Division I teams keep the ball rolling along
It's league season, and time to check in on what's wrong, what's right and what's going on with our four Division I teams:
Portland State (11-4, 3-0 Big Sky): The Vikings are shooting extremely well, .500 in each of the past seven games, thanks to ball movement, inside-out game and some unselfish play. É Point guard Will Funn has been the key, playing under control, not being a turnover machine, shooting decently and penetrating. É Funn has a 2.62-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and 39 steals. É Will free-throw shooting (.647) get the Viks in trouble? É Jake Schroeder is .396 on 3-pointers, which account for 91 of his 107 attempts. É Seamus Boxley's numbers: 19.1 points per game, 7.1 rebounds, .598 field-goal shooting. É Marier Angui is a nonfactor, so far.
Oregon (10-2, 2-1 Pac-10): Zone defense is becoming a calling card, and Aaron Brooks is 'a marquee player' in the league, Oregon State coach Jay John said after Oregon's 73-64 win over visiting OSU on Saturday. É The Ducks' success seems to turn on the performance of inside players (Ian Crosswhite, Mitch Platt). É Brooks' numbers: 17.5 points per game, .504 from the field, .464 on 3-pointers, .851 on free throws. É UO is .507 as a team Ñ with the top nine players above .465, including rookies Bryce Taylor (.522) and Malik Hairston (.521). Free-throw shooting: .690, with Taylor (.590), Hairston (.585) and Jordan Kent (.464) struggling. É Kent is very valuable as a scrappy and hustling role player.
Oregon State (10-4, 2-1 Pac-10): The Beavers have lots of parts and will get better as David Lucas gets into shape. But Oregon's zone, John says, caught the Beavs by surprise, and they couldn't shoot. É John is concerned about rebounding Ñ so maybe he goes with Nick DeWitz-Lucas-Sasa Cuic immediately in the frontcourt? É Cuic is scoring (13.9 points per game) and shooting well but has fouled out three times. É Portlander Chris Stephens is shooting poorly from the field (.385, .340 on 3-pointers), but is .911 at line. É Boy, is 7-2 Liam Hughes a long-term project or what?
Portland (11-6, 0-2 WCC): The Pilots are still soft inside and depend too much on Pooh Jeter to have monster offensive games to be competitive. And they simply got outworked in two West Coast Conference road games. É In losses at Santa Clara and Saint Mary's, Jeter was 5 of 24 on field goals, scoring 16 points, and UP was outrebounded 88-59, while producing only 17 assists. Not good. É The Pilots need to play well in their seven WCC home games, or their season will collapse on them. É Jeter is averaging 16.4 points, shooting .473 (.443 from 3-point range). É Forward Marcus Lewis has a sprained shoulder, and is day-to-day.
Local men's teams are off and running in the Cascade Conference. A breakdown:
Warner Pacific (10-7): Donny Woods leads in points (16.2) and assists (4.9). The Knights have a plus-2.6 rebounding margin and are allowing 72.2 points a game Ñ the low among the Portland schools.
Concordia (7-9): Brandon Erlandson, ex-Franklin High, is having another good season, averaging 17.2 points and 6.9 rebounds. Jon Lee leads the league in free-throw shooting (.903). The Cavaliers are giving up too many points, though.
Cascade (5-11): Jered Alsup averaged 18.1 points in nine games but quit the team and left school. The T-Birds have Malik Edwards (17.2) and Joshua Garrett (16.4), who leads the league in assists (6.8). But Cascade is giving up 82 points per game.
Among Cascade Conference women, Concordia's Katie Atkins leads in scoring (18.6 points per game), ranks third in rebounds (9.3), second in free-throw shooting (.857) and first in steals (3.3). Sammy Smith leads the conference in field-goal percentage (.597) for the 9-6 Cavaliers.