Tag:Oregon State
Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:22 am
Edited on: December 19, 2011 9:33 am

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

By Jeff Goodman

There's no East Coast bias here. The Pac-12 stinks. Plain and simple. 

"No excuses," one head coach in the league texted me. "You're right." 

There's truly no defense for what's gone on out west thus far. The league has been absolutely manhandled. 

Sunday was just another day in the park for the Pac-12, one that saw South Dakota State pummel Washington in Seattle and then watched Virginia go out to Oregon and take care of the Ducks. 

A day prior, there was no shame in Gonzaga working over Arizona in Seattle. But what about Northern Arizona - with a 70-year-old interim head coach -- knocking off Herb Sendek's Arizona State Sun Devils?  Or Georgia going west and beating USC at the Galen Center?

The league doesn't have a single victory against a Top 25 team. In fact, it's nearly impossible to find the most impressive win notched by anyone in the league. It's been so pitiful that a case can be made for Oregon State's come-from-behind win in New Jersey against a young Texas team as the flagship win for the Pac-12 thus far. 

This could be a two-bid league. Probably should be a two-bid league. 

We thought, entering the season, there were four teams that were capable of making a legitimate run to the NCAA tournament. Maybe even a handful - if you want to include an Oregon team that was thrown together due to desperation. 

UCLA appeared formidable on paper, but we quickly learned that one player can truly wreck a season (see: Reeves Nelson). Arizona isn't nearly as talented as some thought, especially with talented freshman Josiah Turner refusing to buy into Sean Miller's approach early in the season. 

Oregon's Dana Altman has already lost his top freshman, Jabari Brown, and is now reliant on a bunch of second-chance guys (i.e. Devoe Joseph, Tony Woods) and Washington, the most talented team in the league, earned its most impressive win against UC Santa Barbara. California was blasted by Missouri and also lost on the road to what everyone figured was a rebuilding San Diego State club. 

Stanford has been the most impressive team in the league thus far with a 9-1 record, but the Cardinal still hasn't notched a victory against an NCAA tourney team. The loss was impressive, against top-ranked Syracuse in New York, but the most significant wins have come against N.C. State and Oklahoma State - a pair of teams likely headed to the NIT. 

Don't even get me started on teams like Arizona State (4-6), Washington State (which lost to UC Riverside), USC (which already has seven losses), Colorado (which has lost to Wyoming and Colorado State) and a dismal Utah team. None will even be on the bubble for the CBI or CollegeInsider.com. 

Listen, I want to defend the Pac-12. I graduated from a school in the league. 

But I'd lose all credibility in doing so. 

The league is currently ranked ninth in the RPI, behind the A-10 and Missouri Valley and barely in front of the WCC and C-USA.  

However, if there's one positive spin I can put on the Pac-12's misery, it's the fact that this league is up for grabs, a complete toss-up right now. It's difficult to imagine a scenario in which the regular-season champ doesn't get an at -large bid to go dancing - and obviously, the tourney winner gets an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. 

That means everyone in the league still has a shot. 

Well, maybe not quite everyone.

Posted on: November 26, 2011 12:59 am
Edited on: November 26, 2011 1:01 am

President Obama to attend Towson-Oregon State

By Gary Parrish

Pat Skerry's home debut as Towson's head coach just became more noteable.


Because President Barack Obama and his family will attend.

Towson's opponent Saturday is Oregon State.

The Beavers are coached by President Obama's brother-in-law, Craig Robinson.

The game tips at 2 p.m. ET. Fans have been encouraged to arrive earlier than normal because of what should be an unusual crowd and increased security measures at the arena, which is only about 60 miles from The White House. This will be the second college basketball game President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have attended this season. They were also courtside for the Carrier Classic between top-ranked North Carolina and Michigan State.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:44 am

Why not Oregon State in the Pac-12?

By Jeff Borzello

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The year before Craig Robinson took over the Oregon State program, the Beavers went winless in the Pac-10 conference. They were the worst BCS-conference team in the country – by far.

An up-and-down four years later, Robinson’s troops might be ready to contend for an upper-division finish in the Pac-12.

“He’s obviously brought that program along,” Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said. “We have a lot of respect for them.”

This was basically unthinkable as recently as last season, when the Beavers lost 13 of their final 16 regular-season games en route to another disappointing campaign.

Despite the two-point loss to the Commodores on Monday night in the championship game of the Legends Classic, the attitude has changed for Oregon State.

“As a coach, this is the first time I’ve wanted to be on a team,” head coach Craig Robinson said. "I want to be a player on this team.”

As we've seen, the Pac-12 is certainly not the cream of the crop in terms of conferences this season. Arizona is not there yet; Washington was just dominated by Saint Louis; UCLA is a complete disaster; and Oregon just lost potentially its best scorer.

California looks good early on, but the rest of the conference standings appear wide open. Why can’t Oregon State work itself in the mix?

With the way Jared Cunningham is playing, the Beavers have as good of a go-to-guy as anyone in the country. He’s long, athletic and really gets after it at both ends of the floor. He’s the type of star that could separate Oregon State from some also-rans down the road in conference play.

“He was certainly impressive,” Stallings said. “There are only a few people as athletic as [Jeff] Taylor, and he might be one of them. He’s got great body control, and he’s always looking for steals.”

“He affects a game even when he’s not scoring 35,” head coach Craig Robinson said. “He’s a marked man now.”

Ahmad Starks is a gutsy playmaker who can make shots, and sophomore Devon Collier is budding into a very capable post player. Collier is averaging 20.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in his last three games.

The key could be Eric Moreland, a redshirt freshman who transferred in from UTEP. He’s shown flashes of his potential throughout the season, getting a double-double in the season opener and going for eight points, eight rebounds and three assists on Monday night.

“I thought he was great for them,” Stallings said.

The Beavers get to the free-throw line as well as anyone in the country; are very efficient from inside the 3-point line; and force turnovers at a high rate. In a down Pac-12, it’s not hard to envision this team making a move up the standings.

“The biggest difference is team camaraderie,” Starks said. “We’re all playing for each other.”

In a couple of months, though, the Beavers could be playing for a NCAA tournament berth.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 20, 2011 12:09 pm

Cunningham ready to become an elite player

By Matt Norlander

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Is Jared Cunningham on the precipice of becoming a top-level player? If so, we need to look at what Oregon State’s capable of and how much of a run this team can make in the Pac-12.

Cunningham put up 37 points in overtime Saturday night, as Oregon State knocked off Texas 100-95. But the irony first: Oregon State coach Craig Robinson thinks he’s got a defensive team, not one that's capable of putting up 100 on a regular basis. 

The Beavers weren’t good defensively, but against a Texas squad that’s drastically different from what it was last year, Robinson’s team didn’t need to throw down an all-world effort on that end of the floor. It needed a hallmark performance from its alpha -- and that's what it got.

OSU’s trajectory lies in how complete of an offensive player Cunningham becomes. He’s already got an incredible pogo stick and pops his head in there around the rim, but if he develops a reliable jump shot and morphs into a threat from 17 feet and in, then this goes to another level as he does.

"Jared has evolved as a player since I saw him when he was a sophomore (in high school) and I was at Brown and trying to recruit him before he blew up,” Robinson said. “He has just come a long way. The reason is because he is extremely receptive to coaching. He wants to get better and what you saw out there was a culmination of his hard work. We get to see it all the time out west. He does everything for us. He guards the best guy. He scores points. He makes assists. He makes his foul shots. The magnitude of what he had to do today, on this stage and in this tournament against this team, is big time. And it's getting to be a regular thing with Jared."

Cunningham took a hit to the mouth in overtime. He didn’t want to come out, of course; he did his best to prevent blood from dripping on his jersey. He's tough, smart, the kind of player Robinson knows is special.

“I’m very proud of the team,” Cunningham said. “We all believe in each other, we’ve got confidence in each other and we want to do well.”

Was Saturday night more about Texas or Oregon State? I’m inclined to believe the latter, because it feels like Robinson’s truly going to rise to the next level of capability and positive result with this group.

“Getting a hundred on them … that surprised me more than anything,” Robinson said.  He added, in terms of getting a win over UT and what it means to his regime. “In our program, this is near the top. Don’t’ get me wrong, this isn’t the same Texas team. It feels like they lost 15 pros. They had more pros on the bench—it was unbelievable. But this was a big win for us this season, and one of the bigger wins for the program.”

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: November 18, 2011 11:38 am

Wait, who's currently No. 1 in the RPI??

By Jeff Goodman

President Obama has taken control of the RPI.

Otherwise, none of this makes any sense. I can't think of any other avenue in which Oregon State sits atop the flawed statistical formula that many utilize to help determine which college basketball teams are ultimate deserving of getting into the NCAA tournament.

Sure, I know it's early - and we shouldn't put much (if any) stock into the rankings right now. But this is yet another reason why I don't pay much attention to the RPI. Guess who checks in at No. 1 in the country at the present time? Oregon State.

Yes, this is the same team that has a resume that includes a 86-62 victory over Cal State Bakersfield and also a 10-point win over Hofstra. It's also the same team coached by the President-in-law, Craig Robinson. Both wins came in Corvallis.

There was also that impressive 93-60 victory over West Alabama, but thankfully that one didn't figure into the mathematical equation since West Alabama in a non-Division 1 team. Last time I checked Hofstra no longer had star Charles Jenkins - and Cal State Bakersfield wasn't even worthy of being affiliated with a conference.

Oregon State has a chance to be a solid team this season - and I don't want to get on President Obama's bad side here. But No. 1 in the nation? I'll stick with North Carolina or Kentucky.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 1, 2011 10:48 am
Edited on: August 1, 2011 12:41 pm

Pac-12 Offseason Report

By Jeff Goodman

I graduated from a Pac-12 school, but it's still going to take me a while before I don't keep saying Pac-10. Anyway, here's the Pac-12 Offseason Report. 

Pac-12 Offseason Report

Arizona – Archie Miller left to become the head coach at Dayton and was replaced by Joe Pasternak, who was previously the head coach at New Orleans. The Wildcats will play in the Coaches vs. Cancer and also have non-league games against San Diego State (11-23), at Florida (12-7), at Clemson (12-10) at Gonzaga (12-17 in Seattle). Lamont “Momo” Jones (Iona) and Daniel Berejano (Colorado State) both transferred out of the program.

Arizona State – The Sun Devils will play in the Old Spice Classic in Florida and have non-league games against New Mexico (11-18), at Tulsa (12-3) and against Nevada (12-7). Brandon Dunson (Azusa Pacific) and Corey Hawkins (UC Davis) both transferred out while Sendek & Co. added Eric Gordon’s brother, Evan, from Liberty.

California – The Bears will play in the CBE Classic in Kansas City and also have non-conference dates at San Diego State (12-3) and at UNLV (12-23). Mike Montgomery’s team will also travel to Sweden, Norway and Denmark from Aug. 12-22. Justin Cobbs is eligible this season after sitting out last season following a transfer from Minnesota.

Colorado – Tad Boyle & Co. will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (11-17/20) and also has non-league games set against Georgia (11-28), at Colorado State (11-30) and against Fresno (12-7). Carlon Brown (Utah) is eligible this year after sitting out last season.

Oregon – The Ducks will go to Italy from Aug. 22 through Sept. 2. Dana Altman’s team will also host a four-team event from Dec. 20-22 that includes N.C. Central, Prairie View A&M and Stephen F. Austin and also play Virginia on Dec. 18. Three players left the program: Malcolm Armstead (Wichita State), Martin Seiferth (Eastern Washington) and Teondre Williams (Clayton State) while Olu Ashaolu (Louisiana Tech) came in and will be eligible to play this season and Tony Woods also decided to transfer to Eugene.

Oregon State – The Beavers will play in the Legends Classic and don’t have any big-time non-league games. Eric Moreland is eligible after sitting out last season following his transfer from UTEP.

Stanford – Johnny Dawkins and his team will go to Spain from Sept. 3-14. Charles Payne was promoted to an assistant spot and replaces Rodney Tention (San Diego). The Cardinal will play in the Preseason NIT and also have non-league games against N.C. State (12-4) and against Butler (12-23).  

UCLA – Scott Duncan left to join friend Larry Shatt’s staff at Wyoming and was replaced by former Atlanta Celtics summer coach Korey McCray. Ben Howland’s team will play in the Maui Invitational and also has non-conference contests against Texas (12-3), vs. Richmond (12-23) and at St. John’s (2-18). Larry Drew (North Carolina) transferred into the program and will sit out while two more former Tar Heels – David and Travis Wear – are eligible this season.

USC – The Trojans will take a trip to Brazil from Aug. 12-21. Ryan Hannick is out as the director of basketball operations and has been replaced by Jamal Bode, Kevin O’Neill’s former manager at Arizona. O’Neill & Co. will play in the Las Vegas Invitational (11-25/26) and the Trojans will also play at Minnesota (12-3), New Mexico at home (12-10), Georgia at home (12-17) and Kansas at home (12-22) in the non-league slate. Bryce Jones (UNLV) left the program while Ari Stewart (Wake Forest) and Eric Wise (UC Irvine) both transferred in. Aaron Fuller (Iowa) is eligible this season after sitting out last year.

Utah – New coach Larry Krystkowiak put together a staff of Tommy Connor, DeMarlo Slocum, Andy Hill and Norm Parrish (director of basketball operations). The Utes will play in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas and also have non-league games at Fresno (12-3), vs. BYU (12-10) and vs. Cal State Fullerton (12-7). Utah has added Glen Dean (Eastern Washington) and Aaron Dotson (LSU) while Will Clyburn (Iowa State) and J.J. O’Brien (San Diego State) left the program.

Washington – The Huskies are hosting an event with Florida Atlantic, Georgia State and Portland and will also play in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 6 against Marquette in NYC. Lorenzo Romar’s team will also play at Saint Louis (11-20), at Nevada (12-2) and against Duke at Madison Square Garden (12-10).

Washington State – Ken Bone’s team will play in the 76 Classic in Anaheim and also against Pepperdine in the Cougar Hardwood Classic on Dec. 22 in Seattle. The Cougars will also face Gonzaga on Nov. 14 on the road. Andre Winston (Portland State) left while Royce Woolridge (Kansas) transferred into the program. Mike Ladd (Fresno) is eligible after sitting out last year.

Offseason reports: Big 12 
Posted on: July 5, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 4:26 pm

Oregon State guard breaks the glass and his face

By Matt Norlander

Oregon State just got the best possible PR it could have asked for on its trip to Macedonia. And that includes going there to help build homes for families in need.

Roberto Nelson, the outspoken, affable sophomore Beavers guard, got his beak broken recently while playing pick-up ball overseas. The best part: We have the video as proof. Nelson needed 20 stitches after casually -- yes, casually, as you'll see -- taking down a rim, a backboard and a shower of shards with him.

To watch the breakage, fast forward to the 2:10 mark in the video. After destroying the glass, Nelson responds to a worrier and says, "The hospital? I don't need no hospital." He does oblige and makes the trip down to the local infirmary. The blood isn't horrifying, but it's bad enough that it warrants a warning. The deep crimson takes over his face a few seconds after you see the backboard come crashing down.

This video, while just hitting the Web, didn't happen over the weekend. Nelson's teammate, Kevin McShane, blogged about the incident nearly two weeks ago, when it occurred. In the post, McShane notes that the guys were told not to dunk on the hoops, as they were old and didn't have flexible structures. So, in other words: real jerk move, Nelson.

And as a side note, who is paying for that? Does Oregon State foot the bill and send money for a new hoop to be erected? If that's the case, the stitches and gashes and blood and broken hoop were totally worth it. Nelson gets a boost in reputation, plus the distinction of being only one of a handful of humans to ever eradicate the glass off a hoop. It's an elite club. Darryl Dawkins sends out monthly email correspondence, from what I've heard.

Nelson averaged 7.5 points per game last season but figures to play a much more prominent role with the Beavers in 2011-12.

(H/T, CBB Nation Blog)
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 20, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 3:09 pm

Brandon Ashley stakes claim to top-five ranking


By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – When discussing the top players in the class of 2012, Brandon Ashley is not always mentioned in the case for number one.

Ashley takes offense to that.

“I definitely feel like I belong in the top five,” he said. “I know I’m just as good or better. My skill level is not an issue. I just have to play harder, play more consistently.”

The 6-foot-9 forward from Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) certainly made his case at the NBPA Top 100 camp last week. Ashley showed off his all-around skill set, scoring with his back to the basket and knocking down face-up jumpers. He runs the floor better than most big men, and also handles the ball and passes well for someone his size.

Ashley’s potential is through the roof, and when he brings maximum effort, he is tough to contain.

“I’m trying to become an all-around better player, an inside-outside player,” he said.

Ashley has plenty of suitors at this point, but said he is ready to cut down his list in the near future. For now, though, it seems a number of colleges have a shot at him.

“I’m wide-open, but a lot of the same schools [are involved],” Ashley said. “The Pac-10, the SEC, Kansas, schools like that. Everyone is coming at me the hardest.”

In addition to the entire Pac-10 and Kansas, Wake Forest, Texas, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Connecticut and others are also recruiting him.

One school mentioned in association with Ashley in the past has been Kentucky, but he said the Wildcats’ pursuit has tailed off.

“They’ve sent me a few emails, but that’s it,” he said.

When Ashley does make a final decision – which doesn’t look like any time soon – he is looking for a school that already has established talent on the roster

 “I want to go to a place where I’m surrounded by good players, with a good coaching staff,” Ashley said.

Photo: Media 411

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