I think Oregon St. has its groove back. This preseason has been mostly sleepy teams but at least the feeling of winning is being continued. The Howard Bison are averaging 62.3 points a game, led by 6-foot-3 junior guard Calvin Thompson and 6-7 junior forward Mike Phillips. They both average 10.8 points per game and another player averages 10. That is the bulk of their offense. Howard lost 73-71 in their most recent game at home Monday against St. Francis NY. The Bison’s team record is 3-7 and they are on a 2 game losing streak.
Oregon State just needs to play Beaver basketball and continue to work on their main 7 man rotation that will serve them well come PAC-12 play. Rhys Murphy showed just enough last game that I will include him in 8 man discussions. McShane may add some defense but does not do enough offensively to justify playing him much compared to Eric Moreland. Moreland’s stats last game were pretty great with 8 points, a whopping 14 rebounds and 5 blocked shots which is one behind Steve Johnson’s record of 6. Roberto is the 6th man who the last two games has offensively contributed as much as anyone. This is a good trend because OSU does need two effective jump shooters to be a strong team in the PAC. Starks and Nelson will be our key shooters to go along with our inside game with Brandt, Burton, Collier and Moreland.
Cunningham will have to keep being aggressive on driving to the basket and finishing or getting to the line. He is a great scoring weapon but also a guy who ups the foul count effectively on the opposing team. Cunningham and Starks are both adding alot of steals as well which helps the action stay fast-paced and lively at Gill. I see Oregon State winning this 84-63. A nice win and hopefully the chemistry keeps getting better and Moreland settles in to more minutes and being a key contributor on both ends and a monster on the boards.
Jared Cunningham- Offense 9.0, Defense 9.0
Ahmad Starks- Offense 7.5, Defense 8.0
Devon Collier- Offense 8.0, Defense 8.0
Joe Burton- Offense 7.0, Defense 8.0
Angus Brandt- Offense 7.5, Defense 7.5
Roberto Nelson- Offense 8.5, Defense 7.5
Eric Moreland- Offense 7.5, Defense 9.0
OSU 84, Howard 63