10.Feb.2011 Basketball: Oregon State @ USC

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Some interesting quotes from Robinson today:

[Robinson] told me this week that he may have finally settled on his starting lineup for the rest of the season. He didn't put it up to a popular vote, but he did talk to his players.

Keep in mind, Robinson doesn't attach much importance to who starts. If somebody comes off the bench and tears it up, he gets more minutes.

So tonight at the Galen Center OSU will throw out a starting five consisting of two freshmen and three sophomores for the third straight game: Jared Cunningham and Ahmad Starks at G, Burton and Devon Collier at forward and Brandt in the middle. … with the calvary right behind in the form of Omari, Calvin, and Roberto.

The only real issue I have is Joe "the big injun that could not" Burton starting. Now that Collier has established himself, why not put Roberto Nelson in there? Robinson had this to say on the subject:

Robinson said Nelson – who had nearly a two year layoff from real games – "is working hard to break out of his slump (27 percent from the floor last five games) and that Burton needs to relax and just make plays. His offense will come.

"I remember how bad it was last year when he had four or five turnovers a game,'' said Robinson. "I don't feel as nervous when he has the ball in his hands as I did last year.''

Really? I feel more nervous than ever. Burton is like a pastry chef doling out the turnovers.

One other thing to keep an eye on: Jared Cunningham has gotten a free pass the past three games. Robinson mentions that Nelson is riding the pine because he's shooting 27% over his past five games. Well, Cunningham is shooting 27% over his past three, only making six field goals in that span.

The line on this game is -11.5, Trojans. That's a smidge high. Think two possession game, something like 69-63 Trojans. This is definitely a winnable game, though. One we should expect them to win, which is why it won't happen.

TV: FSN (8pm)

Radio: KPAM

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  • Beavker says:
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    I won’t be staying up out here to watch it (CST). It’s just not worth the loss of sleep and agony. Go Beavs, I hope you win, but I can’t keep watching poor efforts and failure. I don’t get pumped when I see they are on TV. Wish I could.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Honestly, I could give a shit less. Robinson and his players have pissed this entire season away- and nothing they do now is going to matter, save a miraculous Pac-10 tourny win, which won’t happen.

    On to baseball!

    (but thanks, Angry, for keeping with the coverage anyway.)

    • Beavker says:
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      I hope Baseball works out for us…picked to finish 8th! Wow, just a few years removed from a back to back National Championship and a year removed from a trip to the NCAA’s and we’re picked to finish 8th of 10! Of course, that still could mean a trip to the NCAA, but then that would be like being happy at 7-5 and making the turd bowl as the 6th Pac 10 team. I hope they surprise us!

      • ean says:
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        8th place in the Pac-10 for baseball is probably higher nationally than 6th in the Pac-10.

      • MudAndSticks MudAndSticks says:
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        I’m beginning to wonder just how significant it was having Dan Spencer leave OSU for Texas Tech.

        Perhaps more so than first thought.

  • angry angry says:
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    I agree with you guys, but at this point for me it’s like watching standup comedy. I love a good laugh.

    • Beavocalypse says:
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      Or watching midget porn. You don’t know why your buddy showed it to you in the first place but out of some sick compulsion you keep watching it.

      …Is that just me?

      Damn. I hate revealing my personal side sometimes…

  • JackBeav says:
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    Jared gets a pass on the FG% because he makes up for it in effort, defense and creativity. He works to get to the line if his shot isn’t falling, and that frustrates the hell out of the defense more than making shots because he gets to bank fouls and score with nobody in his face.

    He does need to lead from the line if that’s his best option for the time. If he misses the front end of a bonus, we’re as dead as when anyone else does it.

    I say Nelson for 20+ tonight. Jared, Ahmad and Devon are all in double figures, and the Beavs win going away, 74-58.

    • angry angry says:
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      I haven’t looked if the stats back this up, but I feel as if Nelson drives and gets to the line quite a bit, too (at least relative to the amount of time he’s on the floor). I’d just rather see Nelson in the game over Burton…Nelson’s mistakes aren’t of the same (i.e. dumb) caliber as Joe’s.

      Ps. You think the Beavs go from 0-7 on the road to a 16 point victory? That would be something…

      • JackBeav says:
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        Inconsistent is as inconsistent does.

      • JackBeav says:
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        The note on Nelson is that he’s driving to the hoop and getting shots off now. He wasn’t doing that earlier this season. He has developed immensely while in the league. His problems started when he discovered Pac 10 players were too fast to beat with even great high school talent. He needed to re-work his game. It follows that he would struggle while he figured it out, but there were a couple moments against Wazzu where you could see a beak poking out of the egg.

        He’s not yet getting the calls that Jared gets when he goes to the hole, but he is breaking down the help defense now. It’s only a matter of time before those shots go in, and Nelson will be shooting and-1’s while crowds scream… or boo on the road.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I forgot that Burton usually plays well on the SoCal swing as well. But I can’t say anything good about him, or he’ll respond with the opposite of what I predict.

      Therefore…

      … Joe Burton, harumph! Harumph! Harumph!

  • ean says:
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    I could see a line-up of Cunningham, Starks, Nelson, Collier and Brandt/Burton/Omari working pretty well verse USC.

    I agree on letting Nelson play through his slump. Cunningham, Wallace, Haynes, Brandt, Omari and now Starks are allowed to play through shooting slumps why shouldn’t Nelson? Nelson is a decent distrubutor as well… which this team needs more of.

    I am puzzled that you continue to single out Burton. I am not a huge fan of his game but he is one of our best passers and one of the few guys that actually looks to set up others before getting his own. He leads the team in assists, is second in rebounding and shoots %50 from the field. If Brandt would shoot he could stretch the defense but he cannot and that allows the defense to sag off of him. Burton’s ability to pass keeps defenses more honest and creates more opportunities. I agree that the turnovers are frustrating but Collier and Omari can only play so many minutes and both Burton and Brandt have major flaws in their games. I hope Brandt can step it up because his shooting could work well with the team in the future but right now Burton is the more productive player and that is a FACT.

    Also I noticed last game coach Rob took Burton out when the other team had 6 fouls and brought him back in at 9 fouls… smart move… Burton should never shoot a one-and-one again.

    • angry angry says:
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      Joe would excel as either a pastry chef or mason.

      • ean says:
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        your sounding more cynical than critical.

      • ean says:
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        To follow up your logic defies the point of this blog. To be critical is to be factual. Your putting your bias in front of the analysis. I realize bias is inevitable but it shouldn’t come before fact. When Brandt starts hitting his shot or playing with any sort of aggression I will fully back benching Joe but until then we need his hustle.

        • angry angry says:
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          Bias? What bias? Bias for smart play? Yes, I have that. Brandt is a better rebounder. He handled Washington’s Center brilliantly. Is Brandt a great player? Far from it.

          But Joe is lazy and constantly misses box outs. He is also a bad passer 90% of the time when he isn’t making the brilliant pass that fools the casual viewer into thinking he’s a great distributor. Stats can be misleading. He has 51 assists and 55 turnovers this year, so I don’t really care if he’s “the leading distributor” in terms of assists per game.

          Cunningham has played 640 minutes with 49 turnovers.
          Burton 553 with 55 turnovers.

          Again, stats are misleading. As always, just watch the game. Bad things happen when Burton and Haynes play.

          • ean says:
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            Burton average 8.45 rebounds per 40 minutes. Brandt averages 7.37 per 40 minutes. Neither number is great. I not only watch the games I also look at the numbers to back up a point. Also boxing out is a team game when you are playing a zone defense. Everyone handles Aziz N’diaye he is the next Hasheem Thabeet. I am not saying Burton is great but he is no doubt better than Brandt when Brandt isn’t taking his shot.

          • MudAndSticks MudAndSticks says:
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            Isn’t it a case where Burton played a lot last year and Brandt didn’t? If I’m right then this is Brandt’s first year of significant playing time.

            Isn’t is also a case where Brandt did almost all of his playing in Australia and that was playing high school ball?

            I for one don’t expect a first year player to have as much polish as a second year player and if that first year player’s experience is playing in a foreign country then that also should be taken into account when comparing him with a kid who grew up in America.

          • Beavocalypse says:
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            Ahhh yes, Ean- but the question for Angry is not so much the rebounds but the turnovers. Unless you can come up with a compelling statistical answer for this fact, I (being the judge of everything in the universe) will have to side with Angry on this debate.

            No matter how you try to spin it…turn overs are game killers, and Burton has been slayin’ us all year.

          • angry angry says:
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            I was talking about Bryan Amaning, not N’diaye. Brandt continually won rebounds.

            We went from a discussion about assists and turnovers to rebounding. Okay, Brandt averages 1 less rebound per 40 minutes. I also said Nelson should start over Burton, so I’m not sure why we’re focusing on Brandt so much. The conversation and argument has become confusing. All I know is that when Burton plays, bad things happen. I really don’t care what the stats say.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    USC 77 (*80)- OSU 60

    I’m on the other end of the spectrum from Jack, but I just don’t see them winning many games in the Pac-10 because Robinson doesn’t teach the game- hence “no legs” Burton at the charity stripe, missed layups to the point of being media worthy, and a lack of anything that could be called an offense.

    *SPECIFIC PREDICTION WARNING: This what the scoreboards SHOULD reflect when the game is over, but at some point a three pointer for USC will be called 2, but by then they will be 25 pts ahead and they won’t care. In fact, that shot will be the tail end of a 15-0 run to wrap up the first quarter.

    As always, I will rejoice in being wrong. I think that’s the only thing Beaver success means for me any more, being glad I was wrong about expecting failure.

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    Wow another dreadful performance. Had a feeling this one would be a blowout. This is just awful.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Good lord, even Marques Johnson commented that he had not seen this “ugly of offensive basketball” in years. “Offensive” is right. You cannot win basketball games shooting 39% from the floor. End of story.

    • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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      No doubt. Ugly might be too kind of a word. Calvin Haynes and Joe Burton not disappointing though. He’s been committing turnovers and airballed a layup. He sure knows how to earn those minutes.

      • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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        I meant they’ve been committing turnovers and Joe Burton airballed a layup. Watching those 2 is just too painful.

  • angry angry says:
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    Wow, Joe Burton is soooo bad.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    I can understand and live with some missed shots from long range and behind the arc, but missing lay up’s and shots from 2 feet away is absurd!!! The missed lay up’s and easy baskets are why we are losing!

  • angry angry says:
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    Wow, Joe Burton throws the ball right to a Trojan. He is HORRIBLE.

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    Burton with the dumbest pass I think he’s ever made. Every time he touches the ball something bad happens. Craig needs to open his eyes and realize Burton F***ing sucks. He’s a walking turnover.

  • beavers4life says:
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    They matched the spread at 11 points! lol That’s funny!

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    Beavers baseball needs to start now! I need to take my mind off this awful, awful basketball program.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    Where are the fundamentals from this team? Making free throws, rebounding, making free throws, passing, making 2 foot “easy” shots, missing lay up’s, did I mention making free throws? Oh, and making free throws! OSU looked just as bad tonight as they did vs Texas Southern!

    A team can have all of the athleticism in the World, but if a team lacks the basic fundamentals, talent, and athleticism is irrelevant.

    • beavers4life says:
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      HMMMM….Does this sound familiar and could this be applied to the football team? No matter how athletic the team is, we still have to know how to tackle vs. flailing your arms towards the opponent to try and tackle them.

      • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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        It’s all about coaching. It is obvious the team is horribly coached.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      And that includes Cunningham. Yes, he can get to the foul line with his speed, but what the hell has happened to his shot? If he is the Beavers best player, he is not really on par with the top players in the league at this point. These guys are all kind of “weird” basketball players, no one is smooth and fluid in their game. I don’t know if that is talent, coaching or bad luck. My fear is how do you really improve that? Everyone is still giving Craig props for recruiting, but it seems like every other team in the league has Freshmen that have been integrated into their teams and are more impactful. Are these young guys really good enough to ever develop into a top half of the league team. I have my doubts.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    we suck

    • OSU4Life says:
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      Yep! But why are we surprised? We have been playing the same way (with no improvement) since November! A well coached team with very little talent like Montana would beat us! Oh that’s right we lost to Montana. Well, better luck next year! And the next, and the next, and the…….well you all get the point.

      With only 6 games left, I’d say at best OSU will win maybe 2 of those. Will we reach 10 wins (Western Oregon doesn’t count)?

      • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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        Let’s look at the remaining schedule

        UCLA L

        Oregon L( I would say win but they can’t win a road game)

        Stanford L

        Cal L

        UA L

        ASU W(Could be a loss though if the Beavers don’t play hard)

        They should be 10-19 heading into the Pac-10 tournament. That would be their worst season under Craig.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Ahem! I would not describe Montana’s team as having “very little talent.” Have you seen them play? If OSU had Brian Qvale and Will Cherry to name just 2 players, the Beavs would be in much better shape.

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          I forgot to mention – In my opinion, Wayne Tinkle is a fine coach, as well.

        • OSU4Life says:
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          Sure Montana has talent, but they don”t have “Pac-10” talent, and neither do we. This is the main point I was trying to make. I wasn’t trying to put Montana down, they have a great program and a fantastic coach in Wayne Tinkle! (*hint, hint Bobby D.)

          I would argue that OSU is the worst Division 1 basketball school in the entire Northwest this year.

          • sparkyd73 says:
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            I disagree that OSU doesn’t have pac-10 talent. That may be true for a couple of players, but overall I don’t think we are losing due to a talent gap. I think we are underacheiving and that is something that lands squarely on the coach. The offense is stagnant and does not give our shooters a good look. Our defensive scheme does not utilize our talent. 2/3 Zone was fine when we had a talent gap and I think it would be great as a change-up, same with the 1-3-1 (at least with someone very athletic – Collier looked good last night, Omari is not quick enough), but we are talented enough now to play more man-to-man. We cannot dare good shooting teams to beat us with 3’s, because they are.

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            I don’t wish to belabour the point but, I’m going to anyway – the 2 aforementioned players, Brian Qvale and Will Cherry could, I firmly believe, play in the Pac-10. and dare I mention that the Grizzlies played two Pac-10 teams this season and beat both of them.

  • FatDog says:
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    There was a lot more discipline Robinson’s first season. The early practices to weed out the team and all that. They seemed to be able to execute the fundamentals. He coached then. What happened?

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    I’ve been a Beavers basketball fan for 13 years and I can honestly say I hate Joe Burton as a player more than any other Beavers player I’ve watched in that time.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    21 straight years without making the NCAA tournament happened.

    • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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      Yes and they hold the longest NCAA Tournament drought in between bids from any BCS or big 6 school. In fact, every other team in the conference has made it to the Sweet 16 since the last time the Beavers actually made the tournament. That’s just sad.

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        Did Northwestern finally make it last year? They were the only Big Six school to NEVER make the big dance last time I checked.

        • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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          They still haven’t made it. I was just talking about between berths. Didn’t count them since they haven’t had a ncaa tournament berth ever! That is truly an accomplishment.

  • ean says:
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    we either need to find some bigs or play small ball. Burton and Brandt aren’t getting it done.

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    It looked like someone had gotten into Brandt’s ear to tell him to shoot more, but most of his shots looked forced. This team does not run an offense. You can tell that they are moving in a somewhat scripted patern. But there is no purpose to it and rarely does the outside shot come out of any type of rhythm. Everything seems forced. I love college basketball because a well coached team can beat a team with better players. This team is proving that point in reverse.

    • ean says:
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      agreed… there is very little movement and very few passes that go anywhere other than the perimeter. There are only 2 or 3 guys actually making passes in the interior.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Does anyone know if CR was a micromanager in his other life in the financial world? I guess you would need to be, so I wonder if the constant substitutions and, in one case last night, calling a time out just as the team seemed to be flowing (after a Collier 2-pointer) are an obsessive control thing.

    I feel sad for those kids – I don’t think this is their fault. They seem to be coachable, they were recruited into the program based on CR’s ability to talk them into it and they have been let down.

    Since CR’s contract is for a while yet, is it possible for the AD to hire an assistant coach who can help the program, even if it means releasing someone who is already there?

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I am glad I didn’t watch last night’s game. I was briefly tempted, but then I remembered my vow to never watch Calvin Haynes play basketball again. Reading these comments will help me stick to that vow. Thanks guys!

  • angry angry says:
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    Anyone know if Lamar Hurd would be interested in coaching? The guy is bright with his commentary…he seems to “get it”…

    • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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      I think he coaches high school kids in some fashion. So it’s not as if he hasn’t coached before. He would be a good addition and he played for OSU and understands the “culture” and the players could really benefit by having him coach them.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    OSU Basketball is fucking dead to me. Fuck Bobby DeCarolis.

    • brownale9000 says:
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      I get the negativity, I really do. Our basketball program is shameful right now.

      But what the F does Bob De Carolis have to do with anything?

      He tried to lure better coaches here. He offered what we have to offer (20+ years of losing, bad facilities, small town, small contract, etc…) and he had to settle for Craig Robinson. Robinson has done okay in my opinion, considering what he’s up against. Was he De Carolis’ first choice? Hell no.

      Donate more money so the basketball team can get a practice facility. Don’t lay the blame on Bob De Carolis.

      • ean says:
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        agreed… don’t know how BDC could have done any better. Most people thought CR was crazy for taking the job in the first place.

      • ean says:
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        I guess he should have hired Tom Izzo for 100k a year… what a failure for not getting that done.

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        People do tend to forget that CR was not the first choice. Randy Bennett turned it down. Mike Montgomery laughed at the thought of coaching at OSU. I think there were a couple of others before it got to CR.

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    CR has proven that you can recruit talent to Corvallis. He is still young in coaching experience. He appears to be a very intelligent guy, so I hope that this year is teaching him some things that will make him a better X and O coach. I may be in the minority on this site but I’m still cautiously optimistic that the program is heading in the right direction. At the very least, some of the older players will be gone, and I don’t think there is anyone that would argue CR’s players are more talented than our Seniors.

    • ean says:
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      has he proven he can recruit talent to OSU? What talented players has he recruited? Cunningham? That is about all I can think of right now.

      • Trev says:
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        Collier. Nelson – still unproven, but had his pick of schools.

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        And for whatever reason Nelson does not look like any kind of “elite” freshman right now. Some in here and in other places thought he would be averaging 17 points a game from the get go. He might be the best “practice player”, but that has meant nothing in games.

        • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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          That goes on Robinson. He is killing talent. He has Nelson playing so scared that if he makes a mistake he’ll get pulled.

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    Collier is a solid pac-10 player. Starks shows flashes and so does Nelson. Eric Moreland looked legit before he went down. Murphy also looked like he has potential.

    • ean says:
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      Yeah Collier will get there. Cunningham is getting there. Other guys have shown flashes but I think it is too early to grade the recruits that was really more my point. Not saying CR isn’t a good recruiter but the gap between him and Riley is not huge in terms of recruiting.

  • ean says:
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    Isn’t calling Joe Burton an “injun” kind of racist?

    • angry angry says:
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      I guess? But isn’t racism funny? I am pretty sure Richard Pryor made a career out of it.
      I thought of it more as a pun than any sentiment that I hate Native Americans. Give me a breaaak.

      • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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        I’m mixed with Native American and I didn’t take it as a racist comment. Race had nothing to do with why he said “injun”.

  • angry angry says:
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    It’s amazing how many ideas Buker, Canzano, Rivals, etc steal from this blog. From Buker today:

    “We told Robinson that Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson had a sports psychiatrist speak to his team before its big win over Boston. … Robinson said a sports shrink is not in the budget at OSU, although it might not be a bad idea at times…”

    Canzano pretty much ripped off my Life Without Quizz article verbatim.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      Don’t forget Eggers. I thought his article picked up on a ton of what we have been saying all along. I would still love to see someone challenge CR on specific X and O decisions he makes during the games. I think Buker and Kirkpatrick have too much vested to fracture their relationships with CR.

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