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Thread: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

  1. #1

    Default GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    Are we close enough yet to throw out our preseason predictions and thoughts? Please? Not going to number them, because I when I look at the GNAC teams, much like how things turned out last year, I see a lot of muddy water, but here's what I think:

    Western Oregon - Might dominate. Lots coming back from a team that struggled for a lot of last year, but they have a crafty coach and tons of talent. And they have Omlid on their team. Even when he's bad, he's still so good. The only thing that he leaves as vulnerabilities for other teams in dealing with his presence all over the floor is that he didn't shoot FTs that well last year and is a little more prone to foul trouble because of his defensive style. He should be the preseason POTY.

    Western Washington - They also have a lot of talent and athleticism coming back, but that is their standard and they just can never figure out how to be a team of more than individual talent. I think it depends on how strong the rest of the GNAC is as to where they'll end up, but there are far more certainties about their line-up and talent level than most teams that I will list under them here. They may go far in the GNAC, but unless they change things, I don't see them going deep in the region, despite the talent level they have.

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    Alaska Anchorage - It sorta kills me to put them here cause they are my arch-rivals, but there is soooo much muddy waters after Western & Western and Anchorage has a pretty good decade+ worth of winning seasons and super competitive teams and they recruited what appear to be a lot of good guards, many from DI ranks. I also put them near the top of the "muddy water" category because, just like Western Washington, it depends more on what other teams do as to where Anchorage will finish. If the GNAC is building again this year and the level of play doesn't go up considerably, they will finish high in the GNAC.

    Saint Martins - Wanted to put them higher, but when Ingram signed to go to Hawaii, that gave me pause. I think Pribble is clever and has them trending up. Not sure about much else, but as I alluded to before, I would not be surprised if Chavez becomes a name that is mentioned here this season, but maybe I'm just partial.

    Seattle Pacific - Historically have been good, but I wonder if that history walked out the door with Looney. They have good players, but that "hard to crack" system that Looney ran was as big a part of their success as the actual players were, I thought.

    Central Washington - Wasn't sure whether to put them before SPU and couldn't decide, but I do love watching their home games streamed. They get it rocking there sometimes, but I wonder about their ability to do more than throw it down at home. It looks like they have some good recruits, so possibly they are too low? Depends on the rest of the league?

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    Montana Billings, Alaska Fairbanks, and Concordia
    - Wild-card city. MSUB had kinda a good recruiting season? Losing Beverly might leave them open for stellar team play that will make them tougher to beat? Fairbanks is VOLATILE from year to year. One really never knows what Durham has brought in and how he can work it. They are typically very, very tough or near the bottom, but rarely in between. You all know what I'm hoping for. I truly have no idea though. Barbarick showed that Concordia could compete last year. Now they are a full DII member, but they did lose some good seniors. Portland should be one of the easier places in the GNAC to recruit to...

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    Northwest Nazarene & Simon Fraser
    - NNU lost their coach, but they still have Maurice Jones, so... Who knows, but it looks like an uphill battle. Simon Fraser hung onto some of their more skilled players through the offseason and were showing some promise last year. It tells you what kind of a league the GNAC was last year when you say that SFU pulled out a couple of wins... Against WOU and SPU! I think they will be better, but whether that adds up to wins or not probably depends on the level of league play in the GNAC this year, more than how much they will actually improve their play.

    It's probably too early for this, but if anyone else is kinda chompin at the bit too, I'd be only too happy to see some chatter building here.

  2. Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    WWU scares me with all the returners they have: Dickson, Drechsel, Hommes, Jasinsky, Schilder. They are my clear favorites...sadly.

    WOU has a good group of guards, especially with Omlid, Roth, and Triano the Gonzaga transfer. Then also add the forward Hawken from Concordia.

    SPU now has both Millers, with Trey coming off an injury. Lots of other returners, plus a 6'11" OSU transfer center. I don't think they lost a whole lot with Looney gone.

    CWU always does great with replacing their leading scorer. Hunter may be gone, but Stepney and Ladd will combine to produce a lot. Shabazz is a good defensive PG from Rainier Beach coming into the program. Montoya is another defensive specialist from Seattle U. Malcolm Cola looks like the next Kevin Davis or Joseph Stroud. And then there is the big man Fuquan Niles, set to have a giant year.

    SMU lost a ton of players (Copp, Preston, Ingram, Jorg). But Kitchen is back and 2 of their 5 transfers are from D1.

    The rest of the conference teams have so much turnover, I have no clue how any of them will fare.

  3. #3

    Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    Good takes, hoping WOU has a good season, rimmed out jumper at the buzzer kept them from winning the GNAC tourney. Lots of guard depth, Chirnside good inside, needs some other guys there, which he may have, not sure. Hoping WWU is further down the list, sorry Vikes.

  4. #4

    Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    northernGNACfan, think you did a pretty good job, although I would put SPU in the top three. Agree that Beverly being gone for MSUB will be a plus. Didn't really seem happy to be on the court and didn't play as a team player last year.

    For the Seawolves, I am kind of concerned about all the new faces, many of whom are Seniors. It is going to be hard to put together a "team" but since 3 of the seniors have played together, maybe not as big a problem as it could be. But we did get very lucky getting Orton back as an Assistant Coach so late in the game. After two years of Osborne not really ever figuring out how to make a team work with Wiggs on it, we should be back to seeing what is traditional Seawolf basketball, so maybe that will be a plus also.

  5. Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    Okay. Seems like consensus is that SPU should be regarded higher up in the muddy waters. Sure. UAA lower? Okay. Just remember if UAA is tough & SPU middle of the pack, you heard it here first. But more than likely, just the fact that I put this out there will mean I'll look like a moron by next year!

    Wondering about how Hawken will fare at WOU-I have him maybe pulling a Kulich-type interconference D2-D2 transfer. He's not the type of player or position that it appears will fit into Shaw's system that easily. But that's only based on seeing what Shaw did in one season of his own recruits. But the list of very athletic guards at WOU is long and that is where the bulk of the minutes were played for them last season.

    I'm avoiding the Shootout thread--there's just too much doom and gloom in Alaska right now and I think most of you Anchorage folks know what I'd say anyways and it would annoy the heck out of you. I'd rather argue about ball, not economics.

  6. Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    Amendments:

    1) Western Oregon.

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    Western Washington

    Seattle Pacific - They got beat by SFU to finish off last season and I'm still skeptical, but ya'll have convinced me to put them higher, despite my hesitations... Maybe it's that everyone else is looking kinda wobbly as we roll into (almost) preseason.

    Saint Martins & Central WAshington

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    Anchorage - dropped them down because they now only have two players who've seen court time for them (Drew Peterson and Brian pearson). They got a new assistant and some DI talent, but something doesn't smell right.

    Fairbanks/Concordia/Montana-Billings - One of these teams is going to knock out one of the six teams listed above them. They all have decent coaches and they all have a history of being way better than they were supposed to be under their present coaches in previous seasons... Who's it gonna be? Or can more than one of these teams get into the top 6. Possible for sure.

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    Simon Fraser. They finished on a win last year, they bring back some guys, they bring back their coach and they're going to improve.

    NNU.

  7. #7

    Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    UAA will be middle of the GNAC at best. You can't lose 99% of your lineup and come back strong the following season and I don't care if you get a whole roster full of D1 drop downs.

  8. #8

    Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    Reserving judgment until I see these guys play, but you are likely right. Not sure how optimistic I am about the following year either.

  9. Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_AK View Post
    Reserving judgment until I see these guys play, but you are likely right. Not sure how optimistic I am about the following year either.
    Quote Originally Posted by lv2hoop View Post
    UAA will be middle of the GNAC at best. You can't lose 99% of your lineup and come back strong the following season and I don't care if you get a whole roster full of D1 drop downs.
    Okay. Well, if you guys are down on UAA ball and wanting to cheer for an in-state team, all you have to do is say so and I've got some blue and gold pom-poms overnighted to you so you can join the Nook fan club. Is it possible for folks who know as much as you do about both programs and towns and coaches to not want to see UAF do well, if not a Seapuppy slaughtering by the Nooks?

  10. Default Re: GNAC pre-season thoughts?

    I believe it is Tonys world and the rest of the GNAC is living in it, like his returning talent a lot.

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