Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stock Watch: Week One

I’m back! Now that the season has started it’s time to fire TW Courtside back up for another season. Things look a whole lot different in the Big Sky this year, thanks to graduation. This will be an exciting year!

This past week we finally got a chance to see all of the Big Sky teams in action. Albeit, it is always tough to gauge teams at this point because many are playing up or down a level. Here are some thoughts on each of the teams:

Stocks Are Up

Portland State: The Vikings got off to a 2-0 start with wins over Washington and Western Oregon at home. In the win over Washington, Kelli Valentine hit a buzzer-beater to win it. Against WO, Claire Faucher sat out and the game was closer than expected. It must make Coach Murrell happy that this team can win without Faucher. Now, can they do it against real competition?

Montana State: The Bobcats were the most impressive of any BSC team this past week. MSU survived a tough CS Bakersfield team and took care of Pacific, both on the road. The Cats were awful on the road in the non-conference last season, so this trip gave them a ton of confidence. Only 4 games remain away from Bozeman in the non-conf this season. Katie Bussey and Erica Perry showed that MSU may have the best backcourt in the league.

Not Enough Information

Weber State:
Barely lost to a good team (Boise St.), barely beat a bad team (Dixie St). We will know more about CT’s squad in the coming weeks.

Idaho State: Tough way to open the season, at Saint Mary’s and at California. I think the close game against the Gaels is reason to be optimistic. Oana Iacovita’s play is another reason.

Eastern Washington: I believe this to be the most underrated team in the conference. A win at Portland is huge, but only putting up 48 against Oregon is a head-scratcher. Julie Piper is a sure All-BSC first teamer…if they can get her the ball.

Stocks Falling

Sacramento State: The Hornets topped 100 in their exhibition game but looked lost offensively against CS Fullerton. Could this be the same streaky team that we saw last year in Sac Town?

Northern Arizona: There are some great underclassmen on this squad, but losses to UC Riverside and Pepperdine show that this year is clearly a rebuilding year.

Northern Colorado: Offensive struggles will be a theme in Greeley this winter. Losing Kate Kevorken really hurt this team.

Montana: The Griz went 0-2 to start the season, first time this has happened in the Selvig era. A lack of a true point guard hurts this team’s chances and until they find an answer, I think their 2nd place ranking in the preseason polls may be a major stretch.