Article in Portland Tribune

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Article in Portland Tribune

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:48 pm

Check it out:

Baby steps continue to be taken at the University of Portland, as coach Eric Reveno hopes his team can reach .500 this season. It still appears to be a lofty goal, really.

“I would describe our team as improved,” says Reveno, whose first two teams went 18-45 overall and 7-21 in West Coast Conference play. “Our conference is no joke, with the three NCAA Tournament teams (Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, San Diego) returning 13 of 15 starters. They will be tough (games) to win. The rest of them we’ll be scrapping with.”

Reveno feels his team has more parts this season, starting with junior college transfer T.J. Campbell, who should take some heat off Taishi Ito at point guard.

Mostly, Reveno needs his returning players – such as guard Nik Raivio and forwards Robin Smeulders and Luke Sikma – to be much better, although Sikma has been off the court since August, bothered by a knee injury.

“I’m less worried about our depth,” Reveno says. “We need some guys to emerge as studs.”

With the 6-10 Smeulders, 6-8 Sikma, 6-10, 270-pound Jasonn Hannibal, 6-9, 245 Kramer Knutson and 7-0, 320 newcomer John Hegarty, Reveno likes the beef he can put on the floor. And Hannibal now has the gas to play more minutes, Reveno says.
The Pilots have some shooters; the key will be point guard play.

The 5-9, 190 Campbell has quickness and athleticism. “Taishi has been embracing the competition,” Reveno says. “I don’t want to overstate (Campbell’s) abilities, but the combination of his talent and our needs … he’s suited to have a strong impact.”

Love that quote at the end about Campbell... I really do think having an athletic guard is going to make a big difference.

But I think Reveno is totally right... we really need someone to step up. Be it Raivio, Sikma, Smeulders... someone has to become a go-to guy.

Also am nervous about Sikma's knee. I hate hearing that he's been out since August. Sad
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