See this is why we don’t talk about the Pac-West and CCAA: Because we have no idea. But it was a ridiculously fun day of games, so we’ll give you their results anyway!
#3 Cal Baptist 81 vs. #6 UC San Diego 67
No real idea what happened in this game, but skimming the box score it apparently was back and forth all game before Cal Baptist successfully made a move with about seven minutes left to go and then walked from there on out. Congrats to the Lancers!
#2 Dixie State 65 vs. #7 Azusa Pacific 69
We never saw this result coming. For some reason we were convinced of Dixie State even though we weren’t impressed when we watched them in non-con. Dixie has a history of coming on strong late and they had an impressive conference record, beat Azusa by 15 the last time the teams met, and yet… Holy guacamole this game was good. Each half seemed to pass in about a minute. It was dynamic and amazing and our highest congrats to Azusa, getting the upset. Bon voyage Dixie State, it’s been real, have fun in the RMAC. We think they’re probably more amenable to confederate flags in those parts, so maybe you’ll have to bring that back?
Now for the real discussions:
#4 Cal Poly Pomona 58 vs. #5 Saint Martin’s 66
This game was molasses-y as all heck. Much as the Dixie/APU game went by in a hot second, this game seemed to take twice as long. SMU played smarter basketball than we’ve seen them play all year and this is the right time to do it and they got the win. We think they’re much more tested both via their non-con and their conference schedule, which likely helped. We’re sooo proud of the Saints! A couple of Western Oregon fans were heckling them as they walked out, saying they were scared of WOU, but… No. They don’t need to watch a ton of WOU blowing out Point Loma because oh gee, they met a week ago. We were there to see it, unlike the WOU big talkers.
Saint highlights: Luke Chavez had 16 points; Matt Dahlen had six boards and eight points; Rhett Baerlocher had eight points on perfect shooting from the line; and EJ Boyce continues to prove he’s the best EJ in the conference, this time having 19 points. Off the bench BJ Standley had five boards and five points; and Tavian Henderson had six boards.
Shorter line-up than usual. We thought CPP was out when they were down by sixteen, but they made a huge push and we were like “hmmm…” but ultimately SMU was playing some really good, Chico State-esque defense and it wasn’t going to happen. The only concerning number we see is EJ’s eight turnovers, but… That number is so high it seems like a one-off. He can’t possibly have that many turnovers again, so… Good he got that out of his system against the Broncos. Congrats to the Saints on a huge win and upset!
Point Loma 66 @ Western Oregon 73
This game was a tale of two halves. WOU absolutely blew out Point Loma during the first half, they were up ridiculous amounts the entire time, and it seemed ludicrous that Point Loma could come back. They did. The Sea Lions did come back. They never took the lead and even when they got it within four the game was still out of reach, but in terms of moral victories for a team that largely consists of underclassmen, it was huge. That said: the Wolves got it done and a ‘W’ is a ‘W’ is a ‘W,’ especially in the NCAA tournament.
Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan had 10 points and six assists; Tanner Omlid had 20 points among a full house of stats; Vince Boumann was LIGHTS OUT against his old coach and had 15 points and five boards; Ali Faruq-Bey had five boards; and Riley Hawken had five boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had six points; and JJ Chirnside had six points.
Curious numbers by the Wolves because we feel like their bench was a lot more valuable than the numbers describe. Those guys run like dogs (no pun intended) and harassed the everliving stuff out of Point Loma. Now the trick will be just to stay on the grind. Luckily, we like the match-up they’re going into.
All times pacific standard.
#3 Cal Baptist vs. #7 Azusa Pacific @ 5pm
As we were reminded yesterday: We know nothing about the Pac-West, but that doesn’t stop the president and it won’t stop us. From what we can tell there’s a bit of a rivalry developing between these two teams; they both entered the Pac-West at the same time, they’ve both been really good since moving up to D2 and Cal Baptist is actually headed up to D1, so… Brief rivalry, but who knows? Maybe Azusa pulls the upset?
Prediction: No. Because we seriously have no idea.
#1 Western Oregon vs. #5 Saint Martin’s @ 7:30pm
Part of us is excited for this game and part of us is heartbroken because two GNAC teams facing off in the round of 32. They did just meet a week ago, and oddly enough there should be quite a bit of fuel for the fire. WOU didn’t play nearly as well as they could have, and yet if SMU had played just a bit better they probably could have won and thus won the conference tournament. We love both of these coaches, think they’re the cream of the crop in regard to the GNAC, and so that match-up will be fun to see again.
Prediction: No, because there’s just too many variables.
It should be a great night of hoops. As always: tweet at us & come say hi! We’ll be at both games. Community is the best part of basketball.
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!
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.
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!
Yesss, it’s that time again! Although the Madness doesn’t really apply to the GNAC quite yet -we’re talking about the CCAA in terms of the heading.
The big news of last night is that Chico State lost by a lot to Cal State LA. It is what it is. As noted earlier: We feel completely confident that they’ll still get a bid, but being wrong is our best subject, so… We hope we’re right, but it’ll be what it’ll be.
6. Western Oregon
7. MSU Moorhead
15. Chico State
18. Cal Baptist
22. Cal Poly Pomona
Others receiving votes: Seattle Pacific (25), CO School of Mines (22), Azusa Pacific (9), Alaska-Fairbanks (2).
Big thing: Where is UCSD? Once again, we feel like the regional rankings are very different from the national rankings, although the national rankings aren’t terrible. Good to see UAF getting acknowledged -they’re coming on really strong at exactly the right time and we’re super thrilled. APU/SPU who knows.
Regionally… We were —- that close to doing a regional ranking, but at this point it feels almost too close to do one? Maybe later this week if we get the urge.
Some Pac-West chaos -four teams finished with the same record, one of them is ineligible for the conference tournament. Absolute chaos. No idea. It’s one of those things where we feel like we were vastly more right closer to non-conference than now after watching the entire season of conference play even with all the disappointments and excitements and everything. Crazy, crazy stuff.
After conference play we felt like we could make an educated guess. Now we have absolutely no clue because there is that much parity. And that goes for all three conferences.
UAA lost to CWU, what does it mean?
Nothing. Central is a good team, as is Anchorage. With the Seawolves in particular, we prefer good teams to lose late regular season games as one final gut check before win-or-go-home comes into play. We still think Anchorage is an at-large team. Every other team on the bubble has a loss to a non conference-tourney bound team; UAA doesn’t. The Seawolves also meet our criteria of having at least three good players, two 50/50 players, and a nutso coach. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: Our non-basketball former undergraduate coach is off his rocker and we completely swear by him. Crazies do it better. We just think the refs need to reign in Coach Oz a bit more, because at this point GNAC refs seem a little too accustomed to his crazy and so what would get another coach suspended doesn’t even get Rusty a technical.
SMU killed WWU, what does it mean?
Again, nothing. The Vikings have no teamwork; the Saints have teamwork. Only three guys were shooting well, they got those guys the ball, and they fought hard for rebounds. We’re honestly still pretty mad at Anchorage for dropping the CWU game; so unnecessary. Get the ball to Brian McGill and the Saints would be going to the conference tournament. Although, as we reminded some WWU people after the game: you control your own destiny. The Saints offense had nothing to do with the Viking loss. The Seawolf loss had nothing to do with the Saints season ending.
Reality is a brat.
SPU almost lost to WWU, what does it mean?
That things are going back to normal, the Falcons will never recover, all of their players suck, and the world is ending, obviously. No, the Vikings finally started solidifying a high-effort line-up meanwhile the Falcons started messing around with their own. Was there some sloppy play by SPU? Absolutely. Was there some great play from WWU? Definitely. Still, we feel like the score was an adequate description of the game and a good reminder to both schools of what it takes to win critical games.
Not a whole lot to discuss at this current point in time just because everything is happening at once and there’s so much speculation. We’ll preview the GNAC tournament tomorrow morning and go from there. Lots of wait-and-see. Have a great afternoon!
All in one convenient location with listed seedings. Going up an hour (or two) before the Discussions post, just ’cause.
The CCAA played their first round last night because they have eight teams in play. The bold teams won. Right now these are just the seeds, but we’ll put up what the brackets ended up as on Saturday night.
1. Chico State
2. UC San Diego
3. Cal Poly Pomona
4. Humboldt State
5. Monterey Bay
6. San Fran State
7. Sonoma State
8. Cal State LA
So yup, Chico State is out of contention for the auto-bid. We’re not worried; our CCAA counterpart is. When SPU gets bounced in the first round of the GNAC tourney he can watch us freakout while he sits there and goes “You guys are fine.”
1. Azusa Pacific
2. Dixie State
3. Cal Baptist
4. Hawaii Pacific
APU and Dixie both have a first round BYE.
1. Western Oregon
4. Seattle Pacific
5. Central Washington
6. Western Washington
WOU and UAF both have a first round BYE.
Games start on Thursday. The CCAA games continue on Friday. By Sunday night we’ll know who’s going to Monmouth.
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.
Why did we say we would make predictions about these two games? Maybe it’s more of just thoughts on these two games. That sounds better. Here we go:
Cal Baptist (25-6) vs. Seattle Pacific (24-7) @ 5pm PDT.
Cal Baptist is a good team -so is SPU. The notable non-conference victories for the Lancers include a win over CSU-Stanislaus; they also have a 1 point loss to the 3rd seed in the South-Central region, TAMU-Commerce, whom actually was upset earlier today by Angelo State. In terms of common opponents: CBU split with Dixie State, swept Academy of Art, split with BYU-Hawaii, and beat Hawaii Hilo; SPU beat Dixie State, lost to Academy of Art, split with BYU-Hawaii, and beat Hawaii-Hilo. These two teams appear to be incredibly evenly matched and in terms of a key match-up: not sure. The best player for CBU yesterday was Taj Spencer; the best player for SPU yesterday was Mitch Penner. Will they go head-to-head? Doubtful. From glancing at the heights of both teams, there appear to be a good number of mismatches but not really necessarily in either team’s favor. CBU’s mode appears to be 6’7; SPU’s mode is 6’4.5. However, CBU has a lot of 6’2 guys -SPU is pretty much straight up 6’4-6’5 with the exceptions of Will Parker and Cory Hutsen. Ideally, Cory will see a lot of minutes and Will will see few.
As for the outcome of the game, like all tournament games: we’re not picking. Seeding and conference strength would have us picking the Lancers, but loyalty would have us picking the Falcons. The random player match-up we want to see? SPU’s Joe Rasmussen (6’8) vs. CBU’s Luke Walton (6’7); the pair were high school rivals.
Azusa Pacific (?) vs. Cal Poly Pomona (24-6)
APU just can’t escape rematches. These two great teams also played each other earlier this year, with the Broncos of CPP grabbing the victory in OT. Other common opponents: San Bernardino, Chico State, and San Fran State; APU beat those three teams, CPP lost to Chico but beat the other ones. This should be a really good match-up; the fact that both teams are nearby means the gym is going to be fun. There’s not a lot that we can say about this game because we don’t follow either of these teams nearly as closely as we follow a GNAC team, but… we’ll see. It should be a good match-up. Potential to turn into a inter-conference rivalry game if this one ends up being incredibly good, which is cool. As always, no outcome predicted. With this one: APU has to be getting exhausted, they’re dealing with quite a bit of pressure. CPP wants to win, they won a regional about five years ago, they know how to win, but whether or not they can put it on display… we’ll see. Yesterday APU beat WOU for the second time, and yet in the other rematch of the day SPU beat BYUH for the first time. Could go either way. Should be a great game though.
We’ll have you guys covered on twitter as of 5pm PDT.
See, this is why we refused to make predictions. We’ll predict who’s in and who’s out and even go as far as the seeding, but wins and losses? Mmm, no thanks. Awesome 7/9 hours of basketball. Exhausting, but fantastic. All four of the games were fairly close throughout, until right around five minutes left.
Incredibly proud of every single team today, and every single guy that made the trip. Remember -even if you didn’t personally see the court, you’re the ones that play the opponent every day in practice, you make all of the starters and rotation players better, plus: build for the future. Maybe you didn’t see the court tonight, but that may not always be the case.
That may be the one bitter-sweet thing about today: because every game basically came down to the final minute, there was no exodus of bench dwelling seniors onto the court. To the seniors that played in their final collegiate game: We salute you. Thank-you for fantastic West Region athletic and academic careers.
Now let’s talk basketball. Yes, the players are in alphabetical order because that’s how the NCAA site does it and laziness has its merits, eh?
Cal Baptist 67 vs. Chico State 61
Incredibly close game all throughout. Went back and forth a good bit, although it seemed like Chico was having problems maintaining the lead. There wasn’t the feeling that Chico State was going to be able to win this one going in with the exception of a miracle happening, and unfortunately: that miracle was not to be, because Cal Baptist was making their own. Cal Baptist is an incredibly good basketball team -remember that; they beat host APU in the Pac-West tourney after being beaten by 30 the week prior.
#6 Chico State highlights: Robert Duncan had 12 points; Tanner Giddings had six points and five boards; Drew Kitchens had 10 points and amassed four fouls (around here we value fouling a lot); JORDAN SEMPLE had a double-double AND a full house with 11 boards, fourteen points, two assists, a steal, four blocks, four fouls, and ZERO turnovers; Jordan Barton had seven boards; and Isaiah Ellis had eight boards and eight points. The Wildcats won the rebounding battle, but lost the war. Their shooting from three was abysmal and their shooting percentages from the field and free throw line weren’t good either. Shots weren’t falling. It happens. Cal Baptist is a good team. Congrats to Chico State on a fantastic season.
#3 Cal Baptist highlights: Chris Brown had nine points and four steals; Taj Spencer had a double-double with 16 points and 13 boards; Gelaun Wheelwright had 20 points and five boards; Trevone Williams had six boards; and Jordan Giusti had 10 points. The Lancers ultimately weren’t shooting much better than the Wildcats, but you know what: they made their free throws. Make your free throws; your free throws will save you: the Lancers shot 70% to the Wildcats 59%.
BYU-Hawaii 69 vs. Seattle Pacific 81
This game was quite frankly incredible. Yeah, we’re biased ’cause GNAC Goliaths, but it was incredible. It was back and forth, BYU-Hawaii was rebounding SO well, one team would go up, then the other, back and forth. SPU went in with the lead at half time, but pretty sure they had that last time the teams played so it didn’t mean anything. At one point in the second half it felt like SPU had pretty much secured it, but the Seasiders crept back in and made things interesting again. By the very end, it was clear SPU was going to win it -BYUH was playing like a diabetic with low blood sugar; shaky, unsure, and confused.
#2 BYU-Hawaii highlights: Pablo Coro had 13 points; Robbie Mitchell had six points and five assists; Jordan Stone had 10 points and eight boards; Luke Aston had 9 points; Ian Harward had six points and six boards; Cory Lange had seven points; and Tyler Tuliau had seven points as well. Honestly -this is a classic looking box score when you play SPU. BYU-Hawaii rebounded incredibly well, matching the Falcons total (it’s incredibly rare that they don’t win the rebounding battle) but it’s not surprising to see a bunch of zeroes. It’s not even because SPU is amazing -it’s just their style of play.
#7 Seattle Pacific highlights: Matt Borton had a full house with 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and three fouls; Cory Hutsen added 11 points; Mitch Penner had a fantastic game scoring 19 points, grabbing eight boards, and five steals -whoa; Riley Stockton also had a full house with 15 points, three assists, three rebounds, three steals, one block, and a foul; finally, Shawn Reid had 18 points and six boards. This is an incredibly happy game for the Falcons, coming in and upsetting the Pac-West tournament winner, plus getting redemption from a team that had beaten them earlier this year.
Dixie State 60 vs. Cal Poly Pomona 62
Hellooo instant classic. Does the 4/5 really count as an upset though? This game was seriously ‘can’t take your eyes off it for a second.’ We liked Cal Poly Pomona in this match-up the whole time, because Dixie had been so iffy in non-conference. It was one of those hemming and hawing moments because DSU also had a bunch of incredible wins during conference play, but… we went with CPP just barely and it was the right thought. There was a final shot at the end that went in to avoid sending the game to OT, which was relieving for all involved except the Red Storm faithful, BUT it was kind of nice that the shot wasn’t necessarily the end-all, be-all of everything for CPP people -if it went in, great, if it didn’t, over time it was.
#4 Dixie State highlights: Mark Ogden had 16 points; Zach Robbins had 10 points and six boards; Mason Sawyer had seven assists; Dequan Thompson had 15 points; and Trevor Hill had nine points. That all doesn’t sound like much, but some times teamwork can mitigate a lot, and then shots simply not falling can mitigate a lot too. The Red Storm won a lot of battles -rebounding, free throw shooting, three point shooting, but they did lose a couple of critical ones too: overall field goal percentage, and then A/TO; their A/TO was atrocious.
#5 Cal Poly Pomona highlights: Terrence Drisdom with the full house of 18 points, three rebounds, four assists, SEVEN steals, one block, and two fouls; Jordan Faison with 16 points and five assists; Chad Haysbert with a full house of two points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls; Daniel Rodriguez had 13 points; and Quentin Taylor had nine points and seven boards. While the Broncos may not have won the free throw battle, they did well: 83% is nothing to sniff at. As noted above: the stats tell the tale of the game: two very closely matched teams that gave each other heck and of course only saw one walk out the victor.
Azusa Pacific 75 vs. Western Oregon 67
There were a couple of moments when we wanted to pull out the fact that WOU almost lost to SFU and wonder if the Clan felt any interest that the best team in the region on paper was playing WOU on a similar level. We believed in WOU from the start -WOU had a dynamite piece in Andy Avgi and a match in Julian Nichols. Julian does a lot of things, but our favorite is his assists -the man gets dimes like whoa. WOU was up 11-0, APU came back, rose, WOU rose again, and ultimately APU rose higher. It was a hard, well fought game on both sides.
#8 Western Oregon highlights: Devon Alexander had eight points; Andy Avgi had 19 points and eight boards; Julian Nichols had a full house with 14 points, seven boards, four assists, three steals, one block, and three fouls; Lew Thomas also had a full house, amassing 10 points, seven boards, one assist, three steals, a block, and two fouls; and Jordan Wiley had eight points. They won a couple of battles, but lost most of them. Notably not functioning: Marwan Sarhan -usually he’ll at least give you a bit, but had nothing tonight. Lew Thomas played really well, so that was good.
#1 Azusa Pacific highlights: First and foremost winning their first tournament game EVER. Wow. Congrats. With individual players: Andy Jones had six boards; Christian Katuala had five boards; Troy Leaf had a full house with a whopping 36 points, three rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls; Robert Sandoval had 11 points and six boards; Kevin Stafford had nine points; Peter Kutlesic had six boards; and finally: Jared Zoller had five boards. Good game for Azusa -there were a couple of points before they did put it away that it seemed like they could and that’s always great to see. Azusa is going to have their hands full with Cal Poly Pomona tomorrow, although we do expect the Cougars to prevail over the Broncos.
Fantastic day of basketball. Predictions’ll about tomorrow’ll be up in the morning.