The holidays wiped out half the week's schedule (in a good way, of course), but some players made the most of the four-day week. And just to be clear, a shortened week does not mean that the award is less than 100 percent full strength, the same way that some fans tried to undercut the importance of the San Antonio Spurs' strike-struck 1999 NBA title. Not in the least. Jeremiah Dominguez is our seventh Mid-Majority Baller of the Week of the 2008-09 season, and he definitely put in enough work to make up for the break.
Mr. Dominguez is a 5-6, 155 lb. senior guard for Portland State. It's been quite a Best Year Ever for him. He won both newcomer and player of the year in the Big Sky Conference back in March, led his team to its first NCAA tournament
, spent a night in a Mexican jail, battled injury, then went through a snowstorm
to engineer a win over the school formerly known as UMPFN. Last Monday night, the Salem, Ore. native shot 8-for-12 from the floor, including seven long-range hits in 10 attempts, to score more points against Gonzaga than any player has so far this season (25). Despite his height, he also chipped in six rebounds as PSU knocked off the Zags by a 77-70
count, a score that scrolled endlessly across the ESPN ticker for a full hour afterwards.
It might have seemed like a post-holiday letdown off a historic victory, but Portland State traveled all the way to Texas Southern University in Houston for a Saturday tilt ahead of a Monday guarantee at Baylor. Though they let go of an early lead and had to break open a 55-55 tie with a minute to go with free throws, the Vikings escaped
with an eight-point victory
over the winless Tigers. In 28 minutes, Dominguez scored a team-high 15 points and had over half his team's 11 steals (six).
He's definitely having as big a year as he did in 2007-08, and the circumstances make it all the more remarkable. In the Vikings' crosstown clash against Portland on Nov. 18, Dominguez took a chip fracture
in his right (shooting hand) index finger while diving for a loose ball. He kept playing, struggling to three single-digit scoring performances before taking two games off. In his return, Portland State came within a point
of beating Washington, as Dominguez shot 5-for-11 for 16 points. He's scoring 13.5 ppg, slightly off his 14.2 from his POY year, and has increased his 3-point shooting percentage from 43.3 to 45.1.
The Vikings are 10-3 and look poised to run the Big Sky Conference again once league play restarts this weekend. Will Mr. Dominguez's 2009 be as eventful as his 2008? Yeah, probably. In the meantime: congratulations, Jeremiah, you're our Mid-Majority Baller of the Week.