Nutso November, welcome back; hope everyone had a great first weekend of D2 play.
Jumping right in…
MSUB 67 vs. Sonoma State 61 @ Cal State East Bay
Fun game. We have no idea what it means. Sonoma isn’t sure themselves if they’re supposed to be good, so… It’s a little complicated. MSUB struggled against NAIA Rocky Mountain and then beat Sonoma whom had just beaten Seattle Pacific, whom (spoiler) proceeded to beat East Bay far more convincingly than MSUB did. In other words: the Pioneer Challenge was fantastic from a basketball perspective, but unhelpful from a “how good are these teams?” perspective.
Yellowjacket highlights: Tyler Green had five boards; Kamal Tall had a good game with 16 points and eight boards in just 16 minutes; and Zack Rollins had seven boards. Off the bench Hafeez Abdul had six points; Zharon Richmond had eight points and five boards; and Daniel Shedden had eight boards.
Congrats to the Yellowjackets on a sweep for the weekend!
SPU 70 @ Cal State East Bay 59
The Falcons at one point led by 19. We expected them to win, but we also expected it to be closer. A little annoyed at the Falcons for letting East Bay creep back in, but oh well; all’s well that ends in a W.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had six boards; Nikhil Lizotte had 10 points; Tony Miller had 12 points and seven boards; Gavin Long had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six points; Hunter Eisenhower had 17 points; and Nathan Streufert had five points and eight boards.
The Falcons had 17 turnovers, but when you’re leading by 15 for a huge stretch of the game you tend to start doing stupid stuff, so… We won’t consider it concerning just yet, although East Bay did do a great job taking advantage of it, scoring 16 points off of the turnovers.
CSU Monterey Bay 67 vs. CWU 72 @ CU-PDX
Hallelujah Wildcats. A win against a CCAA team. Yay! Thank-you for getting it done. Monterey Bay tends to sit right in the middle of the CCAA so it should be a moderate add of SOS, which is really nice. We’re still not entirely sure what to make of this CWU team, but a W is a W.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had 11 points and four steals; Jawan Stepney had 25 points; and Fuquan had seven boards. Off the bench Sage Woodruff had seven points; Cameron Williams had five boards; Karsten Chaplik had five boards; and Jerome Bryant had five points.
We’re curious about Fuquan -he only had two fouls, the largest lead CWU had was 12, so why didn’t he play more? We get that he had 3 turnovers, but… Fuquan is completely legit, so we’ll see. Hopefully no injury.
San Bernardino State 64 @ CU-PDX 65
HECK YES CU-PORTLAND, THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE. We’re not convinced San Bernardino is going to be particularly amazing, but this falls into the W is a W thing and Ws against the CCAA are very, very good regardless.
Cavalier highlights: Jace Cates had five assists; Cody Starr had 9 points; Jarrett Gray had 20 points and five boards; and Christopher Edward had an incredible double-double with 15 points and 15 boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had 10 points and seven boards; while Taylor Harris had five points and four boards.
Very excited about this result, two in a row for CU-Portland, keep grinding Cavs!
Point Loma 85 vs. SMU 77 @ WOU
Pretty much what we expected but we’re still ridiculously proud of the Saints. These are the losses you learn from, completely respectable score, the numbers are fine.
Saint highlights: Matt Dahlen had 15 points; Rhett Baerlocher had 12 points; Luke Chavez had 20 points; and off the bench BJ Standley had 13 points; while Tavian Henderson had five boards and seven points.
Again: Saints, you’re looking somewhere between just fine and good, so we’re excited to write the preview about you taking on Hilo tonight -it’ll be up an hour after this post.
SFU 80 vs. Notre Dame de Namur 51 @ WWU
AAAAAH, GO CLAN!!!!! Now, ND de Namur is usually the Simon Fraser of their conference, so everything in moderation, but that means our chronic basement dweller > the Pac-West’s chronic basement dweller, and we’ll take it!
Clan highlights: Kedar Salam had 17 points; Michael Provenzano had seven assists; JJ Pankratz had a good game with 15 points and nine boards; and Tyrell Lewin had five boards. Off the bench Othniel Spence had 12 points; and Bowen Bakken had 11 points.
Again: Nicely done Clan, we’re proud of you, we’re excited about your sweep of the weekend, and continue getting it done!
UAF 97 vs. Hawaii Pacific 90 @ UAA
This is why we have to take all of when we’re right when we can. That said: we’re ridiculously happy that UAF won and so we’re happy to be wrong. Conference strength of schedule is everything to us, and this helps.
Nook highlights: Amenofis Mitchell had 13 points on good shooting; LaDonavan Wilder had 16 points, six boards, six assists, two steals, two blocks, and two fouls for a nice full house; Alex Baham had 20 points and five fouls; Davis Kimble had a double-double with 15 points and a whopping 11 assists with only ONE turnover -that’s amazing!; and Michael Kluting had five assists. Off the bench Jalon McCullough had five points; Zach Hatch had six points; Tre Eisenhut had eight points; and Joe Lendway had eight points.
Super balanced performance. We feel like it still doesn’t tell us a ton, but again: it adds to conference strength of schedule, so while we don’t know what it means in regard to what UAF does in conference, it does help everyone.
Hilo 80 @ WWU 76
AHAHAHA. We don’t even know what to say about this game except to be fair, while the Viking players played well and saw tons of minutes, their starters are still pretty darn young.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had five assists; Logan Schilder continues to get up to speed with 15 points and nine boards; Deandre Dickson had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards; and Daulton Hommes had nine boards and 22 points among a full house. Off the bench Blake Fernandez had 11 points, five assists, and five fouls among a full house.
Alright Vikings, back in it. Growing pains but we still believe in you.
Fresno Pacific 67 @ Western Oregon 123
Ouch. Go Wolves!
Wolf highlights: Dustin Triano had 17 points; Tanner Omlid was back in it but not super required with 10 points, seven boars, and four assists in just 22 minutes; Darius Luborn had nine points; Riley Hawken was perfect from the field including 4-4 from three and finished with 14 points; and JJ Chirnside had nine boards and five assists. Off the bench Demetrius was BACK with 26 points on 8-9 shooting; Nick Nestell had six points; Janvier Alaby had 11 points; Brandell Evans had five points and five assists; Vince Boumann had 12 points on good shooting; and Buster Souza had five points.
Congrats to the Wolves on a, ahem, convincing win.
Chaminade 71 @ UAA 65
Interesting result. We’ll cross our fingers both schools are good. Both schools actually host D1 tournaments that they themselves compete in, so we won’t know much about either of them for a while, but it was clearly a hard fought game with some good numbers by both teams.
Seawolf highlights: Jacob Lampkin continues to impress, getting another double-double with 16 points and 10 boards; DJ Ursery had 21 points and nine boards; Josiah Wood had five fouls; and off the bench Curtis Ryan had five boards.
Congrats to UAA on the rebounding margin -they actually out-rebounded Chaminade 41 to 28, which is amazing, with effort like that we’re sure you’ll get it done next game and many thereafter.
Nicely done GNAC, great first weekend of D2play; NNU we’re excited to see you play D2 games very soon.
POW noms & the preview of the Hilo/SMU game are up next.
Holy guacamole, welcome to Nutso November. Our schedule is a little wacky today (as is the game schedule), so the highlights of yesterday’s games will probably go up this afternoon at some point.
That said, let’s jump into previewing today’s games, seeing as one starts in under an hour.
All times pacific standard.
MSUB vs. Sonoma State @ Cal State East Bay @ 12pm
We’re curious about this game because not even Sonoma knows if Sonoma is going to be good, and both of these teams are coming off of close wins -Sonoma in 2OT and MSUB in regulation- and so we’ll see what happens. If both games in this tournament end as they did yesterday, it’ll be arguably the best basketball tournament we’ve witnessed… This year. Okay, the GNAC tourney was unbelievably fantastic too, but the more great basketball the better!
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ Cal State East Bay @ 2pm
No idea; we know nothing because it’s early in the season, the two games played in this tournament yesterday were insane, and there’s arguably an interesting dynamic that could be on display between these two teams in particular.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CWU vs. Monterey Bay @ 3pm
CWU suffered a bit of an embarrassing loss yesterday, because seriously Wildcats?! You return more than anyone else in the conference outside of the Westerns and that’s how you play?! C’mon men.
Prediction: Monterey Bay wins.
CU-PDX vs. San Bernardino State @ 5pm
We’re sooo proud of the Cavs play yesterday and feel like they’re in a great position to keep the momentum going and get a win today.
Prediction: CU-PDX wins another close one.
SMU vs. Point Loma @ 5pm
Gah, we wish we were attending this game. It should be fantastic.
Prediction: Point Loma wins a close one.
SFU vs. Notre Dame de Namur @ 5pm
Is SFU legitimate or is Hilo terrible? If we go with the ‘SFU is legit’ argument then we expect them to beat ND de Namur convincingly.
Prediction: SFU is good this year; wins by 10 or so.
UAF vs. Hawaii Pacific @ 6:30pm
UAF lost to Chaminade by a fair bit, Hawaii Pacific beat Anchorage by a fair bit, thus…
Prediction: HPU blows out UAF.
WWU vs. Hilo @ 7:30pm
Our prediction is going to be that WWU wins every game until they don’t. Their team is stacked and we’re really excited about it.
Prediction: WWU blows out Hilo.
WOU vs. Fresno Pacific @ 7:30pm
Our prediction is going to be that
WWU WOU wins every game until they don’t. Their team is stacked and we’re really excited about it.
Prediction: WOU blows out FPU.
UAA vs. Chaminade @ 9pm
Another game we’re really curious about because with the results of yesterday it looks like Chaminade and UAA could be a couple of well-matched teams because we think UAA is better than UAF and HPU is better than Chaminade.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Have fun, be safe, go GNAC!
It’s finally here!!!!! We ultimately swapped a couple of our prognostication picks just because we have a standard of not projecting transfers to do anything until we actually see them play D2 games.
This year the only teams that truly return adequately proven D2 basketball players are the Westerns -that is Western Washington and Western Oregon- and so we abandoned all of our pre-season gifs and basically everything and figure the last week of November is destined for our blog blitz because we’ll finally actually know something. Maybe.
That said… We can preview today’s games, because we do have lots of questions about them.
All times pacific standard.
Seattle Pacific vs. Sonoma State @ Cal State East Bay @ 12pm
Seattle Pacific was terrible last year but in our opinion it’s addition by subtraction; we like what they have coming back seeing as they return basically everything on a team that displayed good fundamentals -just an exceptional amount of youth and a brand new coaching staff. Sonoma is usually upper middle of the CCAA and made the Regional last year, so it should be a good battle.
Prediction: Sonoma State wins a close one.
MSU-Billings @ Cal State East Bay @ 2pm
MSUB loses Preston Beverly but returns Kendall Denham, Kamal Tall, and Sven Jeuschede, so they’ve got that going for them. Cal State East Bay is breaking in a new coach, but we swear by him (our grad school coach) and they did better than they have in the past last year, so… We think they’ve got potential.
Prediction: East Bay wins, but no idea on the margin.
Central Washington vs. San Bernardino State @ CU-PDX @ 5pm
San Bernardino didn’t do much last year and we like what CWU returns, despite their embarrassing performance against NAIA Northwest.
Prediction: CWU wins, but not particularly comfortably.
Saint Martin’s vs. Fresno Pacific @ WOU @ 5pm
We ended up switching them ahead of Anchorage in our prognostication because they return more than we realized, which is awesome. They should win without issue, although they are a team that tends to improve quite a bit throughout the season, so a loss would be nothing to panic about.
Prediction: SMU wins a close-ish one.
Simon Fraser vs. Hawaii-Hilo @ WWU @ 5pm
BRAND NEW CARVER!!!!!!!! Simon Fraser actually returns a lot, and so we’re not entirely confident in our pick of them being last in the GNAC. Players we’re really curious to see the improvement of include Othniel Spence, Michael Provenzano, JJ Pankratz, and Tyrell Lewin. We’re also excited to see what Hilo does against GNAC teams this year -thanks again to the Vulcans for coming up and swinging down through the Washington schools; everyone benefits from it.
Prediction: Hilo wins, although not a blow-out.
Alaska-Fairbanks vs. Chaminade @ 6:30pm
No idea, but it should be a good match-up because the teams usually sit in fairly similar places in their respective conferences. We’re curious about UAF, but honestly they return so little that we’re not sure this game is really going to tell us anything.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CU-Portland vs. Monterey Bay @ 7pm
We’re reaaaaally intrigued by this game because it’s yet another match-up of teams that have started to sit in similar spots in regard to middle of the conference. We love what CU-Portland returns and we can’t wait to see the great numbers they’ll put up.
Prediction: CU-Portland pulls out a win at home.
Western Oregon vs. Point Loma @ 7:30pm
We’re super curious about this game. A couple of really good coaches that almost willed their teams to NCAA Tournament bids facing off to start the season. Western Oregon, obviously we’re excited about keeping Tanner for a year -we didn’t expect him to win player of the year last year, but numbers are numbers, and this game should have fantastic ones for both teams, although probably nothing insane regard to being super low scoring or high scoring; it should be balanced.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Western Washington vs. Notre Dame de Namur @ 7:30pm
WWU returns everything and NDdN is usually terrible, so it should be a good warm-up for the Viks, provided they take it with at least a modicum of seriousness.
Prediction: WWU wins in a blow-out.
Alaska-Anchorage vs. Hawaii Pacific @ 9pm
HPU had a good run last year and Anchorage returns almost nothing, but supposedly they’ve gotten in some really amazing transfers. Unfortunately for Anchorage, we were subject to an awful former D1, two-time Oregon 5A state player of the year that was bad enough we named a rule after time: The Jake Ehlers Rule, which means we don’t count transfers in regard to pre-season rankings nor predictions -we need to see people play in actual D2 games.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Good luck to all involved, we’ll be keeping a super close eye on everything, and…
Let’s go GNAC, get some Ws!
Alright, here we go. It’s late but it’s still here and that’s what counts, eh? The good news is that all of the math is already done for POW so that’ll go up tomorrow morning on schedule.
Central Washington 93 vs. MN-Mankato 104
The Wildcats got outside themselves =( It was totally within their range and they could have had it and they panicked and it didn’t happen, but we’re still so proud of them. As noted yesterday: It wouldn’t surprise us if Mankato is a very, very good team.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had 18 points; Dom Hunter had 27 points; Terry Dawn had six boards; Jawan Stepney had 15 points and five boards; and off the bench Sage Woodruff had five boards.
Simon Fraser 73, Lindenwood 72
SFU vs. Lindenwood round two and SFU squeaked out another one. Nicely done Clan. Plenty of good numbers to go around, so we’ll jump right in.
Clan highlights: Iziah Sherman-Newsome had eight boards and 10 points; Graham Miller had 9 points and five boards; Michael Provenzano had another good game with 14 points and five boards, along with five fouls; JJ Pankratz had 9 points and five boards; and Tyrell Lewin had 14 points and six boards. Off the bench Andrew Williamson had 9 points; and Hidde Vos had eight points.
Western Washington 94, Holy Names 68
Can’t spell ‘slaughter’ without ‘laughter’? The numbers aren’t as good as they could be, but there are a lot of good ones and we’re very satisfied with WWU.
Vikings highlights: Taylor Stafford had 17 points and 11 boards; Trey Drechsel had 14 points and five boards; Logan Schilder had 10 points, seven boards, and five blocks -good to see the 7’0er getting aclimated; Daulton Hommes had 13 points and six boards; and Jeffrey Parker had a full house with 24 points and seven rebounds, among other stats. Off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had seven points.
Seattle Pacific 72 vs. Dixie State 74 in OT
Dixie State won. We’re not very happy. But it does create a lot parity because it wasn’t a good loss. Dixie State is yet to get a good win. They have good losses, but not any good wins, and a brand new SPU team that doesn’t return anything does not count as a quality win. But looking at the numbers SPU decided they didn’t give a crap about rebounding, so… They get what they get.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten played 40 minutes and had eight rebounds; Sam Simpson had six boards; and Joe Rasmussen had five fouls. Off the bench Sharif Khan had 10 points; and Tony Miller had 21 points and seven boards.
We consider this game to be a complete mess and with a slightly more experienced team the Falcons would have had it, but the fact is they don’t have that experience this year and they can’t get away half-trying like they have in the past. Hopefully they learned something -if they didn’t, their SoCal games this coming week are going to be felt widely and painfully on a conference level.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 vs. BYU-Hawaii 68
Praise Nooks. They got it done. It was desperate considering BYU-H only used six players (essentially five) but it’s still a ‘W.’
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 13 points and five assists; Bangaly Kaba had 14 points and seven boards; LaDonavan Wilder had seven boards; Zach Pederson had 15 points and six boards; Brandon Davis had 12 points, five boards, six assists, five steals, a block, four fouls, and zero turnovers in a perfect full house. Off the bench Michael Kluting had eight points and six boards.
Alaska-Anchorage 73, Cal State LA 68
Thank God, the Seawolves got out of this. Suki was more off on free throws than we’re used to seeing, so that was interesting. Corey Hammell finally had a Corey Hammell game, so that was good. Mixed bag, but what can we say? The Seawolves got it done and we are incredibly relieved.
Seawolves highlights: Suki Wiggs had 27 points and six boards; Corey Hammell had 12 points and 11 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and six boards. No real bench play, which is mildly concerning but Sjur Berg saw almost no minutes, so… Maybe means nothing.
CU-Portland 62, San Francisco State 86
The Gators were in ‘steamroll’ mode. That’s okay. We’re still proud of the Cavs for the progress they’re clearly making. We think they’re going to make some noise in conference -Christopher Edward, among others, is for real.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 14 points; Christopher Edward had a double-double with 10 boards and 10 points; off the bench Davis Nuaimi had five assists; and Taylor Harris had 11 points.
Saint Martin’s 75, San Bernardino State 80
The Saints ALMOST got the win but couldn’t pull it off likely due to a slow 7’0er. He goes in for the tip and nothing else. We like Fred a lot, but… Winning the tip doesn’t matter if he can’t even be counted on to grab one measly board. Naim Ladd is 5’7 and had seven the other night, so… Get with it Fred. You’ve got five fouls. Use them.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had five boards and 17 points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards; Tyler Copp bounced back and had 16 points; Brandon Kenilvort had five boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram had 15 points.
MSU-Billings 50 vs. Cal State East Bay 54
Close and hard fought game but ultimately MSUB couldn’t pull it out. Quite honestly it bugs us because MSUB returns so much, so… Yellowjackets: What are you doing? We know East Bay’s place in conference tends to make them look worse than they are (truly an any given night team) but you were at home and have so many returners. Hmmm. We expect more of you Yellowjackets. Next week, perhaps.
Yellowjacket highlights: PRESTON BEVERLY had a huge game wiht 14 points and 25 points on good shooting; and Christian Evans had five boards.
To be fair, some of the lacking in highlights is because it was a low-scoring game, but… Shooting numbers were also bad.
Western Oregon 63 vs. UC San Diego 75
The Tritons read Western Oregon like a book. They came in apparently very prepared and essentially just shut the Wolves down completely. WOU still had few turnovers, so UCSD could have maybe forced them better, but… This was revenge for the Sweet 16 game and they got it.
Wolves highlights: Ali Faruq-Bey had six boards; and off the bench Demtrius Trammell had 11 points; while Yanick Kulich had 19 points and seven boards; and Malik Leaks had seven points.
Yup. That minimal. Looking forward to the Wolves bouncing back after a painful weekend.
Northwest Nazarene 84 vs. Colorado Christian 103
Weeee. Eeeee. Okay, honestly not surprising because Colorado Christian is often good, as the RMAC is usually really good. This is a quality loss if we’ve ever seen it.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye had six boards; Jalen Shepard had nine assists and 16 points, whoa; Kaileb Rodriguez had 25 points and 12 boards for the double-double; Maurice Jones had 13 points and five fouls. Off the bench Pol Olivier had six points.
Overall a mis-mash of a weekend. We’re not as concerned as we expected ourselves to be, mostly because it does look like so much parity across the region that we feel like if a few teams clamp down and others buck up, things’ll be just fine.
POW noms up tomorrow at 10am, with the announcement at 11.
We’re going to post these in reverse order and then swap the times because we want what times the games are being played at to be at the top, but we’re writing this one first because last night was whoa. On a lot of levels. We don’t know whether to climb into our conspiracy bunker of “ZOMG the GNAC is so bad, we’re going to be a one bid league” or “Our region looks okay and has parity all up and down, so we’ll be fine.”
November. Beautiful November.
All times pacific.
Central Washington vs. MN-Mankato @ 12:30
Want CWU to win sooo badly, it should be a battle, we’re ready for it to be a battle, and we’re ready to see the Wildcats come out on top.
Simon Fraser vs. Lindenwood @ 2pm
We somehow missed that Lindenwood is actually a D2 school; we assumed they were a Canadian school. They’re D2. And SFU beat them yesterday, but it was close, so we’ll see what happens today.
Western Washington vs. Holy Names @ 2pm
WWU gets it done, no problem, no doubt. They’re at home, HNU is never good, it’ll be fine. WWU’s got actual teamwork this year and no drag-their-feet post players, which makes everything better.
Seattle Pacific vs. Dixie State @ 3pm
No idea. The Falcons just lost to Mankato, but we don’t know what that means -we actually haven’t even looked at the numbers. CWU beat Dixie in overtime yesterday, Dixie has some mad strength of schedule and so they’ve played good teams are already well-seasoned. Dixie State has often beat the Falcons at home in non-conference and were responsible for dislodging SPU’s number one ranking a few years ago, so… What can we say? Those proud bearers of the confederate flag are probably going to win.
Alaska-Fairbanks vs. BYU-Hawaii @ 3pm
Seasiders just got killed by UAA. Time for the Nooks to get it done too. UAF wins big.
Alaska-Anchorage vs. Cal State LA @ 5pm
CSULA is starting to come into its own with a win over UAF yesterday, but so is UAA and… “The Seawolves up there in their hella nice lair” will take care of the Eagles just fine. Yes, we just plagiarized ourselves, we’re okay with that.
CU-Portland vs. San Francisco State @ 5pm
SFSU just won a triple over time game against WOU. We’re not sure whether that means this is a prime chance for CU-Portland to upset SFSU because they’re exhausted and likely to over look the Cavs, or if they’re going to get killed because SFSU is going to be like “WE JUST BEAT THE WOLVES, WE CAN DO ANYTHING!” and be in steamroll mode. We shall see.
Saint Martin’s vs. San Bernardino @ Sonoma State @ 5:30
The Saints got straight-up murdered by Sonoma last night, which actually doesn’t hurt our conference that badly because WWU had a convincing win over them last week without blowing them out, so Sonoma is looking good. Also tells you that there may be some separation between WWU and SMU, which wouldn’t be surprising, but still leaves plenty of room for the idea that both are good teams. Bernardino took CWU to OT but CWU got the win, it seems likely that Bernardino will win this one, but who knows. We love the Saints -they could absolutely bounce back.
MSU-Billings vs. Cal State East Bay @ 6pm
MSUB has a great homecourt advantage and yet East Bay is one of those teams that always gives GNAC teams problems, even when they’re lower-middle of the CCAA. Not sure what’s going to happen with this one. Nothing would surprise us in any direction unless both teams ended up scoring under 50. That would surprise us.
Western Oregon vs. UC San Diego @ 7pm
We cannot wait for this game. UCSD is boasting mad SOS, WOU just lost a triple OT game to SFSU, it’s in the New PE Building, what is going to happen? UCSD just had a heck of a time against CU-Portland, so we have no idea what to expect out of this game.
Northwest Nazarene vs. Colorado Christian @ 7pm
Who knows? We want NNU to win, we somewhat expect them to lose, but that’s just because “oh NNU,” and prior conceptions from previous years, but that’s not fair now is it? NNU hasn’t even played any D2 games this year. Who knows what might happen?
We mean previewing in a very abbreviated way. Mostly this is a chance to tell you what time any game is going to be played at because for the vast majority we have no clue what to expect. How about we promise NightLights tonight after all of these games go down? That seems better.
All times Pacific Standard.
SFU vs. Hawaii Hilo @ 3pm
SFU just lost to Quest, so we’re thinking Hilo is going to win.
MSUB @ Cal Baptist @ 4pm
Cal Baptist is ranked 9th in the pre-season poll. Good luck MSUB! Procure us/UAA some strength of schedule by either playing them tough or getting a win!
CWU vs San Bernardino @ 5pm
Very excited to see what the Wildcats do and hopefully pick up some SOS with a nice win against CSUSB!
WWU @ Sonoma State @ 5:30
They better bleeping win, after almost beating Washington. Let’s go Viks!
WOU @ Point Loma @ 5:30
We loved Point Loma last year and this year we’re not sure we can root against them at all no matter what, even when rationally we desperately want/need the Wolves to beat them and beat them good. C’mon WOU, you can do this. *cries*
UAA @ Chaminade @ 7:30
The Seawolves also better bleeping win. C’mon Suki, you’re our pre-season player of the year -that means you have to make us proud or we’ll sit behind you and talk mess in the future. Judging by the way you play the game of basketball you’d probably be okay with that, so we’re good. P.S. Good luck Corey Hammell, Sjur Berg, etc!
CU-PDX @ Monterey Bay @ 7pm
Expecting the worst, hoping for the best. Good luck Cavaliers!!
SPU vs. Humboldt @ 7pm
Humboldt was really good last year. *covers eyes* C’mon Falcons! They have so much history of regenerating that we feel ridiculous for doubting, but… They return NOTHING. Not even their head coach.
SMU @ Fresno Pacific @ 8pm
So freaking excited for this game. It should be fairly evenly matched, so… We’ll see. Good luck Saints!!
UAF @ Hawaii Pacific @ 9:30
This falls into the CWU category -we’re really, really, really curious. Good luck Nooks!
NNU is playing an NAIA game, so… Pray for them? They should be fine. Simpson is usually upper middle in their conference, and hasn’t been to the NAIA tournament in a while (we only know this because they’re our grad school rival) so the Crusaders should have a good chance to see what they’ve got.
Alright. Night Lights tonight will go up initially around 10pm and then we’ll update them after that so Fairbanks is included. We’ll be on twitter periodically, so feel free to @ us with your thoughts on any given game.
Let’s go GNAC -Great is in our name, time to prove it.
HOW AWESOME IS WWU?!?! Knew the Vikings could do it. And actually really, really thrilled with the Crusaders -that was one of those times where it was “don’t give anyone any more motivation to beat a team than they already have.” Was rooting for NNU the whole time -CWU was annoying this year.
Prepare for some tough love:
As a general rule, love the Wildcats. When a team is repeatedly screaming about how legit they are after getting whooped in non-conference -shut-up. Dom Williams is a cancer. Watching CWU go down was a sick type of enjoyment. Realize that’s how it was felt about Jaamon Echols (formerly of WWU), so… selfish play without legitimate production is a big thorn. You can shoot relatively poorly and play unselfishly all you want -not my place to judge (okay it is, but I’ll still pat you on the back).
Someone actually informed me this past weekend that Sango is convinced he’s going to the NBA. I stated that I’d like some of whatever he’s smoking because clearly it’s quality -then again, he lives in the Vancouver metro, so not surprising.
Anyway, tonight’s games! Tough love continued.
WWU 76, UAA 56
Alright, this is the game where I let loose with all of the crap that I’ve been wanting to give some of these teams. WHAT WERE YOU DOING ANCHORAGE?!?!? WWU is a good team, but they’re not good enough to make two of your better guys shoot 2-10 and 6-15 with your best guy going 5-9. You could have waited for better shots, you could have shot at the basket and made sure you recovered the board. Your rebounding wasn’t dismal and was spread out pretty well, but that makes the point all of the better: selfish play got you this. Travis Thompson benefit of the doubt over. You do not go 2-10. Brian McGill is actually more respectable because he realized he was cold and stopped shooting. You had a couple of bench players that were at least doing better -why not go to them? Guess what? Now none of you are playing at the hands of a team you beat twice, because of your refusal to work together. Awesome.
Anchorage highlights: Travis Thompson had six assists; Derrick Fain had 17 points; Brad Mears had six points. Off the bench: Sjur Berg had six boards; Dom Hunter had 10 points; KALIDOU had 10 points and four boards.
WWU doesn’t get a rant because they get picked on a lot. Non-WWU people will be like ‘NO THEY DON’T.’ Yes they do -we’re still harping on Jaamon Echols and he’s not even on the team any more. They get plenty of criticism, it’s just they’ve actually evolved into unselfish play so there’s not much to critique right now. Jeff Parker -your shooting was bad. Why doesn’t it need to be harped on? Because Jeff knows it and is probably embarrassed, as he should be. Travis and Derrick have had game after game of abysmal shooting -clearly they’re not embarrassed enough.
Viking highlights: Anye wasn’t needed much but played 35 minutes (hella deep!), grabbed seven boards, scored 17 points, and picked up a mere two fouls; Mac Johnson had eight boards and nine points. Off the bench: KYLE IMPERO!!!!! Had 16 points, ten boards, five assists, two steals, and a block!!! Joey Schreiber had 25 points, six boards, and two steals. Love that bench play. We’ll also shoutout Ricardo Maxwell for realizing that his shooting was off and picking up a few assists, a couple of steals, and a few fouls instead -he still played 33 productive minutes.
NNU 79, CWU 73
Still jumping for joy. Let the haterade flow Wildcats. You’re going home. Much like Anchorage: selfish, selfish, selfish. But with the demographics of the two schools… hardly surprising. Education < Hoops. WWU has that rep too, but they’re at least good. CWU is where you go if you’re not good enough to go to WWU.
Sorry Vikings -they already hate you, this isn’t adding fuel to the fire, just dousing them with a dose of reality they’re naturally denying anyway. Feel those warm rivalry flames.
The fact that Dom shot 10/21 in this game and we know it’s a good percentage for him? On no other team would the word “good” be in any realm. In fact, any SPU/WWU/WOU player would be nauseated by the number because they know there had to be better shots available.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had a full house with seven boards, two assists, two steals, a block, and two fouls, along with nine points; Joe Stroud had 12 points and nine boards; Dom Williams had 29 points. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs had five boards on atrocious shooting (2-11); Devin Matthews had 13 points on almost as bad of shooting (2-8) but at least made his free throws. That almost sunk the Crusaders. Thankfully it didn’t.
Crusader highlights: ALEX BIRKETOFT had 14 points and eight boards; Erik Kinney had 17 points, five boards, and two assists; Mike Wright had 20 points, four assists, and three steals; KEVIN RIMA had ten boards, three assists, two steals, and ten points, along with four fouls. Off the bench: Matyas Herring had 13 points.
Nothing particularly alarming from the Crusaders -free throw shooting was only at 68% but they’re going to have their hands so full with the Falcons that the eight percent difference between what they had and what we’d prefer seems minute.
We’re going to briefly touch on what happened in the other two west region conferences:
BYU-Hawaii beat Point Loma -as expected.
Cal Baptist beat Hawaii Pacific -as expected.
Stanislaus beat UC San Diego -as expected.
Humboldt State beat San Bernardino -as expected.
Those are all good results for the GNAC, generally speaking; there’s some gray area because Hawaii Pacific was beaten by Seattle Pacific, so it would behooved us a little bit had they won, but… as a blog we haven’t been impressed with the Seasiders and felt Cal Baptist is a much better team, so it’s good that they won.
Same thing with BYU-H/PLNU; PLNU was beaten by WOU, BYU-H beat SPU, so toss-up there. Strength of schedule lays flat.
UCSD… this is a personal vendetta, but some of the UCSD coaches (in other sports) have a very big reputation of being obnoxious, so we’re happy to see them lose. Stanislaus -if you beat one of us, we’ll automatically root for you in the future under the guise of making ourselves look better.
Humboldt playing San Bernardino is an interesting one because Humboldt beat UAA and WWU beat CSUSB, but we’ve thought the Jacks were a better team this whole time because WWU at that point was particularly impressive, thus this was a good result.
Congrats to both the Vikings and the Crusaders! Love both teams so much. Best of luck tomorrow dealing with the Wolves and the Falcons. Previews up at 10am -we’ll deal with previewing the Pac-West & CCAA games too.
Also, POW noms will still go up for this past week -at some point. Maybe Saturday morning?
There are still two to four regular season games left per team, these games are going to be huge, this is going to be a general West Region post.
- Currently ranked teams/teams getting votes
- Teams that have clinched spots in their respective conference tournaments
- What teams those teams have left to play, the W/L projections or not.
- Regional projection
West Region Ranked Teams:
15. Western Oregon (WOU)
16. Cal Baptist (CBU)
17. Azusa Pacific (APU)
22. BYU-Hawaii (BYU-H)
Cal Poly Pomona, Point Loma, and Chico State all received votes.
West Region Conference Tournament Births
These include the games teams have let to play and the projections; red means they’re likely losses, green means wins, and black means it’s a toss-up. All of the records include toss-up games as losses, just to see the possible scenario; obviously some of these teams play each other, so not everyone is going to lose. Projected conference tournament seeds in parentheses.
Births left: Two.
Projected teams to receive them: Northwest Nazarene and Western Washington
Could sneak in: Simon Fraser
Who would you prefer to play: Simon Fraser
Western Oregon (1)
13-1, 21-3 = 15-3, 23-5
Regional Losses: Point Loma, Azusa Pacific
Last loss: Jan. 1 to Seattle Pacific
Games left to play: WWU, SFU, @UAA, @UAF
Honestly expect them to win every game, but better to throw it in as a toss-up.
Alaska Anchorage (4)
10-4, 14-10 = 11-7, 15-13
Regional Losses: Humboldt State, BYU-H, Sonoma State, Chico State,
Last loss: Feb. 14 to Seattle Pacific
Games left to play: @CWU, @ NNU, Saint Martin’s, WOU
Most brutal remaining schedule.
Central Washington (3)
9-5, 14-7 = 11-7, 16-9
Regional Losses: Numerous -BYU-H, HPU being their non-con losses.
Last loss: Feb. 12 to Western Washington
Games left to play: UAA, UAF, @SPU, @MSUB
Second most brutal remaining schedule, but they get a break unlike Cenazar (CWU/NNU) challengers.
Seattle Pacific (2)
10-5, 18-7 = 12-6, 20-8
Losses: Academy of Art, BYU-H in non-con
Last Loss: Feb. 7 to Simon Fraser
Games left to play: MSUB, CWU, NNU
No road games left. Falcons have been road warriors though, so… hmmm.
Births left: One
Projected team to receive it: Unknown
Will be in: Hawaii Pacific or Dominican
Who would you prefer to play: Dominican.
15-3, 22-4 = 16-4, 23-5
Regional Losses: Cal Poly Pomona
Last Loss: Feb. 7 to Cal Baptist
Teams still to play: CBU & FPU
15-3, 18-6 = 17-4, 20-7
Regional Losses: Western Oregon, Seattle Pacific
Last Loss: Jan. 24 to Azusa Pacific
Teams still to play: @FPU, PLNU
14-3, 20-4 = 16-4, 22-5
Regional Losses: None
Last Loss: Jan. 31 to BYU-H
Games still to play: @FPU, @APU, NDdN
12-5, 18-5 = 15-5, 21-5
Regional Losses: None
Last Loss: Feb. 16 to CBU
Games still to play: Hilo, HNU, Art U.
BYU-H is interesting -they’re on a three game losing streak all to tournament bound teams, but they have three home games coming up to basement dwellers.
12-6, 19-6 = 13-7, 20-7
Regional losses: None
Last loss: Feb. 12 to Hawaii Pacific
Games still to play: NDdN, @ Dixie State
Cal Poly Pomona
Births left: Four
Projected: Humboldt, Stanislaus, UCSD, San Bernardino
Will be in: The four as noted.
Who would you rather play: Not Stanislaus.
Cal Poly Pomona
14-4, 18-5 = 16-6, 20-7
Regional Losses: Point Loma
Last Loss: Feb. 7 to Chico State
Games still to play: CSULA, Dominguez Hills, @ San Bernardino State, @ Humboldt State
Interesting; Bernardino and Humboldt are the CCAA equiv to MSUB and SPU.
14-4, 17-6 = 18-4, 21-6
Regional Losses: Dominican, Azusa Pacific
Last loss: Feb. 14 to Humboldt State
Games still to play: @ Sonoma State, @ San Fran State, Monterey Bay, East Bay.
Chico should get through that wholly unscathed, meaning Cal Poly is the one walking on “ice.”
What does all of that tell us about who’s making the tournament? Very little really, because in the conference tournaments anything can happen. Still, that gives you your 18 teams that could potentially procure your auto bids.
Western Washington (not in, but projected in)
Cal Poly Pomona*
San Bernardino State
Teams denoted with asterisks are suspected to not need the auto bid. The respective conference tournament winners do receive an automatic birth to the NCAA tourney. That means:
Cal Poly Pomona
CCAA autobid (Chico or Stanislaus)
BYU-H/Pac-West auto bid
GNAC auto bid
Bold teams bubbles shouldn’t be able to burst.
BYU-H from the Pac-West is grey area; they’re kind of a bubble team for not needing the auto-bid.
Who has potential to win their conference and procure a birth they otherwise wouldn’t get? Not Point Loma. They’re in too strong of a conference, so even if they do make the championship game of their conference tourney, there are still more deserving teams, because if picking between playing PLNU vs. APU/CBU/BYU-H/DSU, it’ll be PLNU every time.
Stanislaus wants a strong tournament run and they’re the pick for winning the conference tournament and getting that auto-bid. If BYU-H doesn’t win, it’ll be a toss up who makes it between them and Chico State. Which team would you rather play? No clue. BYU-H if the game is played on the mainland, which likely means that Chico would get the nod.
Now, you want to know about the GNAC? Western Oregon is in, for sure, no auto bid needed. And what’s even more frightening: they seem like a big candidate to win the conference tournament. If you’re a WOU person that sounds great, but they’re still not gonna host. Why? Because the Pac-West deserves to host. They’ve been the strongest conference. It will go to one of those teams. Which is unfortunate: We made the case weeks ago that Monmouth would be a terrific place to have the Regional.
Still, it always comes down to who would you rather play? APU, CBU or WOU? As a GNAC person it’s hard to think that you’d want to play WOU, but from a regional perspective, you would. If WOU had been in the Pac-West, would they boast the same record? Doubtful. And everyone’s beaten everyone. Part of this is the new blood issue: the Pac-West teams would much rather play a GNAC team; GNAC teams would likely rather play a Pac-West team; the CCAA teams are brutes and they don’t monkey flyin’ care because they’ll play anyone, anywhere, but… we’ve still got miles to go before that has a chance to happen.
TL;DR, GNAC: Short answer: No, WOU will not host -think SPU not hosting last year.
A post discussing the GNAC conference tourney’ll be up at about 10pm.
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.
Here’s the quick break down of who plays whom:
MSUB plays CSU East Bay & Stanislaus.
UAA plays Sonoma State & Chico State.
SFU plays @ San Francisco State.
UAF plays Humboldt State.
WWU plays San Bernardino.
WOU & NNU both play @ Monterey Bay.
Tiny sample size, a freakishly small 9 games with only one repeated opponent.
Last year we were the Wild and Weak West… San Bernardino State, Chico State, and CSU-Stanislaus were all in the tournament with Chico upsetting and winning the regional as the 4 seed. San Bernardino was an incredibly strong team until the very end, and their game vs. WWU in late December was the perfunctory non-conference mark of last season.
Even more interesting, while CSU-SB vs. WWU may have played a huge role in determining the host, the real prognosticator game was that of the Seattle Pacific @ Chico State, in late November. Chico State beat SPU, SPU won both the regular season and conference title for the GNAC, got bounced in the 1st round of the Regional (by Stanislaus, who upset both Bernardino & Chico in the CCAA tournament), and then as noted: Chico ultimately made the Elite Eight, but they did it by beating Stanislaus.
WWU vs. San Bernardino State this season could be a major determining factor into who hosts the regional, or it could mean absolutely nothing. Much as it’s tempting to say “oh, these are going to be the strong teams, these are going to be the weak teams,” recent history shows it unwise. Any given night. Any given season. There’s a reason we play the games and that’s why…
The Committee is Watching.