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Notes from the Dam Slam

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Beaver basketball is back!

Freshman Derrick Bruce attempts to slam it home during the dunk contest.
Freshman Derrick Bruce attempts to slam it home during the dunk contest.
Michael Kiever

The Oregon State men's basketball team hosted the first annual "Dam Slam" event tonight. The basketball split in half for a "Black vs. Orange" scrimmage, and also had a three point competition and slam dunk competition at half time. The Black team, featuring Gary Payton II and Stephen Thompson Jr., ended up winning 77-54. Here are some of the highlights from the night:

  • This year is going to be the Gary Payton II show (if that wasn't already the case last year.) Payton was the most vocal player on the court and very clearly the best player on the court. He started the night off right, catching an alley-oop pass from freshman (and coach's son) Tres Tinkle and throwing it down hard. On the defensive end, he made it look too easy. He had a chase down block, a couple of nifty steals and showed why he's an NBA prospect. He didn't participate in the dunk contest, but made up for it by putting on a show of athleticism during the games and during warmups.
  • Payton led the Black team to an early 40-20 lead at halftime before switching over to the Orange team. Having him and a hot Stephen Thompson Jr. on the same team was a little unfair.
  • Stephen Thompson Jr., the freshman son of coach Stephen Thompson, was on fire from the three-point range all night. He ended up with a game-high 28 points and has the looks of a potential sharpshooter for the Beavers this season. Langston Morris-Walker also had a good night from downtown, ending with 16 points.
  • Speaking of freshman, Drew Eubanks looked like the real deal. The 6-10 center out of Troutdale, Oregon displayed deft post moves and a powerful inside game to the tune of 12 points. He looks like he may need to add some muscle to his frame before he gets too much action, but the early signs are encouraging.
  • Olaf Schaftenaar won the three-point contest and Derrick Bruce won the dunk contest. Schaftenaar displayed a nice touch for a big man and edged out Stephen Thompson Jr. in the competition. The dunk contest was not terribly exciting, as last year's winner Malcolm Duvivier was out in the first round after missing his dunk attempt. Bruce had the coolest dunk by far. In the finals he threw the ball from between his legs up at the backboard before doing a 360 spin and slamming it home. The 6'3 freshman was a three-star recruit out of Moreno Valley, California and has some serious hops.

In total, it was a fun time watching the Beavers get back on the floor for what should be another exciting building season. The Beavers have a lot of athletic talent and will be a very young and intriguing squad coming into this year. It will be quite the spectacle seeing what Tinkle is able to do with this team. They may have to rely on freshmen, but with Gary Payton II at the helm, it seems like anything could be possible.