Tag Archives: NCAA

A quick look at Seattle’s 2013-14 roster

18 Apr

Freshmen

William Powell, G/F

Emmanuel Chibuogwu (redshirted last season), G/F

 

Sophomores

Jack Crook, C

David Trimble, G

Luiz Bidart, G

Deshaun Sunderhaus, F

Manroop Clair (transferring to Seattle from Hawaii, sitting out a year but will have 3 years of eligibility remaining), G

 

Juniors

Shore Adenekan (transferring to Seattle from a junior college, eligible immediately), F

Jarell Flora, G

Emerson Murray, G

Isiah Umipig, G

 

Seniors

D’vonne Pickett, G

Clarence Trent, F

Louisville, Peyton Siva, and notes on Seattle’s connections to the NCAA championship

9 Apr

With Louisville knocking off Michigan and becoming national champions last night, Franklin graduate and starting point guard Peyton Siva put the crowning achievement on his already stellar college career.

Siva became the first player from Washington to win the D-1 men’s national championship in six years. The most recent before that? As UW’s Hikeem Stewart was kind enough to remind me, it was actually his brother Rodrick, who was on the team at Kansas when the Jayhawks won the championship in the mid-2000’s.

Bremerton-born Marvin Williams also got a title with North Carolina in 2005. He wound up getting drafted 2nd overall after that season and later signing a $40 million contract in the NBA. Before that, there was another Franklin grad, Jason Terry winning the title with Arizona in 1997 – and he ended up having a fairly decent NBA career himself.

Between those two and Siva, the three are as close to an NCAA title as the city of Seattle has ever had. Or at least, as close as Seattle has been in 55 years, when the Redhawks famously made it to the 1958 national title game against powerhouse Kentucky,

Before falling to Adolph Rupp’s Wildcats squad 84-72, Seattle U knocked off Wyoming, San Francisco and Cal to get to the final four, and dispatched Kansas State to reach the championship game. That list of wins looks impressive, even today.

That team had two players from the state of Washington. Jerry Frizzell, who started on the front line alongside one Elgin Baylor, hailed from Montesano (a small town near Grays Harbor) and Jim Harney, a starting guard, was actually a Seattle native.

Washington State is the only other school from the state to ever reach the D-1 title game. They pulled it off in 1941, losing in a 38-33 “shootout” to Wisconsin.

Florida Gulf Coast, Seattle University, and how mid-major teams can become successful

29 Mar

In one week, Florida Gulf Coast University had the number of hits on their website multiply by a factor of 10.

That’s the kind of recognition making an unlikely Sweet 16 run can bring to a school, and that’s the kind of recognition Seattle University’s basketball program is trying to reach. The value there is obvious.

It’s also proof of how quickly a program can take off. FGCU is in just its second year of NCAA Division-I tournament eligibility – which Seattle U will enter next year.

More inspiring is the level that FGCU was at prior to this year – bad -, making the leap from conference bottom-feeder to nationally-known program seem very doable, if difficult.

The Eagles were 15-17 last year, 10-20 the year before that, and 8-21 the year before THAT. All three seasons took place in the Atlantic Sun conference, although the team only gained postseason eligibility last season.

Their first step was reaching mediocrity. You have to go 15-17 for a season before you can go 26-10, as FGCU has in their dream 2012-13 season. That will be the first step for the Redhawks, who should set a .500 conference record in the WAC as a minimum goal for next season.

The second step? Scheduling aggressively and smartly.

This season, Florida Gulf Coast won a home game against Miami by 12 that turned out to be one of the best mid-major victories in the NCAA all season. They also played top-tier opponents like Duke and VCU, and were competitive in losses against Iowa State and St. Johns.

Those games serve dual purposes – allowing your team to be prepared to compete against anyone, and allowing your RPI to be greatly enhanced. There is virtually no RPI penalty for losing on the road against a great team. And when your team hangs right with NCAA tournament-bound Iowa State in front of 13,000 at Ames Coliseum, you know you can play with anyone.

Mixed in with all those power-6 games were winnable home contests. A lot of them. Those, too, are confidence boosters. Extra home games bring fan interest, they make for more rested players, and they make it easier to win. The more home games, the better, even if some of them end up being against teams like Ave Maria of the NAIA.

Reach mediocrity, then schedule aggressively but smartly. Those two steps can help launch a team like Seattle University on a path toward success, even if that success isn’t a storybook Sweet-16 run. Not yet, anyways.

A Seattle basketball fan’s guide to the 2013 NCAA tournament

21 Mar

Having trouble getting excited for the NCAA tournament this year? I wouldn’t blame you.

With Seattle University long since having crashed out in the first round of the WAC tournament, and the Washington Huskies missing out on the big dance by a big margin, March Madness is a little less exciting.

But it’s still March Madness. It’s still mad. And it’s still awesome.

Here’s five teams to keep an eye on during the NCAA tournament from a Seattle perspective, some obvious and some not-so-obvious.

New Mexico State

Seattle U’s WAC rivals are making their second appearance in as many years in the NCAA tournament. Both times, the Aggies entered the WAC tournament as something less than the favorite, but won three games to take the whole thing.

New Mexico State has a lot of talent, and a lot of promise in players like Bandja Sy and Sim Bhullar. They’ll be the odds-on favorites to win the WAC next year, too.

Louisville

Simply a very good team, the Cardinals are led by Peyton Siva from Seattle’s Franklin High School – the latest in a long line of Seattle-raised guards who will play in the NBA. Louisville might be the best defensive team in the tournament and are certainly one of the favorites to win the whole thing.

Gonzaga

The Bulldogs are what the Redhawks would love to be. The #1 team in the country boasts a ferocious frontcourt of Kelly Olynyk and the underrated Elias Harris. They’re for real.

Kentridge graduate Gary Bell Jr. helps lead the guards. Bell was recruited by virtually every Pac-10 school, but chose the mid-major Zags over programs like UCLA, Washington and Cal.

Florida Gulf Coast

After exactly six years in Division I, Florida Gulf Coast has made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time. Having already beaten Miami by 10 points this year, it’s clear they can play with anyone in the country. The #2 seed facing them, Georgetown, had better not look past them.

FGC also shows how a program can go from a lower division to a legitimate threat to win an NCAA tournament game in a short time period – but also, that to expect that type of growth in just one season is a pipe dream.

La Salle

If you want a team that plays Dollarball the way Seattle U would like to, look no further than La Salle. The Atlantic 10 school routinely starts four guards and one post, playing a high-tempo offense with lots of driving to the basket. Having a guard who can lead the team, like Ramon Galloway, always helps.

Preview: Time for Redhawks to win a conference game

12 Jan

It doesn’t matter how. It simply has to happen.

The Redhawks simply must beat Denver and break their 0-4 WAC losing streak.

Because although they’re mired at the bottom of the conference currently, the season isn’t over.

Over?

Preview: Redhawks need to get back on track against New Mexico State

10 Jan

This isn’t a classic New Mexico State team the Redhawks will be facing tonight.

The Aggies don’t have the talent level on offense that carried them into the NCAA Tournament last season. They also don’t really have a good outside shooter (leading scorer Daniel Mullings is 11-24, but that’s a very small sample), and are statistically one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the nation.

That means the big key tonight will be interior defending. Seattle has allowed opposing forwards/centers to go off during each conference game, something which obviously has to change.

If I were Seattle’s coach (which I’m not, and for good reason), I’d try a zone defense some of the time. Maybe press on made baskets, and a packed-in zone all other times. NMSU isn’t going to beat Seattle U by shooting over them.

Really, though, anything Coach Dollar does tonight is ok as long as the Redhawks get a win. They’re currently mired near the bottom of the conference at 0-3. Losing another home contest and dropping to 0-4 would be a major hit to morale among both players and fans.

The recent news about Sterling Carter leaving the team has only further contributed to the cloud over the program right now. This needs to be a “turn the page” game to get away from some of that. Seattle needs to come out and play both smart and hard.

By now, it’s probably become apparent that the Redhawks aren’t going to win the WAC this regular season. And that’s ok! But they do need to continue building momentum, continue getting victories at KeyArena, continue to energize this fan base, continue to grow as a team.

If they do that, they’ll end up with a respectable record in the WAC and a decent seed in the WAC tournament. Finishing in the top 6 would give Seattle a much better chance at upsetting their way into the Big Dance.

It all starts tonight. This game has to be a victory, and I bet everyone on the team, from the head coach to the equipment manager, knows it.

Could Seattle U make a big move to the Big West?

20 Sep

Everyone and their mother knows that the Western Athletic Conference is disintegrating.

The WAC, as of right now, will have just four schools in the 2013-14 season – Denver, Idaho, New Mexico State and, of course, Seattle University. And if Idaho completes a rumored move to the Big Sky, that total could be three.

So why not look West?

Even if the WAC somehow does manage to scrap together enough members to limp on, the conference will be full of teams that will jump at the first opportunity to leave for greener pastures.

Idaho considering a move to the Big Sky is proof of that. So is Boise State moving their own non-football athletics programs to the Big West, a move that could very well provide a blueprint for the Redhawks’ athletic futures.

The Big West has recently been a very regional league, with all the conference members based in the state of California. Until 2012, when first Hawaii, then Boise State moved their non-football programs into the conference (after each bailing on the WAC not long before).

Why is the Big West interested in adding teams so far outside their geographic footprint? In a word, money. From USA Today:

“According to the school release, Boise State’s entry fee to join the Big West is $2.5 million — which will be paid in five annual payments. The Broncos will also pay a travel cost per conference visiting team for regular season competitions in Boise at an estimated cost of $750,000 per year, an equity share into the league’s reserve to be determined at a later date and a one-time membership initiation fee estimated at $50,000.”

That’s a fairly sizeable payment, but one Seattle University should be willing to afford. The school has already put a lot of money towards bringing their athletics programs back to Division I. Not being willing to put in a little more to ensure the successful future of those programs would be incredibly shortsighted.

It would also seem like a perfect fit from the conference’s point of view. Adding Seattle would bring the conference to an even 12 teams, when  Boise State and San Diego State join in 2013. Seattle would provide a new major media market, and a northern travel partner for the Broncos.

The conference would be strong in basketball, too, with quality opponents like San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State.

A move to Seattle U’s original Division-I home, the WCC, remains the dream scenario for the Redhawks. But since that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon, and the WAC doesn’t seem likely to be a strong conference anytime soon, the Big West could be a very palatable third option for Seattle U.

WAC watch – Breaking down the end of the season

7 Mar

Based on Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology, 7 WAC teams are projected to get into the NCAA tournament!

…ok, maybe not. But most of the various teams that will make up the WAC conference next year have been having respectable seasons. Denver, UT Arlington and New Mexico State all racked up 22+ win seasons. San Jose State… well, they didn’t.

Below is how each of next year’s 10 WAC programs finished the 2011-2012 season:

Louisiana Tech. 16-15, 6-8 conference, 181 RPI. Best win – @Hawaii. Worst loss – @Southeast Louisiana.

New Mexico State. 23-9, 10-4 conference, 68 RPI. Best win – @New Mexico. Worst loss – @ UTEP.

Idaho. 16-12, 9-5 conference, 134 RPI. Best win – @Nevada. Worst loss – @Wright State.

Utah State. 17-14, 8-6 conference, 133 RPI. Best win – BYU at home. Worst loss – @Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

San Jose State. 9-21, 1-13 conference, 280 RPI. Best win – UT San Antonio at home. Worst loss – Montana State at home.

UT San Antonio. 18-13, 10-6 conference (Southland), 190 RPI. Best win – Oral Roberts on neutral court. Worst loss – Texas State at home by 14.

UT Arlington. 23-7, 15-1 conference (Southland), 96 RPI. Best win – Kent State on neutral court. Worst loss – Samford at home.

Texas State. 13-17, 5-11 conference (Southland), 284 RPI. Best win – UT San Antonio on road by 14. Worst loss – @Texas-A&M Corpus Christi.

Denver. 22-9, 11-5 conference (Sun Belt), 92 RPI. Best wins – Southern Miss and Saint Mary’s at home. Worst loss – Arkansas-Little Rock at home.

Seattle. 11-15 (Independent), 285 RPI. Best win – Utah State at home. Worst loss – Utah Valley at home.

That combined conference RPI? 14th overall, compared to 12th for the conference itself this year. It’s an awkward way to look at the numbers, but the main point is that next year the projected WAC conference will get weaker. Not much, but definitely some. In terms of RPI, the projected WAC slides behind the Horizon League and the Ivy League.

Which of course, Seattle won’t be all that worried about, because it will still be a vast step up in competition from playing the likes of Longwood twice in a season.

Seattle at Longwood – 100-99 WIN

13 Feb

Is there a better, more interesting and exciting scoreline than a 100-99 victory? 100-69 might be more satisfying, but in terms of pure excitement, it seems hard to beat the game Seattle U played this weekend.

Saturday’s victory over Longwood University was nearly the exact opposite of the previous game, a heartbreaking loss to Idaho on the final possession.

Against Idaho, everything went right in the first half. Against Longwood, Seattle got off to an extremely slow start, trailing by 19 at the break, having turned the ball over 10 times already and allowing their opponents to shoot nearly 60% from the field.

Against Idaho, nothing went right in the second half. Against Longwood, the Redhawks roared back to make the game close, but still trailed by 6 with two minutes to go. They cut it to 2, then Cervante Burrell forced a turnover and converted a layup to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Against Idaho, Aaron Broussard had the ball in his hands for the last-second shot and missed it. Against Longwood, he had it again, after Eric Wallace had snagged an offensive rebound, and scored the game-winning shot.

It was a fabulous finish. Shame that it had to be in the morning, non-televised and on the east coast. Due to those combined forces it probably fell off the radars of local basketball fans completely.

Hero: This makes Aaron Broussard an easy pick. After all, he DID make the game-winning shot. He also scored 33 points in 33 minutes played. Now that’s using your time on the court effectively.

Goat: Seattle’s 3-point shooting in general. 44 threes is a ludicrous amount to attempt, particularly when you don’t shoot them well. 13 of 44, which totals out to a painful sub-30%, isn’t good.

Key stat: Seattle U attempted 20 more shots than Longwood – they took 89 and 69, respectively.

Conference realignment and Seattle U’s future in the WAC

3 Feb

There is shaping up to be a lot of change in Seattle University’s new conference.

There are going to be quite a few new teams, and there are going to be a few holdovers. So. First, the holdovers. New Mexico State, Utah State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State are the five old-guard schools of the WAC that will remain next year.

There’s the private-school guard, the new schools that on first glance seem like they’d better belong in a different conference  – Denver and Seattle.

Rounding out the new five are the Texas Schools – UT Arlington, UT San Antonio and Texas State. The three don’t offer historically powerful athletics programs (although UTSA is the cream of the Southland conference this year), but they do offer very small footholds in very nice media markets.

Joining the conference in all sports except football in two years, for some reason, is Boise State. The addition doesn’t add a needed football-playing school and it doesn’t add a big market, and Boise State sure isn’t being added for its strong academic reputation, so it seems to be rather pointless. But at least it’s a “name” school in a conference rapidly becoming devoid of them.

At this point, here are the football schools in the new conference – the five ‘original’ WAC schools, Texas State, and UT San Antonio. There have been rumblings of UT Arlington starting a football program, but that would have to be a few years away, at least. The WAC needs to get back to 8 football schools, and it needs to do it fast.

How is this going to happen? The conference needs to add football-playing schools that would be willing to move to the WAC and that are geographically fitting. Enter Sacramento State or Portland State. Both fit the bill. Crucially, both are in large media markets currently without a top-flight football program at any level (although in both there are solid programs an hour or two away).

Let’s take Sacramento State as an example. They would seem to be the best fit, as they are a large university that is currently a geographic outcast in the Big Sky. The Hornets would provide a close travel partner for San Jose State. That would push the conference to this for all sports, not including football:

Northwest: Seattle/Idaho, Boise State/Utah State, Sacramento State/San Jose State

Southeast: Denver/New Mexico State, UT San Antonio/Texas State, Louisiana Tech/UT Arlington

Utah State has been making noises about leaving for the Mountain West, as well, and if the Mountain West actually agrees to this eventually, Portland State would be a nice replacement. The Vikings have less of a history of athletic success, but more potential going forward. They play in shiny new remodeled PGE Park, in a large city with no other football programs. And they’d be a perfect travel partner for Seattle, allowing Idaho and Boise to be natural and logical travel partners themselves.

So the future isn’t all bad. It’s not GREAT, but it’s not bad. The conference could easily become a solidly-balanced one, with a few strong programs, a diverse geographical coverage without making travel too difficult, and a presence in many strong media markets. And Seattle will be a part of it. It could certainly be worse.

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