First and foremost: We owe the Saints cookies. Really good cookies. And this week is nuts and so they may be waiting a week for them, but we promise: We will hold up to our end of the bargain because they may have just sent the Regional to Monmouth. Why wouldn’t it be hosted in Lacey? Because they lost to Point Loma. The only way to give yourself a legitimate shot at hosting is to get through non-con completely unscathed OR go something like 19-1 in conference, and quite frankly: this is the GNAC. Pac-12 football thinks they know the Circle of Suck; oh no, no, no… When you don’t know the final order of 8/11 schools until after the very last conference game has been played, that’s when you really know the circle of suck. At least last year. This year it may be termed the Circle of Strength, in no small part thanks to SMU!
UC San Diego 80 vs. UAF 56 @ WWU
Praise the lawd. Sorry Nooks, love you, but this needed to be how it is.
Nook highlights: Joe Lendway shot well, finishing with 13 points and six boards; and Michael Kluting had a good game with 19 points and five boards.
Oh dear. Still Nooks, learning experience, right? Right.
CU-PDX 69 @ Cal State LA 91
Not surprised on this score; Cal State LA looks really legit this year, so it’s fine from a conference perspective. Learning and growing moment, eh?
Cav highlights: Jarrett Gray had five assists and 14 points; and Christopher Edward had eight boards, 19 points, and five fouls. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had eight points; Deandre Stallings had seven points; and Daniel Thiesen had eight points on perfect shooting.
Quality loss, men.
SPU 77 @ Westminster 83
Honestly we’re not concerned about this loss. They’re RMAC, it was on the road, big whoop. The Falcons didn’t look particularly impressive and it is what it is.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had six boards; Sam Simpson had five boards and 11 points; Nikhil Lizotte had five boards and 11 points; and Tony Miller had 17 points. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six points; Harry Cavell had 12 points; and Nathan Streufert had seven points and five boards.
WOU 87 @ Notre Dame de Namur 48
There we go.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid shot fantastically and finished with 11 points and four steals; Ali Faruq-Bey finally was felt with 19 points; and Riley Hawken had 10 points. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had 10 points; Janvier Alaby had nine points; and Dustin Triano, Brandell Evans, and JJ Chirnside added five points a piece.
SFU 55 @ Point Loma 79
Welcome back to reality Simon Fraser. No, we don’t think you’re going to be the conference basement dweller like you have been, but we also don’t think Point Loma is quite as good as you made them look, which gets complicated when you factor in that you’re not as bad as normal.
Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had 20 points; and Iziah Sherman-Newsome had 10 points.
SMU 93 @ Cal Baptist 88
Saint hightlights: MATT DAHLEN had 16 points and 10 boards for the DOUBLE-DOUBLE; JORDAN KITCHEN had 14 points and seven boards rounded out with a FULL HOUSE; EJ BOYCE had nine points and FIVE assists; LUKE CHAVEZ had 17 points and five assists on GREAT SHOOTING. Off the bench JARED MATTHEWS had 19 points on good shooting; BJ STANDLEY had five points; and TAVIAN HENDERSON had 10 points.
There are no words. We saw this result and started freaking out, and we’re still freaking out this morning. Holy heck Saints, thank-you so much!!
NNU 93 @ Regis 103 in OT
Another loss we don’t really care about because it’s an RMAC opponent and NNU looks good, so whatever.
Obi Megwa had 16 points and seven boards; Nikola Prvulj had 12 points; and Maurice Jones had 18 points, nine boards, and five fouls. Off the bench KHALIL THOMPSON had 29 points on very good shooting; and Marko Lepovic had five points and six boards.
Whatevs NNU, we believe in you and still are ridiculously proud; this loss means nothing and the OT is nice.
There’s gonna be a lot of discussion in the coming week as we get ready to go into the first weekend of conference play. Congrats on lots of great wins and good losses; none of the losses truly matter from an SOS perspective, so life is good.
This was an interesting game and we’re starting to crunch the numbers because with three GNAC teams now having played Hilo and 2/3 winning, there’s starting to be a fair bit of good information, although we’re going to hold off on discussing it until next week because the Vulcans play CWU and SPU in a few days.
For the most part this game was a comfortably led by SMU the whole time. There was some tenseness in the first ten minutes, but after that the Saints largely rolled.
Saint highlights: Jordan Kitchen had both a double-double and a full house with 17 points, 11 boards, four assists, and four blocks among other stats; EJ Boyce had 14 points; Luke Chavez continues to impress with 20 points while playing 40 full minutes; and off the bench Jared Matthews had 16 points; while Tavian Henderson had five boards.
Congrats to the Saints on a game very well played & good luck in your preparation for Monterey Bay!
This is Jacob’s first year at Alaska-Anchorage, having transferred up from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
Jacob played like we expect centers to play, and exactly as we saw him play on the high school level at O’Dea. We had a number of opportunities to watch him in high school and vividly remember him because he was a huge part of our scouting report, no pun intended.
This weekend he served as the one bright spot for Anchorage in the Hawaii Pacific game and then repeated the performance yet again against Chaminade. In the HPU game he had 12 points and 13 rebounds along with just three fouls -impressive in 29 minutes of play for a center. In the Chaminade game, he proved himself yet again scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 boards, while only picking up two fouls in 32 minutes of play.
Congrats Jacob on a great weekend of play and welcome to the GNAC!
Nutso November, welcome back; hope everyone had a great first weekend of D2 play.
Jumping right in…
MSUB 67 vs. Sonoma State 61 @ Cal State East Bay
Fun game. We have no idea what it means. Sonoma isn’t sure themselves if they’re supposed to be good, so… It’s a little complicated. MSUB struggled against NAIA Rocky Mountain and then beat Sonoma whom had just beaten Seattle Pacific, whom (spoiler) proceeded to beat East Bay far more convincingly than MSUB did. In other words: the Pioneer Challenge was fantastic from a basketball perspective, but unhelpful from a “how good are these teams?” perspective.
Yellowjacket highlights: Tyler Green had five boards; Kamal Tall had a good game with 16 points and eight boards in just 16 minutes; and Zack Rollins had seven boards. Off the bench Hafeez Abdul had six points; Zharon Richmond had eight points and five boards; and Daniel Shedden had eight boards.
Congrats to the Yellowjackets on a sweep for the weekend!
SPU 70 @ Cal State East Bay 59
The Falcons at one point led by 19. We expected them to win, but we also expected it to be closer. A little annoyed at the Falcons for letting East Bay creep back in, but oh well; all’s well that ends in a W.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had six boards; Nikhil Lizotte had 10 points; Tony Miller had 12 points and seven boards; Gavin Long had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six points; Hunter Eisenhower had 17 points; and Nathan Streufert had five points and eight boards.
The Falcons had 17 turnovers, but when you’re leading by 15 for a huge stretch of the game you tend to start doing stupid stuff, so… We won’t consider it concerning just yet, although East Bay did do a great job taking advantage of it, scoring 16 points off of the turnovers.
CSU Monterey Bay 67 vs. CWU 72 @ CU-PDX
Hallelujah Wildcats. A win against a CCAA team. Yay! Thank-you for getting it done. Monterey Bay tends to sit right in the middle of the CCAA so it should be a moderate add of SOS, which is really nice. We’re still not entirely sure what to make of this CWU team, but a W is a W.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had 11 points and four steals; Jawan Stepney had 25 points; and Fuquan had seven boards. Off the bench Sage Woodruff had seven points; Cameron Williams had five boards; Karsten Chaplik had five boards; and Jerome Bryant had five points.
We’re curious about Fuquan -he only had two fouls, the largest lead CWU had was 12, so why didn’t he play more? We get that he had 3 turnovers, but… Fuquan is completely legit, so we’ll see. Hopefully no injury.
San Bernardino State 64 @ CU-PDX 65
HECK YES CU-PORTLAND, THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE. We’re not convinced San Bernardino is going to be particularly amazing, but this falls into the W is a W thing and Ws against the CCAA are very, very good regardless.
Cavalier highlights: Jace Cates had five assists; Cody Starr had 9 points; Jarrett Gray had 20 points and five boards; and Christopher Edward had an incredible double-double with 15 points and 15 boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had 10 points and seven boards; while Taylor Harris had five points and four boards.
Very excited about this result, two in a row for CU-Portland, keep grinding Cavs!
Point Loma 85 vs. SMU 77 @ WOU
Pretty much what we expected but we’re still ridiculously proud of the Saints. These are the losses you learn from, completely respectable score, the numbers are fine.
Saint highlights: Matt Dahlen had 15 points; Rhett Baerlocher had 12 points; Luke Chavez had 20 points; and off the bench BJ Standley had 13 points; while Tavian Henderson had five boards and seven points.
Again: Saints, you’re looking somewhere between just fine and good, so we’re excited to write the preview about you taking on Hilo tonight -it’ll be up an hour after this post.
SFU 80 vs. Notre Dame de Namur 51 @ WWU
AAAAAH, GO CLAN!!!!! Now, ND de Namur is usually the Simon Fraser of their conference, so everything in moderation, but that means our chronic basement dweller > the Pac-West’s chronic basement dweller, and we’ll take it!
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam had 17 points; Michael Provenzano had seven assists; JJ Pankratz had a good game with 15 points and nine boards; and Tyrell Lewin had five boards. Off the bench Othniel Spence had 12 points; and Bowen Bakken had 11 points.
Again: Nicely done Clan, we’re proud of you, we’re excited about your sweep of the weekend, and continue getting it done!
UAF 97 vs. Hawaii Pacific 90 @ UAA
This is why we have to take all of when we’re right when we can. That said: we’re ridiculously happy that UAF won and so we’re happy to be wrong. Conference strength of schedule is everything to us, and this helps.
Nook highlights: Amenofis Mitchell had 13 points on good shooting; LaDonavan Wilder had 16 points, six boards, six assists, two steals, two blocks, and two fouls for a nice full house; Alex Baham had 20 points and five fouls; Davis Kimble had a double-double with 15 points and a whopping 11 assists with only ONE turnover -that’s amazing!; and Michael Kluting had five assists. Off the bench Jalon McCullough had five points; Zach Hatch had six points; Tre Eisenhut had eight points; and Joe Lendway had eight points.
Super balanced performance. We feel like it still doesn’t tell us a ton, but again: it adds to conference strength of schedule, so while we don’t know what it means in regard to what UAF does in conference, it does help everyone.
Hilo 80 @ WWU 76
AHAHAHA. We don’t even know what to say about this game except to be fair, while the Viking players played well and saw tons of minutes, their starters are still pretty darn young.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had five assists; Logan Schilder continues to get up to speed with 15 points and nine boards; Deandre Dickson had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards; and Daulton Hommes had nine boards and 22 points among a full house. Off the bench Blake Fernandez had 11 points, five assists, and five fouls among a full house.
Alright Vikings, back in it. Growing pains but we still believe in you.
Fresno Pacific 67 @ Western Oregon 123
Ouch. Go Wolves!
Wolf highlights: Dustin Triano had 17 points; Tanner Omlid was back in it but not super required with 10 points, seven boars, and four assists in just 22 minutes; Darius Luborn had nine points; Riley Hawken was perfect from the field including 4-4 from three and finished with 14 points; and JJ Chirnside had nine boards and five assists. Off the bench Demetrius was BACK with 26 points on 8-9 shooting; Nick Nestell had six points; Janvier Alaby had 11 points; Brandell Evans had five points and five assists; Vince Boumann had 12 points on good shooting; and Buster Souza had five points.
Congrats to the Wolves on a, ahem, convincing win.
Chaminade 71 @ UAA 65
Interesting result. We’ll cross our fingers both schools are good. Both schools actually host D1 tournaments that they themselves compete in, so we won’t know much about either of them for a while, but it was clearly a hard fought game with some good numbers by both teams.
Seawolf highlights: Jacob Lampkin continues to impress, getting another double-double with 16 points and 10 boards; DJ Ursery had 21 points and nine boards; Josiah Wood had five fouls; and off the bench Curtis Ryan had five boards.
Congrats to UAA on the rebounding margin -they actually out-rebounded Chaminade 41 to 28, which is amazing, with effort like that we’re sure you’ll get it done next game and many thereafter.
Nicely done GNAC, great first weekend of D2play; NNU we’re excited to see you play D2 games very soon.
POW noms & the preview of the Hilo/SMU game are up next.
It’s finally here!!!!! We ultimately swapped a couple of our prognostication picks just because we have a standard of not projecting transfers to do anything until we actually see them play D2 games.
This year the only teams that truly return adequately proven D2 basketball players are the Westerns -that is Western Washington and Western Oregon- and so we abandoned all of our pre-season gifs and basically everything and figure the last week of November is destined for our blog blitz because we’ll finally actually know something. Maybe.
That said… We can preview today’s games, because we do have lots of questions about them.
All times pacific standard.
Seattle Pacific vs. Sonoma State @ Cal State East Bay @ 12pm
Seattle Pacific was terrible last year but in our opinion it’s addition by subtraction; we like what they have coming back seeing as they return basically everything on a team that displayed good fundamentals -just an exceptional amount of youth and a brand new coaching staff. Sonoma is usually upper middle of the CCAA and made the Regional last year, so it should be a good battle.
Prediction: Sonoma State wins a close one.
MSU-Billings @ Cal State East Bay @ 2pm
MSUB loses Preston Beverly but returns Kendall Denham, Kamal Tall, and Sven Jeuschede, so they’ve got that going for them. Cal State East Bay is breaking in a new coach, but we swear by him (our grad school coach) and they did better than they have in the past last year, so… We think they’ve got potential.
Prediction: East Bay wins, but no idea on the margin.
Central Washington vs. San Bernardino State @ CU-PDX @ 5pm
San Bernardino didn’t do much last year and we like what CWU returns, despite their embarrassing performance against NAIA Northwest.
Prediction: CWU wins, but not particularly comfortably.
Saint Martin’s vs. Fresno Pacific @ WOU @ 5pm
We ended up switching them ahead of Anchorage in our prognostication because they return more than we realized, which is awesome. They should win without issue, although they are a team that tends to improve quite a bit throughout the season, so a loss would be nothing to panic about.
Prediction: SMU wins a close-ish one.
Simon Fraser vs. Hawaii-Hilo @ WWU @ 5pm
BRAND NEW CARVER!!!!!!!! Simon Fraser actually returns a lot, and so we’re not entirely confident in our pick of them being last in the GNAC. Players we’re really curious to see the improvement of include Othniel Spence, Michael Provenzano, JJ Pankratz, and Tyrell Lewin. We’re also excited to see what Hilo does against GNAC teams this year -thanks again to the Vulcans for coming up and swinging down through the Washington schools; everyone benefits from it.
Prediction: Hilo wins, although not a blow-out.
Alaska-Fairbanks vs. Chaminade @ 6:30pm
No idea, but it should be a good match-up because the teams usually sit in fairly similar places in their respective conferences. We’re curious about UAF, but honestly they return so little that we’re not sure this game is really going to tell us anything.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CU-Portland vs. Monterey Bay @ 7pm
We’re reaaaaally intrigued by this game because it’s yet another match-up of teams that have started to sit in similar spots in regard to middle of the conference. We love what CU-Portland returns and we can’t wait to see the great numbers they’ll put up.
Prediction: CU-Portland pulls out a win at home.
Western Oregon vs. Point Loma @ 7:30pm
We’re super curious about this game. A couple of really good coaches that almost willed their teams to NCAA Tournament bids facing off to start the season. Western Oregon, obviously we’re excited about keeping Tanner for a year -we didn’t expect him to win player of the year last year, but numbers are numbers, and this game should have fantastic ones for both teams, although probably nothing insane regard to being super low scoring or high scoring; it should be balanced.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Western Washington vs. Notre Dame de Namur @ 7:30pm
WWU returns everything and NDdN is usually terrible, so it should be a good warm-up for the Viks, provided they take it with at least a modicum of seriousness.
Prediction: WWU wins in a blow-out.
Alaska-Anchorage vs. Hawaii Pacific @ 9pm
HPU had a good run last year and Anchorage returns almost nothing, but supposedly they’ve gotten in some really amazing transfers. Unfortunately for Anchorage, we were subject to an awful former D1, two-time Oregon 5A state player of the year that was bad enough we named a rule after time: The Jake Ehlers Rule, which means we don’t count transfers in regard to pre-season rankings nor predictions -we need to see people play in actual D2 games.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Good luck to all involved, we’ll be keeping a super close eye on everything, and…
Let’s go GNAC, get some Ws!
Looking at this for the first time is honestly our own personal Christmas morning, so let’s get started!
vs. Chaminade @ UAA
vs. Hawaii Pacific @ UAA
vs Holy Names x2
vs. UCSD @ WWU
Judgement: The saving grace of this schedule is the neutral site game against UCSD. There are no true road games and that makes us cringe.
vs. Hawaii Pacific
vs. Holy Names x2
Judgement: We get it: they play D1 games in the Great Alaska Shootout, but we maintain our stance that D1 vs. D2 games don’t mean a thing. This schedule is weak, but UAA is definitely rebuilding, so it’s fair enough, but it won’t help them come tournament time.
vs. Hawaii-Hilo @ WWU
vs. ND de Namur @ WWU
vs. Azusa Pacific @ PLNU
Judgement: It’s a good schedule. We’re honestly judging Ryan Looney far more for scheduling SFU than anything else. Then again… He did lose to them at home, on homecoming with a tournament-bound SPU team, so… C’mon Clan! Get that W! We believe in you.
vs. ND de Namur
vs. East Bay
vs. Harding @ Hawaii
vs. Tampa @ Hawaii
Judgement: We’re comfortable with this schedule. The last two are D2, but not D2 west, so less than ideal but far preferable to a non-D2 school. The Vikings don’t like to test themselves early and yet it usually works out just fine, so… Different philosophies. All good.
WHOA website update. It no longer looks like something straight out of 2002.
vs. Sonoma State @ East Bay
@ East Bay
vs. Dixie State @ Westminster (SLC)
Judgement: Typical quality SPU schedule. Last year of the Falcons playing Dixie in-region; the Rebs switch to the RMAC next year.
vs. Fresno Pacific @ WOU
vs. PLNU @ WOU
@ Monterey Bay
vs. Academy of Art @ Cal Baptist
@ Cal Baptist
Judgement: We love this schedule. It’s going to test them really well and give them every opportunity to make the tournament. We also love this schedule because they posted it at the beginning of August, which makes our life a heck of a lot easier when the round-robin gets switched up.
vs. East Bay @ East Bay
vs. Sonoma @ East Bay
vs. University of Mary
vs. Chadron State
Judgement: We’re comfortable with this schedule. They play two true D2 west road games and then against some Northern Sun foes, which is typical for MSUB. It’s not great by any stretch, but it should be fine.
vs. San Bernardino @ CU-Portland
vs. Monterey Bay @ CU-Portland
vs. Hilo @ SPU
vs. CU-Irvine @ SPU
Judgement: We consider this a very quality schedule, are proud of the Wildcats, and hopefully they’ll go 4/4 -it would really help our conference as a whole.
vs. San Fran State
vs. Academy of Art
Judgement: Not sure who the latter two schools will be, but we consider this an okay schedule. With Maurice Jones on that team, maybe it’s a little weaker than we’d like, but it’ll be fine. Very appropriate for NNU, should put them in a good position come conference play.
vs. Monterey Bay
vs. San Bernardino
vs. San Fran State @ NNU
vs. Academy of Art @ NNU
@ San Marcos
Judgement: Nothing but our highest applause and considering they bring back Christopher Edward, we feel completely confident in their ability to get it done and get our conference some nice SOS points. Way to go Cavs!! We’re rooting for you.
vs. Point Loma
vs. Fresno Pacific
vs. Azusa Pacific
vs. Dixie State
@ Holy Names
@ ND de Namur
@ Tarleton State
Judgement: We love it. It’s going to test them really, really well and it’s going to give them some breathing room come conference play, which is actually nice for everyone else because it means more chances for the GNAC to get more than one team into the D2 west.
Overall: We’re really excited and really pleased with the scheduling done by the vast majority of the conference. We should be in a good position to stake some claim on depth and then have an interesting year of conference play. Going to be great.
A reminder: GET YOUR FLU SHOT!! The GNAC Plague will inevitably go around and there’s much less of a chance for it to spread if everyone’s gotten their flu shot.
GIF anticipations up on Wednesday, our pre-season poll next Monday.
‘Not’ is not a verb. ‘Is’ is a verb.
A grammar lesson courtesy of the GNAC Men’s Basketblog.
The point is: We’re here. We’re still going strong with blogging this year. We’re going to get around to naming our player-of-the-year and all-conference teams from last year at some point… Technically we don’t actually have to start blogging until November, but we feel the need to remind you guys that we’re just as addicted as ever, but… Last year may have caused a bit of a basketball existential crisis.
Last year we didn’t find out three of the teams that were making the tournament until after conference play ended.
That’s the epitome of great in regard to being a GNAC basketball junkie, as we pride ourselves on being, and yet as it comes to blogging… What’s the point of pre-season blogging? What’s the point of speculation? The most correct thing we wrote last year in regard to almost anything was just straight up admitting “We don’t know,” or “It’s too close to call,” or “It’s anybody’s game.” Those statements proved to be 100% true, even in games where one team ended up winning more comfortably, just because… It wasn’t a guarantee.
There are games on the schedule that traditionally you look at and go “Okay, that’ll be a blow-out.” Those games for the most part went out the window last year, which is amazing -we literally loved every single week of the season, it was incredible- but from a “what the heck do we write??” perspective it’s brutal.
And so we write nothing. We’re not doing the usual Mondays in September as we have the past couple of years, just because… We’re not. Once the quarter schools start and those rosters get finalized maybe a week or so into October, then we’ll do the GIF anticipations, official prognostications, and looking at the schedules, and whatnot.
We usually say we don’t count transfers before we see them play conference games, and while that’s true… No coaching staff thinks they brought in bad transfers. Okay: the SPU coaching staff might, but dude is still 6’11; he could be useless and very inept, but he’s still 6’11 and this is still basketball, and they brought him in with no real necessity; if he’s good it’ll help them, but if he’s bad he won’t hurt them and it still gives their forwards another guy to bang against in practice.
Meanwhile: We know 10 teams are thinking they brought in GREAT transfers that are going to be THE missing piece, and we are so excited for you guys -welcome new transfers!! We know you guys are going to be amazing (just as your predecessors have been) to the point that on our pre-season all-conference teams we actually leave open spaces for you; we usually only name four to each, just because we know several transfers will come in and knock our socks off.
As such: Our pre-season speculation is subdued, but we are here and we are very excited for the new season to start. Okay… Maybe we’ll do a line briefly about what we’re looking forward to about each team, just off the top of our head without looking at any rosters or anything:
UAF: Last year was disappointing, so we’re looking forward to the Nooks hopefully bouncing back and having a great year.
UAA: We liked Jacob Lampkin when he was at O’Dea and so we’re excited to get to watch him play collegiately, as well as for the Seawolves to host the conference tournament.
SFU: Hope springs eternal and we’re sure they’re working hard.
WWU: TREY DRECHSEL IS BACK!!!!!!! And literally the only thing the Viks lost is scoring and scoring is easiest to regenerate. Logan will have another year of development, so… It should be a really, really good year.
SPU: [originally accidentally left blank] Addition by subtraction; they bring back literally every productive player they had last year.
SMU: They lost almost everything, it’s going to be an entirely new team, essentially, and so we’re really curious to see what that new team looks like.
MSUB: Preston Beverly transferred to Point Loma, but MSUB runs a good program regardless and Kendall Denham is a senior, so… Hopefully he’ll go lights out and it’ll be great.
CWU: FUQUAN!!!!!!!! They arguably get the most athletic guys in the conference, so they’re always entertaining.
NNU: MAURICE JONES!!!!!!! ‘Nuff said. Any team with Mo is a team worth watching.
CU-PDX: They were starting to look really good last year and while we don’t know precisely what they return, we believe in Coach B. having watched his NAIA teams, so… We’ll continue believing in his D2 teams through the transition.
WOU: TANNER, RILEY HAWKEN, ALI, ALEX, DEMETRIUS!!!!!!!!! We love this team. We’re really excited about the whole thing.
By the looks of it the Westerns are going to be doing some serious battle, still: we’re not going to discuss the prognostication for probably another two and a half to three weeks, but… We are now officially really pumped about the October blogging, just rational enough to know that this year September blogging is pointless.
Enjoy football, we’ll put up the all-conference teams in the coming few weeks, and… Posts will start going up regularly in October.
Update: We didn’t mean to leave out SPU; we’re just not excited about the Falcons at all, what-so-ever 😉
#3 WWU vs. #6 Chico State @12pm pacific.
We love Chico, full disclaimer. They’re one of our CCAA teams, with the other being UCSD. That being said, we like WWU’s chances. The teams share similar records, with Chico being 25-7 and WWU being 25-5. Their mutual opponents include CSU East Bay, Sonoma State, and UCSD, with the following results:
WWU 107, EB 81
Chico 78, EB 66
WWU 72, Sonoma 64
*Chico 53, Sonoma 50
*Chico 50, Sonoma 66
WWU 104, UCSD 81
Chico 56, UCSD 60
Chico 64, UCSD 59
Not much info to be gleaned because we assume UCSD was missing someone during the WWU game, Chico vs. Sonoma is a rivarly, and East Bay is usually in the bottom third of the conference. On the surface it looks like WWU is a much better team, but… They barely escaped against a WOU team that had only taken UAA to triple OT the night before via UAA (and the conference’s) best rebounder being out through the entire second half. And while that may scream ‘parity’ and that WWU has risen above that parity, there’s no telling exactly how much they’ve risen above it.
Taylor Stafford is the real deal, Jeffrey Parker has moments of being the real deal, Blake Fernandez has been great, Deandre Dickson is streaky but has his moments, Daulton Hommes consistently does good things for the team, Brad Wallace decided that he didn’t care how tall he was in the WOU game and just decided to go for it, which was awesome. We know a lot about the WWU team, we have a great respect and fondness for them, but this is the 2016-2017 season, which if anything has proven one thing: There are no guarantees. Chico always recruits well and is super well coached, we feel like they’re far more tested than WWU (see: four teams in the tournament vs. one), but…
Prediction: WWU wins. This is a homer pick. We know they’re capable, but we also know the Region is crazy, so we’re crossing our fingers just incase.
#4 Western Oregon vs. #1 Western Washington…
Looks like it’ll tip right around 7:35. We’ll also be paying close attention to the CCAA championship game, which features SFSU and UCSD. We have a situation on our hands that means all of a sudden WWU is back in the discussion of hosting the Regional, which means… Rock meet hard place.
If WWU wins and UCSD loses, there’s no reason not to send the Regional to Whatcom. If WWU wins and UCSD wins, then there’s an interesting discussion to be had. Looking at UCSD’s schedule, they’ve lost three conference games: San Marcos, Chico State, and Sonoma. Chico State is in the tourney, as far as we’re concerned. So is SFSU, regardless as to whether or not they beat UCSD tonight. That implies that UCSD has greater strength of schedule than the Vikings, and that would be true.
The GNAC has been a mess this year, with the sloppy games never seemingly ending. And it was all just stupid sloppy and a lack of commitment to fundamentals by all involved -ick. If Western Washington wins this game, the GNAC should be a one bid league. WWU has conference losses to MSUB, UAF, and UAA. They have wins against everyone else. And yet UCSD has wins against Regional bound teams. While WWU absolutely killed the Tritons in non-con, that was a long time ago.
It’s all moot if WWU loses the championship game -in that case, have fun in San Diego y’all. The good news with that is it means two GNAC teams will be going. Yeah, WWU can make their own schedule look weaker by winning. Go figure.
So, to summarize:
WWU wins, UCSD loses, WWU should host.
WWU wins, UCSD wins, it’ll be a discussion that arguably should favor UCSD.
WWU loses, UCSD wins, we’ll feel comfortable sending the regional to San Diego.
WWU loses, UCSD loses, we’re going to veer on the side that UCSD should host because UCSD beat another Regional-bound team to win, whereas WWU didn’t.
Now let’s preview the WWU vs. WOU game:
Western Washington is the conference regular season champion. They’re a great rebounding team -everyone on that team rebounds. They out-rebounded their opponent 39-26 last night. Um, yeah. That being said: their defense lacks at times; that team that they massively out-rebounded was in it until the very end. They have a lot of very good players, and Taylor Stafford tends to get the glory as their best player, and while he is, there are a lot of other people on this team that do a lot of good things that make what Taylor does possible.
Western Oregon played a 3OT game last night against a UAA team that was missing their key senior post presence in Corey Hammell. Western Oregon’s best player is a guy by the name of Tanner Omlid -notable for getting at least one triple double, keeping his turnovers low, and motivating his teammates whether he’s on the court or on the bench. Tanner Omlid is the best player in the game, period. We’re excited we get to keep him for another year.
That being said: having the best player doesn’t mean you win.
WOU had an impressive number of players last night that were able to be counted on to go in, give the starters a breather, and not get behind, with their best bench player being Demetrius Trammell. He is distinctively their 6th man, so we don’t really consider him a part of their bench. If WOU has to use the bench to tread water, that’s going to be difficult against this Vikings team because the Vikings are approximately nine guys deep, even with a starter out due to injury.
WOU has the most talented player. WWU is deeper. If the Vikings allow Tanner Omlid (and to a degree Demetrius Trammell) to put the rest of the team on their back, the Wolves have a very good shot at winning. If they can eliminate most of the production of those guys, they should be fine.
We honestly don’t have a prediction because the conference has been such a mess, we know both of these teams so well, we know what both are capable of at their best, we know what both are like when they’re playing uninspiredly, and there’s just no telling which two teams out of those four options are going to actually show up tonight.
Good luck to all -we believe in y’all, play hard, be strong, be safe, go GNAC!
What an amazing night of basketball. Tonight hopefully we don’t see another Triple OT thriller, but… Who knows? Hope the Wolves are hydrated, good Lord, 55 minutes of basketball. Wow.
#3 WOU 91 “@” #2 UAA 84 in 3OT
Hoooo boy. We’re ridiculously proud of both the Wolves and Seawolves in their insane Triple OT game, but we have to wonder… Why wasn’t Corey Hammell playing? He only saw 20 minutes and didn’t take a single shot. It was a defensive grind it out and the entire time we were wondering about the numbers, so… Let’s get into them.
Wolf highlights: Evan Garrison had 20 points on good shooting; Tanner Omlid had a double-double with 22 points and 10 boards; Ali had 19 points, six boards, and five fouls; and JJ Chirnside had seven boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell continued succeeding in his quest to impress, scoring 16 points; and Bryan Berg added five points and four boards.
Shout out to the Wolves bench, even those that didn’t put up too many numbers -you put in minutes, relieving the key players, and in a game that lasts 55 minutes is huge -MVPs all of y’all, the victory doesn’t happen without you.
Seawolf highlights: Suki played 53/55 minutes (whoa/ouch!) and scored 29 points while grabbing nine boards and being 6/7 from the line; Diante Mitchell had 20 points among a full house; Spencer Svejcar couldn’t make a field shot to save his life but went 7/8 from the line and grabbed seven boards; Corey Hammell had five boards; Connor Devine had five boards, six blocks, and 20 points; and Travis Parrish contributed 30 minutes off the bench.
Live by the bench, die by the bench. When the best contribution off the bench is a senior being a body, you’re going to have problems. When the game goes to 3OT, you’re going to have even bigger problems.
Congrats to the Wolves on pulling out the win and congrats to the Seawolves on a good season of basketball. Short of expectations, yes, but lots of fun, some great numbers, and some good wins.
#4 SMU 79 “@” #1 WWU 91
No leash. Every time WWU would try and break it open, the Saints would come charging right back. It was close until there was about 2:40 left in the game and at that point WWU was up by eight or so and then it was a matter of treading water against the current that was the Saints and the Vikes managed to do it.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had 17 points and nine assists while playing 40 full minutes; Jordan Kitchen had nine points and five boards; Tyler Copp went out with a bang, scoring 38 points; and off the bench Brandon Kenilvort had 10 points. The Saints finished with just 23 boards to WWU’s 39, so the fact that they remained in this game for so long is essentially a miracle.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford played a full 40 minutes, was 15/16 from the line, and finished with 31 points; Blake Fernandez grabbed five boards; Logan Schilder grabbed five boards; Daulton Hommes shot great from the field and finished with 20 points and 10 boards for the double-double; and Jeffrey Parker was 8-8 from the line and finished with 23 points while grabbing eight boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson had nine points.
Fun game to watch. Proud of both teams. Congrats to the Saints seniors -we admit, you got us. They announced you as seniors at the end and we burst into tears; it’s been an honor to get to write about your respective careers the past three years, we’re ridiculously proud of you, and wish you the best of success in the future.
Game previews will be up shortly before the game starts.