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Feb 5, 2014; Spokane, WA, USA; Portland Pilots forward Volodymyr Gerun (52) dribbles the ball around Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Drew Barham (43) during the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

WCC Tournament 1st Round Preview: #7 Portland vs. #10 LMU

#7 Portland Pilots (15-15, 7-11) vs. #10 Loyola Marymount Lions (12-18, 4-14)

Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014

Location: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.

Time: 6:00 PM PST

TV: BYUtv

Video: http://www.byutv.org/

Live stats: http://www.wccsports.com/gametracker/launch/gt_mbaskbl.html?event=1287441&school=west&sport=mbaskbl&camefrom=&startschool=&

This Season: Portland won 71-57 at Gersten Pavilion and then also won 71-64 at the Chiles Center.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Portland

David Carr (in last 3 games as a starter), 4.7 PPG, 4.0 APG

Bobby Sharp, 8.1 PPG

Bryce Pressley, 8.9 PPG, 3.4 APG

Ryan Nicholas, 12.9 PPG, 8.7 RPG

Thomas van der Mars, 13.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG

Loyola Marymount

Anthony Ireland, 18.7 PPG 5.4 APG

Evan Payne, 15.1 PPG

Nick Stover, 4.2 PPG

Alex Osborne, 6.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG

Gabe Levin, 11.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG

 

Keys to the Game

Portland

Bryce Pressley: He has been on fire of late, and needs to find his shot because he and Bobby Sharp have the ability to open up the interior for Nicholas and van der Mars.  But Pressley will also have more ball-handling responsibilities without Alec Wintering. While David Carr is a decent point guard, teams will be able to pressure him more than they did with Wintering.

LMU

Defense of Levin/Osborne: These two will have their hands full with Portland’s frontcourt, and they don’t have much behind them besides Marin Mornar.  The Lions can’t go zone because of the outstanding 3 point shooting of Pressley and Sharp, so Levin and Osborne will have to contain Nicholas and van der Mars one on one in the post without fouling.

 

Key Matchup

Gabe Levin vs. Ryan Nicholas: A youth vs. experience matchup here.  Nicholas may be the more fundamentally sound player but Levin might be a bit more athletic.   We’ll see if either one of these power forwards can dominate the game and lead their team to a win.

 

Prediction

It’s the WCC Tournament and we all know what that means for LMU.  I expect nothing less this year, as Ireland and company will be too much for Portland’s recently depleted roster.  LMU 69, Portland 62.

Tags: Basketball College Basketball LMU LMU Lions Portland Portland Pilots WCC West Coast Conference

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