We aren’t here to debate politics or Covid beliefs. The fact of the matter here is that when you have teams from different states, sometimes the laws differ and for NAIA programs, that caused many to have to shut down athletics for several months. The most impacted states were in the Pacific Northwest, where the CCC is located. Teams like Lewis-Clark State and College of the Idaho were able to participate in the NAIA regular season. Often times, making up a schedule on the fly. The remaining teams decided to play a Spring season after the regular NAIA season was over. This makes for a unique situation heading into the 2021-22 season.
The toughest part about breaking down a league like this is trying to compare the impact of an actual NAIA season vs the Spring season games. It is fair to ask the question on if those teams who played the Spring season will have any adjustment period to a longer season and the new NAIA format. You see, the last time most of these kids played, the NAIA landscape was much different. Not saying that teams like Lewis Clark State and College of Idaho, for sure have an edge, but it is something to watch for sure.
With that, the CCC Coaches, rightfully so, leaned on tradition and talent in their preseason votes as Oregon Tech sees themselves atop the CCC Preseason Coaches Poll.
Cascade Collegiate Conference Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Oregon Tech
2. College of Idaho
3. Lewis-Clark St
5. Southern Oregon
8. Eastern Oregon
9. Warner Pacific
11. Walla Walla
12. The Evergreen State College
2020-21 Champions and Qualifiers
CCC Spring Champion
National Tournament Qualifiers: Lewis-Clark St. – Lost 68-74 in the National Championship game to Shawnee State.
2021-22 Season Preview
Conference POY Watch List:
Garrett Albrecht 6’9 Oregon Tech. 2x All-CCC member. Albrecht is one of the best big men in the NAIA.
Harrison Steiger 6’3 Oregon Tech. 2x All-CCC member. High IQ player who understands how to put the ball in the basket.
Steve Schlabach 6’4 Bushnell. Co-CCC Player of the Year in the Spring. 2x All-CCC member.
Max McCullough 5’11 Eastern Oregon. Co-CCC Player of the Year in the Spring. Was 2017-18 NAIA DII 3rd Team All-American. 3X All-CCC 1st teamer. Dropped 41pts on D1 Pacific two seasons ago.
Josh Meyer 6’7 Southern Oregon. Was 1st Team All-CCC this past Spring. Averaged 17.3ppg, 9.4rpg in the Spring to lead the Raiders.
Spencer Hofffman 6’11 Bushnell. Transfer from NCAA D2 Colorado Christian where he was 2nd Team All-RMAC and averaged 15.6ppg and 6.4rpg.
Kevin Baker 6’8 Lewis-Clark St. Transfer from NCAA D2 Central Washington. Averaged 9ppg and 5rpg.
Kai Warren 6’4 Lewis-Clark St. Transfer from Bellevue CC. Averaged 9.9ppg, 4.57rpg.
Drew Wyman 6’5 College of Idaho. Just an incoming Freshman, but have heard from multiple sources that he is a kid who can really go.
Drew Potts 6’11 Oregon Tech. Didn’t play much at Oregon State, but got great experience practicing on a team that played in the NCAA Tournament. Will be interesting to see him play.
Favorites to Win AAC:
Oregon Tech – Harrison Steiger and Garrett Albrecht return for their Super Senior season. Two All-Conference players from a 2019-2020 Oregon Tech squad that spent most of the season as the Top Ranked NAIA DII squad. While both had nice Springs, it was Kaison Faust who led the Owls in scoring with 11.9ppg. The Owls were already deep with size, but went out and snatched up 6’10 Oregon State transfer, Joey Potts, as well. They have the guard play, size, tradition and coaching to not only be a CCC contender, but a National contender as well.
College of Idaho – 2019-20 ALL-CCC member, Ivory Miles-Williams is back from injury and 2020-21 All-CCC member, Ricardo Time is one of the better two way players in the league. The Coyotes scheduling last season was a bit rough and they were better then their 8-9 record as they faced five NCAA D1 as they tried to find enough games to qualify for the NAIA postseason. Coach Colby Blaine has done a great job with Coyotes and they are always tough defensively. A kid to keep an eye on for them this season is Freshman Drew Wyman. If he can grow up fast, the Yotes will be tough to beat!
Lewis-Clark St – There is no way you can leave an Austin Johnson led team out of the “favorites” list. Even if they lost more than any other program in the NAIA, you shouldn’t count this LCSC team out. The Warriors took advantage of the Grad Transfer process by getting Kevin Baker (Central Washington) and Al Sommerfield (Alaska-Fairbanks), two guys who really fit the LCSC system. Those two will team up with big time JUCO scorer Kai Warren and returners, Khalil Stevenson and Nathan Fromm to try and lead a bunch of youngsters to another title. Austin Johnson, in the last two NAIA National Tournaments, has led his team to the 2019 NAIA Fab Four and the 2021 NAIA National Title game.
Corban – The CCC Spring Champions found themselves in 4th place in the CCC Preseason Poll despite returning nearly everyone from that Spring Championship. The Warriors did receive a first place vote in the poll and 2nd year Head Coach Taylor Kelly will look to build off of last season’s Spring title.
Bushnell – A team with talented scorer and Spring Co-Player of the Year, Steve Schlabach, 2x 1st Tea All-CCC member Ernest Ugoagu and HM All-ACC player, Kaden Sand. Schlabach, just a Sophomore, led the conference Spring season in scoring with 21.3ppg. While the trio combined to average 54 of the teams 85pts per game. They also add stud D2 transfer big man, Spencer Hoffman to the mix. This team has the pieces to compete!
xUnfortunately, I will be watching online as I had to get back to work for a project deadline.
Follow us on Social Media