The Portland Pilots are Kentucky's next foe. Don't know much about the Portland Pilots? That's why we're here.
|Coach||Eric Reveno (since 2006)|
|Arena (Capacity)||Chiles Center (4,852)|
|NCAA Record||0-2 (.000)|
|Most Recent NCAA Appearance||1996|
|Most Recent NCAA Win||never|
|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|
|Home Team||18 (56.2%)|
|Home Arena||15 (46.8%)|
|Visiting Team||14 (43.7%)|
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:
|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
|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|
|Luke Sikma||43||F||Primary resrv last, starter this year||235||6-8||senior|
|Jared Stohl||20||G||Returning starter||165||6-2||senior|
|Eric Waterford||1||G||Starter this year||180||6-1||junior|
Portland basic stats:
|Portland Player Statistics|
Advanced statistics analysis (Statistics via Statsheet.com)
|Pos||67.3||67.3||71||71||UK plays faster|
|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|
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.