|Students named themselves The Horde and provided a frenzy of support for the men’s basketball team, including record-breaking Viks Seamus Boxley (42) and Will Funn (21). Photograph by Dick Powers.|
Historic season for men's basketball
Despite the disappointment of failing to reach a major post-season tournament, the men’s basketball team can look back on a remarkable 2004-05 campaign with satisfaction.
The Vikings made history by winning a first-ever Big Sky Conference regular season title in their ninth year as a member of the league. PSU hosted the Big Sky Tourney in Portland’s Memorial Coliseum, but was upset in the semifinal round by Weber State. That loss eliminated the Vikings’ shot at the NCAA Tournament.
Amazingly the team started the season in last place with a 5-9 record. Turning the record around in one season is a Big Sky Conference first.
The Vikings’ overall 19-9 record marks the most wins by a PSU team as a Division I program, and the most overall wins since Portland State won 20 games in 1958-59 as an NAIA program.
New school records were plentiful in 2004-05, particularly by Seamus Boxley. The senior forward established new marks for career games played (114) and blocked shots in a season (39). He also extended his own records for career field goal percentage (.560) and career blocked shots (128). Will Funn, a senior guard, established a new season record for assists (224). As a team, the Vikings set new records for blocked shots in a game (10, against Weber State, Jan. 1) and a season (108). The Vikings also raised the field goal shooting standard to .492 for a season.
The Viking team also achieved national acclaim. Funn was among the nation’s leader in assists. At 8.0 per game, he ranked second at the end of the season. Boxley was 17th in the nation in scoring (20.6) and field goal percentage (.592). Collegeinsider.com named Boxley Big Sky Conference Player of the Year and a Mid-Major All-American. The Big Sky Conference agreed and named Boxley both conference player and defensive player of the year. Funn earned first-team All-Big Sky honors as did fellow guard Blake Walker. The Vikings were the only Big Sky school with three first-team selections.
On the home front, Portland State sold out the Peter W. Stott Center for the final four games of the season and five overall. These games were the first sellouts at the campus arena since PSU brought basketball back to the Park Blocks in 1996-97.