Q&A with Oregon State Site: Beaver Byte


The Husky Basketball team starts their Pac-12 schedule this weekend against the Oregon State Beavers. Oregon State blogger Steven from BeaverByte.com was kind enough to answer some questions about tomorrow’s matchup between Washington and Oregon State. He writes his blog from the fan experience and you can see the passion in his answers.

1. What are the strengths of the OSU basketball team?  

The strengths of the OSU team are the chemistry, the 7 man deep mix of skilled athletes and the total unselfishness that has been on display for the non-conference season.  6-10 Eric Moreland is getting a bit more time of late and is contributing well defensively.  Roberto Nelson has been effective at shooting recently as well.  Combine these growing threats with our cohesive and capable starting 5 and it is a strong group who is well led under Coach Craig Robinson.

2. What are the weaknesses?  

The weaknesses may be that we can get a little 3 happy at times.  We have multiple weapons but if the outside shots aren’t falling at a high enough clip then we are not as dynamic.  We do have the inside presence to withstand briefer slumps but we need all of it together to be truly great.  When the shots are going down it also has meant Jared Cunningham can be a less obvious but still potent slasher to the basket.  Lately we have had 5+ guys getting in double-digit scoring which is just what we like.

3. How can UW win this game against OSU?  

I would say UW has to play its game and stay focused on the task at hand.  There will be some back and forth in this game and it will be important for a team down 8 or more to not feel too discouraged.  Idaho beat us by shooting lights out.  UW is a solid all around program that has the needed elements to be one of the better Pac-12 teams again this year.  The best advice may be to make OSU work for their shots.  We have plenty of talent but will turn the ball over at times when pressured.  OSU also will be trying to cause plenty of disruption with turnovers and steals.  If UW can limit our averages they should be in position to try to take the game at the end.

4. What has led to the resurgence of the OSU basketball team?  

The nonconference schedule was not the most difficult but OSU did have a nice OT win against Texas in the Legends Classic that was clearly one of the Pac-12 best non-conference wins and that could go a long way in front of the NCAA selection committee.  The keys have been good recruiting by Craig Robinson, his understanding of the importance of team pyschology, and getting the players to fully buy in and play for eachother. 

5. Is Craig Robinson on the hot seat if this season goes downhill or has he done enough in non-conference to keep his job for another year?  

Craig Robinson was very briefly rumored for a small window of his OSU career to be facing some extra scrutiny but on whole the fanbase has been enthused by his efforts.  In his first year we saw significant improvement and won the CBI title.  Last year there was some tension between freshmen and seniors and the balancing act was not the easiest.  This year chemistry and morale seem to be very good.  I don’t see CR in any jeoprady at all.  We are hoping that Cunningham returns next year and if all goes right it can be our 2nd straight year in the NCAA tourney.  We also are excited to be digging ground in the spring on a new basketball practice facility modeled after the University of Florida’s.

6. What is your prediction for this game?  

OSU is leading the Pac-12 in several categories: Scoring (83.4), scoring margin (+18.6), field goal % (49.6), assists (18.3), steals (10.4) and turnover margin (+5.4).  Craig Robinson has let this team play mostly man-to-man this year in a change from our past zone defense focus.  This has meant a more run and gun style for OSU and it definitely is more exciting to watch.  I think this will be a great game and a tough one for OSU because it is in Seattle.  Lorenzo Romar is a good coach.  The teams could be within 6 points at both halftime and at the end.  I guess I will reluctantly go with OSU 84, Washington 79.  It could easily be the reverse.  With 4 or 5 minutes to go one team will be in a slightly better position and probably do just enough to hold on and secure the victory.

Thanks Steven!