Yes there are other games being played besides our numbered days, but close enough.
Dixie State 86 @ WOU 97
Got it done. This should be a win that we look at and go “absolutely quality,” later in the season. Dixie is super well coached and amazingly they start off strong and then tend to get even stronger, and so… Big praise to the Wolves. Dixie is always in contention for the West Regional and usually makes it, so this win helps everyone.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 19 points and 12 boards among a full house of stats; Darius Luborn had five assists; and Riley Hawken had a great bounce-back game with 21 points and eight boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammmell made noise with 24 points on great shooting -this time 6-9 from the line; Vince Boumann impresses yet again with a double double of 15 points and 10 boards while going 7-8 from the field; and Ali Faruq-Bey had six points.
Congrats to the Wolves on a great win!
CWU 60 vs. CU-Irvine 65 @ SPU
Good lord, don’t let this score fool you: CU-I did everything in their power to Coug It (that is: clutch defeat from the jaws of victory) after being up by 18 part way through the second half and then… CWU took it seriously and CU-I didn’t.
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz eight boards; Jawan Stepney had 21 points on good shooting; Fuquan Niles had 14 boards and eight points; and off the bench Malik Montoya had four boards.
Big praise again to the Wildcats for being in it the whole time and continuing to grind. Almost got it done! Next time.
CU-PDX 78 vs. Academy of Art 71 @ NNU
Maybe a little bit of a let-down game, but the Cavs still got it done and came back after being down at the half. Way to go guys!
Cav highlights: Jace Cates had 10 points; Cody Starr had nine points; Jarrett Gray went 10-10 from the line and finished with 20 points; and Christopher Edward had 18 points and 13 boards while being great from the field. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had 11 points and six boards; while Deandre Stallings had seven points.
Good job Cavs, keep it going! We believe in you.
Hawaii-Hilo 59 @ SPU 90
This game looked like it was going to be interesting for the first ten or so minutes, and then it wasn’t, but we’re okay with that.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 11 points, five boards, and five assists while going 4-5 from the field; Sam Simpson bounced back with 14 points; Nikhil Lizotte had 11 points; and Tony Miller had 22 points and nine boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six points and six assists; Harry Cavell had eight points and four boards; Hunter Eisenhower had five points; and EJ Poulsen and Nathan Streufert both added four boards as well.
Congrats to the Falcons on the win, now go beat Dixie State! Yay SOS. We get concerned.
Holy Names 74 @ UAA 80
This is another score to not let fool you; Anchorage didn’t stay on it -they attempted to lose, it had been a blow-out. The good news is they still got it done, so non-conference wins for the GNAC, woo-hoo!
Seawolf highlights: Jacob Lampkin had a “quiet” game with only 12 points, 10 boards, and a full house; DJ Ursery had 15 points and six boards; and Josiah Wood had 11 points. Off the bench Malik Clements had seven points and six boards; Brennan Rymer had six points; and Brian Pearson had six points while going 4-4 from the line.
Thank-you Seawolves! We’ll always take a non-con win in any way, shape, or form.
SFSU 92 @ NNU 75
The Crusaders were in it, they were in it and going for it and then the final result happened, but it was still a valiant effort and much experience gained.
Crusader highlights: Carlos Garcia had six boards; Obi Megwa had 13 points; Nikola Prvulj was back in action and had 10 points; and Maurice Jones had 26 points and 12 boards.
Back on it NNU, we believe! Although maybe not against Metro State -we like being wrong though, so upset them!
Overall not a bad day of GNAC play. As you can probably tell -we walk around wringing our hands about conference SOS and this day didn’t stop the practice, but again: A big thanks to WOU.
Game previews for Tuesday will be up on Tuesday and then we’ll probably wait to do POW on Wednesday because then we can include SMU & UAF as well, so that’ll be good.
Good luck to the Nanooks against HNU tomorrow.
Lots of great moments to be proud of and excited about, teams doing what we know they can and getting it done! NNU is looking better than normal, which is great for everyone much less them =) Way to go Crusaders.
CWU 84 vs. Hilo 79 @ SPU
It looks closer than it was; CWU turned off the gas after having a huge lead. Oh well, got the ‘W’ that’s what counts.
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had 25 points and was 9-11 from the line; Marc Rodgers had eight points; and Fuquan Niles was a fantastic 6-7 from the field, 5-6 from the line, and finished with 17 points and 11 boards. Off the bench Malik Montoya had 10 points; and Coleman Sparling had six points and five boards.
Way to get it done Wildcats!
Azusa Pacific 87 @ WOU 99
Pretty much what we expected and numbers from the usual guys. Good performance, solid, looking long and strong.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 15 points, five boards, and five steals among other stats for a full house; Darius Luborn had seven boards; Riley Hawken had five boards; JJ Chirnside had 10 points and five boards also rounding out with a full house. Off the bench Malik Morgan had nine points; Demetrius Trammell proved his sixth man expertise scoring 24 points on great shooting including 6-8 from three; Janvier Alaby had 10 points; and Vince Bouman 18 points while going 6-7 from the field.
Congrats on a nice win Wolves!
SFSU 97 @ CU-PDX 102
HECK YES CONCORDIA-PORTLAND!!!!!! We knew you could do it.
Cav highlights: Cody Starr had 22 points and 10 assists for the double-double; Jarrett Gray had 22 points and five assists; and Christopher Edward had 14 points and 11 boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had a massive 25 on good shooting and while going 6-7 from the line; and Taylor Harris also shot well, finishing with 13 points.
Great job to the Cavs! Ridiculously proud of you.
CU-Irvine 56 @ SPU 79
Ooookay. We’ll take it. We’re confused about whether or not we still think CU-I is a good team though; we’ll have to wait and see and cross our fingers as a conference.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had nine points and five boards; and Sam Simpson had six boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had seven points; Harry Cavell had 11 points; Hunter Eisenhower had 11 points; and Nathan Streufert had eight points, seven boards, and a whopping seven blocks.
Congrats & thank-you for getting the ‘W’ Falcons! Our conference SOS largely depends on you.
Holy Names 55 @ UAA 63
Not the distribution we were expecting, but UAA won and that’s what counts.
Seawolf highlights: Maleke Haynes had eight assists; Jacob Lampkin continues to impress with a double-dobule of 17 points and 14 boards; DJ Ursery had 19 points and five boards; and off the bench Drew Peterson had12 points and six boards while being 4-4 from the line.
Thanks for getting it done Seawolves.
Academy of Art 76 @ NNU 84
Picking up those non-con wins NNU! Nicely done.
Crusader highlights: Obi Megway ahd 23 points; Jayden Bezzant had 17 points and six boards among a full house; Maurice Jones is Maurice Jones -he had 27 points and 12 boards while being 8-9 from the line. Off the bench Sam Roth had eight points and six boards; while Olamilekan Adetunji had four boards.
Usually in past years NNU would have won by one or two against Art U.; this is marked improvement. Congrats to the Crusaders!
Win the day we did! GNAC goes 6/6 and life is good.
All times pacific.
WOU vs. Dixie @ 3pm
We actually trekked all the way down to Monmouth yesterday (we live in Seattle) and we weren’t impressed with Dixie. We think it’s a super winnable game for WOU, especially at home.
Prediction: WOU wins.
CWU vs. CU-Irvine @ 5pm
The SPU game yesterday confused us because CU-I had good wins last weekend and then the Falcons dismantled them meanwhile putting up terrible numbers. If CWU comes out swinging, there’s no reason the Wildcats can’t win.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CU-PDX vs. Academy of Art @ 5pm
They had a FANTASTIC win against SFSU yesterday and we can’t wait to see what they do against Art U.
Prediction: CU-PDX wins comfortably.
SPU vs. Hilo @ 7pm
Hilo apparently wakes up for big teams and while the Falcons have been meh the last couple of years, they’re still as egomaniacal as ever, and Hilo has too many losses to do it again. If SPU can stay tenacious they should win, but if there’s any thought of “we don’t need to take them seriously,” Hilo is gonna get the ‘W.’
Prediction: Pick ’em.
NNU vs. San Fran State @ 7pm
We think SFSU is a good team. We think NNU is an okay team. We think that it’s possible for NNU to win, but it would be an upset if they did.
Prediction: SFSU pulls out a win, but not without a scare.
UAA vs. Holy Names @ 8:30pm
Last night was closer than we expected and yes UAA plays back-to-back games against a Pac-West bottom dweller. It is what it is, but we are judging them for it. We know it tanks the conference SOS, but we hate them scheduling this school so much that… We’d kind of like an HNU upset because we figure the SOS is tanked regardless.
Prediction: UAA wins.
Should be an interesting night of games. Really curious about the WOU/Dixie game in particular, although we consider this to be a mostly stacked night of games.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Good morning and welcome to the third big day of non-conference play.
First, the results of last night’s D2 (but non-region) game:
MSUB 75 vs. Mary 72
MSUB played a game against a Northern Sun school (non-region D2 opponent) and we had no idea what to expect out of it, so we didn’t put a prediction, but it did end basically as we expected with it being an incredibly close game. MSUB is now 3-0 in D2 play, which is awesome.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham finally had a good game with 13 points and four assists; Tyler Green continues to impress with a fantastic 24 points and six assists; Kamal Tall had 11 boards; and off the bench Zharon Richardson had 10 points and six boards; while Daniel Shedden had seven points and five boards.
Congrats on a nice win, Jackets!!
Game Day Previews.
All times pacific standard:
CWU vs. Hilo @ 4:30pm
We’re really curious about this game because Hilo has now lost to SFU and SMU, meanwhile beat WWU. The trend would say that CWU should beat Hilo without too much of an issue, and so we’re going with that.
Prediction: CWU wins reasonably.
CU-PDX vs. San Fran State @ NNU @ 5pm
Really curious about this game because it should be a good test for the Cavs. It’s a neutral court being in Nampa and should be a good step-up test for the Cavs. SFSU looked pretty good last week with wins against Academy of Art and Dominican, so we’ll see what Christopher and Jarrett can lead the team to.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
WOU vs. Azusa Pacific @ 5:30pm
Another interesting game. Azusa is usually good; WOU projects as being really good, and we’re excited for the Wolves to get another chance to truly run. They got a nice win over Point Loma and we have full confidence that they’ll continue that today.
Prediction: WOU wins a close one.
SPU vs. CU-Irvine @ 7pm
Yet another interesting game. Irvine was looking pretty darn good last week with a win over Chico and a blowout over San Marcos. This is going to be a big test for the Falcons -it’s the first team they’re facing where they know going in that the opponent is good, and so we’ll see how they respond to it.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
NNU vs. Academy of Art @ 7pm
Should be well matched. AofA and NNU usually sit in similar spots and we really like the team that NNU has this year -even without them having been tested on a D2 level yet. The Crusaders have a surprisingly good home battlefield advantage (’cause they’re Crusaders, get it?) and Maurice Jones is back and we’re confident about him.
Prediction: NNU wins.
UAA vs. Holy Names @ 8:30pm
Seriously UAA? It can’t be that hard to get people to come and play you. For those missing it: HNU usually sits really low in the Pac-West, so this should be a gimme-game and they’re facing the Hawks two games in a row at home. At least go play them on the road twice in a row, geez.
Prediction: UAA wins big.
Should be an interesting day of games. As always -tweet at us with thoughts/questions/etc.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
This was an interesting game and we’re starting to crunch the numbers because with three GNAC teams now having played Hilo and 2/3 winning, there’s starting to be a fair bit of good information, although we’re going to hold off on discussing it until next week because the Vulcans play CWU and SPU in a few days.
For the most part this game was a comfortably led by SMU the whole time. There was some tenseness in the first ten minutes, but after that the Saints largely rolled.
Saint highlights: Jordan Kitchen had both a double-double and a full house with 17 points, 11 boards, four assists, and four blocks among other stats; EJ Boyce had 14 points; Luke Chavez continues to impress with 20 points while playing 40 full minutes; and off the bench Jared Matthews had 16 points; while Tavian Henderson had five boards.
Congrats to the Saints on a game very well played & good luck in your preparation for Monterey Bay!
First player-of-the-week noms of the season! We know we keep saying stuff like that, but last year was so much fun that we truly have waited all year and then with the lack of pre-season ability because of no one returning anything -it’s hitting now and we’re so excited every time we get to sit down to look at basketball stuff.
UAF: LaDonavan Wilder -back in force!
UAA: Jacob Lampkin -into the GNAC by storm.
SFU: N/A —> Donated to Davis Kimble of UAF, another newbie making noise!
WWU: Logan Schilder -very classic center numbers, great field shooting, fantastic rebounding.
SPU: Tony Miller -Tony gonna Tony.
SMU: N/A —> Donated to Gavin Long of SPU.
MSUB: N/A —> Donated to Nathan Streufert of SPU; smart shot selection, ferocious rebounding.
CWU: Khalil Shabazz -two good games, yet another newbie!
CU-PDX: Cody Starr -Again, a newbie!
WOU: Darius Luborn & Riley Hawken -Another newbie and an old favorite that we’re SO glad to have back.
WOWWW, how exciting is this?! Transfers making NOISE. Literally half of the nominations went to incoming transfers; case-in-point why we leave a lot of spots for them on our all-conference teams. That said, don’t freak out too much vets; non-conference is great, but conference play is where our focus truly is, so you’re still good. Shout-outs also to Logan and Nathan, both of whom have been with us at least a year but had never been nominated for POW, so it’s also exciting to see familiar faces planting a stake.
The Hilo/SMU preview:
Trey Ingram vs. his old team! Woo-hoo! Aside from that, we’re curious because we think Alex Pribble used some gamesmanship in the FPU game because Matt Dahlen was seriously impressive in the Point Loma game, but barely played in the previous day’s game, so we’re excited to see him play more D2 and see what that does against this Hilo team that we have exactly zero read on. Regardless of anything else: the Saints need to up their rebounding. We get that a Ryan Looney coached team is always going to rebound well, but… 37 to 23 rebounding advantage, seriously? You’re better than that SMU.
Prediction: Pick ’em, although we’re tempted to pick SMU straight-up.
POW winner’ll be up at noon & we’ll actually be at the Hilo/SMU game, so come say ‘hi.’
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!
And our bracket. In D2 it’s funny -predicting the bracket is the real game to win; forget the games, the games you’re invested in because you want your team to win. Right now we’ve been procrastinating on posting a bracket all day because the idea of being wrong kills us, even though… It’s D2 basketball. Why does being right in predicting a bracket matter? Yeah, yeah, yeah, pale blue dot, giant universe among some insane multiverse, are we a computer sim? Nothing really matters, blah blah blah, insert existential crisis here.
Instead, let’s talk about the GNAC championship game:
#4 WOU 69 @ #1 WWU 71
First and foremost: We were wrong. Taylor Stafford is the real deal, especially when you watch him in person. Now, how well that’ll translate to anything else, we have no idea. But for D2 basketball, dude is legit. The game itself was frustrating, exactly as WOU intended. WOU as these games have depicted epitomizes the defensive grind it out games that are amazing to watch in person and at the time they’re being played, but that seem useless to re-watch because there are too many variables and “how do they get this stuff to even work?” because some of it is dumb luck and some of it is incredibly calculated. Big props to WOU for almost taking down what is a very good WWU team.
How good is this WWU team? Naturally we’re not sure. This entire year has felt like an episode of the Twilight Zone. The numbers they put up are mediocre, which speaks to WOU, but also doesn’t speak well of WOU, because WOU’s entire game is treading water. There’s a joke about the BYU-Hawaii admissions decision comes from throwing all of the applications in the air and picking the ones that land in particular places -that is the WWU vs. WOU game. Even in hindsight, now that we know who won (congrats Viks) we still don’t know who we’d pick to win because on paper WWU should win about 8/10 times, but paper isn’t reality.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid went 8-10 from the line and had six boards; Ali played well and ended up with 16 points; and off the bench Demetrius Trammell lost his mind in the best way possible, scoring 33 points and being 6-6 from the line.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 33 points; Blake Fernandez had five boards; Daulton Hommes had 10 points and seven boards; and off the bench Deandre Dickson had 10 points and seven boards.
Our favorite part of the game was watching WWU’s Brad Wallace -he didn’t put up particularly interesting numbers, but the dude is a mule. He’s short, he’s sturdy, he’s stubborn, and we’re pretty annoyed he’s a senior because we’d rather keep him for another year. He really just did not give one single crap and for the 22 minutes he was in, he was basically like ‘I’M GOING TO RUN YOU OVER!!!!!!!!’ and then did it. One of those players that you can’t exactly figure out what they do, but they make life easier/more difficult, depending if they’re on your team or the opposing team. Super awesome. We had a blast watching, so thanks Brad!
Now, let’s get into D2 bracketology. At this point, the bracket is set; it just hasn’t been announced yet. We’ve been contemplating our bracket all weekend and still don’t feel confident, but whatever. This seeding is an approximation, although we have no expectation that it’ll be reality:
UCSD -not because they’re necessarily the best team in the Region overall, but because they’ve succeeded in jumping through the hoops most recently and do deserve to host. They beat the opponent with the best record in their conference Championship game and did so convincingly, which says that they’re hot right now and that’s important. Slightly worse record than HPU, but have played what we believe to be a harder schedule.
Hawaii Pacific -We have nothing against Point Loma (we loved them last year because they always schedule so well, and now they have our former coach, so what’s not to love?) but Point Loma had a bad record this year and only squeaked into the tournament by virtue of the Pac-West saying that CU-Irvine wasn’t eligible, just incase they won the tournament. That doesn’t scream “we’re so awesome,” about HPU -especially because the Sea Lions remained in the game for a long time. HPU didn’t break it open until there were about eight minutes left.
San Francisco State -We think losing to UCSD is more respectable than barely squeaking by a depleted WOU team that had played a 3OT game the night before, and only got that far because the opposing team’s (and the conference’s) best rebounder wasn’t playing.
Western Washington -This is too low and had they blown out WOU, we might suggest they host. They’re the GNAC regular season and tournament champions. Great team, good players, pleased with them, but until they make it to the Final Four we personally won’t be convinced. There was so much carnage in the GNAC this year and they still left it up to chance until about a week left, losing games in particular to MSUB (apathy) and at Anchorage. We’ll excuse @ Fairbanks because the Viks always lose at Fairbanks; they did last time they won a title too.
Cal Baptist -we love their strength of schedule in non-con, they’re a good team, their losses come via Dixie, HPU, and PLNU in the tournament (hi, try not playing apathetically) and they have a win over UCSD in non-con, but we’re not really convinced of that; so does WWU and while both CBU and WWU are good teams, there was clearly something up in December with the Tritons.
Chico State -Good non-con, good in conference, had a string of losses mid-season which we assume saw a player injured, but came back from it strong. Only losses are to tournament-bound teams, with the exception of Cal Poly Pomona, and that was a close loss, plus CPP notoriously has a good program. Probably caught the rebuilding on a good night.
Sonoma State -They have two head scratching losses (Dominguez Hills and Cal Poly Pomona) but otherwise their in-conference losses from from SFSU. They have wins over Chico State and UC San Diego, their non-con wasn’t atrocious, and if you’re looking for a trendy upset pick, you should go with the Seawolves because of that info.
Dixie State -This is actually just “who can we rule out?” Dixie scheduled themselves well in non-con, but didn’t really do anything impressive, including losing to a CWU team that didn’t even make the conference tourney. They lost in conference to the teams above and more, they lack a signature win, but we like what the other teams available bring to the table even less, so we’re going with Dixie.
Burst bubbles: UAA. Had UAA made it to the Championship game of the GNAC tourney, we would take them over Dixie State in a heartbeat. We have no idea why Corey Hammell didn’t see more minutes, but whatever the reason, we don’t trust them to have him going into the NCAA Tourney and that’s the difference in whether or not we think these Seawolves could make a run. If the committee has more info than we do and know that Corey is going to play -by all means, Alaska-Anchorage is a better option than Dixie, they should be in it. But if UAA doesn’t have him, it’s a waste of a spot in our opinion.
There’s a ton of post season blog stuff and catching up on player of the week and updating the chart and all kinds of stuff that’ll go on intermittently this month as we watch WWU, hopefully make a deep run, in the NCAA tourney. More stuff is coming -this is far from the end, there’s tons to talk about in such a weird year.
Selection show starts in five minutes……… Update: it started in 25 minutes; the GNAC website was wrong. Starts at 8pm best coast time.