Men’s basketball honored as GNAC Team of the Week

Photo by Paul McCarthy
Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Following an impressive home sweep, the Alaska men’s basketball team was selected as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Team of the Week, the league office announced Monday morning.

The Nanooks (10-4, 5-1) extended their win streak to six games with an 81-58 win Thursday against Saint Martin’s and an 89-56 victory Saturday over Western Oregon. This is the second Team of the Week honor for the program this season as it was last honored Nov. 19, 2012, after winning the GCI Alaska Invitational.

“Our main concern going in coming off two road wins was to take care of business at home and our guys did a great job, starting on Thursday night with Saint Martin’s,” second-year head coach Mick Durham said.

He continued, “Right now we seem to playing pretty comfortably on offense and have gotten better defensively, especially in rebounding. The last couple weeks we rebounded very well and that starts a lot of things for us. To win like we did, we had to have some pretty good individual performances from people too, and we did.”

The Nanooks limited SMU and WOU to a combined 36 percent shooting and only allowed six three-pointers (21% – 6-28) during the week. The Nanooks had an impressive plus-34 rebounding margin (93-59), which was bolstered by Alaska’s 49-24 rebounding advantage against Western Oregon.

Senior guard Dominique Brinson (Juneau, Alaska/Accounting) led the team with 22.0 points per game, which included a season-best 28 points in Saturday’s win. He drained a career-high six three-pointers on Saturday and finished with nine treys for the week. He was named GNAC Red Lion Player of the Week for his efforts.

It wasn’t just Brinson who had a solid week as Durham’s regular eight-man rotation played a pivotal role in the wins. All eight players are averaging between 5.6 points and 15.0 points per game, four of which average double figures.

“I really believe we have eight starters and we rotate those guys in, other than maybe our point guard position,” Durham said. “That tells you that I’m comfortable with eight guys and on different nights, different guys can have big nights. It’s exciting to see and the confidence is building and we want to keep the momentum going.”

The Nanooks will put the win streak on the line this Saturday when they host in-state rival Alaska Anchorage at the Patty Center. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m., so make sure to get to the gym early as big crowds are expected.