Portland Game Preview: Pilots Open Season, Take on UC Davis and High Scoring Hawkins

March. 2, 2013; Spokane, WA, USA; Portland Pilots head coach Eric Reveno looks on during a game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the first half at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

March. 2, 2013; Spokane, WA, USA; Portland Pilots head coach Eric Reveno looks on during a game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the first half at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Pilots (0-0) vs. UC Davis Aggies (0-0)

Tip at 7:30 P.M. from the Chiles Center on the University of Portland Campus.

TV and Radio: On PortlandPilots.com

Projected Starting Lineups: UP - Wintering, Pressley, Bailey, Nicholas, van der Mars – UCD - Spykens, Hawkins, Graham, Ritchart, Nujic 

The Opponent:

The Portland Pilots open the 2013-2014 with a home bout against the Aggies of UC Davis. UC Davis will lean heavily on junior Corey Hawkins as he tries to top his first season as an Aggie after transferring from Arizona State. The 6-3 guard is the son of former NBA All-Star Hersey Hawkins, and averaged over 20 points last season for the Aggies en route to a 14-17 season. Last season UC Davis was extremely efficient on the offensive end of the court and that should continue this season.

Keys for the Pilots:

The Pilots will look to take advantage down low with a solid frontcourt rotation led by senior Ryan Nicholas and junior Thomas van der Mars. Look for Voldy Gerun and Riley Barker to also see quality minutes for the Pilots as well. Portland should have an advantage in rebounding on both sides of the court, and if they look to start the season with a W they will need to not only rebound effectively, but also take care of the ball. Freshman point guard Alec Wintering should get the start for Portland as junior David Carr is recovering from a concussion suffered in practice last week. He will be a asked to be a steadying presence on a team that averaged 15 turnovers a game and a -3.2 turnover margin last season.

X-Factor Matchup

Korey Thieleke vs. Corey Hawkins. Senior guard Korey Thieleke will try to do something that didn’t really happen last season. That is contain Hawkins. Thieleke is the Pilots most athletic defender and had some success last season on the defensive end of the court. I also would not be surprised to see junior Kevin Bailey matched up on him, but there will definitely be an emphasis on stopping the Aggies best scorer.

The Games within the Game:

Can Alec Wintering stay out of Foul Trouble?

Last time the teams met (November 2010) Tanner Riley led all scorers with 15 points on 5-6 shooting. Will the senior get an opportunity to repeat his performance?

Can Bryce Pressley make the next jump up after a solid freshman campaign?

Trends and Overall Series:

This is the season opener for both teams. Portland leads the series 3-0 all time. The teams most previously met November of 2010 where Portland came away with a 75-60 victory.

Topics: Basketball, College Basketball, Portland, Portland Pilots, UC Davis Aggies, UC-Davis, WCC, West Coast Conference

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