THE GONZAGA THREAD

View previous topic View next topic Go down

THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by Rob's Jacket on Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:19 am

Alright everybody, time to fire this up. For all of you Lord of the Rings aficionados out there, forgive me if I feel a bit like this is what we're dealing with:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c1/Mordor_force.jpg

_________________
V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!

"Iím excited about being part of the Pilot Nation." - Terry Porter

Rob's Jacket
Administrator
Administrator

Number of posts : 774
Location : On the court
Registration date : 2007-04-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:00 am

Finally got my thoughts up on the blog... would have done it earlier but the internet was out at my place this weekend. Sad

http://blog.oregonlive.com/pilots/

Pilots vs. Gonzaga, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blowout

Too dire of a blog title? Probably. But I've been reading some Brett Easton Ellis lately and that is one bleak son of a gun. But hilarious too. And in these trying and troubled times of ours and with the Pilots staring into the teeth of a game with the Gonzaga Bulldogs (Monday night, 8 PM, Chiles Center, Live on ESPN2), black comedy seems like the best remedy for the situation. Not that I equate a long-odded (word?) basketball game to the subprime mortgage disaster or the crisis in Kosovo, but hey... this is a Pilot blog, and for better or worse the Gonzaga game has turned into one of the games that can define the season. So let's just roll with it, shall we?

As I alluded to a few weeks back, there was - maybe even still is - a very tall tale going around about Portland playing Gonzaga up in Spokane. Completely untrue. I really don't know where this kind of crap gets started... probably up there on the rumor-mongering morass called GUNation. Smile Sigh... I've been trying to use the Roger Clemens Method of Self Deception (patent pending) about that game, but alas - I am unable to misremember that 79-41 pasting. Freshman phenom Austin Daye torched UP with 19 points and 13 boards in 15 minutes of play (holy smokes!) and the Zags really took it to Portland on the boards. Since Portland is typically a solid rebounding team, that completely negated on of our only strengths. And when you combined that with some poor shooting by us and some good shooting by them... it's easy to follow that one to its natural conclusion.

So how are the Pilots going to deal with the game on Monday night? What is the recipe for success? No idea. But as your faithful and diligent blogger, I'm going to do my best Rachel Ray impersonation and whip up my 30 Minute Gameplan on how the Pilots can shock the world (or at least the West Coast Conference) and take home a win on national TV (ESPN2) against the crispity, crunchity, peanut-buttery Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Why the Butterfinger reference? Trying to send them the turnover vibes, that's why. Think it'll work? Me neither.)

So... decision time. Do I go all the way with this recipe gimmick and list it out like "ingredients, directions, oven settings, etc.", or just continue with the paragraphs and make some half-haphazard references to baking to make it kinda work? Mmmmmmm... how 'bout door number two.

First things first? Channel Skee-Lo and wish for more height, more quickness, better shooting, and a deeper bench. Never hurts to try. (I was so proud of my off-the-cuff (Kuff?) Kurtis Blow reference last time that I just had to slip in another old school rap reference. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me... but let's be real. When is it ever? Regardless, I enjoyed it.)

After that, I think the two biggest things that will help Portland compete in this game are outside shooting and rebounding. For years, that has been the game-plan for weaker WCC teams against the Zags, and things haven't really changed. Freshman sharp shooter Jared Stohl is the most likely candidate to go off and score a bunch of points from downtown, so I hope that he has a green light to put it up whenever he's open. Nik Raivio is ultra-competitive and I know he'll want to play well against the Bulldogs not only because of his brother's history with them but also because he struggled mightily in the game up in Spokane. I expect him to try and put the offense on his shoulders... hopefully he can stay within himself and make good decisions. Taishi Ito burned the Zags in the Chiles Center last year with his outside shooting, so let's hope he can rekindle that magic. He's had a super tough year shooting the rock, but he has showed signs of regaining his stroke over the past few games. Let's hope that continues.

As for rebounding, we're going to need Luke Sikma, Kramer Knutson, and Robin Smeulders to be going after every loose ball every time. I know that runs to risk of foul trouble (another key factor), but we simply cannot afford to give the Zags multiple opportunities to score. And if we can snag a few offensive boards (and if we're shooting a lot from the outside, we'll have the chance to do just that), that will really help us get some points.

Speaking of Sikma, we're also going to need a big game from him. He's been on fire from the field lately (8-10 against USD and 4-4 against USF) and seems to have completely regained his early-season form, and now is the time for him to take it upon himself to get the team some points. He was very aggressive against San Diego but wasn't really looking for his shot against the Dons - against Gonzaga I think we'll need him to do as much as he can to get the Pilots points, since scoring has been such a struggle really all season long. If it's not happening for Sikma, it'll have to be Smeulders. Either way, we'll need some points out of our big guys.

Another guy who I think could be a key for Portland is Kramer Knutson on the defensive end. One thing I love about Kramer is how he really gets after it with guys, and I think that he might be able to get Josh Heytvelt out of his game. Either that or Heytvelt will go off for 20 and 10. (Or he'll be the third guy off the bench and not play a ton.)

We'll also need either Sherrard Watson or Ethan Niedermeyer to produce. Watson is a slasher who can get to the hoop and who can shoot a little bit too, and Niedermeyer is a spot-shooter who also gets hoops by scrapping. In order to win this game, we need some points out of at least one of those guys.

Beyond that, we just have to hope for some cold shooting by Gonzaga. Jeremy Pargo isn't a great shooter but is terrific going to the hoop, so somehow whoever is guarding him will have to try and keep Pargo in front of him. Matt Bouldin has a ton of skill but is inconsistent... let's just pray that his shot is off. Ditto for Micah Downs and Stehpen Gray. In all honesty, UP simply doesn't have the personnel to match up with Gonzaga, so we're going to need to do our darndest to limit any open looks and just hope that the shots they do take aren't dropping.

The guy who really makes me nervous is Austin Daye. If you're not familiar with him, you will be some day - the guy is a future pro for certain. He's got great size (6'10") but a really nice stroke, and is a tremendous shot-blocker. He's a match-up nightmare for anyone on the Pilots... the one thing that could bail us out is that Mark Few tends to not play him as much as he could. I don't even want to imagine what his stat line would be if he played 35 minutes.

Another player who concerns me is their senior big man Abdullahi Kuso. He's not a terrific scorer, but he's an athletic and active big man who has been playing really well lately and will likely be causing all sorts of havoc while he's out there. I'm worried that he's going to really hurt the Pilots on the offensive glass, blocking shots, snagging loose balls, etc... basically all the little things that UP desperately needs to try and win the game. So let's hope we'll get some of those wonderful West Coast Conference officials (Dave Libbey or Ken Ditty, please!) will be whistle-happy and get Kuso sidelined with foul trouble.

Too much wishing and hoping in this? Yeah. But the fact of the matter is that UP isn't there yet. Will they be next year? Maybe. Two years from now? Absolutely. But right now? The Bulldogs offer a very tough match-up. But having said that, if UP can hit their shots, rebound well, limit GU's open looks, and keep the game at a slow pace... no reason why the Pilots can't put up a heck of a fight.

Makes me think of the game up in Spokane four or five years ago now where UP went up into Spokane and lead wire-to-wire, handing the Zags their last home loss before they went on their big long streak (50 or so wins?) that was finally snapped by Santa Clara last year. I remember listening to that game on the radio and feeling my biggest rish of sports glory since my beloved Minnesota Twins beat the Braves in the 1991 World Series (here is the best video I could find for that.. easily the best day of my life ever). The Pilots went up there and stunned the Zags by shooting well, playing tough D, and just never admitting to themselves that they were way overmatched. Sounds cliche, but if the Pilots go into this one believing they can win, anything can happen.

Anyway, the one thing I really want to see is UP hang with them for at least a while and to see the continuation of improved play from Luke Sikma, Jared Stohl, Taishi Ito, and Kramer Knutson. I'd love to see the Pilots put on a good show for all of the Christmas-and-Easter fans that only show up for the Oregon, Oregon State, and Gonzaga games and (wildest dreams) to see all of the stupid Zag fans that always crowd the place go home grumpy. Ah... now THAT would be sweet.

I hope you all enjoy the game, either in person or live on ESPN2, and I'll be back with all the latest Pilot news in a few days. Goooooo Pilots!

Stonehouse
All-American
All-American

Number of posts : 2990
Age : 34
Location : Portland, OR
Registration date : 2007-06-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by PilotNut on Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:49 am

Wow, Stoney pretty much covered everything. Not much else to say....

I really want the Pilots to come out and compete tonight; we never did the first time around vs. GU and SMC. Hopefully that changes with playing at home.

During the Holton years, we usually gave the Zags a decent game, so lets hope we can continue that with Rev...

GO PILOTS ! !

_________________
Run 'Em Aground Pilots!

PilotNut
Administrator
Administrator

Number of posts : 3914
Age : 43
Location : The 503
Registration date : 2007-04-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:31 am

Agreed, Nut. I just want to see us put up a fight for at least a while... like we did against Oregon at the beginning of the season.

Even though we ended up losing by a good margin (17 or so), there wasn't anyone in the building who didn't come away impressed with how the Pilots played in the first half. That's what I want more than anything else... a sign that we aren't crazy believing in the future of this team.

Stonehouse
All-American
All-American

Number of posts : 2990
Age : 34
Location : Portland, OR
Registration date : 2007-06-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:36 am

Here's to scrappiness and youth!!! I'm excited to finally make it back to a game.... But here's pretty much my outlook:



Haha and here's to dollar beers at the Young Alumni pregame function.... And singing the fight song until the Kennel Club's ears bleed.... (Pilots battle cry..... buh duh duh duh duh dah duh duh!!!)

DaTruRochin
Administrator
Administrator

Number of posts : 3576
Location : Boston, MA
Registration date : 2007-05-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by Rochin54 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:44 am

dang, dollar beers pre-game!!?? Do they actually exclude the "non-young alumni" crowd?

Rochin54
First man off the Bench
First man off the Bench

Number of posts : 668
Location : Suburbia
Registration date : 2007-04-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:47 am

I have no idea.... I wonder if they will let me bring in my liter mug.... The only question is for full Zag intimidation factor, do I wear the full Coky Rochin getup, or just the standard classic purple pride t??? I just don't know....

DaTruRochin
Administrator
Administrator

Number of posts : 3576
Location : Boston, MA
Registration date : 2007-05-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by Rochin54 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:51 am

Coky's team was the last team to beat the zags...

Rochin54
First man off the Bench
First man off the Bench

Number of posts : 668
Location : Suburbia
Registration date : 2007-04-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:55 am

It's supposed to be for alums within the past 10 years, but they aren't in there checking anyone's student IDs or anything.

I've noticed a trend in those young alumni events though. The first one (BYU) was a free full open bar. The second one (CS-Bakersfield) had free beer. This one has $1 beers... something tells me the young alums did their alma mater proud in the drinking department during the first two! Smile

Stonehouse
All-American
All-American

Number of posts : 2990
Age : 34
Location : Portland, OR
Registration date : 2007-06-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:58 am

Good point.... EVERYONE JUST SO YOU KNOW, THE BLACK 54 JERSEY WILL BE IN THE CHILES.... Be afraid Zags.... be VERY afraid.... the specter of the double double machine will be hovering about....


DaTruRochin
Administrator
Administrator

Number of posts : 3576
Location : Boston, MA
Registration date : 2007-05-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:02 pm

Ah, the Coky jersey... probably the best thing you've ever bought in your life, huh?

Forgot to post this earlier... a little preview article from the O:

http://www.oregonlive.com/pilotsbasketball/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1203909920145140.xml&coll=7

The Portland Pilots see no need to overhaul their game plan or resort to gimmicks in their attempt to beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs tonight at the Chiles Center.

"If I had a magic trick that would get us a 'W' and change who we are, then I would do it," Pilots coach Eric Reveno said. "I'm not above that.

"That said, I don't think there's anything we could do differently that would give us a higher probability of winning than our usual style would. The reason we play our style is because that's what we do best."

On paper, tonight's nationally televised game on ESPN2 shapes up as a colossal mismatch.

The Bulldogs (21-6, 10-1 West Coast Conference) are tied for first place with Saint Mary's; they lead the conference in scoring they have won 23 of their last 24 games against the Pilots, including a 79-41 victory in Spokane on Jan. 28.

The Pilots (8-19, 2-9) are seventh in the WCC and have won just once in their last 10 conference games.

"We've played well in stretches," Reveno said. "I mean, there hasn't been a game this year where we didn't play like a team that can beat Gonzaga for a segment.

"Maybe it was only a four-minute segment. In other games, it was a 12-minute segment. But there's always been a segment where I'd say, 'This team could compete with anyone in the conference.' I hope the guys can see that, too."

Nik Raivio, Portland's sophomore guard and leading scorer, hopes the Pilots can give the Bulldogs a better game than they did in the last one.

"Hopefully, we can stop them from hitting some shots early and getting hot," Raivio said. "They did it to us once already, but anything can happen. Anyone can beat anybody. Their game, they like to go up and down, and I'm not sure if we have the personnel to go up and down every time like that.

"I think it just comes down to us getting some defensive stops, having some of their guys have off nights, and us hitting shots. We might try something that they haven't seen so we're not as predictable, but it's probably best to stick with what we've been doing all year."

Stonehouse
All-American
All-American

Number of posts : 2990
Age : 34
Location : Portland, OR
Registration date : 2007-06-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:13 pm

No but seriously, my house is on fire... I save the Coky jersey... my ipod and thats pretty much it

DaTruRochin
Administrator
Administrator

Number of posts : 3576
Location : Boston, MA
Registration date : 2007-05-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by PilotNut on Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:40 pm

There is a ($3... we get fleeced!) Widmer at half time in the Pilot Club with your name on it if I can touch the #54 jersey...

Oh yeah, and everyone remember that the Pilot Club is moved upstairs tonight, under Sections 11-15.

GO PILOTS!

_________________
Run 'Em Aground Pilots!

PilotNut
Administrator
Administrator

Number of posts : 3914
Age : 43
Location : The 503
Registration date : 2007-04-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:42 pm

I can't make it tonight, but I was gonna say that a nice long pre-game in the HOF room would help get you through the game...but you've already figured that out Smile I thought all there was in there was some cookies and pop until I saw Bill Reed wheeling the tap out of there after a game....

PurplePrideTrumpet
All-American
All-American

Number of posts : 2880
Age : 35
Location : Section 18A, Row 5
Registration date : 2007-11-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by Rochin54 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:46 pm

I'll have to swing by the store on the way home from work, grab a six pack of Widmer Hef, and share a virtual widmer with y'all! Maybe I'll drink it outside while we are in the midst of getting our 4-8 inches of snow tonight Shocked

Rochin54
First man off the Bench
First man off the Bench

Number of posts : 668
Location : Suburbia
Registration date : 2007-04-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: THE GONZAGA THREAD

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:54 pm

Haha for a halftime hef Pilot Nut, I'll even let you try it on... The thing is practically a parachute

DaTruRochin
Administrator
Administrator

Number of posts : 3576
Location : Boston, MA
Registration date : 2007-05-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum