Today, the Portland Pilots make the trip from way out West to return the visit the Kentucky Wildcats paid them last year in the Rose Garden. The Pilots are a much better team than the Radford Highlanders were, so we can reasonably expect this game to have some genuine value for Kentucky, even though the probability of an upset is vanishingly small.
|Portland Pilots Quick Facts|
|Started Men’s Basketball:||1922-23|
|Joined NCAA Division I:||1958-59|
|All-Time Overall Record:||1095-1183 (.481)|
|All-Time Division I Record:||615-842 (.422)|
|All-Time WCC Record:||181-305 (.372)/35|
|WCC Regular Season Titles:||0|
|WCC Tournament Titles:||1 (1996)|
|Chiles Center Record/Years:||213-156 (.577)/27|
|2010-11 Overall Record:||20-12 (.625)|
|2010-11 WCC Record:||7-7 (.500)/5th|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances:||2 (1959, 1996)|
|CIT Appearances:||2 (2009, 2010, 2011)|
|Lett ermen Returning/Lost:||9/4|
|Newcomers (Including RS-Freshman):||5|
|Facility:||Chiles Center (4,852)|
|Head Coach:||Eric Reveno (6th Year)|
|Career Record:||80-84 (.488)/6th|
|WCC Record:||33-37 (.471)/6th|
|Conference||West Coast Conf.|
|Colors||Purple & White|
Portland comes into Rupp Arena today 2-4, having won only against opponents in the 150 range. They gaveCougars a good test at home, but weren't competitive against Huskies on the road.
Because of the short time frame, I won't be able to do the full preview I normally do. I am too busy celebrating Kentucky's huge football win over Tennessee today, and that really deserves to be celebrated. But we will take a brief look at the players and statistics.
|15||Derrick Rodgers||6-1||210||Starter||Junior||2nd APG (2)|
|33||Nemanja Mitrovic||6-5||200||Starter||Senior||Co-LS (11.8), 2nd LR (4.6)|
|32||Ryan Nicholas||6-7||235||Starter||Sophomore||Co-LS (11.8), LR (8.4)|
|12||Thomas van der Mars||6-11||225||Starter||Freshman|
|11||Tim Douglas||5-10||160||Sixth man||Sophomore||3rd LS (9.8), LAPG (3.8)|
|35||David Carr||6-3||170||Major res.||Freshman|
|22||Dorian Cason||6-7||210||Major res.||Freshman|
|14||Riley Barker||6-10||225||Major res.||Sophomore|
As you can see, the Pilots have a bit of size in the interior in van der Mars, but are otherwise pretty small. They haven't been particularly deadly from the perimeter this year, either, with their best shooters coming in at around 33%. The Pilots are also pretty young, as you can see by the fact they start three sophomores and a freshman.
Four Factors to Winning:
As you can see, there is really nothing here to offer any concern for Kentucky. The Wildcats shoot the ball so much better that the rest of the statistics are effectively meaningless. Kentucky also has the best defense in Division I, so there is no real reason to expect the Pilots to rise up and threaten the Wildcats.
This is another mismatch that Kentucky is almost certain to win big, even though this team is far more competitive than the Radford Highlanders. The Pilots will give Kentucky a bit of competition early in the game, but it is pretty likely that the game will be over before the first five minutes of the second half have elapsed.
Kentucky needs to do nothing special against the Pilots. They will try to zone UK with a 2-3 set, and if Kentucky is shooting the ball poorly from the perimeter, they will hang around a while. If the 'Cats are making their shots, this game could get ugly in a hurry.
Look for a 30-point margin or more by the end.