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!
Sorry this is going up so late.
SMU 70 @ NNU 83
This was a super fun game. Initially NNU was killing SMU, then finally SMU started coming back in, and it got within three or five? Something like that. And then NNU finally put them away and there was some fouling and this score feels about right. But SMU was in there.
Why… It’s hard to say. Relatively few turnovers? SMU highlights: Trey Ingram had eight points and four rebounds; Ryan Rogers had 12 points and three rebounds; Tyler Idowu had 11 points and six boards. Off the bench Isaac Bianchini was on fire, scoring 14 points on 5-7 shooting.
Northwest Nazarene highlights: ALEX BIRKETOFT!!!!! The kid is quickly becoming a favorite player. This game it was more obvious why they list him as a G/F hybrid; 70% shooting, iffy free throws but forgiven, four boards, two assists, two steals, one block, NO turnovers, one foul, and 18 points -FULL HOUSE! Erik Kinney had a good game going 7-9 from the free throw line, picking up eight boards, and scoring 19 points; Mike Wright chipped in 9 points; BOUNA off the bench had 18 points, six boards, and two steals. Pretty much it. Solid game from NNU. Great to see.
SFU 78 @ MSUB 85
Back and forth, back and forth, and then MSUB got into control, only came close to giving it up at the very end, and then put it away. Good to see from the Yellowjackets. If any of their athletic department staff is reading this: Your audio was only working out of the left speaker, so… who knows? Oh and this game was kind of horrifying; talk about the least common denominator.
All stats modified for SFU’s tempo.
SFU highlights: Sango scored 17 and had three assists; Justin Cole added 8 points and three steals; Rod Evans-Taylor had 10 points; Patrick Simon II fouled out while only play 23 minutes -congrats? Hidde Vos had 8 points off the bench. Pretty much it.
MSUB highlights: Kendall Denham played major minutes and made every single free throw, finishing with five boards and 9 points; EMMANUEL JOHNSON -another great kid had six boards and 12 points; Jace Anderson finished with 13 points; Jordan Perry, eight points and six boards; Tyler Nelson had nine points and six boards. MSUB really didn’t go deep this game -the coaches are finding their rotation starting to dig in, and so far so good.
Again -ugly game all around. Massive amounts of turnovers. At first it looked like MSUB had managed to take SFU out of their tempo, and then you look at the TO numbers and you realize that no… it was just two teams playing at that tempo very poorly.
WOU 78 @ CWU 71
This game was AMAZING! As noted last night: Really interesting to look at WOU’s minute distribution against CWU opposed to SPU -their starters didn’t play nearly as many minutes proportionally. While WOU was down by a few points and as many as 10, it felt like they were biding their time -there was never this sense that they weren’t going to come back from it. It was always close.
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander had 15 points, three rebounds and three assists; Julian Nichols (prayers with Julian -nasty spill) had eight points, seven boards, and eight assists -dude is on his way to a triple double and we can’t wait!; Lew Thomas had five boards and six assists; Jordan Wiley had a full house with five boards, three assists, one steal, two blocks, one foul, and seven points; the always amazing Andy Avgi had eight boards, two steals, and 27 points on 11-15 shooting and being 3-4 from the line. Off the bench: Adam hastings added a full house with 10 points, four boards, one assist, one steal, one block, and two fouls.
CWU highlights: The man, JOE STROUD, with five boards, five blocks, and 16 points; Dom Williams had 30 points (dang), three boards, and three assists; Terry Dawn had five boards; Off the bench: Julian Vaughn had four boards; Gary Jacobs had four boards, two assists, one steal, and 13 points. They’ll have a chance to get back up against SMU, which should be good.
WWU 82 @ SPU 72
Western… hello there Vikings of yore. The score is way closer than it should’ve been. SPU wasn’t coming back from that. Shouldn’t laugh, but am, because… horrible. Western was in control and at one point was up by 20 and as of 11 minutes left… SPU could have, but wasn’t going to. They get this all the time: do or do not, there is no try. Basketball’s force was strong in the Vikings tonight.
Western Washington highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 16 points and three assists; ANYE TURNER had 7 points, nine boards, two assist, and five blocks -not one of his better nights, but he wasn’t really needed that badly either seeing as he still had two fouls left to give; Harris Javier added seven points; Jeff Parker added 16 on decent shooting; MAC JOHNSON had 15 points and nine boards, although has GOT to get better from the line. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had 15 points; Joey Schreiber added 7. Didn’t go too deep, but who knows what’s really up with WWU this year?
Seattle Pacific highlights: Riley Stockton, major foul trouble (good job WWU), had 10 points, nine boards, and two assists; Brendan Carroll had 11 points, four boards, and three assists; Mitch Penner had 10 points, five boards, and two assists; Cory Hutsen had 14 points and two boards. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had 14 points and six boards; Joe Rasmussen had six points and three boards. Honestly… the Falcons stats looked like SMU’s usual stats. It was a little weird, not gonna lie. You come to expect different things from different teams, and theirs looked… abnormal. Congrats to the Vikings.
Again: Sorry these are up late, no excuses. Congrats to the Wolves, Vikings, Yellowjackets, and Crusaders. Usual game previews’ll will be up tomorrow in the actual morning.
Eff. That. Superbowl.
Alaska Anchorage 115 @ Simon Fraser 98
That score is misleading -Anchorage’s victory was never in doubt, far as we saw. Simon Fraser… nice victory over UAF, couldn’t keep it going. All numbers modified.
Seawolf highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and six assists; Travis Thompson had 20 points and four assists; Derrick Fain had 15 points and six boards; Dom Hunter had 9 points off the bench. The team shot 60% overall and 62% from three -wow.
Clan highlights: Sango had 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists; Justin Cole had nine points; Roderick Evan’s Taylor had 10 points.
Alaska Fairbanks 57 @ Western Washington 80
The Nooks put up a valiant fight, but… trying to take on WWU out home without your best player is usually going to end badly and badly it did.
Nook highlights: Ashton scored 13 points and had three assists; Eric chipped in 11 along with a nice nine rebounds; Almir finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds; and then off the bench Isaac had nine points. Nothing too shabby. Shooting for the most part wasn’t atrocious.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals; Anye Turner had a full house with eight boards, three assists, three steals, one block, four fouls, and two points; Jeff Parker had 26 points, along with three boards, two assists, and two steals; Mac Johnson had 12 points, seven boards, two assists, and four steals. The team went 8-8 from the line, which was great.
Seattle Pacific 84 @ Western Oregon 94 in 2OT
Andy Avgi had his way with the Falcons, Brendan Carroll was a turnover machine, the reffing was terrible on behalf of SPU, and Julian Nichols more than earned his nod as the conference’s best and one of the most consistent players thus far. This game’ll be in major focus during our Tuesday discussions.
Falcon highlights: Riley Stockton played a whopping 49 minutes and had 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and managed to not foul out; Brendan Carroll had six boards, two assists, six points, and a horrible six turnovers; Matt Borton had nine points, four boards, one assist, two steals, and fouled out; Mitch Penner had 19 points, seven boards, five assists, one steal, and fouled out; Cory Hutsen had 18 points, three boards, one assist, and fouled out. Off the bench: Joe Rasmussen had seven points and four boards; and Shawn Reid had seven points and three boards on terrible shooting.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander scored 20 points and had three assists, three rebounds, two steals; Julian Nichols scored 18 points and had six boards, six assists, and three steals; Lew Thomas had five boards, four assists, and three blocks; Jordan Wiley scored 10 points; Andy Avgi was amazing -finishing with 33 points, four rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks but no fouls.
Central Washington 64 @ Northwest Nazarene 66
This game was insane! And the Crusaders did it, learning from the Alaska trip; super great.
Central highlights: Marc Rodgers had 10 points and five assists; Joey Roppo had 13 points and three boards; Devin Matthews had five boards and 11 points off the bench.
Northwest Nazarene highlights: Alex Birketofte! He had 16 points, eight boards, two assists, two steals, FIVE blocks, and two fouls while shooting a whopping 90%; Erik Kinney made his free throws -had a bunch of nasty turnovers, but: make your free throws so he’s fine and ultimately finished with 11 points; Kevin Rima had a double-double with 10 boards and 14 points, also making his free throws. Off the bench: Bouna N’Diaye managed to collect a full house with one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block, a foul, and eight points.
MSU-Billings 64 @ Saint Martin’s 75
Congrats Saint Martin’s on a nice victory. MSUB playing without Momir Gataric definitely helped -it probably would’ve been much closer had they had the man that’s become their main squeeze. All the same -exploit the weakness, take advantage where you can, that’s exactly what the Saints did.
Yellowjacket Highlights: Emmanuel Johnson finished with a full house with nine boards, one assist, one steal, three blocks, two fouls, and seven points; Jace Anderson added nine points; Jordan Perry added 11 points and nine boards; Tyler Nelson had seven boards. Off the bench: Antoine Hosley had 14 points, three boards, and two assists; and Marc Matthews had 21 points and four boards on 8-11 shooting.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram had 15 points and six assists; Ryan Rogers had six boards; Tyler Idowu had seven points; Cameron Chatwin had 15 points and four rebounds on 5-8 shooting. Off the bench: Victor Ieronymides had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, three fouls, and five points; Brent Counts had five boards; Isaac Bianchini had 11 points; and Tyler Copp had 15 points.
In the jungle, the GNAC jungle, it’s cool to follow the crowd. In the jungle peer pressure leads us to take bad shots all around… Some weeks there are endless highlights from tons of teams; this weekend it was pretty minimal. We’ll have to see about POW; we may go back to highlighting every team without even doing the “ten best players” thing because highlighting the 10 best players can at times be grimace inducing.
Regardless of how it’s calculated: POW noms & POW will be up in the AM.
Good luck recovering from that Super Bowl.
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.
Not too much to discuss today. On the official agenda: a full house and whether or not it actually demands that points be scored; the GNAC’s center play; and Ryan Rogers of Saint Martin’s.
One interesting thing that’s started to happen is guys come ridiculously close to a full house but what they’re missing is points scored. According to the GNAC Men’s Basketblog, in a full house a player must have at least one of each of the following: rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and fouls.
That’s five items. Like a full house; see: Yahtzee. Generally if a player has all of those things, they’ve played considerable minutes (20 minimum) and thus have picked up at least a couple of points by default. But what if they haven’t? Does it really matter? There’s a lot of harping around here about how points don’t matter, it’s about making your teammates better and contributing first and foremost.
If that’s the case, then points scored shouldn’t matter. But life isn’t about player effectiveness rating and it seems odd that it could be counted because when it comes down to it: basketball is a matter of making baskets.
Emmanuel Johnson is the main player that brought this to our attention -he had four rebounds, two assists, a steals, a block, and three fouls but no points. Five items hit. Is it a full house?
No. It’s not. Because once again: much as player effectiveness rating is huge and Emmanuel Johnson should be proud of himself -if he hadn’t taken any shots that would be one thing, but he took a bunch and missed and thus no full house even though it otherwise would have been.
Now, had he not taken any shots? No. Basketball is still about putting the ball through the hoop and on a basketball team, every position is relied upon to score -it’s not like Quidditch where it’s no big deal if a beater doesn’t score a point- every player should be able to put the rock through the peach basket at least once per game when collecting the rest of what it takes to get a full house.
Ryan Rogers we wanted to take a closer look at because by most metrics, Saint Martin’s is underachieving and he’s a huge part of the reason. Not sure what it is with dismal center play as of late… that’s actually a different discussion that we’ll enter into now -Ryan Rogers, you are on hold.
Name the primary center for each team:
UAA: Kalidou? (pf hybrid)
SFU: Patrick Simon II (pf hybrid)
WWU: Mac Johnson
Austin — ? Emmanuel?
Easy enough. Now let’s look at the ones getting it done to the point that their stats are easily reportable as a center not as a center/power forward hybrid:
Mac, Cory, Caleb, Kevin, Brent, Andy. You could make a reasonable argument that those guys are all not athletic enough to play power forward, which is why they don’t. Brent doesn’t quite fall into that category -he still has enough developing to do that he could end up as more of a hybrid, but right now SMU needs him as a center pretty badly.
Saint Martin’s: Don’t turn him into a hybrid, please. He’s better than that. Develop him with his back to the basket. Get his footwork where it needs to be. Bump up against him and get him banging. Obviously he needs weight, but the raw skills are there in center form, rather than PF. If he wants to shoot threes in his free time, great, but don’t force the issue.
We have too many center hybrids and not enough classic centers. Which actually may be what’s screwing Ryan Rogers.
Ryan is a 6’4 tubby kid that because of that tubbiness has been thrown into the center position, which as noted: is of great need by Saint Martin’s. The center position at its base isn’t particularly difficult to play -make sure you’re warmed up enough to get to the rim with ease, plant yourself in the paint, use your weight, don’t back down, keep your elbows in check, get the rebounds you can but don’t stress about it too much- that’s pretty much it. It’s a series of some really high percentage shots and easy grab rebounds.
However, there is also a sub-species of center dubbed the “defensive specialist.” The defensive specialist is primarily in there to make sure that the other team feels you, bang and, otherwise pick up fouls. They’re not particularly relied upon for scoring, everything they do is a bonus, and while they’re necessary they’re essentially the Snorlax of any basketball squad.
In the case of Saint Martin’s and Ryan Rogers: Someone needs to breakout the Poke flute because Snorlax needs to wake up and wake up now. I get it -Ryan Rogers is 6’4, got thrust into the center position because of his tubbiness, and guess what: THEMS ARE THE FISH and he really needs to hurry up and learn to fry them. There’s a mini guide book above. It’s really not that complicated.
When the Saints lost Lucas Shannon, everything shifted, not that Lucas could really bang anyway -dude’s skinny. He was a forward. He could play a little bit of center, but it’s not what he projected at. Ryan Rogers didn’t project at center, but tough luck. Brent Counts needs a back-up and because Ryan can’t get his calories under control he’s the most viable option. His whole role now is to be big.
Except see, Ryan Rogers was originally a skill guy. So you’ve now got a wing in at center. This means that he should have exactly zero issues making all of the point blank shots that usually get thrown at centers. He’s also 6’4, meaning his elbows are of much less risk than anyone else -he should be beasting. Maybe not picking up a double-double, but still not having nearly the scoring issues he is.
If he could start actually being productive at center, maybe Riley Carel could start lobbing inside and not being subjected to feeling like he needs to take a bunch of crappy shots. No clue what to make of his still poor shot selection, but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result. For the first portion of the season there’ve been accusations that Riley doesn’t look enough at what’s in front of him. He had some good games where he was assisting, but the number of shots he took was still ridiculous.
Now, he clearly feels he doesn’t have many other good options in those situations and that could very well be the case; hence why we’re now addressing the Ryan Rogers issue. If Riley could know that he could rely on Ryan to make all of those high percentage shots, how good does that make Riley? If he actually had non-dismal center play. And this isn’t a knock on Brent -Brent’s an 18-year-old kid that’s inevitably still growing into his body and has been impressive for a freshman.
But Ryan Rogers has grown into his body. It doesn’t matter that he’s usually a wing: again, the center position isn’t complicated. He should be able to make the switch pretty seamlessly and considering regardless of anything else he’s long had one of the higher BMIs on the team -it should’ve been going on in practice anyway.
Jon Brockman played center on the Pac-10 level at 6’7/240; guards in the Pac-10 are usually right around 6’5/200. It’s perfectly normal for a 6’4/220lb guy to play center in a conference where the guards are usually within a couple inches of 6’0 and tend to sit right around 175 weight wise.
Yeah, we have our classic centers; Cory and Mac being the most obvious ones -they’re big dudes, heavy, all that jazz, but if you think about GNAC play — you see more of the PF hybrid and thus lighter and lankier guys, giving more room in the middle. As noted before: Our forwards dominate our rebounding numbers; part of this is because of the foul implications, part of it is injury implications, part of it is that centers usually have more D1 options because you can’t teach someone to be 6’8 and weigh 240lbs, but the other part of it is that it means the position is wide open. You get a 6’2 beef cake guy to clog the paint, they can feasibly work as a center -there’s actually no more real risk of a block than if they were a guard because they’re able to plant themselves and stay put. That’s the real trick.
So what Ryan is going to do is the question. He needs to commit and do so now, he needs to be some much needed help for Riley -SMU has some talented young guys, but the vets really need to step it up. They’re not as a bad of a team as they’re pretending to be and as such: they need to stop letting down anyone that truly cares about SMU basketball (which admittedly, there are very few of us) but particularly their own teammates notably Trey, Brent, and Tyler.
That concludes our foray into the realms of basketball, Yahtzee, Quidditch, Pokemon, and how elders should respect their youths.
Tomorrow we’ll preview the WWU @ CWU game and look at some of the wider implications of what the latest bit of conference play said in context of ourselves and our other two west region counterparts.
Yup -up a day late. Saturday was a late night that should’ve been even later. Sorry to all of those that got an initial link in their inbox that didn’t work until 10am.
We’ll just go ahead and address the elephant in the room right now:
Seattle Pacific 66 @ Western Washington 68
The WWU/SPU game ended with a lay-up at the buzzer leading to a WWU win. It doesn’t matter what side of the SPU/WWU debate you fall on -if you fall on the side that you enjoy honest basketball, you should be uneasy right now. That play should’ve been reviewed heavily, they should’ve cleared the court to do it. Any more than that, what the call should’ve been afterward -you can decide. But because it was a buzzer beater, for the sake of honest and fair basketball it should have been thoroughly scrutinized.
Remember that whole -it’s not who wins and who loses, but how you play the game? To be frank, Seattle Pacific played like crap. They didn’t deserve to win the game, especially considering it happened while WWU was without Jaamon Echols. The Falcons didn’t do what they needed to do, they played lethargically, they weren’t as committed as they could’ve been. That’s never going to work in Carver. Not sure what they were expecting -another 16 point route like last year? Please. Pathetic.
The SPU highlights: Riley Stockton had 14 rebounds, four assists, and nine points; Mitch Penner went 9-10 from the line and picked up five boards; Shawn Reid went 8-14, 3-4 from three, and picked up seven boards. That was it.
The lowlights would take all day, so we’ll only address a few: Cory Hutsen went 4-13, leading to an interesting question of: how do you go 4-13 while no more than five feet away from the basket? The dude seemed terrified to bang, which HELLO, YOU’RE 6’8 AND WEIGH 240LBS. GET OVER IT. It’s one thing to be wary of fouls, but entirely different to be so terrified of committing them that you get walked all over. The bench Bigs contributed almost nothing. Again: WWU was without Jaamon Echols, so… what were the Falcons doing? Playing poorly.
WWU actually didn’t have many highlights either, so as much as the Falcons were off -their defense wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Highlights for the Vikings: Anye Turner had nine rebounds and five assists; Mac Johnson had a great game going 4-6 from the line and grabbing eight boards; Ricardo Maxwell went 5-7 from the line and finished with 17 points. As noted: the Vikings were without Jaamon Echols, so this was a massive win.
With the overall game: Simon Fraser and the rest of the teams in the conference would be due to watch it. Not because it’s particularly valuable film on the two respective teams, but because the defense displayed for 65% of it was top notch.
Alaska-Anchorage 76 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 64
Not a bad game for either team -Fairbanks was incredibly balanced, UAA got a nice win on the road and also showed a good bit of balance.
Highlights for the Seawolves include Travis Thompson going 7-11 and 5-6 from the line, along with five rebounds and four assists; Brian McGil picked up ten points; Dom Hunter also had 10 points, Christian Leckbend had six rebounds, and Derrick Fain had 10 points on better shooting than is normally seen from him.
With the Nooks: Ruben Silvas had 10 points, five boards, and three assists; Ashton chipped in four assists and eleven points; Anthony Reese went 6-7, added four rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and two player fouls and NO turnovers for a full house and a grand total of 11 points; Almir Hadzisehovic went 5-7 and contributed 12 points; and then Eric Fongue added six boards.
Not a game to write home about, but some solid numbers all the same.
MSUB 111 @ Simon Fraser 104
Yellowjackets got it done against the Clan. Nicely job MSUB.
Plenty of player highlights for the Yellowjackets on modified numbers: Marc Matthews had 12 points, five boards, and four assists; Jordan Perry had 14 points, three boards, and three assists; Momir Gataric added 11 points; Antoine Hosley also chipped in 12. Field numbers needed help, but not a bad game.
Simon Fraser: Sango had 16 points and three assists; Justin Colre had 14 points, five rebounds, and two steals; the rest got it done through teamwork.
Central Washington 74 @ Western Oregon 78
Broken record: Good teams find a way to get it done and that’s exactly what WOU did.
Central Washington highlights: Joe Stroud went 7-7 and 3-5 from the line finishing with 17 points along with five rebounds, two steals, three blocks, and three player fouls; Dom Williams finished with 11 points on his typical atrocious shooting; Terry Dawn went 5-8 and had 12 points along with four fouls; Jordan Russell also had a horrible shooting percentage but finished with nine points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Western Oregon highlights: Julian Nichols went 7-8 from the line, added two rebounds, six assists, and two steals; Lew Thomas added 12 rebounds, one assist, and two steals, finishing with nine points; Jordan Wiley finished with 10 points; Andy Avgi went 9-14 and 4-4 from the line to finish with 23 points and four rebounds; Marwan Sarhan added ten points off the bench. The team went 80% from the line, which is always helpful.
One intense game of basketball. The flip side of this game is going to hold considerable intrigue considering the home court advantage that Central boasts. We shall see.
Northwest Nazarene 72 @ Saint Martin’s 68 in OT
Pretty much done dealing with the Saints at this point. NNU is essentially inverse of SMU. They play with heart, they’re committed, they want to win, it’s obvious, they work together, no player is too good to get down and dirty. That is awesome to see and they got a great reward with a win tonight.
TWO Northwest Nazarene players had a full house: Alex Birketoft finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block, and two playre fouls; Kevin Rima also had 16 points, but had a whopping 11 boards, two assists, two steals, one block, and four player fouls; Erik Kinney added five points with five rebounds, a steal, and two blocks; Mike Wright added 12 points along with four assists, three rebounds, two steals, and four player fouls; Bouna N’Diaye cotnributed 18 points with two rebounds, one assists, and one steal. That is some gooood team work and for the most part great shot selection. The Crusaders also made a fantastic 86% of their free throws.
With Saint Martin’s: Riley Carel taking a page out of Riley Stockton’s book -finishing with eight rebounds and eight assists on incredibly poor shooting -although admittedly still finished with 16 points, which excuses the shooting a bit; Ryan Rogers got back in form, picking up five boards, two assists, and three steals to finish with fourteen points; Trey Ingram added 14 points and four player fouls; Tyler Copp added 11 off the bench going 4-5 and 3-4 from three. Lots of good team effort rebounds. Unfortunately, the Saints shot a mere 65% from the line and ultimately -make them when they count. It’s called charity for a reason, Saints are usually pretty familiar with the subject matter -guess the Crusaders and their plundering got the better of them.
Overall a super exciting game and it sets up yet another good match-up on the flip trip.
Congrats on a great night of basketball to all involved. Player-of-the-week nominees’ll be up in an hour, followed by the announcement an hour after that. Tomorrow is going to be a discussion day so submit questions in the comments or on twitter @GNACMBBlog.
The big news of the day seems to be that Dixie State beat BYU-H. The reason this is big news for us is because WOU and SPU both beat Dixie State but BYU-Hawaii was 4-0 against the GNAC, so… could have bracketology implications in terms of procuring or losing an at large bid if we manage by some miracle to be in the running for one.
Back in our own conference: the status quo ruled the day. WWU won, SPU won, WOU won, and CWU won, and then the Alaska schools are enjoying rivalry week so we’ll check in with them on Saturday/Sunday.
MSU-Billings 68 @ Western Washington 88
There’s the Vikings we all know and love/hate. Honestly, this victory says good things about the Vikings but nothing particularly bad about the Yellowjackets. They’re probably pretty disappointed in themselves thinking that now would be the prime time to beat the Viks, but… MSUB is dealing with a lot right now in terms of figuring out their identity.
Player highlights include Momir Gataric’s 25 points on 10-14 shooting and 3-5 shooting from three; Tyler Nelson had a team high six rebounds; Antoine Hosley chipped in 17 points on 8-11 shooting and honestly: that’s about it for that team. Their free throw shooting wasn’t great, they only had 25 rebounds and 11 assists, it wasn’t a particularly cohesive game. Oh well: Again, it’s hard to play the Vikings, even harder at Carver, and MSUB’ll figure out their identity as they go on. The SFU game looms large, they should feel no shame about this one, and get right into focusing on beating the Clan.
As for the Vikings highlights: HOLY GUACAMOLE. Where to even begin: Kyle Impero may not have had the best shooting night, but he still chipped in a whopping seven assists; Anye Turner got a full house with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, five blocks, and 11 points; Harris Javier also had a poor shooting night but still turned in 10 assists; Jeff Parker chipped in 17 points; Mac Johnson went 7-11 for fifteen points, and had nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal; and Joey -the-man-himself- Schreiber went 6-6 from the line, 6-9 from three, had 12 rebounds, and 38 points -that is one heck of a double-double.
Seattle Pacific 115 @ Simon Fraser 81
It was beyond thrilling to get to watch SFU in person and started to make a lot more sense of what they do and how they win. Sango is such a cool player and there is no way he’s 6’0 but all the same he does what he does. It was in his play that we can really appreciate how much SPU did to disrupt their offense, even while the score crept up substantially.
Usually Sango is really good at getting the guys around him involved, but this game he had comparatively fewer assists and his stats were definitely down. While he scored 27 points total before the usual modification, that’s not a number that’s out of the ordinary for any player. No SFU player really scored a bunch or did much in the field, which is really a testament to SPU. Justin Cole had eight, Michael Harper had eight, Adam Westfall had seven, Patrick Simon II had 14, and then their bench didn’t really do much. There was a horrifying fall by Roderick Taylor-Evans, which haven’t heard the official word yet but looked season ending; his knee completely buckled and it looked like it had to tear something.
Seattle Pacific: These are all modified numbers so you know in context of what they normally do -that being said, so many guys had fantastic games even still. Riley Stockton went 5-7 from the field for eight points, although was in foul trouble for much of the game; Brendan Carroll made his minutes productive; Matt Borton had 10 rebounds, and fourteen points for the double-double; Mitch Penner went 11-15, 2-3 from three, and 7-9 from the line finishing with eight boards, five assists, and 21 points; Cory Hutsen picked up three rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block, and finished with a full house on 20 points -AWESOME. Again, the bench didn’t really contribute although Bryce Leavitt was helpful with ball distribution in Riley’s absence.
Here it comes again: Okay game for the Falcons -not great. They should’ve been able to control the tempo more. It’ll be interesting to see what they do against WWU on Saturday at Carver.
Central Washington 70 @ Saint Martin’s 68
This was a really interesting game, mainly because CWU played terribly and yet still pulled out the ‘W’ and that’s what you’ve gotta do. It’s gotta be a bad loss to swallow for the Saints because… it was theirs and they let it go. It would be easy to blame their 60% free throw shooting, but when it comes down to two points and your team has a hefty seven assists -it’s not the free throws, it’s the cohesion, which has been the complaint now for weeks against SMU.
SMU could be a mediocre team that does well through teamwork, or a mediocre team that does poorly through lack of teamwork. They should choose the former.
CWU didn’t have many highlights, here they are: Joe Stroud was 7-9 for 15 points; Jordan Russell was 5-8 for 15 points; Dom Williams had a game high four assists; Gary Jacobs was 5-6 from the line, picked up six boards, and ultimately had fifteen points. Balanced scoring, but not cohesive basketball either. Still, the Wildcats managed to do just enough and get it done and more power to them for that.
Saint Martin’s highlights: Trey Ingram went 7-11 overall, 3-5 from three, and 3-3 from the line to finish with 20 points, unfortunately he also had eight turnovers -zoinks; Ryan Rogers picked up eight boards and 10 points; Tyler Idowu picked up six boards; Riley Carel went 6-8 from the line and finished with 22 points.
On the whole this game went down to the wire but was rather disjointed through it’s entirely.
Northwest Nazarene 59 @ Western Oregon 66
The good news is: both teams wanted it, badly; both teams were really committed to defense; this game was a battle for the better and WOU did exactly what they needed to do in coming out on top.
In terms of Northwest Nazarene: Alex Birketoft had nine rebounds and ten points; Erik Kinney had seven rebounds and 21 points, going 5-6 from the line; Mike Wright chipped in seven assists; Matyas Hering added 14 points. The bad -Erik had five turnovers, Kevin Rima was almost silent, and they got pretty much nothing from their bench.
WOU: Devon Alexander had four rebounds, three assists, and eleven points; Julian Nichols went 4-4 from the line, had eight rebounds, five assists, five steals, and finished with ten points; Lew Thomas also had eight rebounds, though a mere two assists, one steal, two blocks, and two fouls, as well as an abomination of a shooting percentage; Jordan Wiley added 16 points, four rebounds, and two assists; Andy Avgi 18 points, three rebounds, and one steal. Like the Crusaders, WOU received almost nothing from their bench.
Overall, good game for WOU to pull through and good game for NNU to get experience.
As noted: This was a really status quo day. Saturday looms large -there is not going to be a bad game to watch on Saturday. Game previews’ll go up tomorrow morning.
Rollins 73, Saint Martin’s 67
Rollins is from the Sunshine State Conference and came into this game with a 4-4 record. They ultimately beat Saint Martin’s in a close one. Tyler Copp had a decent game –16 points, went 5-6 on free throws; Tyler Idowu had a double-double with 14 rebounds and 18 points, whilst picking up just one foul; Riley Carel had five assists and two steals whilst scoring eight points in 27 minutes off the bench. Not a bad game; the Saints could’ve had it but didn’t. That’ll be something to change down the line.
Dixie State 67, Saint Martin’s 62
The Saints were in it the whole way and again could’ve had it but didn’t. We tend to harp on Riley around here and today is no exception: He played 32 minutes off the bench, went 7-8 on free throws with five rebounds, four assists, six steals, and four player fouls -all of which are impressive; however, he had four turnovers and went 2-8 and 0-2 from the field respectively, which is never gonna work. At least two of the turnovers in particular were totally unnecessary -guys were wide open but he chose to play selfishly instead. In better news: Trey Ingram had nine points; Tyler Idowu went 4-4 and 5-8 with seven boards; and Brent Counts had some good moments ultimately grabbing six boards and eight points.
Seattle Pacific 76, Dixie State 66
This game was nothing short of hilarious: Seattle Pacific was down by A LOT early (something like 15-2) and yet finally displayed some moderately decent back up center play and things finally evened out. They changed their starting line-up yet again, which initially looked like a bad decision but ultimately turned out okay. Shawn Reid was positively out of his mind -went 12-15 and 5-7 from three, ultimately ending up with 30 points; Mitch Penner went 7-9 from the free throw line and with four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and two player fouls picked up a full house along with 12 points; Brendan Carroll added eight points, Garrett Swanson nine points, and Riley Stockton 7 assists. This was a good gut check game against D2 competition for the Falcons.
Seattle Pacific 74, Rollins College 54
No let down game for the Falcons; heavy minutes were back in full force. Riley Stockton had a particularly interesting stat line -he scored no points on 0-8 shooting, but still grades out more than decently because he picked up nine assists, six boards, and a block; Brendan Carroll added 12, Matt Borton added 11 points and seven rebounds; Mitch Penner chipped in a double-double with ten boards and ten points; Cory Hutsen went 9-10 from the field and 3-4 on free throws for a whopping 21 points. Not much drama in this game, but again: good to avoid the let down.
Tarleton State 72, Western Washington 66
The shooting percentages on this team are nothing short of mortifying for all involved, but we’ll get onto the good news: Kyle Impero had eight boards; Jaamon Echols had 21 points; Anye Turner added 14 points and five fouls; Joey Schreiber had ten points. Fairly nice balance in terms of rebounding, but their assist numbers need severe amounts of help.
Western Washington 72, San Bernardino State 66
This is good. This is much better. San Bernardino is a much worse team than Tarleton State, but oh well -we’ll take what we can get. Jaamon massively improved his shooting percentage, ultimately finishing 5-8 from the field and 7-8 on free throws for 18 points in 31 minutes; Mac Johnson had 11 points and 11 rebounds; Ricardo Maxwell chipped in 15 points and ultimately while assists still need work it was a decent game. It felt like the Vikings were more playing down to their level of competition than the score really indicates, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except how low can and will the GNAC go on any given night? Something we’ll be yet to see.
Player-of-the-week nominees will be posted later today, non-Vegas games hopefully tomorrow, player-of-the-week soon after, and then individual team previews will start going up by early next week at the latest.
For last week. Better late than never.
UAF: Ashton Edwards -24 points in a win against ND de Namur and then 14 in a close loss to Holy Names.
UAA: Travis Thompson -had a full house as well as 28 points against Rice University and then scored 14 and picked up 4 steals against Missouri State.
SFU: Sango Niang -29 points and otherwise good balance with HNU + 15 points and more balance against ND de Namur.
MSUB: Marc Matthews -Great game against Black Hills State, led the Montana Yellowjackets in scoring with 23.
CWU: Gary Jacobs -Went 7-11 and had 19 points against D3 Walla Walla –this is the benefit of the doubt that WWU and SPU don’t receive.
NNU: Erik Kinney -this was a difficult choice and while Erik had some turnover issues, he redeemed them with his assisting and rebounding prowess, while ultimately averaging 12.5 points for the weekend.
SMU: Ryan Rogers -His eight rebounds distinguish him in a balanced scoring attack from the Saints.
WOU: Julian Nichols -26 points and only one turnover against Academy of Art; 17 points and again only ONE turnover against CSU-Monterey Bay.
Lots of good and a few great performances; the winner will be announced tomorrow morning. The game day preview will go up shortly after that, and then we’ll get into yet another day of real GNAC basketball.