Portland State

Oregon schools take a beating Thursday night

Ducks, Beavers, Pilots and Vikings all lose conference games
Jan. 15, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

It was just four days ago that Oregon State celebrated its first men's basketball upset of a Top-10 team in 15 years with a massive celebration on the Gill Coliseum court. Thursday, it was back to business in the Pac-12 at Washington, and the Huskies brought the Beavers back to Earth.

And two of their in-state brothers, Washington State and Eastern Washington, also scored wins over their Oregon rivals - the Ducks and Portland State Vikings, respectively.

Add in the University of Portland's loss to Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, and the state went 0-4 in Div. I basketball Thursday, something that hasn't happened in ... a time that some guys from STATS, Inc., would have to look up.

Oregon's four Div. I schools are successful enough these days that having all four lose on the same day is a big unusual, although none of them have stood out during the regular season to a Top 25 level for any length of time. Oregon played close to that level, and then won the Pac-12 Tournament title two years ago, but got seeded lower in the NCAA Tournament than it did last year when it didn't hit the level of play from 2013.

So, what is the state of basketball in Oregon? Currently, it's pretty routine, although that's not a bad thing as none of the four schools is going to play its way into the NCAA Tournament in January. They're each going to focus on winning their conference tournament and getting an automatic berth.

Here's a brief look at the four schools.

Oregon, which has been to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons, is 14-5 overall, and 2-2 in Pac-12 play having beaten Oregon State in its conference opener, split with the Arizona schools, and lost to Washington State in overtime Thursday. The Ducks got run over by Arizona last week, but have played at a level that makes them at least a consideration to score a significant coup by winning the Pac-12 Tournament when it plays out in Las Vegas beginning March 11 at the MGM Grand Arena. Oregon has never been to the NCAA Tournament three years in a row.

Oregon State is 11-5, 2-2 after its loss at Washington, and has the challenge of beating the rest of the conference with only eight scholarship players in coach Wayne Tinkle's first season. That number got hit, too, on Thursday when it's third-leading scorer, Victor Robbins earned a 10-game suspension for violating a team rule. Ten games, though, still gives him a few games to get back into the system before the tournament, and showing off their win over No. 7 Arizona last week makes a case the team can play with anyone in the conference on its best days. A tournament title would end a 25-year streak of missing out on the Big Dance.

Portland is 11-7, 2-4 in the WCC after a 80-69 loss at LMU, but the Pilots have some energy available in the form of Kevin Bailey, the team's leading scorer who missed most of December and the first week of January with a foot injury. He's returned, but is working to relocate his form. In Thursday's loss, he hit just one of 10 shots from the field, and finished with five points. But, the conference tournament is seven weeks away, and that's when the team needs to hit on all cylinders - starting March 7 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

And, Portland State is 8-7, 2-3 in the Big Sky Conference after a 92-85 loss at home to the Eagles. The Vikings are the longest-shot to win their conference title, as their roster is thin in the paint, and the team hasn't won back-to-back games against Div. I schools since November. The BSC Tournament begins March 12 at the regular-season champions home gym. PSU needs to finish in the top eight of the 12-team standings in order to qualify to the tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

In-state basketball got a wake-up call

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 8:19am
Cliff Pfenning
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It was just four days ago that Oregon State celebrated its first men's basketball upset of a Top-10 team in 15 years with a massive celebration on the Gill Coliseum court. Thursday, it was back to business in the Pac-12 at Washington, and the Huskies brought the Beavers back to Earth.

And two of their in-state brothers, Washington State and Eastern Washington, also scored wins over their Oregon rivals - the Ducks and Portland State Vikings, respectively.

Add in the University of Portland's loss to Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, and the state went 0-4 in Div. I basketball Thursday, something that hasn't happened in ... a time that some guys from STATS, Inc., would have to look up.

Oregon's four Div. I schools are successful enough these days that having all four lose on the same day is a big unusual, although none of them have stood out during the regular season to a Top 25 level for any length of time. Oregon played close to that level, and then won the Pac-12 Tournament title two years ago, but got seeded lower in the NCAA Tournament than it did last year when it didn't hit the level of play from 2013.

So, what is the state of basketball in Oregon? Currently, it's pretty routine, although that's not a bad thing as none of the four schools is going to play its way into the NCAA Tournament in January. They're each going to focus on winning their conference tournament and getting an automatic berth.

Here's a brief look at the four schools.

Oregon, which has been to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons, is 14-5 overall, and 2-2 in Pac-12 play having beaten Oregon State in its conference opener, split with the Arizona schools, and lost to Washington State in overtime Thursday. The Ducks got run over by Arizona last week, but have played at a level that makes them at least a consideration to score a significant coup by winning the Pac-12 Tournament when it plays out in Las Vegas beginning March 11.

Oregon State is 11-5, 2-2 after its loss at Washington, and has the challenge of beating the rest of the conference with only eight scholarship players in coach Wayne Tinkle's first season. That number got hit, too, on Thursday when it's third-leading scorer, Victor Robbins earned a 10-game suspension for violating a team rule. Ten games, though, still gives him a few games to get back into the system before the tournament, and showing off their win over No. 7 Arizona last week makes a case the team can play with anyone in the conference on its best days.

Portland is 11-7, 2-4 in the WCC after a 80-69 loss at LMU, but the Pilots have some energy available in the form of Kevin Bailey, the team's leading scorer who missed most of December and the first week of January with a foot injury. He's returned, but is working to relocate his form. In Thursday's loss, he hit just one of 10 shots from the field, and finished with five points. But, the conference tournament is seven weeks away, and that's when the team needs to hit on all cylinders.

And, Portland State is 8-7, 2-3 in the Big Sky Conference after a 92-85 loss at home to the Eagles. The Vikings are the longest-shot to win their conference title, as their roster is thin in the paint, and the team hasn't won back-to-back games against Div. I schools since November. The BSC Tournament begins March 12 at the regular-season champions home gym. PSU needs to finish in the top eight of the 12-team standings in order to qualify to the tournament, and they're on the edge of doing that.

 

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.

PSU leaps into Big Sky basketball schedule

Vikings men and women open with Idaho State and Weber State
Dec. 20, 2012

The Big Sky Conference basketball season begins for Portland State Thursday without a clear favorite on the  men's side, which might be the brightest news for the Vikings this season.

Portland enters its conference opener with Idaho State at the Stott Center with a 2-5 overall record, but only one team, Sacramento State, won as man as five of its opening eight games giving rise to the thought the regular season title is anyone's to win. Idaho State enters at 1-7 overall.

The PSU women open at Idaho State with the conference in a similar situation - only with a more successful season so far. Seven of the conference's 11 teams have won four games, putting them at .500 or better.

PSU is 5-3, just a game behind conference leader Montana State, 6-2, as the conference begins action.

Following the opner, the Vikings' men play host to Weber State on Saturday, then are off until Jan. 3 when they travel to Montana for games against the Grizzlies and Montana State.

PSU's women play at Weber State Saturday, then have a non-conference game at Portland, Dec. 29, during its holiday break before playing host to the Montana schools.

 

Vikings sail under radar toward Burton’s first game.

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 8:59am
Cliff Pfenning
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With all buzz going across the state about Oregon and Oregon State and Quizz and LaMichael, TCU and BSU, the PSU Vikings have just disappeared from the media radar.

But, they’ve got problems/drama, too, maybe even more that both the Ducks and Beavers because the Viks are inaugurating a new coach Saturday at Arizona State.

Payday game for their new coach, Nigel Burton. Payday game against a program in need of whomping on a smaller program to make a statement it’s a big-time program.

And the Viks get another one of those games two weeks later when they visit Autzen Stadium, the loudest stadium on the planet, to take on the No. 11 Ducks. Currently, I’ve got that game pegged at 70 for the Ducks, 0 for the Vikings. That’s because the state know’s nothing about how the PSU program is going to perform under Burton, who’s never been the head coach for a college game.

So, banter all you want about the Oregon and OSU games on Saturday – and I’ll be watching the Beavs’ game intently, but the Vikings are the real drama on Saturday. Can they actually win against the Sun Devils? Can they actually score against the Sun Devils. It’s the game with the most drama among all the programs in Oregon.

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