It has been a slow start to the season for the University of Massachusetts grad transfer, Seth Berger. The forward transferred to Oregon State after a final year at U-Mass where his minutes fluctuated throughout the year. When he transferred to OSU, Tinkle and Co. saw Berger as a veteran presence on a roster that mustered just 5 wins a year ago.
In Barcelona, Berger began as a starter. This didn’t last long, however, as Berger struggled to adjust to the Beav’s new scheme. Whether it was pressure to make plays, or adjusting to different competition at a Power Five university, Berger didn’t look comfortable on the floor. This climaxed in Berger’s season debut, where he played only 5 minutes but picked up 5 fouls in that time. His adjustment to Oregon State was reflected in his play time, where he played just about 30 minutes total through the first 5 games of the season.
However, something changed after that 5th game.
On a Sunday night against the Marist Red Foxes, Berger’s minutes doubled from his average time he was on the floor. In his growth in playing time, he added value to the team while he was on the floor; as he picked up 4 points, 1 steal, and 1 rebound.
After the game versus Marist, Berger’s role on the team has continued to grow as well as his impact on the game for the squad of hungry Beavs. He has seen double-digit minutes in every game since Marist, and has added meaningful value to the Beavers squad. Whether it be 6 steals against Kent State, or 3 assists versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Berger has made small splashes in each game this season since his uptick in minutes. In his previous 2 games, Berger’s point totals have matched the total points from his first 9 games combined.
Big Baller Berger. (That should totally be a hashtag...)
This increase culminated with a huge game against nasty, no-good, dirty, rotten Oregon Ducks on national television. In this game, Berger went nuts with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. The fact that it was against the Ducks was just icing on the cake, or just cheese on the Berger (Terrible pun, but I seriously couldn’t resist).
Coach Tinkle himself showed some love for Berger’s impact, “ The big three did a great job,” Tinkle stated. “But Seth was unbelievable, especially to start the second half there.” It's evident to all that as Berger’s role elevates, so does the entire basketball team. It really gets you excited to think of the possibilities for this team with the play Berger, as well as other bench players, have provided for the Beavs.
It creates a team that all Pac-12 teams will have to watch out for as March draws near.
The team has been exciting to watch so far, and yet, we still have so much basketball left! Keep an eye on #BigBallerBerger and the rest of the team as the Beavs travel to Tuscon next to take on the Wildcats on Thursday, January 11.