With all due respect to the fantastic win over Gonzaga last week (seriously, I have been waiting years for that), the biggest basketball related story on the bluff this week was the announcement by women’s head coach Jim Sollars that he will retire after his 28th season on the Bluff. Here are just a few numbers associated with Sollars’ carreer:
28: Number of years Jim Sollars has been the head coach of the University of Portland’s women’s basketball team
11: number of years Sollars was a History professor at the University of Portland in addition to coaching basketball
383: Total Wins at Portland
166: Total WCC wins (second all time)
39: Total “All WCC” players Sollars has coached
5: WCC Coach of the Year awards Sollars has earned
4: Total “WCC Player of the year” athletes Sollars has coached
2: Honorable mention All-Americans under Sollars
25: Final National Ranking of the 1996-1997 Portland Pilots Women’s Basketball team
Overall, Sollars has had a great impact on Pilot basketball. He has been a fantastic coach, and an even better role model and added a great deal to the University community. When I was writing for The Beacon, Sollars was always very open to talk about his team and was very frank and honest about the team. As a reporter that was extremely refreshing and I always appreciated the time he took to talk with me. I only wish Sollars the best as he heads onto the next chapter of his life.
Where we came from:
Overall Record: (10-7, 2-3) 7th in the WCC standings, 6th in latest West Coast Convo Power Rankings
Last week: 1-0 with an 82-73 Win against #22 Gonzaga
A few thoughts on last week’s game before we move on. It was in fact the first Portland win over Gonzaga since I have become a Portland fan (2006, when I was a freshman at the school). It’s easy to turn away from a program like Portland. Generally they have lost more than they have won, and they losses sometimes are inexplicable. Each loss is tough to take. It is hard to stick with a team through all of that, yet when they do come through, and get a big win, it means a lot. Ask any Portland student and/or alum about their facebook newsfeed from last Thursday and they will tell you it was flooded with posts about the game, all ending in #PilotStrong, #PilotTilIDie, and #BeatTheZags. It was fun. Good Win Pilots.
Up next for Portland is the first road trip of the WCC season for the Pilots. Portland will travel to Southern California to take on LMU (10-8, 2-4) on Thursday with a 7 PM tip. The Pilots will conclude the trip with a matchup against the Wave of Pepperdine (11-7, 4-2). Last week I talked about “Water Under the Bridge” and the same theme exists this week. Beating Gonzaga is fantastic, but the Pilots can’t get too high and be satisfied with one win over Gonzaga. Portland needs to build off of their upset, and really take advantage of the fact that no one has pulled away in the conference race yet. The next six games are vital for Portland’s success and will have a big impact on the Pilots’ seed come conference tourney time.
So Thursday morning is a big morning. It’s Oscar Nomination Day! One of my favorite things to do is go to the movies and I love the Oscars. I was thinking about the awards, and the categories, and then thinking about different Pilots and which category they belong:
Lead Actor-Kevin Bailey Is there any question that Kevin Bailey is the lead actor of this group. He has a uses nearly one third (29.1) of Portland’s total possessions according to kenpom.com.
Cinematography-Bryce Pressley Cinematography is the technique of movie photography and when it comes to technique Bryce has it. If you don’t believe me just go rewatch that Gonzaga game on WatchESPN and pay attention to all the little things he does to help this team win
Director-Ryan Nicholas Every director has a certain style, and their movies take on the attitude of that director. Nicholas has been the leader of this team for years now, and this team plays with the personality of their director.
Visual Effects-Korey Thieleke This team doesn’t have many high flyers, but when Thieleke is on the floor, you never really know what’s going to happen. He had the break-a-way dunk last week, and is always fun to watch on defense.
Original Screenplay- Xubi This freshman is fun to watch. He really hasn’t seen the floor a ton, but when he is on the floor he plays with a flair that Portland hasn’t seen in a long time. It’s easy to see the potential and I’m excited to see what the Spaniard can do in the coming years.
My twitter followers are up to 46! I’m hoping for a clean 50 by next update!
Also, I mean it when I say tweet me, comment on this article, or tweet west coast convo, and lets keep the conversation going.