Tuesday, December 31, 2013

NWAACC Craw's Power Rankings, Week 1

By Greg Crawford, basketball insider @wchoops and @crawssportsbiz

For the record, I love NWAACC basketball. And for the record, because of my heavy schedule of covering D-1 basketball for CSNNW.com, I do not get to see all the teams sadly. But with my many sources around the league and my homework, I have a pretty good idea of what is going on. These will not be perfect, well on second thought maybe they will be, but I am always glad to hear from people who disagree, but be respectful, or else I will not read your email. gregorycrawfordspeaks@gmail.com. These will be out every Tuesday, enjoy please. I always do things in 9s so get use to it.

9. Treasure Valley (7-4)---Big test comes on January 8th when Columbia Basin visits, coming in winning five of their last six.

8. Spokane (9-4)----Powerful scoring team, 88.6 ppg and also carrying the confidence over from last year's third place finish in the NWAACC tournament.

7. Pierce (7-3)---Playing some of the best basketball in the NWAACC right now, with four wins heading into western region league play starting Saturday.

6. Whatcom (7-3)----Kyle Impero having a banner year so far, averaging 24.2 ppg, 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Impressive player so far in 2013.

5. Highline (9-2)----Have five players averaging in double figures and seven players who score seven points or more per game. Balance scoring is tough to beat on any basketball team.

4. Big Bend (11-3)---Running Viks are off and running with a scoring average of 98.5 ppg. Two NWAACC losses have been too Highline and Clark. Impressive start.

3. Southwestern Oregon (11-3)----Enter southern region play winning five of six, big test coming up this Saturday, when they come to Mt. Hood.

2. Mt Hood (11-2)-----Had won 10 games in a row until a very tough loss last Saturday at Clark in double overtime, 95-89. Scary team who seems to be gaining confidence by the game.

1. Clark (8-1)----It is hard to dispute the Penguins being number one. Led by Sean Prince, 22.9 ppg, 7.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists and Colin Spickerman 20.4 ppg and 10 rebounds, the Penguins are powerful and have many options.

Greg Crawford is the college basketball, golf and sports business insider for CSNNW.com, where he breaks many stories nationally. You can read more of Greg at www.csnnw.com/blog/crawfords-court and you can also watch him on TV every week as a regular panelist on Talkin' Ducks basketball on Comcast SportsNet which debuts January 6th at 8:00 pm. Greg is also famous for his NBA Draft evaluations, which are talked about around the entire basketball world.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Clackamas Community College Always Puts On Great Basketball Show During The Holidays

By Greg Crawford, basketball insider, @wchoops

Every year the Clackamas Community College Christmas basketball tournament is a great show and this year promises to be no exception.

"We would hope and I think we do know how to put on a good tournament after all these years," says tournament director and head men's basketball coach at CCC Clif Wegner." We want it to be a welcoming atmosphere for fans, students and of course our guest teams. It always fun each year to see some new faces and bring back some old faces, that is what tournament basketball is all about.

The tournament gets underway on Saturday, December 28th, with a game at 1:00, follow by three contests at 3,5 and 7, a basketball lovers dream. And this is one of the best holiday tournaments on any level, you will ever see.

Competing teams this year will be Linn-Benton, Walla Walla, Centralia, Skagit Valley, Tacoma, Yakima Valley, Everett and the host Clackamas. All the teams are out of the great NWAACC league, but the good part is that with Clackamas playing in the Southern Division, the only team you will see the rest of the year at Clackamas will be Linn-Benton, as the other six teams play in different divisions than the southern.

The tournament will conclude on Monday, December 30th with games at 11, 1 and the championship game coming at 3:00. There is also plenty of action on the 29th, with games being the same time as the first day, 1,3,5 and 7:00. This truly is three days of great basketball.

"We are now into so many years that we have some tradition and culture to our Christmas tournament," added Wegner. "It also goes without saying this is a very good field, as we always seem to get and the games are competitive and anyone can take home the trophy."

 Not only great basketball, but this is also a good people watching event as many coaches are there to watch the talented players, as well as many celebs show up to watch great basketball.

Clackamas Community College is located just off of highway 213 in Oregon City, Oregon. Easy to find and if you come one day, you will immediately want to come back for more.

After this tournament, Clackamas Community College starts league play with the women playing at 2:00 and the men playing Lane at 4:00, on Saturday January 4th, as the NWAACC begins their seven week stretch of league games, which in the Southern Division games are played on Wednesday and Saturday nights.

To read more of Greg Crawford, please follow him on CSNNW.com, Crawford's Court every Tuesday and Friday, as well as Craw's Sports Business Weekend, every Sunday. @crawssportsbiz on twitter.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tony Broadous Changing The Culture At Portland Community College

By Greg Crawford, basketball insider @wchoops

It is fun to watch Tony Broadous patrol the sidelines as coach of the Portland Community College Panthers' men's team.

Broadous is part coach, mentor and friend to his players and you can see he has their respect. As a high school coach Broadous was terrific for Grant High of the Portland Interscholastic League, where he continually produced winning teams, won a state championship, three times was named PIL coach of the year and Oregon coach of the year once.

Things are tougher at Portland Community College, but there are  signs of some very good basketball. After winning two out of three in the Portland Community College NWAACC crossover tournament this past weekend, against one of the strongest fields you will ever see, Broadous takes his Panthers to Christmas with a 7-4 record.

What needs to take place for that record to continue get better? "On offense we need to share the ball even better, none of this one pass and then shoot. We have to be really smart and and realize that these possessions really count and take care of the basketball," said Broadous. "On defense we have to realize defense is not only an individual responsibility, but also a team effort. We allow at present too many easy baskets. If we want to continue to win, we have to make it tough for our opponents to score on every possession."

The Panthers are fun to watch and it is a team all basketball fans should get out and see. The next home game for the Panthers comes on January 8th, when they take on always powerful Clackamas Community College in a Southern Division league battle in the NWAACC.

The men's game will be preceded by the women's game at 5:30 and will get underway as close to 7:30 as possible. Portland Community College is located at 600 N. Killingsworth and there is always plenty of free parking.

To keep following the Panthers, please check back often to gregcrawfordbasketball.blogspot.com

To read more of Greg Crawford, please always follow him at CSNNW.com where he writes Crawford's Court, every Tuesday and Friday, plus other days per importance. www.csnnw.com/blog/crawfords-court.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday Night 12/21 Promises Great Basketball In Portland, Oregon

By Greg Crawford, basketball insider @wchoops

It will be a great day of basketball today in my hometown of Portland, Oregon.

All gets underway at 2:00 with a crosstown match-up for bragging rights between the U of Portland and Portland State women at the Stott Center. This is actually a must win for both teams and must see game for all. Plus, in case you don't know, with any admission, you can eat free food all day at Portland State.

Then you can move a little north for some great basketball at Portland Community College (600 N. Killingsworth) and see two great semifinal games which start at 5 and 7, in the Portland Community College Crossover Tournament.

These semifinal match-ups are a basketball dream come true for any fan. Mt Hood vs Yakima Valley at 5:00 and Treasure Valley vs Portland Community College at 7:00.

Closing out the evening, the great rivalry between Warner Pacific and Concordia takes place at 7:30 at Warner Pacific. It is rare that both of these teams would go into the second week of league play both at 0-2, so this is critical for both sides.

You have great choices, it is wonderful early Christmas present to see this good of basketball in Portland, Oregon all on the same day.

You can read more of Greg Crawford as he covers D-1 basketball, golf and sports business, all at CSNNW.com each week. To email Greg, gregorycrawfordspeaks@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Powerhouse Offenses Collide On Wednesday Night At Multnomah

By Greg Crawford, basketball insider @wchoops

If you would like to give yourself a pre-Christmas gift, then just show up at Multnomah University (84th and Glisan) on Wednesday night, December 18th.

And if you arrive anytime past 7:00 p.m., you probably will have missed at least six baskets, of which at least half of those will have been 3-point shots. By the way tipoff is 7:00 p.m., parking is always free at Multnomah and large noisy crowd is expected.

Of course the Lions will be hosting the Lewis and Clark Pioneers , led by talented coach Dinari Foreman, who like Multnomah loves to push the ball up the floor.

"I sure hope they don't get 70 3-point attempts, " said Foreman earlier this week. "Curt Bickley does a great job of coaching, especially the way he gets his team to buy into sharing the ball and their passing is second to none. We better be ready coming off an extended layoff due to finals, so our leadership is so important in this game."

The final score of this game will not be 40-30, heck that might be the score at the 16:00 minute mark of the first half. And you have to love it, offense is a lost art in basketball, but not with these two clubs.

And what do the underdog Lions have to do to pull the upset. "To beat the Pioneers we have to score at least 140 points in this game, "says Bickley. "Dinari has his usual talented team, he is an impressive coach and I love the fact this is two Portland college teams playing each other.

As a basketball insider, I do not say this too often, but this is a game I would pay to see over and over again, not to mention you should buy season tickets to both of these basketball programs.

I will be there and you should be as well. Come by and say hello please.

To read more of Greg Crawford, please go to CSNNW.com and read Crawford's Court and Crawford's Clubhouse on a regular basis.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mt Hood Saints Off To Fast Start

By Greg Crawford, basketball insider @wchoops

The Southern Division of the NWAACC Conference is men's basketball is always competitive and this year is shaping up to no different.

One team that is making some waves early on is the Mt. Hood Saints, off to a great start at 8-1, after a three game sweep of opponents at Lassen College in Susanville, California this past weekend.

The Saints are coached by Geoff Gibor and he obviously is pleased with his start, but like all coaches is looking to get better in key areas.

"It is very early in the season, but I am pleased with our progress," said Gibor. "Our one loss was at the buzzer to a very good Yakima team. I really like the chemistry of this team. They all get along and have bought into what we are trying to accomplish here with Mt. Hood basketball."

To see this exciting team, you can attend the Portland Community College tournament this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, on the Cascade campus of Portland Community College. The Saints first game will be played Friday, at 2:00 p.m when they battle the Lower Columbia Red Devils.

Gibor is quick to point out that his team is all about F.O.E., Family Over Everything, doing it all together.

Besides the great team chemistry of the Saints, Gibor  also likes the way two players are playing so far.

"Mac Johnson, 6' 8" sophomore is playing really well. He is a force in the post and he has a toughness and work ethic that is terrific. Brock Otis has also impressed me with his leadership and hustle. As a group our players have done a really good job of working together.

If you like basketball, the Portland Community College tournament is a must see, with eight really good NWAACC teams participating. And you can follow the progress of the Mt. Hood Saints right here at gregcrawfordbasketball.blogspot.com all year long.

To read more of Greg Crawford, please go to www.csnnw.com/blog/crawfords-court where Greg writes on D-1 college basketball every Tuesday and Friday.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Multnomah Back Home For Thursday Night Game

By Greg Crawford, basketball insider @wchoops

The Multnomah Lions are almost certainly glad to be back home for crucial Thursday night 7:00 pm contest against North Adelaide, but the road was not that bad either.

The Lions completed a three day road swing into Grand Rapids, Michigan this past weekend, coming our with a 2-1 record, including a win against a D-3 opponent.

"We took 10 players on this trip and we played them all in units for the most part," said Lion Coach Curt Bickley. "Naturally I would have liked to have gone 3-0, but I am happy with this team, the competitive fire and always willing to give it their all. As a basketball coach, that is what you ask for and that is what we are getting as a coaching staff."

Multnomah in November with its brutally tough schedule is now back on track with December here and they have a chance to move that track even further starting Thursday night.

"North Adelaide will be a great test for us," said Bickley. "They split their games with Portland Bible and that proves they are a tough team to beat. We will continue with our pressure defense and how octane offense, hoping we can get the win."

If you have not watched Multnomah basketball, you must. No one shoots more 3-pointers than the Lions, they play in a great gym, with free parking and a great atmosphere for basketball.

After North Adelaide, the next home game for Multnomah will be when the Lewis and Clark Pioneers, led by coach Dinari Foreman and his own high octane offense visit on Wednesday, December 18th.

To read more of Greg Crawford, please go to CSNNW.com for Crawford's Court, www.csnnw.com/blog/crawfords-court

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Huge Small College Games This Week

By Greg Crawford, basketball insider @wchoops

NWAACC basketball in the states of Oregon and Washington is terrific all the time and this Saturday on the campus of Clackamas Community College should be no different.

It will be a great doubleheader when at 2:00 p.m., the women's teams of Clark and Clackamas square off, followed by the men's game at 4:00.

If you like basketball, this is a must see doubleheader.

Clark and Clackamas do not always play each other every year, so this is what makes these games special. Clark and Clackamas both have rich histories in basketball and the fact that the schools are about 30 miles apart, Clark being on the southern border of Washington and Clackamas on the northern border only spices things up a little more.

"We love playing Clark and Saturday night will be a great test for both our men and women." said Clif Wegner, the highly successful men's coach at Clackamas Community College. "We love playing pre-division games against tough teams, so having Clark in our gym is special and our players need to be ready for what should be a highly competitive game."

Head coach Al Aldridge of the Clark Penguins will bring his women's team to the CCC Oregon City campus with a 2-1 record and obviously will face a tough challenge as head coach of the Lady Cougars, as coaches Kayla Steen and Jim Martineau appear to have their usual fine team, coming into the game with a 5-0 record that includes a most recent win, winning the championship last Sunday of the annual Thanksgiving tournament, 82-81 over Umpqua.

As for the men's game, Wegner has his Cougars at 4-2 and Alex Kirk brings the Penguins in at 2-1.

This doubleheader should draw a huge crowd on Saturday, basketball games you should not miss.


In a game that probably is as rare as it gets, at least from coaching standpoint, Corban and Northwest Christian men  will open their league season at Corban on Friday with the two coaches probably having a little inside knowledge about each other.

Luke Jackson will bring his 6-2 Beacons to the Salem campus of Corban and he will be coaching against his father-in-law, Steve Matsen. Bragging rights are on the line, besides it being the league opener.

Of course Jackson is one of the five greatest players ever to play for the U of Oregon and is in his first year of coaching the Deacons. Matsen is also back as a first year coach for the Warriors, who presently own a 3-4 record.

Game time is 7:30 and it will be preceded per usual for all Cascade Collegiate Conference games with the women's game at 5:30.

Friday night, Saturday night, some great basketball in the Pacific Northwest.

You can read more of Greg Crawford at CSNNW.com and his Crawford's Court columns which appear each Tuesday and Friday, www.csnnw.com/blog/crawfords-court.

And of course these columns are always brought to you by Greg Crawford Speaks, the best training for public speaking and presenting you will ever see, of which many holiday specials are running. For more information, please go to http://gregcrawfordspeaks.weebly.com or email gregorycrawfordspeaks@gmail.com if you want to examine how you can become a better public speaker/presenter.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Multnomah University Basketball

By Greg Crawford, Basketball Insider @wchoops

Coach Curt Bickley is glad the month of November is over, but at the same time he is very proud of his team and the effort they gave against many teams from the Cascade Collegiate Conference , of NAIA Division 2.

"Sometimes when teams in basketball lose, they just go through the motions, we are not one of those teams, " said Bickley. "We knew going into our November schedule it would be tough, playing up in caliber, but never once did our guys quit competing and I think we learned a lot about ourselves. No, it will not get any easier, but at the same time we are now going to being playing many more NCCAA teams and that will equal things out."

The December journey for the Lions starts this week in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a three game round robin tournament. "Part of our culture at Multnomah University is for our student/athletes to see as much of the country as we can and this week going to Michigan will start part of that journey.

When the Lions return home to their Glisan street gym on December 12th, they will battle North Adelaide from Australia. Then the next home game promises to be a great contest, when Dinari Foreman brings his Lewis and Clark Pioneers over to Multnomah on December 18th, for a holiday game, which promises to attract a huge crowd.

If you have not seen Multnomah University play basketball, you are missing a real treat. The ball is up and down and the three point shots can come from anywhere. That is not to short the fact the Lions play the full 40 minutes, no matter what the score.

Multnomah's gym is located at 8435 NE Glisan and is awaiting your presence on December 12th and 18th.

You can read more of Greg Crawford by going to www.csnnw.com/blog/crawfords-court, where Greg Crawford covers D-1 basketball for Comcast SportsNet.

This blog is brought to you by Greg Crawford Speaks, http://gregcrawfordspeaks.weebly.com, where you can get the best public speaking/presenting teaching around. To learn more and hear about our holiday specials, please email us at gregorycrawfordspeaks@gmail.com