Better late than never!
Suki Wiggs -Alaska-Anchorage; Sr.
Taylor Stafford -Western Washington; Sr.
Maurice Jones -Northwest Nazarne; Jr.
Christopher Edward -CU-Portland; Jr.
Tanner Omlid -Western Oregon; Jr.
Spencer Svejcar -Alaska-Anchorage; Sr.
Daulton Hommes -Western Washington; RS Fr.
Tony Miller -Seattle Pacific; Fr.
Preston Beverly -MSU-Billings; So.
Drew Martin -CU-Portland; Sr.
Brandon Davis, Corey Hammell, Diante Mitchell, Cole Preston, Deandre Dickson, Gavin Long, Fuquan Niles, Dom Hunter, and Bouna N’Diaye.
This was actually a really fun year for player-of-the-year with how much parity there was and how well they compared to each other in regard to production and team impact. It’s fun having so many underclassmen on these teams because we to keep most of them.
We’re about four weeks out and we absolutely cannot wait.
Player-of-Last-Year will be up in an hour.
So many great performances this week, lots of great single game performances, but plenty of guys that rocked it for the weekend as well.
UAF: Brandon Davis -continues to will that team on.
UAA: Spencer Svejcar -Is the Man, once again. Like the Aloe Blacc song is pretty much about him at this point. Preston Beverly, next year, hopefully.
SFU: Kedar Wright!! So excited about this one, two great performances including a nice win against WOU.
WWU: Taylor -cray cray for Tay Tay, ’nuff said.
SPU: N/A —> Donated to Rhett Baerlocher of SMU, who was a MONSTER from 3 point land on both nights. Awesome.
SMU: Cole Preston, Point guard of the year. Not official yet, but the performances throughout this season have been incredible.
MSUB: Marc Matthews -did his dardnest against the Alaska schools, didn’t walk away with a win, but two very respectable performances.
CWU: N/A —> Donated to Brandon Kenilvort of SMU -great rebounding performance against both Cenazar schools.
NNU: Maurice Jones needs to stay for another year and not be another one-and-gone NNU player.
CU-PDX: Drew Martin -continues to carry the load. He was impressive in the WWU game, even with the lopsided score.
WOU: N/A —> Donated to Corey Hammell of UAA; not much from the field but grabbed boards and made his free throws = two good performances.
Congrats to all of the guys nominated, winner’ll be up soon!
Whoaaaa. What a night. Root Root for the Home Team -first time that’s happened all year. Simon Fraser got their first in-conference win, there were a lot of blow-outs, and some interesting stuff in the SPU/CWU game.
CWU 61 @ SPU 79
We’re probably biased when we say this, but it wasn’t a blowout. Don’t let the fact that SPU led by between 9 and 13 for a majority fool you; that’s three possessions and in a rivalry game that means exactly nothing. CWU decided to foul at the end and so 18 happened, but they were in it until the last two minutes. Also CWU fans: Naim Ladd may be gone, but SPU didn’t have Tony Miller, so… Fair is fair. Injuries are a part of basketball, but in that sense it was completely even because both teams were missing a key starter.
Wildcat highlights: Dom Hunter grabbed six boards; Jawan Stepney had 16 points and eight boards; and Fuquan had five boards. The Wildcats got some impressive bench play including: Cameron Burton had five fouls; Jerome Bryant had seven points; Sage Woodruff had 13 points; and Chris-Michael Garrett had seven points.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 24 points and nine boards; Joe Rasmussen had six boards and 15 points; Olivier-Paul Betu had 12 points; and Gavin Long had 10 points and five boards. Off the bench Sharif Khan had eight points; and Nathan Streufert had seven points and 12 boards.
CWU, don’t be Chicken Little. Your world isn’t over because Naim is out; you’re still a good team -we love Sage Woodruff, maybe you should start him? You guys still have plenty of good players, and you’ll be able to make noise in the conference tournament. Nothing means anything this year in terms of going from one game to the next. Congrats Falcons on getting you redemption and a nice rivalry win.
CU-PDX 64 @ WWU 87
We don’t even know what happened in this game. We were sitting there not really paying attention to the first few minutes because who cares the game is 40 minutes long and then next thing we knew WWU was up 20. Like in the first three minutes. It was insane and we’re still confused, but congrats Viks! You is scary. Concordia, you still had lots of great moments.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards; Christopher Edward had five boards and five fouls; and off the bench Dennis Ahana had six points; and Latrell Wilson had 14 points.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had six boards, four assists, four steals, and 21 points; Blake Fernandez had nine points and seven boards; Logan Schilder made a statement with 10 boards and four blocks; Daulton Hommes had a quiet game with 12 points and no credited rebounds(??); and Jeffrey Parker had 19 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma went 3-3 from downtown and finished with nine points; Deandre Dickson had 10 points and seven boards; and Trevor Jasinsky had five boards.
One of the most normal games of the year, arguably. Concordia, don’t take this loss to heart -you’re a good team and so is WWU.
WOU 63 @ SFU 68
Interesting. Curious. Peculiar. WOU had been playing badly, SFU had been threatening an upset, and this was the game those things were consummated. Congratulations to all.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 13 points, 11 boards, and five fouls; Ali went 8-9 from the line; and off the bench Akil Reese had seven points and five boards; while Bryan Berg had 10 points; and Connor Thompson had four boards.
Clan highlights: Kedar Wright had 11 boards and 19 points; Iziah had 17 points and 11 boards; Michael Provenzano had 12 points and six assists; and off the bench Tyrell Lewin had four boards.
Big congrats to the Clan for getting the ‘W’ and big congrats to the Wolves for hopefully getting this out of your system.
NNU 81 @ SMU 90
While the CWU/SPU game was never a blowout even though the Falcons won by 19, this game was never close even though the Saints won by only 9. They absolutely decimated the Crusaders from start to finish. The Crusaders ended up with oddly okay numbers because the Saints let off the gas, but don’t let said numbers fool you -this was a butt whooping on all fronts. Although similarly: Don’t let that fool you about NNU. We believe in the Crusaders this year, this just wasn’t their game. Go figure? Congrats Saints.
Crusader highlights: Jayden Bezzant had 21 points and five boards while going 7-8 from the line; Bouna had five boards; Kaileb Rodriguez had 10 points and five boards; and Maurice Jones played 40 full minutes and had 26 points and 11 boards. Good on the coaching staff for keeping the pedal to the metal and never letting the blowout get in these guys heads. 100% at all times on all days.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had 22 points, five boards, and a whopping seven assists; Jordan Kitchen had nine points; Tyler Copp had 18 points; and Brandon Kenilvort had 11 boards and 10 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 11 points; and Rhett Baerlocher had a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards.
Congrats to the Saints on a nice demolishing, congrats to the Crusaders on keeping Fred quiet -Maurice Jones, ya done good.
MSUB 58 @ UAA 74
This game couldn’t decide whether or not it wanted to be interesting. Initially we thought the score wasn’t being updated because no one was scoring at all. That can happen when good teams go up against each other, although we weren’t actually watching so we couldn’t tell you whether it was because both teams were playing well or both teams were playing badly. UAA would walk it up and then MSUB would reel them back in and back and forth and then UAA said “No. We’re done.” And you have the score above. Congrats Seawolves!
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had 17 points and five boards; Jace Anderson had 22 points; and off the bench Jordan Perry had 12 points.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 28 points and nine boards; Diante Mitchell had 10 points; Spencer Svejcar had 17 points and nine boards; Corey Hammell went 8-8 from the line, finishing with a double double of 10 points and 10 boards; and Connor Devine picked up four blocks and five fouls. Off the bench Ashton Pomrehn scored five points; and Travis Parrish grabbed four boards.
The Seawolves kept the sophomore superstar quiet and while the Yellowjackets did their dardnest, they couldn’t overcome it. Still, great job to the Seawolves for accomplishing that and to the Jackets for having moments of where it looked like they were overcoming it.
………….. We’re still discombobulated with these scores. For a lot of reasons. Great night of basketball, congrats to all on bests put forward! POW stuff will go up tomorrow.
UAA 68 @ UAF 61
Exciting game. It was looking dicey for a long time and then we believe Spencer Svejcar hit a three and then the Seawolves were able to walk it up and mostly keep it out of reach.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had eight boards; Diante Mitchell had 21 points; Spencer Svejcar made a statement, getting a double-double with 24 points and 10 boards; Corey Hammell went 4-4 from the line and grabbed 11 rebounds; and Connor Devine grabbed five boards. No real bench play.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had 18 points; Bangaly had five boards and a full house; LaDonavan had six boards; and Brandon Davis played 40 minutes and finished with a full house among 19 points and three steals. Also no real bench play.
NNU 68 @ SPU 83
Falcons showing their youth, but getting it done much better. Even last week, they weren’t able to close games like this and tonight they did. The Crusaders played really hard and did their best to exploit, but ultimately couldn’t quite get it done.
Crusader highlights: Bouna went 9-11 from the line; Kaileb Rodriguez had 14 points; Maurice Jones had a double-double including 14 boards; and off the bench Nikola Prvulj had five points.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 14 points and seven boards; Tony Miller had 24 points; Joe Rasmussen had 14 points and six boards; and Olivier-Paul Betu had six assists. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had seven boards along with a full house; and Hunter Eisenhower had nine points.
This is potentially a big statement for the Falcons -it says that they’re finding themselves, which on a team as young as they are is big. This Falcons team had no concept of how to win earlier this year and slowly but surely they’re learning. As for NNU, no big deal. The conference is a mess. The Crusaders are still a super great and talented team.
CU-PDX 74 @ SFU 73
SFU was — that close to winning and then they committed a stupid foul and they didn’t. The Cavs got out by the skin of their teeth, but it is what it is and was what it was. Congrats Cavs, you done got lucky.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 13 points; Christopher Edward had nine points, 10 boards, and four steals among other stats meriting a full house, Jarrett Gray had 10 points; and Harris Taylor had 19 points. Off the bench Latrell Wilson had 18 points.
Clan highlights: Kedar Wright had 21 points and five boards; Iziah had 15 point,s, five boards, and four steals; Michael Provenzano had 21 points; and off the bench Tyrell Lewin had six boards.
WOU 63 @ WWU 73
This game was a mess. Both teams are good, but it was seriously an ugly game of basketball that the players knew was ugly, thus they made it even uglier by getting all chippy. Because the game was so ugly, the chippyness wasn’t entertaining -it was just desperate. Congrats to the Viks on ultimately getting it done.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 19 points; Ali had 20 points and five boards; JJ Chirnside had five boards; and off the bench Bryan Berg had five points; while Isaiah Edwards had five boards.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 26 points as well as four boards, four assists, and four steals; Logan Schilder had seven boards; and Daulton Hommes had seven boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson had an awesome eight boards and 18 points; and Trevor Jasinsky had five boards.
Yeesh. We’re glad this game is over. Interesting for the Wolves though -their game was ugly against the Falcons too and they got away with it; can’t do that against WWU.
MSUB 74 @ UAF 83
Close the whole game. Agonizing. The parity continues. The Nooks played really well, finally. Great game from them, super proud!
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had nine boards and finished with a full house; Marc Matthews had 19 points and six boards; and Kamal Tall had eight boards. Off the bench Kendall Denham had 11 points; and Cade Alcorn had five boards.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had five boards and six assists; Bangaly had 10 points; LaDonavan had 13 points; Zach Pederson made a statement with a double double of 11 boards and 11 points; and Brandon Davis played another 40 minute game, finishing with 22 points. Off the bench Michael Kluting had nine points.
Again, congrats to the Nooks on a great performance. Good luck to the Yellowjackets against the Seawolves.
CWU 79 @ SMU 80
This game was insane. Naim Ladd didn’t play, Fuquan shut down Fred, and the Wildcats still almost pulled it off. We admittedly fell asleep watching it, but… That was because of the insanity that’s been going on in our state this week. It ultimately had a 9:15 start time because both Cascade passes are closed, thus CWU had to go down around and up. Yup -what would have/should have been a two hour bus ride turned into six. For those that don’t live here -pretty much all of western Washington shutdown on Monday due to snow and then Tuesday due to ice. The entire week has been weird. It’s now 55 degrees outside. Go figure.
Wildcat highlights: Jawan Stepney had 17 points; Fuquan turned in a classic center performance with a double double of 15 boards and 14 rebounds while missing three shots from the line; and off the bench Cameron Burton had six boards and eight points; while Sage Woodruff continues to make a mark with 14 points.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston rocked it yet again, playing 40 minutes and scoring 15 points and dishing out 10 assists for the double-double; Rhett Baerlocher had 20 points and eight boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram added 14 points; and Brandon Kenilvort a double-double with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Big congrats to the Saints, huge win. CWU, we still believe. Not in your bubble, your bubble has now official burst, but we still know you’re a great team and are proud of you all the same =)
What a night. It was incredible. Everyone played really hard (minus the Westerns) and it was a night to be proud of -even the Westerns.
Ready to eat up these performances? Little elaboration, but most require little explanation.
UAA: Spencer Svejcar -he’s been on our radar since last year, good to see him carry the load for a week.
SFU: N/A —> Donated to Joe Rasmussen, of SPU.
WWU: Daulton Hommes.
SPU: Tony Miller.
SMU: Cole Preston.
MSUB: Preston Beverly -sophomore slump say WHAT?!
NNU: Maurice. Is MoJo a thing? Do students at NNU even know what either MoJo is? The other MoJo is a magazine that’s basically the liberal equivalent of Fox News. We’re guessing Maurice Jones is similarly unheard of because while we’ve only been to one basketball game at NNU, we suspect that’s still more than most NNU students.*
CU-PDX: N/A —> Fred Jorg! His shooting from the field was an abomination, but he made his free throws; go figure.
Nice hodgepodge of nominees: Some great underclassmen, some senior centers that are finally deciding to function, the tried and true in Tanner and Bangaly, and of course… the amazing transfers in Dom and Maurice, although Dom is an in-conference transfer and because this is a conference blog that feels like gray area -he’s always been ours =).
Announcement’ll be up in a bit.
UAF: Bangaly Kaba -basketball doesn’t seem so difficult when your major is petroleum engineering.
UAA: Corey Hammell -when the shooting gets tough, the tough start rebounding.
SFU: JJ Pankratz -good to see him getting back in the groove.
WWU: Taylor Stafford -game changing point guard for the Vikings, helped lead his team to two wins.
SPU: DAULTON HOMMES! Making the most of things now that he’s finally healthy, some really really good play this weekend.
SMU: N/A —> Spencer Svejcar -great game against CWU, did good things against NNU.
MSUB: N/A —> Diante Mitchell -high turnovers, but also smart shooting and good assisting.
CWU: Dom Hunter -had a great game against his former team and helped lead the Wildcats to a win against his old rival.
NNU: N/A —> Suki Wiggs. Suki gonna Suki, one of the games was mediocre, but it wasn’t terrible.
CU-PDX: Christopher Edwards -exactly the type of player that can change the landscape of his team for the better.
WOU: Tanner Omlid -takes way too many shots, but does rebound, play D, and distribute as well.
Surprisingly the perfect number of spots, and yes: over a third of the list consists of the starters from UAA, which tells everyone a couple of things:
1. Winning both games isn’t necessary for POW honors.
2. Everyone can be productive at the same time.
It ultimately didn’t come down to this, but had Suki won, he would have been DQ’d because his second game was good but not great. Better than the average player puts up on any given night, but still not POW winner material. As regularly noted: ‘Player of the week‘ is about the complete course of the two games -not just one good performance.
Winner up in an hour.
Hey look, a post is going up on time! So exciting.
CU-Portland 92 @ MSU-Billings 82
Lots of back and forth before CU-PDX finally pulled away. We’re not sure whether we were right in our prediction or not because we didn’t really predict anything -we just said we didn’t know. The teams were fairly evenly matched, although we give CU-PDX the edge (obviously) now in particular because winning on the road is much harder (theoretically) than winning at home. We’re honestly confused about MSUB -they have a ton of experience and yet…? Who knows. Technically we still haven’t seen enough just yet.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards; Christopher Edward continues to impress with 18 points and eight boards; and Jarrett Gray had 11 points and seven boards. The Cavs saw some nice bench play with Bryan Michaels having 13 points and seven boards; and Latrell Wilson having 15 points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 14 points and six boards; Marc Matthews had nine boards; and Kamal Tall had nine points. The Yellowjackets also had fairly good bench play with Cinco Durr having 13 points; and Christian Evans dropping 18.
Congrats on a battle well-fought to both teams.
Alaska-Anchorage 67 @ Northwest Nazarene 71
So good, we almost regret not going except there were a lot of other really good games we got to watch too. What the heck is up with you Anchorage? We know Coach Oz (and most of your teammates) have used the choice words we’d rather be using, so… Imagine. Saltier than a ship’s hull after seven years at sea.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell had 22 points while going 7-8 from the line; Spencer Svjecar added 11 points; Corey Hammell was cold, so instead had a monstrous night grabbing boards ending up with 15; and Connor Devine also grabbed nine boards. Very minimal bench play. Suki was off, and although we’re sad… We’re so happy we got to see a performance like Thursday night’s in person. We’re still enthralled with it. It was incredible.
Crusader highlights: Carlos Garcia had five boards; Bouna N’Diaye had 13 points and six boards; Pol Olivier had 13 points; and Kalieb Rodriguez had 12 points and seven boards. Off the bench Marko Lepovic had seven boards; and Jayden Bezzant had 12 points.
Very hard fought game on both sides. Super proud of the Crusaders for not sending Suki to the line -that’ll get you in trouble, fast. We’re guessing the Seawolves will look forward to some revenge when the teams meet up there in their hella nice lair.
Simon Fraser 72 @ Saint Martin’s 86
The Clan were in it for a super long time and then part way through the second half, the Saints walked away and never looked back. Honestly, we’re pleased with both teams. The fact that SFU hung around for so long says they’re making progress -we think SMU is a legitimately good team this year. This isn’t a bad loss or an expected win in the slightest. The result was what it was and the Clan will be in a great position to return the favor when the Saints go visit them in Burnaby.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 21 points and five assists; JJ Pankratz had a full house with 19 points and nine boards among other numbers; and off the bench Graham Miller had seven boards.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had a whopping 11 assists; Jordan Kitchen had nine points, five boards, and five blocks in a full house; Rhett Baerlocher had eight boards; Tyler Copp had a massive 29 points on 11-13 shooting from the line, and also grabbed six boards; and Fred Jorg had 12 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 12 points; and Brandon Kenilvort had a great game with 11 points and nine boards.
Fun game to watch. Congrats on the progress to the Saints and we’re seeing visible progress with the Clan, which is an improvement.
Alaska-Fairbanks 76 @ Central Washington 79
Close game all the way through. Completely evenly matched. Very fun to watch. Credit to the Wildcats’ home court advantage for this one -they get in your head. We’re Switzerland regarding the CWU games this week and yet they got in our head.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 17 points and eight assists; Bangaly Kaba had 21 points and eight boards on great shooting; and Zach Pederson had 11 rebounds. Off the bench Spencer Clark had five points and four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had five boards; Dom Hunter had 33 points; Jawan Stepney had 13 points; and Fuquan Niles had six rebounds and eight blocks -um, center say whaaaat? We love it. Off the bench Chris-Michael Garret had nine points.
Again: Awesome game. Both teams are good. Congrats to the Wildcats on getting the win, thank your fans and prepare to do it without them when you’re up in Fairbanks, eh?
Western Washington 96 @ Seattle Pacific 91
………………………………….. We don’t know what to say. We love the WWU team this year because they return a bunch of guys that play in the way that we love. WWU has looked really good throughout non-con. SPU has looked iffy. Moral victory for SPU to take a good team like this to OT? Especially playing as they have been. The big difference between WWU and SPU is the fact that the WWU players all actually care, while the SPU ones largely don’t.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 28 points and nine boards; Trey Drechsel had seven boards; Logan Schilder had seven boards and 11 points; Daulton Hommes had seven boards and 24 points; and off the bench Travor Janisky had 10 points and seven boards.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had five fouls; Will Parker had a double-double with 13 points, 10 boards, and six assists; Tony Miller had eight boards; Joe Rasmussen had a full house with six boards amongst other numbers; Olivier-Paul Betu had 26 points and seven assists on great shooting. Off the bench Sharif Khan had five fouls; and Gavin Long had six points.
WWU out-rebounded SPU 49-37. We’re shocked they didn’t win by more/SPU got it to overtime. Hear that GNAC? SPU doesn’t rebound this year. You can do whatever you want in the paint and they’ll let you. They don’t care. Alright. Good.
Interesting and fun night of basketball. POW stuff’ll be up tomorrow morning with the usual “nominations” and “winner” posts an hour apart. On the horizon for this week include a Discussions post -including catching up with the first weekend of conference play in the other two conferences.
The GNAC conference standings chart will go up on Monday after WOU plays MSUB.
Have a blessed Sunday and Go Hawks!
Housekeeping: The non-conference chart’ll be updated this weekend, the conference play chart will be started and updated. 55 hour work weeks -welcome to the real world; we love it.
Alaska-Fairbanks 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 72
NNU put up a really good fight and it was close for a long time, but UAF ultimately pulled it out on the road because when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 23 points and a flawless (no turnovers) full house; Zach Pederson had 15 points and 5 boards; Brandon Davis had a monster game with 18 points, four assists, and four boards; and off the bench LaDonavan Wilder had quite the interesting line with five points, four fouls, and two steals in just five minutes of play. Impressive.
Crusader highlights: Kalieb Rodriguez continues to impress with 13 points; Maurice Jones had a huge 21 points and 12 boards; and off the bench Jayden Bezzant had 16 points among other decent field stats.
Alaska-Anchorage 98 @ Central Washington 92
You may have seen our comment on twitter -UAA tried like heck to choke this game away but just couldn’t manage to do it. They were up by quite a bit and the gym was quiet and wasn’t in it, and then they didn’t stay locked down and while the Hogwarts motto is ‘Never tickle a sleeping dragon,’ the GNAC motto should probably be ‘Never tickle a sleeping Wildcat.’ If you’ve managed to keep those fans quiet, embrace it, lock down, keep going, because if you allow them to wake up your life is going to get very difficult very quickly. Life got very difficult for the Seawolves, but they managed to still get it done.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had a massive 46 points on elite shooting from the field (7-8 from three) and great shooting from the line; Diante Mitchell had 12 points; Spencer Svejcar had 21 points; Corey Hammell had a massive 16 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and a full house. There was very little bench play, although we noticed that Augustus was definitely a team leader off the bench -dude is firey as all heck.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had good field stats although a bad shooting night, including five boards; Dom Hunter had an amazing game against his former team, scoring 30 points and going 9/10 from the line; Marc Rodgers had 6 points off the bench; and Fuquan Niles had 14 points. Not many highlights largely because the Wildcats are so balanced and play with such good teamwork that the ball gets distributed and a lot of people score a few points, which is good. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Really fun game to be at -thanks to the Wildcats/CWU for the hospitality, and thanks to UAA for letting us scream at you. We had a blast.
Simon Fraser 66 @ Seattle Pacific 88
SFU outscored SPU. In the second half. By two points. Success kid? SPU just lost to their old coach after beating a couple of other impressive teams -don’t take it personally Clansmen, the war path was calling them.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 10 points and five boards; JJ Pankratz had 18 points and a full house; and off the bench Othniel Spence had nine points; while Graham Miller had six. Kedar Wright didn’t play, which is interesting. Not sure why, but with SFU we will say that it did probably affect the final score. When you’re coming back from the ashes, every little thing matters -trust us, we were at UW for the 0-12 season.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double-double with 25 points and 10 boards; Joe Rasmussen had 15 points and eight boards; off the bench Sharif Khan went 7-8 from the line; and Hunter Eisenhower had 13 points.
Conclusion: SPU is still a mess.
Western Washington 91 @ Saint Martin’s 78
Pretty much as expected. Western was up. Western got apathetic. SMU came back in the second half. Western clamped down and Western won fairly comfortably. It was what it was and we’re proud of both teams -the Vikings for recommitting and the Saints for taking advantage when they could.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had a huge game with 30 points, eight boards, and seven assists; Trey Drechsel had eight boards and five assists; Logan Schilder won the battle of the seven footers (that sounds a little species-est) with 12 points and five boards; Daulton Hommes continues to impress with 19 points, nine boards, and five assists; and Jeffrey Parker had 10 boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had six points; and Trevor Janisky had seven. Very balanced -WWU appears to be missing a number of guys that would usually see a good number of minutes, so that’s interesting. Trey Drechsel needs to focus on playing within himself more -shooting doesn’t define basketball any more than throwing defines football. There’s a lot that goes on to make shooting/throwing possible, it’s okay to be elite at helping your teammates.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 6 assists; Jordan Kitchen had seven boards; Rhett Baerlocher had 11 points, eight boards, and five fouls; and Tyler Copp had 10 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 18 points; and Rico Nuno had 11 points and five boards.
Really curious to see what the Saints do on Saturday against Simon Fraser/what Simon Fraser does against the Saints.
Overall a really fun night of basketball. We still are going to post POW stuff for last week at some point in the next day or so, so that’ll be fun. Game previews up tomorrow morning around 11am.
Embrace the quality losses? Not every team lost. But the Alaskas lost, meaning that UAA officially isn’t hosting the regional so our biggest prediction of the off-season just went kaput two days in. Fun times, eh? But there were a lot of great wins too, so we’ll focus on that.
MSUB 88 vs. Holy Names 80
Jackets pulled it out!! As they should. But it looks like the teams were pretty evenly matched, which theoretically is not a good sign for MSUB. Still, a W is a W.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 20 points; Marc Matthews had 30 and a full house; Christian Evans had a double-double with 10 boards and 12 points; and off the bench Sven Jeuschede had five points and five boards.
CU-PDX 72 @ San Bernardino 85
Not surprising, but definitely disappointing after the previous night’s win. It’s early in the year, it doesn’t mean much, but it does help the SOS start to shake out. The bad thing is, we don’t think CSUSB blew out CU-PDX enough; 13 points is respectable, not dominant. Because CWU got a win in OT, it would have been nice to see CSUSB dominate thus increasing conference strength of schedule. Oh well, nice effort by the Cavs.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards and was 6-7 from the line; Latrell Wilson had 16 points; Christopher Edward had 15 points and five boards; Jarrett Gray had 13 points; and off the bench Harris Taylor had five points and eight boards.
CWU 93 @ Monterey Bay 87 @ 3pm
Congrats Wildcats on pulling out the win! Winning while having off days is great. Honestly, this isn’t the best look for our conference because instead of making us look superior to Monterey Bay with the CU-Portland and CWU victories, it makes all four teams look mediocre. San Bernardino beat Concordia-Portland by 13, but that’s not a blow out, CWU (and the GNAC as a whole) needed a blow out by both CSUSB and the Wildcats themselves.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd was 6-7 from the line; Dom Hunter finished with an incredible 24 points and seven boards while hitting 11-11 from the line. Off the bench Marc Rodgers had 12 points and five fouls; while Fuquan Niles had five boards and nine points.
SFU 62 vs. Humboldt State 87
The result isn’t that surprising, we knew Humboldt was likely to be good, although we’re not sure this win actually quantifies that. HSU did what needed to be done and SFU allowed it to happen so it is what it is. No one in the GNAC is surprised, but at the same time it’s only one game -it doesn’t mean anything, SFU could still get hot and be legit this year. They may be chronically last, but the hope is what makes basketball fun.
Clan highlights: Graham Miller had five boards; JJ Pankratz made some noise with seven boards and 15 points; and off the bench Othniel Spence had six boards; while Hidde Vos had eight points.
SMU 86 vs. Point Loma 80
THE SAINTS ARE ALIVE!!!!!!!!! And won this game in OT and we are so, so, so, so, sooooo proud. Teamwork makes the dream work any way you slice it and the Saints played as a team, ONLY LOST THE REBOUNDING BATTLE BY THREE, and they got the victory. Again: So proud. Love you Saints!
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 19 points and five boards while going 10-12 from the line; Jordan Kitchen had 11 boards and nine points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards and three steals; Tyler Copp had a full house including 22 points; Fred Jorg had FIVE FOULS. Off the bench Brandon Kenilvort had nine points.
Side note: While we’re frustrated that he didn’t grab one measly board, Fred Jorg’s five fouls make us so happy because he’s a broad 7’0/300lbs. Those fouls are bone rattlers, even if they’re incidental. He’s not puffy, his stomach is flat, he’s just a straight up mammoth of a man. We’re a little obsessed with his build because most footers are fat at 300lbs; he’s the rare one that’s not.
UAA 71 @ Hawaii Pacific 77
Oh dear. As noted above UAA is officially not hosting the regional, BUT that doesn’t mean HPU isn’t a very, very good team and thus UAA still very likely is a very, very good team. Just as it’s hard to play the Alaska schools in Alaska, it’s hard to play the Hawaii schools on the islands. It is what it is and the Seawolves fought valiantly.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell was 9-11 from the line, had five assists, and finished with 18 points; Spencer Svejcar had 10 points; Corey Hammell had 10 boards; and Connor Devine had 10 points and a full house. The bench was the silent killer -they’re like a platypus and in that didn’t do much.
SPU 88 vs. Hawaii-Hilo 80
We like a lot of the numbers but we’re not sure what to make of the win because Hilo tends to bounce around a lot in regard to conference standing from year to year. The fact that they only won by eight at home is something that concerns us, but at the same time it’s such a new team that any win and any experience they get is a positive.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double-double with 19 points and 12 boards; Sam Simpson had 10 boards; Joe Rasmussen had a great 19 points and six boards in the closest thing to post we’ve ever seen him play; and Olivier-Paul Betu had 13 points in a nice bounce-back game. Off the bench Tony Miller had 20 points, 10 boards, and five fouls.
UAF 66 @ Chaminade 80
Another quality loss for our conference, eh? If you can beat UAF, you must be really good.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had seven rebounds, eight assists, three steals, a block, a foul, points, and zero turnovers in notching a perfect Full House; LaDonavan Wilder had nine boards; Brandon Davis had 17 points; and Zach Pederson had 10 points. Off the bench Trent Molesworth had six points and six boards; while Michael Kluting had five points.
WWU 107 @ East Bay 81
Caaaaake walk, although we would’ve liked to have seen more defense. Why not play defense against a team that’s looking like it’s going to be pretty bad? Might as well. Oh well, whatever, scoring uber is fun too. Super proud of the Vikings for taking care of business.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 18 points and eight assists; Trey Dreschel had 11 points and six boards; Jeffrey Parker, as noted, had a whopping 32 points on 90% shooting, whoa! Off the bench Blake Fernandez had 10 points and five assists; Brad Wallace had 10 points while being 6-6 from the line; and Trevor Jasinsky had 12 points on elite shooting.
WOU 85 @ Fresno Pacific 54
Beautiful. Just as expected. Very proud of the Wolves, exactly what needed to be done, good numbers too, love the display of defense.
Wolf highlights: Akil Reese had 10 points; Bryan Berg had 10 points and five boards; Tanner Omlid had a full house including a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had 16 points; and Yannick Kulich had 12 points.
Overall a pretty good day and initial D2 weekend for GNAC basketball. Player-of-the-week nominations will be up at 10am tomorrow, with the announcement at 11.
First and foremost: We do not count transfers before they hatch. See the ‘Jake Ehlers’ Rule under our Table of Contents.
That being said: Are you ready? Hold onto your shorts ’cause it’s about to look ridiculous, but we promise with what we currently have to go on -it’s not. We like our justifications, which says something because often times we don’t.
1. Alaska-Anchorage. It’s not close. They’ve proven so much more with the guys they return than any other team in the conference that we’re already anticipating booking our tickets to Anchorage for the NCAA tournament. They are deep. And well-tested. Other teams return a lot, but most of them were really bad. The Seawolves basically return everyone they need. It’s fantastic. Go UAA.
Key Returners: Suki Wiggs, Corey Hammell, Sjur Berg, Spencer Svejcar, Diante Mitchell, + more.
2. Western Oregon. Again it’s not close. They return a lot. They lose a lot, but they return a lot. It’s reminiscent of SPU two years ago; yeah, they lost a few major guys but they have guys that have been in waiting that we think aren’t going to miss a beat. With their success, we anticipate them getting the right transfers. They should also procure a trip back to the Regional without much issue.
Key Returners: Tanner Omlid, Alex Roth, Janvier Alaby.
3. Saint Martin’s. This is where it gets to be a complete mess. We ultimately picked SMU because they have a for sure proven center -you gotta have someone that can bang down low. They return plenty of other stuff too and then also proved that this team, keyword team, can dig in and win when it matters down the stretch.
Key Returners: Fred Jorg, Tyler Copp, Trey Ingram, Rhett Baerlocher, and Jordan Kitchen, + more.
4. Western Washington. They return just about everybody needed on a team that was a major disappointment. We think this team is addition by subtraction. They return a core of guys that all try really freaking hard every single second they’re in the game. Do they lose height? Yes. Does it matter? Not necessarily. You can play short as long as every single guy is committed to playing hard 110% of the time.
Key Returners: Trey Drechsel, Jeffrey Parker, Brad Wallace, Isom Brown, Evan Scholten, Brett Kingma.
5. MSU-Billings. Another team that returns a ton but did very little last year. We think that’s going to change because all of the guys have a year in the system and with MSUB it seems to be feast or famine; either they’re playing cohesively and are a good team, or they are a flaming pile of …. fill in the blank. We think this year is going to be an up year.
Key Returners: Kendall Denham, Marc Matthews, Jace Anderson, Emmanuel Olufemi, Preston Beverly.
6. Alaska-Fairbanks. The Nanooks owe this spot purely to Bangaly. Never underestimate a good power forward. The Nooks also have a good home [tundra] advantage. They don’t return much, but Bangaly was able to create like Elsa (from ‘Frozen’) last year and brought tons of energy. They were surprisingly good and we think he’s going to give them a lot to work with once again.
Key Returners: Bangaly Kaba, Zach Pederson, Brandon Davis.
7. Central Washington. They don’t return much, but they do have a good home court advantage. We also really do believe in Terry Dawn.
Key Returners: Terry Dawn, Naim Ladd, Drake Rademacher.
8. Northwest Nazarene. Prime example of a bad team that returns a lot, so they have to be a little better, right?
Key Returners: Nikola Prvulj, Bouna N’Diaye, Pol Olivier, Marko Lepovic.
9. CU-Portland. This is mostly our faith in their coaching staff. They won a lot on the NAIA level so at some point it will start transferring to the D2 level, we hope. They don’t return much, but maybe?
Key Returners: Drew Martin, Tyler Gutierrez, Davis Nuaimi.
10. Simon Fraser. We were going to put them last per usual and then we realized if you made us pick between facing Hidde Vos and JJ Pankratz or Joe Rasmussen and Will Parker, we’d pick the latter two; thus, SFU gets the nod. Their culture desperately needs a re-haul, and honestly we’re starting to kind of feel bad for them. We know they wouldn’t eliminate men’s football and basketball, but seriously: they have so many other sports that are actually good, that we feel like those two sports are just a big money sink.
Key Returners: JJ Pankratz, Hidde Vos.
11. Seattle Pacific. Someone asked us about our projected starters and we intentionally left out Will Parker because we refuse to accept that he has any business still playing for SPU, much less starting for the Falcons. Joe Rasmussen is in that same boat, but 6’8 guys are far less expendable than 5’10 ones. This is going to be a mess and only partly because of the coaching change.
Key Returners: [former assistant, now Head Coach] Grant Leep.
If anyone wants to talk us off the ledge, commiserate, or jump for joy with us (we are genuinely excited for the Seawolves and very curious about the land Wolves), leave a comment!