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.
There’ll be some post burn in the coming weeks because we’ve written 90% of a few posts and then didn’t post them because we’re idiots, but oh well. Let’s preview the first day of West Region games!
All games played at Western Oregon University, all times pacific standard.
#6 UC San Diego vs. #3 Cal Baptist @ 12pm
These two teams met earlier this year and saw UCSD lose by five on the road at Cal Baptist. While we believe the seeding is right, we do think that either team can win. UCSD is running hot and coming on at the right time, having just won their conference tournament to get the auto-bid. Cal Baptist just lost to Dixie State in the conference tournament and will be looking to rebound from that. They should be fairly well matched, and it’s hard to say. We think that Cal Baptist will ultimately win a close one, but…
Prediction: Pick ’em.
#7 Azusa Pacific vs. #2 Dixie State @ 2:30pm
We’re excited for this game. We definitely showed our bias in terms of the GNAC thinking that WWU deserved the bid over Azusa, when really: No one deserved that bid, but WWU scheduled terribly in non-con, something we always complain about, and even while scheduling terribly they still managed to lose. They lost to a bad Hilo team as well as a bad Cal State East Bay team, so… We tip our cap to Azusa. You earned this bid, but we definitely don’t think you’ll win, seeing as you lost by 15 last time.
Prediction: Dixie State wins somewhere between comfortably (10 points or so) and a blow-out (20+).
#5 Saint Martin’s vs. #4 Cal Poly Pomona @ 5pm
This is the D2 equivalent to the 5 & 12 game of the D1 tournament. There’s no telling who’s going to truthfully win because it’s just as often that a 5 seed upsets a 4 seed. It’s always a really fun, really intense game, usually with scrappy play by the number 5 team. We like Saint Martin’s chances. They’re coming off of a loss to WOU, yes, but they played in the strongest conference in the west, they’re well tested from non-con, we think that WOU is a lot better than CPP, and so… We think that SMU has every chance to win it. Cal Poly Pomona won the regular season and then just lost to UCSD by two points in the CCAA tournament, but the CCAA is the weakest conference on the west coast this year and it doesn’t help that the Broncos played no one in non-con, so we’ll see.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
#8 Point Loma vs. #1 Western Oregon @ 7:30pm
We’re sooo excited for this game because these two teams started the season playing each other at Western Oregon and one of the teams is going to end their season in that same locale. In the first meeting Western Oregon won 70-69, Preston Beverly now of PLNU, formerly of MSUB had a good game, Tanner Omlid didn’t see a ton of minutes despite a lack of foul trouble, and so… We’re really curious to see how his minutes add up. He had an arguably terrible game in the conference championship game and so he’s going to be wanting to bounce back. Vince Boumann formerly played at PLNU and is going to want to have a good game against his old coach. Ryan Looney, formerly of SPU and now at PLNU, had an incredibly difficult time winning in the Western Oregon gym while he was at Seattle Pacific, and so that’ll be kind of a monkey on his back. We’re super curious about this game because we think WOU could easily blow out Point Loma, but at the same time Point Loma has all the potential of getting the upset.
Prediction: Western Oregon wins big/small/medium or PLNU wins a close one; PLNU won’t blowout the Wolves.
It should be a great day of hoops. We can’t wait. We’re missing the 1st game, but will be there for the second onward, so come say ‘hi!’
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
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.
Why is blogging happening so late this year? Because we’re used to knowing something. We’re used to being able to extrapolate meaning out of all of this data, but this year the data is meaningless. We ended up in basketball really randomly and, via the demographic we came from, we’re aware that if we can’t make sense of these numbers -no one can.
If someone tells you they can make sense of them, they’re lying. It’s like someone saying they can drive in the snow in Seattle. We grew up driving in eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana snow and through those mountain passes in the winter. We can drive in the snow just fine. We cannot drive in the snow in Seattle because Seattle usually sits around 20 degrees when it snows (even at night) and warms up as sunlight hits it, thus it’s nothing but a mess of ice with the constant thaw-refreeze-thaw that happens as any given day-of-snow goes on.
It’s impossible drive in Seattle in the snow.
It’s impossible to take any meaning out of these numbers.
And that’s why we’re struggling to put up posts on time. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s not that we’re not following things insanely closely, it’s that as much as we love highlighting these guys… We want the highlights to be real. And right now without context we don’t know what real is.
For the (ahem Central) people that are like “you just don’t care as much because SPU is a mess” um, it’s a pretty darn good year for our alma mater to be a mess considering with the level of parity, we essentially have 11 teams in the GNAC in play.
Yes. 11. 11 teams. Simon Fraser, welcome to the Club.
There are definite player highlights from the past weekend we can touch on…
NNU 53 “@” CSU East Bay 71
-Bouna N’Diaye went 7-9 from the field, finishing with 14 points
-Maurice Jones went 6-7 from the field, finishing with 17 points and eight boards.
NNU 68 @ Chico 79
-Bouna N’Diaye and Kalieb Rodrieguez both finished with 17 points apiece.
Funny/fun game just because they actually got Chico to push the tempo. Usually Chico is a defensive grind it out, which is incredible, but can be fun to see the points rise. We like Chico. They and UCSD are “our” CCAA teams.
WOU 65 “@” Westminster 58
-Tanner Omlid had 10 boards, five steals, and 23 points.
-Malik Leaks had 10 points off the bench.
WOU 73 @ Dixie State 78
-Tanner Omlid had 7 assists and zero turnovers.
Once again… We really have to compliment WOU on how well they take care of the basketball. Another funny thing because along with lack of SOS, how many turnovers those mid-2000s Romar teams had was the other major complaint. The Wolves definitely have that one taken care of; and WOU’s SOS is admittedly better this year than last.
SFU 67 “@” CU-Irvine 80
-TYRELL LEWIN HAD 24 POINTS ON 12-12 SHOOTING.
-JJ Pankratz had 19 points.
MSUB 86 “@” Western State (CO) 77
-Kendall Denham had 14 points off the bench.
MSUB 83 @ Colorado Mesa 68
-Jace Anderson went 6-6 from the line and finished with 22 points.
SPU 79 “@” Point Loma 86
-Tony Miller had 11 boards
SPU 73 @ Azusa Pacific 68
-Coleman Wooten had 14 boards.
Fresno Pacific 58 “@” UAF 74
-Bangaly Kaba went 9-10 from the line and finished with 17 points.
Fresno Pacific 66 @ WWU 75
-Jeffrey Parker went 7-7 from the line and finsihed with 21 points.
Essentially those were the best numbers the games had to offer. We’re only doing that because the rest… Our arms are crossed and we’re waiting. We believe in all of them, but this isn’t little league. Some will score more, some will score less. Some teams will win more, some teams will win less. And the numbers will matter. Eventually.
Conference play starts tonight. CU-PDX @ WOU. The obvious thing is that WOU is going to beat Concordia and we feel pretty confident in that pick. We’re very proud of Tanner. If you make our pre-season all conference team and then play well, you’ll be in our good book for a long time. If you play badly, we’ll openly complain about you the following year even if you’re sitting within earshot.
We’ll do POW here in a bit, although the nominations and award will probably be in the same post since so few teams played two actual D2 games. Still means just as much, but most of the time we try not to bombard people with posts.
Other than that… We see a Phil Jackson-style shenanigans post in the near future, no pun intended.
Because there isn’t a new poll this week, we’ll go ahead and do a West Region ranking by what we’ve gleaned through our analysis of non-conference. It’s going to be more in-depth than usual, because what else do we have to do on Christmas Eve Eve? First the list, then the explanations.
1. Western Oregon
2. Cal Poly Pomona
3. Seattle Pacific/UC San Diego
5. Cal Baptist
6. Azusa Pacific
7. Point Loma
9. Chico State
10. Humboldt State
1. Western Oregon (8-0). This position ultimately came down to “best win” and the Wolves took it. Their best win is at UCSD, getting it done 67-63. The Wolves take on Seattle Pacific on January 7, so that’ll be a very anticipated match-up. Not really much to say about these guys -they get it done, they get rest where they can, Andy is amazing, their point guard play needs to step up quite a bit. If you’re a regular reader you know we love Julian Nichols and think he’s awesome, but he just hasn’t put it on display this year as much as we anticipated.
2. Cal Poly Pomona (9-0). We like the Broncos a lot, their SOS not withstanding. Their best win is a close one at Point Loma, the Broncs escaped 54-53. They play at UCSD on January 2nd, so we’ll definitely be watching that game with bated breath to see what happens. In one sense it really doesn’t matter because UCSD and CPP are both two very good teams, but we feel like UCSD is much more thoroughly seasoned at this point, so… Maybe the Broncos’ll prove us wrong, maybe they won’t, but we’re 99% sure we’re going to be witnessing a really, really good game.
3. Seattle Pacific (8-1) & UC San Diego (9-1). We’ve been meditating on this and looking at the numbers and then meditating some more and then looking at the numbers some more and ultimately we just couldn’t make a decision on which team we think is more capable. Both are getting tested really soon as noted above, so that’ll be good, but even after those “big” tests we’re not sure if we’ll feel comfortable making a distinction even still. Both are two super good, super well tested teams. In that sense, we feel like the Tritons hold a slight edge because the Tritons faced CBU and WOU, but when it comes to opponent records the Falcons own the slight edge (36-35) to the Tritons (47-47). We like both teams, we think both are great, both are super good defensively, both have fantastic coaching staffs, both have really dedicated guys. It’s a complete wash and honestly that fact makes us happy. We get to indulge in watching two really good teams -what more could you want?
5. Cal Baptist (10-2). At this point it’s not record so much, but what you’ve done with that record and the Lancers have done a lot. CBU’s most quality win is against MN-Moorhead, but they’ve also got a couple of quality losses in regard to UCSD and Azusa Pacific (quality + rivalry in the case of the Cougs). UCSD came down to free throws, so while the gap was bigger than it might have been (9) it was a pointed nine. It was within reach. We really like their SOS, they’ve got a good GNAC win over Alaska-Anchorage, they’ve got a crazy good win over Point Loma, absolutely brutalizing the Sea Lions 98-73. We like the path they’re on, they’ve already got good Pac-West wins against APU and Dixie State, and we’ll see what they do in the coming conference portion of the schedule.
6. Azusa Pacific (7-3). SOS is our MO. They have three losses but they come against Cal Poly Pomona, Seattle Pacific, and at Point Loma in OT. We’re a big believer in winning on the road because in the case of APU -they’re guaranteed to be on the road for the Regional and so what are they going to play like? The Cougars best win is a close one against rival CBU and on their horizon is a chance to beat the Lancers again. Will they? We’ll see. It’s on the 16th.
7. Point Loma (5-5). This is a little bit of a reach considering how badly they got beat by CBU, but we do want to at least acknowledge heavily their schedule. Their losses literally come via Western Oregon, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Baptist, a heartbreaker against Dixie State, and a free throw final against CU-Irvine. We respect that a lot. We think they’re well seasoned. Do we truly expect them to make the regional? Maybe not. We think they’ll definitely be in play for it, but while they have a win against APU, they have that awful devastation against CBU. Still, San Diego is becoming a lively place for D2 basketball and the Sea Lions are 100% a part of it and we’re proud of them. Now get some big wins. Next opportunity is against CU-Irvine on the 13th.
8. CU-Irvine (7-1). Seems a little far for a team that only has one loss, but that loss comes against San Marcos (3-5) and their win was against SPU on a neutral court in OT while the Falcons were playing their first game with what’s essentially a brand new roster. They have another decent win against Point Loma and because CU-I winning definitely helps the GNAC (they played CU-P twice, along with SPU once) we need to see them get some quality wins now. Dixie State could potentially be a quality win, Point Loma could be another potentially quality win, they don’t play CBU until the 30th of January, but hopefully the Eagles keep winning and they’ll build toward that.
9. Chico State (7-2). The issue we’re having with Chico is that they just don’t have any good wins. They have some okay wins (Dominican [6-4], SFSU [5-3]) and a quality-ish loss against Seattle Pacific, but the game against SPU was at home -not on the road. They lost to Sonoma, but that’s a rivalry so we’re not particularly concerned with it. Obviously because of the GNAC tie, we want Chico to do well, and then they benefit by being in the CCAA this year with having some good chances to get quality wins.
10. Humboldt State (5-1). There was some thought of putting someone else here, but no one has the loss-credibility yet besides PLNU. However: the Jacks barely have the win credibility, even at 5-1. Their wins come against Holy Names (2-9), CSULA (2-7), Sonoma State (6-4), SFSU (5-3), and Fresno Pacific (5-3), with their loss being to San Marcos (3-5). We liked Humboldt last year, we’re definitely not against the potential that the Jacks could be really good, we just haven’t seen enough yet to really say either way. They don’t have a good win and they do have a bad loss, but they are 5-1 and hence they’re ranked 10th.
Other teams we’re keeping an eye on: Alaska-Anchorage (5-3), Alaska-Fairbanks (5-2), Western Washington (4-4), Dixie State (4-5), Dominican (6-4), BYU-H (5-3), Dominguez Hills (4-4), and Sonoma State (6-4).
In a sense this list is kind of striking because there are seemingly very distinct tiers within the region, which doesn’t always happen.
Tier one: Western Oregon, Cal Poly Pomona. Guaranteed 99.9% to make the regional; we don’t like saying 100%, just ’cause.
Tier two: UC San Diego, Seattle Pacific, Cal Baptist. 90% chance of making the regional as of now. All three teams look really good and did enough during non-conference that provided they keep winning, they shouldn’t have to worry about their bubbles bursting. Fans of these teams: We recommend worrying anyway.
Tier three: Azusa Pacific, CU-Irvine, Chico State, Point Loma. Four above average teams. We won’t be surprised if any of these teams make the tournament, but we also won’t be surprised if one or more gets left out after conference play and particularly after the respective conference tournaments are said and done.
Tier four: The Alaskas, Western Washington, Humboldt State, Sonoma State, Dixie State, BYU-Hawaii. Six teams with the potential to come in and win their respective conference tournament and procure an auto bid. From where we stand now, there’s no way for one of these teams to get into the tournament via an at-large bid.
The Alaskas didn’t prove they can play off the tundra and the GNAC is too weak to get enough quality road wins to prove otherwise. Western Washington has a big history of making the championship game, they got Evan back, but teams above them have proven that they can win while not firing on all cylinders -the Vikings haven’t. Humboldt State was talked about above. Sonoma has been interesting, no great wins, but some good wins. Dixie seems to be improving, they have a couple quality-ish losses against SPU and APU; we’ll see what they do in conference. BYU-H was an absolute mess on the mainland, but they’ve done well on the Islands, so… Hopefully winning close to home taught them how to win and they’ll be able to do more of it from now on.
On the agenda for tomorrow: Discussing the Transitive Property of College Basketball.
On the agenda for today: Fred Jorg’s physique, Pac-West chaos, the rankings situation, and why we’re never impressed with SPU.
Finally watched SMU in person. We’ve been calling Fred tubby for months, but as it turns out… He’s actually just a legitimately big, big person. That sounds ridiculous. He’s a 7 footer, how would you expect him to be anything but big? Well, here’s the thing as it applies to the D2/D1/Euro/NBA species:
Big/Big guys (ex. 7’0/300)
Medium/Big guys (ex. 7’0/250)
Small/Big guys (ex. 7’0/225)
Big/Medium guys (ex. 6’5/225)
Medium/Medium guys (ex. 6’5/215)
Small/Medium guys (ex. 6’5/190)
Big/Small guys (ex. 6’2/190)
Medium/Small guys (ex. 6’2/175)
Small/Small guys (ex. 6’2/160)
The first part refers to structure and has everything to do with body fat percentage. We assumed because Fred was 300lbs, he was fat, because yes: Even 7 footers are typically fat when they weigh 300lbs. No one should weigh 300lbs for any significant length of their life. Once Fred stops playing seriously he’s going to want to make sure his weight drops to 260 or so within three or four months because even as a big/big person, his body is going to get very unhappy very quickly. We also suggest this coming year that he do his off-season cardio in the pool rather than on the court, because he’ll get enough running cardio through shooting drills and things like that, without actually doing plain old running that’ll murder his feet and knees.
So yeah. Fred Jorg. Big, big person, not tubby medium sized big person.
We play the vast majority of our non-conference against the Pac-West, thus what they do matters to us a lot. They also played their first round of conference games this past weekend and in short: We’re really happy with how it went. Winners in bold, reason we like the result after.
Holy Names @ Hawaii Pacific = HPU projects better than HNU, GNAC beat HPU 2-1, helps SOS.
Dixie State @ Cal Baptist = Strong team is strong; they beat both GNAC teams, thus we want them to look really good.
Azusa Pacific @ Point Loma = Point Loma is 1-1 vs. the GNAC, really liking what we’re seeing out of them, want them to be strong; we already know APU is strong.
CU-Irvine @ Chaminade = SPU lost to CU-Irvine, thus the better they are the more quality the loss.
A of A @ ND de Namur = Not super relevant.
CU-Irvine @ Hawaii Pacific = Again, we want CU-I to win as many games as possible.
Dixie State @ Point Loma = Dixie State is 3-1 against the GNAC; want the losses to look legitimate and the win to look worthy.
Holy Names @ Chaminade = Stronger looking wins; they’re 0-2 against the GNAC.
Fresno Pacific @ Dominican = We’re really liking Dominican, they’re 2-0 against us so far, so them being good would help make the losses matter less.
BYU-Hawaii @ Hawaii Hilo = 1-2 against the GNAC, we’d really prefer that BYUH was good, granted same thing for Hawaii Hilo.
Cal Baptist @ Azusa Pacific = We like and think both teams are really good and CBU only lost by a point, thus this helped us out. SPU plays APU on Saturday and we shall see.
The NABC Poll
3. Western Oregon -We don’t feel great about this considering their resume isn’t as good as UCSD, they didn’t go as far as SPU in the tournament last year, and while SPU lost everyone and WOU returned everyone, we feel like the Falcons still have a better resume.
5. Cal Poly Pomona -Perfect record, good wins against PLNU and Azusa Pacific.
13. Seattle Pacific -did what had to be done against WWU and SFU, good win against Chico, but we still feel this is a bit too high because the wins against Dixie State and BYU-H weren’t as quality as intended.
14. UC San Diego -They should honestly be ranked higher than SPU; more convincing win against two ranked teams. We get that SPU intended to have taken on three or so ranked teams, but the reality is that it didn’t happen.
20. Cal Baptist -Bordering on great win against #4 MN Moorhead, close loss to Azusa, we think Azusa is awesome, so dropping 10 spots feels too far, especially when their only losses come against Elite Eight participant APU and 14th ranked UCSD.
22. Chico State -Disagree. The loss against SPU looks fine but the Wildcats barely got past East Bay, and they don’t have a signature win. It’s not that they’re a bad team -it’s that outside of the SPU game, where have they truly been tested? If a west region team belongs in this spot, it’s Azusa Pacific.
Others receiving votes:
Azusa Pacific (1 vote): Swap APU and Chico and even then Chico deserves more than one measly vote (although we disagree with them being ranked at this point). APU we’re 50/50 on. We really like the Cougars, but we respect the opinion that they’re not quite there yet because of the two loss thing.
CU-Irvine (1 vote): They have a good win against SPU and a bad loss against San Marcos, so… It’s not that we don’t get it, it’s that we think this comes from someone giving them “quality win” points against SPU without accounting for the fact that the so-called quality win came on a neutral site. By all means it was a deserved and earned win, but was it quality?
Overall, we think CPP, WOU, SPU, UCSD, and CBU 100% belong in the rankings, while Azusa Pacific and Chico State are question marks with APU having the more deserving resume of the two.
Why do we pick on SPU and how do they feel about it?
We’re still waiting for our ring by Spring. National championship or bust. Get that ring, then we’ll stop picking on them for approximately six months.
We pick on SPU partly because we know that at least 3/5 starters are fully aware that they deserve to be picked on, and then the other two are pansies and can suck it. We also pick on them because they know what we think in regard to the positives of what they’re doing due to the fact that we say it all the time anyway. SPU is just different in that we know those coaches very well, we know how they coach, we know their expectations, we know their thought processes, so we’re less concerned about coddling because we know it’s been said anyway -most likely multiple times. WOU falls into that category-ish, but… Not quite ours; we didn’t go there. You’re always gonna be rougher on your own. MSUB and WWU are 100% ours, but right now getting after them would feel like kicking a couple of puppies.
TL;DR: SPU is fine with us picking on them because they DGAF[ishstick].
We’ve been trying to find and figure out Hanukkah shenanigans to post, but so far it hasn’t happened; hopefully it does. Otherwise: We’ll see you guys on Friday for the game day previews.
OUR FIRST ACTUAL WEDNESDAY DISCUSSION POST IN FOREVER! Nutso November; wait eleven months for it, wonder for four weeks why the heck we missed it, get done and inevitably within a week go “that was so much fun! Why can’t it be like that all the time?” Because everyone would die and that would be bad.
WOU 92 @ CU-Portland 58
Pretty typical result. Pretty sure the closest CU-Portland ever legitimately got was 13 points. There was a spot there when the Wolves had four and the Cavaliers had three that was a bit interesting, but the next thing we knew it was 16-3 favoring WOU. Good news for the conference. We’ll talk about that more later.
CU-Portland highlights: Latrell Wilson had 23 points on decent shooting; Tyler Gutierrez had 10 points. Off the bench Daniel Duitsman had six points; Riley Hawken added 5; James Phillips another five points. Pretty much it.
Western Oregon highlights: Andy Avgi had 27 points and six boards; Jordan Wiley had 21 points; Alex Roth had nine boards; Devon Alexander had five assists. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had 13 points, five assists, and three steals; JJ Chirnside had six points; and Tanner Omlid had five points and five boards.
Overall a pretty ho-hum game. Congrats to the Wolves on getting it done, just as we knew they could.
Strength of Schedule Stuff?
Last night we posted a tweet saying we hoped Western Oregon would win by 40 and that any team with legitimate tournament aspirations should hope the same. Why? Because We’re going to get real here: CU-Portland’s chances of making the conference tournament aren’t particularly high with what they’ve demonstrated in non-conference. We’ve kind of been skimming how the conference has collectively been doing against the Pac-West and CCAA and the good news is, it isn’t horrible. We’re at about .500 in regard to the Pac-West and .500 in regard to the CCAA. The problem with those numbers is that very few of the teams that we won against have winning records. Some of that is intentional, some not. The Hawaii schools were anticipated to be better, as was Dixie State; that’s a huge chunk of GNAC vs. Pac-West. With the CCAA, less so? For the most part the CCAA schools have been pretty much as expected, although we are excited about Monterey Bay sitting at 5-1; go Otters.
You can now dunk in warm-ups without picking up a technical?
Yes, and we’ll reveal something personal about ourselves: We’re white. We can jump out of the gym. We love dunking, think it’s great, had the privilege of witnessing both Nate Rob and Terrance Ross during their respective collegiate careers, however: In our lives, there was no devastation if one went down. There’s a story that floats around about once upon a time when some deep bench dwellers decided to dunk during tertiary warm-ups. Not thrilled about it, but okay, whatever, one of them tears an ACL, big whoop. Then a starter got in on it. A chronically injured starter. There is no point risking a season dunking during warm-ups. None. There are too many bad ways to come down and plenty of other, safer ways to get your plyometrics on. For those that choose to dunk during warm-ups: Good luck with those knee injuries.
Are a complete and total mess, still. Lots of West Region teams are ranked and it’s so complicated we’re just gonna go in order:
- 4th = Western Oregon: No losses, but their only good win is at home against Point Loma.
- 5th = Cal Poly Pomona: No losses, good road wins against PLNU and Azusa.
- 10th = Cal Baptist; agree-ish. They have one loss, but it’s against 22nd ranked UCSD.
- 16th = Seattle Pacific; agree-ish. Good win against Chico; only loss was against 5 and 1 CU-Irvine in OT on a neutral court.
- 22nd = UCSD; disagree. Undefeated with good wins against 18th ranked Colorado School of Mines and 10th ranked Cal Baptist.
- 23rd = Chico State; disagree. They fell a bit too far. While SPU’s loss against CU-I doesn’t look great, SPU is still ranked 16th.
Other west region teams receiving votes:
- CWU received 7; meh -two wins on what’s essentially home-court against two non-ranked teams.
- Western Washington received 6; meh -three losses, two against non-ranked teams.
- Azusa Pacific 4; total and complete BS. They have one loss and it was against Cal Poly Pomona. While the Cougars haven’t really played anybody, neither has WOU and they’re ranked 4th. APU beat the Wolves in March, APU’s made the tourney two straight years, and quite frankly: they deserve a bigger benefit of the doubt.
We saw that the SIDs put out a ranking. We’re really tempted to do one ourselves, but we’ll hold out for the December dead period. Basically there’s a lot of parity and ultimately the CCAA seems to come out on top. Here’s what teams we’re impressed with so far in relatively no particular order: Azusa Pacific, Cal Baptist, Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State, Dominican, Point Loma, Seattle Pacific, Sonoma State, UCSD, and Western Oregon. Out of ten teams, that’s four from the Pac-West, two from the GNAC, and four from the CCAA -pretty balanced, which is cool. The big problem right now is that the RPI of the GNAC is terrible; the vast majority of the wins come against teams in those conferences with losing records.
Of course, it’s December. We’re not sure how much the list above is going to hold up. We know UAF, UAA, WWU, and CWU are all jumping at the bit to be in that conversation, so we’ll see how that plays out. Dixie State, is of course a team that’s usually solid so we’ll see about them. There should be at least one somewhat okay (or good) Hawaii school, eventually, this year. CCAA-wise San Fran State is still undefeated with the wins coming against D2 competition. Humboldt is undefeated but largely hasn’t played anyone but NAIA schools, so 50/50 on that. Part of it is just where they play -much like MSUB is surrounded by the Frontier Conference, the Jacks are surrounded by the Cal Pac and Cascade conference, and you want to be on good terms with those schools even if it doesn’t help you as much as it could.
Tomorrow is the first BIG day of conference play and previews’ll be up mid-morning per usual.
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.
NNU plays Hawaii-Hilo, Notre Dame de Namur, and @ Dominican.
SMU plays Fresno Pacific, Point Loma, Azusa Pacific, and @ Dixie State.
WOU plays @ Point Loma, Fresno Pacific, Azusa Pacific, and @ Dixie State.
SPU plays Academy of Art, @ Hawaii Pacific, @ BYU-Hawaii, @ Hawaii-Hilo, and @ Dixie State.
CWU plays Academy of Art, @ BYU-Hawaii, and @ Hawaii Pacific.
WWU plays Notre Dame de Namur and Hawaii-Hilo.
MSUB plays @ Dixie State and @ Hawaii Pacific.
SFU plays @ Academy of Art, @ Dominican, and Holy Names.
UAF plays @ Notre Dame de Namur and BYU-Hawaii.
UAA plays BYU-Hawaii.
That is a grand total of 28 games. Dixie State is the big highlight on the schedule, but I’m not a person that thinks any team should be overlooked; the Hawaii schools are always a challenge, and you never know what any given team is going to do in a year.
Maybe things finally click, maybe they luck into a transfer that you wonder how they ever lived without –CWU got Mark McLaughlin at the last second, SPU got Jobi Wall a few years ago- maybe a player that had been buried by experience moves into the starting line-up ala Austin Bragg at WWU.
With the Pac-West, as much as I have an instinct to look at some of who we’re playing and go “Meh, that won’t tell us much,” that’s not true. Because we don’t know what those teams are going to be like and even if they’re not up at the top of the conference pecking order, it can give us a chance to figure out who we are.
CWU had a pretty bad moment with that last year playing Hawaii Pacific; it wasn’t a matter of HPU winning, it was a matter of CWU losing because of a raging case of apathy in the final 10 minutes of game play.
You may note that SPU plays more Pac-West teams than anyone else -this is likely a mix of tradition, not having as many tiny school obligations nearby, and the coaching staff feeling the need to know what they’re dealing with on a more tangible level.
Do I wish we as a conference played more within the West Region? Yeah, after all, it is an official listing on the NCAA Rankings: Overall Record and Region Record. It’s also fun to see the schools match up and have November be potentially a March preview. There’s so much growth and development that goes on during conference play and in years like last when it was parity central… it teaches us to embrace the head scratching.
Currently I’d like to see way more games with the CCAA because my history with D1 says I’m all about strength of schedule, but…
Going into last year, we didn’t necessarily know that the CCAA would be the strength of schedule in the West; the GNAC just as often has that role. In the Pac-West, Cal Baptist made a HUGE splash in making their conference more challenging. That was great. And then the West Region on the whole was weak, which was fairly obvious from the beginning but… you never know.
With that… up next is the Pac-West vs. the CCAA.