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December looks to be busy for men’s hoops

The Portland State men’s basketball team looks to be busy for the month of December with seven non-conference games scheduled, including state rivals University of Portland and Oregon State.

The first game on the December itinerary will be against the newcomer powerhouse of the last three seasons, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Led by senior guard Dan Dickau, who averaged 18.9 ppg last year, the Bulldogs will be a tough opponent for the Vikings Saturday. The Bulldogs finished with a 26-7 record last season, first in their conference.

December 8 and 12 will feature both Rose Garden games this year. The first will be against the Portland Pilots. The Pilots marked an 11-17 record last season and are coming back with one returning starter. On Dec. 12, the Vikings will be back to the Rose Garden to take on the Oregon State Beavers. The Beavers bring back three returning starters, with Brian Jackson as their best returning player averaging 9.7 ppg and 4.2 rpg last season. The Beavers posted a 10-20 record last season to finish ninth in the Pac-10.

The Vikings will next travel to Reno, Nev. to play the Nevada Wolf Pack. Although the Wolf Pack returns four starters from last season, they finished 10-18 and at the back of their conference. The top returning player to look for from the Wolf Pack is Benson High School product Terrance Green, who averaged 11.8 ppg last year.

Stanford University is the Vikings’ next stop. This tournament will feature some of the top teams on the West Coast. The Vikings will first play the Santa Clara Broncos who were 20-12 last season and finished third in their conference. They bring back a solid group with three starters from last year and 10 letter winners.

Depending on a win or loss, the Vikings will face the Belmont Bruins or the hosting Stanford Cardinals.

Stanford was 31-3 last season, first in the Pac-10 and their returning starter Casey Jacobsen comes in averaging 18.1 ppg from last season.

The last game on the December break schedule will be in Laramie, Wyo. The Cowboys bring back all five starters from last year, and three of them averaged in double figures for points. Wyoming finished 20-10 last season, tied for first in their conference.