After earning their first trip to the NCAA tournament four months ago, Portland State released their 2008-09 men’s basketball schedule. Prior to defending their Big Sky Championship in conference play, the Vikings will look to prove themselves against several of the premier teams in the nation.
After earning their first trip to the NCAA tournament four months ago, Portland State released their 2008-09 men’s basketball schedule.
Prior to defending their Big Sky Championship in conference play, the Vikings will look to prove themselves against several of the premier teams in the nation. Early in the season the Vikings will take the road to face Rice, Washington, Cal Poly, Texas Southern, Baylor and Gonzaga.
“We will really be tested early on in the season,” head coach Ken Bone said. “Both Gonzaga and Baylor were NCAA tournament teams last season and both have great teams returning.”
In addition to those difficult road tests, Portland State should face stiff competition inside the Stott Center.
The Vikings will face cross-town rival Portland, as well as Cal State Fullerton, an NCAA tournament team, Seattle and an opponent to be named later as part of the ESPN Bracketbuster series that Portland State has participated in the last two seasons.
“It is exciting to have some really good teams coming to play us at home,” Bone said. “The Cal State Fullerton game should be really challenging for us, and the Portland game is always close and intense.”
Conference play for the Vikings commences with an early season jilt against Montana on December 20 inside the Stott Center. Portland State fans will not see their team again on campus until January 8, when the Vikings square off against Weber State.
Comcast Sportsnet, who televised three Portland State games last year, will bring at least four conference games to the small screen again this season.
Currently, the Comcast programming schedule includes games against Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Montana State and Sacramento State, however, only one of those televised games will take place in the Stott Center.
According to Bone the difficult schedule will help his team prepare for the tough task of repeating their success from last season.
“The preseason should really help us to be tested, and will give us a look at our players because we have so many new faces coming in next year,” Bone said.
When Portland State begins practice in mid-September they will do so without four-year center Scott Morrison and all-conference performer forward Deonte Huff.
The Vikings do return Big Sky Most Valuable Player Jeremiah Dominguez and returning starters Andre Murray and Kyle Coston. The roster should be additionally bolstered by heralded transfer Phil Nelson, who sat out last season after transferring from Washington.