The college basketball season has certainly been a strange one, and that’s true for many local men’s players.
Some have already logged a handful games, others are waiting to start their seasons, while still others still won’t have a season in 2020-21.
The Pacific Lutheran men’s basketball team, which features a couple of Clark County standouts Seth Hall and Ethan Smith, will tip off a very odd season this weekend when the Lutes play games Friday and Saturday by hosting Whitman College.
It will be part of a 12-game schedule for the Lutes with games against just in-state rivals Whitman, Whitworth and Puget Sound.
“We’re just really excited to get on the court and play,” PLU head coach Chad Murray said. “We’re just thankful that we get this opportunity. I have shied away from some of those outcome goals for this year because a good outcome for us will be to get 12 games in.”
Hall, a Prairie High graduate, had an all-conference season last year for the Lutes after spending two season at Lower Columbia College. He averaged 13.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 26 games, including 19 starts.
“With Seth, he’s found a way to get better,” Murray said. “He just tears guys up in practice. He’s a ruthless competitor and has no mercy for who he’s going up against.”
Hall said he was looking forward to taking on players other than just his teammates in practice.
“We’ve been going pretty hard these last couple of months,” Hall said. “I think the thing I’m going to miss most is not having fans in the gym, missing (them) supporting us. But we’re going to battle to overcome (that) and win some games.”
Smith, a Union graduate, will be looking to make his debut with PLU after playing last season at Clark College, where he averaged 12.5 points a game.
Woodland graduate Bryce Mulder will pass up his senior year of eligibility at Whitman to serve as a student assistant coach this season for the Blues.
Other Southwest Washington players
Samaad Hector (Skyview), Sacramento State
The junior has played in all seven games for the Hornets. He is averaging 7.6 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. He had 12 points and 12 rebounds vs. Fresno Pacific on Jan. 3. This week: Sacramento State (5-2) hosts Montana on Thursday and Saturday.
Kyle Gruhler (Skyview), Northwest Nazarene
The freshman has not played in any of the Nighthawks’ four games to date. This week: Northwest Nazarene (3-1) plays at Western New Mexico on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Alex Schumacher (Skyview), St. Martin’s
The sophomore is averaging 15 points and four rebounds in the Saints’ two games. He had 20 points in a loss to Seattle Pacific on Wednesday. Next: St. Martin’s (0-2), after hosting Seattle Pacific on Thursday, will play at Portland State on Tuesday.
Shaw Anderson (Kelso), Seattle Pacific
The junior has not appeared in any of Seattle Pacific’s three games. Next: Seattle Pacific (1-2) plays at St. Martin’s on Thursday.
Tanner Fogle (Camas), Whitworth
The senior has played in all seven games for the Pirates. He is averaging 7.8 points and 2.2 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in four games, including 12 points twice. Next: Whitworth (2-5) opens Northwest Conference play at Puget Sound on Friday and Saturday.
Brad Lackey (Union), Whitworth
The freshman has played in six of seven games for the Pirates. He is averaging 2.8 points and 1.8 rebounds. He had a season-best six points in a win over Seattle Pacific on Jan. 14. Next: Whitworth (2-5) opens Northwest Conference play at Puget Sound on Friday and Saturday.
Jacob Hjort (Columbia River), Whitworth
The sophomore has played in one game for the Pirates. He has not scored. Whitworth (2-5) opens Northwest Conference play at Puget Sound on Friday and Saturday.
Matt Garrison (King’s Way Christian), William Jessup
The junior, after two seasons playing for Clark College, has appeared in all five games for the Warriors. He is averaging 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds. He has scored 10 points twice this season — against College of Idaho and Simpson University. Next: William Jessup (3-2) plays Friday and Saturday at Life Pacific University.
Regular season has not started
Corban: Austin Evans (Camas), Denis Kirichenko (Union)
Menlo: Evan Dirksen (Columbia River)
Multnomah: Kellen Ball (Seton Catholic)
Oregon Tech: Kam Osborn (Prairie)
Portland Bible: Bronson King (Prairie)
Linfield: Will Burghhardt (Mark Morris), Carson Bonine (Camas), Reece Gibb (Mark Morris)
Cameron Cranston (Union), Western Oregon
Daelon Floyd (Battle Ground), Lewis & Clark