Basketball is on the back burner right now for the average OSU fan, but it will be here before we know it-- and for the first time in several years, we'll be looking forward to watching the 2009-2010 Men's hoops team.
--The Beavers haven't officially released the 2009-2010 schedule on the athletic website yet, but we know for sure that the Beavers will host Colorado in the Big 12, Pac-10 Hardwood series. South Dakota and Texas Tech have both released their schedules, however, and the Beavers could potentially play both teams in the "Duel in the Desert" tournament to open the season. From Texas Tech:
The Red Raiders open their 2009-2010 season on Friday, November 13, as host of the Duel in the Desert event sponsored by Basketball Travelers, Inc
Texas Tech and Basketball Travelers, Inc. will co-produce this three-game Multiple Team Event (MTE) tournament held at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock. Oregon State (Pac-10), South Dakota (Great West), and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Southland) round out the field. Each team will play one game on November 13, 14, and 15. Team pairings for the three-day event are still to be determined.
--Shaun Albin of the Hoops Report has the Beavers cracking into his pre-season Top 65, ranking the once lowly Beavers at #59 in his pre-season rankings. He may be right... the Beavers add several freshman playmakers to a roster (minus Claitt and a couple reserves) that finished .500 and won a CBI Championship last season.
Albin's projected lineup for the Beavers next season looks like this:
PG: Jared Cunningham 6-3 Fr.
SG: Calvin Haynes 6-2 Jr.
SF: Seth Tarver 6-5 Sr.
PF: Joe Burton 6-7 Fr.
C: Roeland Schaftenaar 6-11 Sr.
Key Reserves: Lathen Wallace 6-3 Jr. SG, Omari Johnson 6-7 Jr. SF, Roberto Nelson 6-4 Fr. SG, Daniel Deane 6-8 Jr. PF, Josh Tarver 6-3 Sr. PG, Angus Brandt 6-10 Fr. C
It will be interesting to see how Cunningham fits in at the 1. I haven't seen him play in person yet, but I've heard that he is strongest on defense, but is also an adept distributor. Josh Tarver has definitely had his woes at the point guard position in the past years, but he will be the incumbent heir-apparent after the departure of Rickey Claitt. That should figure to be a great battle in pre-season practices.
Albin sums up the situation nicely with his final statement:
In one year, Robinson turned a team that won zero conference games into a team that could compete with anybody in the Pac-10. This year, with star power coming in, the Beavers should continue their ascent to the top of the Pac-10 conference.
--Craig Robinson was recently featured on ESPN's new Chicago site, as Scott Powers looked at Robinson's upbringings in Chicago and ascension to the head coaching position at Oregon State. Powers also notes that Robinson continues to recruit heavily from the Chicago area.
At Northwestern, he brought in players from the Chicago area. At Brown, he did the same. Already, that trend is continuing at Oregon State.
In the Beavers' 2008 recruiting class, Robinson received a letter of intent from Lake Forest Academy's Angus Brandt. Brandt and Rhys Murphy, who also signed with Oregon State, played club basketball with Chicago suburban-based Full Package Athletics. Starks is committed for 2009. Whitney Young's Sam Thompson, Class of 2010, and Glenbrook North's Alex Dragicevich, Class of 2009, have mentioned Oregon State among the schools they're considering.
"The good thing about big cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York is there's a lot of good basketball players," said Robinson, who is always sure to stop at Lem's Bar-B-Q House on 75th Street whenever he's back home. "Clearly, Chicago has a warm spot in my heart because I'm from here. The older I get, most of the guys who are coaching in Chicago I've coached against them or played them sometime in my career."
--Former Oregon State standouts Lamar Hurd and David Lucas will compete for the International Basketball League crown tonight at Cal Lutheran University. Their team, the Oregon Waves, is currently in the championship series (much like how the CBI was formatted) of the IBL tournament with the Los Angeles Lightning. The Lightning, whose roster includes a plethora of former NBA players, seemed like the heavy favorites in the series. That was until the Waves won Game 2 of the series Sunday night on a free throw with 15 seconds left-- the final score was 108-107.
"We beat ourselves," said the Lightning's Bryon Russell, a former Jazz and Lakers forward. "I thought they did a great job, but we beat ourselves down the stretch."
Former Duck David Jackson and former Portland State Viking Jeremiah Dominguez are also on the Oregon Waves roster.
The Lightning won Game 1 of the series 142-131 on Saturday night. The decisive Game 3 is tonight at 7 p.m.