#16 Seawolf men make 16th NCAA appearance
THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF BASKETBALL...
2012 NCAA Division II West Regional Championships
Carver Gymnasium - Bellingham, Wash.
(All times Alaska)
Friday, Mar. 9 - First Round
11:30 am - #3 Seattle Pacific (21-7) vs. #6 Dixie State (20-6)
1:30 pm - #2 Alaska Anchorage (22-6) vs. #7 Montana State Billings (18-11)
4:30 pm - #4 Humboldt State (24-7) vs. #5 Chico State (22-7)
6:30 pm - #1 Western Washington (25-5) vs. #8 Grand Canyon (19-7)
Semifinals - Saturday, Mar. 10
4 pm - SPU/Dixie winner vs. UAA/MSUB winner
6 pm - HSU/Chico winner vs WWU/GCU winner
Finals - Monday, Mar. 12
6 pm - Semifinal winners
(Champion advances to NCAA D-II Elite Eight, Mar. 21-22 & 24 in Highland Heights, Ky.)
SOCIAL MEDIA: Halftime and final score updates on Facebook (Alaska Anchorage Seawolves) and Twitter (@UAASeawolves).
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2011-12 stats)
G-Steve White, 6-0/195, Sr. (8.1 ppg, 5.1 apg, 2.6 rpg, .503 FG, .361 3FG, .767 FT)
G-Kyle Fossman, 6-0/180, So. (10.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, .481 FG, .463 3FG, .852 FT)
G-Travis Thompson, 6-1/195, So. (11.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.3 spg, .478 3FG, .852 FT)
G-Colton Lauwers, 6-3/235, So. (4.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.1 A-T ratio, .356 3FG)
C-Taylor Rohde, 6-9/255, Sr. (19.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg, .628 FG, .795 FT [140-176])
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Montana State Billings earned the Great Northwest Athletic Conference's automatic bid by coming from 5th-seeded position to defeat #4 Western Oregon (80-75), #1 Western Washington (82-78) and #2 UAA (74-70) in last week's GNAC Tournament in Lacey, Wash. ... the Yellowjackets, who are making their first NCAA appearance since joining the GNAC in 2007-08, feature four double-digit scorers, including Sr. G Antoine Proctor (18.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.3 spg, .825 FT), Sr. PG Jaxon Myaer (14.4 ppg, 4.5 apg, .441 3FG, .818 FT) and GNAC Tourney MVP Robert Mayes (11.6 ppg, 1.3 bpg, .475 FG).
ALL-TIME vs MSUB: UAA leads 36-27 (MSUB leads 2-0 neutral court)
Last Meeting: MSUB 74-70 (3/3/12 at Lacey, Wash.)
Streak: MSUB 1 / Notes: UAA swept the regular-season series but had its 4-game win streak against MSUB snapped in Saturday's GNAC Championship game at Saint Martin's ... UAA leads 8-2 in GNAC regular-season meetings since MSUB joined the GNAC in 2007-08, with both Yellowjacket victories coming in Billings ... UAA has won nine straight in Anchorage since a 91-73 MSUB win on Jan. 29, 1998 ... MSUB is UAA's 2nd-most common opponent with this being the 64th all-time meeting ... first meeting was in 1977-78 and teams were rivals for many years in the Pacific West Conference.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: The winner of the West Regional Championship earns a spot at the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, Mar. 21-24 in Highland Heights, Ky., where it will play against the other seven regional champions for a shot at the national title ... the West winner will play the winner from the South Central Region.
SEAWOLF NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: UAA is making its fifth NCAA appearance in seven years and the 16th in 35 years of program history ... last year's 76-70 victory over Humboldt State improved UAA to 8-7 in opening-round affairs, while the loss to eventual national runner-up BYU-Hawaii left UAA with a 14-15 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament ... the Seawolves have twice advanced to the NCAA Final Four, making the national semifinals in 2008 and the national title game in 1988.
GNAC TOURNAMENT RECAP: Second-seeded UAA advanced to the GNAC Tournament championship game for the second straight season, beating 6th-seeded Central Washington 93-81 in the semifinals, then dropping a 74-70 decision to 5th-seeded MSU Billings in the finals, Mar. 2-3 in Lacey, Wash. ... in the first game, UAA outshot the Wildcats .538 to .422, led by So. G Travis Thompson's 24 points (8-12 FG, 5-7 3FG), 3 assists and 2 steals ... four other Seawolves scored in double figures, with Sr. C Taylor Rohde getting 19 points (6-8 FG, 7-8 FT) and 8 rebounds, Sr. PG Steve White tallying a career-high 17 points (4-6 FG, 9-11 FT), and guards Lonnie Ridgeway and Kyle Fossman notching 12 points apiece ... White dished seven steals and Jr. F Abebe Demissie had his second-best rebounding effort with 9 boards as UAA finished 3-0 against CWU this year ... on Saturday, UAA led through much of the contest before the Yellowjackets caught fire from three-point land in the last 8 minutes ... White led the Seawolves with 16 points (7-9 FG), 4 assists and no turnovers in 35 minutes, Rohde posted his 8th double-double of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Thompson tallied 15 points (5-7 3FG) in the loss.
TEAM NOTES: UAA has earned its 14th 20-win season and the first back-to-back 20-win campaigns since doing it three straight years from 1991-92 to 1993-94 ... this marks UAA's seventh consecutive winning season and the 29th in the program's 35 years ... UAA posted its 2nd-best league record (15-3) in 11 years of GNAC play, trailing only the 16-2 record of the 2007-08 championship squad, while the .833 winning pct. was the 3rd-best in 31 years of conference affiliations (8-0 in 1985-86) ... the Seawolves finished their Wells Fargo Sports Complex season with a 13-1 record to account for the second-best mark in the past 15 years (18-0 in '07-08) ... the Seawolves lead the GNAC team stats in five categories - scoring margin (+12.8), FG% (.503), 3FG% (.415), assists per game (19.2) and asst.-turnover ratio (1.5) - and rank second in five others ... in the NCAA Div. II national stats, the Seawolves rank in the top 50 in an impressive 14 of 18 possible categories, including top-10 marks in asst.-TO ratio (3rd), assists per game (4th), 3FG% (7th), scoring margin (8th) and FG% (17th); UAA is also 17th in both FG% and FT% (.755) ... the unbeaten stretch from Jan. 19-28 marked the first time since 1985-86 that the Seawolves won four straight uninterrupted road contests ... UAA has set one school record thus far, allowing its fewest-ever rebounds in a road game when it outboarded Northwest Nazarene 32-16 on Jan. 28.
ROHDE TABBED GNAC'S BEST: Sr. C Taylor Rohde joined Luke Cooper (2007-08) as the second Seawolf to earn the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Year honor when the league handed out its postseason awards last week ... a preseason All-American by both Div. II Bulletin and The Sporting News, Rohde leads the GNAC in scoring (19.9 ppg), rebounding (8.1 rpg) and FG% (.628), while ranking 2nd with eight double-doubles ... nationally, he is 8th in FG%, 27th in scoring and 60th in rebounding ... now a 2-time 1st Team All-GNAC performer, Rohde has scored double figures in 24 of the last 26 games (55 of 62 career) and shot 50-plus percent from the floor in 23 of the last 24 games, including 15 straight currently ... his 30 points vs. MSUB at home was his fourth career game with 30-plus, and his 25 vs. Western Oregon was his 23rd outing with 20 or more ... he is almost on pace to be UAA's first 20-point scorer since Kemmy Burgess averaged 21.1 ppg in 2005-06, and he likely will be the first Seawolf to lead the GNAC in scoring ... Rohde became the 7th-fastest UAA player to reach 1,000 career points - doing it in 57 outings - and now ranks in UAA's top 15 in 11 statistical categories - FG% (1st, .621), points per game (10th, 17.8), points (13th, 1,106), rebounds (t-13th, 448), rebounds per game (10th, 7.2), FT made (4th, 280), FT made per game (4th, 4.5), FT attempted (6th, 366), double-doubles (10th, 12) and games started (t-11th, 61) ... on UAA's single-season lists, he is No. 3 in FG% and needs just 21 more points to move into the top 10.
'WOLF BITES: So. G Travis Thompson became just the second sophomore in program history to earn 1st- or 2nd-team all-conference honors when he was named a 2nd Team All-GNAC pick last week ... UAA's second-leading scorer (11.9 ppg) leads the GNAC and ranks 8th nationally in assist-turnover ratio (2.8), along with other GNAC top-5 ranks of 2nd in 3FG% (.478) and 5th in FT% (.852), assists (4.1 apg) and 3FGs per game (2.4) ... the former Alaska 4A Player of the Year (Dimond HS)upped his scoring average to 12.1 ppg in GNAC games, shooting .494 from 3FG range ... on UAA's career averages list, Thompson is 3rd in 3FG% (.447) and 7th in FT% (.843) ... Sr. PG Steve White is enjoying the most productive offensive stretch in his 4-year career, averaging 10.6 points and 5.9 assists over the last 11 games ... White leads the GNAC with 5.1 apg (30th nationally), while ranking 7th in assist-turnover ratio (2.0, 47th nationally), and 19th in FT% (.767) ... with 18 games of 5-plus assists this season, White has become the sixth player in UAA history to rack up 300 for his career, currently in 4th place with 336 ... White owns other UAA career ranks of 16th in FG% (.517), 6th in games played (113) and t-4th in victories (76) ... So. G Kyle Fossman ranks among the GNAC's leaders in 3FG% (3rd, .463), assist-turnover ratio (3rd, 2.4), 3FGs per game (8th, 2.2) and FG% (18th, .481) ... after averaging 7.8 ppg in the non-conference season, Fossman's production soared to 11.7 ppg in league action, including GNAC-only shooting numbers of .507 FG, .489 3FG and .905 FT ... the Haines product is currently just off school-record pace with career .474 3FG accuracy, and he is tied for the team lead with Thompson in FT% (.852) this year ... trailing only Thompson and Fossman's outstanding numbers, So. Colton Lauwers ranks 3rd on the team with a 2.1 assist-turnover ratio and 3rd with 31 3FGs made ... another former Dimond HS star, Lauwers has committed just seven turnovers in the last 12 games ... with 2.6 rebounds per contest, Lauwers is one of nine Seawolves averaging between 2.0 and 3.8 rpg ... 5th-year Sr. G Lonnie Ridgeway has averaged 10.1 points in 11 games since returning from an 8-week absence with a broken wrist ... the team's 4th-leading scorer (9.1 ppg) and 2nd-leading rebounder (3.8) has averaged 14.4 ppg during UAA's recent 5-game winning streak, shooting 29 of 48 (.604) from the field ... a local product from Heritage Christian HS, Ridgeway ranks among UAA's career leaders in rebounds (32nd, 302), games played (12th, 102) and victories (6th, 72) ... Jr. F Abebe Demissie is UAA's 6th-leading scorer (6.1 ppg) and 3rd-leading rebounder (3.2 rpg), upping his boards average by 0.4 with 16 rebounds in the GNAC Tournament ... with Thompson, Fossman and Demissie (9th, .435), the Seawolves feature three of the top nine 3FG% shooters in the GNAC ... the entire trio also ranks among the top 20 on UAA's single-season list ... Jr. C Liam Gibcus produced his best offensive showing against a fellow D-II opponent this year with 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting in UAA's win Feb. 16 over Saint Martin's ... a 55.6 percent career FG shooter, Gibcus shot 9-for-9 over a 5-game stretch before missing his final attempt at UAF in the regular-season finale ... Rohde's primary backup has also gone eight straight games (62 total minutes) without committing a turnover ... Jr. G Marcus Jackson provides UAA with another offensive threat off the bench, averaging 5.3 ppg on .526 FG shooting ... along with Thompson and Fossman, Jackson gives UAA three 80-percent charity shooters, knocking down 38 of 46 (.826) thus far.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Seawolves finished No. 16 in the final NABC Division II Top 25 poll of the season, released prior to the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 6 ... there is no post-NCAAs poll, so it marks the seventh time UAA has finished the season ranked ... this year, UAA stayed among the top 25 for all but two polls in mid-January, reaching as high as No. 15 in the Feb. 28 ratings ... UAA and fellow GNAC squad Western Washington (No. 12) were the only West Region teams in the last rankings ... here is an abbreviated look at the poll:
NABC Division II Top 25 - Mar. 6, 2012
(UAA & opponents in bold; West Region teams in italics)
Rk Team (1st pl. votes) Rec. Pts Last
1 Colorado Mines (8) 27-2 200 2
2 Alabama-Huntsville 26-3 192 3
3 West Liberty 29-2 182 4
4 Bellarmine 25-3 175 1
5 Midwestern State 26-3 168 6
6 Southern Indiana 24-6 143 13
7 Shaw 25-3 142 5
8 Christian Brothers 23-6 139 8
9 Tarleton State 26-5 138 7
10 Indiana, Pa. 23-5 112 9
12 Western Washington 25-5 107 11
16 ALASKA ANCHORAGE 22-6 77 15
Others West Region Teams Receiving Votes: t-32) Seattle Pacific 6.
Full poll at nabc.org/coaches_corner/divII
INJURY REPORT: Jr. F/C Chris Weitzel suffered a knee injury in practice Jan. 6 and is out indefinitely ... Fr. F Christian Leckband and Sr. G Mario Gill are both out indefinitely with hand injuries.
SEAWOLVES FAVORED IN GNAC: UAA was a narrow favorite in the 2011-12 Great Northwest Athletic Conference coaches' poll, released Oct. 12 ... UAA polled in nearly a dead heat with Seattle Pacific, edging the Falcons 95-94 ... UAA and SPU tied with four 1st-place votes, while Western Washington claimed the other two ... this marked just the second time the Seawolves have been favored in the preseason poll, with the original prognostication coming true in UAA's Final 4 season of 2007-08 ... actual finishes are denoted in right-hand column below:
2011-12 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rk Team 10-11 Rec. (Place) Pts Act
1. Alaska Anchorage (4) 24-10, 13-5, 2nd 95 2
2. Seattle Pacific (4) 20-10, 12-6, 3rd 94 3
3. Western Washington (2) 16-11, 11-7, 4th 86 1
4. Central Washington 26-4, 16-2, 1st 75 6
5. Western Oregon 13-16, 8-10, 6th 54 4
6. Saint Martin's 14-15, 7-11, 7th 44 7-t
7. Montana St. Billings 8-18, 6-12, 8th 36 5
8. Alaska Fairbanks 8-17, 5-13, 9th 33 10
9. Northwest Nazarene 15-12, 10-8, 5th 31 7-t
10. Simon Fraser 3-21, 2-16, 10th 12 9
Note: Points awarded on 11-9-8-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
2011-12 SEAWOLF INDIVIDUAL HONORS
AT&T Jamboree Player of the Game vs Portland Bible, 12/2
AT&T Jamboree All-Tournament Team, 12/3
GNAC All-Academic Team, 2/22
GNAC All-Academic Team, 2/22
GNAC All-Academic Team, 2/22
Division II Bulletin Preseason All-American
The Sporting News Preseason All-American 2nd Team
Carrs/Safeway Player of the Game vs UC Irvine, 11/26
Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team, 11/26
AT&T Jamboree Most Outstanding Player, 12/3
GNAC Player of the Week, Dec. 26-Jan. 1
GNAC Player of the Week, Jan. 30-Feb. 5
1st Team All-GNAC (unanimous), 2/27
GNAC Player of the Year, 2/27
AT&T Jamboree Player of the Game vs Minot State, 12/3
GNAC All-Academic Team, 2/22
2nd Team All-GNAC, 2/27
GNAC All-Academic Team, 2/22