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!
We’re going to go ahead and do the UAF/UAA preview first to get it out of the way:
Anything can happen in a rivalry game and neither team has looked particularly impressive thus far, although Anchorage definitely more so than Fairbanks. We’re curious to see what Jacob Lampkin does against the Nooks, but that’s pretty much it.
Now, for the Bracketology:
Teams that we think have a legit shot at an at-large bid even if they lose several games during conference play:
Cal State LA -they got killed by Cal Baptist, but it was on the road and they played non-con largely within the region with a solid mix of A-B-C teams.
UCSD -While they have three losses, those three losses come from Azusa Pacific, Cal Baptist, and Dixie State; all traditionally strong teams. They also have a win against WWU -another team that projects to be strong.
San Marcos -Solid non-con; only loss was a blowout against CU-Irvine, and they have wins against both Azusa Pacific and CU-Portland, both of whom project as middle-of-the-pack teams in their respective conferences. They’re honestly the epitome of a bubble team in regard to how non-con looks.
Cal Baptist -Only loss comes from a surprisingly good SMU team.
CU-Irvine -Only loss is to Seattle Pacific, has wins against San Marcos (A), Central Washington (B-), and Chico (B+).
Point Loma -They have wins against an SMU team that beat Cal Baptist, and a Simon Fraser team that doesn’t look as bad as it usually does. Their losses come from GNAC-leading WOU and a good UCSD team.
Western Oregon -Our choice for now to host the regional; they got through a quality non-con schedule completely unscathed and then their formal travel partner upset Cal Baptist for them.
Saint Martin’s -Stellar non-con, only loss is to Point Loma, and they have a win over Cal Baptist. Love it.
Seattle Pacific -We’re not thrilled with how the Falcons have looked as of late, but the fact is: They have wins over CU-Irvine and Dixie State, one of their losses was on the road in 2OT, and then the other loss was D2 but non-west region on the road.
MSUB -isn’t on this list because while undefeated, they play the bulk of their non-con schedule in a few weeks.
Teams to keep an eye on despite a meh non-con:
Cal Poly Pomona -Lost to Azusa Pacific, beat Dixie State, but both were home games and that was the entirety of their D2 non-con.
Chico State -Lost a close one on a neutral court to CU-Irvine, killed Biola and Dominican; this is a terrible non-con schedule, just saying.
San Fran State -Lost to CU-Portland on a neutral court, beat NNU in OT on the road, barely beat Academy of Art & Dominican. All four teams project to be B & C teams in their respective conferences, so while SFSU has an okay record right now, we’re not impressed.
Dixie State -They went through a positively brutal non-con, with losses coming via Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State LA, Western Oregon, and Seattle Pacific, and then their one win was against UCSD. Do they need to have a great regular season? Yes. Should they be able to do it? Absolutely. Dixie usually gets better as the year goes on, and again: they couldn’t have tested themselves any more in non-con.
Azusa Pacific -Another brutal non-con, and they have wins against UCSD, Cal Poly Pomona, and an SFU team that isn’t as bad as it normally is. Their losses come via WOU and San Marcos, so completely legitimate.
Chaminade -We want to see them win on the mainland. They barely beat Dominguez Hills, and while they beat the Alaska schools in Alaska, the Alaska schools are worse than normal this year.
Shockingly, we’re going to do the GNAC differently, because despite a meh non-con, almost every team is still in contention. Here are the teams that we think could only lose one or two games in conference, otherwise they’ll rely entirely on the auto-bid:
UAF -They barely played anyone and they only beat Hawaii Pacific.
UAA -Playing Holy Names is subtraction by addition. We get that they didn’t return anything, but they were projected to be wayyy better than they’ve proven thus far.
CWU -Played no one except CU-I and Hilo in non-con and they lost to CU-I at that. Sorry, but seriously two schools? Nope.
The good news for the three schools above is that CWU is a notoriously hard place to play, as are the Alaska schools, and then the conference tournament is hosted in Alaska. The bad news is that if everybody beats everybody and everyone ends up with four or five losses, they’re not going to deserve nor should they get the benefit of the doubt.
Is there quite a bit of the benefit of the doubt being given by teams that have proven themselves in the past, particularly in the Pac-West? Yes. But regeneration is much easier than starting from the bottom, and it’s such a big everybody’s-beaten-everbody-except-WOU that it’s what we’re going with. It’s awesome. It should be a really fun regular season.
And yes: the GNAC came out looking fantastic in non-con. Congrats in particular to CU-Portland, Northwest Nazarene, and Simon Fraser for still being in contention for at-large bids!
One question we’re now contemplating… If by February 1st it looks like neither Alaska school is going to make the conference tournament, is there any way we can send it back to Lacey instead? Just thinking out loud here.
Have fun, be safe, 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.
All times pacific.
UC San Diego vs. UAF @ WWU @ 2:30pm
UCSD should put away the Nooks without issue, but if for some reason the Nooks upset the Tritons, everyone loses because it doesn’t make UAF look good; it simply makes UCSD look bad.
Prediction: UCSD wins. Please.
NNU @ Regis (Denver) @ 4pm
Regis is 4-0. This is a great test for NNU. Hopefully the Crusaders pull it out, but…
Prediction: Regis wins. No idea on the margin.
CU-PDX @ Cal State LA @ 5pm
Cal State LA looks good this year and so it should be an interesting battle. There are implications in both directions that CSULA should win/CU-PDX should win, so…
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ Westminster (SLC) @ 6pm
Who knows? The Falcons escaped Dixie State last night but it wasn’t pretty. It’s an RMAC crossover game, so it’s not insanely critical but at the same time it is D2 and all non-con wins are good non-con wins.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SFU @ Point Loma @ 7pm
We want SFU to win sooo badly, but, let’s be real:
Prediction: PLNU gets the ‘W.’
P.S. C’mon Clan! You can do it! We want to be wrong!
WOU @ Notre Dame de Namur @ 7pm
Prediction: WOU wins big.
SMU @ Cal Baptist @ 7pm
Another game where we want the GNAC team to upset sooo badly, but it just seems unlikely to happen. CBU is currently 6-0… We will bake the Saints cookies, really good cookies, if they can get this upset. This game is one of those games that if we win it (as a conference) it should have implications for rest of the season. The good news is if the Saints lose, it doesn’t really matter a ton because everyone knows CBU is good and the Saints have a quality enough schedule that it is a legitimate win for the Lancers.
Prediction: CBU wins.
More games of intrigue than we expected. It should be a super fun day of basketball. Good luck to all the teams playing; have fun, be safe, go GNAC.
Nutso November, welcome back; hope everyone had a great first weekend of D2 play.
Jumping right in…
MSUB 67 vs. Sonoma State 61 @ Cal State East Bay
Fun game. We have no idea what it means. Sonoma isn’t sure themselves if they’re supposed to be good, so… It’s a little complicated. MSUB struggled against NAIA Rocky Mountain and then beat Sonoma whom had just beaten Seattle Pacific, whom (spoiler) proceeded to beat East Bay far more convincingly than MSUB did. In other words: the Pioneer Challenge was fantastic from a basketball perspective, but unhelpful from a “how good are these teams?” perspective.
Yellowjacket highlights: Tyler Green had five boards; Kamal Tall had a good game with 16 points and eight boards in just 16 minutes; and Zack Rollins had seven boards. Off the bench Hafeez Abdul had six points; Zharon Richmond had eight points and five boards; and Daniel Shedden had eight boards.
Congrats to the Yellowjackets on a sweep for the weekend!
SPU 70 @ Cal State East Bay 59
The Falcons at one point led by 19. We expected them to win, but we also expected it to be closer. A little annoyed at the Falcons for letting East Bay creep back in, but oh well; all’s well that ends in a W.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had six boards; Nikhil Lizotte had 10 points; Tony Miller had 12 points and seven boards; Gavin Long had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six points; Hunter Eisenhower had 17 points; and Nathan Streufert had five points and eight boards.
The Falcons had 17 turnovers, but when you’re leading by 15 for a huge stretch of the game you tend to start doing stupid stuff, so… We won’t consider it concerning just yet, although East Bay did do a great job taking advantage of it, scoring 16 points off of the turnovers.
CSU Monterey Bay 67 vs. CWU 72 @ CU-PDX
Hallelujah Wildcats. A win against a CCAA team. Yay! Thank-you for getting it done. Monterey Bay tends to sit right in the middle of the CCAA so it should be a moderate add of SOS, which is really nice. We’re still not entirely sure what to make of this CWU team, but a W is a W.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had 11 points and four steals; Jawan Stepney had 25 points; and Fuquan had seven boards. Off the bench Sage Woodruff had seven points; Cameron Williams had five boards; Karsten Chaplik had five boards; and Jerome Bryant had five points.
We’re curious about Fuquan -he only had two fouls, the largest lead CWU had was 12, so why didn’t he play more? We get that he had 3 turnovers, but… Fuquan is completely legit, so we’ll see. Hopefully no injury.
San Bernardino State 64 @ CU-PDX 65
HECK YES CU-PORTLAND, THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE. We’re not convinced San Bernardino is going to be particularly amazing, but this falls into the W is a W thing and Ws against the CCAA are very, very good regardless.
Cavalier highlights: Jace Cates had five assists; Cody Starr had 9 points; Jarrett Gray had 20 points and five boards; and Christopher Edward had an incredible double-double with 15 points and 15 boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had 10 points and seven boards; while Taylor Harris had five points and four boards.
Very excited about this result, two in a row for CU-Portland, keep grinding Cavs!
Point Loma 85 vs. SMU 77 @ WOU
Pretty much what we expected but we’re still ridiculously proud of the Saints. These are the losses you learn from, completely respectable score, the numbers are fine.
Saint highlights: Matt Dahlen had 15 points; Rhett Baerlocher had 12 points; Luke Chavez had 20 points; and off the bench BJ Standley had 13 points; while Tavian Henderson had five boards and seven points.
Again: Saints, you’re looking somewhere between just fine and good, so we’re excited to write the preview about you taking on Hilo tonight -it’ll be up an hour after this post.
SFU 80 vs. Notre Dame de Namur 51 @ WWU
AAAAAH, GO CLAN!!!!! Now, ND de Namur is usually the Simon Fraser of their conference, so everything in moderation, but that means our chronic basement dweller > the Pac-West’s chronic basement dweller, and we’ll take it!
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam had 17 points; Michael Provenzano had seven assists; JJ Pankratz had a good game with 15 points and nine boards; and Tyrell Lewin had five boards. Off the bench Othniel Spence had 12 points; and Bowen Bakken had 11 points.
Again: Nicely done Clan, we’re proud of you, we’re excited about your sweep of the weekend, and continue getting it done!
UAF 97 vs. Hawaii Pacific 90 @ UAA
This is why we have to take all of when we’re right when we can. That said: we’re ridiculously happy that UAF won and so we’re happy to be wrong. Conference strength of schedule is everything to us, and this helps.
Nook highlights: Amenofis Mitchell had 13 points on good shooting; LaDonavan Wilder had 16 points, six boards, six assists, two steals, two blocks, and two fouls for a nice full house; Alex Baham had 20 points and five fouls; Davis Kimble had a double-double with 15 points and a whopping 11 assists with only ONE turnover -that’s amazing!; and Michael Kluting had five assists. Off the bench Jalon McCullough had five points; Zach Hatch had six points; Tre Eisenhut had eight points; and Joe Lendway had eight points.
Super balanced performance. We feel like it still doesn’t tell us a ton, but again: it adds to conference strength of schedule, so while we don’t know what it means in regard to what UAF does in conference, it does help everyone.
Hilo 80 @ WWU 76
AHAHAHA. We don’t even know what to say about this game except to be fair, while the Viking players played well and saw tons of minutes, their starters are still pretty darn young.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had five assists; Logan Schilder continues to get up to speed with 15 points and nine boards; Deandre Dickson had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards; and Daulton Hommes had nine boards and 22 points among a full house. Off the bench Blake Fernandez had 11 points, five assists, and five fouls among a full house.
Alright Vikings, back in it. Growing pains but we still believe in you.
Fresno Pacific 67 @ Western Oregon 123
Ouch. Go Wolves!
Wolf highlights: Dustin Triano had 17 points; Tanner Omlid was back in it but not super required with 10 points, seven boars, and four assists in just 22 minutes; Darius Luborn had nine points; Riley Hawken was perfect from the field including 4-4 from three and finished with 14 points; and JJ Chirnside had nine boards and five assists. Off the bench Demetrius was BACK with 26 points on 8-9 shooting; Nick Nestell had six points; Janvier Alaby had 11 points; Brandell Evans had five points and five assists; Vince Boumann had 12 points on good shooting; and Buster Souza had five points.
Congrats to the Wolves on a, ahem, convincing win.
Chaminade 71 @ UAA 65
Interesting result. We’ll cross our fingers both schools are good. Both schools actually host D1 tournaments that they themselves compete in, so we won’t know much about either of them for a while, but it was clearly a hard fought game with some good numbers by both teams.
Seawolf highlights: Jacob Lampkin continues to impress, getting another double-double with 16 points and 10 boards; DJ Ursery had 21 points and nine boards; Josiah Wood had five fouls; and off the bench Curtis Ryan had five boards.
Congrats to UAA on the rebounding margin -they actually out-rebounded Chaminade 41 to 28, which is amazing, with effort like that we’re sure you’ll get it done next game and many thereafter.
Nicely done GNAC, great first weekend of D2play; NNU we’re excited to see you play D2 games very soon.
POW noms & the preview of the Hilo/SMU game are up next.
Holy guacamole, welcome to Nutso November. Our schedule is a little wacky today (as is the game schedule), so the highlights of yesterday’s games will probably go up this afternoon at some point.
That said, let’s jump into previewing today’s games, seeing as one starts in under an hour.
All times pacific standard.
MSUB vs. Sonoma State @ Cal State East Bay @ 12pm
We’re curious about this game because not even Sonoma knows if Sonoma is going to be good, and both of these teams are coming off of close wins -Sonoma in 2OT and MSUB in regulation- and so we’ll see what happens. If both games in this tournament end as they did yesterday, it’ll be arguably the best basketball tournament we’ve witnessed… This year. Okay, the GNAC tourney was unbelievably fantastic too, but the more great basketball the better!
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ Cal State East Bay @ 2pm
No idea; we know nothing because it’s early in the season, the two games played in this tournament yesterday were insane, and there’s arguably an interesting dynamic that could be on display between these two teams in particular.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CWU vs. Monterey Bay @ 3pm
CWU suffered a bit of an embarrassing loss yesterday, because seriously Wildcats?! You return more than anyone else in the conference outside of the Westerns and that’s how you play?! C’mon men.
Prediction: Monterey Bay wins.
CU-PDX vs. San Bernardino State @ 5pm
We’re sooo proud of the Cavs play yesterday and feel like they’re in a great position to keep the momentum going and get a win today.
Prediction: CU-PDX wins another close one.
SMU vs. Point Loma @ 5pm
Gah, we wish we were attending this game. It should be fantastic.
Prediction: Point Loma wins a close one.
SFU vs. Notre Dame de Namur @ 5pm
Is SFU legitimate or is Hilo terrible? If we go with the ‘SFU is legit’ argument then we expect them to beat ND de Namur convincingly.
Prediction: SFU is good this year; wins by 10 or so.
UAF vs. Hawaii Pacific @ 6:30pm
UAF lost to Chaminade by a fair bit, Hawaii Pacific beat Anchorage by a fair bit, thus…
Prediction: HPU blows out UAF.
WWU vs. Hilo @ 7:30pm
Our prediction is going to be that WWU wins every game until they don’t. Their team is stacked and we’re really excited about it.
Prediction: WWU blows out Hilo.
WOU vs. Fresno Pacific @ 7:30pm
Our prediction is going to be that
WWU WOU wins every game until they don’t. Their team is stacked and we’re really excited about it.
Prediction: WOU blows out FPU.
UAA vs. Chaminade @ 9pm
Another game we’re really curious about because with the results of yesterday it looks like Chaminade and UAA could be a couple of well-matched teams because we think UAA is better than UAF and HPU is better than Chaminade.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Have fun, be safe, go GNAC!
It’s finally here!!!!! We ultimately swapped a couple of our prognostication picks just because we have a standard of not projecting transfers to do anything until we actually see them play D2 games.
This year the only teams that truly return adequately proven D2 basketball players are the Westerns -that is Western Washington and Western Oregon- and so we abandoned all of our pre-season gifs and basically everything and figure the last week of November is destined for our blog blitz because we’ll finally actually know something. Maybe.
That said… We can preview today’s games, because we do have lots of questions about them.
All times pacific standard.
Seattle Pacific vs. Sonoma State @ Cal State East Bay @ 12pm
Seattle Pacific was terrible last year but in our opinion it’s addition by subtraction; we like what they have coming back seeing as they return basically everything on a team that displayed good fundamentals -just an exceptional amount of youth and a brand new coaching staff. Sonoma is usually upper middle of the CCAA and made the Regional last year, so it should be a good battle.
Prediction: Sonoma State wins a close one.
MSU-Billings @ Cal State East Bay @ 2pm
MSUB loses Preston Beverly but returns Kendall Denham, Kamal Tall, and Sven Jeuschede, so they’ve got that going for them. Cal State East Bay is breaking in a new coach, but we swear by him (our grad school coach) and they did better than they have in the past last year, so… We think they’ve got potential.
Prediction: East Bay wins, but no idea on the margin.
Central Washington vs. San Bernardino State @ CU-PDX @ 5pm
San Bernardino didn’t do much last year and we like what CWU returns, despite their embarrassing performance against NAIA Northwest.
Prediction: CWU wins, but not particularly comfortably.
Saint Martin’s vs. Fresno Pacific @ WOU @ 5pm
We ended up switching them ahead of Anchorage in our prognostication because they return more than we realized, which is awesome. They should win without issue, although they are a team that tends to improve quite a bit throughout the season, so a loss would be nothing to panic about.
Prediction: SMU wins a close-ish one.
Simon Fraser vs. Hawaii-Hilo @ WWU @ 5pm
BRAND NEW CARVER!!!!!!!! Simon Fraser actually returns a lot, and so we’re not entirely confident in our pick of them being last in the GNAC. Players we’re really curious to see the improvement of include Othniel Spence, Michael Provenzano, JJ Pankratz, and Tyrell Lewin. We’re also excited to see what Hilo does against GNAC teams this year -thanks again to the Vulcans for coming up and swinging down through the Washington schools; everyone benefits from it.
Prediction: Hilo wins, although not a blow-out.
Alaska-Fairbanks vs. Chaminade @ 6:30pm
No idea, but it should be a good match-up because the teams usually sit in fairly similar places in their respective conferences. We’re curious about UAF, but honestly they return so little that we’re not sure this game is really going to tell us anything.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CU-Portland vs. Monterey Bay @ 7pm
We’re reaaaaally intrigued by this game because it’s yet another match-up of teams that have started to sit in similar spots in regard to middle of the conference. We love what CU-Portland returns and we can’t wait to see the great numbers they’ll put up.
Prediction: CU-Portland pulls out a win at home.
Western Oregon vs. Point Loma @ 7:30pm
We’re super curious about this game. A couple of really good coaches that almost willed their teams to NCAA Tournament bids facing off to start the season. Western Oregon, obviously we’re excited about keeping Tanner for a year -we didn’t expect him to win player of the year last year, but numbers are numbers, and this game should have fantastic ones for both teams, although probably nothing insane regard to being super low scoring or high scoring; it should be balanced.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Western Washington vs. Notre Dame de Namur @ 7:30pm
WWU returns everything and NDdN is usually terrible, so it should be a good warm-up for the Viks, provided they take it with at least a modicum of seriousness.
Prediction: WWU wins in a blow-out.
Alaska-Anchorage vs. Hawaii Pacific @ 9pm
HPU had a good run last year and Anchorage returns almost nothing, but supposedly they’ve gotten in some really amazing transfers. Unfortunately for Anchorage, we were subject to an awful former D1, two-time Oregon 5A state player of the year that was bad enough we named a rule after time: The Jake Ehlers Rule, which means we don’t count transfers in regard to pre-season rankings nor predictions -we need to see people play in actual D2 games.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Good luck to all involved, we’ll be keeping a super close eye on everything, and…
Let’s go GNAC, get some Ws!
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.
We don’t get many statistics back about our readers, but one thing we do get is what country you’re reading from, and as such: We see you Kevin Rima =) ❤
On the horizon for today: Can we pick the Regional host after just one weekend of play? Can we pick the teams likely to make the tournament? Strength of Schedule? And why we don’t pay attention to non-D2 results.
Can you pick the Regional host after just one weekend of play?
No. But we can tell you that a bunch of teams are eliminated. SOS counts officially for D2 now. Here are the teams that by our calculation are still vying for the chance to host:
Chico -wins over CU-I and Dominican.
UCSD -wins over Dixie, Azusa, and Point Loma.
Those two are legit in the hunt to host. San Marcos and CSULA haven’t played any D2 opponents yet and so while they’re technically still in the hunt, it seems unlikely. The rest of the teams have either not strong enough wins or losses to teams that are likely middle-of-the-pack in their respective conferences. While there are always exceptions, generally speaking they aren’t regular. The last four years we’ve successfully picked the Region Host in December of that year. This is premature, but not very.
Chaminade -Beat the Alaska schools, still has to play SPU.
Azusa Pacific -lost to UCSD, but their projected strength of schedule is still insane.
Cal Baptist -undefeated with good SOS still to play.
Hawaii Pacific -Beat the Alaska schools, but doesn’t have any strength of schedule besides that. They’ll have to lose a max of one game in conference to make this schedule work.
Point Loma -Lost to WOU and SMU, we think the loss to SMU officially rules them out because we don’t think SMU is anything but an auto-bid tournament team, but PLNU theoretically has plenty of SOS left -they still play SPU and CSULA. We think CSULA will be good in conference, but if you don’t schedule yourself well in non-con there are teams that do and so it becomes a win out scenario.
WWU -this one is interesting because we’re not sure they can host because they’re playing at Whatcom Community College, which only seats like 750 people. Maybe Carver will be done in time? Maybe the low capacity isn’t a problem? They’re still definitely in the running via play -two wins on the road and still plenty of SOS available in a road game against UCSD and a neutral site game against perennially good Tarleton State.
SPU -We’re as shocked as anyone with how little they return, and while we don’t think it’s going to be a possibility much longer the fact is they won both games and they have plenty of SOS available with a game at Azusa, a neutral site game against Point Loma, and then games against the Hawaii schools in Hawaii.
CWU -That would be fun. We’d love to see CWU host again because the E-burg drive is our favorite. They won both games in California, although their SOS is suspect because they didn’t blow either team out and the only other west region SOS they have comes from Dixie State. CWU needs to be rooting like heck for SPU, WWU, and WOU in particular during the rest of non-con, because those teams all have better SOS and thus the Wildcats need regular season wins against those teams to look elite.
WOU -Took care of business on the road, but their SOS is also lacking in that all they have left is Dixie State and Westminster (RMAC). We love the Wolves and still think they’ll be fine in terms of making the tournament, but it seems like the odds of doing to the conference schedule what they did last year are much slimmer, and thus it would really help to have scheduled more SOS. In the era that Jim Shaw was at UW, that was the biggest knock on Romar’s teams -they lacked non-conference SOS, and it made Selection Sunday stressful. Granted, the Wolves won’t get sent cross country, but they could get sent to Hawaii. And saying that… Wow, Hawaii, that just sounds horrible. Sarcasm.
We think the Alaska schools are officially out of the run to host because both dropped two games in Hawaii and the only other D2west games they play are against middle-of-the-pack opponents at home this weekend. Either team would need basically an undefeated season in conference or all of the teams above them to completely fall apart. Not just one team above. Every team above from all three conferences. NNU is like CSULA/San Marcos; they just don’t play anyone in non-con and thus will need to run the table in conference and that’s hard to do that even with an NCAA tournament veteran, return-every-key-piece team like WOU had last year; considering what NNU has chronically been, it’s for all intents and purposes impossible.
Strength of Schedule is like applying to med school. There’s the method of having a bunch of extra curriculars, volunteering, and/or being a student athlete and submitting a 3.3 gpa (losing to quality opponents in non-con) vs. only focusing on school, and thus needing the 3.98 (either win out or only lose once in conference play). Two different paths, both a way to the dance, but we see the former as much more preferable to the latter. The autobids are often like the kids that have 2.0s coming out of high school, but score 2350 on the SAT and have their pick of colleges because the reality is they’re smart, they just didn’t care.
In summary, potential hosts still include: UCSD, Chico State, Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, Chaminade, WWU, SPU, CWU, and WOU. Oddly enough that’s nine teams -one more team than will be eligible to qualify for the regional, and yet we don’t think those are necessarily the teams that will qualify. It’s much easier to qualify than it is to host, because qualifying allows conference losses, auto bids, that sort of thing. The only way you’re going to host as an autobid is if you’re within those nine teams, and those nine teams are likely to get paired down substantially in the coming weeks.
Who do you think is still in the running for an at large bid?
Well, first of all: UCSD, Chico State, Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, Chaminade, WWU, SPU, CWU, and WOU.
But also: CSULA, San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona, Dixie State, BYU-Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific, CU-Irvine, Point Loma, UAF, UAA, SMU (technically), and MSUB. The GNAC teams we obviously know more -MSUB returns a ton. They’ve been playing terribly, but they return a bunch of proven-to-play well D2 guys. Same with SMU, it feels unlikely for them to qualify for an at-large bid, but we believe in that team and they host the conference tournament, so it feels like of all years, this could be the year they break through and get that auto bid. Humboldt also seems like they again have the potential for the autobid but aren’t likely for an at-large.
Basically half the teams are still in the running. The conference gauntlet is intense for every conference and we just don’t see any other team being able to overcome their lack of SOS by losing fewer than five conference games. We’re guessing that four is going to be the magic number, and that’s with SOS. A number of the teams listed above will require three losses or less, and more likely two, plus at least a win or two in their respective conference tournament.
We’ll see if we disagree with ourselves by this time next week, or better yet the week after.
Why don’t you count D1/other division games when looking at teams and how good they are?
Because they’re one-offs on both sides. D1 teams will often write off D2 opponents and play down to our level. We as D2 often write off D3/NAIA opponents and do the same thing. EJ Poulsen just had five boards against Lewis and Clark. Who cares? He was probably the tallest guy in the game by four inches and he would never play enough minutes to do that in an actual D2 game. That’s what happens in a lot of D1 games too -they do a lot of player rotation early and then go “oh shoot, these guys are better than we were thinking,” and they clamp down and blow a team out. The other side is they continue to rotate players knowing the talent gap and it remains closer than would be if they were playing for real but the fact is they’re not; it doesn’t count against their SOS to lose to a D2 opponent, even if it is embarrassing.
The only teams that have made the tournament in recent history after beating D1 opponents have been SPU in 2012 (Arizona) and WOU in 2015 (Oregon State) and both were at-large bids, thus still had incredible D2 evidence for being elite in the west. The Arizona and Oregon State games made exactly zero difference, because it’s a one off. Why would anyone put much precedence in one game when there are 25 others against truly similar opponents to look at? It’s just straight up cray, but when you make it to the NCAA D2 West Regional: you’re playing D2 opponents. If you want the D1 games to matter, be like Seattle U., abandon the GNAC and join the ranks of D1. *shakes head* Redhawks are such losers.
Pretty much it for today. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow AM and then… Nightlights? Most likely.