Kip's Corner 2008-09: Bearcat Hoop Internet Release #9

By Kip Ioane

Willamette Defeats Lutes, Bearcats Head to Eastern Washington:
Currently tied for fourth place (and the final tournament spot) in the NWC standings, the Willamette University men’s basketball team heads to Spokane, Wash., and Walla Walla, Wash., this weekend on its annual road swing through the state. Head Coach Gordie James led the Bearcats to a 67-53 victory over Pacific Lutheran University on Friday, Jan. 30 in Salem, Ore. The ‘Cats evened their NWC mark at 5-5 (9-8 overall) and moved into a tie with Linfield College for fourth place.

This week, WU will play at Whitworth University on Friday, Feb. 6, with tipoff at 8 p.m. (PST). Willamette will take on Whitman College on Saturday, Feb. 7, also at 8 p.m.

Stats, Stats and More Stats
Willamette in the NWC statistics (through games on Jan. 31):

Category, Statistic, Ranking
Points Per Game, 74.7, 6th
Opp. Points Per Game, 75.9, 5th
Field Goal Percentage, 45%, 5th
Opp. Field Goal Percentage, 45.5%, 6th
3-Point Percentage, 36.8%, 3rd
Rebounds Per Game, 37.7, 3rd
Rebound Margin, +2.2, 3rd
Assists, 14.94, 5th
Turnovers, 14.8, 3rd
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio, +1.01, 4th

Individual Bearcats in the NWC statistics (through games on Jan. 31):

Player, Statistic, Ranking
Cam Mitchell, Scoring (16.9), 4th
Kyler McClary, Scoring (15.5), 8th
Cam Mitchell, Rebounding (10.8), 1st
Kyler McClary, Rebounding (5.6), 10th
Robbie Kunke, Assists (4.41), 5th
Josh Erickson, Assists (3.24), 8th
Tain Cantrell, Blocked Shots (0.88), 5th
Josh Erickson, Ast/TO Ratio (1.96), 3rd
Kyler McClary, Minutes (32.06), 3rd

Race for the Crown
Here is a look at the Northwest Conference men’s basketball standings. Remember that the top four teams at the end of the regular season will advance to the NWC Tournament. The NWC Tournament champion will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Puget Sound, 10-0 NWC, 17-2 Overall
Whitworth, 7-3 NWC, 15-4 Overall
Lewis & Clark, 7-3 NWC, 13-6 Overall
Willamette, 5-5 NWC, 9-8 Overall
Linfield, 5-5 NWC, 7-12 Overall
Pacific (Ore.), 3-7 NWC, 8-10 Overall
George Fox, 3-7 NWC, 7-12 Overall
Whitman, 3-7 NWC, 7-12 Overall
Pacific Lutheran, 2-8 NWC, 8-11 Overall

More Heavy Lifting
Senior Kyler McClary has done his part to keep the Bearcats afloat, leading the team in scoring in four out of the last six games. For his efforts, McClary was named NWC Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 1, after averaging 20.5 points per game against Linfield College and Pacific Lutheran.

Anytime an NWC team can garner a split on the Whitworth/Whitman tour, it is usually viewed as a success. Here are the results for Willamette on this road trip over the past five seasons:

Year, Record, Scores
2007-08, WU went 2-0; 76-66 Win over Whitman; 82-74 Win over Whitworth
2006-07, WU went 0-2; 81-66 Loss to Whitworth; 81-70 Loss to Whitman
2005-06, WU went 1-1; 86-82 Win over Whitman; 80-58 Loss to Whitworth
2004-05, WU went 1-1; 74-61 Win over Whitman; 87-84 Loss to Whitworth
2003-04, WU went 1-1; 64-63 Loss to Whitman; 72-68 Win over Whitworth

Catch the ‘Cats
For all the fans of the Bearcats who cannot get to the games in person, Full Access Sports will be providing a live internet webcast of all the Willamette men’s and women’s basketball games during the conference season. Mike Allegre will supply the play-by-play. Follow the link below to access all the Bearcat action!


Projected Depth Chart for This Weekend

Point Guard
Starter - Josh Erickson
Back-up - Robbie Kunke/Grant Leslie

Shooting Guard
Starter - Corey Costantino
Back-up - Marcus Holmes/Ricky Thompson

Starter - Nick Babij
Back-up - Robert Wood/Scott Schoettgen

Starter - Kyler McClary
Back-up - Scott Schoettgen/Nick Lange

Starter - Cameron Mitchell
Back-up - Tain Cantrell/Taylor Mounts

Scouting the Opponents
Whitworth College is member of the Northwest Conference and competes in NCAA Division III. The Pirates, led by Head Coach Jim Hayford, are 15-4 overall and 7-3 in the NWC (3rd place). The Pirates, who defeated the Bearcats 69-68 in Salem on Jan. 9, are led by four players averaging in double figures.

Shooting guard David Riley is averaging 16.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Nate Montgomery (Post) is providing 14.5 points per game, with Calvin Jurich (Post) tacking on 11.9 points per contest. Senior point guard Ross Nakamura has averaged 10.8 points, 4.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game.

Whitman College also competes in the NWC and NCAA Division III. Head Coach Eric Bridgeland’s team is 7-12 overall and (3-7) in the NWC (8th place). The Missionaries lost to Willamette 84-70 in Salem earlier this year.

Whitman’s top players are shooting guard Chris Faidley and point guard Brandon Shaw. Faidley averages 21.3 points per game and has connected on 63 of 164 three-point baskets (38.4%) and 122 of 141 free throws (86.5%). Shaw adds 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Cameron Mitchell (right) has blocked 12 shots this season. He leads WU with 16.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

Cameron Mitchell (right) has blocked 12 shots this season. He leads WU with 16.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

Kyler McClary is in the Top 10 in the NWC in scoring, rebounding and minutes played.

Kyler McClary is in the Top 10 in the NWC in scoring, rebounding and minutes played.

Mike Allegre, The Voice of Bearcat Basketball

Mike Allegre, The Voice of Bearcat Basketball