Hardwood Roundup: Craig Robinson joins Wheels at Work

Beaver Nation--and the Beaver Dam-- have a lot of reasons to be excited about the 2009-2010 Oregon State basketball team. (Photo by Ethan Erickson)

Everyone is getting amped up for football around here, but there is also a lot of reason to be excited for basketball season. Coach Robinson has this year's Oregon State squad aligned to finish in the top half of the Pac-10, which means that Oregon State fans can now expect top-half finishes from all three major sports teams-- football, basketball, and baseball. A couple notes for today:

--Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson joined Kenny Vance on Wheels at Work today, and shared some interesting thoughts on the upcoming year and on his recruiting class in general. You can find the entire podcast here, complete with information on all five of OSU's recruits.  It's long (about 20 minutes), but well worth the listen. Here is a little bit of what Coach Rob had to say:

On the momentum heading into this season: It's been really nice to finish up the way we did. It's made the spring terrific. You should see how the guys have been working to get ready for next year. The fans have been terriffic. Most of all, in this business you covet your summers, because it's the only time you get to take a break, but our staff and our team are wishing it's October 15 so we could get our games started. 

On the SI feature on Roberto Nelson, and the recruiting process: We didn't send him any kind of written mail. What we're trying to do is put a bit more personal touch on the recruiting process. What we do is we tell the guys why we're recruiting them and where they stand. We'd like to recruit them like they're professionals, not like they're non-factors. You can send out mail with no name, no personalization, it may work for some guys. We've found that it just doesn't work for us. People have to get to know us, we have to have that personal touch. Once we made contact with Roberto, we found that he was at the stage where he would prefer not to get mail. We try and recruit kids the way they want to be recruited. Ours is more of a personal touch. I'd much rather talk to a kid on the phone than write him a note. There are some kids who want you to write you a lot so they can get a lot of letter. That might not be the kid who's set up to be on this Oregon State team. We try and cut right to the core and find out of he's interested.  If he is-- I'm happy to call him up. 

I'm trying to recruit these kids like I'd like to be recruited. It's in the best interest of both parties to find out where each stands early on. 

When I read the SI feature, I had the same thoughts as Coach Rob shared above. From the year we've been able to see him coach the Beavers, it's become apparent that he is big on the personal relationships, and the personal communication between players, fans, the media, etc. This seems like just an extension of that-- a high caliber player responding to a guy like Craig Robinson, who comes across not only as a great basketball mind, but also a quality person. 

--One other thing: Jason King of Yahoo! Sports has the Beavers featured in his recent "Ready to Rise" story, saying that the fact that the Beavers return their top three scorers (Haynes, Schaftenaar, Seth Tarver) will be "a big advantage in a year when the Pac-10 will be reeling from the loss of many of its top stars." Also featured in the story are the likes of Texas, Kentucky, Kansas State, and Georgetown. 

We're looking to have George Dohrmannn, the author of the SI feature on Roberto Nelson, on the blog in the coming days for an interview. Stay tuned for that. 

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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