Portland Pilots (1-0) at Oregon State Beavers (0-1)
Tip at 6:00 P.M. from the Gill Coliseum on the Oregon State University Campus.
TV: Pac-12 Network
Radio: 910 AM and PortlandPilots.com
Projected Starting Lineups:
C-Thomas van der Mars
PG – Challe Barton (6-3, 200)
SG- Roberto Neslon(6-4, 200)
SF – Devon Collier (6-8, 215)
PF – Olaf Schaftenaar (6-10, 225)
C – Angus Brandt (6-10, 245)
The Portland Pilots will look to continue the WCC’s hot start tonight in Corvallis when they take on the 0-1 Oregon State Beavers. It’s hard to say that a team can be in a must win situation one game into the season but the Beavers may be in that territory. Head Coach Craig Robinson is in his sixth season at the helm of the OSU program and while there have been a few promising seasons, they have always been accompanied by a disappointment. The 2013 Calendar year has been a rough one for OSU; going 4-14 in the Pac-12 to finish up last season, a tumultuous summer that saw two key players (Eric Moreland for 14 games and Devon Collier for the season opener) suspended, and an opening night loss to Coppin State out of the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference. The good news for the Beavers is that starting SF Devon Collier will return tonight from suspension. He should be able to help out leading scorer Roberto Nelson who notched 36 points in the opener. This is a team that doesn’t want to be 0-2 before they fly out to East to take on Maryland.
Keys for the Pilots:
In order for Portland to compete, the Pilots will need to build off of an opening season win over UC Davis. Portland must take care of the ball and stay out of foul trouble. An early season trend seen across the country is the increased touch foul. The NCAA is trying to make the game more fluid and their strategy to accomplish this is to call a foul whenever the defensive player uses their hands on the offensive player. In game 1, Portland benefited from this getting to the line 37 times and converting on 30 of those foul shots. The Pilots will also need to rebound better than they did in last week’s opener where they were out rebounded 34-36 to a much smaller team. Of the 36 rebounds they gave up 13 were offensive. If Portland doesn’t box out and focus on rebounding, the Beavers can take advantage on the offensive glass.
Portland Help Defense vs. Oregon State Penetration. In the season opener, Portland gave up a handful of easy dunks when UC Davis Guards drove the lane and force Ryan Nicholas, Thomas van der Mars, Voldy Gerun, or Riley Barker to slide over and play help defense. When this happened the guard simply gave a bounce pass over to the helper’s man and he was left with an uncontested dunk. To fix this, every player on the court for Portland needs to be aware of what the offense is trying to do, and they need to shift as appropriate.
David Carr will not suit up for the game so again I will be watching Alec Wintering. How will he handle his first game against a Pac-12 opponent? Will he stay out of foul trouble?
Can Kevin Bailey and Ryan Nicholas give repeat performances?
Will Reveno stick with his 9 man rotation of Wintering, Sharp, Pressley, Riley, Bailey, Nicholas, Gerun, van der Mars, and Riley?
For more Portland Pilot coverage including in game updates follow @davidvthompson on twitter
Topics: Alec Wintering, Basketball, Bryce Pressely, Kevin Bailey, MBB, Men's Basketball, Oregon State Beavers, Pilots, Portland, Portland Pilots, Ryan Nicholas, Thomas Van Der Mars, University Of Portland, WCC, West Coast Conference