Trouble in Corvegas (it’s namesake taken from the once defunct, now reinstated Trouble in Vegas) is set to be hosted by Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. It will be the first (and earliest ever) Spring Northwest tournament. TiC will definitely be a trial run of newly finalized rosters by most teams in attendance. While personnel is set for the majority of colleges, their offenses, defenses, and positions are still very raw; especially when dealing the normally harsh, wet, and windy Oregon winters.
The Year of Ego
University of Oregon mainstay, Ego, will be the team to beat this weekend. Maybe even the team to put seven points on and call it a success. Coming off a quarter finals finish at the 2011 college Championships, Ego is well captained, well trained and hungry as ever to out perform last year’s finish. Even though Ego isn’t bringing the full squad they should have an easy walk to the finals.
While the full Oregon roster won’t be making it down to Corvallis, Captain Ian Campbell says that Ego will be looking to use TiC to test out new players, new offenses, and build to be a deeper and more cohesive unit for upcoming tournaments like Centex and the Stanford Invite. Standout Freshmen like 6’2″ Aaron Honn and Drew Benditt are expected to step up and get their first taste of being a role-playing college starter.
The University of Victoria is the darkhorse for taking the tournament. Captained by Furious handler Kevin Underhill, Victoria has been a steadily developing program, pumping out players like John Norris, Aaron Loach, and Underhill. In a pinch, Victoria has the muscle to surprise even the most tested college teams.
UVic will also be developing new talent this weekend having picked up two athletic freshman, Nick Wright and Ashton Pearson. Wright, already practicing with Vancouver’s Furious George, has a British Columbia championship and two Canadian Junior medals to his name. Under the wings of returning FOTY nominee Colin Featherston and handlers Taylor Nadon, Luke Charlesworth and Oliver Tefler UVic will be shooting to impress. Underhill has put a focus on spreading play time in Corvallis and seeing how the preliminary NW match ups will shake out.
UVic will see regional rival Western Washington in Saturday pool play, which should be the closest matched pool play meeting.
Home team Oregon State University did knock out UVictim in the 2011 NW Regionals, but that was with a healthy, Rhino star Timmy Perston. Perston has since graduated and leaves some big, colorful cleats to fill. OSU does have home court and will be looking to defend Corvallis with a fully rested squad. Captain Drew Larson says “[OSU] will be trying people out in different positions but that being said [OSU] is in it to win it.”
OSU finished last season in a loss to Whitman College in the game for the last NW regional bid to the College Championships.
While I can say I’m a bit disappointed that NW national contenders Whitman, UBC, or the University of Washington decided not to make the trek to Oregon, it will be nice to get a fresh taste of some of the new Northwest talent. Division III contender Lewis and Clark (finished 13th) also boasts a few Rhino players and should be fun to see go for an upset or two, especially in their early match against Ego.
Follow the Action
Skyd’s Adam Restad will be covering Trouble in Corvegas this weekend and will be tweeting scores and highlights @Skyd_Adam