Eric Moreland, Roberto Nelson Prepare for NBA Draft


Feb 16, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers forward

Eric Moreland

(15) reaches out to block Oregon DucksMike Moser (0) as he shoots the ball at

Matthew Knight

Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Former Beavers Eric Moreland and Roberto Nelson will look to become the first Oregon State products to be drafted into the National Basketball Association since PG Jared Cunningham was taken in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Dallas Mavericks.

The NBA Draft begins at 4 p.m. local time on Thursday the 26th of June.

Forward Eric Moreland captured the attention of Gill Coliseum early in his career under former coach Craig Robinson. The 6’10 junior from Houston, Texas with seemingly endless length and athleticism has the tools to become an everyday starter at the next level.

Moreland’s defense became legendary in no time, and in three years, his entire game was etched into the history books of one a legendary program.

Moreland is the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots (184), fifth all-time in rebounds (762), and sixth in career rebounding average (8.6). With tweaks to his offensive presence in the paint, Moreland could be a Dennis Rodman-like talent, capable of making high-intensity plays on both sides of the ball.

Senior Roberto Nelson made his mark in the wake of Jared Cunningham’s departure. The floor-general was Craig Robinson’s go-to scorer and motivator.

Nelson led the conference in scoring in 2014 with 20.7 points per game, becoming the first Oregon State player to lead the Pac-12 since Gary Payton in 1990.

Where do the prospects fit in to the scheme?

While Moreland was always a fan favorite and boasts an impressive physical make-up, it’s hard to imagine a big man with such limited offensive ability as an early first-round pick. His raw tools will catch eyes, but he’s nowhere near the class of Joel Embiid.

Nelson faces a similar situation. He’s proven he can score from anywhere on the floor and create opportunities for his teammates, but his size remains an obvious question mark. Nelson fits nicely at the end of the second round and could make an impact as an off-the-bench type player as soon as next season.

Oregon State has produced 42 NBA draftees dating back to 1947. While this year’s crop may not have garnered the attention of a Gary Payton or Lonnie Shelton, there is no reason to doubt that with the right coaching and support, Moreland and Nelson will floruish at the next level.