USF Dons vs. Portland Pilots Preview


USF Dons (7-10; 1-4 Conf) vs. Portland Pilots (11-5; 2-2 Conf)

Date and Time: Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 1:00 PST

Location: Chiles Center, University of Portland Campus, Portland, OR

TV: WCC Game of the Week, CSN Sports Net and TWC/Root

Audio: with Pat Olson and Jim Brovelli

also Portland/Vancouver Radio Sports 910 with Bill Johnson

Meet the Teams

USF travels to Portland for the second stop of their road trip after a blow-out loss to Gonzaga in Spokane Thursday evening. Portland has a bit of an ax to grind after losing to USF last season at home in OT. Portland senior center Riley Barker is out for the remainder of the season after a knee injury (then surgery) Thursday night against Santa Clara, weakening the third prong of Portland’s triple towers (Barker, Thomas Van Der Mars and Voldy Gerun). The trend line is in favor of the Pilots for the win and against the Dons. Win big in the casino Sports Book by being a contrarian and betting that that Dons will win.

The Dons are officially in second to last place in the WCC standings above LMU. Three of their four losses in conference play were not surprising – Saint Mary’s, BYU and Gonzaga powered past Kruize and the Gang. The Dons had the win against San Diego until poor ball handling caused a steal and game winning shot by Chris Anderson of San Diego.

The question is whether coagulation will occur and when for USF. Gonzaga was especially effective in shutting down Mark Tollefsen and Tim Derksen, two of USF’s top scorers behind Pinkins. It won’t take a genius at UP to review the scouting video and employ the same techniques. Will the Dons video scouts be able to cultivate and successfully implement strategies to slow Portland down?

USF Players to Watch

Kruize Pinkins. Still the workhorse of the team who averages 15 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Devin Watson. The exciting freshman point guard has been a starter the last 3 games for the Dons and contributing in significant ways on the court. Watson is the definition of the motto is “always getting better”.

Derrell Robertson. Always helpful to have some mass under the basket particularly when the opponents are rather willowy. Robertson has done a good job of drawing fouls, allowing Pinkins to avoid the early in the game foul trouble that plagued him earlier this season.


Portland’s rash of injuries is going to change personnel mix and send two freshman with limited seasoning as D-1 college players from the bench, Gabe Taylor and Jason Todd onto the floor.  Both are excellent shooters and now there are four first names to get mixed up in previews and recaps. Welcome to the show boys!

Bryce Pressley did not play in the Santa Clara game due to a concussion and is doubtful for this game. In spite of the number of players lost to injury, UP rallied from the bench and defeated Santa Clara. They will rally again for the Dons.

UP Players to Watch

Alec Wintering.  The leading 3 point shooter in the WCC to date. This young man makes every game exciting with his talent and playmaking ability.

Kevin Bailey. Back on the court after a foot injury. No matter how many minutes Bailey has on the floor, he will make them productive minutes. He shoots, he scores. End of story.

Gabe Taylor and Jason Todd. The two freshman on the bench found themselves making significant contributions on the floor in the Santa Clara game. 12 points each for Taylor and Todd. Look for more of the same from this duo.

Also Coach Eric Reveno looking quite svelte compared to last year with his new tri-athlete physique.  Looks like he has been successful in staying away from the great food on campus at The Commons, the array of fantastic restaurants and food trucks that grace the City of Portland.