Pilots Highlights

General Information

Founded: 1922

Conference: West Coast Conference (WCC)

Past Conferences: Independent

Arena: Chiles Center

City: Portland, Oregon

Championships and Titles

  • Conference Tournament Championship

Portland Pilots Team History

The Portland Pilots entered NCAA Division I men’s basketball during the 1953-54 season as an independent program. In their third season with new coach Albert E. Negratti, Portland became a winning program. They qualified for its first NCAA Tournament in 1959 and were ranked as highly as 17th in the AP Poll.

However, they gradually went south from there, as the relatively new program had difficulty attracting top-tier talent. By the 1970s, the school began acquiring better players like Rick Raivio and Darwin Cook. Raivio led the Pilots’ team stats in scoring and rebounds, while Cook still holds the record for assists.

Raivio and Cook managed to resurrect Portland’s viability as a basketball program. The team became a winning program as it joined the West Coast Conference (then known as the West Coast Athletic Conference.) Alas, Portland did not qualify for any NCAA Tournaments.

The school would get its breakthrough in the 1990s. Under Rob Chavez, Portland became a prolific basketball program and peaked in 1996, when it won the WCC Tournament and returned to March Madness.

In the late 2000s, Portland would experience another resurgence of sorts. Led by the likes of Luke Sikma, the great Jack Sikma’s son, Portland even cracked the AP Top 25 in 2010. Sikma led the Portland Pilots’ team stats in rebounding. However, the team lost in the WCC Tournament and failed to return to the NCAA Tournament.

In current years, the Pilots remain a modest basketball program that will likely be an underdog on the NCAAB odds. It finished the 2021-22 season with a 19-15 record (7-7 in conference) and looks to build on that. Still, a shot at the NCAA Tournament remains a distant dream.

All-Time Portland Pilots Records

Points Scored

  • Jose Slaughter: 1,940
  • Pooh Jeter: 1,708
  • Darwin Cook: 1,668


  • Luke Sikma: 987
  • Rick Raivio: 910
  • Steve Anstett: 883


  • Darwin Cook: 573
  • Alec Wintering: 568
  • Adam Quick: 529

Portland Pilots FAQs

What Division is Portland Pilots Men’s Basketball?

Portland’s men’s basketball team began playing in the NCAA Division I beginning in the 1953-54 season. It has made two NCAA Tournament appearances as of 2022.

Does the University of Portland Have a Basketball Team?

The Portland Pilots are the University of Portland’s men’s basketball team. This program plays in NCAA Division I in the West Coast Conference.

Is Portland a Good Basketball Team?

The Pilots’ best year in NCAA Division I is during the 1995-96 season. The program won the conference and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the second and final time (as of 2022.)

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