Yup, it’s going to be a back-to-back post because as much as we love the GNAC -Husky and Seahawks football took priority. And sleep. Sleep took priority. What’s interesting is we were so busy throwing-up the preview (our fingers were barfing) that we didn’t look at ANY of Friday’s numbers yesterday. Nuts. And now not any of Saturday’s numbers. It’s all a surprise o.O
Simon Fraser 81, Lindenwood 73
We weren’t even aware Lindenwood was a D2 school; we assumed it was a school on the prairies of Canada. As it turns out it is D2, so good on the Clan for scheduling them. Yayyy D2 opponents.
Clan highlights: Graham Miller was 7-7 from the line and finished with 18 points and four fouls; Michael Provenzano had seven boards, five assists, and finished with 18 points and four fouls; JJ Pankratz was back in a big way, grabbing nine boards, four blocks, and dropping 24 points while staying out of foul trouble. Off the bench Kedar Wright went 7-9 from the line and finished with 11 points in the Clan’s victory.
Dear President Donald Trump,
Thank-you for making it okay for us to say ‘Go Clan!’ and talk positively about them without being concerned about ending up on a list. Heck, if we’re not careful with all this talk of “Go Clan!” we could ended up nominated for a cabinet position.
The GNAC Men’s Basketblog
Central Washington 99, Dixie State 95 in OT
Yeaaah Wildcats! We is so proud of you. Winning in OT. Yes, it’s for all intents and purposes a home game, but any win against the region is a win we will take. And there were TONS of good numbers, so let’s get started…
Wildcat highlights: NAIM LADD had SEVEN rebounds, two assists, ZERO turnovers, and 25 points; DOM HUNTER had a whopping 33 points while going 10/11 from the line and being good from the field; Jerome Bryant did the rare thing of confusing us with his lack of shooting; he went 1-3 and then made 9-11 from the line and grabbed five boards and had five fouls. Rarely do we think ‘wow, he could have kept shooting’ but this guy did and at the same time we’re excited for him because it shows the valuable trait of knowing his role and doing a darn good job at it. Fouling and drawing fouls? Um, yeah.
Full disclaimer: Power forward is our favorite position by and far, so that position does tend to get a good bit of bias around here.
Seattle Pacific 69, MN-Makato 78
While it’s a good win for MN-Mankato, we’re not convinced it’s a bad loss for SPU because we’d so much rather lose an out-of-region game than an in-region, and Mankato could turn out to be very good; it’s too early in the season to know at this point. We’ll consider it a good learning experience, hopefully.
Falcon highlights: COLEMAN WOOTEN had 16 boards and 24 points on solid shooting; Sam Simpson had eight boards and four assists; Will Parker had five fouls; and Joe Rasmussen had five boards and nine points. Off the bench Sharif Khan had 14 points; and Tony Miller had seven boards.
Alaska-Fairbanks 68, Cal State LA 74
Huge win for the CCAA as a whole. We talk about it all the time, but: Any win in Alaska is a good win because it’s so hard to play up there. We knew CSULA was going to be improved this year, it was just a matter of time.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had five boards and five assists; Bangaly had 10 boards and nine points; LaDonavan Wilder had five boards; and Brandon Davis had 16 points and five assists. Off the bench Reece Robinson had six points and four boards; and Michael Kluting had 10 points.
CU-Portland 57, UC San Diego 66
Way closer than anticipated. Yes, it was essentially a home game, but it’s still what we should all consider a very quality loss for the Cavalier program because we love the Cavs and anticipated a blowout so what was everyone else thinking? Yeah. It’s good.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 15 points, Latrell Wilson had five boards; Christopher Edward had a huge game with 10 points and eight boards; and off the bench Davis Nuami had four boards and three assists.
The Tritons play mad D so the numbers are less than they usually would have been for how close it was.
Alaska-Anchorage 75, BYU-Hawaii 50
Confirmed: BYU-H good at home and bad on the road. At least so far. Admittedly it’s hard to play at UAA, but in that we also need to say that: UAA has a huge homecourt advantage. Good for them. Did what needed to be done and there are lots of good numbers.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 21 points, seven boards, and three assists; Corey Hammell had a double-double with 12 boards and 10 points; and Connor Devine had 17 points and eight boards on good shooting. Off the bench Augustus Simmers had 10 points; Damien Fulp had 10 points while perfect from the line; nad Sjur Berg had five boards.
Western Oregon 93 vs. San Fran State 99 in 3OT
Oh dear. We’d say this game was a mess on both sides but it wasn’t. San Fran State played within themselves and used it to win the game in a hard place to play. They had surprisingly few bad numbers for the fact that the game went to 3OT. Not the case with the Wolves. Still, as bad as the numbers were they stayed in it.
Wolves highlights: Bryan Berg had 15 points and five boards; Tanner Omlid had eight boards, seven assists, four steals, two blocks, and assorted other stuff while securing a full house; Ali Faruq-Bey had eight boards; Buster Souza had a “break-out” game with seven boards and fourteen points with the only passable shooting on the Wolves. Off the bench Yanick Kulich had seven boards; and Malik Leaks had six boards and nine points -guess if you can survive that surname in elementary school, you can do anything.
Saint Martin’s 60 @ Sonoma State 77
Oh dear. Growing pains. It’s okay Saints, this is going to happen. Quality loss? Perhaps. At least Tyler Copp played moderately well, because outside of him there really are very few highlights.
Saints highlights: Tyler Copp had four boards, four assists, zero turnovers, and 20 points; Brandon Kenilvort had 17 points; and off the bench Rohjhae Colbert had five boards.
Overall an interesting day for the GNAC and West Region as a whole. Not bad nor good; this day was neutral all the way around, which is interesting of itself. We honestly haven’t looked at Saturday’s results except for CWU (they keep playing early so we keep seeing those results) and so… We’ll see in a little bit.
Congrats and good effort to all involved, GNAC or otherwise.
Why we felt the need to do this, we’re not sure. RPI is a brat and a half to calculate on the D2 level because everyone counts their non-D2 wins as wins (which they’re not -they’re simply non-losses) so to the SIDs and committee members reading this: You’re sort of welcome. Only sort of, because it really doesn’t matter.
Basically we kicked the butts of the non-west region schools we played, but none of them are doing particularly fantastically except for MN Moorhead, so… Thanks to the Dragons for the OOR (out of region) legitimacy that splitting with you guys brought. RMAC/South Central Region -You’re our OOR buddy, we had fun attending your Regional last year, and we believe in you and your teams, so those games should increase in quality as conference play goes on.
Ultimately after going through all of the non-west region stuff, we circled back around to our original belief that none of it truly matters because of the small chance that any given team is going to match-up with one of these regions in the post-season, and the fact that if and when they do meet up -there’ll be another two thirds of the season between now and then.
Still -interesting and fun numbers. We have all of them, so if you’re curious about a particular context or something such, feel free to ask questions in the comments or on twitter.
MSU-Billings 98 @ University of Mary 92 in OT
Who the heck is the University of Mary? Shockingly, a D2 school with a 3-1 record in the Northern Sun conference. Because it’s not west region and it’s only one game, we’re not sure how much it really matters from a conference standpoint, but from a Yellowjacket standpoint it’s big. It’s a big and much needed confidence booster going into a potentially brutal tournament this coming weekend.
Highlights: Marc Matthews had a full house with 24 points, five boards, three assists, one steal, one block and two fouls; Emmanuel Johnson had eight points, four boards, and four assists; Jace Anderson had 30 points and six assists; Christian Evans had 29 points and 10 boards; Cade Alcorn had seven boards and four blocks. The bench didn’t do much other than relieve the legs of the starters and almost blow the win. Yikes. Some very, very bad shooting and too many turnovers.
Still, very excited for this MSUB team. Last year was rough. Hopefully this breaks the wall from more or less losing to NAIA teams and they go and get a couple of Ws this weekend.
Saint Martin’s vs. Hawaii Hilo
The game is being played tonight. What are we thinking? That’s a good question. We’ve been contemplating it all weekend and still don’t really have an answer. Obviously Hawaii Hilo wants to break their streak of consecutive losses on the mainland (in regard to losing to SPU & CWU) but will it happen? From their standpoint, it seems really likely. But from our standpoint, we think it’s a great chance for the Saints to come in and put their collective foot down and send the Vulcans back out to sea with a record of 0-3. Hawaii Hilo tends to be a mid-pack team for the Pac-West, so steps up a little bit for the Saints, but it’s an improbable win -not impossible- all the reason for us to think that the Saints are capable of getting it done.
Other stuff… Concordia-Portland got killed by Boise State, Northwest Nazarene is going to be trying not to lose to NAIA College of Idaho -they nearly did a couple of weeks ago, so the Yotes are gonna be out for blood and well, we hope the Crusaders can handle it.
Discussions post’ll be up tomorrow.
Disclaimer: This is a place holder post -this isn’t in depth, guys that deserve to be talked about aren’t being talked about. Sorry. November is crazy -it will get better.
And hopefully so will our conference because right now… things look bleak. Notable results from this weekend:
Montana Northern (NAIA) 80, Northwest Nazarene 61
Colorado Christian (D2 RMAC) 63, Saint Martin’s 53
Academy of Art (Pac-West) 107, Simon Fraser 94
West Alabama (D2 Gulf South) 65, Alaska-Fairbanks 58
Azusa Pacific (Pac-West) 81, Western Oregon 74
BYU-Hawaii (Pac-West) 87, Central Washington 61
Some of those point differentials were obviously affected by fouling, but that is a heck of a lot of losses. And the wins: Northwest Indian College (meh) and Hawaii Pacific (hmmm). The worst of it may be the fact that Simon Fraser being a threat may have been debunked and Western Oregon looking like a dark horse for conference favorite may have also been debunked. Then again… it’s WOU. They beat Cal Poly Pomona early last year, lost a bunch of games… that could still be a coin flip. And Academy of Art could be much better than anticipated.
Still, Saturday it only got worse:
Azusa Pacific (Pac-West) 86, Saint Martin’s 69
Hawaii Pacific (Pac-West) 74, Central Washington 62
Westminster (NAIA) 73, Northwest Nazarene 68
Minnesota-Moorhead (Northern Sun) 74, Alaska-Fairbanks 52
Dominican (Pac-West) 114, Simon Fraser 112
BYU-Hawaii (Pac-West) 87, Seattle Pacific 74
So… the GNAC is officially not hosting any tournament games and the NAIA Frontier Conference has our number.
The good news is: both Westerns won! The above paragraph was written before seeing the results of the second game because GNAC knowledge is power, or something. Being an “expert” of D2 basketball on the west coast… I’ll take useless talents for 100, Alex.
Some of the scores inevitably are higher because of fouling, we’ll go for the more in-depth look in the next day or so. Also coming soon is some talk about how the Pac-West and CCAA is shaking out so far.
If the player of the week nominations go up today, it’ll be surprising, but those are also on the horizon… hopefully tomorrow. Good luck tonight to Seattle Pacific and Northwest Nazarene.
Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific both play Regis, from the RMAC.
Regis finished 4-18 in conference, 7-20 overall. Both games are played at home and neither Chaminade nor HPU should have a problem.
Point Loma plays the University of Mary, from the Northern Sun.
University of Mary finished 5-17 in conference and 7-21 overall; Point Loma finished 10-10 in conference and 20-10 overall, so they shouldn’t have too much trouble.
Hawaii-Hilo and BYU-Hawaii both play Washburn, from the MIAA.
Washburn finished 5th in the MIAA with a conference record of 10-9 and overall record of 17-10. The conference itself sent four teams to the regional, and so while Washburn didn’t make the tournament, they were likely a very good team. This game is being played in Hawaii and so the Hawaii schools both should hold what could be a very helpful home court advantage in a couple of games that are both likely to be close.
Dixie State plays Texas A&M-Commerce, from the Lone Star.
TAMU-Commerce finished 7-7 in conference and 19-10 overall. Dixie State is expected to win, although the margin is anyone’s guess.
BYU-Hawaii plays Oakland (IN).
Oakland is an independent team that finished 21-6 last year. The primary competition seems to be that of lesser quality; most of their games fall within their old National Christian Colleges Athletic Association regional teams, where they dominated. It’s understandable why they were taken at the D2 level, but their schedule last year for the most part consisted of them either getting blown out, or them blowing other people out. It is really anyone’s guess how this game will progress.
Not as intensive as the GNAC post; this is mostly just to give a basic idea. This blog is firmly against predictions and really simply tries to extrapolate based on tangible data, of which the pre-season offers none.
It was noticed that Washburn got skipped in the GNAC/D2 post, and now it’s been updated. Apologies to Washburn. Seattle Pacific, as the reigning conference champions (along with certain other factors), seems destined for receiving a more than adequate amount of attention on this blog, and thus no apology is directed toward the Falcons.
Have a good weekend, and we’ll see what’s in store on Monday.
The GNAC faces a grand total of nine different non-west division two schools over the course of 12 games. The schools come from three different regions and four different conferences, with an independent thrown in simply for pleasure.
Most interesting is that no west-region school would face any of the teams until the Final Four, and thus these games could help set the tone for what’s seen as a strong region vs. a weak region.
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference:
CWU and SPU play Minnesota-Crookston.
Minnesota-Crookston finished an impressive 1-21 in conference and 4-23 overall. The games are being played in the Seattle Pacific gymnasium and so it’s a literal home game for the Falcons and a virtual one for the Wildcats. While CWU will inevitably have some growing pains this year, seeing as they lost everybody on a team that finished a disappointing 8-10 in conference and 12-14 overall, this game should be a good chance to do some happy growing early in the year. SPU regardless as to the fact that they lost most of their scoring, shouldn’t have any issues considering the potential scoring threats they have waiting in the wings, no pun intended.
UAF plays Minnesota-Moorhead.
Minnesota-Moorhead finished in a three-way tie for first place in their division and a three way tie for 3rd place in their conference with a 15-7 conference record, and a 21-8 record overall. Ultimately, the school did not make the tournament nor did anyone else in their division; the Northern Sun received one auto-bid and one at large bid, both to schools in the other division. UAF is another GNAC team that suffered catastrophic losses, but they’re playing a virtual home game at UAA. The Alaska advantage is huge and Moorhead seems likely to overlook that little fact, thus while it seems likely that the Dragons will win -the Nooks should at least put up a fight.
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association:
SPU plays Washburn.
Washburn finished 5th in the MIAA with a conference record of 10-9 and overall record of 17-10. The conference itself sent four teams to the regional, and so while Washburn didn’t make the tournament, they were likely a very good team. This game is being played in Hawaii and so neither school is expected to hold an advantage nor disadvantage, and it should serve as a relatively good test for SPU with victory eventually being secured by the Falcons.
The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference:
WOU and SMU play Colorado Christian.
Colorado Christian finished 13-9 in conference and 18-15 overall, good for a 7th place standing in a difficult conference. WOU finished 4th and SMU finished 8th last year. Both teams return good cores of players. WOU finished 10-8 and 18-12; SMU finished 8-10 and 9-17. No team of the three made the tournament. The games are being played in Monmouth, thus it’s a home game for WOU. Generally speaking you never know what WOU is going to do, and so the match-up should be interesting; SMU, it’ll be a matter of whether or not they can solidify their identity this early in the season. If the Saints can, the odds seem good for a close game; if they can’t, it’ll likely be a blowout.
MSUB plays Black Hills State.
Both teams are the Yellowjackets. Black Hills State finished 8-14 in conference and 10-16 overall; MSUB finished 8-10 in conference and 12-15 overall. Black Hills State was by and far in the stronger conference, and the Montana Yellowjackets lost a fair bit of their core, but… This is actually a rivalry game. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. Black Hills killed MSUB last year, so it seems like the revenge factor might be there. MSUB is playing at home and they generally have a great home court advantage, but the wildcard of this year: the game lands the day before Elk and Deer season end. No prediction.
The Lone Star Conference:
NNU plays at Texas A&M Kingsville. NNU finished second to last with a 5-13 record in conference and a 7-19 record overall. TAMU-Kingsville finished 7-7 in conference and 19-9 overall. NNU has some interesting transfers coming in that could lead to big things, but it seems likely that Kingsville wins the game easily.
NNU and WWU both play Tarleton State.
NNU, as noted, was second to last in our conference, whereas WWU was second from the top although didn’t make the tournament. Tarleton won their conference with a 12-2 record and a 28-3 record overall. They made the tournament as the 2 seed and progressed to the round of 32, losing by a mere six points. Tarleton, like WWU, is a good team year in and year out; the match-up against NNU shouldn’t be a problem, and the match-up in Vegas with Western Washington should be one of the better games on the GNAC’s non-conference slate.
The Sunshine State Conference:
SPU & SMU play Rollins.
Rollins finished 14-13 overall last year and 8-8 in a conference that sent half their teams to the NCAA tourney, although they themselves didn’t go. Teams are different year to year and even day to day, but judging where each team finished and knowing how both SPU and SMU prepare… St. Martin’s and Rollins should be a fairly compelling match-up, but Rollins definitely holds the advantage. This is the first game either team plays in Vegas, and so the legs should be nice and fresh, which will hopefully lead to a competitive game.
Seattle Pacific is a different story; they’ll have played what’s likely to be a very exhausting game against Dixie State the day prior, and thus… they could be in kill mode, they could be in let-down mode, or they could be in “let’s get this over with mode;” we’ll have to see. It might be a good mis-match in SPU’s favor, or it might be a hard fought battle. It is doubtful, however, that the Falcons’ll get blown out.
Regardless of what actually happens, we’ll hope both GNAC teams show up in “WE LIVE IN CONSTANT DRIZZLE, TAKE YOUR SUNSHINE AND SHOVE IT,” mode. Not because the Sunshine State Conference isn’t fantastic, but simply because you know, stereotypes.
WWU plays Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. The team finished 2-10, and in the games they won had a combined margin of victory of four points. WWU is expected to have a great time on their vacation to Puerto Rico.
That is the D2 non conference for the GNAC; is the analysis in-depth? No. Because it doesn’t matter a ton anyway: the odds of a repeat game between one of the schools this calendar year is small, and the teams would be vastly different anyway. The implication overall will be basic: if we win, it won’t really say a lot; if we lose, it’ll say that we’re not as strong as we could be.
Thoughts on the DII Bulletin Pre-Season Top 25 is up next.
This page just went up simultaneously. Check it out; it contains a list of every non-West D2 school, sorted by conference and region. It also links to the men’s basketball section of every conference website.
Since the CCAA is yet to post their schedule, there will be three separate posts regarding the D2 non-region scheduling of the GNAC, Pac-West, and CCAA respectively; look forward to the GNAC one tomorrow.
In the mean time -there’s rarely a reason to really look at the numbers because D2 is so regional, but numbers are fun!
Here are some base numbers in terms of likeliness of making the tournament, strictly by the numbers.
24 conferences/auto bids
Overall, you have a 21% chance of making the tournament. Those don’t seem like bad odds, especially because every single conference receives at least one bid.
Regionally… there’s some significant variation, even just with numbers involved.
Your chance of making the tourney in each of the following regions:
South Central: 25%
Again, not bad odds when it’s only numbers.
Making it by procuring your conference auto-bid?
Great Northwest Athletic Conference: 10%
Pacific West Conference: 7%
California Collegiate Athletic Association: 8%
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference: 6%
Lone Star Conference: 11%
Heartland Conference: 12.5%
Peach Belt Conference: 7%
South Atlantic Conference: 8%
Conference Carolinas: 10%
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: 7%
Sunshine State Conference: 10%
Gulf South Conference: 10%
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association: 7%
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference: 6%
Great American Conference: 10%
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association: 8%
Mountain East Conference: 9%
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference: 5%
Northeast-10 Conference: 6%
Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference: 7%
East Coast Conference: 10%
Great Lakes Valley Conference: 6%
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: 6%
Great Midwest Athletic Conference: 11%
Some of those odds are really variable; it looks appealing to be in the GNAC where you have a 10% chance, except… 10% of that 10% is being willing to live in Fairbanks, Alaska for most of the year, which most people don’t want to do.
In the RMAC while you only have a 6% chance of making the tournament with an auto bid, the odds of living in a very desirable locale are quite good and thus the odds of getting good enough guys that you don’t need the auto bid to make the tourney are much higher.
Remember: The numbers consist of only the numbers.
Everything’s fair when it comes math; I tend to think that there’s less bias in D2 about strong and weak regions because no one is selecting the region you’ll play in; they’re merely selecting your seed. And when it comes to your seeding… you have to beat everybody.
Period. This is can be really, really annoying at times and is basically the only thing I dislike about the D2 system.
Two years ago, on a national level, WWU, Cal Poly Pomona, and SPU were all ranked in the Top 4 overall. However, they’re all in the same region. SPU and Cal Poly Pomona played each other in the round of 32, SPU and WWU played each other in the round of 16, WWU went to the Elite Eight.
While the best eight teams aren’t necessarily playing in the Elite Eight, there’s a good argument that the best team from each region goes to the Elite Eight. If you can’t win when it counts, you are clearly not the best.
The fact that it is so regional, also makes regions that much more fun. While there’s not a particular reason to know about schools outside, the implications of what’s going on within can be huge.
Last year on January 4th, I extrapolated that San Bernardino would host and the GNAC would be a one bid league unless the regular season champion and tournament winner were different. Roughly 275 games later, I was proven correct.
Meanwhile, back in numbers land…
You have roughly a 2.7% chance overall of making the Elite Eight, therefore a 2.7% chance of seeing a team outside of your own region in March.
The numbers by region:
South Central: 3.1
This is why your region matters, but the others don’t. It also explains why this blog is so obsessed with the Pac-West and CCAA: it’s a GNAC blog; we’re in the West Region; what happens nationally matters little, and we have little control over it. What we do have control over is how our conference is viewed within the region, proving that those in-conference wins are a big deal, and therefore securing our seeding.
All the same, every D2 game is important and next we’ll take a look at the GNAC vs. the non-west D2.