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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 4, The Other College Basketball

Of course this is my continuing efforts to bring you some information about basketball teams that play on the D-2, D-3, NAIA and Community College level. For all the D-1 action and coverage, please always read Crawford's Court at

If you know someone who would like to read this, please after asking them, send them my email and I will make sure they get the information. Sometimes up to 10,000 people read this, so I plan to keep it up and make it even better in weeks to come and you will see some exciting things happen. If you have a team you like or follow, request they send me information to and I will make sure they are mentioned in this blog. Thank you. Here we go.

Community College----Cliff Wegner really has his Cougars playing well at Clackamas Community College. After a blowing out Portland Community College on this past Wednesday night, they went to Roseburg on Saturday night and easily defeated Umpqua. Of course no coach is ever going to say a victory is easy, so leave that up to me. Taylor Dunn is a terrific player for the Cougars and it was a pleasure to meet his father this past Friday night.

It is also worth noting the academics that are being achieved by the Cougar team. Committing 30 hours per week and still producing in the classroom is not always easy, but the Cougars achieved an overall grade point average of 3.33 and three players had a perfect 4.0 GPA, Taylor Dunn, Brett Ball and Jake Dewitt. Hats off to the entire team.

NAIA---It was nice to go to two sellout games this past weekend in the Cascade Conference, Friday night at Concordia and Saturday night at Warner Pacific. Of course it never hurts attendance to have legendary program Oregon Tech in town, bringing a number one ranking.

Facing a number one team did not seem to phase Brad Barbarick's Concordia Cavaliers. In a game that was never even close from the opening tap, Concordia defeated OIT easily on Friday night,  before as previously mentioned a packed house. For anyone who loves basketball and lives near Portland, Oregon, Concordia is one of those must see places to watch a game, always great atmosphere and always competitive, but friendly people.

Of course with the OIT Owls in town, the next night they traveled to Warner Pacific to face the first place Knights. Another packed house greeted the Owls,  with the Warner Pacific fans almost being outnumbered by OIT fans, it was a tense atmosphere for sure. You had to think OIT would not play as poorly as they did on Friday night and they did not, beating the Knights and forcing what should be a great race down the stretch in the Cascade Conference.

It was also fun to watch the women's games each night before the men and I had never met OIT coach Scott Meredith, who lived up to his billing of being a class individual and someone all of the people in Klamath Falls should be proud of, just like they are of iconic coach Danny Miles.

Multnomah University---A must place to watch a game and what a thriller I was able to witness last Monday, as the Lions lost to Arizona Christian, 128-125 in double overtime. Curt Bickley coach of Multnomah, loves the up-tempo games, as do I, so Multnomah will produce excitement no matter who the opponent is. The Lions are another must see team, if you live around Portland, Oregon.

That is it for this week, but starting next week, you will see expanded coverage of this blog when it comes to all levels below D-1. Of course once again please keep reading Crawford's Court,

You can always email me at or please follow myself on twitter @wchoops.

This first four weeks are just the tip of the iceberg, more and better coverage coming in February, so please pass this on to as many people as you can, I write it so people can enjoy it, it is that simple.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 3, The Other College Basketball People

Here we go my third week of trying to bring some attention to "small college" basketball. Of course I sure do want you also read Crawford's Court, every Monday and Thursday on and I thank you for reading all of my basketball columns. If you know of anyone who would like to receive this, or Crawford's Court, please send me their email. Thank you.

NAIA---Tremendous battle on Saturday night at Concordia in the Cascade Conference as the Cavaliers answered almost every challenge that league leading Warner Pacific threw at them, only to come up short at the end in overtime, 90-89.

Kind of special to see the game played before standing room only crowd, there was no trash talking, great student section excitement and one heck of a game for sure.

It might get even more challenging for both Concordia and Warner Pacific this coming weekend as Southern Oregon and OIT, led by their iconic coach Danny Miles visit the Rose City for their annual Portland stop. For any basketball fan, this is must see games, no excuses please.

And before I leave the Cascade Conference, I have a bit of free advice for the new commissioner, which will be selected this coming spring to early summer, replacing Dave Haglund. It is a must you spend some money to have your officials evaluated, if not every game, at least several times a year. It is a rarity for this writer to ever say anything negative about officiating, but in my view the Cascade Conference needs to at least have some sort of person at games to evaluate officials. Both the men's and women's program have some work to do when it comes to the people calling the games, no better example was Warner Pacific and Concordia, a horribly officiated game. Cascade Conference, you can do better and you must do better.

Shameless plug, but on Friday night, looking forward to being the halftime guest on the OIT radio network with Bobby Thompson

Northwest Conference---It looks like the winner of the league might come down to the next battle between Whitworth and Whitman, five years past you would have thought I was nuts for saying so, but Eric Bridgeland has done one great job at Whitman, building a winning basketball program, that was totally non-existent until he arrived on the scene. Both Whitman and Whitworth have some work to do before they meet again of course, both teams visit the Portland metro area this weekend as they play Lewis and Clark and George Fox, Friday and Saturday.

No excuse for not getting out to these games, on Saturday night the games at Lewis and Clark and George Fox will start at 6:00 p.m.

The Northwest Conference plays a great brand of basketball and it is always a league that has surprises week in and week out.

Community Colleges----Really happy to see Joseph Vance play so well for Linn-Benton, in the south division of the NWAACC. Vance had another big night on Saturday, as he led his team to a victory in over previously undefeated Chemeketa.

Wednesday night of last also saw a great game at Clackamas Community College, when the Mt. Hood Saints rolled into the Oregon City campus and beat the Cougars, in a thrilling game that went right down to the wire. Mt. Hood continued their great league play Saturday and ran their southern division record to 5-0, gaining a one game lead over Linn-Benton and Chemeketa.

Community College basketball is exciting, you can usually see plenty of D-1, D-2 coaches in attendance and I might just pay another visit to Clackamas this Wednesday when they play host to Portland Community College.

GNAC---What an exciting league the GNAC is this year and once again, no surprise to see legendary Brad Jackson's team at Western Washington on top with a one game lead over Alaska Anchorage and Western Oregon.

Of course Jackson is in his 28th year  as coach at Western Washington, who turns out great teams each season, in what is an extremely good league.

On personal note it was also very nice this week to meet Alaska Anchorage assistant coach Ryan Orton. What a nice person and what a good basketball mind and always fun to meet someone you can just tell someday will be a head coach and highly successful when he is.

Multnomah University---Curt Bickley's Lions will have a rare back to back games this week, on Monday playing Arizona Christian at 3:00 p.m (yes correct time) and on Tuesday night meeting rival Portland Bible, both games on the NE Portland campus.

Of course if you have never seen Bickley's teams, you are in for a treat, as per usual the basketball will be fired up lots from behind the 3-point line, my kind of game, exciting and entertaining always.

I urge everyone to follow all of the league above, in the very near future Craw's Corner is going to have some HUGE announcements about this blog and its future. Also once again, please do not forget Crawford's Court, which comes out every Monday and Thursday, all the way through the Final Four, covering lots of interesting stories and news on D-1 basketball on

Emails always welcome, or please go to twitter and follow me @wchoops and I will quickly follow you back.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 2, The Other College Basketball People

This is my continuing effort to bring some attention to the non D-1 schools in the Pacific Northwest. Of course for all the latest news on D-1, Crawford's Court will come out every Monday and Thursday at

GNAC Conference----It was a great weekend for Western Washington as for the second year a row the Vikings swept the Alaska schools in Alaska. Legendary Western Washington coach Brad Jackson has his Vikings playing very well right and currently are tied for the GNAC lead with the surprising Western Oregon Wolves.

And speaking of the Wolves, after a great start in the GNAC and pre-league, this past Saturday saw the Wolves lose their first conference game in a big upset loss to the Saint Martin's on the Wolves home court.  It appears at present the GNAC race is working toward a three team battle, featuring Western Oregon, Western Washington and Seattle Pacific. I will keep you posted, as the GNAC is such an outstanding basketball conference year in and year out.

Northwest Conference---A really tough loss for the Linfield Wildcats this past weekend as they had the Whitworth Pirates on the ropes right up to the end, only to lose 65-61. Very few teams have success in beating Whitworth at home in the last 10 years, so this would have been a huge win for the Wildcats.

Tim Cleary's Pacific Boxers, continue to play well and keep improving under his coaching, but as the travel partner of Linfield, the Boxers came up short this past weekend to both Whitworth and Whitman on the road. Pacific has a real chance to make a statement this Friday when they travel to Lewis and Clark in a battle of the Oregon schools.

Cascade Conference---It seems like this is a constant theme, but once again in men's play Warner Pacific and Oregon Tech are tied for first place, each with one loss. And in case you are wondering, the two teams meet in Portland on January 28th. Of course there are games in between, but looking at the schedules of both teams, that game should decide the Cascade Conference title. And yes I do know that coaches, players and fans take games one at a time, but college basketball writers have to look ahead in order to do a good job.

Big hats off to the job that Scott Meredith is doing as the women's coach at Oregon Tech. His team has an overall record of 18-3 and currently is tied for the lead in the CCC with Eastern Oregon and Corban. In my cursory look at 4 year college teams in the United States, I am hard pressed to find a combined record 37-5 for men and women's teams, as is the case at Oregon Tech, so way to go in Klamath Falls.

Clackamas Community College---Love to follow the Cougars as they not only play excellent basketball every year, but I have known their coach Cliff Wegner for over 30 years and he is a gem of a person, besides being an excellent coach. The Cougars gained a big win on Saturday night in league play, defeating previously unbeaten Linn-Benton on the road.

It is also fun for me to keep track of Linn-Benton, as my friend Kenny Vance's son Joseph is the star of the Linn-Benton team and Joseph is having a terrific season, a player to watch as he advances his basketball career in the future.

It should be a fun night at Clackamas Community College on Wednesday January 18th as the Cougars host the 3-0 Mt. Hood Saints, which is always a great rivalry game.

Multnomah University----Congrats to coach Curt Bickley for getting his first Pacific Coast Athletic Conference win this past Saturday night over West Coast Baptist College. It had to be nice for Coach Bickley to have his great scorer Austin Hodges back after missing seven weeks with a hand injury. The Lions will next be in action Tuesday night when they host Concordia at 7:00 p.m.

Thanks for reading. If you know anyone who would like to receive this column, which I write once a week on Sundays please send me their email at and as always please continue to read Crawford's Court, Would also love for you to follow me on twitter @wchoops and I will follow back.

Comcast SportsNet will also be showing two Portland Pilot games this week, Thursday at 7:00 and Saturday at 1:30

And if you are not doing anything on Tuesday night at 9:30 pm, we will be having our weekly Talkin Ducks show on Comcast SportsNet and of course after the Ducks performance over the weekend, plenty to talk about.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 1, The Other College Basketball People

This is my first of weekly columns about non D-1 college basketball around the Northwest. I am open to suggestions, information and anything else you can throw at me please. Of course I will continue to write my columns for, Crawford's Court, every Monday and Thursday, which is mainly on D-1 basketball. If you are getting this for the first time, or are an avid reader thank you as always for reading this. My sincere hope is that you will enjoy this and please feel free to send me the email of anyone you think would like getting this every weekend and I will automatically send it to them. Ok here we go.

OIT---Of course the big story in NAIA as of late, was the ending of the 65 game home court winning streak by Warner Pacific, when they defeated the Hustlin Owls in Klamath Falls. A great victory for sure by the Knights, who might be playing the best basketball in the Cascade Conference at present, as this past weekend they broke the 14 game winning streak of Northwest, in the Knight's home gym.

I would be remiss, if I didn't mention fact that in the ending of the 65 game home court winning streak, it was an awesome feat by Danny Miles' team to win that many games in a row. So awesome that at the time in was the longest home winning streak in all of college basketball and went back to 2008.

There is one certainty about the Cascade Conference, the basketball is always good and it is just fun games to watch,  as any of you know when you attend a game.

Pacific----It was nice recently to meet second year Pacific coach Tim Cleary of the Boxers (I still really like the nickname Badgers, which I am use to calling Pacific) As I am considered a marketing specialist by many, what a great move it would be by Pacific to go back to the old nickname. When you talk to Tim Cleary you can just see his enthusiasm for his job and why I think the Pacific the basketball program of the Northwest Conference is in good hands for many years to come. Like the Cascade Conference, the Northwest Conference plays a great brand of basketball so please get out and see a game, if you are able too.

Cliff Wegner---It was my pleasure over the holidays to attend the Clackamas Community College Holiday tournament. What a great event and very well done by Cliff Wegner and his staff of people who put the tournament together. This tournament will be on my basketball schedule for many years to come to attend, as the teams are so competitive and fun to watch. It is also always fun to go to a sporting event where there are so many smiles, not to mention the fact at Community College games you see so many four year college coaches looking for talented players. On January 11th, Wegner's Cougars will host Chemeketa and that is a game well worth attending, especially when there is not much competition on a Wednesday night with other sports.

Larry Doty---Big congratulations to Linfield basketball coach Larry Doty for tying the legendary Ted Wilson for career wins at the McMinnville school this past Saturday night. All basketball coaches work hard, much harder than anyone knows and Coach Doty is right at the top of the list, as you see him all over the place scouting and looking for players. He has a nice young team and they will be a factor in the Northwest Conference race in years to come, once the young players get more experience.

Western Oregon---The national coach of year in all of college basketball at present has to be Brady Bergeson the head coach of the Western Oregon Wolves of the GNAC D-2 conference. After this past weekend Bergeson has his team at 6-0 in league play after having a great pre-league record of 7-2. The Wolves at present have a 10 game winning streak over D-2 opponents.  Prior to Bergeson arriving at Western Oregon, the basketball program was average at best. Needless to say, he has turned things around, remarkably in the first year, which is so hard to do on any level of basketball. It is a long GNAC season, but no matter what happens down the road, Bergeson has done at awesome job and it is well worth taking a look at his team. It is kind of a shame that the GNAC Conference and Root Sports are not showing the GNAC basketball game of the week this year. That seemed to be a popular event last year, but it ended. So get to Monmouth, Oregon to see the Wolves, you will not be disappointed.

You can email me at or follow me on twitter @wchoops. Plus as stated above I will continue through March to write Crawford's Court,

Thank you and each week, I hope this weekend edition of Craw's Corner will get better, please help me in doing so.