It's not the NCAA Tournament, not even the sturdy old NIT.
But the College Basketball Invitational -- the CBI -- served Oregon State well a year ago, and the Beavers (14-17) are excited to give it another try.
"We all want to play. We love to play basketball," junior Calvin Haynes said. "Coach asked everybody if they wanted to play in the CBI and we all said yes. We definitely have more fight in us."
The Beavers will play host to Boston University in a first-round game on Wednesday. With a victory, they will remain at home for a second-round matchup on Monday, March 22, against either Morehead State or Colorado State.
Oregon State's current program is not to be confused with UCLA or Arizona, which both indicated after down years that they were not interested in the CBI. The Beavers are just two years removed from going 6-25 overall and winless in the Pac-10.
Any postseason tournament that will have them is fine with the Beavers.
OSU won the event last year, posting a 5-1 record, including a 2-1 verdict over UTEP in the best-of-three championship series. The Beavers twice prevailed in overtime games on the way to the CBI crown, and they're unanimously fired up at the chance to defend their title.
- Junior G Calvin
Haynes, in his first game after being named to the All-Pac-10 second
team, scored just two points on 1-for-7 shooting against Washington.
The Pac-10's worst
3-point shooting team at 28.5 percent, OSU converted 53.8 percent (7-for-13)
against Washington, its second-best game of the season.
Craig Robinson, two years at Oregon State, second year
KEYS TO VICTORY:
The Beavers don't score much and they shoot even worse, so they must control
tempo, defend well out of their 1-3-1 zone and keep opponents away from
the offensive boards. Senior C Roeland Schaftenaar has
not been as good as a year ago, but when he's on his game, shooting or passing
from the high post, he makes the Beavers a difficult cover.
- QUOTE TO NOTE: "That one position, that 4 spot, has been troublesome for us all year. So we've been trying different things, and at practice, everybody gets a chance to audition for it. And he had one heckuva practice. He had a nice little start to the game and did pretty good for a freshman just getting in there." -- OSU coach Craig Robinson, on why he started Angus Brandt for the first time.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The Beavers are patient and can be troublesome to teams that have not seen them
before. Their unorthodox style is no fun for anyone, but they have gotten decent
results before coach Craig Robinson has had the chance to rebuild
through recruiting. The Beavers' one dependable perimeter shooter is junior
SG Calvin Haynes. The team has good experience, but also a
mix of newcomers, led by freshman PG Jared Cunningham, who
is prone to uneven play but is the team's most explosive player.
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.
Washington 59, Oregon State 52 (Pac-10 tournament quarterfinals)
vs. Boston University, Wednesday, March 17, CBI first round.
Senior C Roeland
Schaftenaar had 17 points and a season-high nine rebounds in the
loss to Washington
Freshman PG Jared
Cunningham had 15 points and five rebounds against Washington before
- Freshman PF Angus Brandt, a 7-footer from Sydney, Australia, got his first start of the season against Washington and had six points on a pair of 3-pointers, one rebound, one block and one steal in 22 minutes
The OSU opening round game will not be televised, with CBI television carrier HDNet choosing to broadcast Duquesne @ Princeton and Colorado State @ Morehead instead. The OSU-Boston U game can be heard over the Beaver Sports Radio Network.