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Oregon State Basketball: Some thoughts and questions going into the Civil War game

Wow feels like forever since we have had a basketball game.  One thing I have always liked about basketball and baseball over football is usually less wait!

Going into the first Civil War game I wanted to pose some questions and thoughts about the Beavs 2010-2011 basketball team.  I hope that we can use this a "preview" discussion area as we move into Saturday's game.

I really don't have a formal preview in place here and did throw around the idea for a poll, but thought it would be nice to have more of a discussion around the team who is nearing the half way point of conference play.  My questions/thoughts after the break.


1.  Has this OSU basketball team improved?

So far here is the breakdown of the Beavs overall record:

Overall Home Away
All Games:
(8-9) (7-4) (1-5)
Conference: (3-3) (3-1) (0-2)
Non-Conference: (5-6) (4-3) (1-3)





From this we have a team that seems to be on this fence of being a winning or losing team (record wise) overall.  Indeed I think that the team has shown us the good (AZ series), the bad (the WA series), and the oh so-so (SoCal series).  But what is this team going to do?  To me it seems that the road games are going to end up making the difference and showing us the true side of this young team.

2.  Is Omari Johnson the senior to step it up this season?

Omari had a wonderful game against SC and showed everything we need from a senior, quiet leadership driving the ball to the hoop and making key rebounds.  But it hasn't always been this way with Omari, so does he have the motivation to keep this solid play going?  What about the other seniors?  Will Lathen Wallace or Calvin Haynes find any magic before the end of their OSU careers?

3.  Inside offense?  Defense?

Will we ever get any consistent in-the-paint play?  So far I have not seen much on either side of the ball.  But at times both Angus Brandt and Joe Burton have seemed poised to step it up on both sides of the ball.  There seems to be some potential there, but nothing consistent and have to be honest this has been a hard area for me to gauge.  What about Devon Collier?  For he also looks to be yet another excellent young player, but hasn't been able to put together a really consistent game yet.

4.  Jared Cunningham?

Is he just looking like the four star recruit we all were excited about or what?  For me what I think is getting scary is that Jared is now becoming a long ball threat from behind the arc.  I am very excited to watch his game continue to improve and I think a big question about Jared is when will he have that huge 30+ point game?

5.  Roberto Nelson?

I know all of us have A LOT of expectations for this other four star recruit and he has shown signs of being just that player.  But can we realistically expect him to breakout as a leader and star along with Jared Cunningham this season?  I think for me that my head says no we need to be patient and let him get a good season of experience under his belt, but my heart keeps yelling that he is going to have a huge game very soon.

6.  Post-season?

So in conclusion, and going back to question one, is this team good enough to get to the post-season (and hence yes a winning record)?  I personally think the NIT is still a possibility, but I still could see it going the other way too and missing out on the post-season.  I think a really big and interesting question is there enough leadership and chemistry with this team to have the WHOLE team breakout and make a serious run at a top three/four finish in the Pac?

So those are my thoughts overall and mainly I have a lot of questions!

So please chime in and as always GO BEAVS!