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.
All times pacific.
UC San Diego vs. UAF @ WWU @ 2:30pm
UCSD should put away the Nooks without issue, but if for some reason the Nooks upset the Tritons, everyone loses because it doesn’t make UAF look good; it simply makes UCSD look bad.
Prediction: UCSD wins. Please.
NNU @ Regis (Denver) @ 4pm
Regis is 4-0. This is a great test for NNU. Hopefully the Crusaders pull it out, but…
Prediction: Regis wins. No idea on the margin.
CU-PDX @ Cal State LA @ 5pm
Cal State LA looks good this year and so it should be an interesting battle. There are implications in both directions that CSULA should win/CU-PDX should win, so…
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ Westminster (SLC) @ 6pm
Who knows? The Falcons escaped Dixie State last night but it wasn’t pretty. It’s an RMAC crossover game, so it’s not insanely critical but at the same time it is D2 and all non-con wins are good non-con wins.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SFU @ Point Loma @ 7pm
We want SFU to win sooo badly, but, let’s be real:
Prediction: PLNU gets the ‘W.’
P.S. C’mon Clan! You can do it! We want to be wrong!
WOU @ Notre Dame de Namur @ 7pm
Prediction: WOU wins big.
SMU @ Cal Baptist @ 7pm
Another game where we want the GNAC team to upset sooo badly, but it just seems unlikely to happen. CBU is currently 6-0… We will bake the Saints cookies, really good cookies, if they can get this upset. This game is one of those games that if we win it (as a conference) it should have implications for rest of the season. The good news is if the Saints lose, it doesn’t really matter a ton because everyone knows CBU is good and the Saints have a quality enough schedule that it is a legitimate win for the Lancers.
Prediction: CBU wins.
More games of intrigue than we expected. It should be a super fun day of basketball. Good luck to all the teams playing; have fun, be safe, go 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.
Holy guacamole, welcome to Nutso November. Our schedule is a little wacky today (as is the game schedule), so the highlights of yesterday’s games will probably go up this afternoon at some point.
That said, let’s jump into previewing today’s games, seeing as one starts in under an hour.
All times pacific standard.
MSUB vs. Sonoma State @ Cal State East Bay @ 12pm
We’re curious about this game because not even Sonoma knows if Sonoma is going to be good, and both of these teams are coming off of close wins -Sonoma in 2OT and MSUB in regulation- and so we’ll see what happens. If both games in this tournament end as they did yesterday, it’ll be arguably the best basketball tournament we’ve witnessed… This year. Okay, the GNAC tourney was unbelievably fantastic too, but the more great basketball the better!
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ Cal State East Bay @ 2pm
No idea; we know nothing because it’s early in the season, the two games played in this tournament yesterday were insane, and there’s arguably an interesting dynamic that could be on display between these two teams in particular.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CWU vs. Monterey Bay @ 3pm
CWU suffered a bit of an embarrassing loss yesterday, because seriously Wildcats?! You return more than anyone else in the conference outside of the Westerns and that’s how you play?! C’mon men.
Prediction: Monterey Bay wins.
CU-PDX vs. San Bernardino State @ 5pm
We’re sooo proud of the Cavs play yesterday and feel like they’re in a great position to keep the momentum going and get a win today.
Prediction: CU-PDX wins another close one.
SMU vs. Point Loma @ 5pm
Gah, we wish we were attending this game. It should be fantastic.
Prediction: Point Loma wins a close one.
SFU vs. Notre Dame de Namur @ 5pm
Is SFU legitimate or is Hilo terrible? If we go with the ‘SFU is legit’ argument then we expect them to beat ND de Namur convincingly.
Prediction: SFU is good this year; wins by 10 or so.
UAF vs. Hawaii Pacific @ 6:30pm
UAF lost to Chaminade by a fair bit, Hawaii Pacific beat Anchorage by a fair bit, thus…
Prediction: HPU blows out UAF.
WWU vs. Hilo @ 7:30pm
Our prediction is going to be that WWU wins every game until they don’t. Their team is stacked and we’re really excited about it.
Prediction: WWU blows out Hilo.
WOU vs. Fresno Pacific @ 7:30pm
Our prediction is going to be that
WWU WOU wins every game until they don’t. Their team is stacked and we’re really excited about it.
Prediction: WOU blows out FPU.
UAA vs. Chaminade @ 9pm
Another game we’re really curious about because with the results of yesterday it looks like Chaminade and UAA could be a couple of well-matched teams because we think UAA is better than UAF and HPU is better than Chaminade.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Have fun, be safe, go GNAC!
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!
It’s going up late so we’re just gonna jump right in:
Dixie State 71, Alaska-Fairbanks 58
Joe Slocum needs to be benched. We’re kind of fed up and done with him at this point because we expected an extra year would do him a solid. A couple years ago UAF had four good guys and Joe was that fifth starter that wasn’t great but was better than the bench. We figured this year he’d had a redshirt year, he plays guard which means the entire offense flows through him, and we were so ready to go “Solid returning pieces, experienced point guard, bam, this is gonna be good.” No. Although this loss wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
Highlights: Bengaly Kaba had five boards, four assists, one steal, one block, three fouls, and 10 points for the full house; Trevante Williams had four steals; Almir had five boards, three blocks, and four fouls. Off the bench Brandon Davis had seven points.
Nothing really to write home about. Lots of bad shooting. This game was wholly winnable and they didn’t do it and it’s a stain on our conference, and it’s a big stain on UAF because they don’t have an opportunity to procure another quality “neutral” win let alone a quality non-conference road win. Now they’re looking at going into WOU, WWU, and SPU as necessary wins to prove their worth. Good luck Nooks.
Western Oregon 81 @ Notre Dame de Namur 51
Lots of good numbers, but now we’re just flat-out worried about Julian Nichols. Another bad game and this was against ND de Namur of all teams. Other than that though, it was a very well spaced win, lots of time for the bench folks, good experience builder, yada yada yada.
Highlights: Alex Roth had 13 points; Julian Nichols had four assists; Jordan Wiley had 15 points; Andy Avgi had 24 points, seven boards, one assist, and three steals. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had 11 points and four assists.
Wolves did exactly what they were expected to do and with that: continuing on the grind.
Dominican 92 @ MSU-Billings 74
Good team effort, not horrible numbers, questionable shooting. With the last, we’ll commend-ish Dominican’s defense. The reality is this is exactly what Dominican wanted to do and wanted to prove. Dominican has tended to exist either as one of the lower seeds in the tournament or just missing out, so this win against MSUB helped them on that quest. MSUB is a well coached team and it wasn’t ugly per say, but it bordered on it. Losing by 20? Yeah. Borders on it at the very least.
Highlights: Marc Matthews had five boards, four assists, a steal, a block, three fouls, and eight points; Jace Anderson had 17 points; Christian Evans had 10 points and five boards; Cade Alcorn had five boards. Off the bench Preston Beverly had 12 points and six boards; Jordan Perry had 16 points, six boards, and four assists.
Really like what MSUB is getting out of their bench. Remember, last year Western Washington only went seven deep so it’s totally possible to have some amount of success even while having a very short bench.
Concordia-Portland 70 @ Cal Baptist 102
Lots of really horrible, nasty numbers to the point that we can’t overlook it even for the conference baby brother. You’re our baby brother, that means you represent us, and it means you better do it with some level of respectability even if you’re getting blown out. The shooting numbers were vomit inducing. You guys all play D2 basketball, it ain’t D1, but you’ve still supposedly proven that you function on a relatively high level on a basketball court and these numbers do not do that.
Highlights: Tyler Gutierrez had fourteen boards. Off the bench: James Phillips had seven points; Jarrett Gray had five points. The team overall had a low number of turnovers, but… the other team was able to grab 65 rebounds. 65. There were were a grand total of 101 rebounds grabbed in this game. That is some really, really, really bad shooting.
Seattle Pacific 62 @ Chico State 50
We’re going to try really, really, really hard not to down play this win even though everything in us wants to because that’s how we watch WWU and SPU -great, you won by double digits, you messed up here, and here, and that can never happen again, but… It was a positively brilliant game for both teams. Chico State was picked to finish first in the CCAA, they’ve gone to the tournament the last couple of years, they’re incredibly well coached, and if you’re looking for a basketball game to watch: Watch a Chico State home game; their broadcaster is the cream of the crop.
Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had fourteen rebounds, five assists, and sixteen points. Gilles Dierickx four boards, 20 points and two fouls; Mitch Penner had six boards and 10 points; Garrett Swanson had seven boards, two assists, seven points, and three fouls.
This win is big. It is a true road win, it’s against a well coached team that made the tournament and that’s projected to make the tournament again. SPU executed as flawlessly as we’ve ever seen, their defense was stifling, and while they were doing it… It still almost wasn’t enough. Chico crept back in after the Falcons were up 16. SPU shot 75% from the free throw line and needed every single one of those shots. The boards that were being grabbed… If you want to see why basketball is a beautiful and kinetic game, watch the tape of this one, it was pretty freakin’ textbook in terms of fundamental basketball. Did everyone have a great game? No. But every single person visibly did their job with the mindset that “It doesn’t matter what I do, it matters what we do.” And what they did was go into Chico State and procure a win.
Tonight’s game previews will be up in an hour, just in time for UAF to take on Dominican.
Alright… Gonna drag you guys away from your Civil War and Apple Cup shenanigans for a minute and talk about GNAC basketball because hooooly salmon, we’ve got a heck of a schedule on our hands today.
All times pacific. Projected wins in bold.
2pm: Alaska Fairbanks vs. Dixie State @ MSU-Billings
It’s hard to call this a “statement” game when Dixie State is 1-3 with the win coming against completely depleted Concordia-Portland. And yet, maybe it is a “statement” game because if the Nooks don’t win, it’s gonna be bad-ish. Instead of being a great chance to make a statement with a win, it’s gonna be a bigger statement if they lose, so… Get after it Nooks.
6:30pm: Dominican @ MSU-Billings
Dominican tends to sit upper mid-pack in the Pac-West, so if the Yellowjackets can win it would be huge, but if they don’t it’s not the end of the world. It’s definitely a potential win, so… Maybe? Probably no, but maybe.
7pm: Western Oregon @ Notre Dame de Namur
WOU should kill. Hopefully see Andy get some good minutes and Julian start his assisting attack. Devon Alexander had a great non-conference last year too before being simply okay in the regular season, so we’ll see about that. He should be good for these games at least.
7pm: CU-Portland @ Cal Baptist
They’re gonna die. All we request is that they don’t get injured while doing so. Simply accept your fate and you can be like Harry Potter and Voldemort -stay uninjured and improve and do good things in the regular season. Sounds like plan.
7:30pm: Seattle Pacific @ Chico State
Game of the night. The good news is that it’s gonna be an intense game. The bad news is we really don’t know much about either team because all of the wins out of both programs have come against teams with losing records. Kinda in wait and see mode. Obviously from a GNAC standpoint we really hope the Falcons can get it done, but we honestly don’t know. Chico is a very good team, they’re very well coached -just like the Falcons. The Falcons, though, are still so young and we’ll see.
Nightlights? Maybe. Good luck to the Cougs/Huskies/Beavers today in the Apple Cup and Civil War, respectively.
Last year we did an absolute TON about the non-conference schedule. This year because so few guys are coming back and we really don’t know what to expect out of our own conference there’s not nearly as much, BUT we will go through some of the stuff here and discuss what we like and don’t like. Hint: We don’t like weak non-conference opponents & non-west region games.
- Alaska Anchorage @ Cal Baptist.
- WOU vs. Point Loma -not a tourney team, but close.
- Seattle Pacific @ Dixie State.
- Western Washington vs. BYU-Hawaii
- Seattle Pacific vs. BYU-Hawaii
- Seattle Pacific vs. Azusa Pacific
- Seattle Pacific @ Chico State
Here’s the sitch as to why that list so heavily favors the Falcons: SPU plays four tournament teams. SPU was a tournament team. Yes, they lost almost everything, BUT much as we don’t talk about it: their roster isn’t unrecognizable.
The games that are highlighted are games that are going to tell us things. If Anchorage keeps it close against CBU or beats them, that could be really good. If WOU beats the pants off of Point Loma, again, good. All of the BYUH games are big.
Here’s the break down of each school and their West Region opponents:
Cal State Dominguez Hills
Not a bad schedule. Should be pretty interesting, they should be able to at least be in every game and win 2-3 of them.
Cal State Dominguez Hills
This is gonna be a bit of a challenge. Only Dominguez Hills is gonna be a gimme on that schedule, so… we’ll see what they do. It’ll be great to compare the Seawolves performance against CBU vs. CU-Portland’s. Hawaii Pacific is another great comparison school.
@ CSU Monterey Bay
Disappointing. It’s hard to say that we don’t expect them to lose. It’ll be great if they can get a win, but if they can’t, well, it’s SFU.
So unappetizing. They do play a couple of other D2 opponents that aren’t west region, but… eh. The BYU-Hawaii game is going to be full of intrigue. Both games are completely winnable, so… We shall see. It doesn’t do our conference any favors, that’s for sure. We need WWU to start playing in more in-region and fewer cupcakes, especially now that SOS is officially being considered for bids.
Cal State East Bay
Pretty near perfect. It’s entirely chock full of West Region teams, lots of ways to test themselves before conference play, it might not always be ideal results but they’re gonna learn from it and be that much stronger than they would be playing cupcakes. This schedule is designed to show them who they are and figure out how to make their weaknesses strengths; the only guarantee we see is East Bay. If they can somehow miraculously win five of these games… it’ll help everyone, conference wide. Good luck Falcons, we believe in you.
Good schedule considering it’s a new coaching staff and some young but good guys. It should test them and teach them and give us a fair bit of information. Like the match-ups because it should bend but not break them; the games should be close, although no predicting who’ll win.
SPU + MSUB = FOREVER. Though far more brutal on the side of the Yellowjackets. Chico State, Dixie State, Azusa, heck even Dominican? Yikes. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Jackets go 0-4. That’s okay, it won’t be the end of the world for our conference, no one is really expecting MSUB to be super good, so if they pull a couple of upsets it’s great, but if they don’t it’s par for the course.
Not digging this. Kind of a lose-lose. If they win both, it’s only two games. If they lose both, it’s a big yikes. If they split winning against BYU-H and losing to Hawaii Hilo everyone’s gonna cringe, and if they beat Hawaii Hilo and lose to BYUH it’s just par for the course.
San Francisco State
Yikes. That’s pretty much NNU in a nutshell until we see otherwise. With Alex and Erik this schedule would be doable and teach them a lot. Without those two… It honestly doesn’t matter who they play. At least they’re gonna lose against mediocrity so it won’t make the other conferences look extra good?
They’re trying to make the Concordias rivals, which is kind of stupid honestly. Dixie State and Cal Baptist will probably brutalize them, so hopefully they can win against their sibling. Their non-con is mostly NAIA, which makes sense and isn’t the worst thing this year because the big problem is they just can’t prepare because regardless of whom they play: they don’t return enough. So we’ll see. They could do really well. You never know.
CSU Monterey Bay
Notre Dame de Namur
Ewww. C’mon WOU, you knew you were going to be better than that and this isn’t going to teach you anything. It’s also not doing our conference any favors, much less yourselves. You want to compete for an at-large NCAA bid? Prove your strength of schedule. SPU does that -you don’t. Heck, Anchorage does that. MSUB does that. If you’re counting on an at-large bid -you just made it that much more difficult for you AND all ten other conference teams. If SOS was being counted last year… Iffy. Your entire schedule would have rested on a win against Dixie, a couple of close losses to APU & Point Loma, a quality-ish loss to SPU on the road, and then a 2OT win against the Falcons at home.
That’s what we’re thinking. Excited to dive in.
Missouri State 55, Alaska-Anchorage 51
Simon Fraser 123, Holy Names 121
Texas A&M Kingsville 84, Northwest Nazarene 70
Western Oregon 84, CSU Monterey Bay 73
Alaska-Fairbanks 78, Notre Dame de Namur 68
Hoooly bologna there are the results against the Pac-West that we’re looking for.
Missouri State and Alaska-Anchorage… congrats to the Seawolves on keeping it respectable! It’s great particularly right now not because that’s a D1 team, but because they’re showing growth and growth is everything. The main problem with the conference results thus far is how much the “growth” will be taken seriously once we enter into exclusive conference play in January.
Player highlights: Brian McGill with 12 points and four fouls; Travis Thompson with 14 points and four steals; Kalidou Diouf with 11 points and eight rebounds. Overall pretty balanced performance; doesn’t mean much, but those guys got it done and again: it was respectable.
SFU won the battle of “who can play the most offense and just enough defense,” in what is becoming a common theme: heart attacks for all of us watching. It’s so exciting though because last year SFU had a bunch of games like this and DIDN’T win and now they’re starting to; watching the progression is simply amazing.
Player highlights: Sango Niang once again –29 points, three rebounds, six assists, and four steals; Justin Cole with 27 points, Roderick Evans-Taylor with 13 points and seven rebounds; Michael Harper with 11 points, Patrick Simon II with 10 points and five boards; finally: Hidde Vos with 15 points off the bench.
We all know the Clan’s style helps them significantly in terms of sheer numbers, but whatever gets it done. This is looking like a drastically improved team, which is fantastic. Really excited to get to watch them in person later this year.
Northwest Nazarene lost, which, okay… not unexpected. That’s not a knock on the Crusaders; at this point anyone winning or losing a game isn’t surprising. It was mentioned a bunch pre-season: predictions are pointless. Sometimes they happen just for skits and giggles, but most of the time they’re not something to even bother with.
In terms of player highlights the first thing that stands out is that Bouna didn’t have a particularly good game, which could explain the loss. Bouna is already massively standing out as a player to watch in conference, and he’s really becoming the Austin Hudson of the Crusaders; Erik Kinney had a great game full of balance with 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and one steal; Aubrey Ball had 22 points; Mike Wright had 10 points; Kevin Rima had 10 points and seven rebounds; finally, David Shedrick had eight points off the bench.
The Crusaders continue to struggle with turnovers and their bench play needs to get better now, but… they still look mildly promising, at least in regards to improvement over last year.
WESTERN OREGON, YOU ARE SEEN! Picking up that win against CSU-MB. Balanced scoring is always a great thing. Turnovers however… oh dear. And five assists? No way Jose.
Devon Alexander had 13 points; Julian Nichols had a full house with 17 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block; Lew Thomas had a double-double with 14 REBOUNDS and 11 points; Jordan Wiley had 16 points; Andy Avgi had a relatively quiet game (for him) with six boards, two steals, and eight points. Nothing particularly of note from the bench, so… we’ll look for the Wolves to improve on that.
UAF: Stop trying to make “Alaska” happen, it isn’t going to happen. You are Fairbanks. Deal with it. Yes it’s a recruiting disadvantage to admit you’re in Fairbanks -we get it, but seriously: just stop. On the brighter side of things (of which, there’s not much brightness in Fairbanks at this point) you picked up a ‘W’ against ND de Namur.
Ruben Silvas had 10 points; Ashton Edwards had a fantastic 24 points; Kyle Tomlinson had nine points and seven rebounds; Adam Griffin had 10 points; and finally: Isaac Ladines contributed seven rebounds and five fouls off the bench -shout out to the big man defensive specialist for gettin’ it dirty and done.
Up next is Saturday’s games; on the horizon this week is looking at the conference games that start on Thursday, and what the Pac-West and CCAA are up to/how we’ve faired thus far.
First and foremost: So many games, such a lack of posting and tweeting, never to happen again. This is why you don’t try and sit between two chairs. The blog is committed to all ten teams. We’ll also be regularly checking in with Concordia-Portland in anticipation of next year.
College basketball on a Friday night… sacrilege to the high school game, but oh well.
Central Washington 65, Minnesota-Crookston 52
Nicely done Wildcats!! Admittedly we knew MN-Crookston’s record last year, but they got an entirely new coaching staff, Central is dealing with almost an entirely new team, and… they’ve got a good rotation. Jordan Russell had 17 points off the bench, along with 6 rebounds; Joseph Shroud had 16 points off the bench, Gary Jacobs with a well-rounded performance of a FULL HOUSE. Even with a terrible A/TO, the blocks and steals are hard to come by so we’ll give him credit anyway.
Player of the game: Gary Jacobs.
Hawaii Hilo 89, Northwest Nazarene 81
While not a victory for the Crusaders, that is still a darn respectable score. NNU has potential this year, particularly considering how balanced their minutes and scoring was; nine guys played at least thirteen minutes. Four players scored in the double digits: Bouna N’Diaye, Erik Kinney, Aubrey Ball, and Kevin Rima.
Kevin Rima… HAD A DOUBLE-DOUBLE!! Nicely done Kevin. Kevin is obviously our player of the game.
CSU East Bay 86, MSU-Billings 80.
The bad news? The MSUB bench contributed almost nothing. The good news? Their scorers are starting to come out of the woodwork. Gary Gordon had 22 points and eight rebounds; Momir Gataric had 13 points and a block; Antoine Hosley (formerly of UW) had 21 points; and…
Austin Hudson had a double-double, with 20 points and 12 boards!! He also had TWO blocks. Player of the game, right there.
They may have lost the battle, but we’ll consider this game a step in the right direction in terms of the Yellowjackets winning the war.
Fresno Pacific 87, Saint Martin’s 67
There isn’t much to say when a team loses by twenty. This wasn’t a moral victory. The highlights for Saint Martin’s include that Tyler Copp scored 17 points, Ryan Rogers had 11 points, Isaac Bianchini had 12 points off the bench, and Tyler Iwodu had eight points and six rebounds for the spot as the Saints’ leading rebounder. Trey Ingram highlights with an amazing 7-0 assist to turnover ratio; he scored a mere five points, but… talk about unselfish play and prototypically what you want in a point guard.
Nice job Trey; player of the game.
Academy of Art 70, Seattle Pacific 67
The Falcons need to prove themselves and they need to do it now. Academy of Art could be better than we were thinking they’d be, or they could be terrible. They looked good against SPU. There’s rational to say that we should still remain calm about the Falcons because the season is so early and they lost by so little, but like Western… What SPU does or doesn’t do holds so much on how the rest of the conference is perceived that… GET IT TOGETHER.
Player highlights include Mitch Penner with 17 points and nine rebounds, Riley Stockton with nine rebounds and eight points, and Cory Hutsen with 10 points and six rebounds.
Player of the game: Mitch Penner.
Simon Fraser 160, Northwest Indian 99
At this point, it doesn’t matter that the defense looks like bologna and the team is way below D2. SFU BEAT A NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT. And they scored 160. There are teams like SPU where we expect more and teams like SFU where we expect less; sorry Falcons, Vikings, Wolves, and Seawolves in advance. Still… SFU, go Clan!
Seven players scored at least 10 points. In order of the stat sheet: Sango Niang 14 points, eight assists, three steals, 0 turnovers; Justin Cole 16 points, three steals; Roderick Evans-Taylor 19 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, three assists, and one block -again a bad A/TO but the man still had a full house; Patrick Simon II 14 points, six rebounds; JJ Pankratz 13 points; Adam Westfall 21 points; Hidde Vos 17 points, five assists.
Player of the game of course goes to Roderick Evans-Taylor.
Western Washington 78, Notre Dame de Namur 52
Sorry Vikings; you did exactly what you were supposed to do. Good job. This is mundane: Joey Schreiber had 19 points, seven rebounds; Jeffrey Parker had 21 points, seven rebounds; Anye had five points, seven blocks and seven rebounds; Kyle Impero had seven rebounds and picked up four fouls, which is impressive for a guard.
Vikings, your bench provided almost nothing in any statistical category; there is the concern. Our entire conference relies on you, which you know. Sorry about that. We believe in you Vikings, hence the bashing of heads going “you won by 26, but…” Seriously WWU, gotta do it, gotta set the standard. Ahem, last year; let’s not talk about it all that often.
Player of the game: Anye. Yes it’s biased. Sorry Jeff and Kyle. But especially in a gym like Carver, blocks can change an outcome massively.
Point Loma 64, Western Oregon 54
Here we go again… Wolves, you’re better than this. You beat Oregon State. You need to bounce back. The Nike U. loss meant nothing. Your rebounding performance and play off the bench in this game was dismal. Andy Avgi had 15 points and four rebounds; Lew Thomas had 11 points and six rebounds… Wake up Wolves. You’re supposed to be challenging for second place, considering what Anchorage has been dealing with.
Player of the game: Lew Thomas.
Sonoma State 74, Alaska Anchorage 66
Once again: Seriously Seawolves? Were you drinking too much Coppertone while you were down there? You’re better than this. We outrage because we adore. Aaaaand we find that answer in your rebounding. Commit Seawolves, you gotta commit. You have the second best home advantage in the conference and just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean anything. You can do this. Brian McGill had 25 points, Travis Thompson had 21 points, and no one else really had anything of note. The starters played a lot of minutes.
Trinity Int’l 83, Alaska-Fairbanks 73
Really Nooks? At Home? You let Trinity beat you at home? Your home court advantage is another that shouldn’t be understated. The good news is Adam Griffin scored 17 points off the bench; Ruben Silvas had an incredibly balanced seven rebounds, two steals, four assists, and nine points; and four players had at least six rebounds. While you didn’t win the war, you won many battles. We know you’re rebuilding and from the looks of the effort -you’re going to be just fine.
There is still plenty of hope left for you UAF.
Player of the game goes to Ruben Silvas.
Wow! Yes this went up late. If we missed anybody, please let us know. Leave a comment, tweet at us. Up next is our Player of the Week nominations.