GNAC Insider: Episode 16 Now Available on iTunes
Alaska Fairbanks head coach Cody Bench (left) has turned the Nanooks into a GNAC tournament contender this season.
Alaska Fairbanks head coach Cody Bench (left) has turned the Nanooks into a GNAC tournament contender this season.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – The latest episode of GNAC Insider, now available as a podcast on iTunes, features a trio of Great Northwest Athletic Conference basketball guests who appeared live on the program.

Greg Sparling, head coach of the GNAC Team of the Week Central Washington men’s basketball squad, Cody Bench, head coach of the Alaska Fairbanks women’s basketball team, and David Downs, all-conference point guard for the Seattle Pacific men’s basketball team each joined host Kevin Young live on the latest episode.

After an 0-2 start in GNAC play, Sparling’s team is coming off three-straight conference wins, the latest being a 106-103 double-overtime thriller that helped the Wildcats earn Team of the Week honors. Sparling discussed the play of GNAC leading scorer Mark McLaughlin, the strong supporting cast, and how his team is turning its season around with a current momentum swing.

Bench, whose Nanooks won just five games a season ago and three in conference play, has already led her team to a much improved 8-6 record and turned UAF into a legitimate GNAC tournament contender. The fourth-year head coach talked about some of the keys to the team’s success thus far, including the play of many of her younger players including freshman and leading scorer Jordan Wilson.

Downs, who was picked as a preseason all-American and the GNAC preseason Playe of the Year, is set to lead his Falcons against Western Washington in the GNAC Game of the Week on ROOT SPORTS Wednesday evening in Bellingham. Downs is the second-leading scorer in the GNAC with an average of 20.9 points, and his 11 20-point games are the most in the conference this season.

GNAC Insider airs live every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Pacific time and is produced by the GNAC office in conjunction with Soundbrook. All episodes become available to download via iTunes and for archived listening in the GNAC Stretch Internet portal under the ‘on demand’ tab shortly following the live broadcast.