Get ready to kiss the sky again. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Gill Coliseum / No TV / KTHH-AM 990 / KKSN-AM 910
The Oregon State Beaver basketball team will begin regular season play against the Roadrunners of Cal State Bakersfield. The Beavers played Pacific University in exhibition last Friday and won 64-33 led by Jared Cunningham who scored 12 points and grabbed 3 steals.
This is a make or break year for Craig Robinson with previous records of 18-18, 14-18, and 10-19, from the 2008-2009 season to the 2010-2011 season. He has brought in good recruiting classes, but the team was still yet to really improve. The talent is there now, so the blame will likely fall to Robinson if this year goes wrong.
There is now a shift towards man to man defense, thanks to a higher talent level. Some fans have been clamoring for this move for a long time, and now they've finally got it. It should be the right move, as it was pretty successful last year when the Beavers would move to it.
The potential is there this year across the board. Ahmad Starks will play at the point, and as long as he shoots well he'll be a valuable player. Jared Cunningham is a solid guard, hopefully he has further developed his touch around the hoop. Devon Collier will play at small forward and will be a solid scorer, rebounder, and defender. Joe Burton needs to limit his mistakes, but can help this team. Angus Brandt will be solid, but will not be exceptional. Also Roberto Nelson, Eric Moreland, and Rhys Murphy are likely to get some playing time off the bench as well. The expectations for this team should be at least at getting to the NIT, if not the NCAA tourney. Here's to hoping!