Follow us:

Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

January 14, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Seattle Pacific: Father, daughter sample quality basketball, tasty popcorn

By Scott Hanson

Scott Hanson is a desk editor for The Seattle Times who also covers golf and horse racing. He was born in Seattle and went to Rainier Beach High School and the University of Washington.

David Downs of Seattle Pacific is an accurate outside shooter who never takes a bad shot.  Lindsey Wasson / Seattle Times staff

David Downs of Seattle Pacific is an accurate outside shooter who never takes a bad shot.
Lindsey Wasson / Seattle Times staff

I grew up in Seattle and have lived in this city for about 35 of my 50 years, but until Thursday night I had never been to a Seattle Pacific University men’s basketball game. In fact, until a couple of weeks ago, I am not sure if I had ever stepped on campus, which is odd since SPU is one of three colleges I applied to before deciding upon Washington.

I admit that I didn’t have huge expectations when I took my 6-year-old daughter to see Seattle Pacific play Alaska Fairbanks. I am working on a story on the Falcons’ 6-foot-8 senior, Patrick Simon, who years ago made headlines when he committed to Washington State – as a ninth-grader.

Simon told me about great team chemistry, how unlike most college teams that have cliques, this group was completely together.

Players like to say that, so I didn’t think much of it, but then I saw it on the court. This was no stand-around offense. It’s motion, motion, motion, and invariably a Falcon would finally break free for either a layup or come off a screen for an open three-pointer.

Either way, the Falcons didn’t miss often. They shot a remarkable 61.9 percent (26 of 42) from the field and even better from three-point range (9 of 13). In one game this year, the team was 19 of 24 from three-point range.

Brougham Pavilion is a great place to watch a game. You’re close enough to hear what coaches are yelling, and I thought it was a mistake when I bought a 20-ounce Diet Pepsi and popcorn and was told it cost $2.75. It wasn’t a mistake.

But the biggest surprise was the quality of basketball. While most of the top players at the Division II level may lack the athleticism to be Division I stars, I saw shooters that any Division I coach would envy.

David Downs, the senior point guard from Bellevue Christian, was the coaches’ preseason player of the year in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. He is averaging about 21 points, and I was expecting to see a player who would be jacking up shots at every opportunity.

What I saw was a player who could make a shot from 27 feet if left alone for even a second, but never took a bad shot. He got his points all right, 23 of them, but on just nine shots. He made eight of them, including 4 of 5 on three-point attempts. He was 3 for 3 from the foul line, and he had no turnovers in 26 minutes.

Count me as impressed. So was my daughter Elizabeth.

“If you ask me, Dad, it’s a good thing No. 2 is on Seattle Pacific’s team,” she said.

Elizabeth had a great time. She talked with the cheerleaders at halftime, ate the cheap but tasty popcorn, loved chanting “S-P-U! S-P-U!” and got mad when her dad didn’t join in.

She wants to go to another Seattle Pacific game.

And so does her dad.

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

 

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►