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State of the Basketball Nation?

I don't know if many people were able to watch last night's basketball game over the web feed, but it wasn't a good result to say the least. The Beavs went down 61 to 63 to the then 1 and 6 UIC (Ill. Chicago) Flames in the last seconds of the game. The Beavs shot almost 55% from the field and were additionally 4-12 from 3 point land, and also shot a fairly impressive 75% from the free throw line. BUT some very uninspired and sloppy play on the Beavs part doomed the effort. Mr. Robo Cop (Robo Kreps) seems like a pretty good player, but the Beavs let him have way too many open looks, and too many of those looks were close to the rim. This will not do when the team starts to play deeper teams such as those found in the Pac-10.

Yes, yes I know the Pac is down this year and all, but this performance was not inspiring at all as the Beavs go into their last two games before traveling to the Washington schools to start conference play. I know this all seems a bit bleak on my part, so let's chalk it up to being too close to that loss last night, for I really think this team can be a good one, but...

My continued thoughts and more game numbers after the break.

For me personally there were three big things that stood out in that game:

1. The last seconds of the game and the incredibly dumb and uninspired play by the players to even get the ball inbounded. I think there were like five to three seconds left so I wasn't expecting for the miracle shot to go in, but expected them to at least get it in and a look at the hoop. And to have it stolen not once but twice, sigh. The team needs to light a fire now, for this type of play is not what postseason teams are made of.

2. I think it was about midway through the second half and UIC looked to be on their heels and the Beavs had caught up finally and were slowing pulling away, but they couldn't put the hammer down and take control. The team did this a lot last year too but they also improved their play by 1000% from the year before and I was okay with it last season, but this year's team needs to figure this out.

3. The freshman, Burton, Cunningham, and Brandt, all look to have some good talent, but Burton looks like a player who has had his way against smaller players at the high school level and now is finding himself constantly getting into out of position foul problems. Cunningham seems to now be getting limited play and I'm not quite sure why. Brandt looks to have a pretty big learning curve ahead of him. These three though need to mature fairly quickly, in my opinion, for this team to step it up and I think they have the potential for we have seen glimpses of it for all three.

Overall this team has a lot of talent, and personally I was not all that rah-rah about the Big Dance for I thought that was a bit much, but I liked the expectations. I thought the NIT and a solid fourth (maybe third) place conference finish would be the upper goal for the season, but now I'm concerned this team won't get it together and will be digging themselves out of a nasty hole all season long. Indeed their play so far has not looked, for the most part, even like any type of postseason caliber.

I think at the same time there is enough possible veteran leadership on this team to complement the younger raw talent, and put this along side a very good coach I feel this team still can get it going and make a nice conference run this year. But I also worry that time is running down on getting some sort of inspired team identity in place before what will be a difficult opening road conference trip.

Thoughts? Counter arguments to make me feel better?

Here are the game numbers:

Oregon St.
Name FG 3Pt FT PF Pts
Angus Brandt 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0
Joe Burton 1-5 0-0 0-0 2 2
Jared Cunningham 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0
Daniel Deane 2-2 0-0 2-4 1 6
Calvin Haynes 6-10 3-6 0-0 2 15
Omari Johnson 0-1 0-1 4-4 1 4
Roeland Schaftenaar 3-6 0-1 1-1 3 7
Josh Tarver 2-3 0-0 2-2 1 6
Seth Tarver 8-12 1-3 0-1 1 17
Lathen Wallace 2-4 0-1 0-0 5 4
Totals 24-44 4-12 9-12 19 61
Percentages: .545 .333 .750
Ill. Chicago
Name FG 3Pt FT PF Pts
Brad Birton 3-4 0-0 2-3 2 8
Chris Buchanan 1-3 0-2 2-3 1 4
Jeremy Buttell 3-7 0-1 2-3 4 8
Corey Gray 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Louis Green 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0
Anthony Kelley 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0
Robo Kreps 7-13 4-10 1-1 1 19
Zavion Neely 5-9 0-1 3-4 0 13
K.C. Robbins 1-4 0-0 0-0 3 2
Spencer Stewart 3-6 3-6 0-0 1 9
Totals 23-47 7-21 10-14 14 63
Percentages: .489 .333 .714