Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Cream of the Crop?

Charlie Creme at ESPN.com wrote a column lining out the top 64 teams to watch for the 2009-10 season. The only Big Sky team he listed was Portland State at number 53.

"53. Portland State: While the Vikings say goodbye to perhaps the school's all-time best player in Kelsey Kahle, they do return two of their top three scorers to make a run at the top spot in the Big Sky."

I am inclined to agree that the Viks should be the early favorites in the BSC next season. With Mandy Morales out of the picture at Montana, Claire Faucher is probably the most electric player in the conference. As Creme said, the Viks will return 2 of their top 3 leading scorers (Faucher and Kelli Valentine)and will have plenty of other contributors like Kelly Marchant, Kate DePaepe, and Eryn Jones. So, on paper, the Viks look good.

I do think that they will have a big hole to fill with the graduation of Kelsey Kahle. She had a work ethic that ranked in the top 2 or 3 in the conference, and was a leader-by-example for PSU. How the Vikings respond to a leadership void created by Kahle's absence will be the biggest question they must answer in the off season.