Blazers begin quest to gel against Utah

Portland faces the Jazz Monday in preseason game

A vastly different line-up will get its first chance to impress local fans when the Portland Trail Blazers play host to the Utah Jazz Monday at the Rose Garden.

In the past 10 days, the Blazers waived three-time All-Star Brandon Roy after he announced his retirement and added Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford as well as Craig Smith. And Greg Oden? Still injured.

As the team heads into the Utah game, one of two preseason games, it has just one of its long-term core players from two years ago: LaMarcus Aldridge. The team acquired small-forward standout Gerald Wallace from Charlotte at the close of last season and got point guard Raymond Felton from Denver. Shooting guard Wesley Matthews came to Portland from Utah last season to fill in behind Roy, but became a starter when Roy went down with injury midway through the season. Center Marcus Camby has been with the team for several years, but is at the close of his career.

Of the Blazers who figure to be key players this season, only Aldridge was drafted by the Blazers.

Portland's likely starters for their Dec. 26 season opener against Philadelphia:

PG: Raymond Felton

SG: Wesley Matthews

SF: Gerald Wallace

PF: LaMarcus Aldridge

C: Marcus Camby

6TH: Jamal Crawford

Following their game with the 76ers, the Blazers play host to Sacramento and Denver before going on the road to play the Los Angeles Clippers.



Beavers shoot past PSU, Virginia wins in Eugene

ROUND-UP: Oregon State rolls past Howard, closes homestand Sunday

Oregon State closed a five-game homestand with a 101-68 thumping of Portland State in anon-conference men's basketball game Sunday at Gill Coliseum.

Six Beavers scored in double figures led by Ahmad Starks with 17, and the team hit 13 of 21 three-point shots in the win.

OSU improved to 9-2 with the victory, just two wins short of their win total from last year.

Portland State got 19 points from Lateef McMullen in the loss and fell to 6-5.

In Eugene, the Ducks led Virginia 30-28 at the half, but an 18-3 run midway through the second half earned the Cavaliers a 67-54 win at Matthew Knight Arena Sunday.

Oregon trailed just 45-43 with 10:14 left when the Cavs went to work on Oregon's defense and scored six times during the remainder of the game on a lay-up or dunk, and also made seven free throws to improve to 9-1 overall. Oregon, which made just five of 14 free throws, got 16 points from Devoe Joseph, but dropped to 6-3 on the season.

Oregon's reserves outscored the starters 29-25.



Oregon State got career nights from three playes and a monster dunk from Jared Cunningham on the way to a 93-72 win over Howard Thursday night at Gill Coliseum.

Sophomore guard Ahmad Starks had personal bests of 22 points and five three-point field goals, junior forward Angus Brandt made 9-of-11 shots on his way to a career-high 21 points and sophomore guard Roberto Nelson added a season-high 20 points on 7-of-12 from the field. It was the first time Oregon State has had three players score at least 20 points in the same game since Dec. 4, 2004 against Colorado.

Junior Jared Cunningham had a reverse alley-oop dunk in the first half on a pass from junior Joe Burton that had people on Twitter comparing it to last season's "Kiss the Sky" dunk. Cunningham returned the favor in the second half after a pass from Starks when he tossed up an alley-oop to sophomore Devon Collier for a thunder dunk.

The Beavers improved to 8-2 on the season heading into Sunday's home game with Portland State, which closes a five-game homestand. OSU is off to its best start in 14 years.


Oregon improved to 6-2 and remained unbeaten at home with a 79-70 win over stubborn Portland State Monday night.

EJ Singler scored a game-high 19 points and Devoe Joseph, in his second game since transferring from Minnesota, added 13 points, including six free throws in the closing minute after the Vikings had cut a 14-point deficit to three - 71-68 - with 1:29 left.

Portland State got 16 points from Chehales Tapscott, but dropped to 5-4.

Oregon will play host to Virginia Sunday.



Garret Sim hit all of his attempts from the field and free-throw line, EJ Singler had a solid outing and transfer Devoe Joseph scored a team high 18 points in his first game to lead Oregon past Fresno State 74-70 to highlight college basketball action on Saturday.

Sim hit all five of his shots from the field and four free throws to finish with 17 points, while Singler went for 14 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in the win. The big news was Joseph, who played his first game since transferring from Minnesota. The 6-foot-4 guard, who averaged 11.3 points per game at Minnesota last season, hit 6 of 13 shots from the field and dished out four assists in the win.

Oregon improved to 5-2 on the season heading into a home game with Portland State Monday.

The rest of the state didn't fare so well.

Visiting Idaho pounded Oregon State 74-60 on Friday, dropping the Beavers to 6-2 as they prep for a home game with Illinois-Chicago Tuesday.

Portland State dropped a free-throw filled game at Utah Valley, 93-87, and will head for Eugene at 5-3. The Vikings made just 1 of 14 three-point attempts, while Utah Valley hit 33 of 35 free throws in the game.

Portland got drilled by Ohio University 72-54 at the Chiles Center and fell to 3-7.

Around the nation, Oregon's top three standouts all lost, beginning with Terrence Jones and Kentucky.

The top-rated Wildcats lost 73-72 at Indiana on a last-second shot that caused the crowd to erupt onto the floor. Jones, who has been leading Kentucky in points per game, had 4 points and 1 rebound in the loss.

At Duke, Washington sophomore Terrence Ross had 16 points and 7 rebounds and the Huskies narrowly missed beating No. 5 Duke. The Blue Devils won 86-80.

And Michael Moser, national player of the week just two weeks ago, had 4 points and 11 rebounds in UNLV's 62-51 loss at Wisconsin.



Big Saturday awaits Oregon's Big 3

Jones, Moser and Ross get national attention with big games

The trio of former Oregon prep basketball stars will be in line for national attention Saturday as they all face entertaining match-ups, two of which will be televised nationally.

Terrence Ross, a standout at Jefferson High in Portland, will lead Washington against Duke at Madison Square Garden, beginning at 9 a.m. on CBS. Ross is averaging 16.6 points per game for the Huskies, who are 4-3 against a slew of solid opponents.

Former Grant High standout Mike Moser, who is averaging 15.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, leads UNLV against Wisconsin Saturday night.

And Terrence Jones, one of the nation's top professional prospects, leads Kentucky against Indiana Saturday at 2:15 p.m., averaging 15 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Jesuit grat Kyle Wiltjer is playing a key role as a reserve for Kentucky, averaging 6.4 points per game in limited action.

Oregon (6-2) begins a seven-game homestand Saturday against Fresno State.

Oregon State (7-1) plays host to Idaho Friday in the start of a five-game homestand.

Portland State (5-2) plays at Utah Valley in Orem, Utah, to start a stretch of games in which it plays on the road six times in seven outings. The Vikings play at Oregon Monday and at Oregon State, Dec. 18.

Portland (3-6) plays host to Ohio University Saturday.



Kyle Singler en el Lucentum from Sandra Vazquez Fotografia on Vimeo.

Alumni like Warren make a school thrive

John Warren left a significant mark on the state's sports landscape
By Cliff Pfenning,

John Warren built the Astoria High basketball program into a state power, helped coach the University of Oregon to the 1939 NCAA title and earned the nickname “Honest  John” during a three-decade coaching career at the school.

Born in LaGrande in 1904, Warren excelled as an athlete in football, eventually earning a spot on the University of Oregon roster in 1926 and ’27, each of which went 2-4-1.

After graduating with a business degree, Warren moved to Astoria, became basketball coach and led the Fishermen to a second-place finish at the state tournament in 1929. Astoria then won state titles in 1930, ’32, ’34 and ’35, using Warren’s up-tempo style, which contradicted the established style of play during the era of the center jump following every basket.

After the ’35 title, new Oregon coach Howard Hobson recruited him to Eugene and Astoria standouts Bobby Anet, Wally Johansen and Ted Sarpola followed. Anet and Johansen were two of the starters on the 1939 NCAA Tournament championship team.

During World War II, Warren coached the Oregon football team to a 2-6 record in 1942 and the basketball team to a 30-15 record and third-place finish in the NCAA Tournament West Regional in 1944-45.

Warren officially took over for Hobson in 1947 and guided the Ducks for four seasons, serving as an assistant on the football team for two of those seasons.

Warren coached track and field as an assistant at Oregon into the 1950s, when he became a business owner in Eugene. He helped raise funds for the school to build Autzen Stadium and later helped create a Hall of Fame for the UO athletic department, contributing numerous historic photos to the school library.

Warren fathered Charlie Warren, who became an athletic standout in Eugene and the University of Oregon as a basketball player.

John and Charlie Warren were inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.

John Warren was inducted to the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.

He died in 1981 at age 76.

Moser muscles into public's attention

Former Grant standout makes waves nationally at UNLV
By Cliff Pfenning,

If you remember prep standout Mike Moser of Grant and followed him only casually, you probably remember him landing at UCLA two years ago.

He stayed there a year.

He showed up on the national radar this week, though, at UNLV after the Runnin' Rebels beat North Carolina over the weekend in the championship game of a tourney in Las Vegas.

Moser had 16 points and 18 rebounds in the 90-80 win and was named national Player of the Week by ESPN. Wednesday, he went off for 34 points and 10 rebounds in a 94-88 double-overtime win at UC Santa Barbara.

Not too shabby for someone who basically disappeared at UCLA.

It's great to see the accolades for a person who is now in the same draft class as former Jefferson standout Terrence Jones, regarded as one of the top players in the nation by numerous sources. Moser might not yet be in the same class as Jones in terms of pro potential, but he's making some great strides and putting up numbers that'll keep him moving there. Wednesday, he hit five three-pointers.

Moser left Grant as something of a raw talent, a player who could score and play defense, but mostly because he was taller and had longer arms than opponents. He hadn't yet grown into the muscular player who could handle opponents near a basket, on offense or defense. That seems to have changed.

What makes Moser's strides most notable is that he's in a different class in terms of reputation for a lot of people who knew both players in North and Northeast Portland. Moser played on both ends of the court, while Jones regularly didn't cross mid-court to play defense as a junior or senior. Jefferson still won the state title both seasons, but that only made those people close to the teams it beat angrier with his apparent lack of interest.

Moser didn't play that way - give some credit to his coach Tony Broadous for that.

Now that UNLV is ranked in the Top 25 and is 8-0 with potential, Moser is likely to start drawing some comparisons to Jones as both are small forwards in the NBA. Jones might be the better player, currently, but Moser might be the hungrier player and that has a way of turning into a longer career.


Grant's Ice Cream Man

Mike Moser leads Grant's 6A title defense
By Cliff Pfenning,

When Grant High senior Mike Moser thinks about his basketball skills and his presence within a game, and links it to a flavor of ice cream, it takes just a second to come up with an answer.

“Chocolate,” he says while preparing for a recent practice. “Everybody likes it and it’s smooth.”

Grant coach Tony Broadous picks the same flavor for the 6-foot-8 senior forward.

“Chocolate,” he says. “That’s my favorite.”

Then Broadous puts a texture on his answer.

“And maybe some orange sherbert, a little mixture of both.”

And he’s not alone.

Beno Memory, Moser’s club team coach, picks a type of sherbert.

“Rainbow,” he says. “It’s got a lot over flavors and Mike’s got a lot of parts to his game.”

Mfon Udoka, who’s been practicing with Moser for years, took several minutes to think of one specific flavor.

“I can’t think of even one,” she says, “but it would probably be some kind of sherbert.”

Sherbert … not exactly the texture most basketball players would want to be associated, especially one who is ranked No. 50 among high school seniors by ESPNU, is headed for NCAA power UCLA and has been invited to the Nike Hoop Summit by USA Basketball.

But, Moser’s play is smooth like chocolate and light like sherbert. In the final week of the regular season, Moser scored 46 points in a 66-63 win over Wilson and then 35 in a 78-67 win over Benson.

It might have been the quietest 81-point week in state history, mostly because of Moser’s style of play and 170-pound body.

“You see this thin frame and you’re not going to say he’s a banger,” Memory says of Moser, who’s averaging 22.3 points per game. “He definitely has to get stronger and bigger.”

“He’s got a good attitude,” Broadous says. “He’s not a guy who’s going to cry to the referee, he’s just going to play through most everything.
“But he’s still just a young guy. Sometimes people watch him and say ‘how can he be going to UCLA?’ But he’s still just a high school kid who’s working hard to get better.”

We all scream for ice cream
Affiliating Moser with ice cream is simple because of his family tradition. His mother, Jeanne, is a co-owner of Rose’s Ice Cream, a restaurant located on NE 42nd and Alberta, where he eats usually five times a week.

Jeanne Moser, like his coaches, connects Mike’s ice cream intake with a simple lack of fairness.

How can he eat so much - and not just ice cream - and still not gain weight?

“If there were any justice in the world, he’d weigh 1,000 pounds,” Jeanne Moser says with a laugh. “He’s young, so it makes sense that he works it off and doesn’t gain any weight.”

Moser came into the family as a one-month old, when Jeanne Moser adopted him from Dallas, Texas, the first of four children she adopted as a single women.

Adoptions and raising foster children have become a family tradition as Jeanne’s sister, Jane, has also adopted children. And, from around the world: Brazil, India, Haiti.

Mike Moser played numerous sports as a youngster but his height and passion for athletics helped him hone in on basketball. He played on the Grant varsity team as a freshman.

Jeanne Moser says that while Mike developed during his first two years at Grant, his skills blossomed last summer under the tutelage of Memory and on an AAU team, I-5 Elite, funded by Ime Udoka. At the Nike Global Challenge, Moser lit up Internet blogs as being a player to watch.

“He learned a lot of technique and really honed it,” Jeanne Moser says. “That’s when we really started to recognize his potential.”

Jeanne Moser says one of the joys of watching Mike and the Generals play is their teamwork on the court, which reflects Mike Moser’s personality.
“He’s not a ball hog, he’s not too much into the ego of it all,” she says. “He just wants to play, and play as a team. He likes the hard work that goes into it and likes it when his teammates like that hard work, too.”

Both Broadous and Memory have added to the foundation set by his family.

“We want our players to be able to play the game the right way,” says Memory. “We want his to have a good attitude, a strong work ethic and be a good teammate and continue to use those things in his journey with basketball.”

Moser says Broadous has played a key role beyond basketball.

“He’s helped me with my overall game,” Moser says of his coach, “but he’s also helped me with growing up, with how to be a man. We’ve had our ups and downs, but he’s always stuck by my side.”

California dreamin’
With a scholarship to UCLA in his future, Moser is a prime target for NBA expectations.

He expects that of himself, as do the legions of UCLA fans. Of the five incoming Bruins, Moser is No. 5 in terms of buzz on sites such as The other four recruits are from California, and the most recent Oregonian to play in Westwood, Lake Oswego’s Kevin Love, headed to the NBA after one season.

The recruiting class is ranked No. 9 in the nation by ESPNU, which had only one other Pac-10 school in the top 25 – Washington at No. 14.
Moser is the only Oregonian headed for one of those 25 programs.

UCLA ended up as Moser’s second pick after he initially committed to Arizona. When Wildcats’ coach Lute Olson left the program for health reasons, Moser took the opportunity to switch programs and headed for Westwood and coach Ben Howland.

He almost headed for Oregon State and coach Craig Robinson because of what he saw as a chance to play significant minutes as a freshman, but couldn’t resist the lure of a bigger program in an NBA market.

“The atmosphere and the history there and Ben Howland as a coach,” he says, “it’s really a good fit for me.”

While Love went from Oregon to UCLA to the NBA, Moser fits into the mold of a player who would most likely work through four years of schooling before reaching the NBA dream.

Ironically, Moser’s thin frame isn’t much of a drawback because of his age. Coaches and fans alike see a tall, lanky leaper with long arms ready to be molded by the rigors of the college game.

“I think I’m ready,” he says. “If I’m not, I’m going to get there.”

Even with a strong class of Californians heading for and returning to Westwood, Moser is still predicted as being part of the playing mix next season.
“It’s going to be an adjustment because players are going to be a lot tougher,” Broadous says. “And Ben Howland has a reputation as being tough as nails. There’s some things he’s going to have to work on the get consistent playing time, but Mike’s a quick learner and he’s always in the gym, so I’m confident he’ll get playing time as a true freshman.”

As for the NBA, Moser, like most major college recruits, has his hopes.

“That’s a goal of mine,” he says. “I’m going to keep working hard and playing hard, but that’s a long ways away.”

“He’s got the talent to play in the NBA,” Memory says. “His versatility, his length and athleticism … I can definitely see him playing at the next level.”
Broadous says the NBA might be the kind of dream Moser should think about as a college senior.

“He’s got the talent and the drive,” Broadous says. “I believe he’ll play somewhere professionally.”

General doubts
Being ranked second and the defending champions, the Generals are already a marked team before opponents and fans single out Moser as the player to focus on defensively.

Added to that, Moser is the only Grant player averaging double figures in points.

And, the Generals didn’t exactly blow out the competition in the PIL. The team finished 10-2 in league games, but four of those wins were by five points or less. And they beat Jefferson and Roosevelt of Class 5A by just five points combined in January.

Last season, the Generals had Moser alongside guard Paul McCoy, who graduated to the program at Southern Methodist, where he’s getting significant playing time. The Generals also had Mike James, who moved to junior college.

Moser still feels like the title belongs to the Generals until another team takes it from them.

“We feel like one of the favorites,” Moser says, “but there’s definitely a lot of doubters so we’re going to surprise some people.”

Broadous says Moser and the rest of the Generals are ready for the challenge, even if they get linked to sherbert ice cream.

“It’s a different team and Mike’s had to step up into the leadership role, but he’s done a good job with that,” Broadous says. “We’re peaking at the right time. I wouldn’t trade this team for any other in the state.”

College players finally getting the attention they deserve

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 8:13am
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 5 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

With the millions of dollars flowing through the college football world, the NFL struggling to figure out how to dole out $9 billion, and the problems of both Ohio State and Southern Cal with players getting a taste of financial success while they're still in school, Steve Spurrier spoke up with the idea of paying football players.

It would be a stipend, but would be a form of payment for ... making him rich. Wednesday, he offered to pay the stipend out of his own pocket, which caused at least one media outlet to multiply $300 per game for each player into the sum of $300K for a season, which would lower Spurrier's pay from $2.8 million to $2.5 million.

At least Spurrier is addressing an issue that needs addressing - how coaches and college administrators make money off players who get paid through scholarships, which is a form of payment, but, especially in football and men's basketball, it's only a fraction of what they would should earn as part of a system that essentially turns them into professional entertainers who could be viewed as making something like minimum wage.

The University of Oregon can pack Autzen Stadium with fans and make millions for its athletic department and players will happily play for the value of an education, which they have to earn. But, where other students might have a job and make money they can spend on items such as extra entertainment or travel, or whatever, the football players are football players. They can't have jobs, so some have delved into selling things they can, like rings from successful seasons, to get extra money. This is a key to the scandal that caused Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to resign this week.

Tressel made millions coaching the football team for a university whose annual gross revenue is more than $100 million, while his players were paid an equivalent of some $25,000.

I've noticed this for quite a while - the inequity between what coaches make and what players make at the college level. There's two examples that I point out to people when this comes up. They involve Kevin Love and LaGarrette Blount.

When Kevin Love graduated from Lake Oswego and headed to UCLA, he was on the fast track to the NBA after just one season as a Bruin. And why not? College is preparation for a professional position, and when you can move up, you should move up. He did. The problem is that before he played one minute as a Bruin, you could go on eBay and buy things with his signature on it. Love's name already had value to fans/collectors, and people who got his autograph and sold it made money off him. He didn't. You could easily argue that he was increasing the value of his name for later years, but he didn't make any direct money off the sale of his name.

When he got to UCLA, the school sold jerseys with his name on the back and made money off that. He didn't, other than get free access to classes.

Blount is up there with uniforms. Even when he got suspended from the Oregon team after team violations, the University still sold jerseys with his name and number on them. Blount didn't see any of that money, other than through getting to sit in on classes he may or may not have had any interest in. The NCAA keeps up its goal of making sure the school keeps its athletes focused on their school work as part of maintaining the status quo, but the trouble with all the money isn't going away anytime soon.

What if all the college football players formed a union?


NBA Playoffs are still going ... right into a lockout

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 7:55am
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 5 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

If you’ve been following the NBA Playoffs, even after the Blazers got eliminated, they’re starting to get the feel of something much more significant than just the run to the league title.

They’re getting the feeling of the run toward the impending battle of players vs. owners over the future of the league’s finances. Owners want to make more money/profit. Players want to keep making their big slice of the money the league currently takes in.

Also, Miami is playing Chicago in the Eastern Conference Finals, and the Lakers have already eliminated in the West, leaving Dirk and the Mavs to battle Durant and the Thunder.

Lebron is still on the way to his first title along with the other two Amigos. Derrick Rose – the Player of the Year? Still alive with Chicago.

But, the sex appeal of the playoffs is quickly being overshadowed by the impending labor dispute, especially as the NFL labor dispute drags on.

The latest news is the NBA owners want a $45 hard cap on salaries: hard cap as in you can't spend over $45 million. No more luxury taxes and a soft cap - currently it's $58 million. What a change that would be. LeBron, DWade and CBosh can all still be on the same team, but the rest of the team would make the league minimum.

Wow, $45 million. The Blazers were spending twice that 10 years ago, and still didn't get to a final.

And, how about Timberwolves President David Kahn – a former sports columnist for The Oregonian. Shot his mouth off - again - at the NBA Lottery event for the first pick, although anyone jumping on him for his off-hand comment has never taken a charge on a court or written a comment in support of something as opposed to whining about something else.

As for the playoffs, I’ve pulling for the Mavs to meet the Heat. Dirk Novitski and Mark Cuban vs. LeBron James and whoever owns the Miami Heat (it’s not Pat Riley).





Re-alignment is easy without Seattle

Mon, 10/04/2010 - 11:37pm
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 5 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

When I think about re-aligning the NBA, it's based on reality. The league isn't going to want to go all Facebook/Twitter and completely restructure how Americans view something like basketball. Television rules its fans, and the current alignment is working just fine - league revenues continue to increase yearly. But, a little change will be good for the league to show it can adapt to the changing world. So, here's my view of the new NBA after the CBA is ratified.

The big shift I see is that Milwaukee moves to the Western Conference, while New Orleans moves to the East. Milwaukee is just an hour from Chicago, so that's going to frustrate some fans, but it's almost as close to Minneapolis and the Timberwolves, so there's a natural rivalry waiting to be activated. Minneapolis and Milwaukee were rivals for years in the American League, so there's plenty of background there. The Bucks are now in the Northwest Divison of the Western Conference, joining the Blazers.

New Orleans is a natural for the East, as it's the most Eastern team from the Western Conference, and is a rival of Atlanta in the NFL. Most of my re-alignment is close to the current alignment, just a few teams move - Toronto to the Central, while Washington moves to the Atlantic in the East. Oklahoma City replaces New Orleans in the Southwest Division.

It's really pretty easy without Memphis moving to Seattle. But, that's on the horizon.

Here's how I see it for the 2012-13 season.

NY Knicks
New Jersey


New Orleans

LA Lakers
LA Clippers
Golden State


San Antonio
Oklahoma City

RSS feed