Final Score: Oregon State 73, Fresno State 65 (Box score)
I think all who watched this game can agree that it was a very refreshing one-- a game in which we saw shades of last year's team and the model that we've trying to get back to for the ten previous games of this season.
From early on in the game, Calvin Haynes and Roeland Schafteenaar showed signs of being their old selves. Within the first five minutes of the game, Schaftenaar had a three, and Haynes had two. By halftime, Lathen Wallace and Omari Johnson were leading the way for the Beavers with 11 and 10 points, respectfully.
Haynes would end up tying his career high with 25 points, 19 of them in the second half. Both Wallace and Johnson cooled off in the second half, as they each only scored two points in the final 20 minutes.
All-in-all, this was a much needed showing before Pac-10 play starts next Thursday. With Roeland, Haynes, Wallace, and Johnson all playing well we finally got to see a little bit of what we saw down the stretch last year.
To me, it was clear from the start that Coach Robinson was trying to get Roeland back into the mix more. Schaftneaar started the game and played a stretch of about six minutes before being replaced by Burton, and he played more at the top of the key a la last year versus down in the paint like we've seen at times this season. It seems as if Coach Rob was using the younger more athletic guys as motivation for his veterans to work harder, and now that we've reached the end of the non-conference slate and it's time for Pac-10 to start, he's reigning in the freshman and letting the older guys play more. Jared Cunningham has been starting the last few games, but we didn't see him in the lineup, nor did we see very many minutes out of Jared (8), Burton (7), or Brandt (3).
Anyone else think that could be part of CR's master plan? If so, it worked well on Wednesday night.
Post-game quotes from Robinson and Haynes (via the Beaver Sports Network on KPAM 860) after the jump:
--Jake | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Head Coach Craig Robinson:
On the execution, and this being one of the team's best performances...
I think it was. This is right up there with the George Washington game where we came out with a nice start. I thought at the end of the George Washington game we let it slip away. Here, those guys made a couple of threes at the end of the game. It's easy to shoot those deep shots when you're down 15. The point spread doesn't really show how well our guys were playing defense. I thought we did a great job on Paul George, who's averaging 17-- he had 28 in his last game-- we held him to 15 points. Sylvester Seay is a very tall, talented big man who can play a wing. To hold him to just 13 points, again our guys did everything we asked. We wanted them to be tough and aggressive on defense and execute on offense, and they did everything.
On the overall performance and execution...
What I saw out there was a mature game from mature guys. That's how it should be. We should be lead with our maturity, then you thrown in our talent with the younger guys and they get to experience this and help us win games. This game for both Calvin and Lathen was a very surgical operation. Those guys took very few bad shots. They knew when to drive versus when to pull up. I thought they made excellent choices tonight.
On the maturity of the veterans...
Omari has to be one of our top two or three guys at practice every day. He plays solid basketball every day in practice, and you play in games like your practice so I'm really happy to see him have success. Last year, when we were playing really well, Lathen Wallace was playing well. He's such a big part of what we do. I thought he took a couple of ill-advised shots, but most of them were very mature, good decisions. You can't forget about Roeland. Roeland is back to the Roeland of old where he is making the shots that are there, not forcing things, and not turning the ball over.
On the connection between Roeland and Calvin in the offense...
We haven't seen that since last year because those guys have struggled a little bit. I think its very hard when you have a 6-11 guy and a 6-3 guy playing with each other, because the defenses can't switch off because there's going to be a mismatch. You saw what happened tonight-- they switched for a second and Calvin got right to the basket. They don't switch and Calvin throws it back to Roeland for a wide open shot. At the end of games, you have to be able to execute and tonight they looked great doing it.
On building on these two games, and the pre-season non-conference schedule coming to an end...
We played a pretty good schedule, and I think this Fresno State team is one to be reckoned with. Length wise, they're going to be much more like the teams we are going to play when we get into conference and athletically they're about like a team we're going to play in conference. To be able to have the guys get a tiny bit of a Christmas break on a positive note like this before we come back and get ready to go for conference makes it a nice Christmas.
Calvin Haynes (25 pts, 8/12, 5/6 from 3):
On the career-high 25 points...
I needed this game to help get us going. Roeland dad is here, so I just want to give him a shout out. His presence--I don't know what it does-- but it makes Roeland play much better. I think it was around this time last year too that Roeland started to play well. But I've been playing well, shooting well in practice, and I've been getting a lot of extra shots up and it's helping me. I'm confident and I'm getting the dog back that I had last eyar. I'm glad I had this game and I'm looking forward to going into Pac-10 play.
On that connection between with Roeland...
It starts in practice. He has an eye for when I like to back-cut and I have an eye when he knows I'm going to backcut. We don't really hang out much, but it seems like we have that eye-connection and we know where each other are on the court. It's just something that we practice.
On his shot and confidence...
I'm working hard and I like to get extra shots. I'm not the type of person who likes someone to out-work me. That's just part of my character-- working hard on my craft. I want to get to the next level and I want to do what I have to do to make it, and me and my dad know that hard work in the gym comes out in the games.
On penetrating well..
Last game I settled for a couple threes where I could have drove, and tonight I just tried to do what the defense gave me. Open threes and up-fakes and pull-up jumpers and getting to the basket-- everything I do is a part of my game and I just want to complete it.
--Jake | (email@example.com)