Thursday, February 19, 2009

Vikings need to find identity starting tonight

The Portland State men’s basketball team entered this season with high and expected expectations. And it seemed that all those expectations were going to be true to form for instance when the team beat Gonzaga on the road and got off to a 6-1 Big Sky conference start. However the Vikings have lost 4 out of their last 6 and getting to March Madness for a second year in a row seems doubtful.

All year the team has been clinging to the words of energy and effort. I believe that more times than not both of those ingredients have been there for the Vikings. However what is missing for this team is consistency and an identity.

The team has struggled to find a dominant scorer to rely on day in and day out. Phil Nelson is defiantly not that scorer; he has not scored in double digits in the last four games.

It seems that Jeremiah Dominguez senses this lack of consistency and is putting the team’s performance on his shoulders. But there is too much talent on this team for one player to carry. Jamie Jones can score in the paint, and Andre Murray can be an aggressive scorer only when he wants to be.

Fact of the matter is that that Vikings are in a rare position to build an established identity this late into a season. I think coach Bone believes it and is banking on the fact that his team can build momentum into the conference tournament. Only problem is that the result of trying to prove something this late can either work out brilliantly or fail miserably.

Tonight against Northern Colorado will be the first chance for PSU start playing with consistency and a changed identity.

Posted by Tom Sedun, Vanguard staff

Blazers should stand pat

Apparently with not much time left in the NBA trade deadline your Portland Trail Blazers will not shake things up and acquire a big name player in hopes for an earlier than expected championship run.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see a player like Richard Jefferson from Milwaukee or Gerald Wallace of Charlotte in a Trail Blazer uniform; however I am already more than satisfied with the current progression of the team and the small deals that puts money in the Blazers pocket.

The ‘Zers are fourth in the west and will mostly likely only have to beat out one other team in order to reach the playoffs, which was the only goal for this year.

Pulling a deal before the deadline is a HUGE risk. For instance Phoenix changed the entire face of their franchise by acquiring Shaquille O’Neal at the deadline last year in a desperate attempt for a championship. Where did that lead them you ask? It ended with a first round exit by the Spurs, two different coaching changes, and the eighth highest payroll in the league.

What I am getting at is that the Blazers should not become desperate for a championship. Portland is the second youngest team in the league and has improved by strides with the talent that they have. Now I’m not saying that Blazers should not go after and get a player that can help this franchise.

There is a time and a place for everything. The time to make a move is this summer in the offseason. Kevin Pritchard and the rest of his brain trust crew should spend the rest of this season and evaluate the players we have carefully and then target one player this summer and go after him with force.

Posted by Tom Sedun, Vanguard staff