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  • GNAC play begins with a bang

    There are are are quite a few interesting GNAC match-ups in this first week of play (and only week till 2020)! I highlighted the interesting games (IMO). Looks like the Nooks are going to dwell low this year (which is why their games are of little interest). Still haven't seen them play, but will give them a chance this Thursday. It does appear that our women's team may give hoop fans something to cheer about this season, and it's just in time to bail us out... It's been a long time since our women have been anything to cheer about, but I'd be all about following their games more closely and they certainly looked entertaining this last weekend in their Thanksgiving tourney here at home. Maybe they will find a way to contend for a GNAC tourney bid...

    Tuesday:
    WWU @ SFU

    Thursday:
    MSUB @ SFU
    SMU @ NNU
    Concordia @ UAA
    WOU @ UAF
    SPU @ Central Washington

    Saturday:
    MSUB @ WWU
    Concordia @ UAF
    WOU @ UAA
    SMU @ Central
    SPU @ NNU

  • #2
    Good post, thanks, Northern. I'm very excited about WOU's undefeated start this year, including the two nice wins in California last week. We'll see how things go this week in Alaska, always a tough road trip.

    I'm taking in Thursday's NNU game, maybe Saturday's, too. Guessing St. Martin's isn't the St. Martin's of the last two years, they graduated a ton. SPU sounds good, however.

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    • #3
      Simon Fraser beat Western!!! Two straight seasons now for the Clan. They are sure on the rise which is great to see for them. Football shall follow!
      Follow my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CWUCrimsonCommitted

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CWU Wildcat Nation View Post
        Simon Fraser beat Western!!! Two straight seasons now for the Clan. They are sure on the rise which is great to see for them. Football shall follow!
        Awesome, love it! Great job, SFU.

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        • #5
          Why is it that WWU wins the preseason coaches poll, then drops their first game to SFU and NOBODY is surprised? I guess the coaches make their votes based on "what's on paper", full-well knowing that it isn't and often isn't the whole story of a team. Good for SFU. Feels good to be a contender after being a basement dweller!

          Also interesting to see that the GNAC is coordinating both men's and women's schedules to be the same, at least starting the season (WOU women and men are here on Thursday this week, and I see that both men's and women's SMU and SPU are at Central and NNU this week. I think that's cool; maybe it saves teams money on travel to travel both teams together. Whatever AK teams can do to save money, the better!

          Looking forward to seeing the UAF women make a statement to open GNAC play with a win tomorrow (a statement only because I think they won one GNAC game, total last year and because WOU is supposed to be only slightly better than us) and hopefully our boys will keep WOU within 30???? Some nights that seems too hopeful, others, a reasonable wish...

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          • #6
            SFU had 11 steals vs. WWU and shot 53% from 3-point land, and had all five starters in double figures. On paper, WWU sounds beatable, and SFU sounds really good.

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            • #7
              SPU looked more like what people were actually predicting. But nice to see Kevin Baker make his debut for CWU. He will be a big impact moving forward.
              Follow my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CWUCrimsonCommitted

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              • #8
                SFU 88 over MSUB 76
                SMU 84 over NNU 63
                UAA 81 over CU 74
                SPU 76 over Central 66

                and the shocker of the night:
                UAF 72 over WOU 66

                I don't know how UAF did it. Stats look almost identical, although WOU got almost nothing from their bench. Shadeed was hot down the stretch, but I have to say I am very impressed with Kachjaani (the 6'11" guy) who's a true freshman. He was unstoppable to open the game and was great during crunch time at the FT line. The energy and grit that got them through was Jalon McCullough though. He hasn't seen much playing time this year (he was a Durham recruit 3 years ago who came home to play in front of his home crowd). I guess he knew he didn't have anything to lose with Sparling's new PG Huerta playing the majority of the PG minutes and Ketchikan freshman Lee playing the remaining minutes. They gave Jalon a chance in the last 10 minutes of the game, and he never came out down the stretch. His stat line does not tell the story of him carrying the team tonight down the stretch.

                WOU looks very talented, athletic and I'm seriously still wondering how they managed to lose, but I think this time, it was more that UAF was really, really, really good down the stretch and WOU did not use their athleticism or smarts in the last 5 mins.

                I don't think this game means a lot; UAF has still lost a handful of games by close to 50 points per game. This was the first time I've seen them, so it appears that when they are determined and organized, they can hang, but when they are not, it's a train wreck. I hope they'll keep improving and not make me regretful of gushing over them the first night I see them (this win means nothing if you let Concordia get you on Saturday, boys)...

                The UAF women got WOU in OT too tonight. Lots of people wondering when the last time a UAF doubleheader lead to a UAF sweep... It's been a while!



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                • #9
                  Originally posted by northernGNAChoopfan View Post
                  SFU 88 over MSUB 76
                  SMU 84 over NNU 63
                  UAA 81 over CU 74
                  SPU 76 over Central 66

                  and the shocker of the night:
                  UAF 72 over WOU 66

                  I don't know how UAF did it. Stats look almost identical, although WOU got almost nothing from their bench. Shadeed was hot down the stretch, but I have to say I am very impressed with Kachjaani (the 6'11" guy) who's a true freshman. He was unstoppable to open the game and was great during crunch time at the FT line. The energy and grit that got them through was Jalon McCullough though. He hasn't seen much playing time this year (he was a Durham recruit 3 years ago who came home to play in front of his home crowd). I guess he knew he didn't have anything to lose with Sparling's new PG Huerta playing the majority of the PG minutes and Ketchikan freshman Lee playing the remaining minutes. They gave Jalon a chance in the last 10 minutes of the game, and he never came out down the stretch. His stat line does not tell the story of him carrying the team tonight down the stretch.

                  WOU looks very talented, athletic and I'm seriously still wondering how they managed to lose, but I think this time, it was more that UAF was really, really, really good down the stretch and WOU did not use their athleticism or smarts in the last 5 mins.

                  I don't think this game means a lot; UAF has still lost a handful of games by close to 50 points per game. This was the first time I've seen them, so it appears that when they are determined and organized, they can hang, but when they are not, it's a train wreck. I hope they'll keep improving and not make me regretful of gushing over them the first night I see them (this win means nothing if you let Concordia get you on Saturday, boys)...

                  The UAF women got WOU in OT too tonight. Lots of people wondering when the last time a UAF doubleheader lead to a UAF sweep... It's been a while!


                  On the GNAC podcast this past week, WOU coach Wes Pifer said Shadeed Shabazz of UAF was one of the top scorers in America, in all of D2. I believe he was right. He torched WOU and Alaska got some nice surrounding help. If you have a superstar player, you better be ready an obviously WOU had no one who could guard him. Add what appears to be a strong UAF supporting cast and there you have it, a really good win to start the league season. Sounds like UAF got out and defended as WOU was brick city from the 3-point line. It's a great start for UAF and a disappointing one for WOU after going 5-0 out of the gate (granted, some of those teams were creampuffs).

                  Better be ready to stop a superstar because if you're not, you're going to get burned and that's what happened.

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                  • #10
                    I went to the SMU-NNU game last night. Neither team is what they were the last two years -- Adonis Arms and Obi Megwa have left the building for NNU, two D-1 type guys, who could take anyone in America to the rack and score, that is if they're not drilling it from outside. Luke Chavez, one of my favorite GNAC players and a dominant force for the Saints for two years, is now an assistant coach at his alma mater. Good to see.

                    SMU blew NNU out of their own gym int he second half, outscoring the Nighthawks 52-28. Good coaching by first-year SMU coach Aaron Landon, getting his team fired up in the 2nd half after they sort of slept walked through the first half. SMU could surprise some people this year despite being picked last in the league. Guard C.J. Jennings was an excellent 9 of 12 from the field, including 7 of 9 from 3-point land for 27 points. Demonte Mallory had 19 points/11 boards for the Saints, I like point guard Alex Schumacher, who had 14 points/5 boards, though he hit only 5 of 15 from the field. I thought their huge 6-9 low post Marky Adams was great and a tough matchup for NNU with 15 points, 10 boards and 7 blocks. The Saints look promising and it appears they made a good coaching hire.

                    NNU was a disappointment, again when they go to the bench the talent level really drops off. The Nighthawks made 1 of 10 3's in the second half, 4 of 25 for the game. Don't understand bad shooting teams or teams with bad shooting nights from outside continuing to jack 3's (WOU at UAF, for example). NNU redshirt frosh George Reidy is good, 24 points, though 2 of 9 at the line. Not sure on NNU this year, middle of the road perhaps at best. I did see Jayden Bezzant in the house in sweats, so maybe he'll be ready as he's by far their best player. They need him badly.

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                    • #11
                      Shabazz v2 for Coach Sparling! Nice to see the Nanooks get the upset
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                      • #12
                        UAA has looked very good offensively but very spotty defensively and are letting teams back in games. It bit them against Michigan Tech who stole one at the buzzer despite being down double digits in the 2nd half. Northern Michigan and Concordia both were down double digits in the 2nd half also only to come back and make very interesting at the end. Still 7-2 is pretty good for a team still coming together with lots of new faces. But they have got to fix their perimeter defense, leaving way too many good shooters open, and their rebounding. Offensively though I’m seeing a lot more ball movement than I’ve seen in years and with shooting all over the floor and quick guards it’s been a fun offense to watch to this point.

                        Looking forward to Saturday against Western Oregon. WOU is going to be fired up after last night and I expect them to be at their very best. Could be a real shootout.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CWU Wildcat Nation View Post
                          Shabazz v2 for Coach Sparling! Nice to see the Nanooks get the upset
                          ... and nice to see SPU take down CWU!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Anchorage View Post
                            UAA has looked very good offensively but very spotty defensively and are letting teams back in games. It bit them against Michigan Tech who stole one at the buzzer despite being down double digits in the 2nd half. Northern Michigan and Concordia both were down double digits in the 2nd half also only to come back and make very interesting at the end. Still 7-2 is pretty good for a team still coming together with lots of new faces. But they have got to fix their perimeter defense, leaving way too many good shooters open, and their rebounding. Offensively though I’m seeing a lot more ball movement than I’ve seen in years and with shooting all over the floor and quick guards it’s been a fun offense to watch to this point.

                            Looking forward to Saturday against Western Oregon. WOU is going to be fired up after last night and I expect them to be at their very best. Could be a real shootout.
                            That's going to be a good game on Saturday night. I don't know enough about either team to say who I think will walk away with it. They both seem vulnerable in their own ways. I think WOU has more raw talent on the floor, but that doesn't always determine the winner (ahem, Thursday night they lost to UAF, ahem)... They will probably not want to head into the holidays at 0-2 though, so if I were to bet, I guess I'd put my money on WOU. But you know, whatever I say is usually wrong, (I was willing to bet a lot of money that UAF would lose by at least 30 on Thursday!)... We'll see.

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                            • #15
                              Fun games in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Alaska Teams both pulled out OT Ws.

                              Went to the UAA vs WOU game, first half neither team could hit a shot. In the 2nd neither it seemed could miss. WOU got up 7 with two and a half to go in OT, UAA finally got some stops and won it on a Jack McDonald 3 ball at the buzzer for the 88-86 win. Great game, hated to see either team lose. Both squads came to battle and they did. Both teams made huge plays down the stretch in regulation and OT. No one should hang their head after that one.

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