Just a few hours ago, the West Coast Conference announced their 2013-14 league schedule for men's basketball. For a complete list of all games, you can go to www.wccsports.com.
If you are a Portland Pilots fan or follower of the Portland Pilots, you probably just shake your head and say, "who did we make mad in the WCC office". Of the 345 teams that play D-1 basketball, you would be hard pressed find a league schedule that is as bizarre as the one which will be faced this season by Portland. Of course, all coaches and players will say and should say, you have to play everyone at some time, but the Portland Pilots should be screaming, WHAT?
For all teams in the league, which now numbers 10, with the addition this year of the Pacific Tigers, the league season will start a little earlier than normal on December 28th. From the 28th, through January 9th, the Pilots will play half over half of their league games, all at home. I have never heard of any college team having this kind of schedule, perhaps it has happened, but to start your schedule with five straight league games, is nothing short of bizarre.
And those first five league games, are not exactly cream puffs. The Pilots league opener at home is on the 28th is against San Francisco, Santa Clara comes to town on the 30th, then they are followed by Pacific on January 2nd, then comes always tough St. Mary's on the 4th. The five game home stand to start the league season is topped off by of all teams, Gonzaga on January 9th. All five of those teams figure to have terrific records in 2013-14
After the 9th, the Pilots do not return home until January 23rd against BYU, followed two nights later when they play San Diego. With so many home games to start the season, it is obvious a big gap had to occur in the home schedule and that takes place after the game on the 25th, as the Pilots will not return to the Chiles Center again until February 13th when they meet Loyola Marymount.
There is much optimism on the Pilots' campus this year for men's basketball, fueled by the 2012-13 season of poor play at times and a lackluster league season which saw just four wins, against 12 losses. Improvement is needed and is a must in 2013-14.
This is the one certainty for the Pilots in 2013-14, they better get it done early in league, cause after the 9th of January, they will only play on their court four more times.
Of course, paper is only good to write on, but as far as the Portland Pilots league schedule on paper, it is not only bizarre, but it is also brutal.
Greg Crawford is the college basketball and golf insider for CSNNW.com