On the way up

    Last season was one of peaks and valleys for the Vikings, and despite their disappointing 12-16 record, the Portland State men’s basketball team finished the season well on their way toward new heights.     

    The 2006-07 season will be head coach Ken Bone’s second, and ought to afford him and his players the luxury of familiarity within that system. Players should better understand the coach’s expectations and style, and Bone the player’s strengths and weaknesses – as this is no longer a first descent. This may help explain why the team began to coalesce towards the end of last season.

    Bone will see many of his on-court leaders returning this year, including two of his top three leading scorers – sharp-shooting guard Juma Kamara, who had 11.4 points per game, and center Anthony Washington, who should be more dominant than his 10.6 points per game last year – as well as leading rebounder Scott Morrison, and the Vikings’ high-assist man, point guard Ryan Sommer.          

    The Vikings will get to show what they’ve learned starting Nov. 10 at the BCA Classic in Eugene, and their first home game is Monday, Nov. 20, playing host to Evergreen State. The team begins conference play against Big Sky division champs Montana at home on Thursday, Dec. 28.                     

Other notable opponents include Gonzaga, Washington and Oregon (who, last season, the Vikings defeated for only the second time in school history).  

    The Big Sky Tournament begins Saturday, March 3.