#142 Oregon State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Oregon State Beavers
2013-2014 Overall Rank: #140
Conference Rank: #10 Pac-12
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Oregon State had some hope heading into last season, but the team once again struggled mightily in Pac-12 play. The Beavers only won four conference games. The talent level is just not there to seriously compete night in and night out in a very good conference. Coach Craig Robinson is still working on that that, but getting top tier recruits to come to Corvallis is not easy. One of the best recruits to ever sign with OSU is senior Roberto Nelson. Nelson failed to live up to his lofty expectations as an underclassman, but he had a breakout year in 2012-2013. The 6-3 guard got more aggressive attacking the basket and hit nearly 40 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. The result was a team high 17.8 points per game. Expect more of the same this season.
2012-13 Record: 14-18, 4-14
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Craig Robinson
Coach Record: 78-89 at Oregon State, 108-117 overall
Who’s Out:
The transfer of point guard Ahmad Starks to Illinois has left a pretty big hole in the backcourt. Starks averaged 10.4 points and 2.3 assists during his junior campaign. He also connected on two three-pointers per contest. The pressure will be squarely on the shoulders of Nelson to be the leader and the shooter in the backcourt. The lone graduating senior is Joe Burton. The versatile 6-7 center had a superb senior season after a few years of failing to put it all together. Burton not only averaged 11.0 points and 6.4 rebounds, but he also led the team in assists with 3.4 per contest. That is pretty impressive for a big man.
Who’s In:
Malcolm Duvivier reclassified to the class of 2013 and he will be thrown right into the fire in the backcourt. The point guard will get an opportunity to compete for a starting gig and will at least have to play some quality minutes off of the bench. Fellow incoming freshman Hallice Cooke, a 6-3 shooting guard, will look for some minutes as well. The frontcourt adds incoming freshman Cheikh N’diaye and Daniel Gomis. Gomis broke his leg back in the summer of 2011 and missed the next two seasons. The lanky 6-10 forward, now labeled as a sophomore, is a quality shot blocker and rebounder. His offense may still need more time to come around, yet Gomis will provide another much needed defensive threat under the paint.
Who to Watch:
Oregon State’s defense is bad. Last year they allowed the opposition to shoot 43.1 percent from the floor. However, there is hope heading into the 2012-2013 campaign because of all the shot blockers they now have. If Gomis can effectively back up Eric Moreland, OSU will always have a defensive presence in the paint. Moreland blocked 2.5 shots per contest and added 10.6 rebounds. He even developed into a much more consistent and efficient scorer as a sophomore, averaging 9.4 points per game. Angus Brandt is back after suffering a season ending injury just four games into what was supposed to be his senior season. Two years ago Brandt averaged 9.1 points and 3.4 rebounds and connected on nearly half of his three-point attempts. Brandt does not play like a 6-10, 242 pound center, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. With Moreland and Gomis by his side, it will usually be a good thing with Brandt stretching out the defense. Coach Robinson will have to make room for Devon Collier as well. The 6-8 senior had higher expectations then his 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds, yet that was still good enough for second on the team in scoring. Olaf Schaftenaar and Jarmal Reid will provide even more frontcourt depth.
Final Projection:
Langston Morris-Walker is a big 6-5 wing who can do a little bit of everything. He did not have a very productive freshman campaign, but he could emerge as the typical wing glue guy. But the big question is at point guard. Charlie Barton is one of the few options Oregon State has at their disposal. He is a decent ball handler, but he needs to improve his scoring. Barton’s experience is a plus, since he started 11 games a year ago as a sophomore. The Beavers have scorers all over the floor and they can get up and down in a hurry, but they need somebody who can control the offense and keep the turnovers down. Turnovers were a problem last year and it could be even worse this year. That will lead to plenty of easy buckets for the opposition no matter how many shot blockers Oregon State has chasing the play.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Charlie Barton, Junior, Guard, 2.9 points per game
Roberto Nelson, Senior, Guard, 17.8 points per game
Devon Collier, Senior, Forward, 12.6 points per game
Eric Moreland, Junior, Forward, 9.4 points per game
Angus Brandt, Senior, Center, 11.3 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.0 (61st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.3 (263, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.7 (97, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.1 (190, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (207, 6) 
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.4 (64, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.0 (251, 11)
Rebound Margin: 1.6 (126, 8)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (74, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (197, 11)