D2 games, these games matter little in terms of tangible information. When CWU plays a formerly 1-19 MN-Crookston on the 14th, the game will tell us more than any of the games being played this week.
This week… Even if God forbid someone loses an NAIA game or wins a D1 game, it still doesn’t mean anything. While it might be tempting to say “If a team loses to an NAIA or D3 school, it says something about the character of that program, that they didn’t take the game seriously,” so on and so forth, except… that’s not the case.
Yes: coaches should be experimenting just enough to see what’s going on and see what happens during games, while still winning the low-level games, there are always outlying factors. And sometimes our conference gets to play the upset role; we schedule D1 games that best case scenario, as a conference, we’ll go 1-9 in, but they’re still fun. “Fun.”
No, Saint Martin’s is the school this year that gets to play Washington, so that will be a fun game regardless of the fact that they’re likely to get blown out by 50.
Speaking of which: Congrats to Simon Fraser on keeping it close and losing by a respectable 24 to Idaho. That’s actually not sarcastic; in terms of SFU, that’s an in-conference margin against a D1 team. Take the sunshine where you can find it. They’re off to UC Irvine next, so regardless of the outcome on Saturday… at least they’ll get literal sunshine. Hashtag GNAC Probs <— that’s sarcasm.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss all of this week’s upcoming games and how they mean exactly nothing.
The GNAC faces a grand total of nine different non-west division two schools over the course of 12 games. The schools come from three different regions and four different conferences, with an independent thrown in simply for pleasure.
Most interesting is that no west-region school would face any of the teams until the Final Four, and thus these games could help set the tone for what’s seen as a strong region vs. a weak region.
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference:
CWU and SPU play Minnesota-Crookston.
Minnesota-Crookston finished an impressive 1-21 in conference and 4-23 overall. The games are being played in the Seattle Pacific gymnasium and so it’s a literal home game for the Falcons and a virtual one for the Wildcats. While CWU will inevitably have some growing pains this year, seeing as they lost everybody on a team that finished a disappointing 8-10 in conference and 12-14 overall, this game should be a good chance to do some happy growing early in the year. SPU regardless as to the fact that they lost most of their scoring, shouldn’t have any issues considering the potential scoring threats they have waiting in the wings, no pun intended.
UAF plays Minnesota-Moorhead.
Minnesota-Moorhead finished in a three-way tie for first place in their division and a three way tie for 3rd place in their conference with a 15-7 conference record, and a 21-8 record overall. Ultimately, the school did not make the tournament nor did anyone else in their division; the Northern Sun received one auto-bid and one at large bid, both to schools in the other division. UAF is another GNAC team that suffered catastrophic losses, but they’re playing a virtual home game at UAA. The Alaska advantage is huge and Moorhead seems likely to overlook that little fact, thus while it seems likely that the Dragons will win -the Nooks should at least put up a fight.
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association:
SPU plays Washburn.
Washburn finished 5th in the MIAA with a conference record of 10-9 and overall record of 17-10. The conference itself sent four teams to the regional, and so while Washburn didn’t make the tournament, they were likely a very good team. This game is being played in Hawaii and so neither school is expected to hold an advantage nor disadvantage, and it should serve as a relatively good test for SPU with victory eventually being secured by the Falcons.
The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference:
WOU and SMU play Colorado Christian.
Colorado Christian finished 13-9 in conference and 18-15 overall, good for a 7th place standing in a difficult conference. WOU finished 4th and SMU finished 8th last year. Both teams return good cores of players. WOU finished 10-8 and 18-12; SMU finished 8-10 and 9-17. No team of the three made the tournament. The games are being played in Monmouth, thus it’s a home game for WOU. Generally speaking you never know what WOU is going to do, and so the match-up should be interesting; SMU, it’ll be a matter of whether or not they can solidify their identity this early in the season. If the Saints can, the odds seem good for a close game; if they can’t, it’ll likely be a blowout.
MSUB plays Black Hills State.
Both teams are the Yellowjackets. Black Hills State finished 8-14 in conference and 10-16 overall; MSUB finished 8-10 in conference and 12-15 overall. Black Hills State was by and far in the stronger conference, and the Montana Yellowjackets lost a fair bit of their core, but… This is actually a rivalry game. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. Black Hills killed MSUB last year, so it seems like the revenge factor might be there. MSUB is playing at home and they generally have a great home court advantage, but the wildcard of this year: the game lands the day before Elk and Deer season end. No prediction.
The Lone Star Conference:
NNU plays at Texas A&M Kingsville. NNU finished second to last with a 5-13 record in conference and a 7-19 record overall. TAMU-Kingsville finished 7-7 in conference and 19-9 overall. NNU has some interesting transfers coming in that could lead to big things, but it seems likely that Kingsville wins the game easily.
NNU and WWU both play Tarleton State.
NNU, as noted, was second to last in our conference, whereas WWU was second from the top although didn’t make the tournament. Tarleton won their conference with a 12-2 record and a 28-3 record overall. They made the tournament as the 2 seed and progressed to the round of 32, losing by a mere six points. Tarleton, like WWU, is a good team year in and year out; the match-up against NNU shouldn’t be a problem, and the match-up in Vegas with Western Washington should be one of the better games on the GNAC’s non-conference slate.
The Sunshine State Conference:
SPU & SMU play Rollins.
Rollins finished 14-13 overall last year and 8-8 in a conference that sent half their teams to the NCAA tourney, although they themselves didn’t go. Teams are different year to year and even day to day, but judging where each team finished and knowing how both SPU and SMU prepare… St. Martin’s and Rollins should be a fairly compelling match-up, but Rollins definitely holds the advantage. This is the first game either team plays in Vegas, and so the legs should be nice and fresh, which will hopefully lead to a competitive game.
Seattle Pacific is a different story; they’ll have played what’s likely to be a very exhausting game against Dixie State the day prior, and thus… they could be in kill mode, they could be in let-down mode, or they could be in “let’s get this over with mode;” we’ll have to see. It might be a good mis-match in SPU’s favor, or it might be a hard fought battle. It is doubtful, however, that the Falcons’ll get blown out.
Regardless of what actually happens, we’ll hope both GNAC teams show up in “WE LIVE IN CONSTANT DRIZZLE, TAKE YOUR SUNSHINE AND SHOVE IT,” mode. Not because the Sunshine State Conference isn’t fantastic, but simply because you know, stereotypes.
WWU plays Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. The team finished 2-10, and in the games they won had a combined margin of victory of four points. WWU is expected to have a great time on their vacation to Puerto Rico.
That is the D2 non conference for the GNAC; is the analysis in-depth? No. Because it doesn’t matter a ton anyway: the odds of a repeat game between one of the schools this calendar year is small, and the teams would be vastly different anyway. The implication overall will be basic: if we win, it won’t really say a lot; if we lose, it’ll say that we’re not as strong as we could be.
Thoughts on the DII Bulletin Pre-Season Top 25 is up next.