I'll begin with football first...
I usually don't get caught up in recruiting.... I'll get excited about it at the recruiting dinner, but during this purgatory stage it just doesn't seem worth it. I'll let the coaches do their thing, then talk about it when the dust settles.
However, in this case, it looks like Oregon State landed a nice catch in offensive lineman Michael Phillipp out of the Los Angeles area. Rated as a four-star prospect, Phillipp has been heralded as one of the best linemen in the west. Rivals.com comes through with these fine quotes:
"I just committed to Oregon State," Philipp said. "I was comfortable with the players and I think the coaches are genuine.
"Coach Mike Riley is a genuine guy and so is my position coach, Mike Cavanaugh," Philipp said. "I know that Coach Cavanaugh will make me a better football player."
"I know that Oregon State may not have the best academics as far as reputation as other schools that I was considering, but Oregon State felt like the right school for me."
"I talked it over with my family and I called all the other schools involved and told them I would be going to Oregon State," Philipp said. "Then I called Coach Cavanaugh and let him know I was coming."
Hopefully we'll be hearing about Michael and many other find student-athletes at February 4's Recruiting Dinner.
On the basketball front....
The Beavers play at Cal on Thursday, which is the new home of former Oregon State head coach Jay John. If you miss him, maybe this picture will bring back some memories.
Anyway, Buker's interview with De Carolis a few days ago told us that a) De Carolis had a hard time firing Jay:
"Yeah, it was a hard one. Good guy, good representative of the University. He was doing it right. The kids for the most part off the court weren't getting into trouble. Academically, they were doing decently. He was working hard at it. We were just stuck in this cycle and we couldn't get out of it.
and b), the two haven't talked since:
"I'm sure when they visit, we'll talk.'' --De Carolis
However you want to dice the story, the Beavers feel like they're better off with the man they have now, even if he is spending a few days on the other side of the country. The classic Robinson quote from this week comes via Buker:
"I'm going to try and pay attention at the Inauguration,'' he said. "I'm sure at the (Inauguration) Balls, though, I'll be shaking hands with some people and thinking, 'how are we going to stop the Randle kid (Cal's Jerome Randle) from shooting threes?' "
Right... about Cal.
First year head coach Mike Montgomery has the Bears on the right track, even if they were derailed for just the third time of the year by Stanford in Saturday's "Big Game".
Jerome Randle, who Robinson obviously has been fantasizing about, is the 13th best three-point shooter in the country, and the second-best in the conference. Only ASU's Rihards Kuksiks shoots a higher percentage (52.6) than Randle (47.6), but Kuksiks is a freak of nature, so we'll let that go. Randle has only failed to make a three-point field goal in one game this season, Cal's 57-50 win over WSU earlier in the year. He's averaging over 18 points per game.
There were murmors out of Berekly that the kid could have hurt is ankle in the waning seconds of the loss to Stanford that dropped Cal out of the polls, but nope.
Cal point guard Jerome Randle, who went down holding his left ankle with 9.9 seconds left, was checked out afterward and has only a bruise, no sprain. "I'll be fine," he said in the post-game press conference.
Stay tuned for more Cal/Stanford coverage this week. Perhaps with a hint of inauguration thrown in there too.
--Jake (jake. firstname.lastname@example.org)