San Diego Toreros (16-16, 7-11 WCC) vs. Portland State Vikings (17-14, 11-9 Big Sky)
Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Location: Jenny Craig Pavilion, San Deigo, CA
Time: 7:00 PM PT
Christopher Anderson, 10.0 PPG, 5.9 APG
Johnny Dee, 16.8 PPG
Brett Bailey, 2.7 PPG
Dennis Kramer, 11.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG
Jito Kok, 4.3 PPG, 1.8 BPG
Tim Douglas, 11.9 PPG, 3.3 APG
Gary Winston, 11.5 PPG, 2.8 APG
Andre Winston, Jr, 9.7 PPG
Marcus Hall, 7.6 PPG
Kyle Richardson, 10.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG
Portland State is an interesting team with one player who should be very familiar to Toreros guards Christopher Anderson and Johnny Dee. His name is Tim Douglas, and he was the dynamic 5’10 starting point guard for the Portland Pilots for most of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons before turnover problems pushed him out of the starting lineup and he transferred to Portland State. Despite a recent slump, Douglas has performed well at Portland State, a team with many different double figure scoring threats, including their leading scorer who comes of the bench, DaShaun Wiggins.
The San Diego Toreros will look to slow down the pace a bit, as they do not have the varied offensive weaponry that the Vikings have. This game is very much a battle of the guards, and Johnny Dee will look to score a lot and lead the Toreros to victory. San Diego has played some great games this season, beating Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s at home and nearly beating Mountain West Conference standouts San Diego State and New Mexico, coming within one point of beating the Aztecs. They’ve shown the potential to be a great team, let’s see if they can do it in the Toreros’ first postseason appearance since Brandon Johnson (dare I mention his name) led them to the 2008 NCAA Tournament where they knocked off UConn.
Keys to the Game
Attack inside with Kramer: Portland doesn’t have a starter taller than 6’7, and Dennis Kramer is a legitimate scoring threat at 6’11. In addition to scoring in the post, Kramer will be able to get his jump shot off with ease, so expect a big game from the big guy.
Make Johnny Dee work on defense: Portland State has a bevy of guards who can make Johnny Dee run around screens and force him to move laterally when they drive. If Dee has difficulty on defense, he might not have the energy to get open very well on offense, and you know the Viking defense will be keyed on him.
Christopher Anderson vs. Tim Douglas: In two games facing off against one another at point guard in 2011-12 in the West Coast Conference, Douglas averaged 8.5 PPG and 2.o APG, while Anderson averaged 10.5 PPG and 9.0 APG. If Anderson can get his teammates involved, he should have no trouble outplaying the turnover prone Douglas.
San Diego is in for a real challenge here. Portland State has so many different guards who can score, while San Diego is going to need guys like Anderson and Duda Sanadze to have good shooting games in order to get it done. This game is really a toss up for me, but because San Diego is at home (although not much of an advantage there), I think the Toreros will get it done. San Diego 74, Portland State 70.