08.Mar.2011 Basketball: Pac-10 Tournament (OSU vs Stanford)

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As many of you know on Wednesday evening the Beavers will take on Stanford at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For those unfamiliar with the seeding and rules, here they are:

  1. The top six teams get first-round byes.
  2. The bottom four teams play each other (7th place vs 10th place, 8th place vs 9th place) the first night of the tournament.
  3. The winners of the games will play the top two seeds (1st place vs 8/9 winner, 2nd place vs 7/10 winner).
  4. The other second round matchups will be the 3rd place team vs. the 6th place team, and the 4th place team vs the 5th place team.
  5. Semifinal matchups will be the winner of the 1 vs. 8/9 game against the winner of the 4/5 game, and the winner of the 2 vs. 7/10 game against the winner of the 3/6 game.

This team lost the fan base months ago, so there's very little buzz about this game, but the die hards will be tuning in hoping for a couple upsets–there's that pesky word again. After it became clear (during the out of conference schedule) that the Beavers had a bad squad with poor leadership, all I wanted was them to incrementally improve throughout the season, so that come the tournament we'd have a reason for excitement. Instead, they are playing arguably their worst ball of the season.

Which leaves us in a predicament: many fans are conflicted over rooting for the Beavs to win (because, well, they love the Beavs) and rooting for the Beavs to be blown out so Craig Robinson gets run out of town. Most will probably root for the former because they know Oregon State is poor and won't hire another coach for two years. Either way, the stakes are lose/lose. So why watch? Well, I am a masochistic die hard. Likely, so are you. If nothing else tune in to watch the absurdity and laughs.

Anyway, I'm not going to throw out any predictions on this one. I'm done trying to understand schizophrenia. Instead, let's turn the tide and let you guys take a shot at predicting the outcome. Winner gets a virtual pat on the back, a "thumbs up", and a letter of recommendation for Oregon State's nonexistent sport's psychologist position.

When: 6pm

TV: FSN

Radio: KPAM

Stream: Check justin.tv after tipoff

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  • Beavocalypse says:
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    At this point, Beaver basketball is one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a looooong time.

    Stanford 81- OSU 62

    Season. Done-so.

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    What will happen is what has happened all season. The Beavers will have some really, really good moments and some really bad moments. The bad will outweigh the good and Stanford will come out on top.

    Stanford 75- Oregon State 63

  • BeavGirl BeavGirl says:
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    stanford – 80 / oregon – 66

    speaking of schizophrenia, the “definition” of insanity is when you do something over and over and expect a different result. hrmm doesn’t that sound familiar?!

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I guess I will take the other play. Stanford is the one team that the Beavs played ok on the road, but could not make lay-ups, so I say it is a toss up on a neutral court. I go with Beaver 67 Stanford 64, but would not be surprised if the seniors could care less and pack it in early.

  • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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    My prediction:

    Joe Burton will have at least 5 head-scratching turn-overs.

    Calvin Haynes will miss a bunch of layups, but will hit a few off balance runners that give him the confidence to keep gunning.

    The announcers will say “kiss the sky” 7 times. Get over it, it was a nice put back two months ago.

    Roberto Nelson will inexplicably play less than 12 minutes.

    Brant will peel off his face and reveal that he really is a robot, explaining his lack of flexibility and mechanized-looking moves.

    The announcers will point out that CR is the BIL of Barack Obama at least 12 times. We know. And we are still waiting for change.

    I could go on.

    Beaver lose. By at least 1.

    • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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      Maybe the Beavers fall down 20 with 4 minutes left and Craig finally puts Roberto back in after benching him for a travel, then Roberto scores 18 points in the final 4 minutes and Craig is critical of him in the postgame press conference.

  • angry angry says:
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    Here’s my prediction: Joe Burton throws a pass–intended for Omari–that breaks the sound barrier, slips through Johnson’s hands, and decapitates Craig Robinson. Teammates rejoice! Calvin Haynes names himself the interim head coach and benches the entire team, plays all five positions for all 40 minutes, whips out his magic schoolyard ball, and goes off for 70 points to beat Stanford by 1. Then a giant asteroid crushes the earth.

    • Will Overhead says:
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      The asteroid will arrive a day after the solar flares nuke the grid, taking down radio, TV, and the the worldwide web, giving the world a day of peace to contemplate before the end.

      So it doesn’t really matter, win or lose.

  • beavfan4 says:
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    62-58 BEAVS!

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Beavs win this one with playing mostly man-to-man defense. 75-72.

    The real outcome though will be a blowout loss with Haynes trying to score enough points to be number 1 on the all-time list.

  • angry angry says:
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    Man, Robinson does not accept any blame:

    “That’s the tough part with these younger guys. … It’s easy to get down on yourself and easy to pout and make excuses but until you create those habits that make you winners, all you can do is talk about your … potential.”

    How about discussing the potential of your coaching style, big guy?
    The comment reads to me like a guy throwing his team under the bus.

    • helmsley says:
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      And, per usual, the media didn’t ask hard questions. As one oregonlive blogger put it (not me) all PB does is “wave the pom-poms. “

    • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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      I’ve been saying that about Craig for a while. He refuses to ever take accountability and it’s always someone else’s fault when something goes wrong. Too much of that going on.

      • angry angry says:
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        He says it in a way that’s very convincing and coy. You don’t realize he’s deflecting from himself unless you take the time to stop and think about the words and their actual meaning.

        • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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          He learned that from his previous career before coaching, wall street right? He’s always rubbed me the wrong way. I thought he could be a good coach but as a person I didn’t really like him, just based on his attitude where he appears to think he’s above everyone else. I think if you believe in him as a coach you probably don’t see what he says as insulting and agree with what he’s saying. I don’t bother listening to his press conferences after games or during the week, because I know he will deflect blame and bs the whole time.

          He’s very creative with how convincing he is and most people don’t realize what he’s actually doing. Can’t stand him though. As far as tonight goes, I bet he plays Roberto 8 minutes and the reason for playing him so little will be “He was making so many mistakes and not defending the way he needs to”

  • ean says:
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    I hope Berto starts. This year he could have built some serious chemistry with the team but the opportunity was lost. I hope also that Cunningham can be taken off the ball. Run screens for him free him up to slash but no more letting him take his guy 1 on 1, he is just not that physically dominant. Who really knows what to expect though?

  • CastorNation says:
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    You all are the definition of fan. I would say with all the turmoil life has to offer, I don’t invest much into a program going nowhere. I’m not an Alum, just an adopted fan, although my son will be an Alum next year, and so “where your treasure is, your heart will be there also”. So I think the thousands invested gives me some kind of connection. I went to a Stanford game at Gill with my son a couple of years ago. It was the most exiting game I had ever been to. I wasn’t able to hear for five minutes after leaving the game. I had high expectations for the Beavs this year and was sorrily disappointed. My Dad grew up near the Oil fields of Oklahoma without a Dad. So he got into a few fights. His favorite saying was “you may get a turkey dinner, but I’m gonna get a ham sandwich.” That idea has been at the heart of the Beavers ( football ) this past decade and the BBall game I watched. That is until this year. Washington State got the turkey dinner and we got squat. There must be some kind of don’t give a crap virus running in the Beaver locker room. If we don’t win it all, at least get our ham sandwich and let our opponents know they have been in a fight.

  • ean says:
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    I think I am the only Beaver fan out there with high hopes for the future.

    • sparkyd73 says:
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      I’m still hanging on hope as well. I’m not in the camp that the whole program is hanging over a cliff about to plunge. I do think you have to give a coach 4-5 years to really prove themselves. But, it is harder when the trends look so bad. I’m confident in the talent that we have, I don’t think it is currently being optimized though. And unless Robinson is able to optimize his talent they will continue to frustrate (See Washington Huskies this year). I knew going in this year that there would be growing pains but I expected growth to accompany the pain. Have you seen much growth? I would say that I saw growth in a couple of players – Collier and Starks. Cunningham had a huge growth between last season and the beginning of this season but not as visible from the beginning of the season to the end. Burton and Brandt were off and on but I can’t honestly say that they are much better now than at the beginning of the season. I do think we will see a similar jump in Roberto Nelson as Cunningham experienced between now and the beginning of next season. So, hopes yes, but also a bunch of question marks.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Free Berto!! I say we lose. We have decent talent but do not play good team ball and we lack a strong will on defense. We have to play good defense to have a realistic chance in almost all our games. Our offense is also way too inconsistent. I say let Berto try to get in a rythym on some shots and let Cunningham drive and hope he does not get charges and is smart about when he dishes it or in avoiding too much contact. Get good shots and play with some passion and purpose that as a group Oregon State can leave with the win tonight.

    My prediction..too much indecision on offense and no real rythym. Too much zone, allowed three’s and not enough sense of urgency on defense.

    Stanford 74, Beavers 65

    (Although I would be stoked if we won!)

    • ean says:
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      I don’t think it is a matter of zone vs. man as much as it is execution and effort. Stanford shot 53% from the field and 52% from 3 last game we played them and we were almost exclusively in man defense. I would like to see more man just so the Beavers can further develop those skills but I don’t necessarily think that it gives us a better shot at winning now. I think the overlooked part of that Stanford game was the ball movement and execution on offense which was superb.

      The best defensive possessions it seems like to me have been when the team has flashed a zone then fallen into man. I think that negates the opposing coaches ability to call out plays and really hurts a team that doesn’t have an intelligent PG.

  • helmsley says:
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    Roberto might start but if he has a turnover, a travel, or a foul, CR will pull him. He didn’t have that choice last Saturday and look what happened.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    One thing the fanbase deserves is for the team to play with ALOT more passion. They should be playing their hearts out for OSU. I want to see their heads in the game and playing hard and as a cohesive unit with the intent purpose of getting this “W”. We deserve these guys having a good attitude and playing with the passion it takes to win.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    In other news, OSU’s women basketball team is fighting hard in their Pac-10 tourny debut under Rueck

  • homefry homefry says:
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    Beavs 71, the tree 65

    This is one team we could, should and have beat…

  • JackBeav says:
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    If I could go back to the beginning of the season, I would hope out loud that the frosh and sophs would be inserted and played liberally to gain experience early and beat out the teams we should beat out. I would suggest that the seniors are sub-par in talent except for Omari, who has talent but no consistent drive to use it. I would say sit Calvin and Lathen until their specific and limited talents are needed. And if they don’t perform to those specific needs, they need to sit some more.

    Then again, I did say all these things.

    I really thought Coach Rob was going to play the best players and not honor some age-old loyalty to scrubs who couldn’t be a leader on a fishing line, let alone a team. If he had done so, i think most of us would lay off any criticism and go for the “inexperienced youth with a ton of upside” argument instead. The kids we have are some outstanding players, but the rotation hasn’t allowed that talent to work it’s way out of slumps and inexperience.

    I’m not hearing that Coach Rob has recently lost the team. I’ve heard for a couple months that he provided the seeds of schism when he allowed Calvin to dictate his own participation. The curfew deal before the last game should have been the last straw, the act which turned Coach Rob’s switch on for the first time if he’s truly been ignoring it up to now. Missing curfew is a dumb thing for the younger kids. But the seniors who led them to miss it showed their disrespect for their coach, their school and their fans by doing so. I would lobby to sit those three for the rest of their careers because of this.

    Like that will happen. I’m really just trying to find any excuse to sit the seniors before we whimper the season away.

    If the three seniors play considerable minutes (30+ between the three before garbage time):
    Stanford 63 – OSU 56

    If they play limited time, and Coach Rob condenses the rotation to include only seven or eight players for a majority of the game:
    OSU 84 – Stanford 63

    • OS_Beaver says:
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      I would rather have the youth play most of the game as well, but there is no way we win this game by more than 7 or 8 points. These guys do not have the gumption to lead by 10 plus for most the game and finish it out by winning by 20. No way. We would be very lucky to ever lead by 10. If we ever do it will be shortlived almost for sure because we don’t have that kinda focus or determination. Any win would be great but I am not holding my breath and I stand by my prediction of us losing by 9. I want to see effort and focus on good shots and defense and getting the “W” but I still don’t believe much in the character of this team. I hope they prove me wrong but I have a pretty good feeling they won’t, because the “team” aspect of this group and true fight is seriously lacking.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    I hope our season does not end tonight, Looking forward to a good game and would like to be surprised with a victory..GO BEAVS!

  • uncanny says:
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    I turn on the t.v and Mcshane and Burton are starting. Did I miss something? More curfew violations?

  • ean says:
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    wtf… I thought the punishment was over?

  • oneoldbeav oneoldbeav says:
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    Anyone have a link to TV?

  • whittier97370 says:
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    Can anyone on this team make a fucking layup?????? Jesus, it’s maddening watching them miss from point blank repeatedly. And why does Kevin McShane even play? The guy has ZERO offensive skills. Stanford shouldn’t even guard him since he can’t make a layup to save his life. 3-30 on FG’s so far for Stanford. A good team would have them down 20 already.

  • angry angry says:
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    Did I see Stanford is 4-31 shooting and down 6 points??

    Wow.

  • uncanny says:
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    Stanford is going to set a record for most offensive rebounds and worst shooting percentage in a win.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Take Joe Burton OUT!! He’s just terrible. I like how Burton doesn’t ever get taken out for playing terribly but Nelson does. Craig is just stupid. This should be at least a 20 point lead if only they could make a lay-up

    • ean says:
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      I am not a big fan of Joe but that stat line is legit.

      • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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        He had some nice passes and rebounded pretty well but can the dude just make a lay-in? Him and Cunningham blew them constantly. Should have won by 20.

  • angry angry says:
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    Beavs win by 2. Now they take on Arizona.

    Question: does this win have any effect on how you view CR?

    • oneoldbeav oneoldbeav says:
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      Nope.

      • angry angry says:
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        No?
        My 2% approval rating shot up to 3%.

        A win in the tourney is a (baby) step. It’s worth something.

        • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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          What impressed me was him basically telling Haynes and Wallace their careers are over! He also didn’t play Johnson much down the stretch. Notice how the offense looked so much more effective without them in there. Starks, Cunningham, Nelson and Collier are the future. Collier was a beast in the paint. Starks was killing it from the perimeter and made some nice passes. Nelson had an off night but Craig has got to get him some screens to get a clean look. Cunningham was good except he keeps missing lay-ins and struggled with free throws in the last 30 seconds.

          Those four are who the team is built around the next 2 years and when they played together the team looked halfway decent.

          • angry angry says:
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            I wouldn’t be so sure about Haynes and Wallace. Can’t you envision both getting 20-30 minutes tomorrow night? Playing time is so random. We’ve been down this road at least five times where we thought the seniors were done. What we’ve learned is the only sure way they’ll be done is when they graduate.

            I think the opponent had something to do with the youngsters looking decent tonight, but yeah they did look good, and it was nice to see. They are all legit talents, but they aren’t legit all-around players at this point. Anyway, if they can repeat tonight’s effort versus Arizona (i.e. in a game that matters) I’ll be highly impressed.

            As far as CR and Ean’s comment that we’re up and down. Well, yeah. Welcome to fandom. Though, if the comment was aimed at me, I was ridiculously high on CR for 2.5 years. He only lost me in the last five games. Everyone would forgive the guy if he learned from mistakes, but he repeats them. That’s why he’s losing people. At this point, CRs best friends are sensible substitutions and a conceptualized strategy. His worst enemies are himself (aka ego) and the zone defense.

          • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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            You’re right Angry. Haynes will probably play 30 minutes and send Roberto to the bench. The defense will look horrible and so will the offense. I’m hoping Haynes doesn’t play. Wallace I could deal with somewhat, Haynes I can’t. If Haynes does play that will prove yet again Craig hasn’t learned.

          • ean says:
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            no it wasn’t aimed at anyone nor was it meant to be a swipe at anyone either. In fact thinking about it I fall victim to the same thing. I guess it is just fandom. Looking at the talent we have I am getting more optimistic about the future though. I mean if the guys can really learn to play off one another it almost doesn’t matter if Rob is good or not. Look at Ernie Kent, the players had zero respect for his coaching ability. They would often huddle up after timeouts and call new plays that the coach didn’t call. I am not sure that Cunningham has the same vision and BBIQ as a Luke Ridnour but I could see the players doing a lot of the coaching.

          • helmsley says:
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            I, also, can barely listen to CR’s post-game stuff – but last evening – and I didn’t actually hear the question – but the response was something to the effect that he hadn’t substituted more because he “didn’t want to upset the apple cart.” Geeze – it’s taken him until the tournament . . . ?

          • ean says:
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            yeah, I don’t get it… it feels like this all should have happened midseason at the latest. Opening up the Pac-10 with wins over the Arizona schools was a bad thing in hindsight.

          • angry angry says:
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            Upset the apple cart?? Is that akin to “fear of mutiny” I theorized??

            It is understandable but weak leadership. Robinson’s job is to take charge and do what is best for the team as a whole. Jeez.

    • ean says:
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      No not really. I was never drinking the kool-aide. I was saying a year ago that it was one thing to overachieve with mostly scrubs but something different to take a little bit of talent to the top. I don’t know that I am fully on board with what is going down but I think we let him coach out his contract. Let him enjoy the fruits of his recruiting and get a few more talented guys enrolled. Seems like there is too much knee jerk reaction on all these blogs.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Glad we got the win. Beavs needed a Pac-10 tourney “W” under Craig. It was very cool seeing Gary Payton enjoying the game. Has to be one of the greatest Beavs of all time! Congrats to all Oregon Staters.

    Does my opinion of Craig change? He deserves his 4th year to see what he can accomplish. I like him but I don’t know about the exact way he has coached this team. I am not sure we can do much better so being connected to the President of the United States might be worth it for as long as Obama is president. Craig recruits well so we just have to hope that chemistry and overall team ability will improve. I don’t see us breaking into the upper half of conference yet by any means but if we get the puzzle pieces fitting together better I suppose anything is possible. I am being pretty nice because I am HAPPY about the win and saw more purpose throughout the game tonight.

  • ean says:
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    Really the best part about tonight was no Haynes or Wallace.

    • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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      Couldn’t agree more. The defense looked much better and there was less ridiculous bad shots. No Omari down the stretch helped as well.

    • angry angry says:
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      Thumbs up on Haynes.

      Wallace at least gives effort.

      • ean says:
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        I agree… I like Wallace’s effort, decent shot, and attitude but I am still glad he didn’t play. Berto makes passes that those guys wouldn’t even see. Not that it was really on display last night.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    HA! Approval rating!

    I’m going to start making a record of mine as of tonight.

    SINCE Craig Robinson got us a Pac-10 tournament victory, which doesn’t happen all that often, I’m going to start him off at 15%

  • whittier97370 says:
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    no Haynes, Wallace or Deane Deane the turnover machine. This is a good thing. The only senior that should see any PT is Omari. At least he can rebound. Wallace is a one trick pony like that little shit that played for the ducks a few years back but way less consistent. The only thing Haynes brings to the table is a me first attitude. Deane just sucks balls and can’t even walk without tripping over his own two feet. The freshman and sophomores have tons more talent and potential.
    Play them. The substitution patterns have been maddening. And don’t even get me started on the lack of touch around the basket. Jesus, someone in a wheelchair could make more layups than these clowns. That effort will beat Stanford. It won’t beat UA.

  • BeaverBeliever20 says:
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    Let’s do a hypothetical. If the Beavers beat Arizona tomorrow, and let’s just say they make the conference title game without Haynes or Wallace, what will the opinion be of Craig then? I would think it would be even more frustrating because people would be irritated that Craig didn’t make the change sooner. I don’t think they will beat Arizona but the Wildcats haven’t exactly dominated.

  • Quatre Quatre says:
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    Met Mel Counts last Friday. Walked into a local favorite eatery of mine, was seated and there he is at the table right next to mine. Introduced myself and chatted for a few mins, good stuff. He doesn’t look like he’s shrunk an inch from his playing days.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    You know I was a early critic of the Robinson “psycho-babble” (starting last year), this game does not change my opinion, but at least the team played hard and made some pretty sound decisions the last three minutes of the game. Hey, my prediction of a 67-64 Beaver win was pretty close. Can I get a gold star?

    • angry angry says:
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      I sent your letter of recommendation to Bob D.

    • homefry homefry says:
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      not bad, my 71-65 OSU win was right on the total!

      AZ currently 11.5 favorites, I see a 86-64 cat victory, or an ugly beav win 71-69.

      Of course, I also see world peace…

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    My opinions of the game: At least in the top 3 games of the year from an energy perspective. Collier is an absolute beast. Starks is a true shooter and is going to be fun to watch. Roberto never got into the flow of the game and I can’t even blame CR for it. Cunningham and Omari both had decent games but please make a layup. If Joe Burton played like that every game I would be a big fan. He did not try to do to much and was under control. I liked the way that CR was actually running the offense through him at the box rather than the top of the key for some of the second half, it was effective. He needs to be able to knock down the 15 footer though to play that position. McShane gives great hustle but is such an offensive liability that I don’t think he should get off the bench.

    CR was puzzling tonight. The starting line-up was a head scratcher but I know that it was to emphasize that he was in charge of this team. I did find it funny that the announcers kept pointing at the bench scoring being the difference in the game (idiots). I was surprised that he kept Calvin and Lathen on the bench the entire game but I think that was a good move and did more to show that he was in control (maybe the missed curfew was a positive thing for the team). My biggest gripe with CR is his substitution patterns. Even with a shorter rotation of guys he seems to pull guys that are really rolling. Starks was absolutely on fire in the first half and yet Robinson pulled him out and when he got back in he had cooled off.

    I don’t know what made CR see the light on the seniors but last night did a lot to prove what many on this blog have been saying all year. If you are going to use youth as the excuse why you are struggling, then use only your youth.

    • ean says:
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      good stuff. Maybe I am guilty of being a Roberto apologist but I like the fact that his shot wasn’t falling and he obviously wasn’t having a great game yet his play didn’t really bring others down. He still helped facilitate. I could see Cunningham, Starks and Nelson developing some good chemistry and if Barton is a decent player at all we could have a great guard rotation and hopefully some 3 guard lineups.

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