UAA 68 @ UAF 61
Exciting game. It was looking dicey for a long time and then we believe Spencer Svejcar hit a three and then the Seawolves were able to walk it up and mostly keep it out of reach.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had eight boards; Diante Mitchell had 21 points; Spencer Svejcar made a statement, getting a double-double with 24 points and 10 boards; Corey Hammell went 4-4 from the line and grabbed 11 rebounds; and Connor Devine grabbed five boards. No real bench play.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had 18 points; Bangaly had five boards and a full house; LaDonavan had six boards; and Brandon Davis played 40 minutes and finished with a full house among 19 points and three steals. Also no real bench play.
NNU 68 @ SPU 83
Falcons showing their youth, but getting it done much better. Even last week, they weren’t able to close games like this and tonight they did. The Crusaders played really hard and did their best to exploit, but ultimately couldn’t quite get it done.
Crusader highlights: Bouna went 9-11 from the line; Kaileb Rodriguez had 14 points; Maurice Jones had a double-double including 14 boards; and off the bench Nikola Prvulj had five points.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 14 points and seven boards; Tony Miller had 24 points; Joe Rasmussen had 14 points and six boards; and Olivier-Paul Betu had six assists. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had seven boards along with a full house; and Hunter Eisenhower had nine points.
This is potentially a big statement for the Falcons -it says that they’re finding themselves, which on a team as young as they are is big. This Falcons team had no concept of how to win earlier this year and slowly but surely they’re learning. As for NNU, no big deal. The conference is a mess. The Crusaders are still a super great and talented team.
CU-PDX 74 @ SFU 73
SFU was — that close to winning and then they committed a stupid foul and they didn’t. The Cavs got out by the skin of their teeth, but it is what it is and was what it was. Congrats Cavs, you done got lucky.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 13 points; Christopher Edward had nine points, 10 boards, and four steals among other stats meriting a full house, Jarrett Gray had 10 points; and Harris Taylor had 19 points. Off the bench Latrell Wilson had 18 points.
Clan highlights: Kedar Wright had 21 points and five boards; Iziah had 15 point,s, five boards, and four steals; Michael Provenzano had 21 points; and off the bench Tyrell Lewin had six boards.
WOU 63 @ WWU 73
This game was a mess. Both teams are good, but it was seriously an ugly game of basketball that the players knew was ugly, thus they made it even uglier by getting all chippy. Because the game was so ugly, the chippyness wasn’t entertaining -it was just desperate. Congrats to the Viks on ultimately getting it done.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 19 points; Ali had 20 points and five boards; JJ Chirnside had five boards; and off the bench Bryan Berg had five points; while Isaiah Edwards had five boards.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 26 points as well as four boards, four assists, and four steals; Logan Schilder had seven boards; and Daulton Hommes had seven boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson had an awesome eight boards and 18 points; and Trevor Jasinsky had five boards.
Yeesh. We’re glad this game is over. Interesting for the Wolves though -their game was ugly against the Falcons too and they got away with it; can’t do that against WWU.
MSUB 74 @ UAF 83
Close the whole game. Agonizing. The parity continues. The Nooks played really well, finally. Great game from them, super proud!
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had nine boards and finished with a full house; Marc Matthews had 19 points and six boards; and Kamal Tall had eight boards. Off the bench Kendall Denham had 11 points; and Cade Alcorn had five boards.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had five boards and six assists; Bangaly had 10 points; LaDonavan had 13 points; Zach Pederson made a statement with a double double of 11 boards and 11 points; and Brandon Davis played another 40 minute game, finishing with 22 points. Off the bench Michael Kluting had nine points.
Again, congrats to the Nooks on a great performance. Good luck to the Yellowjackets against the Seawolves.
CWU 79 @ SMU 80
This game was insane. Naim Ladd didn’t play, Fuquan shut down Fred, and the Wildcats still almost pulled it off. We admittedly fell asleep watching it, but… That was because of the insanity that’s been going on in our state this week. It ultimately had a 9:15 start time because both Cascade passes are closed, thus CWU had to go down around and up. Yup -what would have/should have been a two hour bus ride turned into six. For those that don’t live here -pretty much all of western Washington shutdown on Monday due to snow and then Tuesday due to ice. The entire week has been weird. It’s now 55 degrees outside. Go figure.
Wildcat highlights: Jawan Stepney had 17 points; Fuquan turned in a classic center performance with a double double of 15 boards and 14 rebounds while missing three shots from the line; and off the bench Cameron Burton had six boards and eight points; while Sage Woodruff continues to make a mark with 14 points.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston rocked it yet again, playing 40 minutes and scoring 15 points and dishing out 10 assists for the double-double; Rhett Baerlocher had 20 points and eight boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram added 14 points; and Brandon Kenilvort a double-double with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Big congrats to the Saints, huge win. CWU, we still believe. Not in your bubble, your bubble has now official burst, but we still know you’re a great team and are proud of you all the same =)
What a night. It was incredible. Everyone played really hard (minus the Westerns) and it was a night to be proud of -even the Westerns.
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.
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!
Some interesting games last night… Let’s discuss.
WWU 87 @ CWU 84
We know that’s not the official score, but CWU deserves the credit that comes from not fouling. We’ve been really good about not discussing reffing this year and just saying “Good teams overcome bad/inconsistent refs, it’s just part of the game,” but… We’re going to talk about it for this game. We were there. We were sitting by the family of a CWU player, although never bothered to find out who they were related to, and it was very agreed that the reffing was just plain weird. In the first half the game was stopped for a good three minutes only for the refs to assess a foul on one player on each team. Oookay then. Just let the guys play. The second half there was a point where CWU started heading toward center court and it looked like the refs were actually going to do a second tip off with like 17 minutes left in the second half (what???). At the end with like two seconds left, CWU shoots a three to try and tie, it misses, the Vikings get the board, it didn’t appear that CWU fouled, the clock runs out, the refs call time and everyone is stuck in the twilight zone. They determine that there’s 1.4 seconds left on the clock and a Viking player goes to the line, shoots two free throws, makes them, the Wildcats get the ball back for the halfcourt lob and of course miss what wouldn’t have even tied the game anyway. There was no point to those fouls and the CWU players were aware, hence not really appearing to do anything. Beyond strange.
Thanks to both teams for allowing us to witness such a fun game. Y’all played your hearts out and it was great; the epitome of what a rivalry game should be.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 31 points; Kyle Impero had 12 points and five boards; Trey Drechsel had 12 points and eight boards; Jeffrey Parker had nine boards and went 7/7 from the line. Off the bench Evan Scholten had six points.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had 24 points and 10 boards; Joe Stroud had 34 points and seven boards -still not himself, but much more of what we remember; and off the bench Drake Rademacher had six boards.
Really fun game overall. The Wildcats were up by 10, the Vikings got back in it and walked away, being up by something of 17 points. Just at the point of what would be no return, the Vikings collapsed and the Wildcats took advantage, coming all the way back to take the lead, before the Vikings decided that it was not to be and made their shots down the stretch. Congrats to the Wildcats on a game well played.
SFU 77 @ NNU 82
At least the Clan is consistent, holding teams to 82 points per game. Relatively interesting game, and we’ll say that the Crusaders played down to their competition because it would be odd to say that the Clan played up when the Crusaders are really only a hair above them. Strangeness.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had 13 points, seven boards, and four assists; JJ Pankratz had a double double with 13 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had 13 points and five boards; and Gibran Sewani had 11 points and five boards.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye went 16/18 from the line; Nikola Prvulj had nine points; Detwon Rogers had a double double with 10 points and 10 boards; Leoor Konenkov made his debut in the starting line-up and finished with nine points; and Mike Wright had 20 points, six boards, and zero turnovers. Off the bench Joel Devastey had five boards and five points; and Pol Olivier had six points.
It was every bit of the mess anticipated, but a sincere congrats to Mike Wright and his zero turnovers. We’re proud of you.
SMU 77 @ MSUB 60
Uhhhh, we’re not gonna lie: We didn’t see this coming. And what’s really intriguing is that it was a bunch of players having above average games; not anyone having a great game. With MSUB it was a bunch of players having bad games, except we’re kind of mad because… They chose to have bad games. You can always distribute and work together and they didn’t. Fatigue. Overlook factor “We just went toe to toe with SPU, SMU isn’t going to be a big deal.” Uh, yes, they were. We’ve liked the Saints all season, part of the reason we’re so easily disappointed with them. We know how good they are better than just about anybody.
Saints highlights: Each starter besides Fred (Tyler, Rhett, Jordan, and Cole) had seven points; Fred Jorg had 27 points and eight boards. Off the bench Michael Painter had five points; and Brandon Kenilvort and Trey Ingram chipped in seven points a piece. Yes. Six players had seven points. Darn you Michael, one more field goal make and there would have been seven players with seven points. We’re not sure if we’ve ever seen a bigger display of balance and seven is a magical number after all.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had 10 points; Marc Matthews had 13 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 10 boards; Jordan Perry had six boards; Emmanuel Olufemi had five boards; and off the bench Preston Beverley had 10 points.
Scratching our heads at the Yellowjackets but really happy with the Saints. Keep it rolling boys!
UAF 64 @ WOU 69
What is it with the Wolves letting teams creep back in? At least they seemingly learned their lesson from the SPU game and while the creep comes in they hold them off enough. Good job Wolves.
Nook highlights: Bangaly had seven boards; Travante went 7/7 from the line and had five boards; Brandon Davis had five boards and 15 points; and Almir had 10 points and six boards. Off the bench Isaac Ladines had six boards.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had five assists; Julian Nichols had 13 points, six boards, and four assists; Jordan Wiley had eight boards and 17 points; and Andy Avgi had 24 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks. No real bench play, although Alex Roth added 20 minutes of leg relief.
Very, very tense game. The Wolves went up, the Nooks fought back, the Wolves held on but it was terrifying if you’re part of the Wolfpack.
UAA 90 @ CU-PDX 71
That score looks exactly as we predicted, but oh gee oh my it was not. The Cavs were in it and managed to keep Suki out of it for a very, very long time. We were excited to look at the sheet because with how silent he was, we assumed he was in foul trouble. Nope. We keep waiting for someone to do that, but it’s yet to be done. Good effort on the Cavs for staying in it; need more legs. Legs, legs, legs. The last five minutes were a disaster.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 24 points and seven boards; Tayler Thompson had 11 points and six boards; COREY HAMMELL HAD 19 POINTS AND 17 BOARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shhh, we’re building a statue of him, don’t interrupt our focus! Christian Leckband had five points off the bench; and Brian McGill had a whopping 17 points off the bench.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had five boards and 21 points; John Erickson had six assists against his old team; Latrell Wilson had 23 points; Riley Hawken had seven boards. No real bench play.
Fun game. We have so much hope for the Cavaliers -we see the progress they’re making, we really do, but we also know how good the Seawolves are. We discussed it a little bit on Thursday night, but somehow we think we’ll end up talking about them once again on Wednesday, so… That’ll be good.
Great night of basketball.
The standings page has been updated. Not sure what we’re doing to honor the ‘half way’ mark this year. If this week ends up actually calm, mid-season superlatives and all-conference teams and whatnot should go up -but no promises. Maybe some extra discussions? Get in the comments or shoutout on twitter if there’s something you want us to talk about.
POW stuff will be up in the AM.
Somewhat interesting night of conference play?
MSU-Billings 58 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 69
MSUB was actually leading for a good long while before UAF put the Jackets away, so that was kind of exciting. Good to see the Nooks pull it off.
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had six boards; Emmanuel Johnson had 22 points and five boards; Preston Beverley had 9 points off the bench; and Cade Alcorn had four boards off the bench. Yikes. Didn’t realize just how few players were involved in this until now and how badly the Jackets shot. The fact that they were in it at all is kind of a miracle. Going to say it’s a testament to the Nooks realizing they need to play defense rather than MSUB shooting until the polar bears came home (which they did) because MSUB usually doesn’t have a trend of shooting the moon.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 11 points; Joe Slocum had five boards; Travante Williams had seven boards and a full house; Almir had 15 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan had six points and four boards; and Isaac Ladines and John Renfro both also added four boards. Also a night of iffy shooting, which shows why the Jackets were in it for so long, but… Distribute. Distribute, distribute, distribute. Not worried nor ready to complain at Travante because it’s only the second game. Still, he really does need to be aware that he should be distributing if shots aren’t falling.
Kind of an ugly game, but maybe it’s just in the air. Here we were feeling all guilty about feeling all BLAHHH, but apparently it’s just an epidemic. At work that happens too; if one of us is late, all of us are late; if one of us wakes up unhappy, all of us wake up unhappy. No clue why, but it does reduce the guilt and is really fun when people wake up happy. A coworker has termed it the collective consciousness of working there. Seriously good times.
CU-Portland 99 @ Western Washington 119
Concordia was in this game for an uncomfortably long time if you’re a Vikings fan. If you’re a CU fan, you think that you’re showing promise and you sort of are, but sort of are not. WWU is not normal WWU this year and in that the Cavs could have won -they just needed to commit to defense, because clearly WWU wasn’t.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 29 points, four boards, and six assists; Latrell Wilson had 11 points; Jarrett Gray had five boards; RILEY HAWKEN STARTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and had EIGHT ASSIST AND EIGHTEEN POINTS; and Tyler Gutierrez had 13 points and four boards. Bench play was pretty non-existent. Maybe it should have been more so; the bench had a fairly decent number of turnovers, so up that cardio and go hard starters. So glad that Riley is starting!!!!! He reminds us of the other Riley, former conference player of the year Riley, and that is a very good thing.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 25 points and six assists; Kyle Impero had five boards, six assists, and 19 points; Jeffrey Parker had 17 points. Off the bench Trey Drechsel had 27 points and nine boards; and Colby Mitchell had 10 points. We hate to say it, but Mac shouldn’t be starting. Who to start instead? Up for debate. But Mac needs to come off the bench at least for a bit.
Exciting game if not lacking defense. Couldn’t be more proud of Riley, really happy for Trey -he was out all Fall and has made an immediate impact as we’ve entered the new year.
Northwest Nazarene 79 @ Saint Martin’s 72
Can we say that the Saints are officially in free fall? It feels that way, call us Chicken Little. Not that NNU doesn’t have their moments, but… This wasn’t really one of them and the Saints still managed to lose. Yikes. Oh well, good for the Crusaders for getting it done on the road.
Crusader highlights: BOUNA HAD 22 POINTS; Nikola Prvulj had 13 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright had 19 points. Off the bench Pol Olivier had seven points. What can we really say? The Crusaders got it done and Mike didn’t suffer from a case of excessive turnovers; it was officially a good night.
Saints highlights: Jordan Kitchen had 14 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Rhett Baerlocher had 10 points; Tyler Copp had 13 points; Fred Jorg had ten boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had four boards; and Michael Painter had five points.
…………. It was a game. It was played. Jordan Kitchen, Bouna, and Mike Wright all had good nights. Congrats to the Crusaders on the win.
Western Oregon 90 @ Simon Fraser 67
The Clan stayed in this for a longggg time. It’s kind of funny with WOU; ‘lesser’ teams they let hang around for an excessively long time before putting them away, whereas with SPU they put them away immediately but let the Falcons come back to tie the game. Interesting if nothing else.
Wolf highlights: Alex Roth had eighteen points and six boards; Julian Nichols had five boards; Jordan Wiley had five boards and 10 points; and Andy Avgi had 20 points and nine boards. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland and Janvier Alaby both added eight points; and Tanner Omlid added six points and six boards.
Feel like the Wolves overlooked the Clan slightly, but ultimately they got it done and that’s what counts.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had eight boards and five assists; Andrew Williamson had 15 points; Michael Harper had 17 points; and JJ Pankratz had six boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had nine points and four boards.
In the initial posting the Clan got skipped -sorry; we’d accidentally put your name first, so it had been mentally flagged as having been written about, but then we realized you guys weren’t. You played very well against a great WOU team, so our highest congrats on that.
Central Washington 62 @ Seattle Pacific 75
Interesting-ish game. The Falcons were up, then it was tied, then they put it away although there were times when the Wildcats started to reel them back in. Not a bad night for either team, although we’re sure CWU fans would beg to differ because, okay: maybe it was kind of a bad night for the Wildcats. Some of that shooting… woof. But they should take solace in the fact that they nearly matched SPU on rebounding, which is huge.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had eight boards; Joe Stroud had 10 points and five boards; Devin Matthews had 17 points; and off the bench Naim Ladd made his free throws to add nine points and four boards.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a quiet night with eight points and a full house; Brendan Carroll had fourteen points and five boards; Mitch Penner had 22 points and eight boards. Off the bench Joe Rasmussen had 16 points and five boards -interesting that the dude is finally functioning, although he should know that there’s an asterisk because rivalry game. Weird things happen during rivalry games.
This game finally went the way a game should for the Falcons, which is good and particularly excellent against a rival where there’s bad blood. None of the Washington schools like CWU, although we’re not aware if there’s explicitly bad blood between SMU and the Wildcats; we also hear that UAA really doesn’t like them, can assume that MSUB is in that camp, but we’re not aware with the other five teams. CWU is a weird team to dislike because they sit mid-pac and have for a while, but they’re arguably worse than BYU in how dirty they play and BYU is the cream of the crop in terms of dirty D1 teams.
Overall a pretty good night of basketball. There’s some stuff we want to nitpick with a few teams, but… The exhaustion hit early this year and judging by tonight it’s conference wide, so just not even going to go there. Congrats to all of the teams that won. Game previews’ll be up at 11am tomorrow morning.
Wow, what a night! Defense was a little on the low side and overtime was on the agenda. Four games finished within one possession OR went into overtime. One of the overtime games even finished by one possession; really great and yet ugly night of basketball.
MSU-Billings 96 @ Northwest Nazarene 98
For a while there NNU was moving up and it looked like Billings wasn’t coming back. Then the Yellowjackets did. It became a very close game. We’re completely fed up with the SID at that school, because who’s gonna trek out to Nampa (hint: it’s four mountain passes) and yet getting information out of there is like trying to get it from a blackhole -even while you’re actively watching the game. Go figure. Apparently they don’t want people to care about Crusader basketball. They’re wrong, but apparently that’s what they want.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverley had six boards and 17 points; Emmanuel Johnson had six boards and four assists. Off the bench KENDALL DENHAM (we’ve missed that name) had six assists and 25 points off the bench; and Jordan Perry had eight boards and 12 points.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 10 points; BOUNA had nine boards and 19 points; MIKE WRIGHT HAD 12 ASSISTS AND MERELY -2- TURNOVERS -how long have we been waiting for that?- and also had six boards and nine points. Off the bench Nikola Prvulj had 16 points; and DETWON ROGERS had eight boards and 27 points.
Simon Fraser 83 @ Alaska-Anchorage 96
Anchorage ran it up early and we were like “it’s over,” then SFU got back in it and we were like “whaaa?” and then Anchorage ran it back up. That seems to happen to teams that play Anchorage a lot. We’re not sure whether Anchorage needs to dig in more or the other teams need to stop letting go…
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had six boards and four assists; Hidde Vos had six assists. Off the bench Bowen Bakken had five boards; and Graham Smith had 14 points and eight boards.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had eight boards and 23 points; Diante Mitchell had five boards; Spencer Svejcar had 13 points; Corey Hammell had nine boards, four assists, and nine points. Off the bench Christian Leckband had 21 points and five boards; Drew Peterson had six points; Brian McGill had three boards, six assists, two steals, and 17 points.
Overall not a bad game. The Seawolves got a little turnover happy at the end, but when you’re up by a lot it becomes less of a concern and so guys start trying to be fancy rather than playing fundamental basketball until the end. We’re 50/50 on whether or not we’re okay with it.
Saint Martin’s 59 @ Concordia-Portland 62
We’d say it was the only defensively adequate game of the night, but the reality is it was just an absolute ton of missed shots. Ugly, ugly game. Glad the Cavs pulled it out, mildly disappointed in SMU.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had 16 points, six boards, fou rassists, and two steals; Fred Jorg had six boards. Woof.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin made 6/7 free throws; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Jarrett Gray had 6 boards; Tyler Gutierrez bounced back with six boards and 20 points. Off the bench Taylor Harris had seven boards; and Riley Hawken had seven boards and 13 points.
We’re really interested to see what happens to these two teams tomorrow. We no longer trust anything. This game was ugly, but tomorrow has no promises.
Seattle Pacific 90 @ Western Oregon 96 in OT
We don’t even know what to say about this game. This was one we watched very intensely. The Falcons seemed perpetually down by 15 and then the end happened and it was like “whaaaat?” The score reflects what’d you’d expect out of these two teams and yet the game itself only kind of did? Weird, weird game.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had 10 boards, seven assists, and 18 points; Gilles Dierickx had 25 poitns and six boards; Garrett Swanson had seven boards and five fouls. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had six boards and six points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Aledxander had seven boards and 13 points; Julian Nichols had six assists and 23 points; Andy Avgi completely had his way with the Falcons, finishing with 34 points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had five boards and 15 points on near perfect shooting both from the floor and the line.
Western Washington 100 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 99 in OT
THE VIKINGS WON IN THE FAIRBANKS GYM!!!! In Viking Land that constitutes a miracle. Another fairly ugly game, but oh well. Interesting to see these teams go back and forth. We felt going in that they matched-up pretty well and sure enough they did.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 9 boards; Kyle Impero had 13 boards and two assists; Trey Drechsel had 7 boards; Jeff Parker had 11 boards and 29 points; Mac Johnson continues to be invisible but grabbed five boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had five boards and 17 points.
Nanook highlights: Joe Slocum had eight assists and four boards; Travante Williams made 12-13 from the line, grabbed 12 boards, and had six steals; Brandon Davis scored 19 points; and Almir had 17 points, five boards, and ultimately finished a full house. No quality bench play except relieving the starters here and there.
Intense game. Ugly game. We’ll be interested to watch the flip when the Nooks come to the Vikings.
In other news; Azusa Pacific beat Dixie State by six and Chico beat Humboldt by 18. We’re still not sure how we feel about those last two teams because we’ve been questioning Humboldt’s schedule and now Chico makes them look like a cakewalk, so… Hmm. Food for thought.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
Should there have been a post yesterday? Maybe. Probably. But a minor concussion got in the way of it, so… That was exciting and terrifying; if our posts this week seem a little off, that’s why.
On the agenda for today: The first Cenazar game, the MSUB/Carroll game, neutralizing Suki, rankings, and power rankings.
Central Washington 98 @ Northwest Nazarene 72
We’d say this was expected, but at this point no result is expected. While we knew the Wildcats were more than capable of doing it, at the same time we knew that NNU is totally capable of keeping it close, if not winning, so what on the surface feels like an obvious result actually isn’t.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had nine points; Gary Jacobs had 18 points and five boards; Joe Stroud had 16 points, six boards, and a full house; Devin Matthews had 13 points and five assists. Off the bench Naim Ladd had 15 points in fourteen minutes; Drake Rademacher had eight points; Jerome Bryant had seven points and five boards; and Desmond Ross had five points.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 17 points and eight boards; Bouna had 14 points and nine boards. Off the bench Nikola Prvulj had 12 points; Leoor Konenkov had six points; and Marko Lepovic had five points.
Overall a pretty typical story; it went back and forth for a while and then CWU put it away and won convincingly.
We’ll be brief: Billings lost to Carroll by 13 playing their usual guys their usual minutes. Carroll is a really good NAIA team that only has one loss to a fellow NAIA school and is currently undefeated in three conference games.
That being said: WHAT THE HECK, BILLINGS. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST DID TO ANY CREDIBILITY WE WERE HOPING TO HAVE?! Granted Carroll is contemplating a move to D2 and so we kind of assume that’s how they’re recruiting -we haven’t heard the latest in that regard- but we’d love to have them in our conference. The deadline to submit an NCAA application for the year is February 1st, so… If they are, we’ll hear something soon.
We got to see Suki game planned for, for the first time in-conference. We’ll get more chances in the coming weeks -we’re really excited to see what Jamie Stevens, Jim Shaw does, and what Tony Dominguez does. There are a lot of great coaches in our conference, but those guys have the player personnel to actually accomplish what they want, theoretically, so we look it as a mark on them as for what their teams do against him. It sounds kind of ridiculous to discuss game planning for a player -ideally you play your game and they play theirs- but Suki is so much the focus of that offense that it would be stupid not to contemplate the dos and don’ts in regard to Anchorage.
This past week we got to see what Ryan Looney did and his strategy of letting Suki do what he wanted and then have his guys avoid fouling him at all costs was brilliant. Suki goes to the line WAY too much and he takes so many shots but usually only shoots like 35%. The Falcons are known for being a team that’s incredibly good defensively. If the Falcons hadn’t choked in regard to rebounding (among other things) it would have been fine. We liked the strategy, but because it’s what we probably would have done, we’re really interested to see what the other coaches come up with.
7. Cal Poly Pomona -lost to UCSD. Dropped two spots. Seems fair.
10. Cal Baptist -Didn’t play, but moved up due to the losses of other teams.
14. Western Oregon -Lost to CWU. Dropped 11 spots. Sadly they likely fell this far because of the conference chaos that happened; it would be one thing to drop a game and have SPU beat the Alaska schools convincingly; it’s entirely different to have them get swept. SOS matters and WOU didn’t have too much of it as it was, and now their opponent that does have some form of it got beat twice.
17. UC San Diego -Beat CPP, lost to Humboldt State; dropped four spots. The four spots feels right, but at the same time… CPP is still ranked so highly. It’s likely on some level reverberating because WOU lost to CWU and SPU lost to the Alaska schools. It’s all SOS. It’s all connected, particularly in regard to the west region.
20. Chico State -WHY IS CHICO STATE STILL RANKED?!?!?! Their schedule doesn’t have ANYTHING on it, except a loss to Seattle Pacific. Put Humboldt in this spot, if nothing else.
24. Seattle Pacific -Lost to UAA & UAF. We’re honestly really shocked they’re still ranked.
Others receiving votes: Azusa Pacific (8), Humboldt State (5), Alaska-Fairbanks (3), Alaska-Anchorage (2). Humboldt should be ranked; Chico State should merely be receiving votes; Azusa Pacific 50/50; We’re not sure why CU-Irvine isn’t getting any votes at all; and then the Alaska schools are benefitting from the Falcon Effect.
This week we feel the need to do a power ranking.
1. Alaska Anchorage. Beat Seattle Pacific, somewhat convincing win at SMU.
2. Alaska Fairbanks. Again, beat Seattle Pacific, survived SMU.
3. Central Washington. Beat Western Oregon, avoided the upset against Concordia-Portland. Their near loss is why they’re so low.
4. MSU-Billings. Good wins over SFU & WWU; succeeded in playing their own game. This doesn’t take the Carroll game into account.
5. CU-Portland. Got their first conference win against NNU, almost got a win at CWU, good place to be. Lots of hope.
6. Western Oregon. Picked up a loss at CWU, but killed NNU. Upsets were going to happen, we knew that, it’s not the biggest deal. They don’t have something to be really excited about from this last weekend, but spiraling isn’t a concern because it was just one game. Totally fine.
7. Simon Fraser. Mainly because it’s hard for this fanbase to spiral downward because there really are no expectations what-so-ever. Kinda neutral.
8. Saint Martin’s. The way they lost these games is wholly unacceptable for any program. The lack of fundamentals and effort was disturbing. Why are these guys playing college basketball at all? The fact that they don’t want to was clearly on display particularly against Anchorage. They had every chance to win that game and they didn’t.
9. Northwest Nazarene. How many expectations can you really have and yet… They’ve shown flashes of brilliance and they stay with teams for a full half before getting blown out, so if they know they can do that, how do they let themselves get blown out?
10. Western Washington. This is Tony Dominguez’s third year with his own guys and he’s still not contending for an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. The play of the guys was uninspired and we just don’t know what to do with this team.
11. Seattle Pacific. They know what we think. They know what we know. It is what it is. This is where they belong.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow morning at the usual time.
And the GNAC sweeps the day!
As noted: We really like(d) the team the Penguins (that is Dominican) had been putting forth and then… The Crusaders go and procure some strength of schedule!! Being wrong has never been so right. Actually, it was last year when we were wrong then about NNU too, so… We’re comfortable with being wrong in situations like this.
Dominican 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 88 in OT
Really, really good game. Tons of back and forth. Both teams ended up with 44 rebounds a piece, with DU holding just a slight edge in terms of turnovers; the Crusaders had 11 vs. the Penguins 9. Still, NNU pulled it out and we could not be more proud of them.
Highlights: Joel Devastey had five boards and 15 points; BOUNA had NINE BOARDS, THREE ASSISTS, one steal, SIX BLOCKS, three fouls, and 17 points for the full house; Nikola Pruvulj had five boards and 14 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright played 44 out of 45 minutes (ouch), had five boards, six assists, and a whopping 26 points on not bad shooting. Off the bench: Marko Lepovic had four points and four boards.
Honestly, we didn’t get to watch this game -we simply followed along with the stats, but from what we gather NNU played some of their best defense. There was a good bit of questionable shooting on behalf of Dominican. While it’s a great victory to get and it definitely starts pushing the Crusaders into the conversation of 5-7 in the GNAC, the fact is we lean toward it saying more about Dominican than it does about NNU. It’s good to see that the Crusaders learned from their Alaskan expedition, but now let’s see them pummel CSULA.
Azusa Pacific 54 @ Seattle Pacific 71
SPU led by 14 or so throughout most of it. They started off with a 9-0 run, which was cool. They got more bench rotation than anyone anticipated, but it was such a highly anticipated game that they still didn’t want to rotate too much. Maybe the biggest parts of this game is to take a look at the Falcons’ defense and the Cougars’ ability to rebound. The Falcons missed a lot of them, which in a sense makes sense. If it had been closer, we feel like SPU would have been a bit more tenacious at the boards but because they led by 10+ for the vast majority maybe it didn’t seem as pressing. So that tells you that APU put forth a great effort, but SPU keeps chugging along.
Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had seven boards and 11 points; Gilles Dierickx had eight boards, four blocks, and 19 points; Mitch Penner had five boards and 16 points; Garrett Swanson had eight points. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had six points on 3/3 shooting; and Joe Rasmussen threw his weight around picking up four fouls in 12 minutes.
Overall a great day of basketball for the GNAC. Congrats to both the Falcons and Crusaders on a couple of well-earned victories over quality Pac-West foes.
Game day previews will be up tomorrow for NNU/CSULA and WOU/UCSD, and then we’ll go ahead and probably do POW on Wednesday because SFU, WWU, SPU, MSUB, and WOU all play a mere one D2 opponent this week and so it seems fair enough. With NNU, we’ll figure something out; whether it’s averages or just the best game is yet to be decided.
Wow. So much bad shooting. It’s not even that there was a ton of really, really good defense. Just lots of bad shooting.
Central Washington 71 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 82
Seawolf uses blizzard. It’s super effective. The Wildcat is frozen and cannot move. Come back Seawolf, you’ve done your job. Polarbear uses ice storm. It’s a critical hit. The wildcat is frozen and cannot shoot. All humor aside: Gary Jacobs went 2-20. Terry Dawn went 6 for 16. Devin Matthews went 1-7. Naim Ladd went 2-9. WHAT THE HECK?!? Guys will shoot as long as coaches allow it, so we’ll lay the blame squarely on Greg Sparling for this one. Yikes.
CWU highlights: Terry Dawn had 13 boards; Gary Jacobs had 7 boards; Drake Rademacher had nine boards; Devin Matthews had seven boards and five assists. Off the bench Joe Stroud had seven boards and seven points.
Nanook highlights: Alex Duncan had five boards; Bangaly Kaba bounced back and had seven boards, two assists, three streals, two blocks, ZERO turnovers, and two fouls, along with 17 points for a solid full house; Trevante Williams had seven boards, two assists, seven steals, four blocks, one foul, and nineteen points -another great outing, good to see him bounce back as well. Off the bench Neal Chavez had six boards; Zach Pedersen had 13 points; Brandon Davis had 10 points.
There were a whopping 109 rebounds grabbed in this game because the teams shot an average of 35% from the field. Yikes. We love rebounding, but not if it’s simply because no shots are following. Yeesh.
Northwest Nazarene 78 @ Alaska-Anchorage 90
This is why you play forty-full minutes. UAA was killing the Crusaders but with five minutes left the Crusaders turned it on, were within six or so, and then UAA decided to function again and the difference is as such. Still, huge effort and great advancement on the part of the Crusaders. We see it. We’re proud of you.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had a full house with six boards, one assist, one steal, one block, ZERO turnovers, four fouls, and fifteen points; Bouna N’Diaye had 17 points and five fouls; Pol Olivier had 24 points and five boards. Off the bench Gonzo Santana and Nikola Prvulj grabbed four boards a piece, with Nikola also picking up four assists.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards, seven assists, two steals, and went 9-12 on free throws; Diante Mitchell went 9-12 from the field and walked away with four boards, four assists, and 24 points; Spencer Svejcar finished with 12 points; Tayler Thompson grabbed five baords; Corey Hammell had a great game with 17 boards, three assists, and 17 points -huge, way to go Corey. Off the bench Christian Leckbend added 10 points.
Really not a bad game for either team. One of the better shooting games of the night. No super bad numbers outside of NNU’s Nikola going 0-5. Really like what we’re seeing out of Christian Leckbend -remember Christian, it’s not who starts games, but who finishes them, congrats on being a heck of a 6th man.
Saint Martin’s 73 @ SFU 66
Let’s just say this: it was a total and complete mess. Right now we’re really loving SMU so we’re going to say it was a matter of playing down to their competition, but holy human waste, yikes. The biggest highlight was the free throw shooting; SMU shot 75% while SFU shot 95%. The rest of the shooting? Not so hot.
SMU highlights: Jordan Kitchen had nine boards; Fred Jorg had 11 boards and 13 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 11 points; Brandon Kenilvort had 15 points.
SFU highlights: Oshea Gairey had 12 points; Max Barkeley had 26 points; Michael Harper had 16 points and six boards; JJ Pankratz had eight boards and three assists. Pretty much it.
Disappointing game. We were thinking SMU was going to be excited to get a big win after a close loss to WWU, but that didn’t happen. While you may be tempted to say it’s because SFU had a good game… No. The shooting doesn’t signify a good game and the fact that both teams still reached in the realm of 70 says defense wasn’t the focal point. Still, a road win is a road win so keep doin’ work Saints.
MSU-Billings 69 @ Western Oregon 91
Not a close game. Not many highlights for MSUB. We were crossing our fingers for progress, but… turns out the light at the end of the tunnel that was demolishing CU-PDX in the first half, was simply the oncoming train that is WOU. Choo choo Wolves.
MSUB highlights: Jace Anderson had 15 points. Off the bench Preston Beverely had 13 boards and 19 points; Kendall Denham had 10 points. Yup. Welcome to playing WOU.
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander had 11 boards, two assists, three steals, and 19 points; Julian Nichols had seven boards, seven assists, three fouls, and nine points; Andy Avgi had 27 points, four boards, and one of everything else for the full house. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had eight points; Tanner Omlid had six boards, three steals, two blocks, and 19 points.
MSUB used a really short line up; the wolves went deep. Everything happened as expected, if as not hoped for. Congrats Wolves.
Seattle Pacific 83 @ Western Washington 64
Some decent numbers. Nothing great, nothing really horrible. It’s hard to say this went as expected, but… Not too much color commentary can be done on this one because when these teams play each other you simply never know what’ll happen. We have no idea what to do with the Vikings. We’ve been trying to figure them out and we have one more game before we have to do our post non-conference reflecting to figure things out.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five boards, six assists, two steals, and 11 points; Gilles Dierickx had a double double with 10 boards and 14 points; Mitch Penner had five boards, five assists, and 17 points. Off the bench Brendan Carroll had 15 points on good shooting; Joe Rasmussen picked up four boards and 10 points in a mere eight minutes; Nathan Streufert had three blocks.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 18 points; Kyle Impero had five boards and 13 points; Colby Mitchell had eight boards; Jeff Parker had 13 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma had eight points. Pretty much it.
Both teams had very few turnovers, which is good. It’s hard to say what this game truly means. All of the major players from both teams use saw good minutes.
No games this week because of finals. Tomorrow the usual Player-of-the-Week stuff, then Tuesday will probably be a dead day, Wednesday discussions, Thursday maybe we’ll try to dig up some shenanigans, and Friday’ll be game previews for the next round of non-conference.
Happy 1st night of Hanukkah.