Portland Pilots

Pilots ready for WCC flight

UP has high hopes for not only conference play, but beyond
Dec. 22, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

PORTLAND - Are the Portland Pilots for real?

NCAA Tournament?

If the Pilots don't reach the NCAA men's basketball tournament come March, they might actually be disappointed, that's how the non-conference schedule has gone for the team, which beat Lewis and Clark 71-49 Monday afternoon at the Chiles Center.

Portland improved to 9-3 overall, but could easily be 11-1 as two of the losses were in overtime - one at Oregon State and the other at UNLV. Were the Pilots 11-1 with wins over OSU and UNLV, there are media members who might actually raise an eyebrow regarding their season. But, it won't ever be more than a raised eyebrow no matter what their record is if the program can't get to the Big Dance.

So, that's where the Pilots are now - ready to expect they can get to the NCAA Tournament.

"Our non-conference games have given us a lot of confidence that we can do well in the WCC, and that's our goal," coach Eric Reveno, in his ninth year, said Monday. "But, conference play is just one part of the season. It leads to the WCC Tournament, and that's where you really want to be playing well."

Portland has been to the NCAA tournament just once - 1996 - by virtue of winning the WCC Tournament. They got drubbed 92-58 by Villanova in the NCAAs once they got to the Midwest Region, but a loss in the tournament is still a game in the tournament. They haven't been there since.

Not that the program hasn't been capable, at least on paper. Reveno has led the Pilots to 20-win seasons three times, and they finally beat Gonzaga last year when they might have made some late-season noise had leading scorer Kevin Bailey not went down with a foot injury.

Bailey is out again with a foot injury, but it's at the start of the conference season. And, teammates are stepping up in his absence.

Portland's guard are going to be its strength, but it's core is a trio of solid front-line players led by 6-fot-11 senior Thomas Van Der Mars, who understands his senior season perfectly.

"This is it, when you're a senior," he said after scoring 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. "You know you've only got one season left, and you want to get to the tournament so that's what you play for."

 

 

Sportsland, Oregon: 11/23/2010 - #38

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 2:13am
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In the first part of an extra long holiday podcast, Los and the gang delve into the Blazers injury woes and their outlook for the rest of the season, and discuss the action around the rest of the league. Then they move on to BCS talk, including possible championship scenarios, Black Friday, and awards winners. This is all followed by the NFL, and early seasoncollege basketball action.

In Part 2, Los and the gang wrap up everything else they missed in Part 1, including NCAA Women's soccer, Baseball Rookie's of the Year, High School football playoffs, Kentucky vs Portland in Men's basketball, and this week's segments, including This Week in Oregon Sports History and What Plucks My Duck.

Sportsland, Oregon: 11/15/2010 - #37

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 2:08am
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In the first part of a two part episode, Los and the gang open up with their concerns about the Blazers situation, specifically Brandon Roy's comments and health. After that it's on to the world of college football, with plenty of Ducks talk after their tight win, which inevitably leads to BCS Championship talk and Heisman Trophy predictions. They wrap up Part 1 trying to figure out who the best team in the NFL is.

In Part 2, Los and the gang wrap up everything else they missed in Part 1, including NCAA Women's soccer, Baseball Rookie's of the Year, High School football playoffs, Kentucky vs Portland in Men's basketball, and this week's segments, including This Week in Oregon Sports History and What Plucks My Duck.  You can check it out in the nifty player on the right.

Sportsland, Oregon: 11/8/2010

Fri, 11/12/2010 - 12:55am
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Back after an extended break, Los and the gang start off a packed show by remembering the great Maurice Lucas on the day of his memorial.  They also delve into the Oregon Ducks National Championship chances, the Portland Pilots Women's Soccer National Championship chances, the Blazers' start to the season, and some NFL talk.  Check it out at blogtalkradio.com/oregonsportsradio, sportslandoregon.blogspot.com, or in the nifty player on the right.

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