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Post by Dean Murdoch Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:51 am

@DoubleDipper wrote:Wednesday, Nov. 25 Portland vs. Seattle U. 8:00 pm
Friday, Nov. 27 Seattle U vs. William Jessup 12 noon
Saturday, Nov. 28 Portland vs. William Jessup 12 noon
Sunday, Nov. 29 Portland vs. Northwest 12:00 noon

Find your watch/listen/stats links here - https://portlandpilots.com/sports/mens-basketball/schedule

Wild news to wake up to. Idaho out, Pilots move home opener to tonight. I guess nothing should be completely unexpected in 2020!!

Also significant news - Tahirou Diabate has opted out of the season. Honestly at this point I might have a better chance of guessing Seattle's starting five than Portland's!

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Post by DoubleDipper Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:10 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:Also significant news - Tahirou Diabate has opted out of the season. Honestly at this point I might have a better chance of guessing Seattle's starting five than Portland's!
D's decision not to play this season is not a surprise as he has not been with the team this fall while dealing with personal issues, and although he is still a part of the program, his return next year is uncertain.

His absence will make the Pilots a more perimeter oriented team while putting more pressure on Mikey Henn, and to some extent on Hunter Seymour, to become on offensive threat and rebounder.

Melding nine new players (eight of whom were recruited via Zoom or Facetime) with the returners after only two weeks of live practice will be a challenge, but just getting out and playing after an eight month layoff will be a wonderful relief for the players and staff.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:20 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:Honestly at this point I might have a better chance of guessing Seattle's starting five than Portland's!

Turns out this was a lie. Seattle is in pretty much the same situation as the Pilots. Of their top nine guys from last year, seven are gone - Terrell Brown is now at Arizona and six seniors moved on. That makes Riley Grigsby and Aaron Nettles the only returning players for Seattle that had any significant minutes from last year.

Seattle also went heavy on the transfer route. Jordan Guest (Tallahassee CC) was their top ranked guy from that group but is not listed on their roster. Daron Henson (Washington State grad transfer), Jared Pearre (Northridge transfer), Angelo Stuart (Mineral Area CC) and Emeka Udenyi, Darrion Trammell, and Nathan Robinson - all from the City College of San Fran - are the transfers.

So to sum up. I've got no idea what the Pilots will look like. I've got no idea what Seattle will look like. Hope to have at least a working knowledge of who's who by the end of the night. Go Pilots!
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Post by optimist Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:44 pm

Diabate is a significant hit. We will miss his inside presence...i hope he comes back.

This game is going to a battle of the transfers as DM states...giddy with anticipation...can't believe it is actually happening.

My final guess at the starting lineup before it gets REAL...yikes, we are going to be small:

Ali
Dasher
Jones
Davis
Henn

first off the bench...
taki
griffith/Triplett?
Adams...Ali is going to command more minutes, so not sure where Chase will fit in the mix since they are both small
push between Seymour and Curtiss...these guys are going to have to step up without Diabate; who will emerge?

Go Pilots!

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Post by DoubleDipper Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:28 pm

Yes, it's definitely going to be "small-ball" this season while working from the perimeter out of a half-court offense and pushing, pushing, pushing when in transition.

There should also be some good opportunities for slashing drives to the hoop if Henn can open up the inside by drawing defenders outside with his consistent shooting...a role in which neither Tryon or McSwiggan were especially effective at over the last couple of years.

The Pilots have been absolutely awful at rebounding even when they had size, so it can't get much worse, can it? But what can improve is their ability to get to the line.  With speedier players this season, let's hope the Pilots can cut to the basket to score and/or draw fouls...IMO, free throw shooting will be the difference between winning and losing most nights.  

A2 (Ahmed Ali) should be the catalyst, but others will have to step up.

One thing is for sure, today's Pilots have much more potential scoring depth than they've had at any other time during the Porter era...but can they capitalize on that depth??


Last edited by DoubleDipper on Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Geezaldinho Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:35 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:The Pilots have been absolutely awful at rebounding even when they had size, so it can't get much worse, can it???

Curse you.
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Post by DoubleDipper Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:32 pm

Plenty of room for tactical distancing at the Chiles Center...

US Bank Portland Invitational Social10

No, I did NOT take this picture...
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Post by Dean Murdoch Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:53 pm

optimist wrote:My final guess at the starting lineup before it gets REAL...yikes, we are going to be small:

Ali
Dasher
Jones
Davis
Henn

5 for 5, well done optimist!

For all I talked about Seattle's transfers, none of them are starting. Seattle goes with returners Rip Economou (6'8"), Riley Grigsby (6-6), and Aaron Nettles (6-0) along with HS freshmen Kobe Williamson (6'8") and Viktor Rajkovic (6-6).
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Post by Geezaldinho Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:06 pm

Who are those guys in the Pilots uniforms? scratch
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Post by Dean Murdoch Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:35 pm

Geezaldinho wrote:Who are those guys in the Pilots uniforms? scratch

I don't know but they're currently masquerading as a team with scoring depth off the bench!

The non-starters haven't missed a shot yet. 5 for 5.
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Post by Geezaldinho Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:08 pm

Nice to hear Donald Wilson’s voice.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:11 pm

Death, taxes, and the Pilots giving up a big run to start the second half.
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Post by DoubleDipper Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:39 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:Death, taxes, and the Pilots giving up a big run to start the second half.
Hmm, that's odd.

This year's team had five players on the floor who had never started the second half for UP before...what could be the constant from the recent past?? Rolling Eyes
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Post by dholcombe Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:03 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:
Dean Murdoch wrote:Death, taxes, and the Pilots giving up a big run to start the second half.
Hmm, that's odd.

This year's team had five players on the floor who had never started the second half for UP before...what could be the constant from the recent past?? Rolling Eyes
Another lackluster half time talk/2nd half game plan.

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Post by Dean Murdoch Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:36 pm

Seattle 77, William Jessup 53.

And up the road in Corvallis.. the Pilots' opponent on Sunday, Northwest University, lost 86-61 to Cal yesterday and *wipes glasses* 114-42 to Oregon State this morning. Ouch.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:28 pm

It's free so I wouldn't be complaining even if they weren't... but the broadcast talent is pretty good! Play-by-play guy (not sure his name) calls a good game and it's pretty apparent that Donald Wilson knows a thing or two about this sport!

Nice to see the staff trying new things here midway through the first half. Adams and Ali on the floor at the same time.
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Post by DoubleDipper Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:32 pm

So far this season, the Pilots are a much better team with Chase on the floor.

Good to see Curtiss in for Henn, but another season without even trying to get an offensive rebound will be very frustrating.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:58 pm

Hahaha, I loved Ahmed Ali's post-game interview. Clearly annoyed about (in his words) squeaking out a win over an NAIA team and the honesty is refreshing. "One thing I'm going to tell you is we're going to be a lot better than what you've seen today and against Seattle. We've got a lot of potential."

I was surprised to see Hunter Seymour come in with 30 seconds left. I just assumed the fact we hadn't seen him at all the first two games meant he was hurt or otherwise unavailable. No Zac Triplett at all today... hopefully these two guys will get a run tomorrow against Northwest.
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Post by DoubleDipper Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:21 pm

Dean Murdoch wrote:Hahaha, I loved Ahmed Ali's post-game interview. Clearly annoyed about (in his words) squeaking out a win over an NAIA team and the honesty is refreshing. "One thing I'm going to tell you is we're going to be a lot better than what you've seen today and against Seattle. We've got a lot of potential."
In a "normal" year with lots of practice it would be difficult to assimilate nine new players, but it's obviously going to take much longer this year with only two weeks of practice in the books.

Yes, the Pilots have "a lot of potential," but today they were playing as individuals with little discipline instead of as a team except when Chase was on the court to calm things down and act as the only player to really play defense...something that seems particularly alien to the JUCO guys.

Too much dribbling, especially by Eddie Davis, and not enough passing to set up the open shot. I found myself yelling, "push, push, push and move it, move it, move it" when the offense would bog down.

Yes, they broke the press, but why was every inbound pass into the corner where the Warriors were able to trap?

What is needed right now is better TEAM discipline and more transition basketball finishing with a slash to the basket to score or draw a foul.  Quit settling for a 3-point shot!  Watch Chase and listen to TP as a means of learning at least some defensive capability.

Regarding Hunter Seymour, I really like him, but the staff not so much, so he's last off the bench right now. Quincy is hurt, but I don't know why Zac didn't play except that everyone ahead of him appears quicker and more athletic in the little we've seen of him.

Northwest U. tomorrow, then it's back to business against PSU, OSU, Seattle U, and Montana St. before WCC play begins.
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Post by DoubleDipper Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:58 pm

With no comments on PilotNation regarding the Pilots squeaker over Northwest U today, I am assuming everyone is sticking to the adage, "if you cannot say something nice, don't say anything at all."

While watching the game, Mrs. DD was wondering if it was simply UP playing to the level of their competition, or if perhaps it was Northwest U. that was doing that...Embarassed

Good to see Seymour and Curtiss get extended minutes, and also see Triplett come in and drop a trey in his only attempt...I think he is now 2-2 this season. pirat
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Post by Aussie Baller Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:08 am

DD, is it just us back in Aussie or does anyone else agree, the coaches have no faith in the Freshman, both young Curtis and Zach showed plenty with very limited court time,
the shooting was disgraceful, the shot selection was disgraceful, and if they play like that, i cant see a win in conference play.

system is non existent, no cohesion, with most of the energy from the bench. Seeing Kobe (Seattle ) playing 30 minutes in both games and other Aussie freshman playing major minutes in winning teams, and taking 5-10, 3 point shots a game, and he wouldnt be half the shooter Zach Trip is. This makes me think maybe the coaches just dont play freshman, if you give Zach 30 minutes and create some shots for him, you will see some real numbers, and he wont shoot, just to shoot. Play the kids, Chase, Curtis and Zach, at least give them an opportunity, already wasted 3 games.

Young Curtis can learn so much from big Mike Henn, and i thought Coach Porter being a shooter would be a great fit to develop young Zach, after 3 games im not sure about that. i just hope they can improve, win and then the pilots can land a few more
Aussies

I think its going to be a long long year though

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Post by Dean Murdoch Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:49 am

Who are the other Aussie freshmen? Are you thinking of Wil Tattersall at UC Riverside or are there others as well?

I certainly expected to see more spread out minutes in the last two games. Perhaps that was the plan until they both turned out to be close Rolling Eyes
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Post by DoubleDipper Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:41 am

Again, in a "normal" year I believe Zach would have redshirted.  Yes, he's a shooter, but his speed, athleticism, strength and experience do not match those playing ahead of him.  Curtiss, on the other hand, had one thing going for him against the NAIA teams, his height! And as skilled and experienced as Henn may be, he's still not enough of a leaper to be a consistent rebounder.

I think Dean is correct, the lack of playing time for the other six available players was because the five JUCO and transfer players that Porter expects to start need more time together on the court...right now they are playing as individuals and not as a team.  I think we can blame that on only two weeks of practice, but by the time WCC play begins, that won't be a good excuse.  (As an aside, I've now seen all the WCC teams except USD play, and all are better than last season).

As far as their "shooting and shot selection being disgraceful," it appears Porter, without Diabate, has decided "small ball" is the way to go this season, and everyone has a green light from just about everywhere.  That, or as you and I suspect, the lack of a cohesive system or plan has led to poor and last-second shot selection.  The offense not only lacks cohesion, but there is too much dribbling and not enough crisp passing because the players are not yet sure of their team roles and positioning on the court.  Four of the five starters were "stars" at their last school, Porter is now going to have to get them to buy-in to being part of a TEAM.  

Despite Porter's NBA credentials, he is not a winner at the collegiate level, and until there is a change at the top, I doubt the Pilots will win any WCC games...I hope I am wrong.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:24 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:Again, in a "normal" year I believe Zach would have redshirted.  Yes, he's a shooter, but his speed, athleticism, strength and experience do not match those playing ahead of him.

A while back I mentioned the last "pure shooter" the Pilots had, D'Marques Tyson, in regards to a Zac Triplett discussion. His ability to shoot the three was never in question, but he didn't get huge minutes his first year and that was under the previous coaching regime. Heck, there were many games that he didn't even get off the bench for that first year but he still shot north of 40% from 3.

D'Marques had started to figure it out by the end of his freshman year, though - he was brilliant in the Vegas win over SMC which now seems like a lifetime ago.

DoubleDipper wrote:I think we can blame that on only two weeks of practice, but by the time WCC play begins, that won't be a good excuse.

I think the "only two weeks of practice" excuse has now officially sailed. Next game is against a Portland State team that likely hasn't even had as much practice as the Pilots, and by the time the Oregon State game rolls around they will have had four weeks under their belt. A win over PSU would be a nice boost for this new group.
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Post by Aussie Baller Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:57 pm

Thanks Dean and DD, you guys are a wealth of knowlege, yes Will Tattersell was the kid, as will Daniel Foster Nevada, Maddern at Idaho, all will get big minutes.
From what i was told, Zach was never going to red shirt, hence one of the reasons he was happy with Portland.

Great story and info for DMarques Tyson, for our Aussies sake, hopefully the coaches work it out that he is a deadly shooter, and use him rather than sit him, seriously some of the shooting my U18 team could make, lets hope they get to work and improve it quickly.

time will tell, heaps of Australians watching and cheering for Zach and the Pilots

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