We didn’t preview the game, mostly because we didn’t have any idea what would happen and figure it gets old for you guys to read that over and over again, but then we felt guilty because of any team in the GNAC, NNU is by far the most neglected. You’d think it would be CU-Portland or Simon Fraser, but those campuses are really easy for us to get to; not the case with NNU. So at the very last minute (like 5:45pm last minute) we trekked out to Ellensburg.
Unfortunately we think our presence jinxed the Crusaders. They were doing fine and playing strong and then they fell apart. Maybe it wasn’t us; we should give credit where credit is due and that is to those Wascally Wildcats and the brick wall that is their center position.
Fuquan Niles is straight-up majestic. He is 100% incredible to watch play. We haven’t had a center like him in the GNAC in ages -usually it tends to be a power forward that serves as the defensive force in the middle. Joe Stroud (also of CWU) was the last great shot blocker we had, but he was a power forward.
All that being said:
NNU 80 @ CWU 94
Good back and forth game before Naim Ladd, Marc Rodgers, and as noted Fuquan Niles stepped in to put it away. There were a number of key threes hit that really put the game out of reach, although NNU fought valiantly and didn’t seem to let CWU get in their heads too much.
Crusader highlights: Pol Olivier had 20 points; Kaileb Rodrieguz had seven boards; Maurice Jones responded well to Fuquan, having 15 points, 14 boards, and four blocks of his own; and off the bench Nikola Prvulj had 10 points on perfect shooting.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had 22 points, among other good field stats; Dom Hunter had 27 points and five assists; Terry Dawn had five boards; Jawan Stepney had six boards; and Fuquan had 10 points and nine boards on textbook shooting. Off the bench Marc Rodgers had eight points.
Overall not a game that involved tons of defense, but enough, and honestly: It was really fun to watch. Very dynamic, the guys on the court were all visibly having a good time and playing with tons of drive and effor. It was a good game to be at. CWU definitely has our vote for best athletic staff in the GNAC.
A discussions post will be up later today and then previews’ll go up tomorrow per usual.
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.
Hey look, a post is going up on time! So exciting.
CU-Portland 92 @ MSU-Billings 82
Lots of back and forth before CU-PDX finally pulled away. We’re not sure whether we were right in our prediction or not because we didn’t really predict anything -we just said we didn’t know. The teams were fairly evenly matched, although we give CU-PDX the edge (obviously) now in particular because winning on the road is much harder (theoretically) than winning at home. We’re honestly confused about MSUB -they have a ton of experience and yet…? Who knows. Technically we still haven’t seen enough just yet.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards; Christopher Edward continues to impress with 18 points and eight boards; and Jarrett Gray had 11 points and seven boards. The Cavs saw some nice bench play with Bryan Michaels having 13 points and seven boards; and Latrell Wilson having 15 points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 14 points and six boards; Marc Matthews had nine boards; and Kamal Tall had nine points. The Yellowjackets also had fairly good bench play with Cinco Durr having 13 points; and Christian Evans dropping 18.
Congrats on a battle well-fought to both teams.
Alaska-Anchorage 67 @ Northwest Nazarene 71
So good, we almost regret not going except there were a lot of other really good games we got to watch too. What the heck is up with you Anchorage? We know Coach Oz (and most of your teammates) have used the choice words we’d rather be using, so… Imagine. Saltier than a ship’s hull after seven years at sea.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell had 22 points while going 7-8 from the line; Spencer Svjecar added 11 points; Corey Hammell was cold, so instead had a monstrous night grabbing boards ending up with 15; and Connor Devine also grabbed nine boards. Very minimal bench play. Suki was off, and although we’re sad… We’re so happy we got to see a performance like Thursday night’s in person. We’re still enthralled with it. It was incredible.
Crusader highlights: Carlos Garcia had five boards; Bouna N’Diaye had 13 points and six boards; Pol Olivier had 13 points; and Kalieb Rodriguez had 12 points and seven boards. Off the bench Marko Lepovic had seven boards; and Jayden Bezzant had 12 points.
Very hard fought game on both sides. Super proud of the Crusaders for not sending Suki to the line -that’ll get you in trouble, fast. We’re guessing the Seawolves will look forward to some revenge when the teams meet up there in their hella nice lair.
Simon Fraser 72 @ Saint Martin’s 86
The Clan were in it for a super long time and then part way through the second half, the Saints walked away and never looked back. Honestly, we’re pleased with both teams. The fact that SFU hung around for so long says they’re making progress -we think SMU is a legitimately good team this year. This isn’t a bad loss or an expected win in the slightest. The result was what it was and the Clan will be in a great position to return the favor when the Saints go visit them in Burnaby.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 21 points and five assists; JJ Pankratz had a full house with 19 points and nine boards among other numbers; and off the bench Graham Miller had seven boards.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had a whopping 11 assists; Jordan Kitchen had nine points, five boards, and five blocks in a full house; Rhett Baerlocher had eight boards; Tyler Copp had a massive 29 points on 11-13 shooting from the line, and also grabbed six boards; and Fred Jorg had 12 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 12 points; and Brandon Kenilvort had a great game with 11 points and nine boards.
Fun game to watch. Congrats on the progress to the Saints and we’re seeing visible progress with the Clan, which is an improvement.
Alaska-Fairbanks 76 @ Central Washington 79
Close game all the way through. Completely evenly matched. Very fun to watch. Credit to the Wildcats’ home court advantage for this one -they get in your head. We’re Switzerland regarding the CWU games this week and yet they got in our head.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 17 points and eight assists; Bangaly Kaba had 21 points and eight boards on great shooting; and Zach Pederson had 11 rebounds. Off the bench Spencer Clark had five points and four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had five boards; Dom Hunter had 33 points; Jawan Stepney had 13 points; and Fuquan Niles had six rebounds and eight blocks -um, center say whaaaat? We love it. Off the bench Chris-Michael Garret had nine points.
Again: Awesome game. Both teams are good. Congrats to the Wildcats on getting the win, thank your fans and prepare to do it without them when you’re up in Fairbanks, eh?
Western Washington 96 @ Seattle Pacific 91
………………………………….. We don’t know what to say. We love the WWU team this year because they return a bunch of guys that play in the way that we love. WWU has looked really good throughout non-con. SPU has looked iffy. Moral victory for SPU to take a good team like this to OT? Especially playing as they have been. The big difference between WWU and SPU is the fact that the WWU players all actually care, while the SPU ones largely don’t.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 28 points and nine boards; Trey Drechsel had seven boards; Logan Schilder had seven boards and 11 points; Daulton Hommes had seven boards and 24 points; and off the bench Travor Janisky had 10 points and seven boards.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had five fouls; Will Parker had a double-double with 13 points, 10 boards, and six assists; Tony Miller had eight boards; Joe Rasmussen had a full house with six boards amongst other numbers; Olivier-Paul Betu had 26 points and seven assists on great shooting. Off the bench Sharif Khan had five fouls; and Gavin Long had six points.
WWU out-rebounded SPU 49-37. We’re shocked they didn’t win by more/SPU got it to overtime. Hear that GNAC? SPU doesn’t rebound this year. You can do whatever you want in the paint and they’ll let you. They don’t care. Alright. Good.
Interesting and fun night of basketball. POW stuff’ll be up tomorrow morning with the usual “nominations” and “winner” posts an hour apart. On the horizon for this week include a Discussions post -including catching up with the first weekend of conference play in the other two conferences.
The GNAC conference standings chart will go up on Monday after WOU plays MSUB.
Have a blessed Sunday and Go Hawks!
Housekeeping: The non-conference chart’ll be updated this weekend, the conference play chart will be started and updated. 55 hour work weeks -welcome to the real world; we love it.
Alaska-Fairbanks 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 72
NNU put up a really good fight and it was close for a long time, but UAF ultimately pulled it out on the road because when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 23 points and a flawless (no turnovers) full house; Zach Pederson had 15 points and 5 boards; Brandon Davis had a monster game with 18 points, four assists, and four boards; and off the bench LaDonavan Wilder had quite the interesting line with five points, four fouls, and two steals in just five minutes of play. Impressive.
Crusader highlights: Kalieb Rodriguez continues to impress with 13 points; Maurice Jones had a huge 21 points and 12 boards; and off the bench Jayden Bezzant had 16 points among other decent field stats.
Alaska-Anchorage 98 @ Central Washington 92
You may have seen our comment on twitter -UAA tried like heck to choke this game away but just couldn’t manage to do it. They were up by quite a bit and the gym was quiet and wasn’t in it, and then they didn’t stay locked down and while the Hogwarts motto is ‘Never tickle a sleeping dragon,’ the GNAC motto should probably be ‘Never tickle a sleeping Wildcat.’ If you’ve managed to keep those fans quiet, embrace it, lock down, keep going, because if you allow them to wake up your life is going to get very difficult very quickly. Life got very difficult for the Seawolves, but they managed to still get it done.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had a massive 46 points on elite shooting from the field (7-8 from three) and great shooting from the line; Diante Mitchell had 12 points; Spencer Svejcar had 21 points; Corey Hammell had a massive 16 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and a full house. There was very little bench play, although we noticed that Augustus was definitely a team leader off the bench -dude is firey as all heck.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had good field stats although a bad shooting night, including five boards; Dom Hunter had an amazing game against his former team, scoring 30 points and going 9/10 from the line; Marc Rodgers had 6 points off the bench; and Fuquan Niles had 14 points. Not many highlights largely because the Wildcats are so balanced and play with such good teamwork that the ball gets distributed and a lot of people score a few points, which is good. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Really fun game to be at -thanks to the Wildcats/CWU for the hospitality, and thanks to UAA for letting us scream at you. We had a blast.
Simon Fraser 66 @ Seattle Pacific 88
SFU outscored SPU. In the second half. By two points. Success kid? SPU just lost to their old coach after beating a couple of other impressive teams -don’t take it personally Clansmen, the war path was calling them.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 10 points and five boards; JJ Pankratz had 18 points and a full house; and off the bench Othniel Spence had nine points; while Graham Miller had six. Kedar Wright didn’t play, which is interesting. Not sure why, but with SFU we will say that it did probably affect the final score. When you’re coming back from the ashes, every little thing matters -trust us, we were at UW for the 0-12 season.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double-double with 25 points and 10 boards; Joe Rasmussen had 15 points and eight boards; off the bench Sharif Khan went 7-8 from the line; and Hunter Eisenhower had 13 points.
Conclusion: SPU is still a mess.
Western Washington 91 @ Saint Martin’s 78
Pretty much as expected. Western was up. Western got apathetic. SMU came back in the second half. Western clamped down and Western won fairly comfortably. It was what it was and we’re proud of both teams -the Vikings for recommitting and the Saints for taking advantage when they could.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had a huge game with 30 points, eight boards, and seven assists; Trey Drechsel had eight boards and five assists; Logan Schilder won the battle of the seven footers (that sounds a little species-est) with 12 points and five boards; Daulton Hommes continues to impress with 19 points, nine boards, and five assists; and Jeffrey Parker had 10 boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had six points; and Trevor Janisky had seven. Very balanced -WWU appears to be missing a number of guys that would usually see a good number of minutes, so that’s interesting. Trey Drechsel needs to focus on playing within himself more -shooting doesn’t define basketball any more than throwing defines football. There’s a lot that goes on to make shooting/throwing possible, it’s okay to be elite at helping your teammates.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 6 assists; Jordan Kitchen had seven boards; Rhett Baerlocher had 11 points, eight boards, and five fouls; and Tyler Copp had 10 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 18 points; and Rico Nuno had 11 points and five boards.
Really curious to see what the Saints do on Saturday against Simon Fraser/what Simon Fraser does against the Saints.
Overall a really fun night of basketball. We still are going to post POW stuff for last week at some point in the next day or so, so that’ll be fun. Game previews up tomorrow morning around 11am.
Alright, here we go. It’s late but it’s still here and that’s what counts, eh? The good news is that all of the math is already done for POW so that’ll go up tomorrow morning on schedule.
Central Washington 93 vs. MN-Mankato 104
The Wildcats got outside themselves =( It was totally within their range and they could have had it and they panicked and it didn’t happen, but we’re still so proud of them. As noted yesterday: It wouldn’t surprise us if Mankato is a very, very good team.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had 18 points; Dom Hunter had 27 points; Terry Dawn had six boards; Jawan Stepney had 15 points and five boards; and off the bench Sage Woodruff had five boards.
Simon Fraser 73, Lindenwood 72
SFU vs. Lindenwood round two and SFU squeaked out another one. Nicely done Clan. Plenty of good numbers to go around, so we’ll jump right in.
Clan highlights: Iziah Sherman-Newsome had eight boards and 10 points; Graham Miller had 9 points and five boards; Michael Provenzano had another good game with 14 points and five boards, along with five fouls; JJ Pankratz had 9 points and five boards; and Tyrell Lewin had 14 points and six boards. Off the bench Andrew Williamson had 9 points; and Hidde Vos had eight points.
Western Washington 94, Holy Names 68
Can’t spell ‘slaughter’ without ‘laughter’? The numbers aren’t as good as they could be, but there are a lot of good ones and we’re very satisfied with WWU.
Vikings highlights: Taylor Stafford had 17 points and 11 boards; Trey Drechsel had 14 points and five boards; Logan Schilder had 10 points, seven boards, and five blocks -good to see the 7’0er getting aclimated; Daulton Hommes had 13 points and six boards; and Jeffrey Parker had a full house with 24 points and seven rebounds, among other stats. Off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had seven points.
Seattle Pacific 72 vs. Dixie State 74 in OT
Dixie State won. We’re not very happy. But it does create a lot parity because it wasn’t a good loss. Dixie State is yet to get a good win. They have good losses, but not any good wins, and a brand new SPU team that doesn’t return anything does not count as a quality win. But looking at the numbers SPU decided they didn’t give a crap about rebounding, so… They get what they get.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten played 40 minutes and had eight rebounds; Sam Simpson had six boards; and Joe Rasmussen had five fouls. Off the bench Sharif Khan had 10 points; and Tony Miller had 21 points and seven boards.
We consider this game to be a complete mess and with a slightly more experienced team the Falcons would have had it, but the fact is they don’t have that experience this year and they can’t get away half-trying like they have in the past. Hopefully they learned something -if they didn’t, their SoCal games this coming week are going to be felt widely and painfully on a conference level.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 vs. BYU-Hawaii 68
Praise Nooks. They got it done. It was desperate considering BYU-H only used six players (essentially five) but it’s still a ‘W.’
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 13 points and five assists; Bangaly Kaba had 14 points and seven boards; LaDonavan Wilder had seven boards; Zach Pederson had 15 points and six boards; Brandon Davis had 12 points, five boards, six assists, five steals, a block, four fouls, and zero turnovers in a perfect full house. Off the bench Michael Kluting had eight points and six boards.
Alaska-Anchorage 73, Cal State LA 68
Thank God, the Seawolves got out of this. Suki was more off on free throws than we’re used to seeing, so that was interesting. Corey Hammell finally had a Corey Hammell game, so that was good. Mixed bag, but what can we say? The Seawolves got it done and we are incredibly relieved.
Seawolves highlights: Suki Wiggs had 27 points and six boards; Corey Hammell had 12 points and 11 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and six boards. No real bench play, which is mildly concerning but Sjur Berg saw almost no minutes, so… Maybe means nothing.
CU-Portland 62, San Francisco State 86
The Gators were in ‘steamroll’ mode. That’s okay. We’re still proud of the Cavs for the progress they’re clearly making. We think they’re going to make some noise in conference -Christopher Edward, among others, is for real.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 14 points; Christopher Edward had a double-double with 10 boards and 10 points; off the bench Davis Nuaimi had five assists; and Taylor Harris had 11 points.
Saint Martin’s 75, San Bernardino State 80
The Saints ALMOST got the win but couldn’t pull it off likely due to a slow 7’0er. He goes in for the tip and nothing else. We like Fred a lot, but… Winning the tip doesn’t matter if he can’t even be counted on to grab one measly board. Naim Ladd is 5’7 and had seven the other night, so… Get with it Fred. You’ve got five fouls. Use them.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had five boards and 17 points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards; Tyler Copp bounced back and had 16 points; Brandon Kenilvort had five boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram had 15 points.
MSU-Billings 50 vs. Cal State East Bay 54
Close and hard fought game but ultimately MSUB couldn’t pull it out. Quite honestly it bugs us because MSUB returns so much, so… Yellowjackets: What are you doing? We know East Bay’s place in conference tends to make them look worse than they are (truly an any given night team) but you were at home and have so many returners. Hmmm. We expect more of you Yellowjackets. Next week, perhaps.
Yellowjacket highlights: PRESTON BEVERLY had a huge game wiht 14 points and 25 points on good shooting; and Christian Evans had five boards.
To be fair, some of the lacking in highlights is because it was a low-scoring game, but… Shooting numbers were also bad.
Western Oregon 63 vs. UC San Diego 75
The Tritons read Western Oregon like a book. They came in apparently very prepared and essentially just shut the Wolves down completely. WOU still had few turnovers, so UCSD could have maybe forced them better, but… This was revenge for the Sweet 16 game and they got it.
Wolves highlights: Ali Faruq-Bey had six boards; and off the bench Demtrius Trammell had 11 points; while Yanick Kulich had 19 points and seven boards; and Malik Leaks had seven points.
Yup. That minimal. Looking forward to the Wolves bouncing back after a painful weekend.
Northwest Nazarene 84 vs. Colorado Christian 103
Weeee. Eeeee. Okay, honestly not surprising because Colorado Christian is often good, as the RMAC is usually really good. This is a quality loss if we’ve ever seen it.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye had six boards; Jalen Shepard had nine assists and 16 points, whoa; Kaileb Rodriguez had 25 points and 12 boards for the double-double; Maurice Jones had 13 points and five fouls. Off the bench Pol Olivier had six points.
Overall a mis-mash of a weekend. We’re not as concerned as we expected ourselves to be, mostly because it does look like so much parity across the region that we feel like if a few teams clamp down and others buck up, things’ll be just fine.
POW noms up tomorrow at 10am, with the announcement at 11.
Yup, it’s going to be a back-to-back post because as much as we love the GNAC -Husky and Seahawks football took priority. And sleep. Sleep took priority. What’s interesting is we were so busy throwing-up the preview (our fingers were barfing) that we didn’t look at ANY of Friday’s numbers yesterday. Nuts. And now not any of Saturday’s numbers. It’s all a surprise o.O
Simon Fraser 81, Lindenwood 73
We weren’t even aware Lindenwood was a D2 school; we assumed it was a school on the prairies of Canada. As it turns out it is D2, so good on the Clan for scheduling them. Yayyy D2 opponents.
Clan highlights: Graham Miller was 7-7 from the line and finished with 18 points and four fouls; Michael Provenzano had seven boards, five assists, and finished with 18 points and four fouls; JJ Pankratz was back in a big way, grabbing nine boards, four blocks, and dropping 24 points while staying out of foul trouble. Off the bench Kedar Wright went 7-9 from the line and finished with 11 points in the Clan’s victory.
Dear President Donald Trump,
Thank-you for making it okay for us to say ‘Go Clan!’ and talk positively about them without being concerned about ending up on a list. Heck, if we’re not careful with all this talk of “Go Clan!” we could ended up nominated for a cabinet position.
The GNAC Men’s Basketblog
Central Washington 99, Dixie State 95 in OT
Yeaaah Wildcats! We is so proud of you. Winning in OT. Yes, it’s for all intents and purposes a home game, but any win against the region is a win we will take. And there were TONS of good numbers, so let’s get started…
Wildcat highlights: NAIM LADD had SEVEN rebounds, two assists, ZERO turnovers, and 25 points; DOM HUNTER had a whopping 33 points while going 10/11 from the line and being good from the field; Jerome Bryant did the rare thing of confusing us with his lack of shooting; he went 1-3 and then made 9-11 from the line and grabbed five boards and had five fouls. Rarely do we think ‘wow, he could have kept shooting’ but this guy did and at the same time we’re excited for him because it shows the valuable trait of knowing his role and doing a darn good job at it. Fouling and drawing fouls? Um, yeah.
Full disclaimer: Power forward is our favorite position by and far, so that position does tend to get a good bit of bias around here.
Seattle Pacific 69, MN-Makato 78
While it’s a good win for MN-Mankato, we’re not convinced it’s a bad loss for SPU because we’d so much rather lose an out-of-region game than an in-region, and Mankato could turn out to be very good; it’s too early in the season to know at this point. We’ll consider it a good learning experience, hopefully.
Falcon highlights: COLEMAN WOOTEN had 16 boards and 24 points on solid shooting; Sam Simpson had eight boards and four assists; Will Parker had five fouls; and Joe Rasmussen had five boards and nine points. Off the bench Sharif Khan had 14 points; and Tony Miller had seven boards.
Alaska-Fairbanks 68, Cal State LA 74
Huge win for the CCAA as a whole. We talk about it all the time, but: Any win in Alaska is a good win because it’s so hard to play up there. We knew CSULA was going to be improved this year, it was just a matter of time.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had five boards and five assists; Bangaly had 10 boards and nine points; LaDonavan Wilder had five boards; and Brandon Davis had 16 points and five assists. Off the bench Reece Robinson had six points and four boards; and Michael Kluting had 10 points.
CU-Portland 57, UC San Diego 66
Way closer than anticipated. Yes, it was essentially a home game, but it’s still what we should all consider a very quality loss for the Cavalier program because we love the Cavs and anticipated a blowout so what was everyone else thinking? Yeah. It’s good.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 15 points, Latrell Wilson had five boards; Christopher Edward had a huge game with 10 points and eight boards; and off the bench Davis Nuami had four boards and three assists.
The Tritons play mad D so the numbers are less than they usually would have been for how close it was.
Alaska-Anchorage 75, BYU-Hawaii 50
Confirmed: BYU-H good at home and bad on the road. At least so far. Admittedly it’s hard to play at UAA, but in that we also need to say that: UAA has a huge homecourt advantage. Good for them. Did what needed to be done and there are lots of good numbers.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 21 points, seven boards, and three assists; Corey Hammell had a double-double with 12 boards and 10 points; and Connor Devine had 17 points and eight boards on good shooting. Off the bench Augustus Simmers had 10 points; Damien Fulp had 10 points while perfect from the line; nad Sjur Berg had five boards.
Western Oregon 93 vs. San Fran State 99 in 3OT
Oh dear. We’d say this game was a mess on both sides but it wasn’t. San Fran State played within themselves and used it to win the game in a hard place to play. They had surprisingly few bad numbers for the fact that the game went to 3OT. Not the case with the Wolves. Still, as bad as the numbers were they stayed in it.
Wolves highlights: Bryan Berg had 15 points and five boards; Tanner Omlid had eight boards, seven assists, four steals, two blocks, and assorted other stuff while securing a full house; Ali Faruq-Bey had eight boards; Buster Souza had a “break-out” game with seven boards and fourteen points with the only passable shooting on the Wolves. Off the bench Yanick Kulich had seven boards; and Malik Leaks had six boards and nine points -guess if you can survive that surname in elementary school, you can do anything.
Saint Martin’s 60 @ Sonoma State 77
Oh dear. Growing pains. It’s okay Saints, this is going to happen. Quality loss? Perhaps. At least Tyler Copp played moderately well, because outside of him there really are very few highlights.
Saints highlights: Tyler Copp had four boards, four assists, zero turnovers, and 20 points; Brandon Kenilvort had 17 points; and off the bench Rohjhae Colbert had five boards.
Overall an interesting day for the GNAC and West Region as a whole. Not bad nor good; this day was neutral all the way around, which is interesting of itself. We honestly haven’t looked at Saturday’s results except for CWU (they keep playing early so we keep seeing those results) and so… We’ll see in a little bit.
Congrats and good effort to all involved, GNAC or otherwise.
Dear 2016-2017 GNAC Men’s Basketball Players,
We love you. It’s been less than a week and you’ve already made our heart sing like whoa.
Transfers -you’re great, you’re amazing, we’re so excited and happy to have you and you’ve proven it so much already in just two measly D2 games. Olivier-Paul, you know what we think. Taylor Stafford we’re so proud of you. Ali Faruq-Bey you are our bae and are fantastic. Not really; the bae is hyperbole, the fantastic is for real. Kedar Wright, we’re happy to have lost Patrick Simon II because we’ve got you instead -100% worth it.
Returners that have stepped up their games majorly already, even when we were expecting it out of a number of you -we love it. We’ve missed you. Tanner Omlid, you were good last year and we’re already so proud of you this year. Tyler Copp and Trey Ingram, it was a whole year of not really getting to write about you two and yet this year here you are again and it’s wonderful. Naim Ladd is stepping up big, we see dat shooting. Joe Rasmussen, putting up numbers, what’s with this craziness. He’s still pawning off rebounding on everyone else, but he’s now only moderately bad at defense rather than full out refusing to play it, so that’s progress. There are more of you and we love you and we promise you’ll get gushed about too in good time if you just keep putting up those numbers.
Frosh are rocking it hardcore and we’re cooing like there’s no tomorrow. Tony Miller. Daulton Hommes. When little kids effectively rebound, it’s so great. So far you’re the only frosh that have seen big minutes and rocked it but we love you to death, which both of you know, but still. To any other frosh that might read this: We can’t wait to be excited about you! We know you’re going to be great.
To all GNAC players -come the mid point of the season, if you’re passable at all, we’ll be complaining about you. It’s what we do. It’s one of the reasons our own school loathes us -they’re usually really good, and yet if you heard us talk about them, you’d assume they’re at the bottom because we’re always like “ugh, we have so much to work on, I can’t believe they did that, that is not acceptable, we’re never going to win like this,” when they just won a game by 20. Never stops.
So yes. We do genuinely love all of y’all and are already so proud and feel so blessed to get to write about amazing guys like you! Super cheesy, but super true, so thank-you.
The GNAC Men’s BasketBlog
Our readers are awesome too. Yes, even you.
We went to write tomorrow morning’s preview and then this came out, so… Okay. We’ll go with it. The fingers know.
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!
Good evening! Putting this up now so there’s some space between tonight and tomorrow’s post.
Shouted out the Saints in the hashtags because we are sincerely grateful for them hosting it, they do a fantastic job. We deal with every staff in the GNAC and we’ll say it again: Saint Martin’s is the best, and it’s not close.
Quick Pac-West update:
#3 Cal Baptist 84, #6 Dominican 72
#5 BYU-Hawaii 96, #4 Hawaii Pacific 78
#3 Cal Baptist vs. #2 Dixie State
#5 BYU-Hawaii vs #1 Azusa Pacific
Chico State fans -take a deep breath. SOS + RPI. We’re all in this together, from the D2 Tip-off through Selection Sunday, and it’s far from over.
#6 Western Washington 78 “@” #3 Alaska-Anchorage 73
This game was nuts the entire way through. We only watched half of it and didn’t look at the score at all until we walked into the gymnasium and actively looked up at the scoreboard. Were we surprised? In a big way. We’re ridiculously happy for the Vikings, although a little terrified to be honest because UAF is a really good team that’s coming on strong at exactly the right time, so… that’s terrifying. Still -our biggest commends to Alaska-Anchorage, welcome to the bubble.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs was 9/11 from the line and grabbed 12 boards, three assists, and four steals; Corey Hammell had nine boards and 12 points; Brian McGill had 16 points; and off the bench Christian Leckband had seven points and four boards. Seawolves were fantastic at making their free throws and positioning themselves under the basket.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had six boards and six assists; KYLE IMPERO had 12 boards and four assists while playing 40 FULL MINUTES; and JEFFREY PARKER had 31 POINTS and six boards while also playing 40 FULL MINUTES. Off the bench Brett Kingma had six points; and Colby Mitchell had four rebounds. The Vikings were also fantastic at making their free throws and needed every single one.
Great rebounding and free throw shooting by both teams; 80% free throws and 36 rebounds straight across the court. Props to Rusty Osborn for remaining on his bench -we’re proud of you Coach.
#5 Central Washington 65 “@” Seattle Pacific 69
We said this game would be nuts and it was 100%. Maybe not quite 100%; for a while there it looked like the Falcons had no idea what they were doing. #33 on the Falcons still doesn’t know what he’s doing, aside from nursing his acute case of “whiny b*tch.”
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had 10 points and eight boards; Joe Stroud had 19 points and six boards; Devin Matthews had 12 points, eight boards, and EIGHT assists. Off the bench Naim Ladd won the battle of the shorties (him vs. Will Parker) and finished with 11 points. Congrats on a great season Wildcats!
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt played -40- MINUTES and had seven boards while going 5/5 from the line; Gilles Dierickx had 10 boards; Mitch Penner had a whopping 25 points and eight boards; and off the bench Gabe Colosimo had five points. Maybe the most interesting stat is Will Parker’s 27 unobtrusive minutes. Generally speaking he shoots way too much and misses way too many shots and picks up too many turnovers, but today he played 27 minutes of defensively effective, fundamental basketball. Fantastic game for Will Parker.
Seriously nutso game until the very end. As noted on Twitter: Will Parker makes a 3, SPU’s now up 3, .6 left on the clock; CWU coach takes a timeout, then the SPU coach decides to take a timeout, then the CWU coach “takes another one” only to find out he doesn’t have any available; CWU gets a technical
Heart attack for basically four straight hours. It was crazy. We feel like it might get better tomorrow because it’s really hard to bet against the Nooks right now and the Falcons have never been able to do anything about Andy Avgi. Game previews up tomorrow at 10am.