Monday, December 5, 2011

Big Sky Weekend Roundup

I have already written about about Damian Lillard (er, Weber State's) win over San Jose State and Eastern Washington's loss to Washington State, but here is a quick look at the rest of what happened in the Big Sky on Saturday and Sunday.

- Idaho State picked up a nice home win over North Dakota, beating the Fighting Sioux 76-63. This avenges their 63-47 loss to UND earlier this year. The Bengals had a few stellar performances, most notably by Kenny McGowen with 18 points and Abner Moreira with 14 rebounds. It is a win to build off of, and we will see if they can continue the momentum tonight against Boise State.

- Montana got routed by Oregon State, losing 71-46. Not a lot to say after a drubbing like that in a game that I thought the Grizzlies would keep competitive. Once again, back to the drawing board for Wayne Tinkle.

- Montana State trailed Cal State Bakersfield at half, but used a strong second half to win a nice game, 72-68. Xavier Blount, the heralded JUCO wing, had a huge day for the Bobcats, scoring 26 points (including 21 in the second half). Montana State is solidifying itself as a team in the top half of the Big Sky.

- Northern Arizona fought valiantly, but came up short against Arizona, 53-39. Mike Adras is going to need to work all of his magic to make this team adequate offensively, at least until Gabe Rogers returns. NAU was led by Nor Cal product Colin Gruber.

- Northern Colorado took care of business this time, beating NAIA Johnson & Wales. Six players scored in double figures for the Bears, led by Emmanual Addo's 17 and 10. Nothing too noteworthy about this one.

- Portland State dominated Walla Walla 102-47, improving to 5-2, the second best record in the Big Sky. Now if they could just take on some stiffer competition, we could learn a lot more about them.

Anything else important happen?

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  1. My vote goes to Wayne Tinkle as the most overrated coach in the league. He can recruit, but I really think his coaching and motivating techniques are average at best.

    Weber State never looks impressive in out of conference games under Rahe. They should have dominated San Jose State. They lose just enough games each year to not be taken too seriously by the rest of the country.

    I wasn't so much surprised by Eastern's loss to Washington State as I was by the amount. I don't know if it was a meltdown or what, but I definitely thought they'd keep it closer.

    It's interesting that ISU kept North Dakota to the same point total for both games, but increased its point total by almost 30 points. If they can get it through their heads that they need balanced scoring, then they won't finish last and might even make the Big Sky tourney. I won't hold my breath though.

  2. We will see about Tinkle and Montana, my feeling is that they will be ok and still be top 3 in the Big Sky. I think based on his track record I give him the benefit of the doubt so far, but it has been a tough start for them.

    Agreed on EWU/Wash St... I thought EWU would win but it is certainly not a shock that they lost. But to lose by 26?? WSU is not that good of a basketball team, and everything I had seen of EWU this year made me think it would be close.

    For ISU, it seems like Morgan is really starting to settle in and he has become a nice offensive threat for them. A lot was made about Kusmieruk before the year, but I'm not so sure they aren't better without him, it allows them to get a lot quicker and more athletic, which can cause some matchup problems. We should learn a lot about them the next 2 days against Boise St and Utah. If they can steal one of those it will be a nice momentum-booster. Definitely not out of the realm of possibility they could make the Big Sky Tourney, but still work to be done for sure.