Tuesday, Nov. 26 — First Round
6 p.m. — Nicholls State vs. Georgetown
8 p.m. — UC Riverside vs. Alaska Anchorage
Wednesday, Nov. 27 — 3rd Pl./Championship
2:30 p.m. — NSU/GU loser vs. UCR/UAA loser
5 p.m. — NSU/GU winner vs. UCR/UAA winner
Wednesday, Nov. 27 — First Round
7:30 p.m. — Tulsa vs. Indiana State
10 p.m. — Texas Christian vs. Alaska Anchorage
Thursday, Nov. 28 — First Round
5:30 p.m. — Pepperdine vs. Green Bay
8 p.m. — Denver vs. Harvard
Friday, Nov. 29 — Consolation Semifinals & Semifinals
Noon — Tulsa/ISU loser vs. TCU/UAA loser
2 p.m. — Pepperdine/GB loser vs. DU/Harvard loser
5:30 p.m. — Tulsa/ISU winner vs. TCU/UAA winner
8 p.m. — Pepperdine/GB winner vs. DU/Harvard winner
Saturday, Nov. 30
Noon — 7th/8th-place: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser
2 p.m. — 4th/6th-place: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner
6 p.m. — 3rd/5th-place: Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser
8:30 p.m. — Championship: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner
Break it down:
Dissecting the Shootout field
By Thomas McIntyre with contributor Mark Hoffman
This year’s Great Alaska Shootout is flooring another lineup of teams that don’t register with the average fan — which is why we’re here. The breakdowns below should A) provide context to all of the schools and player names, and B) incentivize you to hold off on the leftover cranberry sauce in exchange for a night of hoops.
Kentucky is only allowed to roster 15 players. There are much more than 15 good college basketball players, and some of them just touched down in Anchorage.
Team: University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves
From: Anchorage, Alaska
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Previous record: 17-10
Identity: TBD. The ‘Wolves had a clear identity last season, but too much has changed since then. They remain a team that’s willing to pull from deep, though. And given the balanced roster, big contributions could come from all over the place.
Player(s) to watch: Before the year started, it looked like senior forward Kylie Burns was ready to bust out. She’s still a candidate to do so, but it’s junior guard Alli Madison who’s on an early heater.
Madison is a powerful two-guard with a reliable jumper. She’s been the Seawolves’ most consistent scorer thus far, putting up over 16 points per game.
Junior forward KeKe Wright is another player to track. Her rebounding and defense can quietly shift the direction and outcome of games. She’ll play a huge role in the team’s ability to create turnovers.
Fake money line: +300. There’s no betting on the Shootout, but these fake money lines present realistic odds for the teams. The ‘Wolves are 3-1 underdogs due to unpredictability and the step up in competition. But all dogs are live in the women’s field.
PPG: Alli Madison, 16.0; APG: Kiki Robertson, 8.0; RPG: KeKe Wright, 13.5
Team: Georgetown University Hoyas
From: Washington, D.C.
Conference: BIG EAST Conference
Previous record: 15-16
Identity: Banging down low. Like the Seawolves, the Hoyas lost a big piece of their foundation last year. Unlike the Seawolves, the Hoyas have a newcomer who’s already started her own era.
Player(s) to watch: Freshman center Natalie Butler is a 6-foot-5 destroyer. She was named the BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year and has taken home BIG EAST Player of the Week Honors for her early work.
Butler is posting gaudy numbers, which includes almost 14 rebounds per game. She boards, blocks, scores and hits free throws. The only positive for opposing Shootout teams is that they aren’t facing the senior version of her.
Her freshman tag team partner, Shayla Cooper, left the team after two games. Cooper was a skilled frontcourt sidekick for Butler. She also tried to block a shot by throwing her shoe at the ball, so they’ll miss her creative approach as well.
Sophomore guard Katie McCormick will be the Hoyas second option. She’s a scorer who can rip it from three.
Fake money line: -100. Hoyas aren’t super deep, but they have two of the tourney’s top game breakers.
PPG: Natalie Butler, 16.3; APG: Samisha Powell, 4.7; RPG: Natalie Butler, 13.7
Team: Nicholls State University Colonels
From: Thibodeaux, Louisiana
Conference: Southland Conference
Previous record: 19-11
Identity: The Colonels are led by an experienced guard/forward duo. They returned four starters and have a balanced attack.
Player(s) to watch: Senior’s KK Babin and LiAnn McCarthy were both named Preseason All-Southland. Babin — a first-team honoree — is a point guard who can distribute and score the rock. McCarthy — a second-team selection — is a forward who does a little of everything.
McCarthy hasn’t started the year for the Colonels, though. Her absence is going to put them a step behind in the Shootout.
The team has been getting a big boost from sophomore guard Emani White. White is in her first year as a starter, and she’s making use of the extended role. Her scoring ability gives the Colonels a dangerous backcourt.
Fake money line: +200. The women’s field is hard to gauge. On paper, it’s Georgetown and everybody else. But the gap between these teams isn’t major.
PPG: Emani White, 23.7; APG: Emani White, 3.7; RPG: Marina Lilly, 5.7
Team: UC Riverside Highlanders
From: Riverside, California
Conference: Big West
Previous record: 11-18
Identity: Losing the conference’s leading scorer, Tre’Shonti Nottingham, will make it tough on the Highlanders, but head coach John Margaritis knows what it takes to win in the Big West. He will try to rebuild around Big West Freshman of the Year Brittany Crain.
Player(s) to watch: Sophomore guard Crain is a force on the offensive end of the court, but also grabs a solid 5.6 boards per game. Senior center Natasha Hadley will lead the frontcourt, returning with 11.3 points and a team-leading 6.9 rebounds per game.
The Highlanders will need more scoring elsewhere and should look to junior forward Kiara Harewood and sophomore guard Annelise Ito to produce it.
Fake money line: +300. Highlanders are young team that could pull it off if Crain and Hadley take control.
PPG: Brittany Crain 14.3; APG: Brittany Crain 1.5; RPG: Natasha Hadley 6.9
Team: University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves
From: Anchorage, Alaska
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Previous record: 11-9
Identity: Bombing from beyond the arc. The Seawolves are going to let it fly all weekend long. They’ll also push the pace with their small ball lineups.
Player(s) to watch: First is junior guard Travis Thompson. Thompson redshirted last season and has come back like a bat out of hell. He’s averaging more than 23 points a night and has 23 threes on the year.
Senior guard Kyle Fossman is the second reason this Seawolves backcourt terrorizes teams. Fossman also has 23 threes and is shooting them at a 45 percent clip.
Sophomore point guard Brian McGill isn’t a sniper; he gets his 16-point average through mid-range shots and dribble drives. Despite his scoring output, he’s most dangerous as a passer. The Western Oregon transfer currently averages 3.9 assists per turnover. That’s efficiency.
Fake money line: +900. The ‘Wolves can stay in any game using the three-point line. With that said, it’d take too many threes to cover the ground between them and the premier teams.
PPG: Travis Thompson, 23.3; APG: Brian McGill, 5.8; RPG: Teancum Stafford, 7.5
Team: Indiana State Sycamores
From: Terre Haute, Indiana
Conference: Missouri Valley Conference
Previous record: 18-15
Identity: Scoring points. The Sycamores are averaging 86.7 points per game and are top-30 in adjusted offensive efficiency through three games. They get after it offensively. ISU is in the ideal position for a mid-major: they’re loaded with veteran talent and are led by a star player.
Player(s) to watch: Keep your eyes glued on senior guard Jake Odum. He was named First Team All-MVC last season and was pegged as a First Team Preseason Mid-Major All-American by NBCSports.com.
Jonathan Givony (of DraftExpress.com) has compared Odum to former North Carolina point guard, Kendall Marshall. He’s a creative passer who has great size and makes good decisions. And even though he isn’t a knockdown shooter, he can still do damage in the pick ‘n’ roll.
Khristian Smith, Dawon Cummings, Justin Gant and Manny Arop surround Odum in the starting five and are all productive players.
Fake money line: -100. The Sycamores are even money to win the Shootout. They’re the second-best team in the field and have a favorable route to the ship.
While they might live in the shadows of Wichita State during the season, ISU is a real mid-major power. It wasn’t a fluke they went into South Bend and smoked No. 21 Notre Dame.
PPG: Jake Odum, 16.7; APG: Jake Odum, 5.7; RPG: Jake Odum, 5.3
Team: University of Denver Pioneers
From: Denver, Colorado
Conference: Summit League
Previous record: 22-10
Identity: The slow burn. Denver is going to gradually deconstruct teams. It will be slow, grating and effective. The style isn’t conducive to entertainment so much as its conducive to staying competitive in basketball games.
Player(s) to watch: The most intriguing Pioneer is senior forward Chris Udofia. Udofia is leading the team in points, rebounds, and blocks. He’s the team’s most active defender, and could have a Shootout run similar to the one Charlotte’s Pierria Henry had last November. His game is deeper than the box score.
The net return from the rest of the Pioneers has left a little to be desired in the first couple outings. Junior guard Cam Griffin is providing Udofia the most backup by averaging double-digit points.
Fake money line: +400. This line has certainly moved since the summer — and not in a positive direction. The Pioneers’ early season losses against Stanford and California has dampened their outlook. Drawing Harvard as their first game won’t make the path to a Shootout title any easier.
PPG: Chris Udofia, 14.0; APG: Brett Olson, 3.5; RPG: Chris Udofia, 6.5
Team: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix
From: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Conference: Horizon League
Previous record: 18-16
Identity: Balance. Green Bay has nasty point guard and a collection of grinders in the frontcourt. Your grandpa will like them because they don’t put up many threes.
Player(s) to watch: Junior guard Keifer Sykes is getting busy, logging 42 points in the first two Phoenix games. He spearheads the offense and was one of two Green Bay hoopers to finish in the top three in Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year voting.
The other was Alec Brown. Brown is a 7-foot-1 senior whose makeup has attracted pro scouts. He’s mobile for his size and shows a wide range of offensive skills.
Brown can hit jumpers, produce on the block and play as a pop man in the pick ‘n’ roll. His ability and potential may not be readable through his stats, but he has a combination of size and skill that could get his named called next June. He’ll be one of the most interesting players to monitor this weekend.
Fake money line: +400. Green Bay was voted as the favorite to win the Horizon League in the preseason. There are a couple reasons for that. One is that the conference is relatively weak this year; another is that Green Bay is well-rounded and tough. Green Bay and Denver are the tournament wild cards.
PPG: Keifer Sykes, 21.0; APG: Keifer Sykes, 2.5; RPG: Jordan Fouse, 11.0
Team: University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane
From: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Conference: Conference USA
Previous record: 17-15
Identity: Second-year head coach Danny Manning looks to improve on a pretty successful debut season. Injuries forced a young Tulsa team into a four-guard offense with a spread scoring attack last year, but good health and some newcomers should bring balance back to an already-solid defensive team.
Player(s) to watch: This is a young Tulsa team. Sophomore guard James Woodard, who led the Hurricane in scoring and rebounding last year, was selected as a Conference USA Preseason Player to Watch. Sophomore forward Rashad Smith was averaging 14.5 points and 4.8 rebounds last year before injuring his knee after just four games.
Smith and emerging sophomore guard Shaquille Harrison could prove to be vital playmakers for the Golden Hurricane.
Fake money line: +700. Not even Danny Manning can help the Hurricane pull off a miracle.
PPG: James Woodard, 12.0; APG: Shaquille Harrison, 2.8; RPG: James Woodard, 5.9
Team: Pepperdine University Waves
From: Malibu, California
Conference: West Coast Conference
Previous record: 12-18
Identity: The Waves are an inexperienced team overall, but third-year head coach Marty Wilson has high expectations for this season. UCLA transfer Brendan Lane adds some experience and size to a team that already returns WCC Newcomer of the Year, Stacy Davis, in the frontcourt.
Pepperdine’s most glaring void is at point guard, but if some newcomers can step up, the Waves will seriously surprise some teams this year.
Player(s) to watch: The 6-foot-6 Davis looks to build on last year’s great debut season. Coupled with 6-foot-9 Lane, the Waves will certainly have a formidable, if not the best, frontcourt in the WCC. Watch for true freshman Jeremy Major to make an early push for the starting job at point guard.
Fake money line: +600. The stacked frontcourt could give them life.
PPG: Stacy Davis, 11.2; APG: Stacy Davis, 1.3; RPG: Stacy Davis, 7.3
Team: Texas Christian University Horned Frogs
From: Fort Worth, Texas
Conference: Big 12
Previous record: 11-21
Identity: TCU has a lot of work to do. The Horned Frogs were the worst offensive team in the Big 12 last year and will be looking to its youth to find scoring. ESPN Top 100 freshman center Karviar Shepherd leads the 34th-rated recruiting class in the country into Fort Worth. Shepherd will add a dynamic presence in the paint but the young Frogs will have to work to find their identity.
Player(s) to watch: The 6-foot-11 Shepherd is the most-prized recruit in TCU history and will be a welcome project for second-year head coach Trent Johnson. The Horned Frogs have experience at point guard, as junior Kyan Anderson will be expected to provide much-needed leadership on the court.
Also, expect to see an increased role for returning guard Jarvis Ray and some production from freshmen wings Brandon Parrish and Hudson Price.
Fake money line: +700. New additions help their case, but it’s too early in the season to bank on them.
PPG: Kyan Anderson, 12.0; APG: Kyan Anderson, 3.4; RPG: Charles Hill Jr., 1.9
Team: Harvard University Crimson
From: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Conference: Ivy League
Previous record: 20-10
Identity: Coming off an Ivy League championship season and a March Madness upset of third-seeded New Mexico, head coach Tommy Amaker might be fielding the best team Harvard has ever seen.
Last year’s surprising guards Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers are back but they add some serious fuel to the fire with the return of Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey, who missed last season after a cheating scandal, and the addition of dynamic freshman center Zena Edosomwan.
Player(s) to watch: Saunders broke out big time last year and is a stat-sheet filler, averaging 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.8 steals. At 6-foot-5, he’s an all-around beast and was selected the Ivy League preseason player of the year.
Chambers also flourished with increased playing time, averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 5.7 assists per game. Harvard will need junior center Kenyatta Smith to step up as a defensive presence in the post to help balance the floor.
Fake money line: -400. The most likely scenario is Crimson over Sycamores for the 2013 Shootout trophy. Both teams could make similar runs in March as well.
PPG: Wesley Saunders 16.2; APG: Siyani Chambers 5.7; RPG: Kenyatta Smith 4.3