Kentucky Basketball: A Look At The Portland Pilots

Terrance Jones looks ready to return to his home town.

The Portland Pilots are Kentucky's next foe.  Don't know much about the Portland Pilots?  That's why we're here.

First, you can check out Portland's website here.  Basic info via Basketball State:

Team Info
Conference West Coast
Location Portland, OR
Coach Eric Reveno (since 2006)
Arena (Capacity) Chiles Center (4,852)
NCAA Appearances 2
NCAA Record 0-2 (.000)
Most Recent NCAA Appearance 1996
Most Recent NCAA Win never


School Info
Founded 1901
Type Private
Denomination Roman Catholic
Students (2009) 2,946 (1,085 M, 1,861 F)

Portland is a fairly small Roman Catholic university in Portland, Oregon.  It is much smaller than Kentucky, but they have a very good basketball team.  Portland's record last year:

Portland 2009-2010 Record
Completed 32 (100.0%)
Record 21-11
Record ATS 15-12-1
Avg Spread -2.9
Home Team 18 (56.2%)
Home Arena 15 (46.8%)
Visiting Team 14 (43.7%)
Conf 16 (50.0%)
Non-Conf 16 (50.0%)

More after the jump.

Portland returns a core of six players with significant experience last year, most of whom are moving from reserve to starting roles.  The Pilots have a large class of freshmen, seven in all, and have no sophomores and only two juniors.  The bench of this team will be necessarily young and inexperienced.

Key Portland losses from last year:

Name Height Wt Class Comments
Taishi Ito 6-0 180 Senior Key reserve
T.J. Campbell 5-9 190 Senior Starter, lead 3pt and assists last year
Ethan Niedermeyer 6-6 200 Senior Starter, 4th leading rebounder
Robin Smeulders 6-10 240 Senior Starter, 2nd leading rebounder

Roster with notes


Portland Pilots Basketball Roster

# Pos. Comments
W H College
John Bailey 5 F - 210 6-8 freshman
Riley Barker 14 C - 225 6-10 freshman
Tim Douglas 11 G - 160 5-10 freshman
Jasonn Hannibal 55 C Should be key reserve this year 270 6-10 senior
Kramer Knutson 45 F Returning starter 220 6-9 senior
Nemanja Mitrovic 33 G Primary resrv. last, starter this year 200 6-5 junior
Taylor Mossman 10 G - 185 6-2 freshman
Ryan Nicholas 32 F - 235 6-7 freshman
Tanner Riley 3 G - 200 6-3 freshman
Derrick Rodgers 15 G - 210 6-1 sophomore
Luke Sikma 43 F Primary resrv last, starter this year  235 6-8 senior
Jared Stohl 20 G Returning starter 165 6-2 senior
Korey Thieleke 21 G - 170 6-3 freshman
Eric Waterford 1 G Starter this year 180 6-1 junior

Portland basic stats:

Portland Player Statistics
Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
Jared Stohl 3 29 16.7 0.7 0.7 0.3 0 1.7 0.571 1.000 0.571
Luke Sikma 3 29.7 11.3 13 2.3 1 2 2 0.560 0.800 0.667
Tanner Riley 3 18.7 10.7 2.7 2.7 0.3 0 0.7 0.550 0.833 0.500
Nemanja Mitrovic 3 21 9.7 4 2 0.7 0 1.3 0.556 1.000 0.583
Kramer Knutson 3 27.3 8.7 4.7 1 0.3 1.3 2 0.750 0.800 0.000
Eric Waterford 3 19.3 8.7 2 4 0.3 0 1 0.727 0.727 0.500
Tim Douglas 3 20.7 6 1.3 3.7 1.3 0 2.3 0.333 0.857 0.000
Ryan Nicholas 3 7.7 3.7 2.3 0 0.7 0 0.3 0.500 0.833 0.000
Riley Barker 3 9 3.3 2.7 0.3 0 1 1 0.600 1.000 0.000
Jasonn Hannibal 3 6.3 2 1.7 0 0 0 1 0.333 1.000 0.000
Derrick Rodgers 3 6.3 0.7 0.7 0 0 0 0.7 0.500 0.000 0.000
Korey Thieleke 2 7 0 1 0 0.5 0 0.5 0.000 0.000 0.000
Taylor Mossman 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000
Totals 3 -- 81 40 17 5 4 14 0.535 0.847 0.509


Advanced statistics analysis (Statistics via Statsheet.com)

Stat Portland Opponents Delta Kentucky Opponents Delta Comments
Pos 67.3 67.3
71 71
UK plays faster
PPP 1.21 0.97 0.24 1.24 0.92 0.32 Advantage UK
Eff 120.8 96.5 24.3 123.9 91.5 32.4 Advantage UK
Flr% 54.5 49.1 5.4 66.7 42.3 24.4 Impressive adv. UK. UK is scoring on almost 67% of its possessions.
eFG% 62.6 45.3 17.3 58.1 41.8 16.3 Portland is very efficient
TS% 66.7 46.5 20.2 55.7 46.4 9.3 Advantage Portland
FTR 38.1 21.6 16.5 33.8 31.1 2.7 Advantage Portland
OR% 34.2 26.6 7.6 42.2 17.9 24.3 Advantage UK
DR% 73.4 65.8 7.6 82.1 57.8 24.3 Advantage UK
AS% 60.2 45.2 15 54.5 52.2 2.3 Advantage Portland
ST% 7.9 12.9 -5 5.6 8.5 -2.9 Advantage Portland
B% 6.8 3.9 2.9 11.5 4.4 7.1 Advantage UK
TO% 21.3 13.9 7.4 14.1 14.1 0 Advantage UK
A/T 1.16 1.18 -0.02 1.8 1.2 0.6 Advantage UK

Game analysis:

So far, the Pilots have fared very well, winning their first three games by convincing margins against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, UC-Davis, and most recently, Florida Atlantic University.  Portland is a very efficient basketball team, but turns the ball over a lot.

Kentucky is much less deliberate than the Pilots, but has less experience.  Portland's high efficiency and TS% tell us that guarding the Pilots out on the floor will be of critical importance.

Portland's depth is very young, but they have good size off the bench.  Historically, Portland gets more of their points out of front-line positions than the Division I average, but the Pilots are shooting a very high percentage (50.9%) from 3-point range.  That will be tougher to do against Kentucky, but only if UK closely guards the perimeter.

The Pilots' major challenge will be finding a way to slow down Kentucky's running game.  To do that, they will have to crash the offensive boards, and so far this year, they have been a very decent OR% team.  Keeping Kentucky out of transition is key to the success of the Pilots in this game.

Kentucky out-athletes and out-talents the pilots at every position, which will be true for most foes Kentucky faces this year.  But UK is a small team, and even though Portland isn't huge by anyone's standards, they are bigger than Kentucky taken all together.  This game will be challenging for Kentucky's young and inexperienced players, particularly on defense.  The Pilots will not be likely to stop the UK offense, so unless one team or the other asserts itself defensively, this is likely to be a fairly high scoring ball game.

Ken Pomeroy does give Portland a 20% chance of upsetting the Wildcats, and that's pretty significant.  This game is not likely to be a walkover, particularly early.  If Portland's less athletic players get tired, though, it could get out of hand late.

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