Given that the football season at Cal was already effectively over in August, its understandable how our Berkeley based buddy Avinash, who also writes for California Golden Blogs as well as Pacific Takes, has already started thinking about hoops. But since the Beavers have already begun their season, with a 69-42 win over Corban last week, it does make sense to stat thinking about Oregon St. basketball, which continues Tuesday night against Concordia at 7 PM.
So when Av stopped by in his block Bear football out of mind tour, here's how the conversation went:
Av: What excites you the most about the upcoming season for the Beavers on the hardwood?
Andy: There's basketball already? It's the most important part of football season! Seriously, seeing if Angus Brandt can bounce back strong from his knee injury. A healthy and hungry Brandt might just make for a season with some success.
RVM: Oh, man, really? Hate to be finally the Debbie-Downer here but not sure it excites me at all yet. Glad Brandt is back, and interested to see what Roberto Nelson can bring as the true leader of the team, so maybe "interested" is a better framing of it for me than "excited." The team, coaches, and the program needs to show me something we have not seen since we lost Jared Cunningham for me to get excited.
Av: What worries you the most about Beavers hoops this upcoming season?
Andy: The lack of a proven point guard, or a reliable backcourt scoring threat to compliment Roberto Nelson. And no real experienced or proven depth. There are some possibilities, most notably Hallice Cooke (I think), but there's no apparent "sure thing."
RVM: Dang? Like everything? Anyone else out there to pull defenses out besides Nelson? Is there a point guard? Do they have like any inside game? Is Brandt going to be fired up or too cautious? Will Eric Moreland join the program and stop getting suspended?
Will Coach Robinson give up some of his control and maybe think about adding a dynamic coaching staff around him (or for this season allow them to call him out and change things up that they see are not working)? How good will the conference be versus how ready the Beavs are for the conference? Can we get any lamer of pre-conference season schedule?
Seriously, I am not about calling for coaching heads to roll, I dislike that coming from the fan base under most circumstances to be honest. But at the same time, this program seemed to have something possibly going, and now it has taken way too many steps backwards. I don't expect a top third of the Pac-12 finish and NCAA invite, but they need to prove something, and build some chemistry towards a goal like the NIT and an above .500 season.
Year before last, Oregon St. had their best season in a couple of decades, but that looks like it might have been a high water mark in several ways. What do you think the upside is for this season? How do the Beavers get there? Afterall, its November, and so basketball is beginning.