We didn’t bother to preview these games, but we are going to talk about them and it’s going to be great!
WOU 80 @ Tarleton State 72
Tarleton is a traditional power in the Lonestar Conference, which is the South Central regional, same as the RMAC. Theoretically it helps our strength of schedule slightly, but we’re still not convinced that anything outside of the West Region itself truly matters -the sample size is just too small. Still, losing this game would have been a big deal because it makes the entire region look weak, so it’s a good win especially for the GNAC.
Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan had five boards; Demetrius Trammell had 16 points on 4-4 shooting from the line; Tanner Omlid had 15 points, six boards, four assists, and three blocks; BRANDELL EVANS started and didn’t do much, but it’s still exciting to see him crack the starting line-up -he’s been great off the bench; Vince Boumann had 14 points and six rebounds among a full house of stats. Off the bench Riley Hawken had seven points and seven boards; and JJ Chirnside had 10 points and four boards.
Lots of guys ended up with four fouls, but the Wolves got through it and pulled out the ‘W.’ Nicely done WOU!!
Cal State East Bay 80 @ WWU 76
We honestly expected East Bay to lose by 20 or so, but this result is very mixed because quite frankly it helps no one. It just makes the West Region look weak because a couple of mediocre MSUB & SPU teams were able to beat CSUEB at home, and then East Bay comes up here and beats Western, whom just beat WOU. Now Western will go play some completely out of region teams, but because they’ve already lost three games, if they win it’s whatever but if they lose the entire Region looks worse. Fun.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had five assists; Logan Schilder had eight points and nine boards; and Deandre Dickson had 12 boards and was 8-9 from the line. Off the bench Brett Kingma had 11 points on 3-5 shooting from beyond the arc; and Siaan Rojas had 12 points.
Congrats to the Pioneers on a nice win and good luck to the Vikings in their upcoming games in Hawaii.
Prediction for the CWU vs. MSUB game: Pick ’em. MSUB has a great home hive advantage, the two teams should be relatively well matched, but… We think CWU has more talent, while MSUB tends to work together a bit more cohesively, so it should be interesting.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
THE WORLD IS ENDING, WWU LOST TWO GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s sarcasm, for those not fluent in the dialect of GNAC men’s basketball sarcasm. WWU lost to two very good teams, they seemed to improve in between, and both games went down to the wire. Remember, WWU had a heavily back loaded non-con, so these were the first couple of tests they actually faced, and they responded well.
Western Washington 83, West Texas A&M 90
Fun game to watch. The Vikings kind of went through the spectrum -they were down by a bunch, they walked back up, they got ahead, but ultimately we’re guessing WT A&M was a little more seasoned and they pulled it through. Now WWU is a little more seasoned.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford went 6/7 from the line; Trey Drechsel had nine points; Daulton Hommes had 10 boards; and Jeffrey Parker had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had eight points on good shot selection; and Deandre Dickenson had a good “debut” with 10 points in 15 minutes.
Simon Fraser 63, Tarleton State 88
Not surprising, but also not embarrassing; Tarleton State is a very good team. They’re also either racist or ageist in our experience; we were sitting at the South Central Regional with four black kids from Mid-Western State, watching the game like normal people (i.e. not yelling nor being in any way obtrusive) and their security was on us the entire time. So obnoxious.
Clan highlights: Andrew Williamson had 12 points; Iziah Sherman-Newsom had 13 points and six boards; Michael Provenzano had 16 points and seven assists; and off the bench Hidde Vos had nine points; while Graham Miller had five points and five boards.
Overall not too many bad numbers. It’s clear Tarleton achieved their goal of shutting down JJ Pankratz, who generally speaking is the biggest threat, but other than that… The Clan took advantage of Tarleton sticking to their own game plan, which is awesome.
Simon Fraser 58, Angelo State 83
Angelo State clearly was a bit worried and they came out swinging hard. Almost no good numbers were had by the Clan, which is what it is. Hopefully the guys learned something?
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had nine points; Tyrell Lewin had 10 points; and off the bench Kedar Wright!! had 15 points and five boards.
Western Washington 83, Tarleton State 84
This was such a good game and we know the Viks didn’t win, but they have such a young team and it was such a good learning experience, plus they had a bunch of really great numbers -they never panicked, which is huge. We followed along for most of the second half and it was super back and forth, WWU walked up, and couldn’t walk away unfortunately, but still. Tarleton State is theoretically really, really good, so… Quality loss? 100%.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 15 points; Trey Drechsel had seven boards; Logan Schilder had eight boards; Daulton Hommes had 20 points (nice bounce-back); and Jeffrey Parker had 16 points. Off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had a monster night with 17 points on great shooting.
The charts should be updated by the end of this week, discussions, all that good stuff, coming soon. Not sure about next week -it may be a dead week, we may have stuff to say. We’ll see.
Congrats to the Vikings on exp. earned and we can’t wait to watch you play again in a couple of weeks -same goes for you, SFU.
All times pacific.
WWU vs. West Texas A&M @ 1:15
SFU vs. Tarleton State @ 3:30
SFU vs. Angelo State @ 5:45
WWU vs. Tarleton State @ 8pm
It’s out-of-region, so we’re not super concerned, although now that so much play has happened we can at least get an idea of how good these teams are. Before we look we’re expecting Angelo State to be middle-of-the-pack and so a good challenge for SFU, while Tarleton will theoretically be near the top. West Texas A&M will probably be top 3?
Now let’s see if we’re correct:
Tarleton State is in fact near the top, with their one loss being an upset to CSU-Pueblo. Their record is 8-1, but the other side of this is that they really haven’t played anybody; they’ve had a lot of blowouts and then it looks like anybody with gumption while they’ve won they’ve kept it close. We expect them to win convincingly/blow out SFU, and then WWU to beat Tarleton State.
We’ve been the biggest Vikings doubters, even speculating that their coach’s seat is getting warmer (even if it’s not, prior to this season it should have been), but this year they’ve answered every question and so… We’re stopping our questioning. We’re convinced. We think they can do it.
West Texas A&M is truthfully better than we expected -they’re 12-1 with a win against Azusa Pacific. Although maybe we were expecting mid-season three losses rather than early season? Their record makes sense; West Texas tends to be really good and should be a really great challenge for the Vikings. Good game to watch on the computer while watching football on the TV, so… Tune in! We will be. Good luck Vikings!
Angelo State does in fact look to be middle of the pack -they’re 6-0 but have played few games, and lots of games against lower division opponents. They blew the lower division opponents out, and then have a close win to Mid-Western State of Texas, so we think that Angelo will likely beat SFU, but SFU could upset them, and theoretically it shouldn’t be a blowout of them.
Alright, results will go up on Tuesday, and then we’ll see about having a discussions post this week now that all of non-con will have been played. Plus, we need our annual sing-along!
Good luck to the Vikings and the Clan.
Yes, there’s not as much pre-season blogging this year, but we promise: We’re still just as committed as ever. As we’ve repeated a zillion times at this point -no one returns anything (except Anchorage), D2 is amazingly volatile in how much can change by adding ONE player to any given team ala NNU 2014-2015, so the speculation is pointless and not very fun. We left plenty of spaces on our pre-season all conference teams for new guys and we can’t wait for them take the conference by storm. Newbies in the GNAC -you have a place here. You belong. We cannot wait to see you play.
That being said: the NABC poll is out and here are teams we think are important to the GNAC basketball world in particular:
9. Cal Baptist
10. Tarleton State -plays both WWU and SFU in Vegas in about six weeks.
11. Chico State
12. Alaska Anchorage -in our opinion this is too low.
21. Colorado School of Mines -not a GNAC non-con opponent this year, but often are.
Other schools receiving votes: Western Oregon (27th), Azusa Pacific, Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, Dixie State, UC San Diego, and Point Loma.
It’s kind of funny -we’ll trust them on the CCAA and Pac-West schools receiving votes being legit, and from an out of conference perspective we’re sure that Seattle Pacific looks legit because it’s SPU, but… From knowing what we know about our own conference? SPU returns less than nothing.
Speaking of which: exhibition games are being played. Saint Martin’s played EWU and the score was close but the numbers were terrible. SPU played BYU and they got blown out but we saw a lot of really good numbers, so that’s interesting on both fronts.
More soon… Our “welcome back” post will probably go up next Thursday in anticipation of Friday’s games.
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.
Usually the rankings posts will be done all in one… this time they’re not, but both are listed here for comparison because curiosity killed the wildcat and here at the GNAC Men’s Basketblog we try and avoid suicidal tendencies in any of our member schools.
The NABC Poll
9. Western Washington
10. Tarleton State
15. Chico State
19. Cal Poly Pomona
22. Seattle Pacific
The DII Bulletin
9. Western Washington
10. Tarleton State
15. Chico State
19. Cal Poly Pomona
21. Seattle Pacific
That’s not the same list twice, only almost; Seattle Pacific is ranked one position higher in the DII bulletin’s poll. Do I disagree with either? No. How is that possible? Because pre-season rankings are meaningless. What is there to disagree with? You know what’s invisible after each one of those teams? 0-0 (0-0).
The only reason everyone talks about them is because there’s very little else to discuss in the realm of basketball. My recommendation? Discuss college football instead. Much better topic considering it’s eight weeks in and things are still almost complete chaos.
Tomorrow we’ll address the lull of posts.
We’re starting to get real news interrupting the planned posting! This is coming a couple of days late; right now we’re going for regular, rather than up-to-the-minute, but… that will change in the next few weeks.
Two days ago The DII Bulletin Pre-Season Top 25 list came out. On it also included their Pre-Season Sweet 16 Players to Watch. Notably it included Alaska-Anchorage’s Travis Thompson, which makes sense considering he’s pretty much the only returning major scoring threat on a a top half team.
As for the rankings…
9. Western Washington
10. Tarleton State
15. Chico State
19. Cal Poly Pomona
21. Seattle Pacific
On their others to watch list:
First of all: pre-season rankings mean NOTHING. Seattle Pacific started off at #1 last year and oh how far they fell, getting bounced in the first round and seeing only one GNAC team make the tourney.
Second of all: whenever you read “WWU” on this blog, it should mentally sound like “Dub-Dub-You;” not “Double You, Double You, You,” because that’s obnoxious.
All that to say: if they want to rank Western that highly, we’ll take it. Western is getting to be like Oregon, ‘scuse the cross reference. People will rank them highly until proven otherwise, and it seems deserved. There’s rationality that goes “they just lost Austin Bragg,” but rationality also goes, “Anye Turner should have a massive year and that team is always so deep.”
The only reason they didn’t make a run in the tourney last year is because of their failure to win the conference tournament mixed with two other non-bid receiving teams doing exactly that. If one of those other teams had lost, WWU would’ve been in.
Tarleton State is highlighted because they play WWU and NNU, respectively. The WWU/Tarleton game is gonna be so good. Haha, no way to lose: WWU blows them out, “YEAH, GNAC POWER!!” it’s a close game? “THAT WAS CRAZY!!” WWU gets blown out? Well, actually, I’ll be livid; the only time I ever root for WWU to lose is when they play SPU. They’re Portland, not the Oklahoma City Cloud Flatulence.
Chico State, mmm, they’re a returning Elite Eight team, so makes enough sense. Cal Poly Pomona we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, even though they got bounced in the round of 32 two years in a row. They have program depth; sure. Interesting that San Bernardino State isn’t listed at all; they must’ve lost almost everybody.
Seattle Pacific… I know too much. In that knowledge, I know not to care about rankings. If their final game of the season showed us anything, it’s that their underclassmen (and this year’s seniors) are ready and capable of taking on a much bigger scoring load.
Anchorage is a really good team to watch simply because of Travis Thompson, the potential support around him, and their notorious home court advantage. It’ll be interesting to watch it play out. The team is also likely to be playing with a chip on their shoulder the size of a glacier, so… could be good.
Tentatively, tomorrow will be the Pac-West vs. the Rest of D2.
The GNAC faces a grand total of nine different non-west division two schools over the course of 12 games. The schools come from three different regions and four different conferences, with an independent thrown in simply for pleasure.
Most interesting is that no west-region school would face any of the teams until the Final Four, and thus these games could help set the tone for what’s seen as a strong region vs. a weak region.
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference:
CWU and SPU play Minnesota-Crookston.
Minnesota-Crookston finished an impressive 1-21 in conference and 4-23 overall. The games are being played in the Seattle Pacific gymnasium and so it’s a literal home game for the Falcons and a virtual one for the Wildcats. While CWU will inevitably have some growing pains this year, seeing as they lost everybody on a team that finished a disappointing 8-10 in conference and 12-14 overall, this game should be a good chance to do some happy growing early in the year. SPU regardless as to the fact that they lost most of their scoring, shouldn’t have any issues considering the potential scoring threats they have waiting in the wings, no pun intended.
UAF plays Minnesota-Moorhead.
Minnesota-Moorhead finished in a three-way tie for first place in their division and a three way tie for 3rd place in their conference with a 15-7 conference record, and a 21-8 record overall. Ultimately, the school did not make the tournament nor did anyone else in their division; the Northern Sun received one auto-bid and one at large bid, both to schools in the other division. UAF is another GNAC team that suffered catastrophic losses, but they’re playing a virtual home game at UAA. The Alaska advantage is huge and Moorhead seems likely to overlook that little fact, thus while it seems likely that the Dragons will win -the Nooks should at least put up a fight.
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association:
SPU plays Washburn.
Washburn finished 5th in the MIAA with a conference record of 10-9 and overall record of 17-10. The conference itself sent four teams to the regional, and so while Washburn didn’t make the tournament, they were likely a very good team. This game is being played in Hawaii and so neither school is expected to hold an advantage nor disadvantage, and it should serve as a relatively good test for SPU with victory eventually being secured by the Falcons.
The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference:
WOU and SMU play Colorado Christian.
Colorado Christian finished 13-9 in conference and 18-15 overall, good for a 7th place standing in a difficult conference. WOU finished 4th and SMU finished 8th last year. Both teams return good cores of players. WOU finished 10-8 and 18-12; SMU finished 8-10 and 9-17. No team of the three made the tournament. The games are being played in Monmouth, thus it’s a home game for WOU. Generally speaking you never know what WOU is going to do, and so the match-up should be interesting; SMU, it’ll be a matter of whether or not they can solidify their identity this early in the season. If the Saints can, the odds seem good for a close game; if they can’t, it’ll likely be a blowout.
MSUB plays Black Hills State.
Both teams are the Yellowjackets. Black Hills State finished 8-14 in conference and 10-16 overall; MSUB finished 8-10 in conference and 12-15 overall. Black Hills State was by and far in the stronger conference, and the Montana Yellowjackets lost a fair bit of their core, but… This is actually a rivalry game. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. Black Hills killed MSUB last year, so it seems like the revenge factor might be there. MSUB is playing at home and they generally have a great home court advantage, but the wildcard of this year: the game lands the day before Elk and Deer season end. No prediction.
The Lone Star Conference:
NNU plays at Texas A&M Kingsville. NNU finished second to last with a 5-13 record in conference and a 7-19 record overall. TAMU-Kingsville finished 7-7 in conference and 19-9 overall. NNU has some interesting transfers coming in that could lead to big things, but it seems likely that Kingsville wins the game easily.
NNU and WWU both play Tarleton State.
NNU, as noted, was second to last in our conference, whereas WWU was second from the top although didn’t make the tournament. Tarleton won their conference with a 12-2 record and a 28-3 record overall. They made the tournament as the 2 seed and progressed to the round of 32, losing by a mere six points. Tarleton, like WWU, is a good team year in and year out; the match-up against NNU shouldn’t be a problem, and the match-up in Vegas with Western Washington should be one of the better games on the GNAC’s non-conference slate.
The Sunshine State Conference:
SPU & SMU play Rollins.
Rollins finished 14-13 overall last year and 8-8 in a conference that sent half their teams to the NCAA tourney, although they themselves didn’t go. Teams are different year to year and even day to day, but judging where each team finished and knowing how both SPU and SMU prepare… St. Martin’s and Rollins should be a fairly compelling match-up, but Rollins definitely holds the advantage. This is the first game either team plays in Vegas, and so the legs should be nice and fresh, which will hopefully lead to a competitive game.
Seattle Pacific is a different story; they’ll have played what’s likely to be a very exhausting game against Dixie State the day prior, and thus… they could be in kill mode, they could be in let-down mode, or they could be in “let’s get this over with mode;” we’ll have to see. It might be a good mis-match in SPU’s favor, or it might be a hard fought battle. It is doubtful, however, that the Falcons’ll get blown out.
Regardless of what actually happens, we’ll hope both GNAC teams show up in “WE LIVE IN CONSTANT DRIZZLE, TAKE YOUR SUNSHINE AND SHOVE IT,” mode. Not because the Sunshine State Conference isn’t fantastic, but simply because you know, stereotypes.
WWU plays Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. The team finished 2-10, and in the games they won had a combined margin of victory of four points. WWU is expected to have a great time on their vacation to Puerto Rico.
That is the D2 non conference for the GNAC; is the analysis in-depth? No. Because it doesn’t matter a ton anyway: the odds of a repeat game between one of the schools this calendar year is small, and the teams would be vastly different anyway. The implication overall will be basic: if we win, it won’t really say a lot; if we lose, it’ll say that we’re not as strong as we could be.
Thoughts on the DII Bulletin Pre-Season Top 25 is up next.