Monday, February 23, 2009

Guest Commentary from a Portland State student and fan

Disclaimer: While we here at the Vanguard pride ourselves in maintaining our journalistic integrity and not having a rooting interest it is often difficult to not get attached to the athletes, teams and coaches that we cover. With that said, our ethical responsibility is to report the truth regardless of what light it depicts our university in.

Luckily enough, we have a guest commentator to give us the PSU Fans' perspective.

His name is Marnix Brinkhoff and he is a senior majoring in Business Accounting. Check out the picture for a glimpse at what this Dutchman looks like...

Marnix will be contributing to the sports blog on a semi-regular basis. Check out his first blog entry as he digs on the Vikings fans that manage to make all the PSU games, as long as they are on national television.

Viking Fans,

With the stars out (well, at least Greg Oden) and the bright lights of ESPN shining on the Stott Center in Saturday’s men’s basketball match up against Boise State, the Portland State student’s showed up to electrify the gymnasium.

Similar to Jeremiah Dominguez’s game, the students of PSU came out of a near year-long hiatus to once again show up in force for an ESPN televised game. The last game with so much support was the Big Sky Championship last March, the last time that the Vikings played on ESPN.

As a devoted fan to the basketball program, I realize how much better basketball at the Stott Center can be with the energy of so many rowdy students.

However, the fact that student’s only show up for a glimpse at the big stage of ESPN is disturbing.

With competitive basketball in the Park Blocks this year, I anticipated some large crowds to cheer on the defending Big Sky Champions, but with most athletic events, I was sorely disappointed in the student turnout this season.

My writing, I hope, will not deter students from attending more games or cheering vigorously but instead will ignite a spark for ALL students to come out to ALL games.

Think about the impact the sold-out crowd had on the game (as the team led by 23 at halftime) and think about what the season would look like right now if those students had been there all year.

With the last home game this Wednesday, my hope is to see just as many vibrant PSU fans this

week as there was for the game last weekend, even without the stigma of ESPN coverage.

Go Vikings!

Who's going to Ogden? Big Sky Tournament update...

As we head into the final week of the regular season much of the conference tournament field is being narrowed down. We already now that the Big Sky Tournament will be at the Dee Events Center in Ogden and Weber State will be the host.

Up to this point the Wildcats have looked downright dominant. While Lillard and Bullinger get a bunch of credit and McCoy seems like a lock for POY, Weber State is the team that they are because of a strong inside game from Steve Panos and real leadership from senior guard Daviin Davis, who you can catch a glimpse of his athleticism on this video.

Anyhow I thought it would be good to break down the tournament scenarios for everybody...Here goes:

# 1 Seed: Weber State- (see above).

#2 Seed: Likely Montana-The Griz are 11-4 after taking down Idaho State on Saturday. They play at Northern Colorado on Thursday and control their own destiny. If they win, they are the automatic No. 2 seed. If they lose... that's when things get interesting.

#3 Seed: Portland State- The Vikings have a home game against Montana State on Wednesday, and it's certainly no gimme. If Portland State can play like they did against Boise State on Saturday: inspired and confident they should get a win. The tougher test might come on Saturday when they play at Eastern Washington, a team that could be fighting for its playoff lives.

#4 Seed: Idaho State- The Pocatello pokies seem poised to host another Big Sky Tournament game. They have two easy games this week to wrap up the regular season.

#5 Seed: Montana State- The Bobcats still have three games remaining but will probably find a way to get wins in at least two of them. The game of the year could be Saturday when Montana State travels to Greeley to take on the Bears with the playoffs on the line.

#6 Seed: Northern Colorado- Not sure why I have the Bears here ahead of Eastern Washington, but I feel strongly that they will be able to get at least one victory out of the Montana schools this week. Eastern Washington has the misfortune of having just one conference game left- against Portland State, a team that they do not match up with very well...

We'll of course know more after this week... In fact we'll know everything.

If my guesses are correct, the Vikings would host Northern Colorado in a rematch of last week's game that went down to the final buzzer and Idaho State would take on Montana State in Pocatello. My guess is that the chalk would advance and you would be looking at a pretty solid Big Sky Final Four.

Wanted to let everybody know that we will have a feature post from a new guest writer later tonight or sometime soon. Unlike the Vanguard sports section staff, he is not a partial writer covering a team, but is instead a fan and wants his voice to be heard. More details later...