OSU Dreams of Dancing
It has been over 20 years since Oregon State made the Big Dance, but that may change this season. The Beavers have showed steady improvement since Craig Robinson (Yes President Obama’s brother-in-law) took over the program in 2008 and his recruits are starting to pay dividends.
OSU is still at 6-1, but how will they do when Pac 12 play begins?
That is the big question for the Beavers this season.
Oregon State has not played a killer pre-conference schedule with wins against Cal State Bakersfield, West Alabama, Hofstra, Towson, and Montana State, but they had a great OT win facing Texas and narrowly lost to a ranked Vanderbilt team in their only loss of the season.
There is a solid chance that the Beavers will be 11-1 when Pac 12 play begins, as their next 5 games are against Idaho, Illinois-Chicago, Howard, Portland State, and Chicago State.
Sophomore guard Jared Cunningham is the team’s leading scorer (19.9 ppg) and while he put up 37 points in the big win over Texas he struggled in the loss to Vanderbilt.
He will have to score for the Beavers to win and he has to start shooting the deep ball better, as he is only shooting 28.6% from beyond the 3-point arc.
Forward Devon Collier is the 2nd leading scorer and in 4 of the last 5 games he has shot over 54% from the field.
It is key that the Beavers shoot the rock well this season, as they do not have a strong rebounding team and after 7 games only rank 286th in the nation in rebounds per game.
OSU is scoring and dishing the rock, as they rank 32nd in the nation in scoring and 25th in assists.
The frontcourt tandem of Eric Moreland (6 rpg) and Joe Burton (5.4 rpg) are the leading rebounders, but while Moreland is 6’10″ Burton is only 6’7″ and when the Beavers play teams that can hit the glass and have tall players in the frontcourt they may be in trouble.
One big thing that the Beavers have going for them is that the Pac 12 may be a little down this season. That’s just a hunch though, and its an early in the season hunch.
As of December 6th there is no team in the conference that is ranked in the top 25 in the nation.
Since the Oregon State non-conference SOS (strength of schedule) is pretty week with only 2 of their 11 games facing teams from big conferences the Beavers will have to play well during the Pac 12 schedule.
Hopes are high for OSU hoops fans and this season they have a legit chance to snap their long Big Dance drought.
They are not giving away their “EASY” scheduled games. That is a start.