2018-19 UNIV. OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON REVIEW

 

BRIEF SEASON RECAP: The Seawolves posted a 14-14 overall record and tied for 6th place in the 11-game Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2018-19 ... UAA showed a penchant for close games, playing 18 contests within a 10-point spread and nine games within six points and posting wins over NCAA qualifier Western Oregon and playoff contender Northwest Nazarene ... the Seawolves used a 5-game winning streak in January to make a push for the postseason but fell short of qualifying for the GNAC Tournament on a tiebreaker ... individually, Jr. G/F Tyler Brimhall was voted First Team All-GNAC, while Jr. G Jack Macdonald was a Google Cloud Academic All-District 8 selection.

 

SEASON-ENDING UAA STARTERS (2018-19 stats)

G—Jack Macdonald, 6-0, Jr. (10.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, .447 FG, .393 3FG, .833 FT)

G—Brennan Rymer, 6-0, So. (9.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.8 apg, .448 FG, .386 3FG, .848 FT)

C—Sjur Berg, 6-7, Jr. (7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, .598 FG, .526 FT)

F—Tyler Brimhall, 6-5, Jr. (18.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, .471 FG, .423 3FG, .832 FT)

F—Niko Bevens, 6-6, Jr. (12.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, .406 FG, .368 3FG, .778 FT)

 

TEAM NOTES: The Seawolves barely missed their 14th straight winning season and saw a string of eight straight winning GNAC records come to an end this year ... UAA ranked in the top 30 of the NCAA national stats in assist/turnover ratio (26th, 1.40) and assists per game (20th, 17.1 apg) ... the Seawolves led the GNAC in assists per game and A/T ration, and ranked 2nd in FT% (.747) and rebounding defense (32.2).

 

KILLER B’s: The Seawolves got a predictably large impact from its two players with Div. I experience, getting more than 31 points per game from the combo of Jr. Fs Tyler Brimhall (Idaho) and Niko Bevens (Montana) ... Brimhall, who transfered directly from North Idaho College, eanred First Team All-GNAC honors, ranked 4th in the league in scoring (18.7 ppg) and 7th in rebounding (6.5 rpg), plus 4th in 3FGs per game (2.9), 5th in minutes per game (31.6), 10th in FT% (.832) and 9th in 3FG% (.423) ... sporting a team-high four double-doubles, the Utah native scored at least 21 points in 14 games, while grabbing at least seven rebounds in 14 of 28 contests ... Brimhall captured his first GNAC Player of the Week award for his home performances against CWU and NNU, tallying 43 points (12-21 FG, 8-11 3FG, 11-14 FT), 14 rebounds and 5 assists in the home sweep ... meanwhile, Bevens tallied double digits in 19 games, including 10 games with 15 points or more ... Bevens’s season-high 28-point effort at Hawaii Pacific featured seven first-half treys – the most ever for a Seawolf before the break – and his eight total 3FGs in the victory tied for 7th on UAA’s single-game list ... in the GNAC stats, he ranked 21st in scoring (12.5 ppg), 3rd in 3FGs per game (2.9, 53rd nationally) and 3rd in minutes per game (32.7).

 

INTERIOR EXPERIENCE: The Seawolves’ most experienced player with 97 career games, Sr. C Brian Pearson climbed to 3rd on UAA’s career blocks list with 96, and finished 5th in blocks per game with 0.99 ... Pearson led the GNAC and ranked 67th nationally with 1.4 bpg, swatting multiple shots in 10 games, and he scored in double figures on six occasions, including 15 points (6-8 FG) in the 95-88 win at Central Washington ... following a season away from basketball, Jr. F Sjur Berg came on strong with .500-or-better shooting in 21 consecutive games from Nov. 10-Feb. 26, and double-figure scoring in eight of his last 19 contests ... the Norwegian ­had career-highs of 14 points (5-8 FG, 4-4 FT), 14 rebounds and 4 blocks in the Nov. 23 win over South Dakota Mines, and he bettered his top scoring effort with 18 points in the win over NCAA qualifier Western Oregon ... Berg grabbed at least five rebounds in 13 of his last 24 games to  rank 11th in the league (5.8 rpg), along with 3rd in FG% (.598) and 6th in offensive rebounds per game (2.2) ... a regular in the lineup since his arrival at UAA in 2014, Berg -- who will forego his senior season -- finished 8th on the program’s career FG% list at .559, while this year’s .598 percentage ranked 10th on the single-season list.

 

AUSSIE, AUSSIE: The ninth and tenth Australians to suit up for the Seawolves in the past 15 seasons, So. PG Brennan Rymer and Jr. G Jack Macdonald established themselves as regulars in the starting lineup in their second seasons at UAA ... Rymer showed improvement from his rookie season in all categories, averaging 9.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg and a team-high 4.8 apg ... the Sydney native scored double figures in 14 of the last 23 games and dished at least four assists in 14 of the last 17 contests, including his 30-point, 9-rebound, 9-assist effort in the 92-85 win at Central Washington ... Rymer ranked 2nd in the GNAC in assists per game, 10th in assist-turnover ratio (2.2) and 7th in FT% (.848) ... meanwhile, Macdonald (Melbourne) raised his scoring average from 8.7 to 10.7 ppg over the second half of the season, producing his best GNAC scoring totals with 23 points (9-15 FG) in the home win over CWU, a career-high 24 points (7-9 FG, 6-7 3FG, 4-5 FT) in the win over UAF, 18 points (3-7 3FG, 9-10 FT) in the win over NNU and a team-high 17 points (6-11 FG, 3-5 3FG, 2-2 FT) at WWU ... the Melbourne native also dished a career-high 6 assists against NNU and finished with GNAC ranks of 31st in scoring, 15th in assist-turnover ratio (2.0) and 9th in FT% (.833) ... a double-major (accounting and marketing) with a 3.79 overall GPA, Macdonald was also a star in the classroom, earning Google Cloud Academic All-District Team honors last week. 

 

TRUST IN RUSTY: In 15 years at the helm, head coach Rusty Osborne (279-166) has led the Seawolves to 14 straight seasons of .500-plus records, along with five NCAA Tournaments and a trip to the 2008 NCAA D-II Semifinals … the longest tenured coach in program history and in the GNAC, he became the first UAA basketball coach to reach 200 career victories when the Seawolves beat Alaska Fairbanks on Jan. 10, 2015 … Osborne captured his first career GNAC and NABC West District coach-of-the-year awards in 2008 after becoming the second coach to lead UAA to three consecutive NCAA berths (2006-08), and in 2011-12 his Seawolves posted a 24-10 record to equal the 2nd-most victories in program history; Osborne’s 2007-08 club holds that record with a 29-6 mark … before taking over the head job in 2004-05, the Texas native previously served 13 seasons (1991-04) as a UAA assistant, including 11 years as the top assistant … the Seawolves have won over 60 percent of their games with Osborne on the staff, claiming four conference titles and eight trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament ... Osborne was assisted in 2018-19 by Ryan Orton (5th season) and Shane Rinner (7th season).

 

SMART SEAWOLVES: Led by Jr. G Jack Macdonald, three Seawolves were among the 29 student-athletes on the 2018-19 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball All-Academic Team ... Macdonald produced a 3.79 overall grade-point average in his first three semesters at UAA, ranking 6th-best in the 11-team GNAC ... joining Macdonald on the squad were Sr. C Brian Pearson and So. G Brennan Rymer ... Pearson earned GNAC academic recognition for the second year in a row with a 3.24 overall GPA in justice in nine semesters at UAA, while Rymer picked up his first award with a 3.21 overall GPA in management.

 

2018-19 SEAWOLF INDIVIDUAL HONORS

Tyler Brimhall

Preseason All-GNAC Team

Alaska/Hawaii Challenge All-Tournament Team

GNAC Player of the Week, Jan. 14-20

First Team All-GNAC

Jack Macdonald

GNAC All-Academic Team

Google Cloud Academic All-District 8 Team

Brian Pearson

GNAC All-Academic Team

Brennan Rymer

Seawolf Jamboree All-Tournament Team

GNAC All-Academic Team