We're almost -through preseason, and here's the scoop on our -NCAA Division I teams:
OREGON (5-2): In 11-day break before Pacific-10 Conference opener Jan. 2 at USC. É Notching assists on 68 percent of baskets. É Shooting .487 from field. É Outrebounding opponents 34-30, on average, led by Luke Jackson's 7.1 per game. É Jackson also leads at 21 points per game and is .474 from 3-point range. É Ian Crosswhite much more content to stay in the low post. É Rookie Aaron Brooks is still learning the ropes; sure dribbles fancy, though. É Mitch Platt (sprained ankle) will return against USC.
OREGON STATE (5-4): Barely beat Sacramento State 76-73 in a game that should have been a rout. É Forward David Lucas leads the team with 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. É Guard Chris Stephens, the former Madison star, has emerged as a second threat, averaging 15.4 points; he and Angelo Tsagarakis take most of the 3s. É Shooting .422 from the field but only .327 on 3s. É Two overtime losses, plus an 82-80 loss at Boise State. É Forcing 20 turnovers per game. É Hosts Jackson State at 2 p.m. Sunday.
PORTLAND STATE (4-6): Dominated Portland, winning 74-55 to split RiverCity Rivalry series. É Ouch: Defensive-minded Vikings gave up 79 points and .560 shooting at Cal State-Northridge. É Turnovers remain the bugaboo. É Blake Walker is a terrific scorer and athlete, a JC transfer who plays defense and rebounds. The 6-5 guard averages 17 points and 6 rebounds. É Sheu Odiniyi is OK after suffering a seizure the day after a 75-74 loss at Boise State. É Coming soon: games at Maryland-Eastern Shore, Tennessee State and Tennessee-Martin, which probably will play at PSU next year.
PORTLAND (5-5): Last four games' shooting percentages: 24 (Duke), 37 (Weber State), 33 (Portland State), 41 (Oregon). É How good would 6-7 Dustin Geddis be at power forward, with a true banger at center next to him? The Pilots suffer from lack of inside scoring and rebounding. É Opponents clamp down on sophomore guards Pooh Jeter and Donald Wilson. 'They feel like the weight of the program is on their shoulders,' coach Michael Holton says. É Jeter averages 16.3 points and Wilson 14.6 after getting off only five shots against Oregon. É Stop Jeter's dribble-penetration, and the Pilots struggle. É UP at Boise State on Sunday.