Oregon State

What's Oregon, Portland need?

The Ducks are almost an elite-level program, while Timbers can't win
April 8, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

After two consecutive berths in the NCAA Tournament, and at least one win each season, the University of Oregon's men's basketball program is definitely headed in the right direction toward winning a national title.

When that might happen is a big question. That's the opening topic of Episode 8 of Sportland, Oregon 2014, recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland.

Coach Dana Altman has led the Ducks to consistent success since taking over the program from Ernie Kent in 2010. Cast members Cliff Pfenning and Derek Weber chat up the next step for Oregon starting with an unprecedented third consecutive trip to the tournament next season.

Then, it's off to the Portland Trail Blazers, who are back in the NBA Playoffs for the first time in three seasons. The Blazers are headed for a final record that's 20 games over .500, but they were that far above .500 at mid-season. Since then, they're .500, and might be the least dangerous playoff team in the Western Conference.

The Portland Timbers are as dangerous and exciting as any team in Major League Soccer after five games, but they just can't turn those qualities into a win so far. Saturday's 4-4 draw with Seattle showed off that factor as the team led 4-2 entering the final 15 minutes.

The Winterhawks get some air time, as well as the Roofball World Championships.


Will winning the Pac-12 help?

Oregon's NCAA seed was a mystery last year, especially from this year
March 10, 2014 / Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

So how did the Oregon men's basketball team earn a No. 12 seed into the NCAA Tournament last year, especially after winning the Pac-12 Tournament?

It's as big a mystery this year as the Ducks prepare to defend their title heading into the tournament as a possible No. 8 seed - regardless of their performance in the Pac-12 tourney that begins Wednesday.


Oregon was a bit of a surprise as champion last year, but was looked at as a potential No. 8 seed when the tournament began. When the NCAA Tournament bracket was announced, disbelief went through the state. Will the same thing happen this year if the Ducks win again?

That's the opening topic of this week's Sportsland, Oregon podcast, recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland. Oregon heads to its first-round game against Oregon State with a seven-game winning streak that includes a victory just last week over No. 4 Arizona.

Beyond the Ducks, the podcast moves to the Blazers and their season progress, the NBA's projections, Portland Thunder expectations and Portland Timbers' season opener.


All about the BCS

Oregon moves back into the BCS title game, while Autumn hits its stride
Oct. 28, 2013

So what's a sports fan to do with so many great stories unfolding in front of them in the throes of Autumn?

First off, it's take a listen to the 24th episode of Sportsland, Oregon, 2013, recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland Monday night.

Cast members Cliff Pfenning, Derek Weber and Marlon Thomas talk up the Oregon Ducks and their role in the BCS standings, along with the missed shot at a key win that Oregon State had against Stanford.

Also, it's a wonderful time for Major League Baseball fans with the Red Sox and Cardinals playing in the World Series, although the cast has differing opinions on just how wonderful the series has been so far. Maybe there's some drama left in Game 6 or even Game 7 at Fenway Park.

The Timbers have the top spot in the MLS Western Conference wrapped up, but the excitement of the playoffs will only be at its best if their first series is against Northwest rival Seattle.

And then it's off to the NBA, which starts Tuesday with key games featuring the return of Derek Rose to Chicago as it duels with two-time NBA champion Miami, and then the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers battle for supremacy of the Honda Center.

The Blazers open Wednesday at Phoenix with the task of ending their 13-game losing streak from the close of the 2012-13 season.

Episode 24 is online and can be followed via Facebook and iTunes.


What level of success do Oregonians expect?

Have basketball fans of Div. I schools just become used to mediocrity?
Feb. 28, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

It's been a horrible year for college basketball at the NCAA Div. I level in Oregon.

Horrible is a bit of a harsh term, but a look at the conference records for the eight Div. I men's and women's programs shows there's only one team with a winning mark. In fact, only the Oregon Ducks have more than five conference wins heading into this weekend's games.

Without the Ducks' 11-4 conference record, the state is 26-85 in conference games.

So, where's that leave the expectations of fans at the four schools?

Are there any coaching changes that deserve at least a chat around a water cooler?

Here's a look at who's most likely to get a bit of conversation going in order of how it might come up:

1. Paul Westhead, Oregon women
If there's a change coming this off-season it's Westhead. Oregon is 50-67 in his fourth year there, but just 20-50 in conference play, and is going backwards in overall wins. This season, the Ducks are 4-24, 2-14, and lost all four games to in-state schools. When they played at the University of Portland in December, the team (along with the Pilots) attracted roughly 200 fans.
Unless the team somehow plays its way to a conference tournament title, this will be the worst season in school history.

2. Craig  Robinson, Oregon State men
Robinson is 73-86 overall and 30-57 in conference play in his fifth year at the school. Those aren't numbers that scream for a coaching change, unless you're a fan who expects more. The Beavers were 21-15 last year, which showed off the progress under his guidance, but he has yet to post a winning record in conference play. This season's 3-12 record in the Pac-12 is what should get some discussion going.

3. Eric Reveno, Portland men
In his seventh season, Reveno has led the Pilots to a 96-124 record, and 42-47 mark in West Coast Conference play, so the program isn't begging for a change, unless, again, you expect more. Portland averaged 20 wins per season from 2008-11, but went just 7-24 last year. It's 11-19 this year and 4-11 in WCC action. A win or two in the conference tournament should quell discussion through another season, but no wins in Vegas leads to …

4. Tyler Geving, Portland State men
Geving has guided the Vikings to a moderate level of success, which included a 17-15 record last season. There's not an imminent need to push for a change in the Park Blocks. What would get some talk going is that the team does not have any freshmen this season and is just 8-16 overall. But last season's record and level of competitive play should allow room for at least one more season.

5. Scott Rueck, Oregon State women
In his third season, Rueck is 38-53 overall, but only 14-38 in conference play. He's still building the program with his own recruits, but 9-19, 3-13 this season is cause for some discussion. Are the Beavers going forward? He's still in year No. 3, and was conference Coach of the Year last season when the program went 9-9 in conference play, so there's not much of an imminent need to talk about his future as being somewhere else.

6. Sherri Murrell, Portland State women
In season No. 6, Murrell is 109-75, and 58-39, which puts her alongside Oregon's Dana Altman as the coaches with winning records for their career at their current school. The Vikings have had annual success, although this season they're just 11-5, 5-12. Another year like this will get a little blood boiling, although a return to previous success might actually get some larger schools looking her way.

7. Dana Altman, Oregon men
In year three, the Ducks are 22-6, 11-4 under Altman and have become a Top 25 program. Oregon expects a winner, and he's producing. Now, they just need to get somewhere in the NCAA Tournament, but that's the kind of discussion you want.

8. Jim Sollars, Portland women
In year No. 27, Sollars is pretty-much untouchable as coach on The Bluff. The Pilots are an annually tough team, although just 11-17, 4-12 this year. Overall, Portland is 374-412 under Sollars, and 164-202 in WCC play, but heading for three decades at the helm should have fans talking about frustration with players, not the head coach. Unless, again, you expect more.

Blazers, Beavers and Roofball

When do the Blazers kick into second gear, and what's the future for OSU?
Feb. 25, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

With the NBA Playoffs slipping away every day, the Portland Trail Blazers face the interesting question of how much do they continue to stress their starting line-up with constant playing time?

Does Damian Lillard need to play 38 minutes per game for the rest of the season just to win a few more games? What about getting the bench some more PT?

The Washington Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg last season in late season, even though he was one of the best pitchers in baseball to give his arm rest for the rest of his career. That something the Blazers should start thinking of with their starters?

That's a key point for Monday's Sportsland podcast, with hosts Cliff Pfenning and Derek Weber, recorded weekly from Blitz in the Pearl, located in Northwest Portland.

The other hot topic is what's the future for Oregon State men's basketball? The program has been going forward under Craig Robinson - including 20 wins last season, but the roster is looking very much like it's headed for second-division finishes into the near future. Is coach Robinson still the long-term coach in Corvallis?

Tune in for that and more, with a 39-minute show.


Chip's got the hot life at Oregon

SPORTSLAND starts with some commentary on Chip Kelly
Jan. 7, 2013

So, what if the NFL isn't willing to pay for Chip Kelly the way he wants to be paid - with unique benefits.

Maybe, what the Cleveland Browns needed was a tour of Kelly's new office, which includes a hot tub.

There's a cable network series just waiting to be made based on Kelly and his office hot tub at the University of Oregon. "Executive Hot Tub," where producers find struggling businesses with potential space and then install a hot tub.

Imagine the smiles from those business owners.

Whatever Kelly saw in his tour of the beleagured NFL teams, he apparently didn't see a reason to leave Oregon and another upcoming run at the national championship. Oregon may very well open the season ranked No. 1 or 2, which the cast of Sportsland delved into in the first episode of 2013. There's the college football world, thoughts on the most likely road team to win in the NFL playoffs this weekend, and a review of the Blazers' run at making Damian Lillard the NBA Rookie of the Year as well as Terry Stotts the NBA Coach of the Year.

Oregon and Oregon State opened their Pac-12 Conference schedules on a unique night - Sunday, and the Ducks continue to put up a solid resume for being a challenger for the conference title.

And, the Winterhawks, they're in there, too.

It's all in 49 minutes of Podcasting from Blitz in the Pearl, located in Northwest Portland.




Texas holds its ground against Beavers

OSU doesn't trail until the final two minutes of 31-27 loss in the Alamo Bowl
Dec. 29, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - A 10-point lead in the fourth quarter wasn't enough to stop an inspired effort from the Texas Longhorns, who rallied to beat Oregon State 31-27 in the Alamo Bowl Saturday at the Alamodome.

The Beavers, who entered ranked No. 15 in the nation, got 118 yards and pair of touchdowns from Storm Woods and a pair of field goals from Trevor Romaine, but couldn't sustain a drive when needed and missed their chance at a 10-win season.

David Ash threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin with 2:24 left in the game for the go-ahead points, completing the comeback from a 27-17 deficit.

OSU earned the lead on a two-yard run by Woods with nine seconds left in the third quarter.

The Beavers finished at 9-4 on the year, after winning their first six games and reaching No. 8 in the BCS Rankings. Three of the four losses were by four points or less.

OSU quarterback Cody Vaz threw for 194 yards, but was intercepted twice and lost 81 yards to the Texas defensive pressure.



Cougars pose big question for Beavers

Can Oregon State keep its momentum going when it's not the underdog?
Oct. 4, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

After winning just three games a year ago, the Oregon State Beavers have become the nation's biggest surprise in college football, moving from the ranks of "they'll be lucky to finish .500," to No. 14 with three surprising wins.

Oregon State beat defending Big 10 champion Wisconsin at home, beat surprising UCLA in the Rose Bowl and then Arizona last week in Tuscon with a late-game rally led by sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion.

They struggled to run the ball consistently and stop opposing passing games, but on the scoreboard - where it matters - they've come through, with their three wins by just 13 total points.

This week, the Beavers face Washington State, which is 2-3 overall after Pac-12 Conference losses to Colorado and Oregon.

With its season rolling and excitement building in Corvallis, the question for Saturday's game seems simple - can they keep the momentum going?

OSU is favored to win by nearly 15 points, the first time they've been favored to win by oddsmakers.

The concern for Saturday's game is genuine because the last time the Cougars traveled to OSU, the Beavers were favored to win by 23 points - and WSU pulled a huge upset by winning 31-14. It was an exclamation point to a fanatically frustrating season for the Beavers, who began the season with a loss to TCU at Cowboys Stadium, lost to Boise State two weeks later, but beat USC just a week after the WSU loss and eventually finished 5-7.

A loss Saturday would send fans directly back to that season mentally - frustrated.

WSU is a perfect candidate as a program easy to look past. The Cougs got drilled by BYU to open the season, then only narrowly beat FCS rival Eastern Washington 24-20, and then UNLV 35-27, which preceeded a 35-34 loss to Colorado. Oregon looked past the Cougars last week - at least for a half before pulling away for a 51-26 win.

OSU plays at Brigham Young next week.


Cunningham leads Beavers past Utah

Oregon State rebounds from blowout loss with a blowout win
Feb. 4, 2012

Jared Cunningham scored 20 points to help Oregon State pound Utah 76-58 in a Pac-12 Conference men's basketball game Saturday.

Cunningham, who scored 27 in an upset of Oregon last week, hit seven of 16 shots from the field and six free throws to help the Beavers win for the fourth time in five games.

Devon Coliier added 14 points on 6-fof-10 shooting and Joe Burton added eight points and 11 rebounds for Oregon State, which improved to 15-8 overall, 5-6 in Pac-12 play.

The Beavers missed all nine of their three-point attempts, but finished hitting 46 percent of their field-goal attempts.

Oregon State plays host to Washington State on Thursday.


Beavers race past Oregon in Civil War

OSU rallies behind Cunningham, wins women's game, too
Jan. 29, 2012

Jared Cunningham delivered for Oregon State Sunday as expected - in the second half.

Held to just thee points in the first half, the Pac-12's leading scorer tossed in 24 points in the second half to power the Beavers to a 76-71 upset of Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena.

OSU trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, but rallied early in the second half, led by as many as 12 points themselves and fended off an Oregon rally to win.

The Beavers were outrebounded 40-29 and had 10 shots blocked, but outshot the Ducks 30-24 at the free-throw line and pressured Oregon into a 6-of-30 performance on 3-point attempts.

The Ducks got 26 points from Devoe Joseph and 16 from E.J. Singler, but normally steady Garret Sim went just 2 of 11 from the field and finished with just five points.

Oregon missed a chance to remain tied for the conference lead and dropped to 15-6, 6-3 in Pac-12 games.

Oregon State improved to 14-7, 4-5.

The Beavers trailed 22-12 late in the first half, but just 26-23 at halftime. They used a 22-4 run in the second half to build a 61-49 lead before Oregon rallied to within 73-70 and had a chance to tie with 45 seconds left. But Singler missed a 3-point attempt and the Ducks turned the ball over after an offensive rebound.

Oregon finished with 23 turnovers, a season high.



Freshman Ali Gibson scored 23 points to lead the Beavers past the Ducks in the women's half of the Civil War Saturday at Gill Coliseum.

Patricia Bright finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds and Sage Indendi added 14 points for the Beavers, who improved to 13-7, 4-5.

Oregon got 16 points from Amanda Johnson, but fell to 11-10, 3-6.


RSS feed