Friday, December 23, 2011

Three Other Big Sky Teams Fall Thursday

We looked at Sacramento State's loss last night, but three other Big Sky teams fell on Thursday night, leaving some bad tastes in their mouth heading into the Christmas break (soon hopefully to be filled by the taste of a delicious Christmas dinner).

Portland State continued their trend of mixing a great offensive performance with a bad defensive one, as they fell 92-86 to Cal State Fullerton. Amazingly, it was the fourth time in five games that Portland State has given up 85 points in a game, which is something that Tyler Geving needs to clean up. The Titans shot 49% from the field and made 11 three-pointers in this game.

PSU had a stellar offensive game in their own right, finishing with 6 guys in double figures. Charles Odum had another efficient game, finishing with 19 points. Chehales Tapscott also had a nice all-around day, with 12 points, 7 boards, and 6 assists. They are still not getting much play-making from Lateef McMullan, who had 14 points, but only 3 assists against 3 turnovers. They need him to get others involved.

Portland State is a team that doesn't force turnovers (they are absolutely one of the worst in America), and their defensive efficiency could soon be among the worst in the country. Their talent states that they should be one of the top 4 teams in the Big Sky, but to do so, they will need to get some steps at key moments in games, and they have yet to show that they are capable of that. One thing is for sure, they will be an exciting team, and you can bet that lots of points will be put on the board in their games.


Northern Colorado took on Colorado State, a nice rivalry since the schools are about 20 minutes apart, but they simply could not stop the Rams on Thursday night, losing 92-78. Dorian Green for CSU had a career-high 36 points in this game, which boggles my mind a little bit.

"They're just not focused on [defense]. They just don't understand the importance of it," Hill said. "We have two guys in this program (Mike Proctor and Elliott Lloyd) who played any type of significant minutes on that team last year or the year before. I know Emmanuel [Addo] was on that team; I know Tate [Unruh] was on the team; I know Tevin [Svihovec] was around in practice. But unless you have a significant role in those seasons, you don't understand what it takes. And they don't understand right now. They have to be baptized and get it on their own, because that's what kids have to do.
The loss drops UNC to 3-8, and there is some talk about how much the Bears struggled last season before going on a run in conference play, but this has the look of a much different ballclub.

It is not like Northern Colorado is void of good players, they are simply too young right now to get it done every night, as they have shown so far this season.  They are a team that does not bring it defensively every night, and it shows. Offensively, they are their own worst enemy. They are an excellent outside shooting team but they turn the ball over a ton.

Their schedule has potentially set them up to get off to a quick start in conference play, as they begin with home games against Northern Arizona and Idaho State. Based on the way they have played this year, no outcome in these games would surprise me.


Idaho State was hoping that the coaching change would provide a spark, but it did not such thing against Wyoming, as they fell 80-56. The loss drops the Bengals to 2-9, while Wyoming continues their quietly impressive year, improving to 12-2.

Kenny McGowen led the team with 23 points, while no other Bengal was in double figures.

“It was more of the same thing pretty much. We come out. We play through stretches for a while and then it just all goes kaput at some point. Offensively I told the team that I don't know if there is an offense we can scheme up to go out and make the shot for you. At some point you have to go out and make the play. We did pretty good defensively against them. We get them down to the shot clock at under 10 seconds I don't know how many times. They come off a ball screen and go make a play."
Looking at the way things have ended in non-conference play, it is tough to make an argument that Idaho State will be anywhere but the cellar. They need to start getting full team efforts on both ends of the court, as they just can't seem to put a full game together.

Anything else you guys noticed from these three games?

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