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 Tournament Thread - Portland Classic 
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Teis, Withers, and the football team have dominated headlines in a negative way all week. Maybe we can get a brief respite with a successful holiday tournament run by Kaspar and the basketball team? Taxi sure seems to think so, which unfortunately likely doomed our season just 3 games in. Taxi's stamp of approval is usually a death sentence. Nutt's supposed secret plan turning into a 3 win season, Arndt's fall from grace as the next Joe Montana to senior watching a freshman take his job, said freshman regressing every year once Taxi approved of him, then the more recent stamp put on Vitt shortly before his 5 interception game last weekend. He probably has football playing Tyler's all over Texas terrified of our great university. Hopefully we can buck this trend and Taxi can see the error of his ways....

Bobcats are spending the Thanksgiving holiday up in Portland to take part in the Portland Classic. Along with Texas State, participating teams are Portland, Cal Poly, and USC Upstate. Good collection of teams that should provide good mid-major competition and a field we should be able to compete against well with a chance to win the tournament.

Texas State is 2-1 on the season. After opening the season in front of a top 10 all-time crowd in Strahan Arena with a solid win over Air Force and beating up DIII Hardin-Simmons for it's first 2-0 start since 2014, the Bobcats dropped their first road game in Des Moines to Drake on Saturday. The starting lineup has led the team across the board in scoring with all 5 starters averaging over 9 PPG through the first 3 games. Nijal Pearson leads the way with 16.3 PPG while Nottingham, Terry, Peacock, and Shead are scoring 10.3, 10, 9.3, and 9.3 PPG, respectively. The bobcats could use a bit more contribution off their bench as the leading bench player is Alonzo Sule with 5.5 PPG after playing in the past two games after not seeing any time vs. Air Force.

Scouting Cal Poly
Opponent #1 is Cal Poly on Wednesday night at 6:30 CST. The Mustangs have started the season 1-2. They won their opener over non-D1 Menlo College before dropping back-to-back games to PAC12 teams Arizona and Washington State.

They were a 9-22 squad last year that went just 4-12 in conference, finishing 7th in the 9 team Big West. They lost in their first game of the Big West Tournament to UC Santa Barbara to end their season.

The Mustangs were picked to finish 8th in the conference this year.

Cal Poly is led by their senior PG Donovan Fields. Fields is a 3-year starter for the Mustangs and is averaging 19.7 PPG so far this season after earning All-Big West Honorable Mention honors last year scoring 13 PPG. Fields set the Cal Poly single season free throw percentage record last year making 75 of his 81 free throws (92.6%). Fields will be a handful for Shead and Harrell defensively and it will be imperative we play him well defensively. Sr SG Marcellus Garrick is scoring 13.3 PPG and is the team's biggest 3-point threat having made 9 of 21 3-point FGs this year (42.9%). Polish Sr F Kuba Niziol is the 3rd player to watch for Cal Poly. The 6-7 Sr is averaging 10.3 PPG, is the teams leading rebounder at 6.7 RPG, and is also a threat from the 3-point line as well. This is an experienced team that is led by 3 seniors. All 5 starters played for Cal Poly last year as well.

Scouting USC Upstate
USC Upstate and Texas State will square off Friday also at 6:30 PM CST. Like Cal Poly, Upstate is also off to a 1-2 start and is 0-2 vs. D1 competition. After dropping their season opener at South Carolina they beat non-D1 Brevard College before losing to VMI last week.

The Spartans struggled mightily last year finishing with a 7-25 overall record and a 2-12 A-Sun Record, good for last place in the 8-team A-Sun last year. They lost in the opening round of the A-Sun tournament to Florida-Gulf Coast to end their season.

In the off-season, USC Upstate moved from the A-Sun to the Big South Conference and were picked to finish in last place in the 11 team Big South this year. Despite that, Sr G Deion Holmes was selected to the preseason All-Big South 2nd team.

Part of the Spartans struggles so far is Holmes unfortunately broke his hand in the preseason and is out indefinitely. Their star player scored 15.5 PPG last year, 19.3 PPG in conference play, and was expected to be their main offensive threat this year as well. Their offense has struggled considerably without him, going through scoring droughts similar to what TXST dealt with last year anytime Pearson was struggling.

In his absence, the primary scorer has been Sr 6-6 F Malik Moore. Moore is a returning starter who is scoring 17.7 PPG so far after finishing last season as the team's 3rd leading score at 13.5 PPG. He's also the team's leading rebounder with 6.0 RPG. Moore was the leading assist man last year as well with 88 assists and scored 20 points or more 5 times. 6-2 true freshman G Everette Hammond has been the other big scoring threat for the Spartans. Hammond has started all 3 games, and is scoring 14.3 PPG.

Scouting Portland
TXST will wrap up the tournament Saturday at 7pm CST vs. the host Portland Pilots. Portland is currently 3-2 on the season, having already played in one tournament, the Rainbow Classic out in Hawaii earlier in the season (I believe that's the tournament the Bobcats won in 2016). Portland went 0-2 in that tournament, dropping games to Hawaii and North Texas. They are 3-0 in their non tournament games thus far however with non-D1 wins over Multnomah and Lewis & Clark and a road win at Cal State Northridge.

Portland was a 10-22 team last year and went 4-14 in West Coast Conference games, good for a 9th place finish in the 10 team WCC. They lost in the first round of the WCC tournament to Loyola Marymount.

The Pilots were picked to finish in 10th in the WCC in the preseason.

The Pilots return 6-2 So. G Marcus Shaver Jr., who is the biggest scoring threat on the team, scoring 18.4 PPG. He's shooting 38.5% from 3 on the season as well. Shaver was the leading scorer on last year's team as a true freshman with 12.3 PPG. Shaver is also a threat defensively as he's racked up 10 steals through the first 5 games of the season so far. English 6-7 SF Josh McSwiggan was last year's 2nd leading scorer and is the 2nd leading scorer again with 15 PPG. McSwiggan is a big time 3-point threat as he made 70 of 161 3-point attempts last year (43.5%). That being said, he's started the season in a slump from deep, hitting just 3 of 16 attempts so far this season. McSwiggan actually started his collegiate career in Texas at UTEP where he redshirted in 2015-2016, he played his redshirt freshman season at Caspar College in Wyoming, then played his first year a season ago in Portland. 3rd player to watch for Portland is Puerto Rican So. G JoJo Walker. Walker is chipping in 12.8 PPG and is also a threat from 3 shooting 50% on 11/22 shooting. Walker is another returning starter who scored 7.8 PPG last year. All 3 of Portland's big scoring threats can shoot it from deep. TXST will have to make sure we defend the perimeter well to win this game, which is one of the few things Kaspar coached defenses sometimes struggle with. Portland starts a 6-10 center in true freshman Theo Akwuba. He's the leading rebounder at 7.8 RPG. Terry will have to improve his rebounding to keep Akwuba from controlling the glass.


As you can probably surmise looking at the records of the teams participating, this is a very winnable tournament for Texas State. Frankly I think that should be the team goal going into this thing. 3-0 record and a trophy is a lofty goal but certainly a realistic one I think the team should be striving for. Hopefully the team can give us something to be thankful for this week.


Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:33 pm
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True Bobcat Fan

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Post Re: Tournament Thread - Portland Classic
Video feed for tonight's game vs. Cal Poly available here on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO5BtEBHvkY&feature=youtu.be

Vegas has the Bobcats as 7 point favorites tonight.


Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:42 pm
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Honest to god... have you considered presenting your pre-game write-ups to the SID or local newspapers?

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Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:10 pm
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Post Re: Tournament Thread - Portland Classic
x wrote:
Taxi sure seems to think so, which unfortunately likely doomed our season just 3 games in. Taxi's stamp of approval is usually a death sentence.




Not arguing that one at all.....just ask the players on my fantasy football teams. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I will say tough, that Vitt had my approval before he stepped on campus and save for one game he has been as good as I advertised.


Do you KNOW how long I was waiting for this write up? I was LITERALLY about to PM you to write one, I'm about to leave the office for the holidays. :lol:


Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:43 pm
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SuperCat

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Post Re: Tournament Thread - Portland Classic
Jaylen Shead transferred from Cal Poly. So sure he’s seeing some friends/enemies and hopefully has a big game. Go Cats


Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:46 pm
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Offense is looking completely inept against a bad Cal Poly team thus far.


Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:13 pm
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#3 for Cal Poly is doing whatever he wants out there and we’re fouling a lot. Defense does not even look good. Just a miserable first half of basketball. Let’s see some halftime adjustments and a turn around! Go Cats!


Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:21 pm
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Hard to win games scoring 16 points in an entire half of basketball.


Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:22 pm
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We’re doing that thing where we play down to our opponent’s level. It’s annoying.

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Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:25 pm
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well, tsu is, at least. whoever they are.

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Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:26 pm
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True Bobcat Fan

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Well, we seem to play much better in the 2nd half. Better than the other way around I suppose. At least the cats got the win.


Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:28 pm
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Well you can’t say Kaspar is not good at making adjustments mid-game. They dominated the 2nd half, just like against Drake, but this time for a comfortable win. I expect them to win this tournament.
Nijal was the best on the floor.
Shead continues to be very efficient.
I love Peacock’s attitude. He seems to really have fun out there.
I think Mason Harrell will be very good when the college game slows down for him.


Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:29 pm
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Post Re: Tournament Thread - Portland Classic
Yep, 38-19 in the 2nd half. Agree on Harrell and I think it will happen this year. I think it will take one breakout game for him and then he will be off. He is certainly not intimidated.


Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:43 pm
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We had no clue what to do with that zone defense in the first half and just couldn't score. Have to either attack the zone or shoot yourself out of it. We did neither. Great job making adjustments at halftime to be able to figure it out in the 2nd half. Big games for Pearson with 22 and Peacock with the double double with 10 and 11.

We played well defensively and defended the perimeter well. Few too many fouls for my liking but that's my only complaint. Good free throw shooting team that wasn't getting much from the floor that we allowed to shoot too many free throws in the first half.

Portland dominated USC Upstate in the 2nd game.
TXST and Portland are 1-0, Cal Poly and USC Upstate are 0-1.

We can't lose to Upstate Friday. They're not a good team.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.


Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:42 am
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Post Re: Tournament Thread - Portland Classic
Deion Holmes played for USC Upstate last night. Didn't start, but came off the bench and ended up scoring a game high 20 points in 30 minutes.

Guess he's back and his hand has healed up. We'll get the Spartans at full strength tomorrow night.


Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:44 am
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