On a six-game losing streak in the WCC, the men’s basketball team hopes to turn their season around this weekend against LMU and Pepperdine.
By Kathryn Walters, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pilots are looking for offense, and need it to turn their six-game losing streak around
Portland has excelled in rebounding and defense this season, which is why Head Coach Eric Reveno wants to focus on offense and shooting. They are shooting only .459 this season, lower than their next two opponents, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. These recurring problems have resulted in the Pilots overall record falling to 8-16, and 1-8 WCC record.
"We need to try and get out and get some easy baskets and attack the rim," Reveno said.
With the Pilots' season in desperate need of a turnaround, the timing could not be more perfect for the team to face LMU, who is in the midst of their own losing record in the WCC with a record of 1-7 and Pepperdine who sit at 2-7.
The Loyola Marymount Lions rely on junior guard Anthony Ireland to take charge. They are 1-7 in the WCC this season and 8-13 over all. The Lions do not play their freshmen as much as the Pilots do, and they start four upperclassmen and one sophomore. They look to the juniors and seniors to lead the team against the Pilots on Feb. 7.
"We've got a good mix of young-and-medium-aged guys coming together," Reveno said.
Feb. 9, the Pepperdine Waves roll onto The Bluff. They are 2-7 in the WCC and 10-12 overall this season. Their leading scorer is senior guard Lorne Jackson, who contributes half of the teams points for the Waves.
The players who have been stepping up recently for the Pilots are the four freshmen and senior Derrick Rodgers. He leads the team with 2.6 assists per game and has played in every game this season, stepping up exponentially after David Carr got injured.
"We can't let our past mistakes effect our upcoming games," Rodgers said. "We just have to compete and work hard everyday against every opponent."
The Pilots, who are 6-6 at home, look to use their home court advantage to the fullest. LMU and Pepperdine have losing records on the road, a big advantage for Portland. The team wants to win at home and fight on the road to get back in the WCC.
Being aggressive early with shooting and rebounding, everyone working together like they have been, and a loud student section are the keys to victory this week for the Pilots.
One consistancy the Pilots have on their side are the fans. With an average of 2,000 fans in attendence, the Pilots enjoy the student-supported atmosphere.
"If no one else showed and the students showed, I'd be fine," Reveno said. "The students make it fun to compete."
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