Early Season Tournaments Continue For MBB
NNU's Aaron Murphy elevates for a dunk in Tuesday's 83-68 win over Walla Walla at Johnson Sports Center.
NNU's Aaron Murphy elevates for a dunk in Tuesday's 83-68 win over Walla Walla at Johnson Sports Center.

Thursday, November 16, 2023
by Evan O'Kelly

PORTLAND, Ore. – Non-conference play rolls on for all 10 Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball teams, who will be in action this weekend across six different states.

GNAC preseason favorite Saint Martin’s got its week started on the right foot, knocking off No. 11 Point Loma 66-58 on Monday night in California. The Saints (3-0) will look to continue their early season momentum with key contests against Cal State Monterey Bay (Friday, 5 p.m.) and Cal State East Bay (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.).

GNAC Men's Basketball Schedule - Nov. 17-18
Tournament Location GNAC Teams Competing
Pioneer Conference Challenge Hayward, Calif. SMU
Ron Logsdon Basketball Challenge Rohnert Park, Calif. WOU
Central Washington Tournament Ellensburg, Wash. CWU, NNU
PacWest/GNAC Challenge Seattle, Wash. SPU, WWU
Al Kaly Shrine Classic Pueblo, Colo. UAF

This Week's Storylines

SAINTS UPSET SEALIONS: The first big upset of the season came on Monday night in San Diego, when the Saints put themselves on the map with their win over Point Loma. Kyle Greeley led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Tyke Thompson added 16 points and six boards and Myles Samuels just missed a double-double off the bench with 12 points and nine rebounds.

Read More: Greeley Grinds Down Sea Lions As Saints Start 3-0 (SMU Recap)

While the Saints were the first team left out of the NABC top-25 preseason poll, Monday’s result should be enough to crack the GNAC preseason favorite into the list of nationally ranked teams when the next poll is released on Nov. 20. SMU received a more favorable ranking from the D2CSC sportswriters poll, which slotted them No. 9 in Division II in its initial release Monday.

JOHNSON LEADS VIKINGS TO EARLY SUCCESS: Kai Johnson has helped Western Washington get off to a 4-2 start to the season, and is the NCAA leader in points (125) through the first six games of 2023-24. The reigning GNAC Player of the Week averaged 24.5 points in WWU’s wins over Cal State Dominguez Hills (81-58) and Cal Poly Humboldt (95-69) on his way to MVP honors at the West Region Crossover. WWU will look to shake off Tuesday’s 83-67 loss to Hawaii Pacific, as they square off against Concordia Irvine on Friday at 5 p.m. and Azusa Pacific on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the PacWest/GNAC Challenge in Seattle.

Read More: Hot Shooting Continues Solid Start To Season (WWU Recap)

MYERS LOGS DIVISION II’S FIRST TRIPLE-DOUBLE: The first triple-double of the 2023-24 NCAA Division II season belongs to Western Oregon’s Qiant Myers, who achieved the rare feat with 14 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in WOU’s 79-66 win over Multnomah on Tuesday night. It was just the seventh triple-double in GNAC history and the first by a conference player since Central Washington’s Gamaun Boykin had one on Dec. 14, 2019 also against Multnomah. Three of the GNAC’s seven triple-doubles belong to Wolves, as Myers joined former GNAC Player of the Year Tanner Omlid (Feb. 4, 2017 vs. Seattle Pacific) and Robert Day (Dec. 16, 2003 vs. MSU Billings) in the distinguished category.

Western Oregon (1-2) will look to build off its first win of the year against Stanislaus State on Friday at 5 p.m. and Sonoma State on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Read More: Myers’ Triple-Double Paces Wolves Past Multnomah (WOU Recap)

UNDEFEATED SEAWOLVES KICK OFF HOMESTAND: Alaska Anchorage (4-0) has started the season on a four-game winning streak and will kick off a four-game homestand at the Alaska Airlines Center on Friday night. UAA is set to play UC Merced on back-to-back nights this week, before hosting Adams State on consecutive nights over Thanksgiving weekend. The Seawolves took care of business at the GNAC/PacWest Crossover in Fairbanks last week, knocking off Chaminade 77-72 and Hawaii Pacific 65-50. Tournament MVP Tyson Gilbert continued his strong stat to the 2023-24 season, and ranks second in the conference with 19.3 points per game.

Read More: Men Start Homestand With Pair Vs. Bobcats (UAA Preview)

FALCONS, WILDCATS TO HOST TOURNEYS: Seattle Pacific (2-3) is set to host the PacWest/GNAC Challenge at Brougham Pavilion this weekend with the Vikings being the other conference team to square off against regional opponents. Coming off a split at the CCAA Crossover last week, the Falcons will make their home debut on Friday against Azusa Pacific at 7:15 p.m. and Saturday against Concordia Irvine at 7:15 p.m. GNAC Preseason Player of the Year Shaw Anderson has put up 17.8 points per game, while sophomore Trace Evans ranks fourth in the GNAC with 8.6 rebounds per game.

Read More: Falcons Host PacWest/GNAC Challenge This Weekend (SPU Preview)

In Ellensburg, Central Washington (1-1) will host the CWU Tournament with Northwest Nazarene (1-0) making the trip from Nampa. CWU will take on Cal State LA on Friday at 7 p.m. and Westminster on Saturday at 7 p.m. in its first regular-season games at newly renovated Nicholson Pavilion. NNU will face the same two opponents, after opening its season with an 83-68 triumph over Walla Walla on Nov. 11 at home.

Read More: Wildcats Set To Host CWU Tournament (CWU Preview)

Player to Watch

Aaron Murphy – Northwest Nazarene

Gabriel Murphy – Northwest Nazarene

The Murphy brothers figure to account for a hefty amount of the conference’s rebounds this season, as evidenced by their combined 21 boards in the Nighthawks’ season-opening win over Walla Walla. Gabriel, a senior, garnered preseason all-conference recognition after ranking second in the conference in 2022-23 with 8.2 rebounds per game. Aaron, a sophomore, was not far behind in his debut collegiate season as he hauled in 5.0 rebounds per game to rank 16th in the conference. It was Aaron who led the team on Tuesday with 11 rebounds, as the duo hinted at a productive season in the paint in Nampa.

GNAC/PacWest Challenge Nov. 10-11 at Fairbanks, Alaska (Alaska, Host) Alaska Anchorage: Tyson Gilbert, G- Tournament MVP ; Bishop Tosi, F Alaska: Nick Hopkins, F 2023 West Region Crossover Nov. 10-11 at Arcata, Calif. (Cal Poly Humboldt, Host) Simon Fraser: David Penney, G Western Washington: Kai Johnson, G – Tournament MVP; BJ Colly, F; Jonathan Ned, F


Read More: Nighthawks Soar To Season-Opening Victory Over Wolves (NNU Recap)


GNAC Men's Basketball In The National & Regional Rankings

The NABC Division II rankings are released every Monday throughout the 2023-24 season. The D2CSC regional rankings are released on Mondays, with the national rankings following on Tuesdays.

Saint Martin’s represented the GNAC in the NABC preseason rankings and was the first team listed among others receiving votes outside of the top-25. SMU was slated the top team in the west region and No. 9 nationally by the D2CSC, which consists of a panel of Division II sports information directors.

NABC National Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
Preseason RV SMU -- -- --
D2CSC National Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
Week 1 - Nov. 13 9. SMU -- -- --
D2CSC Regional Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
Week 1 - Nov. 13 1. SMU 9. NNU -- --
GNAC Men's Basketball In The NCAA Statistical Rankings
Through games Nov. 15.
Team Leaders (Top-30)
Assist-Turnover Ratio: 29. UAA, 1.57
Assists/Game: 15. UAA, 20.0
Bench Points/Game: 24. NNU, 38.0
Fastbreak Points: 27. WWU, 17.50
Field Goal % Defense: 15. SMU, 35.6
Rebound Margin: 28. SMU, 8.7
Def. Rebounds/Game: 9. SMU, 33.0
Rebounds/Game: 17. SMU, 44.33
Scoring Defense: 21. UAA, 61.0
Scoring Margin: 22. UAA, 18.0
3-Point Att./Game: 21. SPU, 29.0
Turnover Margin: 22. NNU, 6.0
Turnovers Forced/Game: 23. NNU, 19.0
Winning Percentage: 1. UAA, 1.000; 1. SMU, 1.000; 1. NNU, 1.000
Individual Leaders (Top-50)
Assist-Turnover Ratio: 28. Tru Allen, NNU, 5.00
Assists: 1. Qiant Myers, WOU, 29; 8. Kai Johnson, WWU, 20; 17. Dillon Barrientos, UAA, 18; 27. Elliot Dimaculangan, SFU, 16
Assists/Game: 2. Qiant Myers, WOU, 9.7; 37. Tru Allen, NNU, 5.0
Blocks: 6. Georges Lefebvre, SFU, 9; 8. BJ Kolly, WWU, 8; 24. Kai Johnson, WWU, 6
Double-Doubles: 5. Qiant Myers, WOU, 2; Tyke Thompson, SMU, 2
Field Goal Attempts: 1. Kai Johnson, WWU, 81; 2. Shaw Anderson, SPU, 77; 11. Elliot Dimaculangan, SFU, 59; 17. Jonathan Ned, WWU, 57; 24. Immanuel Oludele, SFU, 54; 24. David Penney, SFU, 54; 27. Will Wilson, WWU; 53; 48. Kyle Luttinen, SPU, 48
Field Goals: 1. Kai Johnson, WWU, 41; 9. Shaw Anderson, SPU, 31; 29. Elliot Dimaculangan, SFU, 25; 29. Tyson Gilbert, UAA, 25; 36. BJ Kolly, WWU, 24; 44. Jonathan Ned, WWU, 23
Free Throw Attempts: 1. Kai Johnson, WWU, 44; 9. Jason Gallant, WOU, 30; 32. Tijan Saine, WWU, 23
Free Throws: 1. Kai Johnson, WWU, 36; 7. Jason Gallant, WOU, 24; 20. Tijan Saine, WWU, 20
Minutes/Game: 12. Shaw Anderson, SPU, 39:21
Points: 1. Kai Johnson, WWU, 125; 5. Shaw Anderson, SPU, 89; 17. Tyson Gilbert, UAA, 77; 32. Elliot Dimaculangan, SFU, 71; 32. Will Wilson, WWU, 71; 46. Jonathan Ned, WWU, 65; 46. Tijan Saine, WWU, 65
Rebounds: 4. Trace Evans, SPU, 43; 6. Nic Welp, WWU, 42; 9. Elliot Dimaculangan, SFU, 38; 31. Tyke Thompson, SMU, 30; 49. Kai Johnson, WWU, 27; 49. Sawyer Storms, UAA, 27
Def. Rebounds/Game: 21. Gabriel Murphy, NNU, 8.00; 49. Aaron Murphy, NNU, 7.00
Off. Rebounds/Game: 24. Aaron Murphy, NNU, 4.00; 49. Bishop Tosi, UAA, 3.67
Rebounds/Game: 15. Aaron Murphy, NNU, 11.0; 36. Tyke Thompson, SMU, 10.0 ; 36. Gabriel Murphy, NNU, 10.0
Steals: 7. Jonathan Ned, WWU, 10; 12. Kai Johnson, WWU, 9; 44. Kris Cook, WOU, 7; 44. David Penney, SFU, 7
Steals/Game: 2. Tru Allen, NNU, 4.00
3-Point Attempts: 2. Kyle Luttinen, SPU, 39; 4. Shaw Anderson, SPU, 35; 6. Jonathan Ned, WWU, 34; 7. Elliot Dimaculangan, SFU, 33; 10. Immanuel Oludele, SFU, 31; 26. Tyson Gilbert, UAA, 25; 34. Julian Mora, SPU, 24; 34. Dathan Satchell, UAA, 24; 40. Will Wilson, WWU, 23
3-Point Percentage: 32. Tyke Thompson, SMU, 61.5; 36. Tyson Gilbert, UAA, 60.0; 36. Nathan Perez, NNU, 60.0
3-Pointers/Game: 38. Tyson Gilbert, UAA, 3.75
3-Pointers: 2. Jonathan Ned, WWU, 16; 3. Tyson Gilbert, UAA, 15; 11. Kyle Luttinen, SPU, 13; 16. Shaw Anderson, SPU, 12; 16. Will Wilson, WWU, 12; 24. Elliot Dimaculangan, SFU, 11; 24. Immanuel Oludele, SFU, 11
Triple Doubles: 1. Qiant Myers, WOU, 1

2023-24 GNAC Men's Basketball Championships

2023-24 GNAC Men's Basketball Players of the Week
Date Offensive Player of the Week
Nov. 6 Tyson Gilbert, Alaska Anchorage
Nov. 13 Kai Johnson, Western Washington

Nov. 13 GNAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week
Second-career player of the week, first this season.

Johnson led all GNAC players last week in scoring with 24.5 points per game, propelling the Vikings to a 2-0 record at the West Region Crossover. He kicked off the week with a near double-double, scoring 22 points and adding nine rebounds in WWU’s win over Cal State Dominguez Hills. The junior followed with 27 points and a season-high seven assists in the win over Cal Poly Humboldt. Johnson’s 19 made field goals were the most of any GNAC player last week, and he shot an efficient 70.4% from the floor including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Johnson had nine assists against just four turnovers for an assist-turnover ratio of 2.25.

“Kai has been really working at being a strong leader, and he did a good job of that this weekend,” said WWU head coach Tony Dominguez. “He led us mentally and physically with his performance. He controlled the tempo of the game and wasn’t sped up. Kai made sure everyone got involved and wasn’t forcing tough plays. He was taking what the defensive was giving him and he followed the game plan in both games, which allowed him to have good numbers.”

Also Nominated: Tyson Gilbert, UAA; Abdullahi Mohamed, UAF; Bradley Swillie, CWU; Jalen Tot, MSUB; Aaron Murphy, NNU; Tyke Thompson, SMU; Trace Evans, SPU; David Penney, SFU; Jason Gallant, WOU.

2023-24 GNAC Men's Basketball Championships

The 2023-24 GNAC Men’s Basketball Championships will be held March at Nicholson Pavilion on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. The top-six teams in the final GNAC regular-season standings will advance to the single-elimination tournament. The winner of the event will earn the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA West Region Championships.


2023-24 All-Tournament Selections
2023 D2CCA Canadian Tip-Off Classic
Nov. 3-5 at Langley, B.C. (Simon Fraser, Host)
Seattle Pacific: Julian Mora, G
Simon Fraser: Elliot Dimaculangan, G
Western Washington: Kai Johnson, G; Nic Welp, F
GNAC/PacWest Challenge
Nov. 10-11 at Fairbanks, Alaska (Alaska, Host)
Alaska Anchorage: Tyson Gilbert, G- Tournament MVP ; Bishop Tosi, F
Alaska: Nick Hopkins, F
2023 West Region Crossover
Nov. 10-11 at Arcata, Calif. (Cal Poly Humboldt, Host)
Simon Fraser: David Penney, G
Western Washington: Kai Johnson, G – Tournament MVP; BJ Colly, F; Jonathan Ned, F
Rank Team (1st Place Votes) 2022-23 GNAC Record (Finish) Points
1. Saint Martin's (9) 24-7 15-3 (1st) 98
2. Northwest Nazarene (1) 15-15 9-9 (T3rd) 85
3. Central Washington 15-15 9-9 (T3rd) 72
4. Western Washington 15-13 8-10 (7th) 66
T5. Montana State Billings 20-10 14-4 (2nd) 52
T5. Seattle Pacific 17-11 12-6 (3rd) 52
7. Alaska Anchorage 13-14 7-11 (9th) 40
8. Western Oregon 12-14 9-9 (T3rd) 36
9. Alaska 11-15 6-12 (8th) 31
10. Simon Fraser 6-22 1-17 (10th) 18

Points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.


Preseason Player of the Year: Shaw Anderson, Seattle Pacific

Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
*$+& Shaw Anderson Seattle Pacific F 6-7 Sr. Kelso, Wash.
*$& Jaden Nielsen-Skinner Saint Martin's G 5-10 Jr. Salem, Ore.
*#& Gabriel Murphy Northwest Nazarene F 6-9 Sr. Tracy, Calif.
*@ Camron McNeil Central Washington G 6-5 Sr. Raleigh, N.C.
*$ Kyle Greeley Saint Martin's G 6-5 Sr. Salem, Ore.
*# Abdullahi Mohamed Alaska F 6-10 Sr. Seattle, Wash.
*!@ BJ Kolly Western Washington F 6-10 So. Everett, Wash.
^&@ Tru Allen Northwest Nazarene G 6-0 Jr. Lapwai, Idaho
*@ Cameron Benzel Western Oregon F 6-7 Jr. Yoncalla, Ore.
# Kai Johnson Western Washington G 6-4 Jr. Olympia, Wash.
% Zharon Richmond Montana State Billings F 6-7 Sr. Billings, Mont.
@ David Penney Simon Fraser G 6-1 Sr. Guelph, Ont.
@ Samaad Hector Central Washington F 6-6 Sr. Vancouver, Wash.
# Tyke Thompson Saint Martin's G 6-8 Sr. Salem, Ore.
Dathan Satchell  Alaska Anchorage G 6-4 Sr. Tracy, Calif.
*Unanimous Selection | !-2022-23 GNAC Freshman of the Year | $-2022-23 First-Team All-GNAC | #-2022-23 Second-Team All-GNAC | @-2022-23 Honorable Mention All-GNAC | ^-2021-22 GNAC Freshman of the Year | &-2021-22 Honorable Mention All-GNAC | +-2019-20 Second-Team All-GNAC | %-2019-20 Honorable Mention All-GNAC