Highly Touted Point Guard Ahmad Starks Signs with Men's Hoops
Nov. 11, 2009
HIGHLY-TOUTED POINT GUARD AHMAD STARKS SIGNS WITH OREGON STATE
The Oregon State men's basketball team received the first of what it expects will be two National Letters of Intent during the early signing period as Ahmad Starks, a 5-8 point guard from Chicago, Ill., signed with the Beavers on Wednesday.
The official release will be out later today; however, here's a brief rundown of where the highly-touted Starks ranks on several recruiting websites:
Rivals - No. 132 overall, No. 30 Point Guard
ESPN.com - No. 35 Point Guard
Scout.com - No. 25 Point Guard
We'll have more on the signing later, but for now, here's a great highlight video of Starks in action. Congrats, Ahmad, and welcome to Oregon State!
Roeland Schaftenaar SUBJECT OF ESPN.COM FEATURE AS SEASON DRAWS CLOSER
Nov. 3, 2009
It's Roeland's world, we're just living in it. Oregon State's 'point-center' found himself at the center of the men's college basketball universe on Tuesday as ESPN.com rolled out its 2009-10 Pac-10 Conference Blue Ribbon Previews (Oregon State's preview can be found here). Schaftenaar was front and center on the men's basketball homepage, the subject of a terrific feature article by Dana O'Neil.
The article summarizes nicely what many in Beaver Nation already know: Schaftenaar's development is one reason why Oregon State is picked to finish in the top half of the Pac-10 Conference this season.
Of course, it is going to take much more than a 'point-center' to get Oregon State where it wants to go this season. A full team effort is necessary and the Beavers added depth was on display in the opening exhibition victory over Southern Oregon on Saturday.
Four Oregon State players scored in double figures in the win as fans had their first look at a number of newcomers. The one glaring thing to take away from the victory is that Oregon State will be much deeper than a year ago, a point Craig Robinson focused on during his post game comments.
It all leads up to an exciting time in Oregon State basketball as the anticipation for the regular season opener against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday, Nov. 13, continues to grow. Fans have a chance to check out Oregon State in action one more time before the opener against the Islanders as the Beavers host Western Oregon on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1:00 p.m.
To purchase tickets for the contest against Western Oregon, click here. It should be the perfect start for a Beaver Nation tripleheader on Saturday as the football team plays at Cal at 4:00 p.m. followed by a volleyball match against Arizona at 7:00 p.m.
That's all the blog has for now, for more updates on Oregon State men's basketball, make sure to follow the program on twitter @oregonstatembb or on Facebook by clicking on the fan button below. Go Beavs!
FOLLOW OREGON STATE AT PAC-10 MEN'S BASKETBALL MEDIA DAY
Oct. 28, 2009
Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson and senior center Roeland Schaftenaar will travel down to Los Angeles, Calif., for the annual Pac-10 Conference Men's Basketball Media Day on Thursday, Oct. 29, beginning at 10:00 a.m. A live video feed from the Pac-10 Conference will be available as fans can watch the media conferences beginning at 10:00 a.m. by clicking here. For a complete rundown of the media day schedule, click here.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of media day, however, is the release of the preseason media poll. Oregon State has received its fair share of preseason praise and figures to rank higher in the preseason media poll than it has in years. Some media members have already provided a look in to how they voted, including Washington beat writer Percy Allen, who tabbed Oregon State fourth in the league.
On the national scene, the lofty preseason praise continued for Oregon State in recent days as Rivals.com named Oregon State as its 'Team on the Rise while Andy Katz of ESPN.com listed Craig Robinson and Oregon State as among the 'Who's NEXT' of college basketball.
Of course, all the preseason talk leads up to the first game of the season as Oregon State hosts Southern Oregon in an exhibition game at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1. Student ticket distribution is already underway and fans can purchase tickets online to the contest by clicking here.
In the meantime, osubeavers.com will be providing full coverage of Pac-10 Conference Media Day so make sure to check back here for the Pac-10 preseason poll as well as a rundown of what Robinson and Schaftenaar had to say.
As always, make sure to follow Oregon State men's basketball on twitter @oregonstatembb or on Facebook by clicking on the fan button below. Go Beavs!
MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON IS BACK! BEAVERS OPEN PRACTICE
Oct. 16, 2009
As the nets came down and the fans filed out of Gill Coliseum after Oregon State's volleyball match, the men's basketball players came down from the stands and took the floor, marking the official start of the highly anticipated 2009-10 Beavers season on Friday night.
Nearly 200 days removed from the program's first-ever postseason title, the Beavers began the season with a two-hour workout, going through passing, shooting and lay-up drills before closing out the practice with a run-through of offensive sets and half-court scrimmages.
As can be expected with the first practice of the season, it wasn't the smoothest of sessions, but that did not dampen the mood as the players finished practice and filed over to the stands to grab some post-workout pizza.
'You know, it's the first day. It's a little sluggish but it's good to get it out of the way. I think tomorrow morning will be a much more normal type practice. But, I'm very pleased with what I've seen so far and I think everyone is excited about getting into full swing,' head coach Craig Robinson said after practice.
The only bad news of the night came when freshman guard Rhys Murphy had to leave practice with an injury to his foot. Murphy injured the foot early in the session and is listed as day-to-day pending further evaluation. Despite the news, with nine letter-winners returning and seven newcomers (including the two returning red-shirts) to the squad, Robinson said Oregon State can weather the wear and tear that will occur throughout a long season.
'It's the beauty of having more guys,' Robinson said. 'Stuff like that (Murphy's injury) is going to happen, but this year we have guys who can step in when others go out.'
Oregon State will hit the practice floor again at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday before resuming the normal 5:30 a.m. workouts on Monday.
For more coverage on the 'official' start of practice, check out Paul Buker's (The Oregonian) summary here.
As always, make sure to follow Oregon State men's basketball on twitter @oregonstatembb and on Facebook by clicking on the fan button at the bottom of this entry. We'll be back on Saturday with some must-have links as we move one day closer to the start of the season.
OREGON STATE MEN'S BASKETBALL MEETS THE MEDIA
Oct. 15, 2009
After a brief hiatus, The Beaver Basketblog returns to provide an update on the program as we stand two days away from the official start of practice. On Wednesday, this year's version of the Beavers 'officially' met with the media for the first time (selected quotes from the media session can be found below).
Calvin Haynes, Josh Tarver and head coach Craig Robinson took about an hour to chat with the media gathering, and if there is one theme to walk away with from the session, it's that this year's team is shooting for the NCAA tournament. As Haynes said, 'anything less would be a disappointment.'
Needless to say, the lofty goals and expectations have created quite a buzz as a number of media outlets ran features on the program this week. Paul Buker of The Oregonian provides good recaps of preseason workouts and the media session. Curtis Anderson (Eugene Register Guard ) and Kevin Hampton (Corvallis Gazette Times) also provide good season previews and a link to Bleacher Report caps the story links with a mention that the Beavers are one of five programs on the rise.
Before we go, make sure to follow Oregon State men's basketball on twitter @oregonstatembb and on Facebook by clicking on the fan button at the bottom of this entry. Finally, the Oregon State men's basketball 'I am Orange' video is out and definitely worth a look.
The blog will be back on Friday with a recap of the first 'official' day of practice. Go Beavs!
OREGON STATE MEN'S BASKETBALL MEDIA DAY QUOTES
OREGON STATE HEAD COACH Craig Robinson
Goals for upcoming season...
'We have not come up with any real tangible goals. I wanted to get the opportunity to get a couple of real practices and see what the younger guys can offer. Just given where we were at the end of the season last year, I think it is not out of the realm of making the NCAA tournament. I think the guys are very genuine about wanting to make it and have gone about their business this summer as if that was their goal all along.'
On Gary Payton's visit to Corvallis a few weeks ago...
'We held a ceremony for him up in Portland as part of his induction into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. The following day, he came down to watch our team do one of our forty-minute workouts and then he went down to the locker room, which he hasn't seen in awhile. He had a chance to talk with the guys down there, but I am not sure what was said. What I can tell you was that before he walked in to one of our shooting drills, the guys were performing ok, and when he walked in, our guys missed every single shot. That just shows the kind of pressure and 'ah' factor he inspires. Overall, I know we enjoyed creating that relationship with him and we hope to see him come back for a couple of our games.'
On the difference in expectations from last year to this year...
'Last year at this time, we hoped we could win at least one league game, and try to win as many non-conferences games that we could. This year we are talking about making the NCAA tournament and improving on a year that we had last year. We are thinking about finishing in the top half of the league, there are some real formidable goals and achievable goals here. There is the air of higher expectations; so you will see me more than last year trying to manage everyone's expectations out there because they are a little higher than they should be. It is a different feel this year with our players. I can already see the amount of effort they are putting fourth which makes me excited for Friday (official start of practice).'
What does last year's success did for the team...
'What last season's turn-around did was give our team the credibility and confidence in their own minds, and that is huge in being successful. It's also a huge part with rebuilding a new culture. We have six or seven guys from last year who now are believers in what we are doing and how we will get better at it. Over the summer, you could see how hard they worked without us giving them a whole lot of input. From a confidence and credibility standpoint, I think it was huge and it was huge from an overall program standpoint. I think people are excited about what is going on here, so we are very excited to see the crowds we get this year.'
OREGON STATE SOPHOMORE GUARD Calvin Haynes
On the new guys on the team...
'They bring a lot to the table this year. They're athletic, they can all shoot, they're fast, they can rebound and they're catching on quick to the offense.'
On the goal of making the NCAA tournament...
'It would be a disappointment [not making the tournament] with the year we just had. It wasn't the NIT but it was a big improvement from the previous season. With the players we have coming back we are a very dangerous team. We feel that anything less than the NCAA tournament would be a disappointment this season.'
On when things started clicking last season...
'I want to say after the Stanford and Cal trip, towards the middle of the season, we all realized that the system really does work and fit us really well. If we keep playing hard and doing what coach tells us we could win any game, any time.'
On the mindset of this year as compared to two years ago...
'Coming off the season we had, with the coaches we have, with the players we have there's no doubt in our minds that we can make the NCAA tournament. That's the only thing we're shooting for.'
OREGON STATE SENIOR GUARD Josh Tarver
On the upcoming season...
'We have to work hard and we believe that we're going to finish up there on the conference standings. It's just a matter of proving everyone they're right. It's good to know that there are high expectations for us this year.'
On not catching people off guard...
'We're going to do the things we do and even if they know its coming they might not stop it. We have plenty of weapons this year.'
On the improvements he made in his game for this year...
'Shooting, I have to be that guy to fill Rickey Claitt's spot. All the coaches have been helping me and it's getting better. I feel more confident in my shot and the way I'm shooting. Coach knows I can help on defense. It's one of my strong points, but on the offensive end it's all about putting more points on the board.'
On the new guys...
'They're going to go off of what we've done. We have a routine. They are starting to understand the attitude that we bring: working hard every day in practice and making shots. Everyone is catching on really quick and buying into the system. I feel like they're going to do really well with this offense.'
NEWS AND NOTES AS THE ANTICIPATION BUILDS FOR THE 2009-10 SEASON
Sept. 25, 2009
Welcome back! Let's get right to it. Some news and notes surrounding the Oregon State men's basketball team as we stand exactly 49 days from the start of a highly-anticipated campaign.
It was a hectic week for the team as the squad did much more than the usual preseason workouts. The favorite time of year for any sports team at Oregon State (insert sarcastic font here), the team went through head shots, did some posed profile shots (pic here) and then finished the week off by doing their stand-up shots for the Gill Coliseum video boards. Calvin Haynes, Roeland Schaftenaar and Seth Tarver had a little more time in front of the cameras as the trio filmed parts for the Oregon State online e-magazine, which will be available on osubeavers.com in November.
The plan was to bring readers of the blog a practice report; however, Oregonian beat writer Paul Buker stopped by Gill Coliseum this week for a Q&A session with Craig Robinson. Buker followed up by swinging through practice and provides full coverage of his talk with Robinson and what he saw at practice here.
Speaking of Robinson, the 'world media tour' has kicked in as he'll be all over the airwaves in the next couple of days.
Robinson will appear on the Live Wire! radio program on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 8:00 p.m. Ryan White of The Oregonian conducted the interview as the segment was taped on Sept. 12 at the historic Elsinore Theater in Salem, Ore. A listing of radio stations carrying the interview can be found here. If you are unable to catch the radio broadcast, a podcast of the program will be available on iTunes or by clicking here.
Robinson will also make an appearance during the Oregon State-Arizona football game as he will be interviewed by sideline reporter Lewis Johnston at some point during the second quarter. For those not watching the game at home, the head coach can be heard at halftime on the Beavers Sports Radio Network with sideline reporter Ron Callan.
Finally, as we wrap up this edition of the blog, here's a few more links that should get readers excited about the upcoming season. A good article by Yahoo/Rivals.com on why Jared Cunningham and Roberto Nelson chose Oregon State. Speaking of Yahoo, the Beavers come in fourth in Jason King's Pac-10 power rankings. And, to wrap up the Yahoo/Rivals.com links, Oregon State comes in at No. 47 in their national power rankings countdown.
Before we go, make sure to follow Oregon State men's basketball on twitter @oregonstatembb or on Facebook by clicking on the fan button below. Go Beavs!
Welcome to the Beaver BasketBlog: An Inside Look at Men's Hoops
Sept. 17, 2009
Welcome to the newest feature on osubeavers.com, 'The Beaver BasketBlog.' With basketball season right around the corner, and interest in the program growing each and every day, it's my hope this blog will be an opportunity to keep fans connected and share as much information as possible regarding the Beavers.
Using links, pictures, news and notes while incorporating some general thoughts, the goal of the blog is to let you know what's going on in the world of Oregon State men's basketball, both past and present, as well as the topics throughout college basketball.
So, without further adieu, let's get started. With all the media attention and talk Oregon State received throughout last year and into the summer, one quote from head men's basketball Craig Robinson seemed to resonate the most:
'When we pack Gill Coliseum, we win games.' - Craig Robinson
Robinson uttered the quote back in August at an Albany Beaver Huddle. The quote is especially important heading into this season. According to many of the preseason prognostications, Oregon State is predicted to do some good things in 2009-10.
In case you have missed the pre-season hype surrounding the program, a quick sample: Yahoo Sports has Oregon State making the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship for the first time since 1990, an ESPN.com article predicts a third-place finish in the Pac-10 for the Beavers and Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview has Oregon State slated for a fourth-place finish and the spot in the NIT.