WAC
David Kachelries had a team-high 18 points as SFA fell just short at No. 7 Kansas on Saturday. Courtesy SFA Athletics.
Dixie State Featured Lamar Seattle Stephen F. Austin

Some Food for Thought from a Busy Saturday of WAC Hoops

There are so many thoughts from Saturday’s busy day of WAC Hoops. And some of those thoughts are based on what has happened prior to Saturday. For instance, why is it some teams play well against ranked opponents and others don’t? How is it that Tarleton loses at Kansas by 26 but Stephen F. Austin goes in and loses by just eight? Or why is it that Stephen F. Austin loses to Louisiana-Monroe at home but goes in Phog Allen Fieldhouse and goes toe-to-toe with the No. 7 team in the country?

Do you see what I am getting at? It is so hard to get a read teams around the WAC right now. Utah Valley knocks off a ranked BYU squad. And the following week, goes 0-2 at Southern Utah and at Wyoming. These inconsistencies are going to make conference play a lot more exciting.

Here are some more thoughts from Saturday.

Lamar is Not at Full Strength and Not Good

As I was watching Lamar playing at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday, I had to shake my head. The Cardinals are just not real good right now. Perhaps a lot of that has to do with injuries. There is no denying that. Jordyn Adams and Kasen Harrison have missed time. C.J. Roberts is hemmed up now with an injury. And Davion Buster missed today’s game. But, all teams are dealing with injuries so I don’t think the Cardinals can hide behind that all season.

Yes, Lamar lost by just four on Saturday. But, there was no offensive flow. I mean, Lamar had just 16 points at half. At one point in the first half, there were multiple possessions where the Cardinals didn’t even get a shot off. Alvin Brooks is going to get this squad back on track at some point. And perhaps the Cardinals will have a full roster when they open WAC play on Dec. 30 at Sam Houston.

Dixie State Get Nice Road Win for Judkins’ 300th

Dixie State is rolling right now. Okay, so let’s be honest. The Trailblazers have won six straight but four of those have come against non-DI opponents. But, perhaps gaining confidence is what this team needed. The Trailblazers shot 48 percent from the field to beat North Dakota 78-69 in Grand Forks on Saturday. Head coach Jon Judkins earned his 300th win as the Dixie State head coach. And he had Hunter Schofield and Cameron Gooden to thank. Schofield had 18 points and Gooden finished with 10. But, Judkins also had a rather unknown help him, too. True freshman Noa Gonsalves had a career-high 12 points and hit a pair of 3-pointers in the win.

The 78 points was the lowest point total over the six wins. But, Dixie State is gaining confidence. And on Tuesday night in Cedar City, the Trailblazers have an opportunity to sweep Southern Utah. Hopefully, for Judkins and the Trailblazers, that confidence continues to play a role in this team’s success.

A Tale of Two Games

I was asked last night about my thoughts on the SFA battle at No. 7 Kansas. I thought it was a great game plan put together by Kyle Keller and his staff. The high-low combination of Gavin Kensmil and Day-Day Hall was really good. The two-man game between Kensmil and David Kachelries was efficient. And the Jacks were able to be physical on the defensive end. All good things.

Which makes me shake my head at how they lose to a team like Louisiana-Monroe at home just a few days earlier. I understand that Saturday was against the 7th-ranked team in the country. The game was at historic Allen Fieldhouse against a Blue Blood. It’s one of those games any team gets a little more focused. No denying that. But, that is where the frustration or rather the questionable look comes from.

SFA has been really good over the last 5-6 years and in all honesty has a target on its back. You have to get up for every game in similar fashion or else a strange home loss is bound to happen. When this SFA team is locked in as it was at Kansas, against Buffalo and even against Saint Louis, it can be really good. The Jacks have the pieces in place, the experience and the talent to make noise in their first year in the WAC. But, consistency will be key as you can’t take anyone lightly in the WAC this season.

Scouting Report for Seattle

Let Riley Grigsby and Darrion Trammell get their points and stop everyone else. Okay, that is a little rough on the Redhawks. But that is what the case was on Saturday night in a crosstown battle at Washington. Grigsby and Trammell combined for 38 points. No other Redhawk was in double figures. In fact, take away Grigsby and Trammell, and the Redhawks were just 9-29 from the field. Not good. Houston transfer Cameron Tyson was just 3-12 on the night. In all reality, if you stop one of the Grigsby, Trammell, and Tyson trio, you are more likely to win a ball game.

It’s about the role players for the Redhawks and someone has to step up when WAC play starts on Dec. 30. Emeka Udenyi, Viktor Rajković, Kobe Williamson, and Brandon Chatfield have to play better if the Redhawks are to start WAC play off on the right foot. The Redhawks host New Mexico State to open WAC play.

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