Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

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Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by goldhelmet on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:05 pm

I didn't see an option for a poll, so I'll just throw this out there in a thread..

Who do you think? St Marys? Santa Clara? or San Diego?

I say Santa Clara, then St Marys, then San Diego. I know St Marys has the edge on Santa Clara right now, but I think that will change in the next couple weeks. St Marys is still a good team, but I think the loss of Mills will just be too much for them to overcome as we head down the stretch.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by onetouchfutbol on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:24 pm

I think San Diego or St. Mary's will be tough on their floors because we humiliated both teams in PDX. I think our team will win second place in the regular season, and none of those teams will be able to catch up. We will sweep the season series with Santa Clara and do well enough to finish in second place with the other two.

However, I think that SMC will be by far the most improved team in the WCC tournament with Mills if he comes back healthy... He is one of the best point guards in the country, and even though I want us to get to the WCC finals in the tourney, I don't honestly think we're there yet. Gonzaga vs. SMC in the tournament final...with Rev still doing well enough to get second place in the regular season and Coach of the Year. That's my prediction.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:25 pm

Hmmm, I have been pondering this question today... I think it will be either SCU or SMC. I have to think that SMC will stabilize and stay tough even without Mills... and SCU seems to be coming on while USD seems to be fading a bit.

SCU, with Bryant.... well, lets just say I am nervous about that game down there in a couple weeks...

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by goldhelmet on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:37 pm

If Mills does make it back in time for the WCC tournament, and he's pretty close to his pre-injured self, then St Marrys clearly become the most dangerous team for Gonaga. He's without question the best player in the conference, and Gonzaga has no way to stop him. He would have lit them up for 40 the night he got hurt. Mills is a first round NBA draft pick, and there aren't too many of those in the WCC.

If Mills doesn't come back, I like Santa Clara as dark horse team that could make a lot of noise in the tournamnet (other than us of course, but we're not dark horses any more are we?).

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by up7587 on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:00 pm

Sorry, guys, but I am not so confident.

SMC has us and USD at home, and LMU and Pep on the road. Could be 4 wins, plus a loss to GU for 10-4. SCU is on the road to LMU, Pep, USF, and home for us and GU. If they can sweep the road games against the bottom dwellers, and defend home court with us, they end up 9-5. USD travels to LMU and Pep, two wins. Assuming they lose to SMC on the road, and to GU at home, the game between us and USD is the make or break game. They win, and we are 9-5 tied for third with SCU. USD is 8-6. We win, and we are 10-4 tied with SMC for second.

I am assuming everyone loses to GU, wins against LMU, Pep, and USF, and defends home court against the middle contenders. For the Pilots to take second place alone road wins against two of the tree others is required, and I don't see it. Crying or Very sad

Of course, I am also assuming SMC can get their act together. Their big losses have been on the road, and I think their favorable travel schedule will help them take care of business. pale


Last edited by up7587 on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by goldhelmet on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:24 pm

up7587 - Your scenario, which is very possible if not very likely, is exactly why I say we MUST beat USF on Thursday and obviously LMU and Pepp at home. That gets us to 9 wins. Then we have to win one of the tougher road games - SMC, USD, or SCU to get to 10 wins. We might even have to win 2 of those three to get to 11 to get it done.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by MesaPilot1 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:28 am

gHelmet, I agree that the one's were supposed to win are important. USF,Pepperdine,LMU are not automatic win's that now most Portland Bandwagon fan's(PN reg's not u), think they are. The Pilot's need to win those to start. The other game's will be tough enough to win. Winning on the road for the the Pilot's is never an easy task,even if USF is having a tough year. Remember Northern Colorado,last year at home we beat them. They are not exactly tearing up their league this year.This year we lost on the road to them.

I love these Pilots, but they have played outstanding at home,road????. There's still many key road games left.


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P.S.-I'm glad I'll be at LMU,Pepperdine games. I'll be bringing my smilies and post script's with me Very Happy .


Last edited by MesaPilot1 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:40 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Forgot my P.S. and Smilie)

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by PilotNut on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:58 am

I hate looking past the USF game at all, but since we are discussing this...

I pencilled this out a bit, and made the following assumptions:

(1) GU will win out and go 14-0 in conference (not a sure thing, but reasonable... lets see how they come out Thursday, after Satruday's debacle).
(2) UP, SMC, USD & SCU will all with their remaining games vs. Pepp, USF & LMU (A big huge assumption).

Based upon these assumptions, we could end up as good as 12-2 (with wins over SCU, USD & SMC) to as low as 9-5 (losses to those 3). The best that SMC can do is 10-4, worst 8-6. USD and SCU could both be 9-5 or 8-6. In this scenario, if we win at SMC and lose at USD & SCU, we would be 10-4, and potentially tied with SMC (if they beat USD). We would then have the tie breaker over them in head-to-head play, and get the #2 seed.

If we lose @SMC, then we would need to win @SCU and @USD, to end up 11-3, ahead of a potentially 10-4 SMC team. But if USD then beats SMC (so their best would be 9-5), we would only need to win 1 of the SCU & USD games.

Now this all goes out the window if (1) SMC, USD or SCU beats GU; or (2) USF, LMU or Pepp beats UP, SMC, USD or SCU...

What this all boils down to as the key game: we must beat USF on Thursday!

If a train leaves New York at 1pm, travelling 60 mph.... Rolling Eyes

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:20 am

Ha ha... nice breakdown, Nut.

I'm more scared of Santa Clara than anyone right now. They had a really tough opening stretch to the WCC season (SMC, USD, GU and UP) but have come on really strong since then. But what especially makes me nervous is that they have the single most dominating force in the conference in John Bryant. Their freshman guards (Rahon and Foster) have already proven themselves as scorers, and Dowdell is definitely capable in the post.

Not to mention that they completely shut us down for the last 10 minutes of our game and we were dang lucky to escape with that win.

They aren't necessarily deep and they are pretty inexperienced, but they have been playing some darn good ball lately and they could easily challenge for second place with SMC seemingly rudderless without Mills.

San Diego seems to be a sinking ship... they were the opposite of Santa Clara in the sense that their opening to the WCC schedule was really easy. Once they got into playing the better teams they have really folded. I won't say I'm expecting a win against them on the road because WCC road wins never come easy, but I will say that I will be disappointed if we lose because I think we are the better team.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by MesaPilot1 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:27 pm

PilotNut,

I was home trying to relax at lunch on the Laptop,then I read your prediction's. Wow, when I get off I'm going to have to pull out a calculator,protractor,straight edge,etc,etc....but it does make sense to me just briefly perusing it
Let's hope Gonzaga lose's on the road.They alway's have a huge target on their back for everybody else in the conference. I don't think it's only because they've had good teams in the last 15 years (Ok,stonehouse I'll give you that one. Although good , and ranked is different in my book). I don't think it's because people despise the player's (ex-cept crybaby Morrison). I don't think people hate Spokane or the university in particular. I can't quite figure it out ......maybe it's their fans. To think they have no idea. They are just so lost.....ever since Crybaby joined them they have really gone downhill. Jump on the Bandwagon,tough game's or flame outs in NCAA's, jump off.I just hope Pilot fan's don't get so greedy. With Rev turning the program around and all the suffering you long-term fans/alumni have had to endure. I don't think so though Pilot fan's have too much class for that.


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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by goldhelmet on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:38 pm

That last road trip to finish the regular season is looking very critical...

not only do you want to have the precious mojo going into the tournament, but that last game against SCU could also end up being for 2nd place. That's the difference between a bye and a double-bye in the tournament.

Santa Clara has not exactly been friendly confines to us over the years (at least in terms of playing SCU). Hopefully this will continue to be a year of "breakthroughs".

But first we need to take care of those Dons... Basketball

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by up7587 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:43 pm

PilotNut wrote:What this all boils down to as the key game: we must beat USF on Thursday!

Agreed, we have to win the games we are supposed to win. The original discussion asked who could challenge us for second place. I predict based on schedules that SMC takes second place and we take third, tied with SCU. We have the biggest upside potential, but the most difficult road. SMC has the easiest road, and is backed into a corner. They expected to go to the tournament this year. It was a wild dream for us. I think they will fight back. If not, maybe Bennett gets canned, Mills goes pro, and the whole program slides downhill.

BEAT USF!
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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by goldhelmet on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:38 pm

up7587 - There's no chance of Bennett getting canned - none. He built that program from the ground up and has turned down numerous opportunities to leave. I don't think one year coming in 3rd or 4th place -expecially with a key injury to a future 1st round NBA draft pick - is going to spell his doom. He's an outstanding coach and St marys knows they are very fortunate to have him. If they don't (but I'm pretty sure they do), they're incredibly stupid.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by onetouchfutbol on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:41 pm

"Not to mention that they completely shut us down for the last 10 minutes of our game and we were dang lucky to escape with that win."--Stonehouse regarding Santa Clara.

I agree that they shut us down for 10 minutes, and we were lucky to escape. However, wasn't that one of our games when Ethan was out? I mean, if you look at our record...it's arguable that Ethan is the most unsung hero of this team. We are a totally different team without him in our losses. Since he's come back we've been gaining momentum, and I think we've improved since that game.


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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:41 pm

Bennett gets canned after all the work he did? Sorry, I would hope a WCC school would think bigger than that. If he does go I think he'll get hired right away. But the "fire Bennett" cries are (I hope) coming from some truly insane fanboys.

Goldhelmet is right on track here.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by up7587 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:04 pm

You are probably right; I was imagining a 'worst case' implosion scenario for SMC.

I haven't spent much time on fanboards for other teams, but our little group here at PN appears to be the most moderate in existence.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:07 pm

The amazing thing is if you look at the St. Mary's fan site, there actually ARE folks who claim to be long time supporters who are calling for RB's head.

They must have short memories.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by PilotNut on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:12 pm

Bennett is not going anywhere. He took a 2 win team (overall season, not just WCC) to a consistent WCC power and NCAA tourney team. If for some reason he isnt there in the next couple years, it would be because some bigger program swooped in and hired him away...

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by MesaPilot1 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:18 am

sunny I've had a chance to glance at some other boards. Bennett is taking a beating. Wow,all it take's is lose your star player,a couple of losse's and the expert's all start whinning. But there's one poster over there who like's to argue and rev the other's up. What a great fan scratch . I just ignore his post's and read the other's. Like Up7587 said this is a nice moderate board,except for my obsessive Libbey and Zaggete fan fatal attraction Beating a Dead Horse. Don't worry I'll probably be over it by next year,lol. Then I'll be back to my nice and polite self.

Blame it on Angie from the Zag board. With regard's to Libbey there may never be hope for me as long as Libbey has a license to ref. college basketball..


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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by up7587 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:02 pm

Well, there's always got to be at least one rabblerouser in the crowd. Rules

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:33 pm

MesaPilot1 wrote:But there's one poster over there who like's to argue and rev the other's up. What a great fan scratch .
MesaPilot1
This poster is not named MesaGael1, is he? Suspect Laughing
I kid.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by MesaPilot1 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:56 pm

I would just prefer to rev up Goal Celebration! Goal Celebration! Goal Celebration! then argue with fellow Pilot fan's,lol. I predict a Pilot win. This is a perfect game to get it inside to Robin,Kramer, and Luke so 2 of the 3 at least can get back into strong double figure number's regularly. I still haven't forgot when Robin was Player of Week in WCC so the potential is alway's there.

The Pilot's need those guy's in the offense.Especially against Gonzaga in the 2nd half when Nik cooled off a little. It would have been nice to get a few more chippee's in the paint.

It would be nice to see Ethan get some more shot's. I think it would give Jarred some spacing because team's could'nt cheat over on him so he can "got it" easier. But Ethan and Kramer do most of the little dirty work that doesnt show up on the stat sheet so that's pretty much their forte. I imagine from what I saw of Rev's career he did that at Stanford, I'm sure he's glad to have 2 guy's that do that for the Pilots.

Doesn't Nik have the best nose for the rebound for a SG-SF. Different era but just like his Dad. I thought it was great to watch TJ dribble it under the basket on the baseline getting ready to fire off one of his perfecto passes against Gonzaga. I hope he can continue that in future games.


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Rev's much wiser than little ol meathead me, it should be fun to see what he unveil's these next two game's after a week of practice.

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by up7587 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:42 pm

Purplegeezer wrote:The amazing thing is if you look at the St. Mary's fan site, there actually ARE folks who claim to be long time supporters who are calling for RB's head.

They must have short memories.

Some folks are in full melt-down mode over there, with name calling and folks saying 'good-bye forever'. Shocked

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:54 pm

This is why Pilot Nation is the only fan site I visit regularly.

The "I'm leaving and not coming back" post is seen on many message boards. What the poster really means is "I want attention. Please show me you care about what I say and inflate my ego/self esteem by begging me to come back." Rolling Eyes

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Re: Who will be UP's most difficult challenger for 2nd place?

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:07 pm

PurplePrideTrumpet wrote:
The "I'm leaving and not coming back" post is seen on many message boards. What the poster really means is "I want attention. Please show me you care about what I say and inflate my ego/self esteem by begging me to come back." Rolling Eyes

I am leaving and never coming back.

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