Oregon State (13-7, 3-5) will make the short trip down south to play Oregon (15-5, 6-2) in Sunday’s first edition of this year’s Civil War. Jared Cunningham hopes to earn Pac-12 POY honors but more importantly OSU would like to atleast make the NIT this year. NCAA hopes will more than likley require winning the Pac-12 tourney. Cunningham leads the league in scoring and steals and nationally goes to the line more than any other player in America. Every other Pac-12 player that has finished the seaosn first in scoring and steals has won POY. An honor of that level would be a huge deal for the rebirth of OSU Hoops and secure Cunningham’s legacy as the best since Gary Payton.
In my opinion he still needs to be more agressive and talkative on defense and turn more road games into wins to elevate his status into a higher realm. To me those are things he should do next year by returning to Oregon State and being the first player since Payton to get his team into the NCAA tourney. That is a truely worthy legacy for a player who wants to be remembered as a great. By returning he should also help get a few more talented athletes to come to Oregon State and build the program into a consistent winner. With the Basketball Practice Fcaility breaking ground in March it is easy to get the sense that OSU Hoops is on the verge of being a very serious contender and a much more consistently strong program every year.
Robinson’s recruiting has been quite good and now he just needs to win more key wins. Sunday is about as big as they get during the regular season. OSU can make a statement by beating the Ducks and claw back to within reach in the conference standings. If they lose, however they will fall further behind and lose momentum. Truly a big game that I hope Robinson and the players are mentally prepared to come out and win. I think this game will be back and forth but OSU can’t afford to fall behind by much at all against the Ducks. They have to try to set the tone and be in the lead for most this game and seal the victory down the stretch. I can’t predict this one, but in my mind Robinson is due a big road win and had better be all in on Sunday at 3:30.