Blazers: Too much talent for comfort
There is too much going on this time of the year. Too much to talk about and not enough time (or space) to do it. Here are some of the things on your mind this weekend:
nÊTHE BLAZERS: OK, I lied. They aren't on your mind yet, are they? But they soon will be. Does it seem possible that training camp opens next week? Well, it happens Tuesday.
And, yes, there most likely will be a trade. You can't seriously think about going into a season with Damon Stoudamire, Jeff McInnis and Antonio Daniels vying for minutes at point guard, can you? None of these guys wants anything less than to start. And none will be happy coming off the bench. At least not for very long.
It's the prescription for disaster we've seen so many times Ñ loads of talent but no thought of chemistry or the difficulty a coach has keeping everyone happy and on the same page.
For that reason, I'm saying one of the point guards is going to be gone before opening night. If not, I predict an out-and-out fistfight for playing time.
nÊBEAVERS VS. TROJANS: Oregon State fans may not want to hear this, but it's a few weeks too soon for the young OSU team to play a road game this tough. I think the Trojans at home are going to be a little too much for the Beavers.
But the key thing, if the Beavers lose, is how well will they handle it. This is shaping up as one of those years (aren't they all?) when the Pacific-10 champion will have at least one loss and perhaps two.
Don't get me wrong, I think OSU is good enough to win. It's just a bit too much to expect a first-year quarterback to go down there Ñ where the Beavers haven't won in eons Ñ and engineer a victory over a favored USC team that has clearly played a tougher early-season schedule.
nÊHAWKS OPEN HOME SEASON: The Winter Hawks have back-to-back home games this weekend, and you're going to have to buy a program to know many of these guys. There are more young players than I can remember and a lot of newcomers.
The team's strength will be its defense, where there is experience and talent. I'm just not sure you can get by in the Western Hockey League Ñ no matter how good the defense Ñ without a couple of quality goal scorers.
nÊONTERRIO SMITH: I hear he's not as banged up as he was early in the season. Duck fans told me that he wasn't running at full speed because he was battling hamstring and toe injuries. Well, I've got one question, then. Why was he out there against Idaho and Portland State? With a bye this week, he could have had three weeks off, and Oregon was going to win those two games without him.