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Oregon State Notes

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Let's move on to our next opponent. I hear the Oregon State Beavers are having a tough season. Let's go over to our friends over at Building The Dam (BTD). Jake and his friends are an impressive bunch in my book. They take it in the chin all the time yet they pick themselves, chip away, and remain loyal to their beloved Beavers. Pretty impressive if you ask me. That's what being a sports fan is all about.

Going back to their hoops team forget about their tough season. They are having one of the most hellish week any college hoops team have experienced in recent history. First they began the week by firing their head coach.

Athletic Director Bob De Carolis promoted assistant Kevin Mouton as the interim head coach:

Kevin Mouton has spent sixteen years as a college head coach, holding positions at the Colorado School of Mines, Butler, Eastern Illinois,New Hampshire, St. Mary's and Nebraska. He came to Oregon State in 2002, and has been an assistant coach ever since. He was promoted to associate head coach this summer, and he works with the guards.

Mouton played a year at the University of Oregon, transfered to Jamestown where he played a year there, then played his final two years at the University of San Francisco where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology.

It's interesting to note that when Jay John missed a game due to illness in the 04-05 season, Mouton stepped up and coached the Beavers to a 22 point victory over Oregon State.
The same day they fired the head coach their most talented athlete - C.J Giles - a transfer from Kansas (IIRC) was kicked off the team for reasons that are unknown.

Without Giles here is how the Beaver rotation looks for Coach Mouton. From
Usual Starters -- F Omari Johnson, F Marcel Jones, F Calvin Hampton, G Josh Tarver, G Seth Tarver. Key Subs -- C Roeland Schaftenaar, G Rickey Claitt, G Calvin Haynes, F Sean Carter.
Despite having a new coach, things didn't go too well for these guys last night as they got blown out by the gap closers from Southern Cal. Again from BTD:
Oregon State fans were hoping for a miracle. Perhaps Kevin Mouton could lead the Beavers to a Pac-10 victory in his first game at the helm.

40 minutes later, we find out that's not the case.

Terrible passes, errant shots, forced shots, turnovers, and more missed shots plagued the Beavers. A late first half surge (15-2) pulled the Beavers to within two at halftime, but then a 17-2 USC run after in the beginning of the second half depleted every ounce of helium out of the Beavers balloon.

The Beavs were outscored 19-41 in the second half.

These numbers tell the whole story: 18-for-65 from the field, 4-for-14 from the line, and 4-14 from behind the arc.

That equates to 47 missed field goals, and ten missed free throws.

So obviously, Bobby D's during season move isn't paying off yet. I don't think it was expected to, but how/who do/can you coach a group of guys like this? They're obviously frustrated, and they show it on the court. For example, Marcel Jones was 1-for-11 from the floor. That's 9.1%. How many of those shots were forced? A lot. Was he visible frustrated? Uh, yeah. Most of the guys were.

There were bright spots, however. Lathen Wallace led the Beavers with 11 points. Sean Carter played hard, as did Lathen Wallace. The effort is still there, I believe. These guys want to win. But they can't.
Well you never say never. I don't think those guys are going to quit heading into a game against UCLA (I will expand on the below). Going back to their rotation also took note of Wallace's efforts in their roster notes:

The loss of C.J. Giles was particularly obvious in OSU's first game since dismissing the troubled center on Jan. 21. Sophomore C Calvin Hampton, who until Jan. 19 had not played double-digit minutes since Dec. 11, scored only six points and grabbed four rebounds in 20 minutes of action against USC. The Trojans' two starting big men combined for 32 points.

--It was a bad night to be a Tarver. Facing a defense-first team in USC, brothers Seth and Josh Tarver combined to go 2-of-16 from the field for only five points.

--G Lathen Wallace might be earning himself a starting job soon. The freshman came off the bench to score 11 points, the most for any OSU player against USC. That's after scoring 10 points in the previous four games combined. With the Beavers searching for help wherever they can find it -- and with a coach who has motivation to improve younger players -- expect to Wallace's playing time increase.
Any way you look at it sounds like it is absolutely miserable to be an Oregon State fan. They are not in good shape. However, that should give our Bruins any license to let down and expecting an easy win on Saturday.

No matter what the circumstances teams always get fired up for the four letters across our team's uniforms. They are going to come out fired up and give their most inspired performance of the season and our guys better be ready for it.

Saturday's game will be a huge opportunity for players like Keefe, Stanback, and Dragovic to get some serious mins particularly if Luc and Lo are still recovering from their concussions.

Also as many have observed in the comment threads already we really need to tighten up our defense, which means no layups, dunks, or allowing our opponents to just knife through the paint. I hope our guards can work on locking up the parameter Saturday and now allow Beavers to drive through our D and allow any kind of good looks at the rim.

And let's hope Kevin and DC stays in the zone they founds themselves in against the Ducks.

It would be great if the Bruins come out with focus and the requisite intensity to pull out a methodical, business like win. It will complete a great week and give them some much needed momentum going into a huge home stand where they can work on finding the form they exhibited against Washington State.