A.D. Report Oct. 30 -- It's Hoops Season!
Oct. 30, 2009
Corvallis, Ore. -
With basketball season just around the corner, excitement and momentum are on the rise. After last year's fantastic finish for both our men's and women's programs, the buzz is building.
As we all recall, the men's team won the College Basketball Invitational tournament in an exciting best-of-three series over UTEP. The women's team also advanced to post-season play before falling in the third round of the WNIT. It's truly gratifying to see such positive strides in our basketball programs.
As we head into the 60th anniversary of legendary Gill Coliseum, second-year Coach Craig Robinson and his staff clearly have reawakened Beaver Nation's basketball fans. With season ticket sales well under way, numbers are already on the rise about 10 percent for the men's games. Coming off their 20-win season--the best since the mid-`90s--ticket sales for the women are up about 5 percent.
Both programs had stellar recruiting classes. Rivals.com, well-regarded as one of the top arbiters of upcoming athletic talent, ranked Coach Robinson's as the 25th best in the country. This class is led by standouts Jared Cunningham, one of the nation's top point guards; Rhys Murphy, a three-star shooting guard; Angus Brandt, a center rated as a Top 20 prospect for that position; Roberto Nelson, a top-20 shooting guard and Joe Burton, another top center prospect.
The women's program netted Kate Lanz, the Oregonian's 6A Player of the Year for the state last year and a Gatorade Player of the Year the previous year; Amaya Gastaminza, a Spanish standout ranked among the top 15 players in the U-18 European Championships this summer; and Haiden Palmer, who earned all-league honors all four years at Vista Del Lago High School in Moreno Valley, Calif.
When you look at the momentum generated by last year's finishes, ticket sales and recruits, it's easy to see our basketball programs are on the rise. Other factors are also playing into this exciting renaissance.
The last week of September former OSU standout Gary Payton was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. We held a reception for him in Portland, and Gary is excited to become reconnected with our program.
Additionally our long-overdue facelift on legendary Gill Coliseum is well under way. This historic venue has now been spruced up with new exterior paint, windows and doors. This latest effort is part of our long-standing plan to breathe new life into Gill. This started two years ago with our new men's locker room; our new women's locker room will be ready for the coming season. A new state-of-the-art medical center, to be housed in the building's former Horner Museum, will serve all of our 500+ student-athletes and is expected to open Nov. 1.
We're also moving forward with a feasibility study for second phase of our Sports Performance Center. Eventually built adjacent to the current center, this new facility will provide 35,000 square feet of gym space for our men's and women's basketball teams.
Launched last year, our new 'Legends Row' program offers fans another way to engage with the basketball program on a different level. The most prized part of the program is two courtside seats--with attention from wait service for snacks and beverages--for all home games as well as premium parking behind Gill. Fans saw this new NBA-like courtside Legends Row roll out last year, and there's still space available. For a $10,000 donation, the program grants inside-access to the coaches and team through special receptions, golf outings, and travel to away games. Other benefits include an MVP newsletter, VIP invites to closed practice sessions and an opportunity to win Final Four packages each year (for information please call the BASF office/1-800-GO-BEAVS).
Before I close, I want to thank you for all the feedback that you've sent in recently as a result of the last AD Report and recent articles in several Oregon newspapers. I've heard you, and I'm working on a future AD Report to address directly some of your input. Stay tuned to this space in the coming weeks.
For now, as you can tell, I'm bullish on our upcoming hoops seasons. I'm looking forward to more memory making in one the oldest athletic arenas west of the Mississippi, and I'm hopeful that Beaver Nation will come together to rock Gill to its rafters. Remember, tickets for both the men's and women's basketball season are on sale now. Just call 1-800-GO BEAVS. I look forward to seeing you at Gill.
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