Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gonzaga who? Vikings take down #7 ranked Bulldogs

Sad to admit this, and I feel like the current weather situation is one of the few excuses that would keep the sports staff at the Vanguard from doing their job, but we were not able to make it to Spokane for the huge game on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the Vikings earned their first victory over Gonzaga in 31 years and Portland State's biggest victory since joining the Division I ranks.

The Vikings battled the odds and made Gonzaga look ordinary on Tuesday night. Senior point guard Jeremiah Dominguez looked as good as anybody that has ever played on The Kennel court and somehow head coach Ken Bone and co. motivated the troops to a huge victory.

Some Notes:
--The Vikings won without playing a perfect game. While Dominguez was terrific and Nelson, Waters and Murray were solid, Jamie Jones did not have his best game and continues to struggle against bigger opponents.

Kyle Coston was a non-factor as was his replacement Tyrell Mara. On the other side of the coin, Julius Thomas played great with a ton of energy and the performances of the four perimeter players was enough to overcome.

--Coming into the game and thus far this season much had been said about the depth of the Bulldogs and rightfully so. Gonzaga has at least six players on the roster that could play somewhere professionally and a couple with a good chance to end up in the league.

But somehow the Vikings mitigated that strength tonight. While I often question Bone's frequent substitution pattern, it looked terrific. The fresh bodies seemed to confuse Gonzaga or at least slow their powerful offense down.

-- Everyone is talking about how easy it would have been for Bone to ask Gonzaga coach Mark Few to reschedule the game or just cancel it based on the travel difficulties. But Bone knew that if they were to reschedule, it would likely be when Gonzaga school was in session, meaning that the Gonzaga students would be making their presence felt.

I don't think that the Vikings would have gotten blown out because of the crowd, but the game would have certainly had a different vibe.

--I know that the game was only televised on Fox Sports Northwest and there probably were not a lot of Portland State fans who even made time for the game, let alone your average Joe plumber...

But please, please, can we get some professional announcers to call games. Is it Fox Sports Northwest or Fox Sports Washington/Gonzaga.

Honestly, I can handle the homerism.

But what is hard to take is the constant mispronunciation of names: calling Jeremiah Dominguez Jr Dominguez, mistaking Tyrell Mara for Phil Nelson on occasion and there were surely other announcer goof-ups.

--Portland State looked ultra sharp in their green jerseys. The Vikings got all new basketball jerseys this year and have white, black and green to choose from. I have been waiting for the squad to bust the green's out as it seems like the school's main color has been bypassed by Glanville's preference for black. I could not find a picture of the green jersey's but they are similar in shade and style to Michigan State which you can see here.