What else can you say after winning your first conference game in 21 tries? That was pure awesomeness. The team played great, coming back from 15 down. And let me tell you, that was as exciting as Gill has been since we beat Arizona at home three years ago. Congratulations Coach Rob on getting your first of what I am going to guess is many Pac10 wins! Some thoughts:
- Gill is ready for it. The team is ready for it. Every Beaver fan is ready for it. This program is going to go somewhere. Now, let's not jump ahead of ourselves, as this team has a long way to go. But you can feel the energy inside Gill. You could feel the excitement as the team was coming back from 15 down in the 2nd half. And let me tell you, as exciting and loud as Gill is at 1/2 capacity, I can only imagine what it is going to be like sold out. This win is a first HUGE step in the right direction.
- The team played hard. They worked their asses off. You can tell we lack a lot of size. And we aren't as deep as most teams. But guys like Calvin Haynes, Deane, Johnson, and Schaftnaar were flying all over the place, and you can tell the OSU fans appreciate hard-nose, blue collar basketball (just like football).
- We need, need, NEED to rebound better. There were many times in the first half where we would take a 3 point shot, or a long 2, and there was nobody under the basket for the rebound. USC was snatching boards all game long. It improved in the 2nd half (don't have numbers, just going off memory) and look what happened. But if we don't start crashing the boards harder, this win is going to be more of an exception than the rule.
- Coach Rob is an in-your-face kind of coach. From all his interviews and campaigning and what not, he seemed like a reserved guy. But nope, he was yelling almost every time down the court. Not everybody responds to that kind of criticism, but these guys needed a kick in the pants. He gives that to us. And you can tell the players light up when they do something right and Coach Rob gives them a compliment.
- Calvin Haynes is our Brandon Roy. He's the guy we want with the ball when it comes down to it. He was arguably the most inspirational player out there tonight, and when he's on the bench, there is definitely a lack of urgency on the court. Don't be surprised to see him on the 2nd Team All-Pac10 at the end of the year.
- We lack size. Serious size. Lucky for us, USC isn't the biggest team either. But when Schaftnaar is out, we are in trouble. I would imagine Coach Rob is looking for another big Euro-style player to play the same role that Schaftnaar plays now. There's gotta be a kid in Oregon somewhere.
- And finally, Coach Rob is the truth. He guaranteed the students at Oregon State a Pac10 win, and he got it. The only thing that scares me about him is when he does turn this program around, what will he do when bigger money and a bigger program comes flying his way? In my opinion, he can make OSU basketball as big of a program as he wants. So here's hoping he stays. In the meantime, let's enjoy this moment. GO BEAVS!