San Francisco at Portland
Game time: 7:00 p.m. PST
TV: ROOT SPORTS NW & RM, TWC SPORTSNET, CSNCA, THEW.TV
Radio: UP – 910 AM USF – http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/usf.portal?mode=link&eventId=132321&broadcastType=audio
Teams Records: UP – 8-4 – USF – 7-5
Leading Scorers: UP – Bailey 17.1 – USF – Dickerson 14.1
Leading Rebounders: UP – Nicholas 9.7 – USF – Dickerson 7.5
Leading Distributors: UP – Wintering 3.6 – USF – Glover 3.8
Thomas Van der Mars
The post-Doolin era has been in place for quite some time now, but for a lot of fans it will not really set in until he does not lace up the sneakers for the first conference game of the season.
The Portland Pilots will face a USF team without Cody Doolin for the first time since 2009-2010, and head coach Eric Reveno has to relieved he does not need to game plan for Doolin again. However, the Dons still have a great deal of weapons that they can utilize.
Matt Glover is the player that has assumed most of the point guard duties in Doolin’s absence. He has played 20-plus minutes in the Dons last 8 games, and has averaged 4.3 assists in that time span. Chris Adams and Tim Derksen are good three-point shooters (42.2% and 42.3% respectively) that make Glover’s job much easier. Avry Holmes can also sling the ball from downtown, but his numbers have been slightly down this season.
Kruize Pinkins is instant athleticism and explosion off the bench. He provides a nice offensive and defensive punch to this Dons squad. The front-court is led primary by Cole Dickerson, Mr. Consistency himself. Dickerson is averaging 14.1 points and 7. 5 rebounds this season. Forward Mark Tollefsen is a forward that can play above the rim and run the court for the Dons.
The Portland Pilots are one of the hottest teams in the WCC right now, fresh off two solid victories against Bradley and Princeton at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic.
At the tournament, Bryce Pressley asserted himself as yet another scoring threat for the Pilots. His 25 points off 8 of 10 shooting (5 of 5 from 3) was one of the best shooting performances that we will see all season. Beside him in the backcourt is point guard Alec Wintering, who is just a freshman but is maturing at an exponential rate.
The Pilots have one of the best frontcourts in the WCC. Kevin Bailey, Ryan Nicholas and Thomas van der Mars are super productive players that are the center of the Pilots offense.
Matchup of the Game – Ryan Nicholas vs. Cole Dickerson
These are two seniors that are desperately want their senior seasons to be connected to a WCC championship. Nicholas and Dickerson are both talented and hungry, need I say more? This will be one of the marquee matchups in the WCC all season.
Prediction – Portland 76, San Francisco 70
Portland really impressed me in their tournament in Vegas. The team appeared to click, and looked as if they could make a push for the top half of the conference this season.
However, the Rex Walter coached Dons will not lay down and hand it to them. The Pilots will need to work for it.