Tagged: NCAAD2West

The D2 West Regional Championship

Well that didn’t go as expected:

#1 Western Oregon 76 vs #3 Cal Baptist 80

Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 11 boards and five assists; Ali Faruq-Bey was on fire and finished with 26 points; Riley Hawken was solid and had 11 points and five fouls. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell lit it up with 16 points; and JJ Chirnside had eight boards.

WOU never led for any consistent amount of time, at times it would appear Cal Baptist was walking away with it, and then the Wolves would hit shots. In the final minute, we thought “it’s over,” and yet Demetrius hit a three and Cal Baptist missed two free throws meanwhile having no timeouts. WOU had a chance to send it into OT with a two or win it with a three, we agree 100% with the play they ran, but Tanner Omlid missed the lay-up, we believe Ali missed the putback, and then Cal Baptist got their hands on the ball and it was over. Brutal.

It’s especially brutal when you factor in the idea that Cal Baptist was at home for their conference tournament and Western Oregon had to go all the way up to Anchorage.

The UAA Men’s Basketball twitter called us out for our rant, and so we’ll elaborate a bit more: Initially we loved the idea that the tournament was in Anchorage. We were super excited to go, we had a really fun time at the tournament, we liked the idea that the Alaska schools would for once have an advantage, but by the time it was all said and done and we’d been through the back-to-back with NCAAs, we realized that sending it up there isn’t worth it.

It’s a disadvantage to nine teams to send it to Anchorage, and even with the advantage of not having to travel, both UAA teams (men’s and women’s) were bounced in their first respective games anyway -one an upset, one not. It was a good experiment, but in our opinion it failed. We have nothing against the Alaska schools, but when you commit to one of the Alaska schools or MSUB, you’re committing to an insane amount of travel. The GNAC travel schedule is already bad enough for the I-5 corridor schools, so why make it worse?

If you haven’t experienced the GNAC travel schedule… We wouldn’t recommend it. The greatest example that we can give of how exhausting it is, is that we got Hepatitis A just as the season ended one year and we didn’t even realize we were sick for six+ weeks because the major symptom was exhaustion and we simply attributed it to basketball. When we mentioned it to a GNAC coach later, they went “I wouldn’t have realized it either! I would have just assumed I was tired from the season.”

There’s no point to make that exhaustion even worse with an extra trip to Timbuktu. Plus, the Billings tournament was terribly attended as was the Anchorage. Experiment was tried twice. It failed both times. Oh well. These are student-athletes. Keeping it at Saint Martin’s keeps the distraction and missed classes as minimal as possible, the sleep disruption as minimal as possible, and therefore puts us in the best position to have teams ready for the NCAA tournament.

And speaking of the NCAA tournament, as sad as we are that WOU lost in the Sweet 16…. Holy guacamole did we have a blast at the Regional. To those that didn’t make it: If WOU hosts again: GO! Fun gym, fair priced tickets and concessions, good parking, good staff. The school is fairly easy to get to; from Seattle, it was a four hour trip. Other bonuses include the fact that Oregon doesn’t have sales tax + they pump your gas for you! So nice and convenient.

To the West Region teams, staff, volunteers, and fans in attendance: Thank-you again for being so friendly and hospitable! We loved it. The games were so great we wished there had been more of them.

All of that said: the entire season was amazing, we can’t wait to talk about it, player-of-the-year will be up tomorrow, and then all conference teams later this week.

Once again: Congrats and thank-you to Western Oregon for an amazing season & Regional.

D2West Day 3!

What a douzy of a day of basketball, and with that, we’re going to go on a bit of a rant:

A NON-CASCADIAN TEAM SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO HOST THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT. It doesn’t help the GNAC. It just exhausts all of the GNAC players (and staffers/parents/traveling fans) and leads to low-quality basketball because people are tired. We know firsthand. We made the mistake of going to Anchorage and then had the turn around of this tournament. It is 100% brutal. We work full time, we’re finishing up grad school and have had midterms this past week, we write a time-consuming blog that we exert a lot of effort on even outside of the travel. We know we haven’t been at our best at any of them, and so expecting these guys to play at their best during the most critical part of the season when they’ve just had to trek up to Alaska or out to Montana or down to Nampa is ridiculous.

Conference tournament host schools should consist of: Saint Martin’s.

Lacey residents are really good at showing up even when SMU isn’t playing, the staff knows what its doing, its centrally located, and their arena is off in a corner of their campus and so parking is good too. Literally seven schools (minimum) benefit when it’s hosted at SMU.

The other I-5 corridor schools:

  • CU-Portland’s gym is too small & the campus has incredibly homophobic policies.
  • SPU is an option but parking there is a complete pain and again: highly homophobic policies.
  • Bellingham residents don’t show up unless a WWU team is playing (see: the NCAA tournament).
  • Monmouth fans don’t show up unless WOU is playing and even if WOU is playing, attendance is mediocre.
  • CWU would be a good host, but it requires a trek over a mountain pass and we’re not convinced of the parking situation.
  • SFU we’d love to have as the host, but the passport issue (as in, you need to have one in order to go there) makes us think it’ll never happen.

In addition to Anchorage being exhausting in terms of the travel, we just weren’t impressed with the experience. The arena is very reminiscent of Spokane Arena, which is fine, but not what you really need D2. The tournament was poorly attended, it’s consensus that the arena staff had no idea what they were doing, and while the UAA athletic department itself was really nice, there are a lot of awesome staffs in the conference and so sorry, but that one thing doesn’t make it worth it.

That’s just our two cents. Now let’s talk about actual basketball!

#3 Cal Baptist 72 vs. #7 Azusa Pacific 68

The most boring and sleepy four point game we’ve ever watched. It was back and forth, then Cal Baptist would go on a run, then back and forth and then Cal Baptist would go on a run. Azusa actually reminded us of CWU, in that they stayed in a game they had no business being in and hit shots down the stretch. Congrats to Cal Baptist on grinding out the win.

#1 Western Oregon 77 vs. #5 Saint Martin’s 55

How often are both of the final scores divisible by 11? Who knows, but it’s still fun! This game was insane for the first 28 or so minutes and then WOU hit a few shots and that was that. We’re sooo proud of the Saints, holy heck, you guys stayed in it for as long as you possibly could, but WOU is a very good team and this loss is nothing to be embarrassed about. You guys return everything and we’re so happy that we only have to mourn Matt graduating. Thank-you Matt for a fantastic year in the GNAC!

Saints highlights: Luke Chavez had 22 points; and Rhett Baerlocher had five boards and eight points.

Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan had a full house among six assists and eight points; Tanner Omlid had eight boards and seven assists among a full house of stats; Vince Boumann had eight boards and 12 points; and Ali Faruq-Bey had seven boards. Off the bench DEMETRIUS TRAMMELL had a good game with 14 points; Brandell Evans had seven points; and JJ CHIRNSIDE had 12 points.

Ridiculously proud of the Wolves bench. We’re going to avoid eulogizing the careers of the seniors until your season is actually over, but know that we see you digging deep and we’re proud of you and let’s put it off for another four games! Get that natty. Congrats again to SMU on an amazing season, Luke Chavez had a fantastic game, we’re so happy we get to keep him, and then EJ Boyce did in fact bounce back from the turnovers and he’s another we’re happy we get to keep.

Other stuff:

It came to our attention last night that due to an NCAA policy, the WOU redshirts weren’t allowed to sit behind the WOU bench. We get the idea behind that -the travel squad is restricted because of the tournament- but the area behind the WOU bench was the WOU student section, so… With that policy, it’s then implied that WOU athletes aren’t WOU students, and we thought the NCAA was alllll about the student-athlete.

To the players: Again, we know you’re exhausted, we know it’s hard, we know it sucks, we know that it’s not fair that Cal Baptist stayed home for the conference tournament meanwhile we all trekked to Anchorage. We’re trying to speak up for you guys, we believe in what you do, hopefully athletic departments themselves will put pressure on the conference not to let Anchorage host again, because seriously: putting the vast majority of schools at a disadvantage to help one or two makes zero sense.

Again: Congrats to the Saints on an amazing season. We love you, we believe in you, and we can’t wait to see what you do with an off-season of training!

The Sweet 16 preview post will be up tomorrow morning.

D2West Day Two!

See this is why we don’t talk about the Pac-West and CCAA: Because we have no idea. But it was a ridiculously fun day of games, so we’ll give you their results anyway!

#3 Cal Baptist 81 vs. #6 UC San Diego 67

No real idea what happened in this game, but skimming the box score it apparently was back and forth all game before Cal Baptist successfully made a move with about seven minutes left to go and then walked from there on out. Congrats to the Lancers!

#2 Dixie State 65 vs. #7 Azusa Pacific 69

We never saw this result coming. For some reason we were convinced of Dixie State even though we weren’t impressed when we watched them in non-con. Dixie has a history of coming on strong late and they had an impressive conference record, beat Azusa by 15 the last time the teams met, and yet… Holy guacamole this game was good. Each half seemed to pass in about a minute. It was dynamic and amazing and our highest congrats to Azusa, getting the upset. Bon voyage Dixie State, it’s been real, have fun in the RMAC. We think they’re probably more amenable to confederate flags in those parts, so maybe you’ll have to bring that back?

Now for the real discussions:

#4 Cal Poly Pomona 58 vs. #5 Saint Martin’s 66

This game was molasses-y as all heck. Much as the Dixie/APU game went by in a hot second, this game seemed to take twice as long. SMU played smarter basketball than we’ve seen them play all year and this is the right time to do it and they got the win. We think they’re much more tested both via their non-con and their conference schedule, which likely helped. We’re sooo proud of the Saints! A couple of Western Oregon fans were heckling them as they walked out, saying they were scared of WOU, but… No. They don’t need to watch a ton of WOU blowing out Point Loma because oh gee, they met a week ago. We were there to see it, unlike the WOU big talkers.

Saint highlights: Luke Chavez had 16 points; Matt Dahlen had six boards and eight points; Rhett Baerlocher had eight points on perfect shooting from the line; and EJ Boyce continues to prove he’s the best EJ in the conference, this time having 19 points. Off the bench BJ Standley had five boards and five points; and Tavian Henderson had six boards.

Shorter line-up than usual. We thought CPP was out when they were down by sixteen, but they made a huge push and we were like “hmmm…” but ultimately SMU was playing some really good, Chico State-esque defense and it wasn’t going to happen. The only concerning number we see is EJ’s eight turnovers, but… That number is so high it seems like a one-off. He can’t possibly have that many turnovers again, so… Good he got that out of his system against the Broncos. Congrats to the Saints on a huge win and upset!

Point Loma 66 @ Western Oregon 73

This game was a tale of two halves. WOU absolutely blew out Point Loma during the first half, they were up ridiculous amounts the entire time, and it seemed ludicrous that Point Loma could come back. They did. The Sea Lions did come back. They never took the lead and even when they got it within four the game was still out of reach, but in terms of moral victories for a team that largely consists of underclassmen, it was huge. That said: the Wolves got it done and a ‘W’ is a ‘W’ is a ‘W,’ especially in the NCAA tournament.

Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan had 10 points and six assists; Tanner Omlid had 20 points among a full house of stats; Vince Boumann was LIGHTS OUT against his old coach and had 15 points and five boards; Ali Faruq-Bey had five boards; and Riley Hawken had five boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had six points; and JJ Chirnside had six points.

Curious numbers by the Wolves because we feel like their bench was a lot more valuable than the numbers describe. Those guys run like dogs (no pun intended) and harassed the everliving stuff out of Point Loma. Now the trick will be just to stay on the grind. Luckily, we like the match-up they’re going into.

All times pacific standard.

#3 Cal Baptist vs. #7 Azusa Pacific @ 5pm

As we were reminded yesterday: We know nothing about the Pac-West, but that doesn’t stop the president and it won’t stop us. From what we can tell there’s a bit of a rivalry developing between these two teams; they both entered the Pac-West at the same time, they’ve both been really good since moving up to D2 and Cal Baptist is actually headed up to D1, so… Brief rivalry, but who knows? Maybe Azusa pulls the upset?

Prediction: No. Because we seriously have no idea.

#1 Western Oregon vs. #5 Saint Martin’s @ 7:30pm

Part of us is excited for this game and part of us is heartbroken because two GNAC teams facing off in the round of 32. They did just meet a week ago, and oddly enough there should be quite a bit of fuel for the fire. WOU didn’t play nearly as well as they could have, and yet if SMU had played just a bit better they probably could have won and thus won the conference tournament. We love both of these coaches, think they’re the cream of the crop in regard to the GNAC, and so that match-up will be fun to see again.

Prediction: No, because there’s just too many variables.

It should be a great night of hoops. As always: tweet at us & come say hi! We’ll be at both games. Community is the best part of basketball.

D2West Day One!

There’ll be some post burn in the coming weeks because we’ve written 90% of a few posts and then didn’t post them because we’re idiots, but oh well. Let’s preview the first day of West Region games!

All games played at Western Oregon University, all times pacific standard.

#6 UC San Diego vs. #3 Cal Baptist @ 12pm

These two teams met earlier this year and saw UCSD lose by five on the road at Cal Baptist. While we believe the seeding is right, we do think that either team can win. UCSD is running hot and coming on at the right time, having just won their conference tournament to get the auto-bid. Cal Baptist just lost to Dixie State in the conference tournament and will be looking to rebound from that. They should be fairly well matched, and it’s hard to say. We think that Cal Baptist will ultimately win a close one, but…

Prediction: Pick ’em.

#7 Azusa Pacific vs. #2 Dixie State @ 2:30pm

We’re excited for this game. We definitely showed our bias in terms of the GNAC thinking that WWU deserved the bid over Azusa, when really: No one deserved that bid, but WWU scheduled terribly in non-con, something we always complain about, and even while scheduling terribly they still managed to lose. They lost to a bad Hilo team as well as a bad Cal State East Bay team, so… We tip our cap to Azusa. You earned this bid, but we definitely don’t think you’ll win, seeing as you lost by 15 last time.

Prediction: Dixie State wins somewhere between comfortably (10 points or so) and a blow-out (20+).

#5 Saint Martin’s vs. #4 Cal Poly Pomona @ 5pm

This is the D2 equivalent to the 5 & 12 game of the D1 tournament. There’s no telling who’s going to truthfully win because it’s just as often that a 5 seed upsets a 4 seed. It’s always a really fun, really intense game, usually with scrappy play by the number 5 team. We like Saint Martin’s chances. They’re coming off of a loss to WOU, yes, but they played in the strongest conference in the west, they’re well tested from non-con, we think that WOU is a lot better than CPP, and so… We think that SMU has every chance to win it. Cal Poly Pomona won the regular season and then just lost to UCSD by two points in the CCAA tournament, but the CCAA is the weakest conference on the west coast this year and it doesn’t help that the Broncos played no one in non-con, so we’ll see.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

#8 Point Loma vs. #1 Western Oregon @ 7:30pm

We’re sooo excited for this game because these two teams started the season playing each other at Western Oregon and one of the teams is going to end their season in that same locale. In the first meeting Western Oregon won 70-69, Preston Beverly now of PLNU, formerly of MSUB had a good game, Tanner Omlid didn’t see a ton of minutes despite a lack of foul trouble, and so… We’re really curious to see how his minutes add up. He had an arguably terrible game in the conference championship game and so he’s going to be wanting to bounce back. Vince Boumann formerly played at PLNU and is going to want to have a good game against his old coach. Ryan Looney, formerly of SPU and now at PLNU, had an incredibly difficult time winning in the Western Oregon gym while he was at Seattle Pacific, and so that’ll be kind of a monkey on his back. We’re super curious about this game because we think WOU could easily blow out Point Loma, but at the same time Point Loma has all the potential of getting the upset.

Prediction: Western Oregon wins big/small/medium or PLNU wins a close one; PLNU won’t blowout the Wolves.

It should be a great day of hoops. We can’t wait. We’re missing the 1st game, but will be there for the second onward, so come say ‘hi!’

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

GNAC Tourney Day #2!

Was it a great day of basketball? 100%. We loved it. We’re having a blast. Can’t wait to head back to the arena. We’ll talk about yesterday’s games and then preview today’s games and that’ll be that! It’ll be great.

#4 Central Washington 84 @ #3 Saint Martin’s 87 in OT

This game was amazing. Initially CWU was in, then they weren’t, then they were, then they weren’t, then they were and it went to OT and was super back and forth. With six minutes left in regulation we were like “oh, it’s over, SMU has got it,” but… As we always say: CWU is clutch down the stretch. It was amazing. Some of the best shooting numbers we’ve seen out of them. Ridiculously proud of the Wildcats!

Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had 23 points, 13 boards, and five assists for the double-double; Malik Montoya had eight points; Jawan Stepney had 11 points; Jerome Bryant had eight points; and Fuquan Niles had five fouls. Off the bench Sage Woodruff had 15 points; and Malcolm Cole had five points.

Saint highlights: Luke Chavez had 12 points; Matt Dahlen had eight boards and five blocks; Jordan Kitchen had 12 points and six boards; Rhett Baerlocher had 10 points; and EJ Boyce had five boards and six assists. Off the bench Jared Matthews had five points and five assists and five points; BJ Standley had 13 points; Tavian Henderson had five points; and Cameron Chatwin had six points.

Proud of you Saints. Not entirely sure what we think of this performance and how it compares to what you’ll need against WWU today. The Saints went nine deep and everyone was fairly productive, whereas WWU only goes six deep, but… There’s a talent disparity in favor of WWU and a coaching advantage along with stamina for SMU. Part of us is thinking “Just push the tempo and you’ll be fine and they’ll be gassed,” but… WWU isn’t apt to allow the pushing of the tempo and while they only go six deep, their clutch factor is in the nines.

#5 Alaska-Anchorage 51 “@” #4 Seattle Pacific 64

Oh goodness this game. The Falcons haven’t played like this since before Christmas Break, although our questions about whether or not they could care for an entire 40 minutes was answered as a “no.” At various points they were up by 20+ but let UAA creep within 10 or 12 several times rather than putting the Seawolves away. Great job to the Seawolves taking advantage of the Falcon apathy!

Seawolf highlights: Malik Clements went 5-5 from the line; DJ Ursery was on FIRE including going 6-6 from the line and shooting well from the field to end up with 24 points; and Brian Pearson had six boards.

Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had five boards; Harry Cavell had six boards and a full house; Gabe Colosimo had 17 points and seven boards; and Nathan Streufert had 11 boards and eight points. Off the bench Hunter Eisenhower had 11 points and four boards; and Trey Miller had four boards.

On the one hand we’re decently happy with this Falcon performance. They rebounded, they largely took smart shots (ahem, Nikhil), but… On the other hand, if they lay off like they did with UAA, WOU is always going to be able to take advantage of it.

Alrighty, jumping into the previews…

All times pacific.

#3 Saint Martin’s @ #2 Western Washington @ 1pm

We’re curious about this game. As mentioned: WWU wins on talent, but SMU wins on coaching. The Saints are going to have to play really smart in order to beat the Vikings. We know they’re 100% capable because they’ve done it before, but the conference tournament is a different environment. SMU played yesterday; WWU didn’t. We’re not sure who that’s advantageous to. Regardless, it is what it is and it should be a good game. SMU goes deeper, but WWU has more capable scorers, so… We’ll see what happens. We could see either team winning by 10 or so, or we could see it going to OT. We have no pulse for this game.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

#4 Seattle Pacific @ #1 Western Oregon @ 3:15pm

As an SPU alum, we’re actually really happy to be on this side of the bracket. While WOU has literally only lost one game, the fact that Tanner Omlid played 40 minutes against the Falcons and no other team speaks volumes. We had the opportunity to ask Jim Shaw about it and the answer was unsatisfying, which makes us think we’re onto something. The Falcons got a good warm-up yesterday, but they cannot let off the gas at all, whatsoever, regardless of the score, if they want to win this game. The good news for the Wolves is that their record says they’ll win, but even if they don’t the Regional should be Monmouth-bound, partly because of their own record and partly because of all of the other GNAC schools records against the CCAA and Pac-West.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

Should be a really great day of basketball.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!

Conference Game Day #19!

Goodness gracious, what an amazing night of basketball! Holy cow.

So it’s official: the teams in the conference tournament are:

1. Western Oregon
2. Western Washington
3. Saint Martin’s
4. Seattle Pacific -even if they lose and CWU wins on Saturday, the Falcons hold the tiebreaker.
5/6. Alaska-Anchorage/Central Washington

Tiebreakers… The projection is obviously that it’ll be UAA and then CWU because UAA is taking on MSUB while CWU is facing SMU, but if both obtain the same result, we believe CWU will get the tiebreaker because the teams split during the regular season and the Wildcats have a win over Western Washington.

Talking about the games…

UAF 69 @ MSUB 59

Fairly close and competitive through the first half, although there was a feeling that MSUB just wasn’t going to be able to get it done. UAF came out far too motivated to allow it and ultimately that was exactly how it played out. The way UAF was playing, you’d think they were still vying for a spot in the conference tournament, to the point that we actually checked the math again, so that was great.

Nook highlights: Jalon McCullough had nine points; Alex Baham had a full house; Davis Kimble had five boards; Joe Lendway had 15 points and eight boards; and Michael Kluting had 12 points and an amazing sixteen boards. Off the bench Amenofis Mitchell had eight points; and Daulton Lootens had five boards.

Jacket highlights: Kobe Tereshima had seven boards; Kendall Denham had 12 points; Zharon Richmond had 15 points; Kamal Tall had six boards; and off the bench Zack Rollins had eight boards.

Huge congrats to UAF on exceeding expectations, continuing to grind, and finishing the season strong. Very proud of you and have a great and productive off-season! We’ll see who returns next year before making any further predictions/statements.

SFU 58 @ CU-PDX 60

Oh goodness, what a game. Concordia came out super strong, but they’ve done that frequently and sure enough, SFU kept it close and continued to battle, and then eventually went up and we were like ‘okay, there it is’ because usually the Cavs let the other team back in at some point, keep it close, and then the other team still wins. Not last night. The Cavs got it done, congrats, shock the world, upset WWU on Saturday!

Clan highlights: Jordan Muir-Keung had five boards; Kedar Salam WENT OFF and had 37 points and seven boards; Tyrell Lewin had a whopping 13 boards; and off the bench Bongani Moyo had four boards.

Cav highlights: Jace Cates had five fouls; Jarrett gray had 21 points; Bryan Michaels had 10 points and five boards; and CHRIS EDWARD FINALLY PLAYED LIKE WE’VE BEEN EXPECTING ALL SEASON!!!!!!! He finished with 16 points and 15 boards. Off the bench Cody Starr had five assists; and Hunter Sweet had seven boards.

Congrats to the Cavs on their first conference win of the year. Clan -you guys still put up some monster numbers, but we beg of you not to shock the world on Saturday because we’ve already made reservations in regard to the Regional being in Monmouth.

WWU 73 @ WOU 89

It was never close. WOU just straight-up blew out the Vikings, no ifs ands nor buts. The good news for the Vikings is that they shot really well from the line and Blake Fernandez saw another five minutes, so… Count the rainbows where you can.

Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel scored 16 points including being 7-8 from the line; Deandre Dickson grabbed seven boards; Daulton Hommes had 21 points and eight boards; and off the bench Brett Kingma had five points; while Siaan Rojas had eight points.

Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had nine points, five boards, and four steals; Vince Boumann scored 13; Ali went 5-5 from the line; Riley Hawken had 12 points and seven boards; and off the bench Janvier Alaby had nine points and four boards; while JJ Chirnside had nine points and five boards.

Oddly enough your prototypical game from the Wolves, which doesn’t surprise us too much. The Viks had a “prototypical” game against the Wolves last time, so… They’re even. We think WWU has more talent but WOU is able to utilize their talent more. It is what it is. Congrats to both teams on getting through your last “big game” of the regular season -stay focused on Saturday.

NNU 64 @ SMU 71

This game was a nail biter until the last minute or two, holy goodness. Both teams played really hard, and it’s a game like this that reminds you just how much SMU is doing more with less. They match-up in playability really well with NNU and yet… The coaching is a cut above and sure enough, they got the ‘W’.

Nighthawk highlights: Obi Megwa had five boards; Spider had 12 points and nine boards; Maurice Jones had five boards, five fouls, and 15 points; and off the bench Marko Lepovic had seven points and seven boards.

Saint Highlights: MATT DAHLEN PLAYED LIKE A D1 TO D2 TRANSFER CENTER IS SUPPOSED TO PLAY!!!!! He had 25 points and 10 boards on 10-12 shooting, hallelujah! Jordan Kitchen had 10 points; Rhett Baerlocher had eight points and nine boards; and EJ Boyce had eight points. Off the bench Jared Matthews had a full house among six points and four boards; and Tavian Henderson had eight boards.

Congrats and big thanks to SMU for pulling out the victory and making all of our lives much less complicated. Great effort to the Nighthawks for terrifying us the entire time about SMU not pulling it out.

CWU 69 @ SPU 82

Anyone else would tell you this was not really an exciting game because SPU was up 10 to 12 almost the entire time, but… We freaked out through every minute. We know that CWU has a tendency to hit shots down the stretch (which they did) and SPU has a tendency to turn off the gas (which they did briefly before turning it back on) so… It is what it is.

Wildcat highlights: Malik Montoya had six boards and 11 points; Jawan Stepney had 26 points; Fuquan had seven boards and five fouls; and off the bench Naim Ladd had eight points.

Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 11 points and 12 boards; and Nathan Streufert had 11 points and nine boards among a full house; Gavin Long had 14 points; and off the bench Hunter Eisenhower had 15 points.

What can we really say? Congrats to the three players awarded technicals: Fuquan Niles, Naim Ladd, and Gavin Long. And congrats to the Wildcats on losing their game but still officially making it into the conference tournament!

Really, really fun night of hoops. Tomorrow we’ll see; the games appear far more mismatched, but last game of the season means everyone’s fighting to end the season on a good note, so could be surprisingly climactic.

Have a great Friday, and to the I-5 corridor peeps: Please be safe. It’s supposed to snow again any time now.

Conference Game Day #16

Wow! What a night of games and only four game nights left before the conference tournament.. We finally caught onto the fact that the Alaska schools essentially play the last two weeks of games on the road, which makes good sense because of the tournament being up there.

MSUB 77 @ SFU 75

On the one hand the game should have been a pick ’em, but on the other hand we are still surprised MSUB won because SFU has a fairly good home court advantage in regard to how echo-y it gets in the West Gym, so… Congrats to the Yellowjackets on a solid win.

Jacket highlights: Kobe Tereshima had six boards and five assists; Kendall Denham had six boards and five assists; Hafeez Abdul had an incredible 26 points and nine boards on fantastic shooting and while going 8-8 from the line -WOW!!; Zack Rollins also shot fantastically and finished with 27 points.

Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had five boards; Jordan Muir-Keung had six assists; Kedar Salam continues to impress, this time with 21 points and while going 7-8 from the line; Michael Provenzano had nine points and seven assists; and Tyrell Lewin shot 7-7 from the field and finished with 14 points. Off the bench Bowen Bakken had 11 points; and Bongani Moyo had six points and seven boards.

Really good numbers from the Clan, and a great win for MSUB; congrats to all.

SPU 80 @ CU-PDX 70

Interesting game. Concordia was in it until about the two minute mark and then… SPU put it away. The Cavs have had several games like that and if we feel frustrated, we can’t imagine how frustrated they feel.

Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 24 points and 11 boards for the double-double; Gabe Colosimo had 10 points; and Nathan Streufert had 16 points and eight boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six assists; Nikhil Lizotte had seven points; and Trey Miller had five points.

Cav highlights: Bryan Michaels had 23 points; Chris Edward had five boards; and off the bench Jace Cates had nine points; Tyler Wells had six points and five fouls; and Daniel Theisen had six points and five boards.

We’re going to be honest: We’re getting really irritated with Concordia’s media staff. They’re not updating the live stats, and while we understand that technical difficulties happen, the fact that it seems to happen 2/3rds of the time says that something needs to change. The reality is that it hurts not only players in terms of exposure, but the non-local family members of players as well.

SMU 73 @ WOU 86

At times it was close, but never concerningly so. SPU gave WOU more of a battle than SMU did, which is sort of curious but sort of not. WOU did what WOU does, although SMU did have Luke Chavez back, which was really nice.

Saint highlights: Luke had 14 points; Matt Dahlen had 15 points and five fouls on perfect shooting from both the field and the line; and off the bench Caden Smith had six points; BJ Standley had 12 points; and Tavian Henderson had six points and six boards.

Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan has turned on hot as the regular season begins to wane and had 16 points and five assists; Tanner Omlid had 13 points, five boards, and a full house; ALI IS OFFICIALLY BACK!!!!! and had 24 points and four steals, he was one of our faves last year so we’re REALLY excited; and Riley Hawken continues the existential crisis with five boards. Off the bench Demetrius had eight points; Janvier Alaby had four boards; Darius Luborn had 10 points on great shooting; and JJ Chirnside had seven points and five boards.

Really pleased with the numbers put up by WOU, and honestly confused by the lack of numbers put up by SMU, so… We’ll see what they do on Tuesday. Probably’ll be pretty feisty, which’ll be fun.

NNU 53 @ UAF 67

The Nooks continue to make the push for the conference tournament. We’re honestly a little surprised by this result -we have no idea what’s up with the Nighthawks right now, although are happy to see that Maurice Jones is bouncing back. Still, great game from the Nooks, so cool? No pun intended.

Nighthawk highlights: Obi Megwa had six boards; and Maurice Jones had 19 points and 15 boards.

Nook highlights: Jalon McCullough started; Alex Baham had 12 points; Michael Kluting had 11 points and eight boards; and off the bench Amenofis had 14 points and five boards; Donny Wilder had eight points; and Davis Kimble had nine points.

Interesting. A ‘W’ is a ‘W’ but it appears that both teams played “down” to each other, when both are actually semi-decent in reality. Ooookay then.

CWU 54 @ UAA 70

Revenge is a dish best served hot and sweaty. Last time UAA lost a heartbreaker in OT to the Wildcats, and now they’ve gotten their revenge -convincingly. UAA was up largely the whole time and then never let CWU truly back into it.

Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had five boards; Fuquan Niles had 10 points, nine boards, and four blocks; and off the bench Cameron Williams had 13 points nad eight boards; and Karsten Chaplik had five boards.

Seawolf highlights: Malik Clements went 8-10 from the line and had 12 boards; Drew Peterson had six assists; and Josiah Wood had 19 points. Off the bench Kylan Osborne had nine points; and Curtis Ryan had six points.

Lesson for everyone else: DO NOT FOUL MALIK CLEMENTS. He went 2-11 from the field, let the dude shoot.

Fun night of basketball. Last four games of the year on tap, Really exciting stuff and should be a good week.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC.

Conference Game Day #15

Jumping right in…

SFU 64 @ WWU 86

Never close. WWU is done with messing around. Three losses in conference is three too many and they’re not in the mood to allow another one, good on you Vikings.

Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had 12 points; Jordan Muir-Keung started and had 10 points and five boards; Kedar Salam had 23 points and five boards; Michael Provenzano had 10 points; and Tyrell Lewin had eight points.

Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had 13 points and nine boards; Logan Schilder had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards; Deandre Dickson had 15 points, seven boards, five assists, and five blocks -WOW!!; Trevor Jasinsky had 11 points and five boards; and Daulton had 15 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma had eight points; and Brad Wallace had 11 points.

Nicely done to the Vikings, good luck to the Clan on Saturday against the Yellowjackets.

MSUB 65 @ WWU 91

We apparently got the blues confused in our dream, because WWU rolled the entire time. Super proud of the Vikings!

Yellowjacket highlights: Hafeez Abdul had 18 points and seven boards; Zack Rollins had seven boards; and off the bench Tyler Green had 16 points.

Viking highlights: Trey Dreschel had 13 points, nine boards, and seven assists among a full house of stats; Deandre Dickson had 15 points and seven boards; Trevor Jasinsky had 23 points including going 6-6 from the line; and Daulton had a quiet game with a flawless full house including 13 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma had six points; and Siaan Rojas had 10 points.

Nicely done taking care of business, Viks; MSUB, good luck bouncing back at SFU. Oddly enough… We feel like the Jackets may have overlooked the Viks, counting it as an anticipated loss, meanwhile looking forward to what should be a competitive game in Burnaby.

SMU 71 @ CUPDX 58

Oh how little that score tells. Concordia game out to a RAGING start and mentally we were like ‘Seriously Saints? Don’t do this.’ And then it persisted until the half and we were like ‘Whoa, Concordia is maybe gonna get their ‘W’ they’re looking pretty good,’ and then of course: Halftime adjustments. SMU made them and made them well and… See score.

Saint highlights: Rhett Baerlocher had 17 points and nine boards; EJ Boyce had 13 points; and off the bench Jared Matthews had nine points and seven boards; Tavian Henderson had eight points, six boards, and four assists among other field stats; and Michael Painter had seven points.

Cav highlights: Jarrett Gray had a good game with 18 points and six boards; Chris Edward had 10 points and seven boards; Taylor Harris had six boards; and off the bench Tyler Wells had five points.

Congrats to SMU on making great adjustments and getting the ‘W.’ Good luck to the Cavs against SPU on Saturday -we think this would be a great game for you to finally get an in-conference win.

SPU 81 @ WOU 95

The score is prototypical and while SPU led for a while, was it ever in doubt for WOU? In our mind no. Maybe the one thing that stood out to us about this game is that Tanner Omlid played 40 minutes, and that’s about the best compliment WOU can give any team.

Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 10 boards; Nathan Streufert had 17 points and eight boards; and Gavin Long had 11 points and five fouls. Off the bench Braden Olsen had 11 points; Nikhil Lizotte had 13 points; and Hunter Eisenhower had six points.

Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan had 16 points, six boards, and five assists; Tanner Omlid had 32 points, five boards, seven assists, five steals, and five blocks for a seriously impressive full house; Vince Boumann had 10 points and six boards; ALI HAD A SUPER GREAT GAME including being 12-12 from the line and finishing with 25 points; and Riley Hawken had eight points and six boards.

Interesting numbers put up by the Wolves. We’re now really curious to see what they do against SMU on Saturday. SPU is doing more with less, SMU is doing less with more, and the back-to-back makes for a great dichotomy.

CWU 79 @ UAF 76

Another one of those games where we were like “oh, CWU is gonna win this without issue,” and then UAF turned up the teamwork and then they got a big lead and we were like “okay, halftime adjustments, go Nooks?” and then it was a battle. Two really fun teams to watch.

Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had a great game with 26 points and nine boards; Malik Montoya had six boards; Jawan Stepney had five boards; and Fuquan Niles had nine points, five boards, and five blocks. Off the bench NAIM LADD had six points (we’re just happy to see him appear at all, finally); Sage Woodruff had 15 points; and Cameron Williams had four boards.

Nook highlights: Alex Baham had 17 points and five boards; Joe Lendway had nine points; Michael Kluting had 14 boards; and off the bench Amenofis Mitchell had 11 points on perfect shooting.

Congrats to both teams on a hard game well fought.

NNU 48 @ UAA 59

So excited for Anchorage! This game was never in doubt and they came out swinging. They’re gelling at the right time as they push to try and make the conference tournament in a year when its being hosted at home.

Nighthawk highlights: Sam Roth had five boards; Jayden Bezzant had 20 points; Maurice Jones had 10 points and 10 boards; and off the bench Marko Lepovic had six boards; and Felix White had five.

Seawolf highlights: DJ Ursury had seven boards; Josiah Wood started and had seven assists; Brian Pearson had 10 points seven boards, and a smattering of other stats for both the full house and the double-double. Off the bench Malik Clements had nine points and five boards; Jack Macdonald had nine points; and Eric Jenkins had five boards.

The Nighthawks’ll have a great chance to bounce back against the Nooks, and the Seawolves will have a great chance to keep it going against the Wildcats. We love this particular match-up of pairings because they do match-up so well and so Saturday should be a fun day.

Fun night of hoops. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow in the AM.

Conference Game Day #14

Teams actually did what they were supposed to?! Color us shocked, and let’s talk about it!

UAF 60 @ SPU 87

It was close throughout the first half and then in the second half SPU put it away. We honestly don’t know what to make of it, other than it epitomizes the idea that SPU is still second in the conference as it comes to talent. SPU has the talent to blow-out literally everyone except the Westerns, and with WWU it’s a matter of them actually being more talented, and with WOU it’s the mix of Tanner Omlid’s abilities and Jim Shaw’s brain. That said: the Nooks still put up some really good numbers, so we are excited about that.

Nook highlights: Alex Baham had 19 points; Davis Kimble had 12 points; and Michael Kluting had eight points and five boards. Off the bench Amenofis had nine points; and Daulton Lootens had six points and six boards.

Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 11 points and five boards; Harry Cavell had 20 points and six boards; Gabe Colosimo had nine points; Nathan Streufert had 14 points and nine boards; and Gavin Long had 16 points. Off the bench Hunter Eisenhower had six points.

We still believe in you Nooks, and congrats to the Falcons on your 27 point victory.

UAA 67 @ SMU 79

Never particularly in doubt; SMU led the whole time, which makes sense because they’re a good team and UAA still has no identity, but… Who knows? We still feel 50/50 on our understanding of the Seawolves, but we’re guessing they feel that way about themselves, so it’s all good. Nicely done Saints!

Seawolf highlights: Malik Clements had nine points; and Curtis Ryan had seven points and six boards. Off the bench Kylan Osborne had seven points; DJ Ursury had 10 boards and went 5-5 from the line; Drew Peterson had 11 points; and Brian Pearson had 10 points and six boards.

Saint highlights: Luke Chavez continues his slump with eight points; Matt Dahlen was perfect from the field and finished with 17 points and seven boards; Jordan Kitchen had nine boards; Rhett Baerhlocher had a perfect full house including 13 points; EJ Boyce had 15 points; and off the bench BJ Standley had seven points and four boards.

All we can say about that is… Finally there’s an EJ in the conference that doesn’t disappoint us. Great job Boyce!

CU-PDX 79 @ MSUB 80

So close and yet so far! Concordia actually was really in it at the end. MSUB was leading by like seven with less than a minute left and we were like “oh, alright, this is over,” nope. It technically was, but Concordia kept fighting until the buzzer sounded -we respect that a lot.

Cav highlights: Jarrett Gray had six boards and six assists; Bryan Michaels had 17 points; Chris Edward had 17 points and 11 boards among a full house; and off the bench Cody Starr was on fire and finished with 18 points and five assists on perfect shooting including being 4-4 from three.

Yellowjacket highlights: Kobe Tereshima had seven boards, eight assists, and eight points among a full house; KENDALL DENHAM ACTUALLY FUNCTIONED!!!!!!!!!!! and had 23 points on actual okay shooting!!!!!!!!! and Hafeez Abdul had 11 points and 10 boards for the double-double.

Wow those numbers are 50/50. Curious because Concordia did everything right, MSUB was 50/50 and yet the Yellowjackets still pulled it out despite shooting 63% from the line. Hmmm… Looking forward to continuing to observe. Concordia will get their win at some point.

WWU 95 @ NNU 84

And the losing streak has come to an end. Valiant effort by the Nighthawks, none-the-less. The game was super back and forth until the Viks were able to break it open at the very end. Completely respectable, exactly what you expect out of good teams. Nicely done to both.

Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had a monster game, finishing with 25 points and nine boards and going 8-8 from the line; Deandre Dickson was insane and finished with 19 points and eight boards; Trevor Jasinsky had 12 points; Daulton had a fantastic 29 points; and off the bench Siaan Rojas had five points and four boards among a full house of stats.

Nighthawk highlights: Obi Megwa had 22 points and five boards; Sam Roth continues to be on fire and had 16 points on 7-8 shooting; Jayden Bezzant had 11 points; MAURICE JONES had 26 points and five boards, there he goes; and Marko Lepovic had four boards off the bench.

Great game, still super excited for the Nighthawks because this this a QualityLoss™ and then happy for the Vikings to be back on track.

SFU 67 @ CWU 81

Really interesting and tight first half and then in the second half the Wildcats pretty much immediately jumped up and then never relinquished it. Super pleased with the play of the Wildcats, really making great adjustments and obviously getting guys back helps, but we like the combination of athleticism and fundamentals that have started to display and their record is showing it. Beating the teams they’re supposed to beat and then getting upsets too. Curious for them to play WOU.

Clan highlights: Othniel Spence was 5-6 from the line; Kedar Salam had 21 points and five fouls; Michael Provenzano was lights out and shot 5-6 from the field and finished with 10 points; Tyrell Lewin had a good game with 11 rebounds and nine points; and off the bench Jordan Muir-Keung had six points.

Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had six boards; Jawan Stepney had five assists; Jerome Bryant had 10 points and five boards; and Fuquan was kept fairly quiet with a mere 12 points. Off the bench Sage Woodruff had 11 points; and Cameron Williams had five points and four boards.

We’re beginning to think Coleman Sparling only started so his dad could avoid anyone else getting thrown under the bus if they lost, and honestly: We’re not displeased with his play from that time period at all, nor his lack of minutes now. He plays prototypical ‘coach’s son’ style basketball, which while as a frosh won’t win you a game, it also won’t lose you one. Verrrry interesting. Congrats on the ‘W’ Wildcats. To the Clan: Rivalry week. Get that ‘W’ against WWU.

Fun night of basketball. Because of minutes distributions we’re dealing with POW a little bit differently, but we are going to go through and update it from each week. We’ll update the chart soon.

Boxing Day Blog Marathon #4!

We’re continuing it because we can and because our brain was too fried to continue yesterday.

Topic: The GNAC as a conference Know/Want-to-Know/Learned chart.

We came into the season with an existential crisis of “what are we even looking at?!” and now that non-conference play is over we’re still in the midst of the existential crisis going “what are we even looking at?!”

The good news is: We collectively did well during non-con; the GNAC looks to be the strongest conference in the Region, and so it’s probably gonna be another year of beating each other up, but it should be really good basketball, ultimately ending with multiple teams making the WOU hosted Regional. And yes: calling it now: WOU hosts, even if they lose four conference games. There’s no way any West Region team is getting through conference play with less than three losses and WOU’s SOS is fantastic and the GNAC is the strongest conference, so… It should be theirs, provided Tanner Omlid stays healthy.

Here is our pre-season prognostication along with our thoughts now. We’re going to go ahead and leave it as it was, even though we now know that WOU is number one, although WWU did kill them.

1. Western Washington -WWU still has more options than WOU, but WOU has Tanner Omlid. P.S. We love you Daulton, that’ll be you as a senior.
2. Western Oregon -Tanner Omlid is putting the team on his back when needed, and honestly: We think it has a lot to do with the coaching. Consider us members of the Church of Jim Shaw.
3. Seattle Pacific -They have the skill and the grit, it’s just a matter of cohesion.
4. Saint Martin’s -LOVE PUTTING THEM HERE NOW!! They’ve been fantastic. Amazing non-con. So excited. We also are members of the Church of Alex Pribble.
5. Central Washington -Exceeding expectations-ish. Coleman Sparling is proving to be legit and not just nepotism, so that’s fun.
6. Alaska-Anchorage -Thank-you Jacob Lampkin for not making this seem completely ridiculous.

7. CU-Portland -This team is slumping. They have way more talent and skills than have been on display as of late, so… Hopefully they come out of it soon.
7. Northwest Nazarene -Solid team, but it’s hard to say just how solid. They played a decent non-con, but we really want to see them in the context of the GNAC.
9. Alaska-Fairbanks -We like a number of their guys, but they seem above average in a conference of good to great. We don’t think they have any guys that would start at WWU/WOU/SPU/SMU except Donny Wilder, and he’s been super quiet this year.
10. MSU-Billings -They have good guys, but their non-con was very side-eyeable considering what their record was with how many NAIA teams they played before losing to 2/3 of the Hawaii schools.
11. Simon Fraser -Definitely better than normal, but also a very side-eyable non-con. We want to see them in the GNAC.

We’re gonna skip noting a set schedule, but… more blog posts are coming today!