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Beavers Dodge Bullets as Washington Looms

The last couple days have been busy ones for myself and Coach Robinson, who has had to dodge John Canzano's "women's basketball" bullet left and right. 

And no, by the headline, I was not referring to a confrontation between UW and OSU players in a parking lot, at a hotel, or at mid-court during a practice session. 

The Beavers, who won four games in the first half of the Pac-10 season, were swept by the Arizona schools at home last week. Now, the Beavers were swept in Arizona earlier in the season, but that was before the Beavers swept Cal and Stanford, showing everyone what they could do. 

Except Canzano, perhaps.

Here's the excerpt from the Bald One's column that stirred everything up:

The Beavers are playing women's basketball.

Craig Robinson's basketball team plays great defense. It passes the ball as the primary means of ball movement. The players listen intently to their coach when he's giving instruction. And there were 46 Beavers' shot attempts against Arizona State, and only 15 made baskets, and not a single rim-rattling dunk among them.

ASU beat OSU 49-38 at Gill Coliseum. And on the way out, I heard one Beavers fan turn to his significant other and whisper, "Sheesh, we scored 40 in our church-league game last week."

And there was a stretch of 2:37 in the second half in which neither team scored and nothing really happened, which raised all kinds of postgame wonderment about how this was likely the ugliest game anyone had seen in a long while.

Of course, this caused Oregonian beat reporter Paul Buker, who also covers the Beavers football team, to shut all the talk down with: "Apparently you didn't see the Sun Bowl."

It seems like everyone has had a reaction to this-- from OSU beat writer Paul Buker to Rachel Bachman all the way down the ladder. 

Here's Buker's analytical take, which takes into account the opponent, and the fact that Canzano picked the wrong game to go to:

Sendek's team is disciplined, plays good defense, and just happens to have two players - James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph - who the Beavers are going to have trouble with one-on-one, or vs. the 1-3-1, or matchup, or triangle-and-two, or whatever else coach Rob can dream up to try and close the talent gap on game nights.

So in many ways, a Sendek-coached ASU team brings out the worst in this Oregon State team that has exactly the same players as last season (with the addition of Daniel Deane), when coaches, players, fans, and media went through an ordeal that in simple terms absolutely sucked.

Given that, it was not a good night for the O.'s columnist to see coach Rob's guys, because they have played far, far better than what he saw vs. ASU. ... there was nothing ugly, slow, and mechanical about the USC win, or the Bay Area sweep, or the intense Civil War win over Oregon in front of a throwback crowd that left the building bubbling with enthusiasm about the future of the OSU program.

And then, there was Rachel Bachman's response to Canzano's article in the Oregonian, that prompted a debate on the BFT yesterday

But the best response came from Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson, who basically silenced the whole issue:

"What I will say to anybody who looks at the way we play ... all I can say is, if it takes us playing - in somebody's opinion - like a women's team, and we're winning games, then we'll play like a women's team.

"That's what people dont' understand, this whole society is a 'style over substance' society. ... the object here is to win games.

--Jake (