Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Portland State vs. UCSB Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs. Portland State
Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 7PM
Quick Bite:  The Gauchos are coming off a 19 point victory over NAIA Menlo in a game that was competitive through about halfway through the second half.  Amadou Sow had a career high 25 points on 9-10 free throws and added 10 boards for the double-double.  Devearl Ramsey sat the game out nursing a minor (hopefully) injury and is expected to play.  The Vikings defeated Grambling in the Thunderdome yesterday 84-74.   Neither the Gauchos or the Vikings are very good at defense so expect the scoreboard to be busy.

By the Numbers                                                              
psu.jpg (4.51KiB)
UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Record 3-3 1-3
Away/Home (D1 only) 2-2 (A) 1-1 (H)
 National Rankings
Composite (DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey,
213 206
SOS 232 220
CBS Preseason Rank 216 162
SI Preseason Rank 302 137
Preseason Poll Pick 6th 1st – 2nd
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)    
Offense 168 94
Defense 327 280
Scoring 82.2 76.0
FG% 42.7% 50.2%
3Pt % 29.8% 32.0%
FT% 71.0% 80.7%
PPG Allowed 78.2 73.6
FG % Defense 47.2 % 47.7
3Pt % Defense 36.9% 41.9
Steals PG 11.7 3.6
Blocks PG 3.8 2.6
Rebounding Margin 0.0 +7.6
Assists/Turnovers PG 12.4/13.0 15.8/13.0

Portland State:
Best win (NET):   SJSU (A)
Worst Loss (NET):  Portland (H)
Trend:    Won 2

Portland St.-UCSB History
UCSB All-time record vs. Vikings:  6-2
Last game (2018):  UCSB 76-69, in Boise

Last year’s game recap:  Four Gauchos scored in double figures, led by Armond Davis with 20, as UCSB took the lead at the end of the first half on a Davis 3 and did not relinquish it.  Jarriese Blackmon had a near double-double with 11 points and 9 boards.  Amadou Sow had his worst game of his season last year with just a single point and 2 boards.

Head Coach:
Third year Coach Barrett Peery did a great job in his first season, taking the Vikings to their first 20 win season in 10 years while not playing a single home game on campus as their new arena was being built.  With a lot of roster turnover, the Vikings stepped back a bit last year going 16-16, showing improvement during Big Sky play.  His overall record is now 36-30.  Before joining the Vikings, he was Assc. HC at Santa Clara and was an extremely successful HC of two JCs, including College of Southern Idaho (Armond Davis, Roberto Gittens)

For the second consecutive year, Coach Peery has a roster with a lot of new faces.  Looks like he shook up the roster as only a few players return from last year’s team with only a couple lost to graduation.  He does return top scorer and assist maker in Junior Holland Woods and his top rebounder, third leading scorer in Sal Nuhu.  Grad transfers Markus Golder (Valpo) and Alonzo Walker (Idaho State) were rated two of the best by CBB Central, each adding athleticism, defensive ability, and the ability to play a role to the mix. Meanwhile, the presence of Santa Clara import Matt Hauser has freed up Woods to score more while adding scoring punch himself..
PSU has led the country in full-court press frequency in each of Peery’s two seasons at the helm. Last year, the Vikings pressed 44% of the time, a significantly higher mark than 2nd-place UNC Greensboro’s 36% clip and earn a lot of steals in the process.Peery extends his athletic guards and wings across the entire floor and relies on anchor Sal Nuhu to protect the paint. Unfortunately, while this style is unique and “sexy”, it has yet to produce any real results, as PSU’s defense ranked 8th in the Big Sky in 2017-18 and 9th (and bottom 50 in the country) last year per KenPom. Issues have come from allowing too much near the rim despite Nuhu’s presence and sending opponents to the free throw line at a much-too-high-rate. The Vikings have done well forcing turnovers and limiting outside chances, but they must improve their hacking and back-line help to challenge for a conference title.
Offensively, the Vikings have relied heavily on the offensive glass to score points. PSU ranked #1 in the country in OR% last year (17th in 2018-19), a result of hard glass crashing, skilled rebounders all over the floor, and brutal outside shooting.
Possible Starters
Guard Matt Hauser   #3  6’0”, 170 lb, Senior (transfer from Santa Clara) 17.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 33 mpg
Leading 3pt shooter (38.2%), also leads team in minutes played (34) Sat out last season.  Was a starter most of his junior hear @ Santa Clara.
Guard Holland Woods   #3  6’0”, 170 lb, Junior, 18.5 ppg, 5.6 apg, 2.5 rbp, 2.8 spg.  34 mpg
Leeds the team in getting to the line, shooting 85%, and in assists.  Second in 3pt makes.
Guard Chris Whitaker   #3  6’3”, 200 lb, JC Transfer Sophomore, 7.0 ppg, 3.2 rbp, 19 mpg
Points come off drives to the paint, not a 3 pt shoter.
Forward Alonzo Walker  #22  6’6” 210lb  GT (Idaho St)  11.3 ppg, 6.8 rbg, 26 mpg
F/C Sal Nuhu  #10   6’8”, 215 lb, Senior  6.8 ppg, 4 rpg, 21 mpg.
Not an accurate shooter for a big, only 38% and 50% FTs

Possible Key Reserves:
Forward Rashad Goolsby  #23  6’7”, 200 lb, Senior 7.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg
Playing starter minutes, 27 pg and leads the team in rebounding.
Wing Marcus Golder   #2  6’6”, 195 lb, Senior (Valpo)   5.8 ppg, 14 mpg
Started about half the games in his last year @ Valpo, averging 9 ppg and 4 rpg. Last season went to a JC.
Guard Ian Burke #5  6’5”, 185 lb, Sophomore (Seattle), 2.5 ppg, 13 mpg
Solid 3 pt shooter, 5-15 for the year.
Guard Kyle Greely #5  6’5”, 185 lb, RS Freshman, 6.0 ppg, 9 mpg
Has played just 4 games
Forward Trey Wood  #23  6’9”, 210 lb, RS Freshman 2.5 ppg, 11 mpg

Match-up overview:
The story for this game is defense, or the lack thereof.  Both teams rank near the bottom in this category so expect an entertaining, high scoring game.  Like last year, the matchup between Ramsey and Woods will be one to watch. Woods was just 2-6 from the field but had 9 ft attempts, making 7. He had 2 assists vs 2 TOs and 4 fouls.   Ramsey was just 1-9 from the field while dishing 3 assists vs 2 TOs and had 3 fouls.  Given that Ramsey has not been himself and it may be that the groin injury suffered in the BWT has had a lingering impact, this matchup is worrisome.  If Ramsey is not up to task, then McLaughlin will likely fill in and he’s not been great defensively this year either.  Portland St has two forwards that rebound the ball well in Walker and Goolsby so Sow will need to work hard to keep them off the glass. Neither of those players are big and it could be interesting to see if Idehen can earn Pasternak’s trust and spend less time on the bench than he has and see if SB can exploit a size advantage.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
-        Improvement  in perimeter defense.  UCSB has been getting torched by guard penetration and this is a strength for the Vikings.  Ramsey sat out last game and his defense & play in general has not been where it was last year.  It could be he did not fully recover from the injury suffered in the BWT.  McLaughlin has not been all that great either on defense and he may have to have to have a greater role if Ramsey is not able.  Cyrus could be key in slowing down Woods and/or Hauser.
-        Improvement in help defense in the paint.  While Freeman has been everything as billed on offense, shooting an outstanding 45% from deep and scoring 10ppg, he has been a liability on defense.  Not sure if he has the footspeed to change that overnight so help defense from the guards and from Sow needs to happen.  Help defense on guard penetration too, lets see an increase in charging fouls against the opponents.
-        Heidegger to get through his mini two game slump. 

Prediction:  Should be a fun up-tempo game with a lot of offense and little defense.  With advantages in the front court, JP should choose to slow it down once to get Sow, Idehen and Freeman more touches.  Gaucho depth & frontcourt prevail, UCSB 85 Portland State 79

Official Site
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How to Watch: ... &path=ucsb

Portland State Pre-Season Preview Links: ... y-preview/ ... 20-preview
Fun fact about Portland State:
Portland State became a full-fledged university in 1969 but existed in various forms prior, starting as a school of higher learning for WWII vets in 1946 on a junior high school campus.   Large, about 29k students, it has a lot of transfer & commuter students.  Of hoops interest, Freeman Williams, ’78, is the second all-time NCAA scoring leader, trailing only Pistol Pete Maravich.  He accomplished this in only 106 games and without the benefit of the three point line.

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