Katz's 76 Classic Wrap-Up

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Katz's 76 Classic Wrap-Up

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:10 am

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3. Portland is a credible NCAA tourney team: Pilots coach Eric Reveno got plenty out of this event, beating UCLA and Minnesota before losing to West Virginia in the final. But he said something telling prior to Sunday's title game. He said if the Pilots are the team they are supposed to be now and the one that has earned respect, then they need to win games like Wednesday against Portland State. He's right. The Pilots can afford to lose at Washington, but must win the games it should to be taken seriously as a real at-large threat and/or challenger to Gonzaga in the WCC.

"I hope that people see that we play as a team,'' Portland forward Kramer Knutson said. "We don't have a bunch of guys out there playing for themselves and trying to make big shots. We play as a unit and go hard every time we are on the floor.''

Remember Knutson, Ethan Niedermeyer, Luke Sikma and Robin Smeulders inside as tough, gritty guys who can finish and don't mind being knocked down. The compact, cornerback-like T.J. Campbell is a piston of a player at the point and Jared Stohl can make big-time shots.

"We are going to look at these three days and see how much we have improved and see what we need to work on to be competitive,'' Reveno said. "I loved that these guys really tried to battle back and they showed some true heart and competitiveness.''

Reveno said that this team has a chance to be special. He's right. This team is deeper than conference mate Saint Mary's a year ago and will have more quality wins if it doesn't lose games it shouldn't.

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Re: Katz's 76 Classic Wrap-Up

Post by mattywizz on Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:35 am

I was kind of hoping we would stay under the radar for a little longer...but you know what? It also feels pretty good to get kind words from national media.

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Re: Katz's 76 Classic Wrap-Up

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:29 am

At this point, I don't know if being "under the radar" would help. Washington has 12/19 circled, Idaho has been aiming to burst our bubble since before we had one, Nevada won't overlook us, the Conference has seen us coming since last year.

No, I think it is a tad too late for under the radar. BRING ON THE PILOT LOVE!

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Re: Katz's 76 Classic Wrap-Up

Post by onetouchfutbol on Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:51 am

mattywizz wrote:I was kind of hoping we would stay under the radar for a little longer...but you know what? It also feels pretty good to get kind words from national media.

Yeah, I wouldn't really have called us "under the radar" even if we had a worse result at this tourney. We're loaded with seniors, and we improved by 10 games last season. The reality is that we need to take care of the wins we're supposed to get as well as getting a few other quality ones that we can put onto the resume in case we aren't able to win the WCC tourney for the at large bid. A few of my takeaways from the loss to WV:

* The best teams can shred a zone defense at times with offensive rebounding and easy buckets.
* We can't expect to shoot a ridiculous percentage from 3 point land every night. We're more likely to average 41% for the season than 48-53%, and some nights we'll have to win when we're just off and it's not a weapon.
* We've got to limit turnovers and hit slightly better from the free throw line (especially at timely parts of the game).

One thing is for sure: our 0-18 all-time record against top 10 opponents will eventually come to an end with Rev at the helm. Although there's a big difference between Minnesota and West Virginia, it's not so big that we can't overcome it. Like WV, Minnesota also had some good perimeter length and defenders such as Nolen. We can still gain a little more consistency even if we don't roll on all cylinders every night.

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More From Katz: Weekly Watch

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:22 pm

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Portland: Even with a loss to No. 8 West Virginia in the title game, the Pilots were the story at the 76 Classic in Anaheim. The 27-point domination of UCLA was not a fluke, especially when Portland took out a deep, talented Minnesota team that doesn't have a single scrub. The Gophers and Bruins have oodles more talent than the Pilots, but that doesn't mean T.J. Campbell can't play with any of them. Portland shoots from all over the perimeter, can board with the best and never loses its poise. The Pilots should be a good watch throughout the season.
Smackdown of the week: There is no second place. Portland's 27-point rout of UCLA, the most lopsided loss of the Ben Howland era, was a pounding from start to finish.

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Re: Katz's 76 Classic Wrap-Up

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:14 pm

Good friend of mine and former housemate (emcee at my wedding, actually) was at the UCLA soccer game. Story goes that the UCLA basketball team was there too and started heckling our ladies towards the end of the game. "There's always next year" or some such.

I believe she told them that they have some improving to do themselves, first. I'm ok with us winning Katz's Smackdown of the week.

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