Tag Archives: Washington

Recap: Comeback bid falls short, Redhawks fall to Eastern 82-75

2 Dec

There’s just something about playing nearby rivals that seems to bring out the not-exactly-best of the Redhawks.

Seattle has yet to top Washington in this century and they have struggled mightily against conference foe Idaho. It might be time to add Eastern Washington to that list, after he Eagles topped the Redhawks 82-75 to give Seattle their first truly disappointing result of the season.

Isaiah Umipig led the men in red with 16 points and 7 assists, and brought Seattle within two by hitting a three with 1:18 to play, but his team would get no closer.

Eastern did an admirable job closing the game out. They attacked the basket at will, making layups on three straight late possessions, and making their final 4 free throws to ice it. The Redhawks’ late-game defense will absolutely have to improve to prevent the first of those two things from happening.

Key moment: Seattle had the ball down 3 with the chance to tie the game in the final minute after an offensive rebound. But D’vonne Pickett Jr. was called for traveling with 25 seconds left. The senior had a nice game otherwise, but that kind of mistake at the end of a game is inexcusable, and he surely knows that.

Key player: Umipig was his typically energetic self, but I’ll give some love to Shore Adenekan. The Brit had his best game yet with 13 points, 4 boards and 2 blocks.


Recap: Redhawk upset bid foiled by late first-half Husky run

11 Nov

In the most competitive of the rekindled Seattle city rivalry games, the Redhawks fell 88-78 to the University of Washington in a game that was really closer than the final score indicated.

Seattle went with a big starting lineup, with Isaiah Umipig, Jarell Flora, Clarence Trent, Deshaun Sunderhaus and Shore Adenekan taking the floor for the opening tip. Don’t be surprised if at times guard Emerson Murray gets the start in place of Adenekan, particularly against teams with less size than UW.

The bigger surprise was coach Cameron Dollar mixing a lot of zone defense with his typical high-pressure man-to-man. It was a relatively new look for the Redhawks, and it was effective particularly early in the game before the Huskies could adjust. If Seattle U can keep teams off-balance offensively by mixing up the defense, most of the rest of the teams on their schedule won’t be able to handle it as well as UW did.

It’s really hard to be too critical of anything that happened last night. Except for one big six-minute run (more on that below), the Redhawks outplayed the Huskies. They were effective enough on offense, aggressive on defense, and (hallelujah!) managed to limit turnovers. But it’s worth noting that after Jernard Jarreau left due to a nasty knee injury early in the game, UW just seemed a bit off in all facets of the game. Losing a starter 90 seconds into your first home game will do that to a team, and credit to the Huskies for regrouping.

One more note, on the attendance. A crowd of 6,704 was at Hec Ed for the Huskies’ opening game. Last year’s crowd for the same game at Key Arena was 6,137. Besting the first mark next year, maybe hitting 7,000, should be a very manageable goal for Seattle U next year.

Key player: Isaiah Umipig. The Redhawk transfer dropped in 15 points in his first official game with Seattle University, and looked supremely confident running the offense in the first half. His outside shot went a little cold in the second half as UW changed up their defense to contain him, but Umipig showed potential to be a serious offensive weapon in the WAC. A fantastic debut.

Key moment: The Husky run to end the first half. Seattle U trailed 42-33 at halftime after leading 28-18 late in the half. That’s a 22-4 run over about 6 minutes that wound up being the difference in the game. CJ Wilcox began hitting shots from outside, the Redhawks couldn’t score, and Seattle U was really saved by the halftime whistle or else the game risked moving into blowout territory. The entire team will need to do a better job at managing the game when opposing teams go on runs – especially on the road. That’s the kind of thing that will cost you precious road wins in conference play.

Season preview, Redhawks vs. Huskies: Time for the little brother to grow up

9 Nov

Seattle University’s men’s hoops squad has struggled to escape the shadow cast by the University of Washington basketball team for the last five years. It’s a difficult task to shed the “little brother” label for a number of reasons. The biggest might be that Redhawks coach Cameron Dollar came to SU from an assistant position at the UW, and has brought a very similar style of play to his Redhawks squad.

That similarity is blindingly obvious in the likely starting five for each team. In all but one case, the players lining up on either side of the tip-off circle are extremely similar. The positional battles have been outlined below, with the Redhawks player listed first and his Husky counterpart in parenthesis.

Point guard: Isaiah Umipig (Nigel Williams-Goss) Two slightly undersized, extremely quick, do-it-all point guards. Both have reputations as very good passers. Umipig might tend a little more toward the score-first side of things than his UW freshman counterpart.

Shooting guard: Emerson Murray (Andrew Andrews) Here is the one spot on the floor where the players matching up don’t mirror each other. Murray is a well-rounded shooting guard who has built an instant rapport with his fellow transfer Umipig. Andrews is an inconsistent sparkplug. Both are in their second years in their respective programs (although Murray was ineligible last year).

Swingman: Jarell Flora (CJ Wilcox) Two natural two-guards playing at the three spot for relatively small, quick, up-tempo teams. Wilcox is one of the best shooters on the west coast. Flora is the superior defender, and began developing a nice offensive game at times last year. If he can play with confidence, he could be the leading scorer for this Redhawks team.

Forward: Clarence Trent (Jernard Jarreau) Two undersized power forwards, both able to run the court very well, whose primary strength is in their athleticism. Jarreau is rangier and the better defender; Trent is more physical and more aggressive on offense, and will be counted on in a leadership role for a Seattle squad with just one other senior (Dvonne Pickett, Jr.)

Post: Deshaun Sunderhaus (Perris Blackwell) Two natural post players with good moves in the block, enough quickness to recover on defense, decent midrange games… but no one truly elite skill. Blackwell is a little bigger and more experienced, having starred at USF. Sunderhaus might have been the best overall player for the Redhawks last year as a freshman.

Another problem with the little brother complex? When you play the same style of game, but your older brother has an inherent talent advantage, it’s really hard to beat him.

For a football example, take Washington (a good, up-tempo up-and-coming program) and Oregon (a powerhouse playing exactly the same offensive style). For the last several years, Oregon’s talent advantage has simply been too monumental to overcome. But Oregon has had trouble with Stanford, who play a completely opposite smash-mouth, grind-it-out game.

So here’s how the Redhawks can challenge their older brother: Take a cue from Stanford and hit him in the mouth. Play tough, aggressive defense, and take time on offense to find a quality scoring opportunity. Take the ball to the rim and get to the free-throw line all game.

It’s time for the little brother to develop his own identity and step out from the shadows.  Time for the Redhawks to take flight.

University of Idaho, WAC season preview: Vandals going small to shoot for the big dance

7 Nov

University of Idaho

Preseason rankings: Tie 4th (coaches), 2nd (media)

The Vandals are theoretically Seattle U’s rivals in the WAC, and they’ve certainly been a thorn in the side of the Redhawks. The teams have played a home-and-home series for each of the past 4 years and Idaho has won 7 of those 8 games. Not to mention, Idaho has come in and scooped several talented high school recruits out of the Redhawks’ backyard – most recently Seattle guards Sekou Wiggs and Patrick Ball.  It’s been a while since the Vandals had any national success, though. They’ve made 4 appearances in the NCAA tournament and the most recent was in 1990. This season, their last in the WAC, might be their best chance since then to return to the big dance.

When they play: Feb. 1 in Idaho, Mar. 1 at home

H – 6 A – 7 N – 2 Power Conference – 3 (Oklahoma, WSU, Boise St), Lower Division – 1

With Idaho on the rise, featuring one of the WAC’s best players in Stephen Madison, and Boise State coming off an NCAA appearance and being picked by some to win the Mountain West, the game in Boise on Nov. 27 could be the best all-Idaho basketball game ever. The Vandals also host Washington State and Big Sky power Montana in some solid home contests.

One to watch: Stephen Madison. The senior forward is a strong offensive weapon, but he’s a streaky one. Last season he hit over 20 points 6 times, but was held in single-figures 8 times. He’s at his best when he’s able to be aggressive and get to the free-throw line.

Blog prediction: 2nd. Yes, Idaho did lose WAC player-of-the-year Kyle Barone, a force last year in the post. But in addition to adding a strong recruiting class, they will have the services of senior guard Glen Dean, a lightning-quick guard who starred at Eastern Washington before spending a season in the Pac-12, mostly as a starter, at Utah. That’s a big plus. The Vandals might have trouble defending inside, but the 1-2 punch of Dean and Madison should still be enough to propel the Vandals into the upper tier of the WAC.

Seattle Redhawks 2013-14 Basketball Schedule (A work in progress)

15 Jul

The Redhawks won’t officially release their schedule until the end of August, according to Cameron Dollar. That didn’t stop us from trying to piece it together.

Here’s what we know so far. Seattle will be the travel partner for the University of Idaho again, and will play 16 games – 8 home and 8 away – in Western Athletic Conference competition. They’ll also travel across the mountains to Cheney for a non-conference game at Eastern Washington.

Below is the tentative schedule for the Redhawks that we’ve got so far.

@ Eastern Washington, Friday, Nov. 29

@ New Mexico St Thursday, Jan. 9

@ UT Pan American Saturday, Jan. 11*

UT Pan American Thursday, Feb. 6 *

New Mexico St Saturday, Feb. 8

@ Utah Valley Thursday, Feb. 13*

@ CSU Bakersfield Saturday, Feb. 15






* – unconfirmed

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.

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.


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.


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: Redhawks meet their equals in CSU-Bakersfield

7 Mar

On paper, Seattle and Bakersfield are two of the teams expected to challenge New Mexico State in the WAC next season.

With Grand Canyon University being new to the conference, UT-Pan America and UM-Kansas City deep in rebuilding mode and Chicago State being an underwater train wreck, both the Redhawks and the Roadrunners would be projected to be near the top of the conference in the 2013-14 season.

Both squads are fairly new to Division I, and toiled without a conference for a few years until the WAC came calling. They’re very much part of the same basketball generation.

And the programs are nearly equal in terms of development. They each have a surprise win this year – Seattle’s was at UT-Arlington, CSU-Bakersfield’s came against South Dakota State – and an otherwise mediocre record.

So Bakersfield will provide a nice litmus test for the Redhawks, especially on a neutral court in Kent. (Technically, it’s a home game for Seattle, but… yeah, not really.)

Each school has a fairly large market but minimal positive recent basketball history. Each has big aspirations and a long way to go to reach them. In a lot of ways, CSU-B is the twin brother of this Seattle University program, and that makes for a compelling matchup tonight.

Redhawks must continue to improve on retaining Seattle’s high school hoops talent

25 Feb

You don’t have to look very hard to find evidence that the Seattle area is a hotspot for young basketball talent.

Zach LaVine, a UCLA commit and superstar-in-waiting, is the latest example. So is D.J. Fenner, or Tony Wroten, or Tramaine Isabell, or Tucker Haymond, or any one of about 50 other names that come to mind easily.

Some of that talent stays in-state. A lot doesn’t. That’s just how college basketball works, and anyone expecting Seattle U to get every kid from the 206 or 425 has expectations set way too high. I get that.

But how does a kid like Haymond, a Garfield High School star from the heart of Seattle, choose Western Michigan over Seattle U?

The location is much closer to home. The academics are better at SU. And it’s not like Kalamazoo, Michigan, is going to provide a more active social life than the Emerald City does.

Haymond, a 6’6” swingman, was recruited by the Redhawks but originally committed to Western Michigan. He backed out of that commitment. He came to KeyArena to check out SU’s play. He probably met with the coaching staff. He was down to two schools. And then he recommitted to Western Michigan.

The reason for that is actually pretty simple. He probably saw the Redhawks struggling in conference play and adjusting to the WAC, as well as the Broncos starting hot this season and rolling to a 17-9 record, including a road win over Big East school South Florida.

I have a feeling Cameron Dollar will sorely regret not landing Haymond, who could have been a fantastic scoring complement to Deshaun Sunderhaus.

It’s going to be hard to keep any of the guys like Haymond in-state. But you’d still like to have the Redhawks coaching staff be able to keep one solid Seattle-area player a year from leaving the state to play for a mid-major school in an inferior conference.

Despite struggles on the court, Redhawks are doing well in the stands

23 Jan

As it turns out, the Redhawks have pretty good fan support.

This year’s home attendance so far is 2767 – which was dragged down by home games against minnows Campbell and Jackson State during winter break, and boosted by the crosstown showdown with UW.

Last year’s home attendance was a notch higher, at 2974 fans per game. Fewer home games, plus two big contests against Stanford and Virginia, might account for that difference.

But when you compare those numbers to those of Seattle’s peers, the teams new to Division-I, they look incredibly solid. Of the 7 schools that were reclassifying to D-I last year, Seattle had the highest attendance by nearly 900 fans per game.

Seattle’s attendance even stacks up well against its new WAC brothers. Here’s a table of last year’s attendance, by school.

Utah State – 8406

New Mexico State – 5572

Denver – 5460

Louisiana Tech – 3165

Seattle – 2944

UT Arlington – 2131

Texas State – 2020

San Jose State – 1655

UTSA – 1530

Idaho – 1517

Seattle University actually would have finished in the top half of WAC attendance last year. Since there’s only been a slight drop in fans this year, it’s safe to say that the Redhawks have some of the better fan support in the conference. If home games appear otherwise to the naked eye, it’s probably because they play in gigantic KeyArena which makes even good crowds seem small.

When compared to next year’s WAC schools, the Redhawks look even better.

New Mexico State – 5572

Utah Valley – 2952

Seattle – 2944

Grand Canyon – 2278*

CSU Bakersfield – 1613

Idaho – 1517

UT Pan American – 611

Chicago State – 429

It is awfully impressive that GCU is pulling in more than 2000 a game for Division-II basketball. That addition to the WAC could prove to be a brilliant one. Chicago State and UTPA though… not so much. In fact, last year Chicago State ranked dead last in all NCAA D-I teams for home attendance.

Finally, WAC tournament averaged just 1871 fans a session, which wasn’t quite dead last, but it was close. (Only two tournaments out of 30 had fewer fans.)

Maybe get rid of that neutral-site idea? Vegas is nice and all, but the WAC could do better financially by hosting it at an arena with a conference team already there. One that has good fan support to ensure that tickets get sold. One like…. hmm. Perhaps Seattle?

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