Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Portland State Vikings

Location: Portland, Oregon
Conference: Big Sky
Season Record: 23-9, 11-5 conference
Coach: Ken Bone (Seattle Pacific '83)

The Vikings return to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. Last year they were waxed by eventual champion Kansas Jayhawks in the first round 85-61. The team and it's fanbase is looking to do a little more this time around. They are a capable team as witnessed by their victory over Gonzaga on the Bulldogs home court and a one point loss at Washington. Portland State averages 9.7 treys a game. That willingness to shoot the long ball make them a threat to win any game on a hot shooting night.


10 - Jeremiah Dominguez 5-6 150 SR
He is a former Oregon high school player of the year who began his career at the University of Portland. He transferred across town and Ken Bone and staff couldn't be happier with this young man. More of a scoring point than a distributor he put up 199 three point field goal attempts and hit them at a very good rate of .437%. He led his team in scoring with 12.9 PPG.

3 - Andre Murray 6-2 200 SR
Andre arrived at PSU last year after transferring from the College of the Canyons. He is best described as 'dependable'. Murray rebounds fairly well from the '2' spot at 4.0 RPG. Andre is also one of four Vikings who average double figures, he checks in at 11.0 PPG. He hoisted 120 treys and hit a decent .358% of them.

21 - Phil Nelson 6-7 220 SO
This redshirt sophomore actually began his career at the University of Washington and managed to start nine games for them in 2006-2007. Blue Ribbon magazine described him as the best physical talent in the Big Sky. He was recruited as more of a '2' than a '3' and like most of the Vikings will shoot the trey unabashedly. Phil hit 35% of the 163 long ball shots he took this year. He was the third leading scorer at 11.2 PPG and averaged 3.6 RPG.

14 - Kyle Coston 6-8 210 JR
The Vikings' four man only shot .337% from the field for the season. He too will put up the three point shot but only hit .274% of the 106 he took. He is not overly strong on the glass at 3.5 boards per game and he averaged 6.3 PPG for the year.

44 - Jamie Jones 6-7 215 JR
He too began his career at the University of Portland before heading across town for more playing time. He is the exception for the Vikings in regards to three point shooting; he attempted none for the season. He is an undersized post who will scrap on the boards (5.3 RPG) and did not foul out of any contests. He averaged 8.9 PPG for the season.


11 - Dominic Waters 6-1 170 JR
Dominic plays starter minutes and puts up starter stats. He is the second leading scorer on the team at 11.5 PPG. He began his career at the University of Hawai'i and was named the WAC Freshmen of the Year during his time there. He put up 130 three point shots and hit a remarkable .462% of them. He is also a slasher as witnessed by his 83 free throw attempts which he hit at .807%.

1 - Julius Thomas 6-5 220 JR
This Stockton, CA product will come in with lots of confidence. His slam against Montana won the Big Sky conference tournament title for the Vikings as time expired. He will not shoot the three either (0 attempts) but will get to the free throw line. Julius is not overly productive there .527% but did collect a team leading 73 offensive boards and averaged 5.2 RPG overall. He contributes a solid 7.1 PPG for the Vikings.

13 - Tyrell Mara 6-6 235 JR
This career reserve put up 64 three point shots for PSU this season. He hit 36% of them and averages around 16 minutes per game. Overall he averages 3.7 PPG and 2.8 RPG.

23 - Wendell Wright 6-5 185 FR
This frosh from Lakewood, CA averages around nine minutes per game. He doesn't appear to do much when he is out there and score less than one point per game.

4 - Mickey Polis 5-8 165 SR
Mickey was only used in about half of PSU's games this season. He is a deep sub at best but will look to score as witnessed by his 2.0 PPG in limited playing time.

I think the Musketeers need to be ready to weather a energetic start by the Vikings. We will need to be careful not to get in a three point shooting contest with them and use our inside game to our advantage. I would expect either Love, Anderson, Frease and Brown to have big games in the paint. If that is the case we will do what Las Vegas predicts and win this game by 11. IF the Vikings get hot early it could be a long evening for Xavier. I don't see that happening and actually I am quite confident we can beat either Florida State and Wisconsin most nights also. I can't wait to see what develops.

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