Tonight was arguably the best night of conference basketball we’ve seen this year and we can’t wait to talk about it, so let’s jump right in.
Seattle Pacific 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 71
Was it as bad as it could have been? Absolutely not. Was it good for the Falcons? Not at all. And with that we can’t even say it was good for the Crusaders because that’s just disrespectful. Congrats and good on the Crusaders for continuing to press on.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt finally bounced back on his shooting and had 13 points, seven boards, and six assists; Gilles Dierickx had seven boards; Mitch Penner continued on his tear and had 27 points and seven boards. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had 11 points and three boards on perfect shooting; Gabe Colosimo had five points; and Joe Rasmussen had six boards.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had 15 points; Detwon Rogers had 25 points and seven boards. Pretty much it.
Simon Fraser 90 @ CU-Portland 70
So SFU finally clicked. We knew it would happen at some point. Concordia had been looking better, but… apparently not.
Clan highlights: Andrew Williamson had 12 points; Max Barkeley had 17 points; Michael Harper had 11 boards. Off the bench Oshea Gairey had 22 points and six assists; and Hidde Vos had 15 points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards and four blocks along with a full house; Latrell Wilson had 17 points; James Phillips had 12 points; Riley Hawken had 14 points and eight boards. Off the bench John Erickson had seven points; and Dennis Ahana had 12 points.
Basically not too much bad shooting on behalf of the Cavs, but questionable rebounding and a zillion turnovers will do you in every time. Congrats to the Clan on their first D2 win of the year.
Western Washington 85 @ Western Oregon 90
It happened pretty much as expected. Western Washington proved thoroughly they could hang and then started playing selfishly while Western Oregon continued to play team basketball and Western Oregon got a much deserved victory.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 35 points and five rebounds; Kyle Impero had 12 points and nine boards; Trey Drechsel had 21 points and nine boards. No bench play what-so-ever. Three guys can win if everyone else is playing team basketball; the Vikings don’t.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 11 points; Julian Nichols had a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists, while going 9/10 from the line; Tanner Omlid had 11 points and eight boards; ANDY AVGI had a MASSIVE 34 points and 14 boards. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points.
Really ridiculously proud of the Wolves. They got a major test as number one and overcame it. Good job and enjoy slaughtering SFU.
Saint Martin’s 84, Central Washington 77 in OT
This is a big win, don’t care who you are nor what your record is, because winning at Central is hard, they have a huge home court advantage. That being said: This game was close almost the entire time. There was a bit there when SMU was up by quite a lot, but we didn’t buy it for a second. Not because of SMU; simply because no team in our conference can seemingly hold onto a lead and so of course SMU was no exception, but they still went on to get the job done in overtime. Wow.
Saint highlights: Jordan Kitchen had three steals; Rhett Baerlocher had eight boards, four steals, and rounded it out with a full house; Tyler Copp had five boards, five assists, and 21 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 18 points, four boards, and three assists; and Brandon Kenilvort had 14 points and four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had seven boards; Joe Stroud had 11 boards and 23 points for the double-double; Devin Matthews had seven boards, 10 assists, and 10 points for the near triple-double; and off the bench Naim Ladd hit his stride, scoring 24 points.
The Saints were without Fred Jorg, which oddly enough we thought made a lot of sense in terms of why they won. Not sure if the Widlcats got to game plan for it, but that would explain why Joe had great stats and no onelse really did; game planning gone to waste.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 @ Alaska-Anchorage 76
Close to the point of insanity the whole game. It was amazing. Both teams are really good. Sort of not surprised Anchorage won because their den is hard to penetrate.
Nook highlights: Bangaly had 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists; Travante Williams had seven boards and shot 100% on six free throws; Brandon Davis had 17 points; Almir had 12 points. No real bench play.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards; Corey Hammell had 15 boards; Drew Petersen had 14 points; Brian McGill had 28 points and five assists while going 9/10 from the line; and Christian Leckband had five points off the bench.
Great jobs to the Seawolves for containing Almir -huge, huge, huge. Great rivalry game, definite blessing to get to follow along with. We’re so jealous of the geographic rival thing. So much more fun than anything else because you also actually like each other opposed to just the pure hatred rivalries.
Aaaah, there are only five regular season conference game days left. It’s odd because now we’re alumni and so it’s like “well duh we’re coming back” and yet at the same time… The idea of eight months of no GNAC basketball still makes us really sad, especially because tonight was so amazing. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
Wow. What a week for Player-of-the-Week. There were some really, really crazy amazing performances, and then there were teams that had no good performances what-so-ever -looking -at you NNU and Simon Fraser. Simon Fraser was admittedly getting brutalized by the Alaska schools, but… Woof. Coach Oz, Seawolves, and Polar Bears, oh my.
We will say that a lot of the guys that merely got nominated this week would have won in almost any week prior to this, so yeah. Performances were that good.
UAF: Travante Williams -a couple of great games against SFU and WWU.
UAA: Brian McGill -he’s amazing, he makes his free throws, we got tons of questions about him when he played WWU, and the biggest sentiment was what if he was actually a student athlete and had played the whole year.
SFU: N/A —> Donated to Suki Wiggs of UAA. Terrible from the field but draws the foul and makes his free throws.
WWU: N/A —> Donated to Corey Hammell of UAA. Rub salt in the wound for the Vikings, but we love Corey and while we noticed he’s definitely 6’5 rather than his listed 6’6, we swear by undersized power forwards so we take no issue with it.
SPU: Mitch Penner. Two great games, kept his intensity and got people back in it against Concordia when the Cavs were threatening to make a game of it.
SMU: N/A —> Donated to Gilles Dierickx of SPU. Don’t get us started on the number of shots he misses, but he did manage to stay out of foul trouble.
MSUB: Marc Matthews -two solid games, led the Yellowjackets to overtime against CWU and helped in the blowout of NNU.
CWU: Gary Jacobs -dude gets boards like whoa and makes his free throws. What more could you ask for?
NNU: N/A —> Donated to Julian Nichols of WOU. Makes his teammates better, although his shot was definitely off in both games.
CU-P: Drew Martin -two really good games, shockingly. It’s hard to have good games when your team is getting blown out and yet Drew kept his fundamentals going and did his best to lead his team.
WOU: Andy Avgi. Actually had a couple of merely “okay” games offensively, but his defense and body control is nuts.
Winner’ll be up in an hour.
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!!!! Go Panthers. We’re of the mind that if a team beats us, we want them to do as well as possible to legitimize our loss to them. We’d rather lose to a great team than a bad one.
This’ll be the first of two posts today because OF COURSE we want to check in officially in regard to D2West stuff, but while we contemplated merging the posts… We decided to make them separate.
Northwest Nazarene 54 @ MSU-Billings 75
Not really too surprising. Really happy to see that Emmanuel Johnson was back in the rotation, if not playing well. Billings turned into the black hole that usually is only associated with Nampa or Burnaby, so we have no idea how the game went, but here are the numerical highlights:
Crusaders: Off the bench Gonzo Santana had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Yellowjackets: Preston Beverly had nine boards; Marc Matthews had 25 points and six boards; Emmanuel Olufemi had six boards, four blocks, and 13 points; and off the bench Jordan Perry had five points and six boards; while Sven Jeuschede had eight points.
Alaska-Fairbanks 78 @ Western Washington 64
You mean the Vikings didn’t lose by 25? It felt like they lost by 25. The Vikings had to sign autographs after this game, no joke. We didn’t stick around; we like angry men’s basketball players, and we like torturing men’s basketball players, but we frown on other people doing the torturing. Maybe the biggest question of the night: How do you pronounce Almir’s name? According to the UAF website: Hodd-zee-SAY-ho-vitch. We’d been pronouncing it “Hodds-hi-So-Vich” but that’s mainly so we spell it correctly. Go figure.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had seven boards; Joe Slocum had 10 points; Travante had 29 points and eight boards; Brandon Davis had 10 points; and Almir had 13 points, which we’re kind of surprised about because we expected him to light up the tuckus of WWU’s Blake Bowen. Shockingly minimal bench play, but… The starters were kind of on fire, so how much bench play did they really need? Zach Pederson had six points.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 16 points and five assists; Trey Drechsel had five boards; Blake Bowen had eight points; Jeffrey Parker had nine points; and off the bench Evan Scholten had eight points; while Colby Mitchell had seven points.
Bad night for the Vikings. We’re excited for the Nooks -they were shooting really, really well, but at the same time it doesn’t negate us from bashing our head against a wall in regard to WWU. The conference tourney spots are pretty much set, so now it kind of behooves all of us for every team to play well and be competitive, so even Nook fans should kind of be going “Really WWU, really? We’d like more of a challenge than that.”
Alaska Anchorage 88 @ Simon Fraser 66
Yeah, it eventually ended up looking like that but for a while it was looking like an overlook special was going to come out of it, which admittedly had us quaking in our boots just a bit. Again: the conference tourney teams are solidified, so now on a conference level we want those six teams to look really freaking good.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had five boards, three assists, and two steals; Corey Hammell had 10 points and five boards; Brian McGill had 34 points and four steals while shooting something of 90% collectively and being 11/11 from the free throw line. Off the bench Christian Leckband had eight points and 11 boards.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had six assists; Max Barkeley had 11 points; Gibran Sewani had 16 points; and JJ Pankratz had six boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had eight points and four steals; and Bowen Bakken had seven points.
This game happened. It was played. The Clan continue their quest for 0-20. We still don’t think it’s going to happen, but they are one step closer.
CU-Portland 64 @ Saint Martin’s 81
Very misleading score. Concordia was up. Concordia was dominating. And then they weren’t. And then they really weren’t. And now they lost big at SMU when they had been leading big at SMU because d2west, that’s why. They should just be happy they’re not relevant like CBU and Dixie State. Maybe.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 25 points and 12 boards; James Phillips had five boards; and off the bench John Erickson had eight points.
Saint highlights: Victor Ieronymides had five boards; Cole Preston had eight assists; Rhett Baerlocher almost had a double-double with 12 points and nine boards; Tyler Copp had six assists. Off the bench TREY INGRAM IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ve been waiting SO long and he comes out with a whopping 28 points. Isaac Bianchini also had a MONSTER game of a coming out party, finishing with 23 points while going 6/8 from three.
Proud of the Saints. Scratching our head at Concordia. Youth? Well, the Saints are really young too, but… Sure, youth Concordia. Much like you think the earth has (their official curriculum states that the earth is roughly 8,000 years old, because Jesus).
Western Oregon 84 @ Seattle Pacific 82 in OT
Was this the game of the night, or was this the game of the night? It was the game of the night. The Falcons were up by a ton and then of course let the Wolves come back and here we are. We were following this game super, super closely and the people around us were kind of keeping a thread of it and they’d gasp and be like “but!” and we’d be like “No. This game isn’t over until the bald guy stops fouling intentionally.” It was nuts. It was full on nuts. But alas… Here we go with the numbers. The numbers make us happy because here’s a game that went into OT with fouling on both sides and yet it still only hit the low 80s.
Warning: Some of the numbers we’re going to highlight we usually would never highlight, but this game was between two of the best teams on the west coast and defense doesn’t show up in many box score numbers.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had four rebounds and three assists; Julian Nichols had four boards and four assists and rounded it out with a full house; Tanner Omlid had six boards, 16 points, and five fouls on great shooting; Jordan Wiley had 17 points and three steals; Andy Avgi had 29 points and three steals. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points and three boards.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had eight boards and seven assists; Brendan Carroll had six boards; Gilles Dierickx had 11 boards and 10 points; Mitch Penner had eight boards and 23 points. Off the bench Sam Simpson had six points; Joe Rasmussen had eight points; and Gabe Colosimo had 12 points.
Maybe the weirdest thing about this game is that supposedly the Wolves had 26 boards and the Falcons had 46, and yet the Wolves still won. We’re actually not sure we believe that rebounding score -not on behalf of the Falcons; they get boards, always have, usually will; but it seems shocking that the Wolves had roughly half, granted… 26 isn’t abnormal for a team in the GNAC, especially one that plays SPU, and yet to still walk away with a victory… Huge. We’ll talk about more implications of this game in the next post, but for now… Wow. Congrats to both the Falcons and the Wolves on playing an incredible game.
Later today we’ll go over the West Region stuff and then tomorrow POW noms and announcement.
Whoa. Two OT games, one of them being double OT and actually a better game than the great game we anticipated, even. With that, let’s dive in:
UAF 78 @ SFU 68
*shrugs* Well, we did say that this could happen. It took a long time for UAF to actually walk it up on the Clan -it was close for a very, very long time, then the Nooks almost pulled away before the Clan pulled them back in. Good to see a score like this, sort of? Wouldn’t necessarily say it was good defense so much as shots not falling, but… Again: Overlook factor. Big. We always talk about it and the Nooks lingered in the trap for a very long time.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had five boards; Joe Slocum had 10 points and five boards; Travante Williams had eight boards and 13 points, along with a full house; Brandon Davis had five boards; Almir had a monster night going 9/12 and grabbing six board to finished with 24 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan and Neal Chavez had six points a piece.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had 17 points; Michael Harper had a great game with 23 points and six boards; and off the bench Hidde Vos had eight points, while Graham Smith had five points.
The Clan will beat someone this year. It wasn’t the Nooks, we don’t expect it to be the Seawolves, but keep your eyes and ears open because no one goes 0-20.
CWU 88 @ MSUB 78
Big game. It’s hard to play in Billings, they have a great homecourt advantage, but the Wildcats pulled it out. Do we see the Wildcats contending for an at-large berth? Not at all. Because incest. And Simon Fraser as incest on top of it. But they will have a chance to challenge for the conference auto-bid.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 15 points; Gary Jacobs had 20 points and 14 rebounds on perfect free throw shooting; Joe Stroud had 10 points and eight boards; Devin Matthews had 12 points and five boards; and fff the bench Drake Rademacher had eight points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 21 points and nine rebounds; Kendall Denham had 13 points; Marc Matthews had five boards and four assists; Jordan Perry had 10 boards, eight points, and five fouls; and off the bench Emmanuel Olufemi had 13 points.
Crazy intense game, great job by both teams.
WOU 74 @ SMU 62
This game makes us laugh, mainly because we called it. WOU gonna WOU and SMU gonna SMU, but we saw both sides of both teams until WOU finally put the game away. Great job by the Saints for staying in it for so long -if we saw correctly, they stayed in it until about five minutes left in the game.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 13 points; Julian Nichols 17 points while going 9/9 from the line; and Andy Avgi had 18 points, nine boards, and five blocks, rounded out by a full house. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had 10 points; and Alex Roth had eight boards.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 17 points and four assists; Jordan Kitchen had 9 points; Fred Jorg had 14 points; and off the bench Trey Ingram had 14 points and five boards. Brandon Kenilvort also had five boards off the bench.
Congrats to WOU on pulling it out -it was dicey there, but you got your heads in the game. Good luck to the Saints against a Concordia team on the rise.
CU-PDX 54 @ SPU 76
That score is a bit misleading -Concordia led for a bit in the first half (ten minutes-ish) but then the Falcons decided to get serious and put it away as appropriate. To be fair Concordia did play some legitimate defense -the Falcons had tons of missed shots and a lot of their numbers are nauseating.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 12 points and seven boards; and John Erickson had 10 points off the bench.
Falcon highlights: Brendan Carroll had seven boards; Gilles Dierickx had 11 boards; Mitch Penner had a crazy amazing game going 14-16 from the field and grabbing eight boards; GARRETT SWANSON HAD SEVEN BOARDS; we shout because that’s a miracle for that kid. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had five boards; and Gabe Colosimo had 15 points.
UAA 108 @ WWU 105 in 2OT
We’ve gotta be serious: This is definitely in our top 5 favorite attended collegiate games ever. Among those games is Gonzaga @ Washington of ’05-’06, aka the Brandon Roy/Adam Morrison battle, so very high praise. Ridiculously proud of both teams, especially the Seawolves because THEY MADE THEIR DARN FREE THROWS. And they won. As noted on Twitter: this definitely helps the Seawolves in their quest for an at-large berth, while it doesn’t affect the Vikings too much because they have no shot at an at-large and they’re pretty much guaranteed to make the conference tourney and shoot for the autobid anyway.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards, four assists, and shot 75% from the line on 20 shots, only to be rounded out with a full house and culminating in 33 points; COREY HAMMELL HAD 15 BOARDS AND 13 POINTS and went 7/7 from the line -we love his game so much; Brian McGill went 15-15 from the line and finished with 31 points; and off the bench Christian Leckband had six boards and five points.
Viking highlights: Kyle Impero had 37 points, six boards, and five assists; Trey Drechsel had 18 points and a full house; Blake Bowen had seven boards; and Jeffrey Parker had 25 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma had eight points and Colby Mitchell had six points.
The game was nuts, somehow Coach Oz avoided a technical. It was kind of awkward; we were telling the people we were sitting with a story about his propensity for technicals before looking up and realizing he was standing literally right in front of us. Luckily at the end of OT at least two of his players restrained him after he’d already gotten almost to center court, no joke. We swear by nutso coaches, so we love Coach Oz, but… Really: He deserved a technical. The other big thing was that the Seawolves managed to shut down Ricardo Maxwell and the Vikings managed to shut down Spencer Svejcar, so good on that respective defense.
Yes, it’s up late. Throw tomatoes. We’ve actually been working, and then are still recovering from the WWU/UAA game and going over every second of it because IT WAS AMAZING. So thanks to both the Vikings and Seawolves for that.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
Lots of good games played by lots of guys; this is the first week where only one spot is being donated and there are multiple guys actually getting missed -that’s a good thing. There’s still tons of parity and while there were lots of great single game performances, there were only a few guys that were great on both days.
UAF: Travante Williams – a couple of really balanced performances against Spartin; good number of rebounds, assists, points, free throw makes, all of that good stuff.
UAA: Brian McGill -made his debut back in the starting line-up against SPU, but had a couple of consistent days, which is great. Lots of assists, which we love to see because his vision and unselfishness has long epitomized his game.
SFU: JJ Pankratz -just squeaked in, almost had some friendly fire, but triumphed over it; he’s the most consistent guy the Clan has by a long shot.
WWU: Kyle Impero -another super consistent guy; his shots haven’t been falling, but he’s great on defense and always involves his teammates, his motor never stops.
SPU: Mitch Penner -Still waiting for his rebounding to bounce back, but absolutely put the team on his back in regard to scoring and assisting against the brutal back-to-back that is Bankorage.
SMU: Cole Preston -made his free throws, grabbed boards, and assisted his teammates on both nights. Love it.
MSUB: KENDALL DENHAM IS BOUNCING BACK!!!!!! So excited to see the sophomore get out of his slump and help propel his team to victory, particularly with his commitment to defense.
CWU: Devin Matthews -grabbed boards, made his shots; quintessential ‘big’ responsibilities.
NNU: Joel Devastey -another big getting it done, grabbing boards and making shots.
CU-P: Donated to Tanner Omlid of WOU; Tanner had a fantastic game against NNU in respect to grabbing boards, and then shot 100% against CWU. Even if it was “only” five shots, it’s still very impressive.
WOU: Are you really wondering? OF COURSE IT WAS ANDY. Shootin’, assistin’, boardin’, avoiding getting fouled. That’s just Andy for you.
Fun week, lots of parity. Winner’ll be up in an hour.
This post is going up on time even if we have to tie ourselves to our chair with an IV drip of glucose to keep us awake.
Seattle Pacific 74 @ Alaska-Anchorage 71
We keep inverting that score because we still can’t believe the Falcons won. They were at Anchorage, incredibly young team, terrible free throw shooting, atrocious rebounding, they lost to UAA at home… The reasons go on. They got it done.
Falcon highlights: Brendan Carroll had 14 points; Gilles Dierickx had 13 points and eight boards; and Mitch Penner had 24 points and six boards. Coming off the bench once again, Coleman Wooten had 12 points.
Seawolf highlights: Spencer Svejcar had a huge game with 23 points; Corey Hammell had eight boards; Brian McGill was back in the starting line-up and finished with 14 points and six assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband had five points; and Damien Fulp had seven points.
Down by 16 at one point, the Seawolves fought until the very end and almost had it. We sense that revenge may be coming in the conference tournament if that match-up happens because this was a weird one (although typical for SPU) where the Falcons got a lead and then gave up and then almost lost but not quite. Youth. No real experienced leaders. Hmmm. Congrats to Anchorage on a game well played; great sportsmanship, made their free throws, did all the right things. Very good team. If you didn’t look at our Late Night Hoops post, we currently have them projected as the 7th seed in a very crowded and talented west region, so we know just how good they are.
Central Washington 68 @ Western Oregon 85
We get the feeling that we care about that score more than most CWU fans. It was close for a while and then WOU opened it up through amazing rebounding and slice and dice shooting and it was all over.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had five boards and 17 points; Devin Matthews had six boards and 13 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd had four boards and Desmond Ross had six points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 17 points; Julian Nichols had six boards and eight assists; Tanner Omlid had nine points; Jordan Wiley had 10 points and six boards; and the Always Amazing Andy (that’s not sarcastic, we promise!) had seven boards, four assists, four steals, and 27 points. Wow. “Off the bench” Alex Roth had 10 points. He’s not a bench player, he’s a 6th starter, although not sixth man because sixth man is defined and Alex and Tanner keep switching. They’re both starters.
Fun game if you’re a Wolves fan, not so fun if you’re a Wildcat but if you have to lose to someone -WOU is the team that it’s not as painful because they are really, really good. We officially feel like we can call them the #1 team in the region at this point, which is very exciting. Chaos has reigned but since the loss at CWU the Wolves have been consistent in getting it done.
Northwest Nazarene 70 @ CU-Portland 72
Mike Wright took the final shot, and it was the right decision because the Cavs defended Bouna so well. The Cavs targeted Bouna, almost to their own detriment, but ultimately it was the right decision and they got the close fought victory.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had seven boards; Bouna had five boards; Detwon Rogers had nine boards and a whopping 25 points on good shooting; Mike Wright served as the defensive rock but ultimately ended up with five boards, four steals, and 13 points. Off the bench Kyle Bailey had five points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had nine points and five boards; Latrell Wilson had 10 points; RILEY HAWKEN HAD 12 BOARDS AND 17 POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He also had a full house, just throwing it out there. Off the bench Jace Cates had nine points; Davis Nuaimi had 10 points; and Brandon McGurkin had seven points.
Fun game to watch, terrifying regardless as to who you were rooting for. We get to root for both teams, so… We just got to watch a really fun basketball game, which is awesome, so thank-you to both teams for that.
MSU-Billings 76 @ Simon Fraser 72
We keep waiting for SFU to upset someone and they almost did with this one. They even had the lead for a bit (16+ minutes because half time, HA), which was good, except MSUB was without two of their best players so… Guess SFU could argue this was the first game they had Max Barkeley in a super long time so they should have won easily. Or something. Maybe that makes it worse.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had a double double with 12 boards and 22 points; Marc Matthews bounced back with five assists and 20 points; Kamal Tall started and wound up with 10 points. Off the bench Sven Jeuschede had five points; and Cade Alcorn had seven points and six rebounds.
Neither Emmanuel played and with Emmanuel Olufemi we wonder about passport issues; back when SPU had Modou, he couldn’t cross the border, so… Who knows. We’ll be honest: We’re not intimately familiar with the politics between Canada and various African nations and what the requirements are for temporary travel between them, so it could be a coincidence.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had nine points and five boards; Michael Harper had nine points and six boards; Gibran Sewani had 14 points; and JJ Pankratz dodged out on some friendly fire to finish with 17 points and nine boards. Off the bench Max Barkeley had 13 points -good to see him back in the game; we’d heard concussion rumors, so very relieving to see him playing again.
Saint Martin’s 77 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 85
Don’t let the score fool you -this game was close through the entirety. Just when we were ready to throw in the towel and think the Saints weren’t coming back, they’d get it to within three or four before Mariner’ing it up again. Yes: we just made the Mariners, and their propensity for letting their supporters down, into a verb. It’s like Couging It but maybe a little bit less heartbreaking because you accept it ploddingly; there’s not nearly so much hope involved.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 11 points and eight assists; Rhett Baerlocher had five boards; Fred Jorg managed to eek out a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards, plus/including a full house. Off the bench TREY INGRAM had 14 points, largely thanks to going 100% from the line. We say it all the time: Make your free throws. He did it and we’re glad to see him back in the boxscore. Brandon Kenilvort also added five boards.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had five boards; Travante Williams had a monster game with 22 points and nine boards; Brandon Davis had 12 points; and Almir epitomized what a center should do and had 22 points on 9/11 shooting -he also broke the stereotype, going above and beyond, grabbing two assists and THREE steals. Off the bench Alex Duncan had eight points; and Zach Pedersen had seven points.
Very Rubato game. Kind of an uneasy feeling in a sense, maybe in a good way, because you never knew who was going to win and it was up for grabs for so much of the time, but you ultimately really expected UAF to start walking away and just as they would, SMU would get back in, before UAF finally put it away in the last 30 seconds shooting fouls. But you wanted to think they were putting it away in the last two minutes, but SMU made shots down the stretch. Great, hard fought win for the Nooks.
Interesting and fun day of basketball.
If you were with us on Twitter, you inevitably saw as we watched chaos go down in the Pac-West. You also likely made note of by far the most unsettling game of the night with CCAA heavyweights UCSD and Cal Poly Pomona finishing in that order with a score of 41-35. Seriously. That happened. It was revolting and incredible, although we’re yet to watch it because there were actual good close games going on. Both teams shot right around 25% from the field. We’re not sure yet if it was never ending bad decisions or legitimately really good defense on behalf of both teams. Maybe both. We can’t decide if we like it better or worse than regulation games that have both teams finish with over 90 points a piece. To be discussed on Wednesday.
POW nominations will be up at 10am tomorrow, with the winner announced at 11.
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.
Here’s at least one extra discussion post. Our POW nominees have basically been the same week after week and comparatively guys are, in a sense, a lot closer together. This year we seem to have the great guys, the good guys, the okay guys, and everyone else. The great guys have won these, the good guys have gotten nominated multiple times, the okay guys have occasionally gotten nominated, and no one else really has done either. It’s very stratified.
Ultimately we’ve given the award nine times thus far and here are your honorees:
Bryce Leavitt (PG) x2
Andy Avgi (SF) x2
Corey Hammell (P)
Bouna N’Diaye (SG)
Consider that your All-GNAC first team, with Andy getting the nod as mid-season player-of-the-year. It’s a little small, but we actually really like that as an actual line-up. Bryce and Suki would probably play off of each other pretty well, Bouna would be a great sixth man, Corey is only 6’6 but we’re amazed at how big he plays, and that leaves Travante and Andy to do what they will (in a good way). While it would be frighteningly short without both Andy and Corey in there at all times, we trust the respective motors of the other four completely, and thus… We’d let the birdies fly without both Big Birds from time to time.
Here’s a list of the nominees thus far by school:
The red signifies how many times they’ve been nominated for Player-of-the-Week. Because the play this year has largely been simply above average rather than great, for the most part if a guy had a good week -he got nominated, even if a guy from his school had a better week. We’ve been struggling to fill 11 spots. It is what it is. There’s a lot of parity. There’s been a lot of losing and a lot of really ugly basketball. From what we’ve seen (and we’ve seen a lot) we don’t think the west coast as a whole is particularly strong. Again: It is what it is. Only one west region school will see a non-west region school during post-season play, so… The GNAC has as good of a shot as anybody to be the home of that one school.
The biggest thing we’ve noticed about our own conference is the lack of rebounding compared to last year. Last year we wouldn’t mention a starter’s rebounding number if it was under 10; this year, as long as it’s five or above we’ll highlight it. You could say “well, maybe everyone is rebounding more,” except no that’s not the case. We’d see far more player-of-the-week nominees if that were the case. Last year there would be a 10 boarder in just about every game; this year, we’re shocked and thrilled to see a double-double, even more so if the guy shot a normal number of free throws. There’s a lot of very gimmicky basketball being played and to beat a dead horse: it is what it is. We’re kind of fascinated by it, to be perfectly honest.
If we had to fill a second team:
Brian McGill (G)
Trey Drechsel (P)
Joe Stroud (P)
Is it short? Yes. We’re hurting for bigs, big time. All of our best rebounders this year are 6’6 or less. That sixth spot was a process of elimination. Mitch Penner is too much of a cancer. Gilles Dierickx is more of a disaster than his 6’11 body can make up for. JJ Pankratz just missed the nod, because we’re not sure if his game would translate to a team where he has a specific role to fill, rather than just trying to be okay at basketball. Tyler Gutierrez same thing as JJ. Mike Wright has good moments but we can’t trust his turnovers at this point. Joe Stroud gets the nod because he’s 6’8 and has proven in the past that he can rebound and score successfully, provided there’s someone to take the focus off of him; in this case: Bangaly, Diante, and Brian.
All-conference underclassmen? These are just off the top of our head and guys that week think show promise:
Riley Hawken (CU-P) -Riley Stockton II, mark our words. And we love the other Riley a lot, so that’s high praise.
Naim Ladd (CWU) -He’s crazy little and his shooting is highly questionable, but dude gets boards.
JJ Pankratz (SFU) -He’s old for being a soph, but whatever, he’s good.
Trey Drechsel (WWU) -Just came back off of injury, very impressive thus far.
Coleman Wooten (SPU) -has played very limited minutes, but has played really well.
Jordan Kitchen (SMU) -continuing to rep the Jordans from Seattle Prep; they always had a couple of good ones back in our day.
Tyler Gutierrez (CU-P)-we forgot he wasn’t a junior, hence being so far down this list.
Alex Roth (WOU) -another old sophomore, but whatever; he’s pretty legit.
If we had to name a team: Riley, Trey, Coleman, Jordan. The other four all have their merits, but we honestly don’t know who we’d pick as the final two.
Other underclassmen whose names we actually know because of this year: Evan Scholten (WWU), Gabe Colosimo (SPU), Michael Painter (SMU), Rhett Baerlocher (SMU), Jordan Perry (MSUB), Drake Rademacher (CWU), and the Europe to NNU pipeline: Nikola Prvulj, Leoor Konenkov, and Marko Lepovic; we’ll be honest: we suspect they’re all the age of juniors or above, because that’s how Europe works, so… Maybe they shouldn’t be on this list, but NNU is second to last in the conference and deceived these guys so much it should be a crime (they are attending NNU, after all) so… Gitmo is a resort, NNU is a fun place to play basketball, Crusaders = Jihadists, and glad we could have this talk about why you shouldn’t care that we still put the NNU Euros on this list of underclassmen.
Guys missing from those lists: Kendall Denham and Trey Ingram most notably. They’re still in conference, but we wouldn’t recognize their names from what they’ve done this year. We keep waiting =( Hopefully second half of conference play is the trick.
Tomorrow will be our usual discussions and potentially a double-post day.
Good luck to the Vikings and Clan on their match-up tonight.
What, what’s that? We’re actually posting something on time?!? Miracle. Player of the week nominees, let’s go.
UAF: Travante Williams -kept his head in the game, despite some bad shooting.
UAA: Suki -’cause Suki gonna Suki; we hate his shooting but he gets boards, assists, and makes his free throws so… Can we join his fan club? Please.
SFU: JJ Pankratz -We admire his steadfast dedication, he was hugely impactful in the quest for an upset at CWU.
WWU: Ricardo Maxwell -Amazingly consistent at Cenazar.
SPU: Bryce Leavitt -Bryce gonna Bryce; even when he doesn’t appear do much, he doesn’t make mistakes and always plays within himself; we mean that in a good way because he never gets too high or too low.
SMU: Fred -Fred actually looked like a center, um what??
MSUB: N/A —> Donated to Corey Hammell of UAA, largely for his monstrous game against CU-Portland, which seems a little iffy but oh well.
CWU: Joe Stroud -finally looked like the Joe of last year, particularly against the Vikings of WWU.
NNU: Bouna! ‘Cause Bouna gonna Bouna. SFU tried to take him out of the game and instead he went 16/18 from the charity stripe; he also almost led the Crusaders to a victory against Western Washington. Considering Mike’s six turnovers during the WWU game… We think Bouna should get to take video of Mike eating a fist sized piece of lutefisk, and put it on Youtube.
CU-PDX: N/A —> Donated to Mike Wright of NNU, because aside from his six turnovers he played really well during both games, and if you average it, he had three per game for the weekend. But we still think he deserves the lutefisk treatment, because SIX TURNOVERS?! Really?! Against a team that’s atrocious at defense??
WOU: Andy. A team is yet to defend him and he played two major minute brutal games against the Alaska schools, leading the Wolves to two victories despite some turnover issues and bad shooting from his teammates.
Winner’ll be up in an hour.
Alright, here we go, up as close to noon as could be managed while watching this mess of a Seahawks game.
Northwest Nazarene 52 @ Seattle Pacific 69
The game was never truly in doubt for the Falcons and yet it never seemed as though they really pulled away either. There were points that had them up by 20, but aside from those few, 13 seemed to be the average spread. It was what it was.
Crusader highlights: Detwon Rogers had 13 points; Mike Wright had six boards. Off the bench Pol Olivier had five points.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had another “quiet” game with nine boards, six assists, three steals, and five points; Gilles Dierickx had a monster game with 17 boards and 20 points. Lots of really bad shooting from everyone else, so congrats to the Crusaders on achieving that.
The winner of the bake sale that inevitably occurs when Brendan Carroll and Mike Wright get together ultimately is Brendan –he picked up a mere one, while Mike had three. We consider Mike only having three turnovers to be a miracle, so he’s at least got that going for him. Brendan having a mere one, we don’t know what to say; Brendan usually only chokes out turnovers during big games, so it is what it is.
Western Oregon 78 @ Western Washington 58
The good news is this is exactly what we wanted to see from WOU –it was close the entire time, which was good from a WWU perspective- but WOU walked it up and put it away. WWU did an okay job containing Andy; not great, not horrible, but passable, and WOU was far better at containing Kyle Impero than the Vikings were at containing Avgi, so… There’s your answer. Brett Kingma… He’s not technically our problem, but he is still becoming a thorn in our side.
Wolf highlights: Julian Nichols had five boards, seven assists, and fifteen points; Tanner Omlid entered into the starting line-up in place of Alex Roth and had a full house including seven boards and nine points; Jordan Wiley had seven boards; and Andy Avgi had 19 points and six boards in some of the most minutes we’ve seen him play. Off the bench Alex Roth had a huge 18 points on good shooting, along with five boards. The rest of the bench didn’t do too much, even in regard to spelling the starters –they played a collective 11 minutes.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 17 points; Kyle Impero had five assists; Trey Drechsel had eight boards and 16 points; Evan Scholten had six points. We’ve been debating whether or not to start pushing for Trey to start and we’re starting to lean toward it just because Mac is such a mess. Mix it up. Trey isn’t that big, but you don’t technically need a center and really what you want to do is get your best guys on the floor, regardless of size, particularly when your season is looking like WWU’s.
Maybe the most interesting thing is that despite the eventual lead WOU never rotated players. Makes complete and total sense –the Vikings are always going to be a threat- but still, with them having such an off year maybe we expected a little rotation by Jim Shaw? Still, shows you how much respect the Wolves have for the Vikings.
CU-Portland 76 @ Simon Fraser 72
CU-PDX won the battle, that’s all we can really say. Did they do it by the skin of their teeth? Absolutely. Did it get done? Yup. And that’s what ultimately matters, so good on the Cavaliers.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 12 boards; Riley Hawken had six boards and 11 points; Tyler Gutierrez stepped up big with six boards and 16 points; Latrell Wilson made 9/10 free throws. No bench play now that Riley’s starting.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had six boards, five assists, and 15 points; Gibran Sewani had 13 points and nine boards; JJ Pankratz had 10 boards. Off the bench Tyrell Lewin had eight points.
Was it ugly? Yes. But it happened, and again: The Cavaliers scraped up a ‘W,’ so regardless as to what it looked like: It was in fact a victory.
Central Washington 75 @ Saint Martin’s 71
The Saints are like the Mariners; they love finding new ways to let their fans down. We’d be moderately sick to our stomach, except we’ve come to expect this out of them. Maybe they’ll find their consistency against SPU on Tuesday? Hmmm. CWU got it done, good on the Wildcats.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 12 points; Gary Jacobs had ten boards; JOE STROUD was back in the groove finishing with 20 points and eight boards; Devin Matthews had six assists. Off the bench Naim Ladd had 12 points and four boards; and Drake Rademacher had seven points.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had nine points; Rhett Baerlocher had 15 points; Fred Jorg had 21 points and seven boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had four boards.
Congrats to the Wildcats on procuring a hard fought victory.
Alaska-Anchorage 100 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 91 in OT
THIS IS WHAT RIVALRIES ARE ALL ABOUT!!!!!!! Hooooly rancid whale blubber, we are so proud of both of these teams we cannot even begin to get into it. We always say anything can and will happen in a rivalry game, although this time these teams were so closely matched that this feels like a legitimately solid victory for the Seawolves; we’re really proud of it, we really and truly are and the Nooks should take pride in that –serving as a wholly legitimate victory. Pretty cool stuff.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 11 boards; Spencer Svejcar had 22 points; Corey Hammell had 11 points and nine boards –not one of his better games, but isn’t cool we can say that? Such a good basketball player. Off the bench Christian Leckband had nine points; and Brian McGill served as the MVP going 16/16 from the line to finish with 25 points, six boards, and three assists.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 14 points and nine boards; Joe Slocum had six assists; Travante Williams had 10 boards and four assists; and Brandon Davis had 21 points on bordering on great shooting. Off the bench Neal Chavez had eight points; and Zach Pederson had eight points and four boards.
Really exciting game with some truly awful shooting and very little defense, but… Oh well. Fun is fun, right?
Good night of basketball, we feel like we’ve found our love of it again, so thank you guys for bearing with us through the last few weeks of slog. Some fairly decent games on the horizon with the last games of the first round robin finishing up –the Alaska schools are facing Western Oregon, CWU is taking on WWU, and SPU gets to meet up their old travel partner in MSUB. Should be good times. The standings page has been updated; POW nominees will be up tomorrow at 10am pacific, per usual.