Oregon State (14-17) is nearly at the same place it was
last season at this time, but it wouldn't mind ending it the same way, either.
The Beavers' loss to Washington ended its Pac-10 Tournament but could lead to
another College Basketball Invitational tournament, the same postseason
tournament that the Beavers won a year ago after entering with a 13-17 record.
The CBI is a chance for at least another two weeks of practice for the Beavers, much like bowl preparations in football, and OSU could use the extra time. Its final Pac-10 tournament game Thursday was a rocky end to a tumultuous season.
The Beavers reached the sixth seed in the Pac-10 after a disastrous preseason in which they lost to Sacramento State and Seattle University, then bounced back in conference play and won at Oregon and Arizona for the first time in at least 18 years at each site. Oregon State also swept the Ducks for the first time since 1992-93, a major breakthrough for the team.
If the Beavers' season is indeed finished, they'll have to replace several integral seniors but can count on the emergence of freshmen Joe Burton and Jared Cunningham plus the addition of NCAA paperwork-hampered frosh Roberto Nelson as reasons to be excited about next season.
WASHINGTON 59, OREGON STATE 52: With defense as its calling card all season, Oregon State could not stop a 23-4 Washington run in the second half and lost in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament. The Beavers were held to 21 second-half points, and even 17 points and nine rebounds by Roeland Schaftenaar weren't enough to help OSU keep up.
- Turnovers continue to be a problem for the Beavers.
They had 30 in their split against the Washington schools, just about their
season average of 15 per game.
- Oregon State shot a combined 6-for-26 from the
3-point arc against the Washington schools and rank last in the conference
in Pac-10 play at 27.4 percent.
- QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's definitely been great. We've always played together, so it's almost like it's normal. To have him not on the court is not normal for me." -- Seth Tarver on his years of playing alongside brother and fellow senior Josh Tarver.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
SEASON RECAP: The Beavers staggered through an
uneven nonconference schedule with a 6-5 record. For most of the season, they
defied prediction as perhaps the Pac-10's most unpredictable team. They have
shown the ability to play with the league's best teams, beating Cal at home and
Arizona and USC on the road.
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- F Seth Tarver, F Augus Brandt, C Roeland Schaftenaar, G Calvin Haynes, G Jared Cunningham. Key Subs -- F Omari Johnson, C Joe Burton, G Lathen Wallace, F Daniel Deane, G Josh Tarver.
Oregon State 49, USC 44
Oregon State 59, Washington State 55
Washington 82, Oregon State 70
Washington 59, Oregon State 52 (Pac-10 tournament quarterfinals)
Awaiting possible postseason berth.
POSTSEASON OUTLOOK: The Beavers will surely be passed over by the NIT but could expect the CBI to come calling for a second consecutive year. In Oregon State's eyes it would be a welcome return despite the financial troubles it could create if it plays at home (OSU's athletic department is operating with a $4 million deficit this year and lost money on CBI home games last year). Given their CBI championship a year ago, it would be a major surprise in Corvallis if the Beavers didn't land in some kind of postseason tournament.
- Calvin Haynes was again noticeably absent
from the Beavers' offense Thursday, scoring only two points after scoring
just seven against the Huskies six days earlier.
- Roeland Schaftenaar played efficiently
Thursday, with game highs in points (17) and rebounds (9), while picking up
a single foul and committing one turnover.
- Angus Brandt got his first start of the season and hit two three-pointers in the game's first 10 minutes, the first time he made a three since Nov. 15, against Texas Tech. They were the only two shots he made all night.