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.
First and foremost: We are failures because we thought we set this post to go up on Monday and we did not and so now it’s Tuesday, but here we go!
After last year, we’re questioning what the point of this is… We were SO wrong. But one of the best things you can cultivate is understanding why you’re wrong and/or why you lost. Understand, not accept. And in that understanding with this: It’s that these guys are real people, not Droids, and they do what they want -even when it’s to their own detriment.
The fact is: Pre-season teams are fun. So while they matter as much as a pick-up game in the middle of August, we’re still doing them! Woo-hoo!
Bangaly Kaba -Alaska-Fairbanks, Sr.
Suki Wiggs -Alaska-Anchorage, Sr.
Corey Hammell -Alaska-Anchorage, Sr.
Tanner Omlid -Western Oregon, Jr.
Sjur Berg -Alaska-Anchorage, Soph.
Jeffrey Parker -Western Washington, Sr.
Terry Dawn -Central Washington, Sr.
We always like to leave room for transfers because it’s D2 and we get a lot of really good ones. This year our conference collectively doesn’t bring a whole lot back. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be a down year in the slightest -it just simply means we don’t bring a lot back and transfers are going to be key players on almost every team, for good or for bad.
Curious to hear what you guys think -there were a number of people noted last week that were considered for the pre-season teams but we just didn’t feel like we had enough evidence, especially when so many transfers are going to see major minutes.
Next Monday: Gif reactions depicting what we’re anticipating out of each team.
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!
First things first: Sonoma State killed San Marcos.
Now onto GNAC stuff.
Alaska-Fairbanks 66 @ MSU-Billings 61
Good game, lots of back and forth, lots of clutch shots by MSUB to keep them in it, but ultimately they couldn’t overcome a Nanook team that just got beat by those pesky Seawolves.
Nanook highlights: Travante Williams had 26 points and seven boards; Almir had 10 boards; and off the bench Isaac Ladines had six boards. Lots of little contributions from a number of guys as well as some bad shooting numbers.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had eight boards; Marc Matthews had six boards; Emmanuel Johnson went 9/10 from the line and finished with 21 points and seven boards. Off the bench Jordan Perry had six points and six boards.
Hard defensively fought game, pretty good to see. Less than desirable shooting numbers, but nothing horrible so that’s good. Good game played by both teams.
Saint Martin’s 98 @ Northwest Nazarene 68
A full on blowout? Yup. We credit it with the high that the Saints had to be on after winning at CWU. Not too much to say, so we’ll get right into the numbers.
Saint highlights: Victor Ieronymides had 17 points; Cole Preston had six boards and nine assists -shots weren’t falling so he said “whatever” and got the rock to his teammates, awesome; Jordan Kitchen had 15 points; Rhett Baerlocher had 14 points and four assists. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 12 points and four assists; Isaac Bianchini had six points; Rojhai Colbert had eight points; Michael Painter had nine points; and Brandon Kenilvort had six points. Huge performance from the bench.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had 18 points and six boards; Detwon Rogers had 11 points and six boards; and coming off the bench Joel Devastey had 21 points on dynamite shooting.
This game epitomized the idea that basketball is a team game. We’ve like the Saints all year and are happy to finally see them clicking. Fred has been out; we’re not sure why, we don’t particularly care why, we’re just thrilled that their line-ups are finally working.
Western Washington 76 @ Concordia-Portland 80
Um, well, we said the Vikings were a mess. Case in point. But Concordia is getting better and losing by 20 to a no-win team had to be some nice motivation to at least try harder than WWU. They tried, they succeeded, and they looked good. It was a good game.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 13 points and four assists; Kyle Impero had 17 points; Trey Drechsel had eight boards, four assists, and three steals; Blake Bowen had four assists; and Jeffrey Parker had eight boards and 25 points. No real bench play.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 15 points and 10 boards for the double-double, looking like the real deal; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Riley Hawken had 22 points and eight boards. Off the bench Davis Nuaimi had eight points.
Good game, very good game, lots of back and forth. The Cavs play basketball in the right way and should be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
Simon Fraser 67 @ Western Oregon 77
Actually a really good game. The Clan is waking up and while they didn’t get the win, this is still super good progress.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had 18 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Graham Smith had nine points and six boards. Off the bench Oshea Gairey had 17 points; and Hidde Vos had seven points.
Wolf highlights: Janvier Alaby had 12 points; Julian Nichols had seven rebounds; Tanner Omlid had 17 points and nine boards, rounded out with a full house; Jordan Wiley had 10 points while going 5/6 from the line; and Andy Avgi was held to eight points and nine boards. Best we’ve seen a team get to him this year. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points; Kadeem Strickland had seven points; and Nick Nestell had five points.
Congrats to the Wolves on getting it done, but definitely a hearty congrats to the Clan for keeping the Wolves honest. We rarely see Andy pick up four fouls and he did last night, so that’s huge.
Seattle Pacific 68 @ Central Washington 71
CWU is a hard place to play. We say it regularly. Definitely top three in terms of homecourt advantage if you count the Alaskas as one (which you should) and that was on display tonight. Two years in a row the Falcons have gone into Nicholson and walked away with an ‘L.’
Falcon highlights: N/A, author’s discretion.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had nine points; Gary Jacobs had 10 points; Joe Stroud had 20 points and five boards; and Devin Matthews had five boards, nine assists; and eight points. Off the bench Drake Rademacher had nine points; and Chris-Michael Garret had 10 points.
Hard fought game, proud of the Wildcats for getting it done -great win CWU. Bubble burster for SPU? Maybe. To be discussed on Wednesday.
Sorry about the lack of nightlights. Blame the Falcons; we sunk into a deep, dark depression -although were very satisfied with how the night went overall. POW noms up at 10am tomorrow.
Hooooly guacmole, last night was FUN. Lots of GNAC nights are fun, but… What’s that? More chaos? Sure, why not.
Northwest Nazarene 59 @ Western Oregon 62
The Crusaders were in this almost the whole time. The Wolves built up a lead as they are wont to do, the Crusaders came back in and stayed back in. There were moments where just as you thought WOU would pull away for good the Crusaders took it back. Ultimately the win was not to be theirs, but valiant effort all the same. We’re impressed.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had a good game with eight boards and two assists; Bouna had seven boards, five assists, and 13 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright had five boards and 16 points. Off the bench Gonzo Santana had five points; and Marko Lepovic had seven points and six boards.
Wolf highlights: Julian Nichols had five boards and three assists, while going 10/12 from the line; Tanner Omlid had a fantastic game as a starting forward, finishing with 13 boards, three assists, three steals, five blocks, two fouls, and seven points for the full house; Jordan Wiley had 12 points and five boards; and the always amazing Andy had eight boards and 18 points, rounded out with a full house. No real bench play, although Alex Roth provided four fouls.
Central Washington 102 @ CU-Portland 75
CWU was on a mission after the close loss against WWU and knowing they have to play WOU this weekend. Concordia didn’t truly stand a chance.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 29 points, five boards, and went 7-7 from the line; Terry Dawn had six boards and fourteen points, along with four fouls; Joe Stroud had an amazing game with a full house including seven boards, four blocks, and 17 points; Devin Matthews had seven boards, six assists, and 10 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd had seven boards and 12 points on improved shooting; Drake Rademacher had 12 points; and Chris-Michael Garret had four assists and four fouls.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 22 points; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Riley Hawken had nine boards. Off the bench Jace Cates had 13 points and four boards; Davis Nuaimi had seven points; and James Phillips had five points.
CWU had a largely perfect game, except for their defense but… Best defense is a good offense, eh? While Riley Hawken of CU-Portland didn’t have a great game, the biggest thing to note is how many mistakes and traps he refused to fall into -that’s huge, huge, HUGE, so very proud of him for that. Keep building Riley, you’re already good and you’re going to be great.
MSU-Billings 64 @ Western Washington 79
WWU IS FINALLY ACTING LIKE WWU!!!!!! In the last few weeks the Vikings have clicked and clicked big and it’s so fun to watch. We’ve said all year that we like the line-up they have and the guys in the program but it hadn’t been cohesive, and… They’re starting to heat up at exactly the right time.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had five boards, four assists, three steals, and 12 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 25 points; and off the bench Preston Beverley had a crazy amazing 11 boards, four assists, and 14 points for the double-double.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 4 assists and 12 points; Kyle Impero had 17 points, 10 boards (dat double-double), five assists, and four steals; Trey Drechsel had seven boards and three steals; and Jeffrey Parker had five boards. Off the bench Evan Scholten had six boards and nine points; and Colby Mitchell had 10 points.
Blake Bowen went back to normal and how did Brett Kingma end up with five fouls? Like seriously. So confusing.
Saint Martin’s 73 @ Alaska-Anchorage 70
This game was terrifying and amazing and WHAAAAT!??! Part of us is like “oh lord, the Falcons are going to die on Saturday” but the other part of us is like “WHO CARES, THIS GAME WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!” Ridiculously proud of SMU for finally pulling a game like this out -we knew they could do it, always did, we’ve always believed in this team. Still -Anchorage put up a very good fight so congrats to the Seawolves.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had six boards and seven assists; Jordan Kitchen had two blocks and 13 points; Rhett Baerlocher had five boards and nine points; Fred Jorg had five assists and 16 points. Off the bench TREY INGRAM had four assists and five points -welcome back Trey!! He hasn’t been gone, but his numbers have been. Hopefully this does it and means the sophomore slump is over!
Seawolf highlights: Suki had seven boards and went 6/7 from the line, along with a full house; Corey Hammell had 16 poitns, six boards, and three assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband had five boards and 11 points; and the always ballin’ Brian McGill had seven assists, two steals, and 16 points.
Really exciting game, close pretty much the whole time, lots of pins and needles involved. Congrats once again to the Saints -we knew you could do it.
Seattle Pacific 79 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 69
Whoaaa, SPU went up by 22 and UAF battled it back but ultimately couldn’t do it. Still, a very valiant effort by the Nooks -we totally thought you were going to win, especially in the last five minutes. UAF is very difficult to play at and we’re still stunned that the Falcons got the win, to the point that we almost feel like apologizing to the Nooks. Go figure.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had six boards; Brendan Carroll had 15 points and six boards; Mitch Penner had a huge 29 points and five assists; and Coleman Wooten started for the first time and finished with SEVEN boards. Off the bench Gabe Colosimo had 13 points and three steals; Garrett Swanson had seven points; and Joe Rasmussen grabbed five boards and committed five fouls in nine minutes.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had five boards; Travante Williams had 19 points and seven boards; Joe Slocum had four steals; Almir had his way with the Falcons, picking up 18 points and six boards. Very little bench play.
The Falcons were up by a lot and almost choked then managed not to. Fairbanks is an incredibly difficult place to play, so good on them for battening down the hatches and surviving the blizzard. Almir completely had his way with Gilles, which is both hilarious and completely expected. FYR all day.
Ultimately a great night of basketball and one that provided plenty of ammunition for Saturday. Cannot wait to watch those games -it’s going to be a great day of basketball with lots of close match-ups, so… We’ll see. Game previews’ll be up at 11am PST.
Somewhat interesting night of conference play?
MSU-Billings 58 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 69
MSUB was actually leading for a good long while before UAF put the Jackets away, so that was kind of exciting. Good to see the Nooks pull it off.
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had six boards; Emmanuel Johnson had 22 points and five boards; Preston Beverley had 9 points off the bench; and Cade Alcorn had four boards off the bench. Yikes. Didn’t realize just how few players were involved in this until now and how badly the Jackets shot. The fact that they were in it at all is kind of a miracle. Going to say it’s a testament to the Nooks realizing they need to play defense rather than MSUB shooting until the polar bears came home (which they did) because MSUB usually doesn’t have a trend of shooting the moon.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 11 points; Joe Slocum had five boards; Travante Williams had seven boards and a full house; Almir had 15 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan had six points and four boards; and Isaac Ladines and John Renfro both also added four boards. Also a night of iffy shooting, which shows why the Jackets were in it for so long, but… Distribute. Distribute, distribute, distribute. Not worried nor ready to complain at Travante because it’s only the second game. Still, he really does need to be aware that he should be distributing if shots aren’t falling.
Kind of an ugly game, but maybe it’s just in the air. Here we were feeling all guilty about feeling all BLAHHH, but apparently it’s just an epidemic. At work that happens too; if one of us is late, all of us are late; if one of us wakes up unhappy, all of us wake up unhappy. No clue why, but it does reduce the guilt and is really fun when people wake up happy. A coworker has termed it the collective consciousness of working there. Seriously good times.
CU-Portland 99 @ Western Washington 119
Concordia was in this game for an uncomfortably long time if you’re a Vikings fan. If you’re a CU fan, you think that you’re showing promise and you sort of are, but sort of are not. WWU is not normal WWU this year and in that the Cavs could have won -they just needed to commit to defense, because clearly WWU wasn’t.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 29 points, four boards, and six assists; Latrell Wilson had 11 points; Jarrett Gray had five boards; RILEY HAWKEN STARTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and had EIGHT ASSIST AND EIGHTEEN POINTS; and Tyler Gutierrez had 13 points and four boards. Bench play was pretty non-existent. Maybe it should have been more so; the bench had a fairly decent number of turnovers, so up that cardio and go hard starters. So glad that Riley is starting!!!!! He reminds us of the other Riley, former conference player of the year Riley, and that is a very good thing.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 25 points and six assists; Kyle Impero had five boards, six assists, and 19 points; Jeffrey Parker had 17 points. Off the bench Trey Drechsel had 27 points and nine boards; and Colby Mitchell had 10 points. We hate to say it, but Mac shouldn’t be starting. Who to start instead? Up for debate. But Mac needs to come off the bench at least for a bit.
Exciting game if not lacking defense. Couldn’t be more proud of Riley, really happy for Trey -he was out all Fall and has made an immediate impact as we’ve entered the new year.
Northwest Nazarene 79 @ Saint Martin’s 72
Can we say that the Saints are officially in free fall? It feels that way, call us Chicken Little. Not that NNU doesn’t have their moments, but… This wasn’t really one of them and the Saints still managed to lose. Yikes. Oh well, good for the Crusaders for getting it done on the road.
Crusader highlights: BOUNA HAD 22 POINTS; Nikola Prvulj had 13 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright had 19 points. Off the bench Pol Olivier had seven points. What can we really say? The Crusaders got it done and Mike didn’t suffer from a case of excessive turnovers; it was officially a good night.
Saints highlights: Jordan Kitchen had 14 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Rhett Baerlocher had 10 points; Tyler Copp had 13 points; Fred Jorg had ten boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had four boards; and Michael Painter had five points.
…………. It was a game. It was played. Jordan Kitchen, Bouna, and Mike Wright all had good nights. Congrats to the Crusaders on the win.
Western Oregon 90 @ Simon Fraser 67
The Clan stayed in this for a longggg time. It’s kind of funny with WOU; ‘lesser’ teams they let hang around for an excessively long time before putting them away, whereas with SPU they put them away immediately but let the Falcons come back to tie the game. Interesting if nothing else.
Wolf highlights: Alex Roth had eighteen points and six boards; Julian Nichols had five boards; Jordan Wiley had five boards and 10 points; and Andy Avgi had 20 points and nine boards. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland and Janvier Alaby both added eight points; and Tanner Omlid added six points and six boards.
Feel like the Wolves overlooked the Clan slightly, but ultimately they got it done and that’s what counts.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had eight boards and five assists; Andrew Williamson had 15 points; Michael Harper had 17 points; and JJ Pankratz had six boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had nine points and four boards.
In the initial posting the Clan got skipped -sorry; we’d accidentally put your name first, so it had been mentally flagged as having been written about, but then we realized you guys weren’t. You played very well against a great WOU team, so our highest congrats on that.
Central Washington 62 @ Seattle Pacific 75
Interesting-ish game. The Falcons were up, then it was tied, then they put it away although there were times when the Wildcats started to reel them back in. Not a bad night for either team, although we’re sure CWU fans would beg to differ because, okay: maybe it was kind of a bad night for the Wildcats. Some of that shooting… woof. But they should take solace in the fact that they nearly matched SPU on rebounding, which is huge.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had eight boards; Joe Stroud had 10 points and five boards; Devin Matthews had 17 points; and off the bench Naim Ladd made his free throws to add nine points and four boards.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a quiet night with eight points and a full house; Brendan Carroll had fourteen points and five boards; Mitch Penner had 22 points and eight boards. Off the bench Joe Rasmussen had 16 points and five boards -interesting that the dude is finally functioning, although he should know that there’s an asterisk because rivalry game. Weird things happen during rivalry games.
This game finally went the way a game should for the Falcons, which is good and particularly excellent against a rival where there’s bad blood. None of the Washington schools like CWU, although we’re not aware if there’s explicitly bad blood between SMU and the Wildcats; we also hear that UAA really doesn’t like them, can assume that MSUB is in that camp, but we’re not aware with the other five teams. CWU is a weird team to dislike because they sit mid-pac and have for a while, but they’re arguably worse than BYU in how dirty they play and BYU is the cream of the crop in terms of dirty D1 teams.
Overall a pretty good night of basketball. There’s some stuff we want to nitpick with a few teams, but… The exhaustion hit early this year and judging by tonight it’s conference wide, so just not even going to go there. Congrats to all of the teams that won. Game previews’ll be up at 11am tomorrow morning.
…………. What a ride. Holy guacamole. With WOU and SPU losing, the instinct is to overreact to everything and question ourselves, but… We’re not quite ready to do that. We knew upsets would happen. Did we think it would be the first week? No. But the west coast as a whole is seemingly full of parity, so… Whether it’s the sky or merely confetti falling in your world today: Take a deep breath. It’s one game. There are miles to go before we sleep.
Simon Fraser 83 @ MSU-Billings 94
Proud of both teams. SFU was leading for a good long while before the Yellowjackets got serious and put the Clan away. Honestly, a fairly ugly game on behalf of Simon Fraser, but in that we’re ridiculously excited about Billings. Billings played their own game, kept their course, and pulled out a nice ‘W.’
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had nine boards; Max Barkeley had four boards, four assists, and five fouls; Michael Harper went 10/10 from the line, grabbed eight boards, and finished with 21 points; JJ Pankratz had 11 points and eight boards.
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had 27 points and two steals; Emmanuel Johnson had six boards; Jace Anderson went 7-7 from the line, had six boards, six assists, two steals, and finished with 18 points. Off the bench Preston Beverley had nine boards and 13 points; and Kendall Denham had 12 points.
Alaska-Fairbanks 79 @ Saint Martin’s 72
Interesting game. Fairbanks was blowing the Saints out for a good long while before SMU got back in it and then ultimately the game ended in fouling. Really great job by the Nanooks for getting their first win off the tundra, but great effort by SMU.
Nook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 11 boards, four assists, and nine points; Joe Slocum went 6-6 from the line, had 10 boards, and finished with 18 points for the double-double; Brandon Davis went 7-7 from the line, grabbed six boards, and finished with 22 points. The Nooks had just 11 turnovers, and put up a monster rebounding performance grabbing 46, although admittedly it was a high rebounding game; the Saints grabbed 40 themselves.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had six assists and 12 points; Tyler Copp had 15 points; Fred Jorg had 11 boards and 10 points. The Saints as noted grabbed 40 boards overall, and then also had a remarkably low number of turnovers with a mere eight.
Really excited to watch both teams play more. All of the guys showed great promise. Joe Slocum finally started functioning again and then we want to see Fred Jorg progress. Right now Fred is a massive turnover liability, but he has the potential to do well on this level.
Alaska Anchorage 61, Seattle Pacific 59
We knew this game would be close. We thought the Falcons would pull it out, but are ultimately very pleased with the Seawolves for getting a win off the tundra and potentially making a statement.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs grabbed 10 boards; Corey Hammell grabbed seven. Off the bench BRIAN MCGILL finished wtih 11 points in thirty minutes of fantastic play. We’re so glad to have Brian back, can’t express that enough.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had nine boards, four assists, and eight points; Gilles Dierickx had 16 points; Mitch Penner had six boards; Garrett Swanson also had six boards. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had four boards off the bench. Honestly this was a really ugly game, to the point that we’re walking away from how the Falcons were playing because it was that bad.
Overall the Seawolves held the Falcons to 19% from three and 33% from the field, which is amazing. It was a defensive grind it out and we could not be more proud of UAA. They’re going to head into Saint Martin’s all fired up and we’d say we expect them to win by a lot, but this conference has already proven that the vast majority of games are going to be ‘pick’ems’ which is just as well. It makes for tons of fun basketball.
Western Oregon 77 @ Central Washington 81
Unexpected, but definitely not a bad thing. Team Chaos. We weren’t on it, and now we’re bandwagoners and have no shame. More chaos, more fun. The Wildcats made some very, very smart plays, gutted and gritted it out and ultimately got it done. Ridiculously proud of them.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had eight boards and four assists; Alex Roth had 12 points; JULIAN NICHOLS had 29 points; Andy Avgi had 16 points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had four steals. Much like the SPU game, this was ugly. We’re thrilled to see Julian Nichols playing like we know he can, but… This was vomit inducing.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 15 points; Terry Dawn had five boards; Gary Jacobs had five boards; Joe Stroud had seven boards, four assists, and 11 points; and Devin Matthews had five boards. Off the bench Naim Ladd had four boards and 17 points; Drake Rademacher had a good night picking up 15 points on good shooting; Desmond Ross grabbed four boards and picked up 10 points.
Thrilled with the Wildcat performance, it’s one game, it could propel them to more. They shouldn’t have any issues with CU-PDX, so that’ll be good. Great performances in particular from the guys off the bench. At one point we thought Naim was going to get trampled, but he lives, so that’s good.
Concordia-Portland 87 @ Northwest Nazarene 83 in OT
Really exciting game to watch, it was a great way to spend NYE. Great to see Concordia get their first conference win and see their guys actually step into their new roles as D2 basketball players.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had eight boards and 30 points; Jarrett Gray had five boards, five assists, and 13 points; Tyler Gutierrez had seven boards. Off the bench Taylor Harris had five boards and five points; Riley Hawken had 13 boards and 12 points for the double-double. The team as a whole picked up -50- count ’em fifty, boards.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 10 boards; Bouna N’Diaye had five boards; Detwon Rogers had seven boards and 22 points; Mike Wright made 9-10 free throws. Off the bench Pol Olivier had six assists and eight points; while Kyle Bailey had six points and five fouls -you do you, big guy.
Reality says it was an ugly game; both teams had a crazy number of turnovers, but it was progress on both ends -particularly for the Cavs. We’ve been really excited for them to join our conference for a while now -Fall of 2013 was when we learned that they were and we thought it would be great; we had fun being out in Branson, MO with them last year, and we’ll see what they do. This win obviously doesn’t mean a ton, but it’s progress and progress is good.
It feels like we already have stuff to discuss, but the fact is: It was one day of basketball. Instinct is to praise the Wildcats and Seawolves like crazy and the nice thing would be to tell the Wolves and Falcons that it was merely one game. The reality is that the Wildcats and Seawolves need to look at it like “it was one game” and know that they still have a lot to do. With the Falcons and Wolves, it’s gut check time. It just is. It was some really, really, really nasty basketball, to the point that we didn’t single anyone out not because the numbers weren’t there for us to do just that, but because it’s beyond that. Usually we’re yellers, but those two games cause silence; there’s literally nothing we have any desire to say.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11ish.
Happy New Year, blog! Thanks for bringing us so much joy throughout 2015 -we look forward to tons more during 2016.
Wow. So much bad shooting. It’s not even that there was a ton of really, really good defense. Just lots of bad shooting.
Central Washington 71 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 82
Seawolf uses blizzard. It’s super effective. The Wildcat is frozen and cannot move. Come back Seawolf, you’ve done your job. Polarbear uses ice storm. It’s a critical hit. The wildcat is frozen and cannot shoot. All humor aside: Gary Jacobs went 2-20. Terry Dawn went 6 for 16. Devin Matthews went 1-7. Naim Ladd went 2-9. WHAT THE HECK?!? Guys will shoot as long as coaches allow it, so we’ll lay the blame squarely on Greg Sparling for this one. Yikes.
CWU highlights: Terry Dawn had 13 boards; Gary Jacobs had 7 boards; Drake Rademacher had nine boards; Devin Matthews had seven boards and five assists. Off the bench Joe Stroud had seven boards and seven points.
Nanook highlights: Alex Duncan had five boards; Bangaly Kaba bounced back and had seven boards, two assists, three streals, two blocks, ZERO turnovers, and two fouls, along with 17 points for a solid full house; Trevante Williams had seven boards, two assists, seven steals, four blocks, one foul, and nineteen points -another great outing, good to see him bounce back as well. Off the bench Neal Chavez had six boards; Zach Pedersen had 13 points; Brandon Davis had 10 points.
There were a whopping 109 rebounds grabbed in this game because the teams shot an average of 35% from the field. Yikes. We love rebounding, but not if it’s simply because no shots are following. Yeesh.
Northwest Nazarene 78 @ Alaska-Anchorage 90
This is why you play forty-full minutes. UAA was killing the Crusaders but with five minutes left the Crusaders turned it on, were within six or so, and then UAA decided to function again and the difference is as such. Still, huge effort and great advancement on the part of the Crusaders. We see it. We’re proud of you.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had a full house with six boards, one assist, one steal, one block, ZERO turnovers, four fouls, and fifteen points; Bouna N’Diaye had 17 points and five fouls; Pol Olivier had 24 points and five boards. Off the bench Gonzo Santana and Nikola Prvulj grabbed four boards a piece, with Nikola also picking up four assists.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards, seven assists, two steals, and went 9-12 on free throws; Diante Mitchell went 9-12 from the field and walked away with four boards, four assists, and 24 points; Spencer Svejcar finished with 12 points; Tayler Thompson grabbed five baords; Corey Hammell had a great game with 17 boards, three assists, and 17 points -huge, way to go Corey. Off the bench Christian Leckbend added 10 points.
Really not a bad game for either team. One of the better shooting games of the night. No super bad numbers outside of NNU’s Nikola going 0-5. Really like what we’re seeing out of Christian Leckbend -remember Christian, it’s not who starts games, but who finishes them, congrats on being a heck of a 6th man.
Saint Martin’s 73 @ SFU 66
Let’s just say this: it was a total and complete mess. Right now we’re really loving SMU so we’re going to say it was a matter of playing down to their competition, but holy human waste, yikes. The biggest highlight was the free throw shooting; SMU shot 75% while SFU shot 95%. The rest of the shooting? Not so hot.
SMU highlights: Jordan Kitchen had nine boards; Fred Jorg had 11 boards and 13 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 11 points; Brandon Kenilvort had 15 points.
SFU highlights: Oshea Gairey had 12 points; Max Barkeley had 26 points; Michael Harper had 16 points and six boards; JJ Pankratz had eight boards and three assists. Pretty much it.
Disappointing game. We were thinking SMU was going to be excited to get a big win after a close loss to WWU, but that didn’t happen. While you may be tempted to say it’s because SFU had a good game… No. The shooting doesn’t signify a good game and the fact that both teams still reached in the realm of 70 says defense wasn’t the focal point. Still, a road win is a road win so keep doin’ work Saints.
MSU-Billings 69 @ Western Oregon 91
Not a close game. Not many highlights for MSUB. We were crossing our fingers for progress, but… turns out the light at the end of the tunnel that was demolishing CU-PDX in the first half, was simply the oncoming train that is WOU. Choo choo Wolves.
MSUB highlights: Jace Anderson had 15 points. Off the bench Preston Beverely had 13 boards and 19 points; Kendall Denham had 10 points. Yup. Welcome to playing WOU.
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander had 11 boards, two assists, three steals, and 19 points; Julian Nichols had seven boards, seven assists, three fouls, and nine points; Andy Avgi had 27 points, four boards, and one of everything else for the full house. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had eight points; Tanner Omlid had six boards, three steals, two blocks, and 19 points.
MSUB used a really short line up; the wolves went deep. Everything happened as expected, if as not hoped for. Congrats Wolves.
Seattle Pacific 83 @ Western Washington 64
Some decent numbers. Nothing great, nothing really horrible. It’s hard to say this went as expected, but… Not too much color commentary can be done on this one because when these teams play each other you simply never know what’ll happen. We have no idea what to do with the Vikings. We’ve been trying to figure them out and we have one more game before we have to do our post non-conference reflecting to figure things out.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five boards, six assists, two steals, and 11 points; Gilles Dierickx had a double double with 10 boards and 14 points; Mitch Penner had five boards, five assists, and 17 points. Off the bench Brendan Carroll had 15 points on good shooting; Joe Rasmussen picked up four boards and 10 points in a mere eight minutes; Nathan Streufert had three blocks.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 18 points; Kyle Impero had five boards and 13 points; Colby Mitchell had eight boards; Jeff Parker had 13 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma had eight points. Pretty much it.
Both teams had very few turnovers, which is good. It’s hard to say what this game truly means. All of the major players from both teams use saw good minutes.
No games this week because of finals. Tomorrow the usual Player-of-the-Week stuff, then Tuesday will probably be a dead day, Wednesday discussions, Thursday maybe we’ll try to dig up some shenanigans, and Friday’ll be game previews for the next round of non-conference.
Happy 1st night of Hanukkah.
After last weekend’s grossness, we feel like so far… We’ve turned a corner. At least for a day.
Central Washington 100, Hawaii-Hilo 87
Um: Wildcats got it done. And it wasn’t looking good there for a while, but they finished with some really solid numbers. There really isn’t anything bad to say about this game, which is awesome. Yeah, there was some less than ideal shooting but nothing horrifyingly unpalatable.
Highlights: Joey Roppo had 18 points; Terry Dawn wasn’t shooting well but switched to rebounding and picked up seven boards in just 13 minutes; Gary Jacobs went 8/11 and 4/4 on free throws to finish with 23 points along with six boards; Joe Stroud had a FULL HOUSE grabbing six boards, two assists, one steal, four blocks, two fouls, and finished with 18 points; Devin Matthews grabbed SEVEN boards and SIX assists along with 15 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd was guilty of bad shooting but went 5/5 on free throws and grabbed five boards, so… Still not a bad day.
Alaska Fairbanks 81, CSU Dominguez Hills 73
We don’t consider this off-the-tundra and so it’s a little concerning but they pulled out the win, and a win is a win. Pretty good shooting with the exception of Ashton Edwards and Joe Slocum -they should feel ashamed of making what was a great performance by the rest of their team slightly off color. They peed in the perfectly pristine snow and now Olaf is sad.
Highlights: Bangaly Kaba had a double double with 10 boards and 18 points, along with picking up five assists and three fouls; Travante Williams had a FULL HOUSE with 15 boards, one assist, two steals, one block, two turnovers, three fouls, and sixteen points. Everyone else wasn’t great but wasn’t horrible either and it was enough. Less than ideal to rely on essentially two players, but… We continue to wait for Almir and Joe to show up.
Seattle Pacific 84, BYU-Hawaii 60
Um, Falcons say what?!? And this was without starters Brendan Carroll and Mitch Penner playing at all. Joe Slocum may not have shown up for UAF, but Joe Rasmussen showed up in a big way for Seattle Pacific. Joe’s performance is what a center should be: he missed two threes and then realized that the paint is his life’s will and made every single shot. It’s not that complicated. Other GNAC centers, please take note. We never thought we’d say that about Joe Rasmussen (okay, we did like three years ago when he committed to SPU, but not since then) and yet, here we are.
Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five assists, 12 points, and three fouls; Will Parker had seven assists and just two turnovers; and Gilles Dierickx went 6/6 and grabbed seven boards. Off the bench Joe Rasmussen picked up five boards while scoring 20 points; Nathan Streufert went 4-4 on FTs and grabbed five boards.
Western Washington 92, Flagler 53
Nothing bad about this game except the competition, ha! But seriously: The competition was bad and the Vikings got let out for a much needed run. Wednesday night was brutal. Good to see them bounce back, but really hard to know what it means. Flagler was 10-16 last year, so… The Vikings did what they needed to do, but it won’t feel right until they do it against a school that actually matters and they may not play one until January 7th. We’re sure everyone’s eyeing the SPU game on December 5th, but… We don’t necessarily agree. It’s at WWU, the Vikings should win because they have tons of experience and the Falcons have none. WWU rarely has a good time against UAF in Fairbanks and so from our perspective… That’ll be the bar.
Highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had five assists; Kyle Impero had 13 points; Colby Mitchell grabbed 11 boards and four fouls; Jeff Parker had seven boards and 20 points; Mac Johnson is slowly getting back to where he was with eight boards, 13 points, and two blocks, but… Really? Against Flagler? It still should have been more. Off the bench Brett Kingma had 13 points; and Harris Javier had five assists, three steals, and five points.
Colorado Christian 89, Simon Fraser 82
Not a bad night besides the shooting of Max Barkeley, the turnovers of Michael Harper, and the shooting of Oshea Gairey. No seriously, it was a good night. The Clan had every chance to win it and couldn’t get it done, but huge for growth. If you’re getting to the point of playing the fouling game with a very quality RMAC team, you’re making progress. They play the Cougars again today and hopefully will get the ‘W.’
Highlights: Hidde Vos had six assists and seventeen points; Max Barkley had six assists; Michael Harper had 13 points; JJ Pankratz had 12 points, nine boards, one assist, three steals, five blocks, three fouls, and ZERO turnovers for a gold star full house (that is: a full house without filling in the T/O column); finally, Tyrell Lewin had 10 points. Off the bench Gibran Sweani had 12 points on 6-7 shooting.
Western Oregon 79, CSU Monterey Bay 67
ANDY’S FIRST GAME BACK!!!!! And he came off the bench. Very exciting stuff. The team finally clicked, 100% what we expected, and we’re so glad to see the Wolves do exactly what we know they’re capable of. Still, let’s be real: This was CSU-Monterey Bay. It’s good to see them click, but there’s miles to go before they sleep.
Highlights: Devon Alexander had seven assists, three steals, and 10 points; Julian Nichols had a full house with two boards, two assists, three steals, one block, two fouls, and 20 points; Jordan Wiley also had a full house with four boards, one assist, one steal, one block, two fouls, and eight points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had eight points and four boards; ANDY AVGI, the man himself, had three boards, two assists, one steal, and 20 points.
Definitely a good night for the GNAC. Not really concerned with a loss to the RMAC just because the RMAC is projected as good and SFU is seen as a cupcake, so if the Clan can get the win today that would be really good, but it shouldn’t affect SOS too much -if anything it’ll affect Colorado Christian’s, so… Do it Clan!
What else? Travante Williams. Joe Rasmussen. JJ Pankratz. An Andy sighting. Definitely the most exciting parts of the evening. Ridiculously proud of all four of them. Intrigued by what’s on the horizon for today.
Alright GNAC: Onward!
It’s a little odd to make this Discussions post this early, but… Why not? Someone asked us about why we would have any faith in Garrett Swanson, and shockingly… Because he’s one of the few returning forwards, rather than stretch guards, that actually saw playing time in the GNAC last year.
With this… Husky-isms. One of Don James’s biggest philosophies was that often times the biggest battle of the week occurred in practice against the Scout Team. This means that we’re going to take bench players from SPU, WWU, WOU, those sorts of schools, more seriously because they face better competition in practice.
It’s been said before: if SFU finishes last in conference and all of their starters leave, that means the guys that remain couldn’t beat the team that finished last in conference. Which means that for this list they’re not gonna get any consideration because SFU is going to be relying on dynamite transfers. Dynamite transfers are a real and very awesome thing in the GNAC -this isn’t the post for them, but we will say that we did specifically reserve them spots on our pre-season all conference teams.
With that, RETURNING PLAYERS of note:
Joe Slocum (UAF) -redshirted last year, started the year before that, surrounded by modest talent.
Brian McGill (UAA) -not a great returning cast, but with good transfers anything is possible.
Ricardo Maxwell/Harris Javier (WWU) -both started a lot, both had good moments, tend to veer on the side of Ricardo Maxwell but both saw a lot of minutes considering WWU only went seven deep.
Kyle Impero (WWU) -largely served as the 6th man last year but really played well late as he got comfortable at D2.
Trey Ingram (SMU) -young, but incredibly promising; love this kid.
Kendall Denham (MSUB) -again, young but very, very, promising, has great chemistry with Momir.
Gary Jacobs/Joey Roppo/Terry Dawn (CWU) -all had a number of good moments, CWU it’s about the whole team, their chemistry was just fantastic.
Julian Nichols (WOU) -our favorite returning guard in the conference.
Devon Alexander (WOU) -had a really great non-conference and then was comparatively silent in conference play.
Noticeably absent: SPU -no. No. No. NO. NNU -Mike Wright is a poor man’s Brendan Carroll and Brendan Carroll is nowhere to be found on this list. SFU -Michael Harper is middle of the pack and until we know what the Clan bring in to support him, it just doesn’t seem like he’ll have a very easy time showing his abilities. CU-PDX -??? Graduated everybody.
Garrett Swanson (SPU) -this is almost 100% because of his body. 6’6/230lbs of rock hard muscle. He is the opposite of the power
forward SPU had last year, and we don’t think he’ll be as good, but he still should be effective.
Mitch Penner (SPU) -Kid can play 1-4 competently, but is definitely best at small forward; can the Falcons keep him there?
Victor Ieronymides (SMU) -Ish. This may be us giving SMU the benefit of the doubt. Had good moments.
Momir Gataric (MSUB) -good chemistry with Kendall, good weight, 6’5/210ish? Very solid last year.
JOE STROUD (CWU) -our favorite returning power forward, cancer is gone, elite teamwork, let’s see it. Can’t wait.
Jordan Wiley (WOU) -had moments of quality.
ANDY AVGI (WOU) -our favorite returning small forward.
Noticeably absent: UAA -Christian Leckbend & Sjur Berg; just because Kalidou is gone doesn’t mean they get spots on this list. SFU -no one. WWU -no one. NNU; no one. CU-PDX; ???.
We were asked about why were looking forward to Andy & Garrett matching up and honestly it’s because they’re two of the biggest forwards on two of the most “known” teams (aside from WWU), and WWU merely returns a guard sized forward (6’6/200lb Jeff Parker) and then brings in a 6’8/220 frosh. It seems likely that WWU’s inevitably gonna end up sticking (C) Mac Johnson on Andy, which those two match up really, really, really well, but we’re not sure what Blake Bowen is gonna be able to do in the paint, so… could be very exploitable if WOU brings in a good supporting cast.
Why we’re curious about SPU using Garrett is that he’s one of the only forwards (and the only returning forward) that will actually be dealing with Andy because Andy is such a banger and most other teams will likely be sending in their respective centers. It’ll be interesting to see what the JuCo guys do and how the teams try and neutralize him. While every coach will tell you “We don’t game plan for one particular player, we play our game and they play theirs,” we have to call BS. If you don’t game plan to try and neutralize Andy, you’re asking for trouble; if you see Andy positively crushing a team, remember: the team didn’t plan to fail, they likely failed to plan.
D2 centers can be rare creatures and we actually really like both of those two a lot. Mac has decent footwork, has been proven to shoot the three, and should have a good supporting cast of guards if not forwards. Breaking in a couple of forwards could actually really work in making him a huge focal of the WWU offense, so if he can take the mantle things could look fantastic. Almir is another of our favorite guys and it really is going to depend on his supporting cast in a sense, because he can’t do it all himself. He had a number of super good games and we can’t wait to see his progress this year.
That’s pretty much who/what’s returning. Can’t wait to see what the transfers bring in. And remember returners: Ask not what your transfers can do for you, but what you can do for your transfers -we transferred into the GNAC once upon a time and the cultural adjustment was rough, so be nice.