A quick read on new season
One down, only about 26 or 27 to go. The state's four NCAA Division I teams made their debuts last week.
Here are some immediate observations.
Oregon: Good thing rookie Mitch Platt has been impressive, because the Ducks do not want to rush 7-footer Matt Short back from the stress fracture in his foot. He hasn't had an operation and has been limping around with a protective boot. The Ducks fear that he could have the same problems as Grant Hill of the Orlando Magic.
The Ducks went bombs-away in their 80-67 win over Fresno State, with Luke Jackson hitting 5 of the team's 14 3-pointers and scoring 20 points. He also had eight rebounds and five assists. Jackson's No. 1 goal? Leading the country in 3-point shooting. He's off to a good start.
Andre Joseph, supposedly with his junior college habits behind him, has clearly beaten out James Davis at the '2' guard position. Brandon Lincoln played well in the opener, but he started behind freshman Aaron Brooks at the point. Get used to the role, Brandon.
The Ducks will play in the Pape Jam on Dec. 6 in the Rose Garden against Marshall Ñ yes, quite the comedown from Kansas and Louisville the past two years. Oregon then faces Kansas in Kansas City on Dec. 13 Ñ at 11 a.m. on ESPN.
Oregon State: The Beavers may have found somebody who can shoot 3-pointers. Angelo Tsagarkis, from Auffreville, France, hit 3 of 4 in a 70-53 win over Prairie View A&M. The rest of the team, however, went 1 for 10. It looks like Jim Hanchett, a 6-6 JC transfer from Fort Lewis, Wash., can rebound. Point guard Lamar Hurd will play a lot of minutes again as the stabilizing force for coach Jay John's building team.
Portland: Coach Michael Holton lamented his team's lack of fight in a 76-66 loss to Boise State that came after seven straight exhibition wins. It didn't help that Casey Frandsen played hurt and went scoreless in 15 minutes. He and fellow guards Eugene Jeter, Donald Wilson and Adam Quick complement one another. You take out Frandsen's constant 3-point threat and the Pilots do not operate as efficiently. Still, the three other guards combined for 48 points. The Pilots need Patrick Galos and Andreas Gahlmann to be better inside.
Portland State: Competitive? Yes. But the Vikings had 28 turnovers in their 73-65 loss at Washington, including 15 combined by new guards Will Funn and Blake Walker.
The two JC transfers each had nine rebounds, however, as PSU outrebounded the Pacific-10 Conference team 43-35. Walker led the way with 20 points, displaying his reputed scoring talent. Forward Seamus Boxley added 15 and continued to be the most impressive player in the early going. Center Seth Scott stayed home because of a sore wrist Ñ the same wrist he had surgery on last summer. It is a cause for concern.