#89 Portland Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Portland Pilots

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #89
Conference Rank: #4 West Coast

Portland Team Page#89 Portland Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Portland Basketball Tickets

After back-to-back 20 plus win seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11, Portland has failed to top .500 in each of the past three seasons. Last year saw some significant progress though, as the Pilots won 15 games and finished just one game below .500. Portland also did something they hadn’t done since 2003, they beat Gonzaga. This season, optimism is high as four starters and nine letter winners return from last year’s team and they will look to get Portland over the hump.

2013-14 Record: 15-16, 7-11
2013-14 Postseason: none
Coach: Eric Reveno
Coach Record: 111-142 at Portland, 111-142 overall

Who’s Out:
Ryan Nicholas is a big loss for the Pilots. The 6-foot-7 forward was Portland’s leading rebounder last season, averaging 8.8, and was third on the team in scoring, averaging 12.9 points per game. Nicholas was the lone Pilot to start all 31 games last season and he leaves a huge hole to fill. Guard Korey Thieleke joins Nicholas in departing after averaging 2.3 points and a pair of rebounds per game. He was a key reserve who played in all 31 games, leaving some minutes up for grab in the rotation. Senior guard David Carr was a player who figured to see some of those minutes after playing in 24 games with four starts last season, but he tore his ACL and will miss the 2014 season. Carr averaged 2.2 points per game after returning from a torn ACL he suffered part way through the 2012-2013 season. Forward John Bailey and guard Tanner Riley also depart after using up their eligibility. Riley played in 16 games last season and Bailey played in eight.

Who’s In:
Coach Eric Reveno brings in a recruiting class that could have a big impact on the program. Jason Todd, a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Washington, is the top recruit. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 17.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game as a high school senior. Joining him will be a pair of top-notch shooters and a pair of big men. D’Marcus Tyson, a Washington native who played last season at Quality Education Academy in North Carolina, will look to get into the rotation early after averaging 18.6 points per game as a prep senior. Junior College transfer Max Livingston will join him in the quest for minutes on the wing after averaging 12.7 points per game while hitting nearly 48 percent of his three point attempts at Clark College last season. Forward Gabe Taylor, Oregon’s Class 3A Player of the Year and center Philip Hartwich, who averaged 9.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots per game last season playing in Germany, round out the recruits. Both could see time in a frontcourt that returns just three players from last season.

Who to Watch:
Portland will feature a quartet of guards that will lead the Pilots this season. Point guard Alec Wintering is back for his sophomore season and he will direct the team. The 5-foot-11 guard led Portland with 4.5 assists per game while adding 7.7 points per contest. He will have last seasons leading scorer, Kevin Bailey, and top three-point shooter, Bryce Pressley, with him on the wings. Bailey averaged 16.5 points per game as a junior, averaging a team high 30 minutes per game, while Pressley averaged 8.7 points and 3.4 assists per game, hitting nearly 46 percent of his three pointers. Bobby Sharp served as the sixth man last year after coming in as a junior college transfer and he should find himself in that role again. Sharp averaged 8.4 points per game in his first season on campus and provided a long range specialist off the bench, hitting a team high 66 three pointers last season. With Carr out for the season, sophomore Aitor Zubizarreta could see increased playing time. The Spanish product appeared in seven games as a freshman last season.

Final Projection:
With Nicholas gone, Portland will need someone to step into his frontcourt spot. Center Thomas van der Mars is back after averaging 13.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, but he needs a partner to play alongside him. Portland could go with the twin towers look, as 6-foot-10 forward Volodymyr Gerun and 6-foot-11 center Riley Barker return. Both Gerun and Barker played in all 31 games last season and both averaged 3.5 points per game. Gerun is the more likely of two, as he possesses qualities that help him fit better as a four man. Portland has the chance to be an improved team with the majority of their key players back, but they still have a ways to go to unseat Gonzaga from the top of the WCC.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Alec Wintering, Sophomore, Guard, 7.7 points per game
Bryce Pressley Junior, Guard, 8.7 points per game
Kevin Bailey, Senior, Guard, 16.5 points per game
Volodymyr Gerun, Senior, Forward, 3.5 points per game
Thomas van der Mars, Senior, Forward, 13.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.1 (65th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.0 (233, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (101, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.1 (144, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.2 (171, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.4 (15, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.5 (46, 3)
Rebound Margin: 2.5 (105, 6)
Assists Per Game: 15.2 (33, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.8 (123, 6)


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