We didn’t end up doing a preview for WWU vs. UCSD because we’re lazy. We didn’t watch the game because we were busy being poked and prodded because our tonsils decided to grow back.
Here’s our prediction prior to looking at the results or knowing ANYTHING. Kid on Christmas, right here:
UCSD is a good team. They went legendary in our mind last year when the coach won a game with four guys, due to foul-outs and injuries. We consider them and Chico State to be our “CCAA” teams. They also wear shorts of a good length -none of this man-pris junk.
Western is of course our second favorite team; we love them, we’re obsessed with them this year because they’re actually playing functional basketball and they have a ton of guys that play in the style we love. We haven’t been to as much as we have in the past because we’re not missing Husky and Seahawks games to watch teams like Quest and Fresno State.
All of that said: We expect when we reveal the results to be a battle that either team could have won. We’re hoping it was fairly close and neither team blew the other out, because SOS matters. We’re hoping the numbers are okay. Not good, because that would mean no defense. So we’ll see. It’s a toss-up. Our gut says that Western could have won big and might’ve won big, but… We’ll see.
Western Washington 104 @ UC San Diego 81
Western won big. Our gut was right. And we’re 50/50 on it. We’re the anti-bandwagon and we feel like we’re bandwagoning Western, which is uncomfortable, even though we’re well aware that we’re truer than 98% of “fans” that went there and/or live in the area.
Vikings highlights: Holy guacamole, Taylor Stafford had 44 points on 15/21 shooting, as well as picked up five assists; Trey Drechsel had 15 points, eight boards, and five assists; Logan Schilder had nine points and eight boards; Daulton Hommes had six boards; Jeffrey Parker went off, scoring 15 points; and off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had seven points and four boards.
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Not a ton of bench play, but oh my goodness. We trust Western completely, the style they’re playing is amazing, but at the same time we also trust UCSD and wonder if it was a situation like the Seahawks this weekend where they basically rolled over and died.
We looked over the UCSD numbers… Nothing horrible, nothing great. Really average game. Which is great for WWU because it means it wasn’t a bad night that can be written off; WWU was using teamwork, moving the ball, their shots were falling, and we saw them at the best of their ability against a good team.
We’ll see if we preview the Chaminade game tomorrow…
There’s so much parity and the SPU team is such a mess while still being SPU, so… Who knows? And maybe what’s even funnier is that while we know SPU is a mess, our conference overall has looked really strong, while the Pac-West in particular has looked full of parity straight up, so… It would be nice to get a win, we think the Falcons could get a win, but will they make the choice to go in and take a win? It’s hard playing Hawaii, so it’s going to have to be an active decision rather than the passiveness they’ve shown as of late.
Congrats Vikings + Good Luck Falcons!
Hey look, a post is going up on time! So exciting.
CU-Portland 92 @ MSU-Billings 82
Lots of back and forth before CU-PDX finally pulled away. We’re not sure whether we were right in our prediction or not because we didn’t really predict anything -we just said we didn’t know. The teams were fairly evenly matched, although we give CU-PDX the edge (obviously) now in particular because winning on the road is much harder (theoretically) than winning at home. We’re honestly confused about MSUB -they have a ton of experience and yet…? Who knows. Technically we still haven’t seen enough just yet.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards; Christopher Edward continues to impress with 18 points and eight boards; and Jarrett Gray had 11 points and seven boards. The Cavs saw some nice bench play with Bryan Michaels having 13 points and seven boards; and Latrell Wilson having 15 points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 14 points and six boards; Marc Matthews had nine boards; and Kamal Tall had nine points. The Yellowjackets also had fairly good bench play with Cinco Durr having 13 points; and Christian Evans dropping 18.
Congrats on a battle well-fought to both teams.
Alaska-Anchorage 67 @ Northwest Nazarene 71
So good, we almost regret not going except there were a lot of other really good games we got to watch too. What the heck is up with you Anchorage? We know Coach Oz (and most of your teammates) have used the choice words we’d rather be using, so… Imagine. Saltier than a ship’s hull after seven years at sea.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell had 22 points while going 7-8 from the line; Spencer Svjecar added 11 points; Corey Hammell was cold, so instead had a monstrous night grabbing boards ending up with 15; and Connor Devine also grabbed nine boards. Very minimal bench play. Suki was off, and although we’re sad… We’re so happy we got to see a performance like Thursday night’s in person. We’re still enthralled with it. It was incredible.
Crusader highlights: Carlos Garcia had five boards; Bouna N’Diaye had 13 points and six boards; Pol Olivier had 13 points; and Kalieb Rodriguez had 12 points and seven boards. Off the bench Marko Lepovic had seven boards; and Jayden Bezzant had 12 points.
Very hard fought game on both sides. Super proud of the Crusaders for not sending Suki to the line -that’ll get you in trouble, fast. We’re guessing the Seawolves will look forward to some revenge when the teams meet up there in their hella nice lair.
Simon Fraser 72 @ Saint Martin’s 86
The Clan were in it for a super long time and then part way through the second half, the Saints walked away and never looked back. Honestly, we’re pleased with both teams. The fact that SFU hung around for so long says they’re making progress -we think SMU is a legitimately good team this year. This isn’t a bad loss or an expected win in the slightest. The result was what it was and the Clan will be in a great position to return the favor when the Saints go visit them in Burnaby.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 21 points and five assists; JJ Pankratz had a full house with 19 points and nine boards among other numbers; and off the bench Graham Miller had seven boards.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had a whopping 11 assists; Jordan Kitchen had nine points, five boards, and five blocks in a full house; Rhett Baerlocher had eight boards; Tyler Copp had a massive 29 points on 11-13 shooting from the line, and also grabbed six boards; and Fred Jorg had 12 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 12 points; and Brandon Kenilvort had a great game with 11 points and nine boards.
Fun game to watch. Congrats on the progress to the Saints and we’re seeing visible progress with the Clan, which is an improvement.
Alaska-Fairbanks 76 @ Central Washington 79
Close game all the way through. Completely evenly matched. Very fun to watch. Credit to the Wildcats’ home court advantage for this one -they get in your head. We’re Switzerland regarding the CWU games this week and yet they got in our head.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 17 points and eight assists; Bangaly Kaba had 21 points and eight boards on great shooting; and Zach Pederson had 11 rebounds. Off the bench Spencer Clark had five points and four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had five boards; Dom Hunter had 33 points; Jawan Stepney had 13 points; and Fuquan Niles had six rebounds and eight blocks -um, center say whaaaat? We love it. Off the bench Chris-Michael Garret had nine points.
Again: Awesome game. Both teams are good. Congrats to the Wildcats on getting the win, thank your fans and prepare to do it without them when you’re up in Fairbanks, eh?
Western Washington 96 @ Seattle Pacific 91
………………………………….. We don’t know what to say. We love the WWU team this year because they return a bunch of guys that play in the way that we love. WWU has looked really good throughout non-con. SPU has looked iffy. Moral victory for SPU to take a good team like this to OT? Especially playing as they have been. The big difference between WWU and SPU is the fact that the WWU players all actually care, while the SPU ones largely don’t.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 28 points and nine boards; Trey Drechsel had seven boards; Logan Schilder had seven boards and 11 points; Daulton Hommes had seven boards and 24 points; and off the bench Travor Janisky had 10 points and seven boards.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had five fouls; Will Parker had a double-double with 13 points, 10 boards, and six assists; Tony Miller had eight boards; Joe Rasmussen had a full house with six boards amongst other numbers; Olivier-Paul Betu had 26 points and seven assists on great shooting. Off the bench Sharif Khan had five fouls; and Gavin Long had six points.
WWU out-rebounded SPU 49-37. We’re shocked they didn’t win by more/SPU got it to overtime. Hear that GNAC? SPU doesn’t rebound this year. You can do whatever you want in the paint and they’ll let you. They don’t care. Alright. Good.
Interesting and fun night of basketball. POW stuff’ll be up tomorrow morning with the usual “nominations” and “winner” posts an hour apart. On the horizon for this week include a Discussions post -including catching up with the first weekend of conference play in the other two conferences.
The GNAC conference standings chart will go up on Monday after WOU plays MSUB.
Have a blessed Sunday and Go Hawks!
Housekeeping: The non-conference chart’ll be updated this weekend, the conference play chart will be started and updated. 55 hour work weeks -welcome to the real world; we love it.
Alaska-Fairbanks 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 72
NNU put up a really good fight and it was close for a long time, but UAF ultimately pulled it out on the road because when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 23 points and a flawless (no turnovers) full house; Zach Pederson had 15 points and 5 boards; Brandon Davis had a monster game with 18 points, four assists, and four boards; and off the bench LaDonavan Wilder had quite the interesting line with five points, four fouls, and two steals in just five minutes of play. Impressive.
Crusader highlights: Kalieb Rodriguez continues to impress with 13 points; Maurice Jones had a huge 21 points and 12 boards; and off the bench Jayden Bezzant had 16 points among other decent field stats.
Alaska-Anchorage 98 @ Central Washington 92
You may have seen our comment on twitter -UAA tried like heck to choke this game away but just couldn’t manage to do it. They were up by quite a bit and the gym was quiet and wasn’t in it, and then they didn’t stay locked down and while the Hogwarts motto is ‘Never tickle a sleeping dragon,’ the GNAC motto should probably be ‘Never tickle a sleeping Wildcat.’ If you’ve managed to keep those fans quiet, embrace it, lock down, keep going, because if you allow them to wake up your life is going to get very difficult very quickly. Life got very difficult for the Seawolves, but they managed to still get it done.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had a massive 46 points on elite shooting from the field (7-8 from three) and great shooting from the line; Diante Mitchell had 12 points; Spencer Svejcar had 21 points; Corey Hammell had a massive 16 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and a full house. There was very little bench play, although we noticed that Augustus was definitely a team leader off the bench -dude is firey as all heck.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had good field stats although a bad shooting night, including five boards; Dom Hunter had an amazing game against his former team, scoring 30 points and going 9/10 from the line; Marc Rodgers had 6 points off the bench; and Fuquan Niles had 14 points. Not many highlights largely because the Wildcats are so balanced and play with such good teamwork that the ball gets distributed and a lot of people score a few points, which is good. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Really fun game to be at -thanks to the Wildcats/CWU for the hospitality, and thanks to UAA for letting us scream at you. We had a blast.
Simon Fraser 66 @ Seattle Pacific 88
SFU outscored SPU. In the second half. By two points. Success kid? SPU just lost to their old coach after beating a couple of other impressive teams -don’t take it personally Clansmen, the war path was calling them.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 10 points and five boards; JJ Pankratz had 18 points and a full house; and off the bench Othniel Spence had nine points; while Graham Miller had six. Kedar Wright didn’t play, which is interesting. Not sure why, but with SFU we will say that it did probably affect the final score. When you’re coming back from the ashes, every little thing matters -trust us, we were at UW for the 0-12 season.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double-double with 25 points and 10 boards; Joe Rasmussen had 15 points and eight boards; off the bench Sharif Khan went 7-8 from the line; and Hunter Eisenhower had 13 points.
Conclusion: SPU is still a mess.
Western Washington 91 @ Saint Martin’s 78
Pretty much as expected. Western was up. Western got apathetic. SMU came back in the second half. Western clamped down and Western won fairly comfortably. It was what it was and we’re proud of both teams -the Vikings for recommitting and the Saints for taking advantage when they could.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had a huge game with 30 points, eight boards, and seven assists; Trey Drechsel had eight boards and five assists; Logan Schilder won the battle of the seven footers (that sounds a little species-est) with 12 points and five boards; Daulton Hommes continues to impress with 19 points, nine boards, and five assists; and Jeffrey Parker had 10 boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had six points; and Trevor Janisky had seven. Very balanced -WWU appears to be missing a number of guys that would usually see a good number of minutes, so that’s interesting. Trey Drechsel needs to focus on playing within himself more -shooting doesn’t define basketball any more than throwing defines football. There’s a lot that goes on to make shooting/throwing possible, it’s okay to be elite at helping your teammates.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 6 assists; Jordan Kitchen had seven boards; Rhett Baerlocher had 11 points, eight boards, and five fouls; and Tyler Copp had 10 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 18 points; and Rico Nuno had 11 points and five boards.
Really curious to see what the Saints do on Saturday against Simon Fraser/what Simon Fraser does against the Saints.
Overall a really fun night of basketball. We still are going to post POW stuff for last week at some point in the next day or so, so that’ll be fun. Game previews up tomorrow morning around 11am.
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.
Embrace the quality losses? Not every team lost. But the Alaskas lost, meaning that UAA officially isn’t hosting the regional so our biggest prediction of the off-season just went kaput two days in. Fun times, eh? But there were a lot of great wins too, so we’ll focus on that.
MSUB 88 vs. Holy Names 80
Jackets pulled it out!! As they should. But it looks like the teams were pretty evenly matched, which theoretically is not a good sign for MSUB. Still, a W is a W.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 20 points; Marc Matthews had 30 and a full house; Christian Evans had a double-double with 10 boards and 12 points; and off the bench Sven Jeuschede had five points and five boards.
CU-PDX 72 @ San Bernardino 85
Not surprising, but definitely disappointing after the previous night’s win. It’s early in the year, it doesn’t mean much, but it does help the SOS start to shake out. The bad thing is, we don’t think CSUSB blew out CU-PDX enough; 13 points is respectable, not dominant. Because CWU got a win in OT, it would have been nice to see CSUSB dominate thus increasing conference strength of schedule. Oh well, nice effort by the Cavs.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards and was 6-7 from the line; Latrell Wilson had 16 points; Christopher Edward had 15 points and five boards; Jarrett Gray had 13 points; and off the bench Harris Taylor had five points and eight boards.
CWU 93 @ Monterey Bay 87 @ 3pm
Congrats Wildcats on pulling out the win! Winning while having off days is great. Honestly, this isn’t the best look for our conference because instead of making us look superior to Monterey Bay with the CU-Portland and CWU victories, it makes all four teams look mediocre. San Bernardino beat Concordia-Portland by 13, but that’s not a blow out, CWU (and the GNAC as a whole) needed a blow out by both CSUSB and the Wildcats themselves.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd was 6-7 from the line; Dom Hunter finished with an incredible 24 points and seven boards while hitting 11-11 from the line. Off the bench Marc Rodgers had 12 points and five fouls; while Fuquan Niles had five boards and nine points.
SFU 62 vs. Humboldt State 87
The result isn’t that surprising, we knew Humboldt was likely to be good, although we’re not sure this win actually quantifies that. HSU did what needed to be done and SFU allowed it to happen so it is what it is. No one in the GNAC is surprised, but at the same time it’s only one game -it doesn’t mean anything, SFU could still get hot and be legit this year. They may be chronically last, but the hope is what makes basketball fun.
Clan highlights: Graham Miller had five boards; JJ Pankratz made some noise with seven boards and 15 points; and off the bench Othniel Spence had six boards; while Hidde Vos had eight points.
SMU 86 vs. Point Loma 80
THE SAINTS ARE ALIVE!!!!!!!!! And won this game in OT and we are so, so, so, so, sooooo proud. Teamwork makes the dream work any way you slice it and the Saints played as a team, ONLY LOST THE REBOUNDING BATTLE BY THREE, and they got the victory. Again: So proud. Love you Saints!
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 19 points and five boards while going 10-12 from the line; Jordan Kitchen had 11 boards and nine points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards and three steals; Tyler Copp had a full house including 22 points; Fred Jorg had FIVE FOULS. Off the bench Brandon Kenilvort had nine points.
Side note: While we’re frustrated that he didn’t grab one measly board, Fred Jorg’s five fouls make us so happy because he’s a broad 7’0/300lbs. Those fouls are bone rattlers, even if they’re incidental. He’s not puffy, his stomach is flat, he’s just a straight up mammoth of a man. We’re a little obsessed with his build because most footers are fat at 300lbs; he’s the rare one that’s not.
UAA 71 @ Hawaii Pacific 77
Oh dear. As noted above UAA is officially not hosting the regional, BUT that doesn’t mean HPU isn’t a very, very good team and thus UAA still very likely is a very, very good team. Just as it’s hard to play the Alaska schools in Alaska, it’s hard to play the Hawaii schools on the islands. It is what it is and the Seawolves fought valiantly.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell was 9-11 from the line, had five assists, and finished with 18 points; Spencer Svejcar had 10 points; Corey Hammell had 10 boards; and Connor Devine had 10 points and a full house. The bench was the silent killer -they’re like a platypus and in that didn’t do much.
SPU 88 vs. Hawaii-Hilo 80
We like a lot of the numbers but we’re not sure what to make of the win because Hilo tends to bounce around a lot in regard to conference standing from year to year. The fact that they only won by eight at home is something that concerns us, but at the same time it’s such a new team that any win and any experience they get is a positive.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double-double with 19 points and 12 boards; Sam Simpson had 10 boards; Joe Rasmussen had a great 19 points and six boards in the closest thing to post we’ve ever seen him play; and Olivier-Paul Betu had 13 points in a nice bounce-back game. Off the bench Tony Miller had 20 points, 10 boards, and five fouls.
UAF 66 @ Chaminade 80
Another quality loss for our conference, eh? If you can beat UAF, you must be really good.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had seven rebounds, eight assists, three steals, a block, a foul, points, and zero turnovers in notching a perfect Full House; LaDonavan Wilder had nine boards; Brandon Davis had 17 points; and Zach Pederson had 10 points. Off the bench Trent Molesworth had six points and six boards; while Michael Kluting had five points.
WWU 107 @ East Bay 81
Caaaaake walk, although we would’ve liked to have seen more defense. Why not play defense against a team that’s looking like it’s going to be pretty bad? Might as well. Oh well, whatever, scoring uber is fun too. Super proud of the Vikings for taking care of business.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 18 points and eight assists; Trey Dreschel had 11 points and six boards; Jeffrey Parker, as noted, had a whopping 32 points on 90% shooting, whoa! Off the bench Blake Fernandez had 10 points and five assists; Brad Wallace had 10 points while being 6-6 from the line; and Trevor Jasinsky had 12 points on elite shooting.
WOU 85 @ Fresno Pacific 54
Beautiful. Just as expected. Very proud of the Wolves, exactly what needed to be done, good numbers too, love the display of defense.
Wolf highlights: Akil Reese had 10 points; Bryan Berg had 10 points and five boards; Tanner Omlid had a full house including a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had 16 points; and Yannick Kulich had 12 points.
Overall a pretty good day and initial D2 weekend for GNAC basketball. Player-of-the-week nominations will be up at 10am tomorrow, with the announcement at 11.
First and foremost: We do not count transfers before they hatch. See the ‘Jake Ehlers’ Rule under our Table of Contents.
That being said: Are you ready? Hold onto your shorts ’cause it’s about to look ridiculous, but we promise with what we currently have to go on -it’s not. We like our justifications, which says something because often times we don’t.
1. Alaska-Anchorage. It’s not close. They’ve proven so much more with the guys they return than any other team in the conference that we’re already anticipating booking our tickets to Anchorage for the NCAA tournament. They are deep. And well-tested. Other teams return a lot, but most of them were really bad. The Seawolves basically return everyone they need. It’s fantastic. Go UAA.
Key Returners: Suki Wiggs, Corey Hammell, Sjur Berg, Spencer Svejcar, Diante Mitchell, + more.
2. Western Oregon. Again it’s not close. They return a lot. They lose a lot, but they return a lot. It’s reminiscent of SPU two years ago; yeah, they lost a few major guys but they have guys that have been in waiting that we think aren’t going to miss a beat. With their success, we anticipate them getting the right transfers. They should also procure a trip back to the Regional without much issue.
Key Returners: Tanner Omlid, Alex Roth, Janvier Alaby.
3. Saint Martin’s. This is where it gets to be a complete mess. We ultimately picked SMU because they have a for sure proven center -you gotta have someone that can bang down low. They return plenty of other stuff too and then also proved that this team, keyword team, can dig in and win when it matters down the stretch.
Key Returners: Fred Jorg, Tyler Copp, Trey Ingram, Rhett Baerlocher, and Jordan Kitchen, + more.
4. Western Washington. They return just about everybody needed on a team that was a major disappointment. We think this team is addition by subtraction. They return a core of guys that all try really freaking hard every single second they’re in the game. Do they lose height? Yes. Does it matter? Not necessarily. You can play short as long as every single guy is committed to playing hard 110% of the time.
Key Returners: Trey Drechsel, Jeffrey Parker, Brad Wallace, Isom Brown, Evan Scholten, Brett Kingma.
5. MSU-Billings. Another team that returns a ton but did very little last year. We think that’s going to change because all of the guys have a year in the system and with MSUB it seems to be feast or famine; either they’re playing cohesively and are a good team, or they are a flaming pile of …. fill in the blank. We think this year is going to be an up year.
Key Returners: Kendall Denham, Marc Matthews, Jace Anderson, Emmanuel Olufemi, Preston Beverly.
6. Alaska-Fairbanks. The Nanooks owe this spot purely to Bangaly. Never underestimate a good power forward. The Nooks also have a good home [tundra] advantage. They don’t return much, but Bangaly was able to create like Elsa (from ‘Frozen’) last year and brought tons of energy. They were surprisingly good and we think he’s going to give them a lot to work with once again.
Key Returners: Bangaly Kaba, Zach Pederson, Brandon Davis.
7. Central Washington. They don’t return much, but they do have a good home court advantage. We also really do believe in Terry Dawn.
Key Returners: Terry Dawn, Naim Ladd, Drake Rademacher.
8. Northwest Nazarene. Prime example of a bad team that returns a lot, so they have to be a little better, right?
Key Returners: Nikola Prvulj, Bouna N’Diaye, Pol Olivier, Marko Lepovic.
9. CU-Portland. This is mostly our faith in their coaching staff. They won a lot on the NAIA level so at some point it will start transferring to the D2 level, we hope. They don’t return much, but maybe?
Key Returners: Drew Martin, Tyler Gutierrez, Davis Nuaimi.
10. Simon Fraser. We were going to put them last per usual and then we realized if you made us pick between facing Hidde Vos and JJ Pankratz or Joe Rasmussen and Will Parker, we’d pick the latter two; thus, SFU gets the nod. Their culture desperately needs a re-haul, and honestly we’re starting to kind of feel bad for them. We know they wouldn’t eliminate men’s football and basketball, but seriously: they have so many other sports that are actually good, that we feel like those two sports are just a big money sink.
Key Returners: JJ Pankratz, Hidde Vos.
11. Seattle Pacific. Someone asked us about our projected starters and we intentionally left out Will Parker because we refuse to accept that he has any business still playing for SPU, much less starting for the Falcons. Joe Rasmussen is in that same boat, but 6’8 guys are far less expendable than 5’10 ones. This is going to be a mess and only partly because of the coaching change.
Key Returners: [former assistant, now Head Coach] Grant Leep.
If anyone wants to talk us off the ledge, commiserate, or jump for joy with us (we are genuinely excited for the Seawolves and very curious about the land Wolves), leave a comment!
Alright, we’re back. We know there’s plenty to discuss, but first and foremost:
Our GNAC Men’s Basketblog All-Conference teams. This year pretty much any guy that hit above our minimum for nomination got nominated because in there were tons of at-large spots available. The guys named below are truly a cut above:
Travante Williams -Alaska-Fairbanks; Sr.
Suki Wiggs -Alaska-Anchorage; Jr.
Bryce Leavitt -Seattle Pacific; Sr.
Andy Avgi -Western Oregon; Sr.
Yes. Only four guys are being named to our first team. We heavily debated whether or not to include Brian McGill, but ultimately came to the conclusion that these are collegiate athletics. He didn’t pay close enough attention to his schooling, missed half a season because of it, and it is what it is.
Corey Hammell -Alaska-Anchorage; Jr.
Mitch Penner -Seattle Pacific; Sr.
Julian Nichols -Western Oregon; Sr.
Devon Alexander -Western Oregon; Sr.
Again: We only went with four. Because those four are so far above the rest of the guys that occasionally got nominated for POW. We have all of the numbers right in front of us and we couldn’t justify it; there just wasn’t enough separation outside of the eight you see above. There are guys from each team we love and believe in, but no one more so than those eight. We’re happy to be keeping Suki and Corey -UAA is going to be scaaaary- and while sad, feel blessed having gotten to watch the noted six amazing seniors so closely this season.
Bangaly Kaba, Almir Hadzisehovic, Spencer Svejcar, Brian McGill, Diante Mitchell, Michael Harper, Kyle Impero, Trey Drechsel, Ricardo Maxwell, Fred Jorg, Joe Stroud, Gary Jacobs, Mike Wright, Bouna N’Diaye, Drew Martin, Riley Hawken, and Tanner Omlid.
Sjur Berg -Alaska-Anchorage Fr.
JJ Pankratz -Simon Fraser, RS Soph.
Trey Drechsel -Western Washington, RS Fr.
Riley Hawken -CU-Portland, Fr.
Tanner Omlid -Western Oregon, RS Soph.
There are honestly plenty of other underclassmen that we’re excited to keep watching, but those five had particularly good seasons this year and so we think you should keep an eye on them too.
Tomorrow at 10am we’ll look at Western Oregon’s incredible Final Four run.
On the agenda today: SPU @ Saint Martin’s, SPU’s bubble, State of the West/Rankings, the GNAC race, and GNAC frosh of the year.
SPU 64 @ SMU 68
Well, that happened. Coming into this game we called it; we’ve liked SMU all year and now that Fred finally isn’t starting the Saints have been running and it’s good. And it was a good game. It was fun to watch Gilles and Fred face off. We tend to think Fred is a better defender but Gilles is less problematic with cohesion considering he can actually run. Really interesting to see two drastically different 7’0 European bodies. Gilles looks like a ballet dancer next to Fred’s brontosaurus.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a double-double including 11 rebounds; Brendan Carroll had five boards; Gilles Dierickx had a double double with 11 boards and 10 points; Mitch Penner had five boards. Off the bench Garrett Swanson had 11 points on 7/8 shooting from the line.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had five boards; Rhett Baerlocher had nine boards and 16 points; Tyler Copp had 12 points. Great play off the bench with Trey Ingram having 21 points; and Brandon Kenilvort having four boards and seven points. We said this on twitter, but: Brandon Kenilvort needs a smaller pair of shorts; the ones he currently wears are limiting his range of motion and impacting his game negatively.
Again: Very good game played by the Saints, shots were on fire, very deserved and earned win. Two incredibly young teams facing off and the Saints got it done, so lots of hope for the future. With SPU, Gabe (their new point guard) is learning and he needs to be broken in and he’s fine. It happens. He’s a frosh and the learning curve is better right now than early next year.
Did SPU’s bubble just burst?
Shockingly no. They have a lot of non-conference and strength of schedule credit. They’re slumping and it’s frustrating, we know that more than anyone outside of their coaching staff, but we trust the process because we haven’t been given any reason to doubt it. In terms of strength of schedule, here’s what the Falcons have:
- OT loss to CU-Irvine (would be 100% in the tournament)
- Win at Dixie State
- Win against BYU-Hawaii
- Win at Chico State (is 100% in the tournament)
- Win against Azusa Pacific
- Win at Alaska-Anchorage
- Two close losses WOU
- All in-conference losses have been within a possession or so.
They need a bounce-back game against Billings on Saturday. It’s going to be rough because MSUB loves to win in the SPU gym (and we support them wholeheartedly in it) and they’re coming on strong at the right time. Hopefully SPU gets it together and takes the Yellowjackets seriously because if they don’t: It could be a very long night.
The State of the West
Is its usual mess, but here’s a compilation of regionally notable results from the last week:
Alaska-Anchorage lost to MSU-Billings
Seattle Pacific lost to Central Washington + Saint Martin’s
Western Washington lost to CU-Portland
Cal Poly Pomona lost to Monterey Bay
San Marcos lost to San Fran State + got killed by Sonoma
UC San Diego lost to Chico State
Dominican lost to Point Loma
CU-Irvine lost to Cal Baptist
1. Western Oregon
8. Chico State
10. MSU Moorhead
13. UC San Diego
20. Cal Poly Pomona
25. Seattle Pacific
Others receiving votes: Cal Baptist (11), Azusa Pacific (5), CO Mines (5), Alaska-Anchorage (1).
No clue what to say about any of that, except maybe we’re surprised that Anchorage getting killed by MSUB managed to still get them a vote? We don’t expect SPU to remain in the rankings after their loss to SMU. CWU it was somewhat justified because WOU’s loss comes from playing at CWU, but… We’re not sure MSUB is seen as good enough to keep SPU in the rankings, even if the Falcons kill them on Saturday -and that’s a big if in regard to winning, much less killing.
The GNAC Tourney Race
The state of the GNAC is getting interesting because of course it is. We thought we had our six teams for the conference locked up but of course we don’t because West Region 2015-2016. You cannot get off Mr. West Region’s Wild Ride. Actually, four spots are locked up; it’s the final two that are going to be brutal, particularly for CWU because they were — that close and then lost to SMU.
We know officially that: Alaska-Fairbanks, Alaska-Anchorage, Seattle Pacific, and Western Oregon are all in the tournament. The Alaskas and WOU still play each other one more time, so we don’t know the order yet, just that they’re in.
The final two bids…
Central Washington is 10-6 and has games at SFU & WWU this weekend before playing host to the Alaska schools next weekend.
Western Washington is 8-8 and plays host to CWU & NNU this weekend before going to Seattle Pacific & Saint Martin’s next weekend.
Saint Martin’s is 7-10, just beat SPU, hosts MSUB on Thursday, and then hosts WWU/SFU next weekend.
MSU-Billings is 6-10, is at SMU on Thursday and SPU on Saturday, before playing host to CU-Portland and Western Oregon next weekend. Good luck with that.
There’s nothing we can even say about any of that. The teams playing WOU… Complete whatever voo-doo you’ve got because you’re gonna need all the help you can get?
Finally: GNAC frosh of the year. We’re going to put up a poll on twitter as well, but here’s what we’re thinking in a non-140 character mandate:
Riley Hawken of CU-Portland. Love his game, he gets boards, he makes his teammates better, love his motor. He’s had a number of really good games and player-of-the-week noms and we’re thrilled he’s starting because we were pushing for it long before he got the nod. Totally believe in the kid and are really excited to watch the rest of his GNAC career.
Trey Drechsel of WWU. Came off of injury in January but up until that point there wasn’t a ton of frosh play and so not too concerned that he missed non-conference; it’s not really going to affect the numbers because Riley didn’t really turn on until conference play either. He’s been starting, he’s great, another high motor guy, we definitely think WWU would be substantially worse without him, love his attitude. Great candidate.
Rhett Baerlocher of SMU. Maybe not as notable of numbers as the other two guys, but we were seriously impressed with his play last night and he’s been coming on strong the longer the season goes and he could very well be the key piece in SMU’s push to make the conference tourney. Very good stuff.
Alright. Good talk, blog. We’ll see you tomorrow at 10am for Game Day Previews.
A beautiful, fantastic mess, and one in which bubbles don’t have to burst because we rule the world! Er, blog.
There was no separation. No separation what-so-ever. We had six guys end up within a point or two of each other and we don’t feel like separating it, so we’ll simply give you the list:
Travante Williams (UAF)
Brian McGill (UAA)
Ricardo Maxwell (WWU)
Trey Drechsel (WWU)
Devin Matthews (CWU)
Andy Avgi (WOU)
All six had some amazing weeks, we feel lucky to get to watch this group play, our conference finally started functioning as a conference with lots of hard play, and tough games. It’s the dog days of the season and people are digging in, shots are being made, rebounds are being grabbed, and it’s an awesome time to be in the GNAC, let alone the West Region. The West Region is nuts this year and we’re looking forward to getting to hopefully watch a few of those guys compete in Monmouth in just under a month.
Congrats to all, and we’ll see you Wednesday for our weekly ‘Discussions’ post.
Really fun week for player-of-the-week, so much parity, lots of guys had two great games which is awesome.
UAF: Travante Williams -was in both games the whole time, helping his teammates. Awesome.
UAA: Brian McGill -‘scuse us Brian “Consistency” McGill. The more he plays, the more we wished he cared about his education.
SFU: Michael Harper -couple of really solid and well balanced games.
WWU: Ricardo Maxwell & Trey Drechsel -both were on it in terms of shooting and Trey is perhaps the only guy on that team besides Kyle Impero that legitimately attempts to rebound; and yeah, they have two centers, so we don’t know what gives either; Not Mac nor Blake, clearly.
SPU: Bryce Leavitt -is back!!! His shots were finally falling again, not that he’s not productive when he’s not shooting.
SMU: N/A —> Donated to Suki Wiggs of UAA. Usual stuff. Boards. Assists. You know.
MSUB: Marc Matthews -does what it takes, decent shooting, smart play, assists, rebounds.
CWU: Devin Matthews -he’s quickly becoming one of our favorites because dude drops dimes like WHOA.
NNU: Bouna + Detwon both had a couple of super consistent, good games, and were very responsible for never letting SPU relax.
CU-P: Riley Hawken -rebounding, smart shooting.
WOU: Andy -put the team on his back during the WWU game, although SFU did do a good job in limiting his touches on Saturday. Still, Andy gonna Andy.
Winner’ll be up in an hour.