22.Dec.2010 Basketball: Illinois-Chicago @ Oregon State

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Doh. I was on the road all day, and completely forgot there was a game tonight. Does anyone really care? Meh. Win some games Beavs, then we'll pay attention. For the die-hards who want to complain about the team, by all means go ahead. One thing worth noting is tonight is the last game before conference play. Might be worth checking out for that reason alone.

Here's the scouting report on tonight's opponent.

Illinois-Chicago enters the game with a 5-7 record after upsetting No. 12 Illinois, 57-54, at the United Center on Dec. 18. Senior guard Robo Kreps had 15 points as the Flames built an early lead then erased a late-game deficit for the upset. Illinois-Chicago has wins over Roosevelt, Rhode Island and two against Toledo. First-year head coach Howard Moore runs a version of the Wisconsin "swing" offense and an aggressive man-to-man defense. Kreps leads the team with 15.4 points per game and has 43 assists in his first full season running the point. Senior forward Paul Carter is averaging 14.3 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game. Junior guard Zavion Neely (9.8 ppg), junior forward Paris Carter (4.6 ppg) and junior center Darrin Williams (6.3 ppg) are the other projected starters.

Here is the video feed: http://www.channelsurfing.net/

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  • uncanny says:
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    I’ll be the pessimist and reverse psychologist and say we lose by 8-10 points on our home court to an inferior opponent…again.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    The defense looks so much better tonight. Shot selection has been terrible thanks mostly to Calvin. Like what I’m seeing from Collier, he’s really improving. Please Coach Rob play him more than Burton.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Roberto is on FIRE!!!!! he’s showing some of that potential. Really impressed with him and Collier tonight.

  • warren says:
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    Nelson with 8 points already. Hopefully it’s a sign o things to come.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    So who of note got benched? It doesn’t look like it was anyone I thought it would be.

    • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      I think the changes appear to be Collier getting more minutes and quicker trigger on guys making bad decisions and not playing smart.

  • angry angry says:
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    Hey, maybe tonight’s the night things click.
    I missed the first half hour. Nelson drained some 3s?

    • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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      “…Hey, maybe tonight’s the night things click….” I don’t know. When I first tuned in Wallace was casting off and missing. Haynes was also in and the team reverted back to standing around outside the 3 pt line, passing the ball around and then someone casting off.

      Nelson looks good.

    • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Yes he hit a 3 but he’s looking to attack a lot which is nice to see. Him, Cunningham and Nelson combined for 30 so far.

  • uncanny says:
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    Cunningham, Nelson and Collier all look terrific but how did UIC beat Illinois? This team is terrible.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    Oh good, Wallace and Haynes are back in.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Starks’ shot selection has been terrible.

  • angry angry says:
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    On Dec 18ths game I said this should be the lineup:

    * Starks
    * Nelson
    * Cunningham
    * Collier
    * Johnson

    Amazing how those guys have played together, and as soon as the junky players come in it’s more of the same ol’. Why doesn’t Rob see this? Give those minutes to anyone but Haynes/Wallace. Even Dean gives massive effort. I’d rather have him in there than those two.

    • angry angry says:
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      Looks like Bradts been involved, too. I have no problem with that. He’s decent.

    • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      I don’t think Starks would be in if we’re talking about the teams best lineup at least not yet. Switch out Starks for Brandt and you have the Beavers best lineup

      PG-Jared Cunningham
      SG- Roberto Nelson
      SF- Omari Johnson
      PF- Devon Collier
      C- Angus Brandt

      • angry angry says:
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        Yeah, that is solid. No true point, but better length. I’d mix the two lineups we’re discussing depending on the game situation. Never take more than one out at a time. If they’re tired, condition them better during the week.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Funny how they look so much better when the seniors are not on the floor. I guess they need Omari for rebounding at times, but he bricked a three and missed a layup already. Sounds like CR is starting to see the light, he said during the pre-game on KPAM that Burton is sitting because he has been committing too many turnovers and Collier is playing so well.

    • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      True. It’s quite shocking when more talented play the better the team plays. Coach Rob had trouble figuring that out for awhile. Less Calvin and Lathen the better. Collier is finally getting more minutes, Coach Rob has definitely seen the light.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    Does Cal have a chance against #3 Kansas?

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    I like the way Brandt plugs up the middle on D

    • angry angry says:
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      His body language has improved; you can tell he is confident now. Makes all the difference…

  • angry angry says:
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    I think we’re seeing two things tonight:

    1. Beavs playing with urgency since conference play begins.
    2. Robinson’s light turned on and he’s getting the best players on the court.

    I’m anxious to see the ASU game now.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Cunningham has to be close to a Beavers record for consecutive free throws made. Cunningham without doubt his playing his best ball since coming to OSU.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    One of the things that bugs the hell out of me is Parker does not keep up informed about who’s on the floor.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    They are actually running some offense and I can hear CR hollering at them to slow it down. He screamed at Lathan for forcing up a shot against two taller opponents telling him to “break the ball back out”.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Burton seems to be playing under control and making smart decisions. Took him long enough.

  • cloudy says:
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    between nelson, cunningham, and collier; this team has a really nice young core to build around for the next couple years

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    imo the Beavs are weak in the middle on D when Burton is in there.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I laugh out loud when the webcast shows Calvin with the comment “my skills are back”. First of all is he admitting that they went away last year? Second, I don’t think they are back yet this year!!!

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    Wallace is back in and the turnovers pick up again.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Without question the teams best performance all season. Now it’s about being consistent. I’m anxious to see how well they will play against the Arizona schools next week. If they play like they did tonight they’ll beat ASU and it will be a good game against the Wildcats.

  • angry angry says:
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    That was fun to watch. I like the confidence/body language. Hope it carries over to ASU.

    • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      If they play like they did tonight they should be able to beat ASU. I’m actually looking forward to see how they do vs UA since they’re a Pac-10 title contender.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    These webcasts have been really nice quality. Do they originate from the school itself? They do not seem to be advertised in regular media circles. We have pretty much been able to see almost every game so far. Very enjoyable.

    • ace099 says:
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      You are talking about the channelsurfing feed right?

      Yes, they are the feed that you get out of the official OSU Beaver broadcast that people pay a monthly fee.

      However, I do believe they have a 3rd party contracted to do the production/webcast. As I seen the same webcast interface from other universities

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        Yes, I was just thinking back to the webcast last year that I think was done by the Horizon League itself and it was not nearly as nice. Game did not end as nice either!

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Correct, the Channel Surfing pirated feeds are the same you get with a Beaver Nation Online (BNO) subscription. Pretty sure the BNO provider is CBS College Sports Network and i think they also provide the CMS (content management system) for the athletics website. The CBS system is commonly used by many universities and someone cracked it long ago, so pirated streams are readily available.

  • ace0099 says:
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    Minutes played :

    Omari Johnson : 28
    Devon Collier : 28
    Ahmad Starks : 27
    Jared Cunningham : 24
    Angus Brandt : 21
    Joe Burton : 20
    Roberto Nelson : 16
    Lathen Wallace: 13
    Calvin Haynes : 12

    and look at what the end result

    • angry angry says:
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      Yep.

      Someone made a good point earlier. Maybe Robinson played the seniors so there wasn’t a mutiny or reason for inner conflict. He gave them their fair chance. Now he’s moving on. If that was his strategy I can’t argue with it, despite it being painful for fans. If he strays from what he did tonight I’ll have an issue with him.

      Biggest thing now is to know when to push and when to slow down, and minimize turnovers.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        I think that is the most logical theory. Of course he couldn’t say it in the media. Shit, even Deane got a chance in the first half earlier this season.

  • ean says:
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    No 1-3-1… that was nice. I don’t mind seeing it 5-10 possessions per game but it can no longer be our base defense. The 2-3 match-up and 2-3 man zones were effective. In the past I have wanted to see man-on-man but we really don’t have a big time shot blocker when someone gets beat so I think the 2-3 is our best option.

    Also it seemed there was a lot more motion on defense. People above were hating on Joe… I don’t think he is a great post player but he is a solid basketball player and really sees the entire court.

    I hope we can find a big. I don’t know if Brown, Moreland or Gomis will be big time or not. Brandnt would make for an excellent 4 with his ability to stretch the floor. A dominant inside presence could really make this team fire… of course everyone wants a big guy like that.

    All in all it was a good win. I think the NCAA is all but out of the mix unless we can get the Pac-10’s automatic bid. Finishing in the top half of the Pac-10 would be nice but it might be a slightly lofty goal… we’ll see. At a bare minimum we got to finish above the Ducks… lol.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Coming into the night Joe led the team in turnovers so I think people “hating” on him was justified. No big guy should ever lead his team in turnovers. Tonight was really the first time all year he played smart throughout the game and didn’t make some pass into a double or triple team.

    This team if they have some consistency and continue to improve can finish middle of the pack in the conference. I think they’ll finish like 5th or 6th if they continue to get better. The goal should be to go 10-8 in conference play and make the NIT. Next season the goal should be to make the NCAA tournament. 2012-2013 season if they continue to improve should be the year where they try and make a run at a Pac-10 championship.

    Let’s hope that by then we can see that happen and the Beavers become a consistent winner but it takes time.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      I think Burton got the message about turnovers, he was much more thoughtful with the basketball last night. I think at this point he is more of a role player and not a potential star.

      He has a hard time getting off clean shots inside (he is not as tall as advertised) and constantly goes to that reverse baseline pivot move, but he is hit or miss on finishing with anything positive out of it. Opponents will jump all over that move in P-10 play because he does it so often. He needs to develop a consistent 12-17 foot jump shot to open space and he is also a liability as a foul shooter.

      I just think Collier looks so smooth and fluid that he needs the bulk of the minutes to get into a rhythm. It seems like CR takes he out with no rhyme or reason. He is a 15 point 8 rebound guy in the making.

      • angry angry says:
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        +1

        Collier is an upper tier ACC or Big East body in the Pac-10. Rare at OSU, so use it.

        • ean says:
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          Love Collier’s game.

          Also I am not saying Burton is the best post or anything close to that but I think he deserves a spot in the rotation when you look at what we have to work with.

          • mckalk mckalk says:
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            Yes, I agree with you he has be part of the rotation at this point, but originally I thought he was going to be one of the stars. I am not sure about that now, but there is always time to improve. He is kind of a tweener and those guys have to be really talented to make a consistent impact. I could also see a couple more athletic bigs being added and his playing time diminish over his career. Kind of what has happened to Daniel Deane who Burton has basically replaced.

          • ean says:
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            It is all about match-ups with Burton. If teams are going to play him with a big bring him out top between the circles. If teams are going to play him with a wing put him on the blocks. At least that is how I see it.

          • angry angry says:
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            Yeah, coach needs to put these guys in the best position to succeed. Most coaches try to do that. In retrospect, I think Robinson felt he had to give the seniors a try just for team chemistry etc. I don’t think he’s an idiot, and his plan was probably to do this before conference play. Coincidence he went to the lineup we all saw as best the game before conference play? I doubt it. I also don’t see a Princeton grad and former player being so dumb he doesn’t know who to have on the floor.

            If he does things like that during conference play, then sure, call him an idiot.

          • ean says:
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            I have never called Coach Rob an idiot. I just think it is a learning experience for him too. He has never coached players of this level at this level so he is feeling it out in a way too. I think he will be solid.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        right on – not only re: Collier – CR’s substitutions are often puzzling

  • ean says:
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    He may lead the the team in turnovers but he also leads the team in assists, so that is somewhat misleading. 1.2 Ast/TO ratio (2nd on team) is not great but part of that is guys not finishing and part of that is not enough ball movement on offense. Also some of Burton’s TO’s are guys not being ready for passes, and that probably falls on coaching because when only one or two guys are moving the ball people aren’t as ready for passes. Last night everyone was moving the ball and people were much more ready for that rocket pass from big Joe. He does need to work on his touch a little though, although sometimes it takes a fast pass to avoid a steal. I am not saying he is our answer at post or that he should be starting but he does deserve a spot in the rotation and he is one of our better facilitators on the team. Turnovers are not always a bad thing if you are making things happen. Rondo, Westbrook, Nash, etc. are in the top of the NBA for turnovers. You got to take some risks.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I was at the game last night. What a difference from the prior game against George Washington. Among the key differences:

    1) Coach Robinson gave more time to the younger players, and less time to the seniors. Calvin and Lathen were used sparingly. McShane and Deane did not play at all until garbage time. Hallelujah!

    2) Coach Robinson employed less gambling and more solid schemes on defense (no 1-3-1 at all — partly because OSU took an early lead and never looked back).

    3) Roberto Nelson played with confidence and aggression for the first time. Nelson appeared to be able to score last night whenever he wanted, especially on pull-up jumpers from mid-range.

    4) Ahmad Starks played point for much of the game. Yes, Starks did take some ill-advised shots, but he’s still learning. Meanwhile, Starks almost always plays with poise, provides solid ball-handling and passing at the point, and gets everyone involved in the offense. I feel much more confident when Starks is on the floor.

    All in all, a good performance by the OSU players, and by Coach Robinson. Let’s hope Coach Robinson sticks with this approach going forward.

    But I have to add that UIC looked awful. UIC’s big men looked slow, out-of-shape, and unskilled. UIC’s guards committed ugly turnovers and shot the ball terribly (until the last part of the game). How UIC beat Illinois is a mystery to me.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      It was nice to see a Beaver with an NBA type mid-range jumper for a change. Nelson is smooth. I also like the three pointer where Starks was casually dribbling like he was going to start the offense and instead elevated and drained the shot over an unprepared defender..another NBA type move. To me if this team can make shots everything else falls into place. Even with 47% last night it was good enough to rout an average mid-major program. The team bogs down when Lathen, Omari and Calvin start clanging threes.

      • angry angry says:
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        Yes.
        People have been getting on Stark’s case here. Not sure why. He played a solid (not great, but solid) game and hit four 3 pointers. Two were at clutch times when Chicago was trying to make a run. Shot selection isn’t a big deal–I’d rather see a guy be aggressive and miss. He’ll learn from those and won’t take them again. He’s also money from the line, as is Nelson. Cunningham is solid, too. A big problem with the bench guys is that they can’t finish their drives and they’re poor from the line, so when they shoot free throws (and miss) it’s tantamount to a turnover. A good play turns bad.

        • mckalk mckalk says:
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          You make a good point that should not be overlooked about free throw shooting. Cunningham is starting to get the calls and to be a great scorer (which I think he is going to be) you have to shoot 75-80% from the line. Ditto with Starks and Nelson, even Collier looks like he has a good release. This team has the potential to be an outstanding free throw shooting team going forward. That is why I am a little down on Burtons game. He grunts and fakes and fights he way to the basket, gets the call and then misses the free throws. It is a turnover and a lot of effort is wasted.

        • ean says:
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          quite a few of those shots were against the clock so at that point you take whatever you can get. I still think that will be Stark’s Achilles. He is a great player though I would just prefer he waits until late in the clock to shoot a contested shot. I think bringing him off the ball is really how he will play best.

          • angry angry says:
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            Starks is a strange point guard in that he doesn’t seem able to drive the lane and kick out. He’s good at handling the ball and passing it around the perimeter, then hitting an open 3 if it’s given. Makes you wonder if Cunningham is better off at the point with Starks as a backup II guard to Nelson. Still too early to say, but at times it’s looked that way.

            Anyway, I thought this team would gel, and while it’s hard to get excited about killing that bad opponent, it’s good to see them all smiles and confident going into Pac-10 play. A few early wins in-conference and the season has potential.

          • ean says:
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            They are decent. Lot’s of seniors and they did pull off a big upset. Much better than some of the teams we lost too but a team we should be like we did none the less. I think we should harness Stark’s skills instead of molding him into a PG. Let him break if it is there, but when it comes time to set up the half court offense run it through Nelson, Cunningham or if the match up is right Burton (I thought Burton ran the half court well last night at least).

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            “it’s good to see them all smiles and confident,” – indeed . . .

        • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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          Angry, Cunningham has hit 24 straight free throws he’s a little better than solid. Personally, I feel Cunningham is the teams best player. He leads the team in steals and is probably the best defender. He can score at anytime and can get in the lane and to the rim and free throw line almost anytime he wants to. Cunningham has really developed a 3 point shot too. Nelson isn’t too far behind him both are tremendous talents. As early as next season they will be the best backcourt duo in the conference and one of the premiere ones in the country.

          • jr says:
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            Jared Cunningham is clearly the best player. Has been since the first game. People can I suppose point to Omari’s output at the beginning of the season but Cunningham was far more important in those games than Johnson. Both on offense and defense. Now he is cutting down his fouls and is becoming an all pac-10 player.

  • angry angry says:
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    Burton isn’t complete garbage. He has a roll (12 minutes a night in spot relief duty) and on a good night can score 8 points or so. He shouldn’t play more than that though. Especially with Brandt finding his confidence and form.

    • ean says:
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      We still lack any sort of a real post presence. Collier and Omari are not great options as post players. Brown is a total question mark. He will probably be needed for more than 12 minutes but I agree he should have a limited role. Really we need a real center.

      • angry angry says:
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        Collier and Brandt have looked impressive there. Brandt reminds me of the big, white guy from Kansas a few years back, only a light edition, which is still pretty good.

        • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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          Brandt reminds me of Cole Aldrich but only with more range. That hook shot of Brandt is smooth. He’s also developed into a pretty good rebounder he’s not great but Collier can also rebound quite well.

          When Cunningham, Nelson, Johnson,Collier and Brandt are on the floor together they will give teams headaches. You can zone the Beavers so Jared doesn’t get to the rim but Nelson and Cunningham and Brandt can hit from deep but if you play man to man Cunningham and Nelson can get to the rim and or can draw and kick to Collier for some mid range shots or can dump it down to Brandt for layups and dunks. So if that group plays together a lot I like the Beavers chances in conference play.

          Having Starks out there will be nice for a change of pace and can give some extra 3 point shooting.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      No,not garbage at all, but I think CR was overly infatuated with his abilities and really what was his option last year..Deane? It is nice to see CR “punish” Burton for his sloppy non-conference play and give Collier his minutes, but this team will need Burton to contribute in that 15-20 minute range.

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