The CalPac, like the Cascade, decided to let those teams that could, play in the NAIA regular season, while also giving an option to those who couldn’t play, a chance to have a season in the Spring. The regular season CalPac tournament saw BenU-Mesa take a best of 3 series over Saint Katherine. BenU-Mesa did go on to beat Vanguard in the Opening Round.
As for the Spring, UC Merced completed the Phase 2 season by going 9-0 and winning the Spring Title. While Antelope Valley didn’t play in the Spring they have played a bit of a “Big Brother” role in the league over the past few years and received 8 of the leagues 10 first place votes.
The CalPac may be the league with the most question marks headed into the season, but that should also add to the fun of the season.
Cal Pac Preseason Coaches Poll
2020-21 National Tournament Qualifier
National Tournament Qualifiers: BenU-Mesa – Lost 73-98 in the 2nd round of the NAIA National Championships.
2021-22 Season Preview
Conference POY Watch List:
Maurice Walton 6’9 BenU-Mesa. CalPac Outstanding Player in 2020-21. HM All-American. The Super Senior will once again be one of the best big men in the CalPac. He is a load inside and tough to guard.
DJ Green, Antelope Valley. D1 Drop down from MD-Eastern Shore. In his only game last season at Antelope Valley he had 21pts.
Zavier Lucero 6’6 Cal Maritime. 3x 1st Team All-CalPac player. Lucero has been dominant and is a really nice gift for the new coaching staff.
DJ Everage 6’3 La Sierra. Has had a BIG time career at La Sierra boosting himself into the Top 10 of all-time scorers in CalPac history.
Jay Small 6’1, BenU-Mesa. 3x All-GPAC member who transferred in from Northwestern (IA). Has over 1,200pts in his career and has been one of the NAIA’s best shooters over his career.
Hassan Bolden 6’5, Antelope Valley. Transfer from Reedley College where he averaged 20ppg, 9.9rpg and 3.4apg.
Elias Ezenekwe 6’4, Antelope Valley. Transfer from Southeastern (IA) JUCO where he averaged 10.3ppg, 2.9rpg.
Favorites to Win CalPac:
Antelope Valley – They have multiple NCAA D1 drop downs including D.J Green who put on a display in his only game for UAV last season. JUCO transfer, Elias Ezenekwe and NCCAA transfer Hassan Bolden will also bring a scoring punch. This is a team that has owned the CalPac the past few years so no surprise they head into the season as the favorites.
BenU-Mesa – Not only did the RedHawks win the CalPac qualifier last year, but they went on to knock off Golden State Athletic Conference power Vanguard in the NAIA opening round. They return Big Mo Walton, who was voted the most outstanding player in the CalPac qualifier last season. They also get a really nice transfer in Jay Small who has had a lot of success in the GPAC prior to transferring.
Cal Merced – Lose their top two scorers from the Spring season, but have been consistent contender the past few years. They did receive one 1st place vote after going 9-0 in the Phase 2 season and still return several players who played good minutes.
Cal Maritime – Zavier Lucero stays on with the new coaching staff to provide some great experience and size. It will be interesting to see this team develop as the season goes on. They didn’t play last season and now are coming in with first time Head Coach Tim Bross.
x NAIA Schedule – November 29th Men’s Games of the Day 8pm: Kansas Wesleyan @ Southwestern (KS) – Watch
x NAIA Schedule – November 28th Men’s Games of the Day 10am: Indiana Tech vs Warner Indiana Tech
x NAIA Schedule – November 27th Men’s Games of the Day 10am: RV Southeastern (FL) vs WVU Tech
x NAIA Schedule – November 26th Men’s Games of the Day 11am: #4 Arizona Christian @ St Thomas (FL)
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