Here’s a list of the Player-of-the-Week nominees we’ve had so far this year:
UAF: Bangaly Kaba, Travante Williams
UAA: Suki Wiggs, Diante Mitchell, Corey Hammell
SFU: JJ Pankratz
WWU: Kyle Impero
SPU: Bryce Leavitt, Mitch Penner, Gilles Dierickx
MSUB: Jordan Perry
CWU: Gary Jacobs
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye
WOU: Devon Alexander, Andy Avgi, Alex Roth
Last year we questioned that guys that were having really good games week in and week out weren’t getting nominated because their teammates are having better games. This year, that’s not a problem and it’s making us ask a different question: Are our standards too ridiculous? Do they not work for the GNAC? We’re leaning on the side of “no,” but will look into it as we go into conference play.
Our winners have put up really standard numbers in terms of what we saw last year, so… totally possible, it’s not too hard to achieve, it’s that no one’s getting it consistently with the exception of Andy and Bryce. Our formula actually does take defense into account, so it’s not simply a matter of scoring.
Player-of-the-Week Winners, thus far:
UAA: Corey Hammell
SPU: Bryce Leavitt
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye
WOU: Andy Avgi
We’ve given the award out five times; Bryce has won twice, while Cory, Bouna, and Andy have won once each. We like the numbers they’ve put up; the fact that Bouna did in fact play two games during the week he won makes it even better because he hit numbers that put him right in the thick of the other POW winners, so it’s a true win by all accounts.
While we’re proud of those guys, we feel like that list is lacking.
Almir Hadzisehovic (UAF) is still playing a lot, just not playing particularly well. We get that Bangaly Kaba and Travante Williams are good, but that doesn’t inherently make Almir bad, so hopefully he’ll step up more now that conference play is starting.
Brian McGill (UAA) is no longer playing as far as we know. He remains on their roster, but isn’t in their team picture, can’t find anything about injury status, nothing saying “he’s coming back soon,” he’s just gone. We assume if he was participating in an extra curricular program it would be advertised as a GNAC athlete being more than a basketball player. Fact is -he’s a 5th year senior, so as much as we like him: Sometimes you’ve gotta just get a life and ideally that’s what he’s done. We’re hoping that he’s not MIA to deal with his own illness or the illness of a sick family member -if he is, in that case we hope he comes back really soon and everything works out.
Michael Harper (SFU) has a bad case of the turnovers, but is still around.
Mac Johnson (WWU) we have no idea what’s wrong with -he still plays a lot, he’s still 6’8 and 240lbs, but we have no idea where the Mac of the end of last year went and we keep thinking the old him is going to resurface and then it doesn’t.
Mitch Penner (SPU) isn’t taking the step up that we kind of anticipated and yet he’s kinda screwed because every team is just like “Let’s go after Mitch!” because it’s hard to go after Gilles, no one needs to go after Will Parker (he’s the new Lew Thomas), Bryce Leavitt is a point guard -he’s good whether he’s assisting, defending, or scoring; and people just bounce right off of 5th starter Garrett, so what are you going to do? Answer: Go after the ginger.
Trey Ingram (SMU) was our favorite frosh last year and he’s gone into a sophomore slump, so hopefully he’ll bounce back. Not too concerned with this one -it happens, he’ll get through it.
Momir Gataric (MSUB) is redshirting due to injury, which sort of sucks, and sort of is just as well. We’ll be glad to get him back next year and wish him the best in his rehabbing efforts.
Joe Stroud (CWU) is still playing but apparently it’s much harder when you actually have to shoot the ball and are being relied upon -he’s responded poorly so far, granted he’s played somewhere between four and six D2 games, so still plenty of season left.
Mike Wright (NNU) lost all of the people that made him look somewhat decent and so now he just looks like a mess. Yes, he could have stepped up, this theoretically was his team because Bouna was generally the 6th man last year, but… Mike needs to do more. Much more. Maybe during conference play.
Tyler Gutierrez (CU-P) is basically the only returning piece for CU-P and we know we named him as a POW nominee, but he’s not on the list above because he wouldn’t have been nominated if he were on any other team -it was us trying to include the Cavs, and now we’re kind of done. With that: Be adequate.
Julian Nichols (WOU) we really, really don’t know and it’s kind of making us mad to be perfectly honest. Dude is still playing, he’s just not playing well. He was one of our picks for potential player of the year because he had an amazing junior season and not much has really changed and yet he’s not playing well.
With some of that… We feel like writing it off until conference play is kind of weak, considering our conference looked so weak during non-conference. There are good teams, but we feel downright uncomfortable with UAA, WWU, and CWU because non-conference was such a wash and we feel like they’re good teams but they didn’t prove it during non-con and so we’re not sure what it’ll mean during conference play if/when they do win? It seems like it’ll be easy to give them hype and yet what’s the real substance behind that hype?
UAF there’s not as much expectation because they’ve been off for a few years, they’ve got what’s essentially a brand new team, low-pressure; SMU same thing; MSUB and NNU we’re just hoping they don’t drown. CU-Portland and SFU, we hope things remain somewhat humane.
WOU and SPU there’s some concern about upsets and we’ve said this repeatedly: Upsets aren’t a good thing for ANYONE including the teams upsetting them. The better SPU and WOU look the better for our conference as a whole, because they barely proved themselves in non-conference. Our non-con collectively looks much better because of how SPU schedules, never forget that.
When we look at the individual play of guys on other teams… It may just be a more down year on the west coast. Admittedly we really loved last year’s GNAC (shout-outs in particular to non-returners Kevin Rima, Anye Turner, Riley Stockton, Matt Borton, and Alex & Kalidou [no one blames you two for leaving] for helping make our first year of blogging ridiculously fun) and we know that those guys are all super amazing, but… There are amazing guys this year too -Bouna was an irrational favorite last year that’s become legitimate this year; Kyle Impero turned it up at the end of last year and is dominating this year; Bryce Leavitt came out of nowhere and we’re beyond thrilled with his play; Bangaly and Travante are both super fun; Andy we should constantly be in awe of Andy, but still kind of hold a grudge against him because of the second game against SPU last year -we’ll just be honest- even though we know it was Brendan’s fault that the Falcons lost, so… Irrationalities, but we can admit it. We love you Andy, we really do, promise.
So there are plenty of good guys, but there may be far fewer great guys than normal, and that could be making some of the would-be great guys merely look good. We wondered that regularly about Riley Carel’s stats -if they were in fact lower because he’d pass the ball and then the guy he was passing to would turn it over, so he’d skip passing and try and force something and it didn’t work out very well because while they had promising underclassmen, there’s a big difference between promising underclassmen and seasoned upperclassmen. Then again, with Riley -that was his own fault; could have stayed at SPU and been the starting SG on a team with Riley S. and Matt and Mitch, and Cory’s hook shot (Cory and his hook shot we’ve determined to be separate entities) but he decided he wanted to be the star. And that decision proves even more juxtaposed this year with Alex and Kalidou both having transferred to CBU.
Riley got to score a lot of points and be the go-to guy, but never even made the conference tournament. Alex and Kalidou are now playing on a team favored to win the Pac-West and that’s 100% in control of their own destiny regarding an at-large berth in the regional tournament, much less conference tournament.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go as a group.
In an hour we’ll check in with some of our favorite GNAC alums/former players now playing on non-GNAC teams.
Tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll be taking a look at what we currently know vs. want to know about each team/group of guys in our conference currently.
On the agenda for today: Alex and Kalidou are both playing for CBU, Kyle Impero’s weight, why you should be rooting for all eleven GNAC teams right now, and briefly touching the D1 games being played.
Alex and Kalidou both are actively playing for Cal Baptist this year, and this is how they’re eligible:
Maybe the most interesting thing about it is that Riley Carel was still forced to redshirt at SMU, meaning that his exit from SPU wasn’t entirely agreed upon, likely in part because it was an in-conference transfer. We support the SPU coaching staff entirely in their decision to force the RS, considering SPU’s best chance in ages to win the regional would have been last year with Riley Carel at shooting guard. Yeah, there was the difference of being in conference, but if anything we see in-region as worse than in-conference transfers.
Kyle Impero is sitting at 6’4/165 and it is concerning us heavily. He’s a very lithe guy, so it’s not as bad as it could be, but… Our concern comes from watching Spencer Hawes get the flu in his one and only year at Washington. He was sitting at 220, which is already on the low side for a guy that’s 6’11, he got the flu, dropped out to 210, and then never recovered. It was unpleasant.
For men’s basketball, even D2 we’d like to see a low base of roughly 6’2/170, 6’3/180, 6’4/190, etc. The season is grueling, like Kilimanjaro grueling. Looks totally doable, sounds totally doable, but the next thing you know you’re doubled over exhausted. Kyle sitting at 165 means that if he gets even a mild case of the flu, his body has nothing and the odds of his lack of appetite spiraling him into sitting sub 155 are high, which would be bad news all around.
Our annual reminder: The GNAC plague is coming just like every year and the best way to combat it is to get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. You should be drinking half as many ounces of water as you weigh e.g. if you weigh 200lbs you should be drinking 100oz of WATER, not tea, not coffee, not beer, WATER every single day.
Stay healthy, my friends.
Why you should be rooting for every GNAC team now:
Because we need strength of conference. If we want more than one or two teams in the West Region tourney and to otherwise not be relying on the auto-bid, we need GNAC teams to win and win big in non-conference. Doesn’t matter who you are -if you want your team to do well, you need to root for the so-called “Goliaths” like there’s no tomorrow because what they do in non-conference will have a major impact on what the match-ups with your team implicates during conference play.
There’s definitely an undercurrent of dislike around here for WWU/SPU and that’s totally fine: very understandable. They are monstrous because both programs do well in men’s basketball, they’re close together, good to great locations, moderate to great academics, and SPU definitely has the rep for being irritatingly holier-than-thou and uptight regardless of men’s basketball.
Still: the Falcons have far and away the best non-conference schedule of any team and so regardless of how you feel about SPU, for your team’s peace of mind, you need to be hoping like heck that they win. If the Falcons (and every other GNAC team) can play well in non-conference, it’ll pay huge dividends down the line for all eleven teams later.
Touching the D1 games briefly:
- SPU kept it super close against UW for a very long time before ultimately getting blown out.
- WOU also kept it super close against Oregon State -they were leading numerous times as we saw, but didn’t pull off the upset this year.
- UAF got blown out by Nevada, but kept it relatively close against BYU. We don’t trust BYU in the slightest, so no judgment.
Overall not a bad stretch. It means jack all, but hopefully these teams got to know themselves a good bit better without exposing ways of exploitation that’ll be possible to emulate on a D2 level, but we’ll see.
On the horizon: The “official” ‘Welcome’ post’ll go up tomorrow, probably no game previews on Friday, we’re going to be watching/following games all afternoon starting at 4pm pacific, so check our twitter feed and interact with us if you want. The first conference game takes place on Saturday (CWU @ SFU) so Saturday morning’ll be a little chaotic, but:
Nutso November, here we go!
WE MADE IT!! The final regular season day of conference games. We actually got here! And now things start to get really exciting. Whoa. Here we go with the final post, of the year, about regular season games!
Saint Martin’s 67 @ Alaska Anchorage 101
The Saints stayed with the Seawolves for a good while and it looked like it was going to be a challenge, but UAA then proceeded to put them away. UAA is peaking at the right time and they should be a danger in the conference tournament, which will make things interesting.
SMU highlights: Trey Ingram had 12 points and four assists; Riley Carel almost had a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, three steals, and one block; Tyler Idowu had eight points. Off the bench: Isaac Bianchini had nine points and three assists; Will Bond had a whopping 16 points.
UAA highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and nine assists; Travis Thompson had 22 points and five assists; Derrick Fain, as noted, almost had a triple double with 16 points, nine boards, and eight assists; Brad Mears had seven points and five boards. Off the bench: Sjur Berg had five boards; Dom Hunter had 15 points and five boards; and KALIDOU had six boards and eight points.
Central Washington 104 @ MSU-Billings 99
Very interesting game, pretty horrifying in many senses. There’s this thing called defense. No, this game wasn’t that awful -people were just on and whether it was a matter of poor defense or Alterowitz being hot on the whole matters little. Still, Central… interesting team.
CWU highlights: Terry Dawn had 10 boards and four steals; Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points. Off the bench, Devin Matthews had six boards, nine assists, and 16 points.
MSUB highlights: Antoine Hosley had 50 points (yes, fifty), seven boards, and two assists; Emmanuel Johnson had 12 points and eight boards; Jordan Perry had seven points and seven boards; and Tyler Nelson had 10 points and nine boards.
Northwest Nazarene 49 @ Seattle Pacific 60
This was kind of a weird game -beforehand it was hard to predict because the potential of directions it could go in, and even in the middle of it the game itself struggled to decide. SPU was up by eight pretty consistently, but every time it seemed like the Falcons would break it up, the Crusaders reeled them back in a bit.
NNU highlights: Alex Birketoft had 14 points and six boards; Erik Kinney had a full house with 14 points, four boards, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and four fouls; Kevin Rima had fourteen points and five boards.
SPU highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five boards; Riley Stockton had 14 points and six rebounds; Matt Borton had 13 points and 13 boards; Mitch Penner had 18 points and seven boards; Cory Hutsen had nine points.
The Falcons’ll be an interesting team to watch during the conference tournament, because while we’ve pretty much figured out what CWU, WWU, and WOU are doing… the Falcons are still a conundrum.
Western Oregon 75 @ Alaska Fairbanks 60
Another game in which it was looking like the worse of the two was gonna stick around and take a stand and then didn’t. Congrats to the Nooks for trying?
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander 19 points; Julian Nichols 10 points and five assists; LEW THOMAS 12 points, fifteen boards, three assists, two steals, five blocks, and one foul for a full house; Andy Avgi had 17 points and seven boards. Off the bench: Adam Hastings had seven points.
UAF highlights: Alex Duncan had seven points and five boards; Ashton Edwards went on another spree with 27 points and five boards; Almir had 10 points and six boards.
Player-of-the-week’ll be up later today, promise.
Just kidding -there’s no such thing in basketball.
The seeding was announced by the GNAC on twitter and we’re going to post it here for you before anything else just ’cause:
#1 Western Oregon = BYE
#2 Seattle Pacific = BYE
#6 Northwest Nazarene vs. #3 Central Washington
#5 Western Washington vs. #4 Alaska Anchorage
How interesting are those match-ups? NNU swept CWU and UAA swept WWU. If WWU and CWU both win (which is our prediction, actually, then…
WOU faces WWU, having been swept by the Vikings.
SPU faces CWU, having recently murdered the Wildcats.
Any more speculation than that, we’re not going to go for. It’s too much. And we could be totally wrong about WWU and CWU winning the first rounds; being wrong is great -too competitive to be able to stand filling out real brackets; it’s more fun to watch the chaos and simply enjoy basketball being unpredictable.
What’s not unpredictable is the guys in our conference being AMAZING.
Here are the most fantastic of tonight’s highlights:
- Riley Carel of SMU went out with a bang, picking up almost a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, and three steals.
- Will Bond, also of SMU, had 16 points off the bench.
- Derrick Fain was insanely close to a triple double with nine boards, eight assists, and 16 points. UM WHAT??
- Dom Hunter had 15 points off the bench.
- KALIDOU PLAYED!!!!!!!! He had eight points off the bench. Missed you Kalidou!
- From CWU: Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points whilst going 15-18 from the line.
- Antoine Hosley, of MSUB, had an insane 50 points -going 16/25 from the field and 16/18 from the line, along with picking up seven boards, two assists, and five fouls.
- NNU’s starters actually logged substantial field numbers; usually when teams play SPU you see a lot of 1s, 2s, and 0s.
- Erik Kinney (of NNU) had a full house.
- Matt Borton of SPU had 13 boards and 13 rebounds.
- LEW THOMAS HAD 15 REBOUNDS AND 12 POINTS!!!!!! Little more enthusiastic because he hasn’t really done that much in weeks.
The full run down and thoughts about every game’ll be posted around midday tomorrow.
For a Sunday Funday post, it seems appropriate to talk about some of the favorites in our conference and basically just have some good old fashioned praise. The season is getting more and more intense and difficult and you kind of just need those moments to sit back and go “Hey, these guys are awesome. It’s such a blessing to watch them, even when they’re making poor on-court decisions.”
It’s been well documented that “pets” definitely exist, so… We’ll just go with the usual order.
UAF: Almir. This isn’t really basketball related; he’s a decent player heading toward good, but the fact that he’s from the Balkans is amazing and as much as they’re not happy with each other, the FYR on the whole are awesome and have such a great culture and it’s great that we get to have a piece of it in our conference. Also love the fact that we have Ruben -he is Native American, which is so cool and yet another blessing. He’s out right now due to academics, but we look forward to getting him back next year; temporarily gone but definitely not forgotten and if he finds this: We still believe in you!
UAA: Brian McGill does so much for his team. Love his game, love his facial expressions as he’s running down the court, his mindset seems fantastic. He does everything in his power to procure a win and that means playing unselfishly. He’s awesome on the whole. Travis Thompson isn’t having the year that he wanted to have, but he’s still so valuable and after going through the mid-season all conference teams and looking at and comparing his stats this year and last and beginning to understand all of that… So proud of the kid. Derrick Fain should be mentioned because we give him crap all the time, but he’s starting to deserve less and less of it and we couldn’t be happier.
SFU: Sango -impossible not to love Sango. Does so much for his team, plays so unselfishly even though he’s got relatively little to work with. He’s in it. He’s another guy that we went back and compared his stuff from last year to this year to see where he’s at and they have made him even more useful and again: Just a good guy that’s easy to root for. Rod Evans-Taylor is becoming a pet with his awesome play and effort, but that’s as of late. Still love Michael Harper although he hasn’t been doing as much lately; same with Patrick Simon II -that kid has so much room for growth and can’t wait to see it over the coming few years.
WWU: ANYE. Anye is probably the biggest pet in the conference at this point, although Alex of NNU is starting to make a run for it. Anye graduates this year and it’s happy but sad. He’ll be moving onto better things and it’ll be good to keep an eye on him in Europe. His mindset is great, he smiles all the time, he works for his teammates, he gets the boards, he picks up fouls, and when knocks a guy down he picks them right back up. Such a blessing to watch. Love Mac, really excited for another year of him. He’s improving by the game and it’s great. He’s a massively different player than he was earlier this year and that’s awesome. Kyle Impero and Joey Schreiber are young and promising and are another couple of great guys to watch their development in. Been watching Joey for years now, even when he was at EC, and it’s exciting. It’s cool to see the development and he landed with such a great program in terms of top-notch D2.
SPU: Riley Stockton. It’s been amazing to watch him make the switch to point guard this year and watch him near the triple doubles and his fundamental understanding of the game is great. Matt Borton -another great forward, has aggression issues (meant in the best way possible), he does what it takes for his team, and between him and Anye… that is how basketball is supposed to be played. Mitch Penner. Psycho P. It’s been a growing process this year, but we have full faith that he’ll break out next year. Cory Hutsen, he’s right up with Austin Hudson and Mac Johnson in terms of favorite centers, and his play has finally been getting better lately, can’t wait for it to go further.
MSUB: Austin. Austin will not be forgotten. He was SO great and still a valuable part of our conference. MSUB is starting to be another program that has a zillion blog pets so-to-speak. Jace Anderson is improving, Antoine Hosley has his moments, MOMIR GATARIC; his game is getting better and better and he’s another FYR player! Those guys are bad to the bone.
CWU: Caleb is great. Will be interested to see what he does with his body; it needs major, major work on his part and not so much in the gym as in the kitchen, but the gym could be of some help too. Full faith that he’ll be one of our conference’s top centers by the time he’s done. Joe Stroud is great and getting better by the game and love his rebounding and his blocked shots are awesome and again -this is another guy that smiles while he does it, very approachable, just fun. Gary Jacobs is another guy that’s gonna be interesting to watch develop -he already does so much and will undoubtedly get better and better. Dom Williams is finally starting to be liked around here -it’s taken a lot, but very proud of Dom and his improving shot selection.
NNU: The entire team? It’s not even a matter of if they do anything during post season, just love their camaraderie. Alex is so great, even in his widdle frosh status, and it’s such a blessing that we’ll get to watch him for another few years, hopefully. Kevin -great attitude, team first mentality, gets the boards, smiles while he does it. He epitomizes the idea that you can be both aggressive and happy simultaneously; accidentally knocks you down, immediately reaches to pick you back up too. He plays a hard game of basketball, but jolly giant. Erik Kinney -needs some help and improvement, but another guy that’s awesome and we’re excited to see for another year. Bouna is one of those “there’s not necessarily any reason for this in terms of his game, he’s just great” and he’s a favorite. He’s smiley. NNU has lots of smiley people.
SMU: Trey Adams. He’s going through some growing pains, but can’t wait to see what he does next year. Tyler Idowu -sucker for smiley people and Tyler is that and does some good board work. Riley Carel, of course, bad decision maker in chief, but much as we give him crap all the time he’s a good baller. Tyler Copp -no clue where he’s disappeared to, but he’s been another favorite all year. Rising stars. Honestly, SMU is like NNU; that whole team is just fantastic. If only they could put it together. Ryan Rogers, Cameron Chatwin, Victor Ieronymides, Brent Counts, all are great.
WOU: JULIAN NICHOLS!! Favorite point guard, love his game, love his attitude, he’s come into our conference by storm, made WOU even better than expected and really elevated them -it’s been phenomenal. Lew Thomas -this is a weird one; he just is a favorite. He’s not that good, takes a lot of poor shots, turns the ball over more than any forward should, but he’s still a favorite, no clue why. Andy Avgi, he’s oddly enough not really a favorite, but maybe just because he’s so good that he’s hard to appreciate because you feel like you don’t have to; he’s just Andy, he does what he does, and he always does it. And that’s why even though he’s not a favorite we really should realize he is a favorite because just because someone’s consistent and does what they want, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be appreciated for it. Andy is awesome. Not sure what his speed and strength metrics are, but before heading for Europe, he might consider working out for a few NFL teams -at 6’6/260 you can’t teach size and he’s so good at shoving his way through -TE or DE may hold promise.
At times this blog is tough on guys and teams, but there’s no vindictiveness behind any of what gets written. All of these guys are such a blessing to get to watch so closely and that’s why it was important to cover the whole conference. It’s just not something that really happens on a D2 level; we mostly see school publications giving the highlights, and so when critiques get thrown out it can feel like a major affront when it’s not; it just happens rarely because writing a blog is a big commitment and we don’t really see that fan/community commitment on a D2 level.
Just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be there. These guys are great; they absolutely get down night in and night out; they deserve attention; they deserve praise; and they deserve that fan and community commitment on a level to match D1. Engage the culture, change the world; a blog isn’t much, but it definitely is a way to engage the culture, and hopefully on some minute level change the world of at least someone. There’s the whole thing that “I Chose Division II” and yet for many it’s not that easy. There’s a feeling of failure that you ended up D2 and [potentially] unable to succeed on a D1 level; maybe if more people cared, some of that burden could be relieved.
Have a fantastic week, a NightLights post that should’ve gone up last night will go up tonight at about 11pm, usual POW stuff tomorrow.
Good morning! What an intense night of basketball. WWU is finally starting to look like the old WWU (awesome), CWU still looked strong even in their loss, MSUB held on for a ridiculously long time before letting it go, SFU got the upset! Way to go Clan!! And finally: SPU managed to squeak past Fairbanks, but the Nooks held on strong and admirably.
WOU 66 @ SMU 56
Let’s all take a minute to appreciate how much their key guys really didn’t play, except for Julian Nichols. Julian is probably one of those guys that if you don’t put him in, he’ll pace around the end of the bench itching to get in, because it seems likely the coaching staff would’ve rather played him less.
WOU highlights: Julian had 11 points, four assists, four rebounds, three steals, and one block, just missing the foul for a full house; Lew Thomas had seven boards; Andy Avgi had 22 points on an amazing 10-11 shooting. Off the bench, Marwan Sarhan scored eight points.
SMU highlights: Riley Carel had 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block for a full house; Ryan Rogers had eight points and four rebounds. Off the bench, Victor Ieronymides had 15 points and eight boards.
Not much to write home about, but still feel like it shows an improvement in the Saints because before it would be likely that they got blown out entirely?
CWU 77 @ WWU 83
Good to see the Vikings get this home victory against their rivalest of rivals. Around here, we always say free throws win the day and while the percentage was minute -71 vs 73, WWU got the free throw win and won the game. It could be unsurprising, but in this conference: at this point, I don’t know that there’s any surprise/non surprise. Ready for anything on any given night.
CWU highlights: Marc Rodgers with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls for the full house; Joe Stroud, not as good of a game as hoped, but grabbed five boards and scored 12 points; Dom Williams had 23 points. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs with a phenomenal 15 points and seven assists… that assist number is positively glorious; good on the rest of the guys for making the shots that came their way.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell with 20 points; Anye had 17 points and 12 boards for the double-double; Jeff Parker had 18 points and nine rebounds, just missing the double-double; Mac Johnson had 10 points and seven boards -bit of a let down game, but we still believe in Mac. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had seven points; Joey Schreiber had nine.
Overall a less-than-idea performance for the Vikings, but they got it done.
NNU 88 @ SFU 92
Oh NNU… showing so much promise and then doing this. Oh well. Bounce back. Oh wait, they have to play WWU. Good luck with that. Congrats on the win SFU!! Super proud of you. Per usual: these stats are modified; in terms of when they get modified, the kicker isn’t number of points: it’s number of turnovers. If a single player has more than five turnovers, that’s how we can really judge the tempo.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft with 11 points and seven rebounds; Erik Kinney with 11 points and four boards; Matyas Herring with seven points; Kevin Rima with 15 points and 11 boards (dat double-double, even with modification!). Off the bench: pretty much nothing. That explains the loss -usually they get more from their bench play.
Clan highlights: Sango had a good night with 14 points; Justin Cole had a good night with 12; Rod Evans-Taylor had an amazing night, picking up a full house with three rebounds, three assists, four steals, a block, and four fouls, as well as 23 points; Patrick Simon II had a decent night with eight points. Off the bench, JJ Pankratz had seven.
The Clan was functioning on all cylinders and it looked moderately okay. Hopefully they keep it up.
MSUB 68 @ UAA 82
The Yellowjackets were in it for a long time, but you can’t overcome the power that is Travis Thompson when he’s having a good night. Still, props to the Yellowjackets for the solid effort.
MSUB highlights: Antoine Hosley had 10 points; Marc Matthews had a whopping 25 points along with three boards and four assists; Emmanuel Johnson had 17 points and five boards; Tyler Nelson picked up a massive 12 rebounds; and that was pretty much it. Poor MSUB team. They’re the epitome of a poor man’s WWU right now with their short rotation and WWU winning and them not. No one wants to go to Billings, which is sad because that coaching staff is great and deserve more.
UAA highlights: Brian McGill had 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists; Travis Thompson had 23 points with some awesome shooting, in particular going 7-8 on free throws; Derrick Fain with that development -he had 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Off the bench, Dom Hunter had 10 points.
Not the prettiest game all around but the Seawolves got it done. Good on them.
SPU 74 @ UAF 64
UAF was leading at the half and was showing so much promise and then… nope. Falcons took care of it. Not too much to write home about on this one, but here we go:
SPU highlights: Riley Stockton had nine boards; Mitch Penner had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double; Cory Hutsen had 2o points. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had 14 points and six boards.
Nook highlights: Anthony Reese had 10 points; Alex Duncan had 10 points; Ashton had 14 points; Almir had 14 points, five boards, and five blocks.
Overall not a great night of basketball, but not bad either. There are already discussion points popping up from this, so… could make for a late night post, which might be fun. Once again: Congrats to the Clan!
Yup, it’s a late day. It’s February. Midterms. Woo-hoo!
UAF: Ashton Edwards -great game against UAA with 18 points and five assists.
UAA: Travis Thompson -starting to kick it into high gear, had 23 points and 7 assists vs. rival UAF.
SFU: Sango -because he is their entire offense, night in and night out, although Rod Evans-Taylor is also notable.
WWU: Anye Turner -two monster games.
SPU: Riley Stockton -knows how to be effective off the ball, not a great week of play for the Falcons overall.
MSUB: Kendall Denham -two good games, he’s a distributor, he’s a freshman -love it! Gonna be good for years to come.
CWU: Joe Stroud -yet another great conference power forward doing the dirty work.
NNU: Erik Kinney -Major minutes, major rebounding, major assisting, and a bunch of points scored; Junior. Love it.
SMU: Riley Carel -Riley was okay against NNU and had monster game at CWU with 19 points, six boards, and eight assists -WOW!
WOU: Andy Avgi -dude’s gotta be exhausted; had his way with Central and did well against NNU.
UAA and UAF are ineligible to win because it’s player-of-the-week, not player-of-the-night. The announcement’ll be up next.
What a night! First and foremost congrats to Simon Fraser on an awesome win! Gotta get it done, no excuses.
Simon Fraser 84 @ Seattle Pacific 83
Interestingly enough the half time score was SFU 35, SPU 34, thus both teams scored 49 points in the second half. The other interesting thing is it looks like SPU managed to control the tempo decently well, but the cake is a lie: the shooting in this game was abominable. All the same: we will be modifying the stats per usual, thus every number is multiplied by .66, rounding up as applicable.
SFU highlights: Sango -18 points; Rod Evans-Taylor had 12 points, five boards, one assist, two steals, two blocks, and five fouls for a full house. Overall a decent example of teamwork -the team collectively had eight boards, which is always good to see. Besides Sango, no one really did too much but the group came together well.
SPU highlights: Mitch Penner had 12 points; Cory Hutsen had 18 points and 6 boards. Not too much to write home about, but the Falcons almost got it done, but not quite. It was pointed out last night that WOU had a brutal stretch -SPU had one almost as bad and that may be what happened here; WOU to WWU to SFU. While WWU really shouldn’t count as brutal this year, rivalry games always are. Unfortunately, this was supposed to be the “resting” game and they lost it, barely.
Could not be more proud of the Clan. It’s hard to go into SPU and win, and while it’s honest to say the Clan got lucky -if Cory Hutsen had made even half of his free throws, it wouldn’t have been a problem- there’s strategy in fouling Cory. He’s shooting something like 50% for his career, so it was theoretically a calculated move and a good one at that.
WWU 75 @ MSUB 65
Good game for the Yellowjackets -they were in it pretty much the whole time. There some places where they were up and places where they were down, but they at times were definitely giving the Vikings a scare. Practices makes progress.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 10 points; Anye Turner had a full house AND a double-double with 16 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal, four blocks, ZERO turnovers, and two fouls; Mac Johnson also had a full house with 12 points, five boards, one assist, one steal, three blocks, and two fouls. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had 12 points and four boards; Joey Schreiber had 10 points and three boards. Solid full team outing from the Vikings.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had six boards; Marc Matthews had 11 points; Jace Anderson had a whopping 18 points, although needs to stop shooting from three; Jordan Perry had 10 boards and eight points -so close to a double-double.
Another good team effort, this time from MSUB.
WOU 66 @ NNU 62
This game was sloppy and that’s ultimately what killed NNU -for having 21 turnovers, they sure kept it close. It was good, it was a good watch. They were in it until the end and then Alex jumped the gun and… we’ve told him this was his one freshman learning experience for this matter. DO NOT JUMP THE GUN. But he does so much for that team, it’s easy to forgive him; frosh moment.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander like whoa with 19 points and six steals; Julian Nichols, back in strong, grabbing 14 points and five boards; Andy Avgi gettin’ it done with a full house consisting of 15 points, eight boards, two assists, three steals, two blocks, and two player fouls. Not much from the bench, but they did do a good job relieving the starters. As noted: the WOU starters have to be dead at this point -three tough games, including one that went to 2OT, all in seven days. Wow.
Enjoy your lack of a Thursday game, WOU.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft with 15 points; Erik Kinney with a full house including 13 points, eight boards, four assists, two steals, one block, and two fouls; Mike Wright had 10 points and almost created a double-double of doom with eight turnovers; Kevin Rima had 10 points, six boards, and three assists. Off the bench Bouna N’Diaye had eight points and four boards.
As noted: Turnovers killed the Crusaders, but another great learning experience for Alex. You’ll get ’em next time. Maybe. Reality rules.
SMU 79 @ CWU 88
To be honest: this game was completely written off, but SMU stayed in it far more than given credit. Granted, we started the season off totally believing in SMU and then they just stopped caring and so the lack of faith is totally fair. All the same: good for CWU to get a win when a team is firing as best they can, and they themselves are largely firing on all cylinders.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram with 18 points; Riley Carel with 19 points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals, two blocks, and two fouls for the full house -first game he’s actually beaten the other Riley; Tyler Idowu grabbed six boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had 12 points and five boards and Isaac Bianchini had 14 points.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had six boards and four assists; Terry Dawn had 14 points, six boards, two assists, one steal, one block, and one foul for a full house; Joe Stroud had 11 points, seven boards, one assist, one steal, SIX blocks, and four fouls for a full house; Dom Williams had 23 points, three boards, one assist, two steals, one block, and a foul for a full house. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs had a fantastic 23 points, two boards, one assist, two steals, one block, and a foul also for a full house. Whoa those last two look similar. Really great team performance from the Wildcats -good to see them put it all together, and oddly enough in this game they needed pretty much every ounce of it.
Great game to watch, shockingly. Still disappointed in the Saints, because seriously that’s how you can play if you actually function? Great. Again -so proud of the Wildcats, really, really good performance.
UAF 72 @ UAA 74
Great nightcap of a game. Was exciting the whole time. Just when you thought Anchorage was going to put it away for good, the Nanooks came storming back. Really close, really sloppy overall -the shooting was less than ideal, and the rebounding was messy, but it was exciting basketball so there is that. Kind of odd how much it echoed the SFU/SPU disaster.
Nook highlights: Eric Fongue had 12 points; Almir had 16 points and eight boards; Anthony Reese had 11 points and eight boards; Alex Duncan had five assists; Ashton had 18 points and five assists. Didn’t get much from their bench, but they were in it the whole time.
Seawolf highlights: Travis Parrish had 6 boards; Travis Thompson had 23 points and seven assists; Derrick Fain had 14 points and four assists. Off the bench: Dom Hunter had 13 points. Again, not too many highlights but it was enough -even with Brian McGill having a bad game, which is notable.
Good night of basketball. It’s mid-season, all of this is brutal, good luck to everyone recovering in the next few days. POW nominees plus the winner will be up in the AM at some point.
Whoa! What a great night of basketball games with an afternoon that started off terribly. We thought it was bad on Thursday against MSUB? Hooooly bananas. At least both of the games were entertaining? James A. Naismith is rolling in his grave if D2 basketball is part of his afterlife activities because yikes these games (SFU against Spillings) were bad. Can’t get over this: 26% from the free throw line, while attempting a total of 15 shots. We can all now take a moment of shame for our conference, that one of us put forth that number to the basketball Gods.
Still, we’re all about positivity here. The positive is that it’s not likely to ever happen again: even if you fill out a test completely randomly (i.e. a monkey does it) you’ll get 25% of the questions right; that’s right -SPU could’ve sent a literal monkey to the line and likely gotten about the same number of makes. Although because it was a monkey it probably would’ve thrown its poo rather than the basketball, but still.
Moving on. Sorry. Stats are fun. This is informal. It’s 11pm.
ANYE TURNER AND MAC JOHNSON!! Both had full houses, neither fouled out, team got the ‘W’, it’s a good day in Viking Land. MSUB as a team is improving greatly, which is awesome. They were more in the game against WWU than SPU. Sorry, it’s not pick on SPU hour, but… travel partners, yo! It’s the most recent comparison.
Riley Carel and Trey Ingram both had good games. SMU had a good game overall, and then CWU had a good game overall and it was close and it was exciting and so proud of the CWU team. Generally we love to talk about CWU’s cohesion -they play together really well, even if they don’t play great basketball. Tonight they played good basketball AND played together. It was awesome. Great job Wildcats. Good job Saints, exceeding our, admittedly incredibly low, expectations.
WOU/NNU was a really fun game… Alex Birketoft had some painful but okay learning experiences. It’ll be interesting to see what he does to come back from them. They just couldn’t beat the Wolves, but darn did they try. WOU got it done facing brutal games back-to-back-to-back, that honestly has to be one of the most unexpectedly brutal stretches: SPU, CWU, NNU; Falcons, Wildcats, and Crusaders, oh my, but they got through it, came out stronger, Julian Nichols was fine. They get a much deserved break with travel partner week this week, thankfully.
Final game of the night: UAA/UAF was really exciting, they were in the whole time, it came down to free throws, UAA was missing them. They left plenty of opportunity for the Nooks to win and UAF just couldn’t do it. This was also a pretty unattractive looking game -not particularly great shooting nor rebounding by either team, but at least it was exciting.
The full and more formal post’ll go up around noon tomorrow.
Wow! What a great night for college basketball. The briefs include that WWU continues to confuse, UAA continues to bounce back, parity reigns, WOU and SPU appear to know what they’re doing (that game is gonna be great tomorrow). It was good to see the SPU bench open up a bit -nine guys played at least 10 minutes.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 @ Simon Fraser 79
Good to see the Clan beat the Nooks -this falls into our “best case scenario” idea. Pretty bad shooting on both sides. While this score is normal, it’s still really tempting to modify it, but to be honest: it wasn’t a game watched and so it’s unclear whether or not SFU abandoned their breakneck offense, or if both teams were truly just that bad. The numbers support both sides, so we’ll see more on Saturday.
Fairbanks highlights: Anthony Reese went 6-8 from the line, grabbed 10 boards, and finished with 14 points; Alex Duncan grabbed six boards, two assists, two steals, and went 4-4 from the line, finishing with 15 points; Alex Ladines chipped in five rebounds and 10 points; Eric Fongue off the bench went 4-6 and 3-5, getting seven rebounds to ultimately finish with 12 points. Still no Ruben Silvas.
SFU highlights: Sango had seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and 23 points; Roderick Evans-Taylor almost had the double-double with nine boards and 13 points; Daniel Deflorimonte finished with 10 points; finally, Hidde Vos grabbed seven boards and twelve points.
Overall, very poorly shot game but not entirely unexpected. Those numbers are all unmodified, but… we’ll see what Anchorage does on Saturday for for whether or not we come back and modify them. SFU has the decided the offense they’ll employ and that’s fine, but we’ll stick to it even on nights that they find it impossible.
Alaska-Anchorage 81 @ Western Washington 76
The score is misleading -Anchorage led by quite a bit for HUGE stretches of it. This year is going to live in infamy in the hallowed halls of Carver. The game ultimately shows a differential of five, and guess which team won? Yup, the better free throw shooting team.
Anchorage highlights: Brian McGill -pretty modest, six assists and 10 points, BUT went 6-6 from the line; Travis Thompson finished with 16 points; Derrick Fain added five boards, two assists, and 19 points; Travis Parrish chipped in six boards, four fouls, and 10 points; Dom Hunter was hella clutch, going 12-13 from the line, picking up four fouls, and finishing with 22 points.
WWU highlights? Lordy. His name is Anye and he was BALLIN. Easily the best performance we’ve seen this year. In fact, his performance by himself was better than the second and third best Anchorage player combined. And that includes minutes played. If you combine the two best players into a one player average, he was better than both of them combined. What were his numbers? 31 minutes played, 12-15 from the line, 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, five player fouls, and he finished with 24 points. Double-double AND a full house. Whoa.
Other good highlights from the Vikings: Ricardo Maxwell finished with 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists; Jeff Parker added five boards, one assist, and 15 points; Mac Johnson added eight points. Anye was doin’ it all, but he did it in the right way. You procure the board and can take the shot -okay; he shot 55% from the field on the night.
Seattle Pacific 84 @ Saint Martin’s 52
Yes, I never give the Falcons credit -ever. It’s painful to do it right now, but… they had a decent game and they finally used their bench. It was pretty funny to be like “wait, who are these guys?” but oh well. Saint Martin’s… a correction is being issued: Ryan Rogers apparently was simply bloated while they were in Vegas, because the dude has a really good body. Still, that means the Saints literally have no classified bangers, which is a whole ‘nother issue.
Seattle Pacific highlights: Riley Stockton was perfect from the field, 4-6 from the line, and picked up a full house -five boards, five assists, one steal, one block, and one foul, to finish with 16 points; Brendan Carroll had a good game with perfect shooting on all fronts, finishing with 10 points, and picking up four boards, three assists, one steal, and three fouls; Matt Borton also had a full house, grabbing five boards, four assists, three steals, two blocks, and one foul -um, what?- and finished with eight points; Cory Hutsen went 5-6 and finished with 11 points. Off the bench, Shawn Reid scored 23 points; Joe Rasmussen added 7; and Garrett Swanson also added 7. Also of note: there was a stretch where the Falcons were playing with a pretty massive line-up; a 6’4 backcourt and 6’8 front court, which was interesting.
Saints highlights: Victor Ieronymides finished with 10 points and three boards; Riley Carel four boards, two assists, two steals, and 13 points; Ryan Rogers nine points; Brent Counts off the bench, a straight up five fouls. Guess that’s who they’re using as their banger… so high school, it’s hilarious. And he fouled out with like seven minutes left. “Seriously, just go in and hit some poeple.” “Coach, it’s not football.” “I don’t care, go in and hit some people.” Don’t get the wrong impression -they weren’t hard fouls, it wasn’t nasty, it was just funny.
Actually, the hardest foul of the game was friendly-fire: Riley Stockton positively clobbered Matt Borton. That was hilarious, Matt was bum over tea kettle. You don’t mess with Riley Stockton, dude is stocky and fearless.
MSU-Billings 74 @ Western Oregon 94
Remember how it was said “pick your poison and they’ll do it better” and hoped that MSUB would have an antidote? Nope. Western Oregon apparently was looking at the game as a warm-up for SPU and thus set on kill mode. A lot of guys played really well. MSUB… no one played particularly well.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had nine points; Jace Anderson had eight points; Jordan Perry had five boards; Tyler Nelson had five boards and eight points. Off the bench: Antoine Hosley had five boards, four assists, three rebounds, and finished with 23 points; Emmanuel Johnson added six boards, three assists, two steals, four fouls and 17 points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander with 10 points; Julian Nichols with four boards, 11 assists, four steals, and seven points; Lew Thomas added 14 points; Andy Avgi added four boards and 13 points. Off the bench: Adam Hastings added 17 points; Marwan Sarhan added eight points; and JJ Chimside grabbed five boards.
Good warm-up game. Both the Falcons and the Wolves look ready. Interestingly enough, this game was very necessary for the Wolves; they’ve got a pretty brutal stretch coming up with SPU on Saturday, a now good NNU team on Thursday, and then CWU next Sataurday. Gonna be some fun times coming up.
Not a bad day for basketball. As noted, we got the best performance of the year thus far in Anye Turner’s play. Anye’s day was so good, that he could not play on Saturday and still make the top 10 players -that’s how amazing it was- however not playing would disqualify him from POW considerations, so… hopefully he’ll turn in another monster game.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow morning per usual.