San Francisco vs. Portland State Preview


San Francisco Dons (5-5) vs. Portland State Vikings (5-3)

Date and Time: Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 7:00 PST

Location: University of San Francisco Campus – War Memorial Gymnasium



Meet the Teams

San Francisco

With any luck, the Dons will have done adequate damage assessment from the Cal Poly game film review session with Coach Walters and there will be a meeting of the minds between coach and players on successful game tactics. Coach Walters “knows what to do” but admits he possibly has not done a good job of getting his team to “do it.” Is it possible that the USF athletes have  better ideas than the coaching staf? With a USF coach to athlete ratio of 12 coaching staff members to 17 players, at this stage in the Dons season, it might be worth it for the coaches to listen and consider their players’ feedback. This could be a case of Coach(es) don’t always know best.

Last season, when faced with the same dismal preseason performance, the Dons were able to dig deep and turn it around, playing well in WCC conference games, peaking at the right time and sliding into the NIT post-season tourn. With the experienced roster this year, it doesn’t quite make sense that the Dons have played so poorly of late.  With only 2 preseason games remaining, USF needs to tighten up whatever it is that is ailing them otherwise they will find themselves wondering how it could all go so wrong, so fast like Saint Mary’s did last night in their loss against Northern Arizona Unversity.

Tim Derksen, Kruize Pinkins, Mark Tollefson and Chris “Nailed It” Adams continue to put up serious numbers even in the face of losses. If the Dons can find some more points from the free throw line and execute well, they will be poised for a win against Portland State.  A win would be refreshing.

Portland State

Number 2 in the current Big Sky preseason standings (behind EWU and we already know how good that team is) Portland State is hoping to carry the momentum forward to War Memorial Gym after their win against Cal State Bakersfield last Saturday. Hard to believe that the Vikings and the Dons have not played against one another before ….. ever. The Vikings have not been particularly strong on the road so far this season.

Coach Tyler Geving has been mixing it up starting 5 different player combinations in each game so far, which may throw USF off balance as they prepare for this game. Playing well in the Cal State game were Braxton Tucker with 18 points. Tiegbe Bamba had 13. Collin Spickerman who can score and block shots, (he has blocked 17 shots so far this season) is another solid weapon in the arsenal as is Gary Winston who has a lethal three point shot. Winston also might be tough to defend considering that God is one of his hobbies.  DeShaun Wiggins is another skillful Vikings player.

Leading Portland State at point guard is former WCC player and senior Tim Douglas who started his college career at the University of Portland redshirting his junior year in order to play at Portland State. The rain appears to agree with the California native though his last two games have not been as productive for him as he usually is.  Sometimes though, the stat line does no reveal everything that a player brings to the table.