First and foremost: Happy Thanksgiving!
Seattle Pacific 119, Northwest Indian 53
College of Idaho 78, Northwest Nazarene 75
The first game doesn’t even need to be talked about. We’ll do it when it’s SFU, but frankly: Seattle Pacific is expected to get it done. Same with WWU. Same with WOU and Anchorage to some extent. The latter have been much more variable than most of us were hoping, but… so have the first two.
Northwest Nazarene… at least it was close? We’re at the point when we’re rubbing our eyes and groaning mildly but losing to an NAIA school is no longer surprising, so it just feels like another day at the office. There’s also the sentiment that we need to stop coddling the lower half of the conference: Get it done. Period. Shut-up, put the ball in the hoop, get up and get the board, and quit your griping. This blog has sworn off profanity for the sake of being accessible, otherwise there would be much more colorful language being used.
Great Falls 89, MSUB 84
Western Washington 108, Multnomah 75
Western Oregon 67, Dixie State 52
The Frontier Conference continues to own the GNAC, and by the GNAC it means NNU and MSUB because those are the schools that play schools in the Frontier Conference most often. Refresher: The Frontier Conference is an NAIA conference with schools located in Idaho and Montana.
Western Washington beating Multnomah… Good. The Vikings got it done and did exactly what they were expected to do. This is a terrible case where mediocre play is being rewarded for some teams and not others.
There’s no denying that this blog is a lot harder on SPU and WWU, with as noted: attempts to be just as hard on Anchorage and Western Oregon because they were supposed to do more this year and have done more in the past, but we’re headed for as much parity and weakness as last year, to the point that last year looks like really good prep for what is currently going on.
It was surprising when SPU dropped the game to Academy of Art and WWU came back from PR with a losing record, but… much as there’s an urge to be surprised about Anchorage losing, there’s really not the same sentiment. Yes, they were picked second in the conference by the coaches, but that was a pick that the blog openly disagreed with. On the other side, this blog had higher hopes for WOU and yet it seems expectations should truly be tapered. There was a lot of sentiment that since the Wolves had done the win some-lose some thing last year, this year, with so much returning, they’d be able to put it together consistently and yet they haven’t.
Much as there was disagreement that the Seawolves would be second, there was the inherent hope of being proven wrong. It’s not like there’s the overwhelming urge around here that SPU and WWU have to stand at the top -it’s more like we’re hoping for depth of all programs (think Pac-10 basketball in the mid ’00s) rather than mediocrity for everyone (Pac-10 basketball in the early ’10s).
Western Oregon beat Dixie State, which… is it surprising? Sort of? Maybe? Kind of. Haven’t decided on that because as noted: WOU is expected to get it done, except as a conference we’ve been getting our butts kicked by the Pac-West and yet like last year, WOU is appearing to be an incredibly variable team.
Saint Martin’s 82, George Fox 69
Seattle Pacific 84, Hawaii Hilo 74
Pacific 81, Alaska-Anchorage 62
Saint Martin’s got it done against DIII George Fox, which at this point is commendable. Really balanced scoring and a lot of good numbers to sift through: Trey Ingram had seven rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one block, and three points, which is a heck of a full house; Tyler Iwodu had 17 points and seven rebounds; Cameron Chatman had a double-double with fourteen points and ten rebounds; Riley Carel had a balanced five rebounds, five assists, and 10 points off the bench; Brent Counts came insanely close to a double-double off the bench with nine boards and twelve points; finally, Ryan Rogers had 12 points also off the bench.
That is some really good balance. Yes, it was against a DIII team but conference wide everyone’s been losing games they shouldn’t and to a degree winning ones that they shouldn’t either. This game was a coin flip going in and SMU managed to actually do something productive with it, which is at least a start. Not saying it really changes much of anything, but it’s good to see the result none-the-less.
Seattle Pacific switched their starters as of the Hawaii trip? It could be looked up but doesn’t matter that much. The stat line of the new starter, Bryce Leavitt, is less than stellar –Brendan Carroll, the guy he replaced, had a much better game with 13 points off the bench; also of note Mitch Penner had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench. Starters –Riley Stockton had a balanced nine points and eight rebounds; Matt Borton had 14 points; Cory Hutsen had 21 points while fouling out. The entire team had a mere five assists, which is a massive red flag but at least the Falcons won.
Pacific beat Alaska-Anchorage, but Pacific is in the WCC and so it doesn’t really matter. They were respectable and it helps that they were playing at home, and so the Seawolves aren’t particularly concerning in this case. Much as we love non-conference, it’s been so push-pull this year that there’s a numbness that’s starting to transcend during non-D2 games.
As noted in the last post: There is a massive amount of catch-up to do. There’s still the full intention of doing player-of-the-week for the last week, there’s also plans to look at the Pac-West and CCAA, and some other more stat-oriented stuff.
With that: Enjoy your food coma and Go Seahawks!
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.