2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule: Portland State

March 14th, 2008
Portland State Vikings

Big Sky (23-9, 14-2)


Big Wins: 11/16 vs IUPUI (75-73), 11/17 vs Akron (66-63), 2/7 at Northern Arizona (71-68)

Bad Losses: 11/18 vs Colorado State (63-64), 11/24 at UC Davis (68-76), 12/22 at Eastern Washington (57-58)


Last NCAA Appearance: none

Coach: Ken Bone (First NCAA appearance)


Probable Starters:

Jeremiah Dominguez, Junior, Guard, 14.3 ppg, 4.1 apg, 2.0 spg

Andre Murray, Junior, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 2.0 apg, 3.6 rpg

Deonte Huff, Senior, Guard, 13.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg

Kyle Coston, Sophomore, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg

Scott Morrison, Senior, Center, 10.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.7 bpg


Key Roleplayers:

Dupree Lucas, Senior, Guard, 5.6 ppg, 1.9 apg

Justynn Hammond, Freshman, Guard, 3.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg

Mickey Polis, Junior, Guard, 3.2 ppg

Tyrell Mara, Sophomore, Forward, 4.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Julius Thomas, Sophomore, Forward, 4.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Alex Tiefenthaler, Sophomore, Forward, 3.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg

J.R. Moore, Senior, Forward, 2.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg


Why They Can Surprise:

Jeremiah Dominguez is the leader of the Vikings of Portland State. The junior averages a team high 14.3 points 4.1 assists per game. The diminutive 5-6 point guard will sneak his way into the paint for lay-ups, but most of his shots are taken from beyond the arc. And shooting three’s is what Coach Ken Bone’s team does best. However, besides Dominguez’s 2.6 long balls per contest, nobody is that prolific of a three-point shooter. Just about everybody else who plays significant minutes hits about one three-pointer per game.


And there are a whole lot of players who see quality minutes for Portland State. Twelve Vikings average at least eight minutes per game on the season. That is a lot of depth and a lot of players to plug into specific situations as the game requires.


Why They Can Disappoint:

The offense is dynamic and pretty good, but the same cannot be said for the defense. Portland State’s opponents shoot nearly 45 percent from the floor. There are not many teams who play in any postseason tournament that will give up a higher percentage than that. They can block some shots and grab some steals, but it is the turnovers that lead to that high opponents shooting percentage. On many occasions those turnovers will turn into easy baskets on the other end. Dominguez and Deonte Huff are superb scorers and the lifeblood of the team, but together they commit nearly five turnovers per game and that is too many for a couple of experienced players on the perimeter.


Who To Watch:

The size of the frontcourt has been a huge advantage for Portland State in Big Sky play. Center Scott Morrison is 6-11 and 250 pounds and has become a consistent scoring threat in the paint during his senior season. Fellow starter Kyle Coston is 6-8 and Alex Tiefenthaler brings a big 6-9 frame into the game off the bench. The Vikings have not had to deal with a lot of great big men during conference play and how well they adjust to playing more talented post players will determine their fate in the postseason.


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