Seattle U Romps All Over Oregon State to Tie Record Loss
The Seattle U Redhawks had a signature win in Corvallis on Wednesday Night, as they doubled up the Beavers 99-48. Were it not for the fact that the Beavers held the ball for the last 35 seconds, Head Coach Cameron Dollar’s team would almost certainly scored over 100 points on Craig Robinson’s team on their home floor.
This was made even more shocking by the fact that Redhawk star Charles Garcia Jr., whom as many as 10 professional talent evaluators including NBA GM Danny Ainge were there to see, was held to 10 points on 7-8 from the line and a three pointer on three attempts from the field.
It was the entire Seattle U team out hustling, out scrapping and literally out classing the Beavers that was almost embarrassing to watch if you are a Beaver fan. Thank goodness the game was on FSN so fans in the Seattle area and the NW region could witness this amazing effort. Mike Boxley led the way for Seattle U with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, including 4-7 three-pointers, four rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Portland’s own Chris Gweth finished with 18 points, four boards and four assists and quick and crafty PG Cervante Burrell kicked in 17 points, five rebounds and five assists. The happy totals, as Mariner radio announcer Rick Riz would say, didn’t end there as Aaron Broussard chipped in 15 points and a game leading 9 boards and Alex Jones scored 9 points and 7 caroms.
It was a team effort by a squad that rallied around its Coach and staff to win a game that literally no one, myself included, felt they had a chance of doing. It was an upset of unbelievable proportions that ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas called a “Stunner”.
ESPN’s college basketball blogger Eamonn Brennan even led his blog with the game today. Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus ventured that the surprising result may have had more to do with Charles Garcia not being on the floor and the fact that Seattle went small as a result and out-quicked the Beavers as well as out hustled them.
The Beavers had not a single player score in double figures and you really have to wonder what Robinson can do to prepare these guys for the Oregon game this Sunday night. OSU were no doubt looking ahead to that contest, but how could a team that nearly beat the Huskies on New Year’s Eve and the Cougars (who really should have beat the Ducks) last Saturday night play this poorly?
This game opens up a whole lot of speculation as to the abilities of Robinson and his ability to lead and prepare a team. Either OSU will come out like a house-a-fire against Oregon or the Ducks who played a whale of a game against Washington will continue their roll over the doormat of a team that I witnessed against the Redhawks.
Dollar was noticeably pleased on FSN for the post-game sound bite. He told Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times after the game that, “All I want my guys to do is play with great enthusiasm and play hard” and “If you do that, great things happen for you”.
Cam seemed as shocked as everyone. After a night to let this one set in Dollar spoke to Kevin Calabro on 710 ESPN on Thursday and seemed to be feel that this is how he planned everything, but it just took time for his guys to put it all together. He knows how tough it will be for Seattle U to reach their goals, but wins like this one make his job much easier.
We’ll see if this shot in the arm of enthusiasm will lift a Seattle U team that was in a serious mid-season slump and on the verge of being unable to achieve it’s goal of making a post season tournament, though it will not be eligible for an NCAA bid. It equaled the worst loss ever for Oregon State, a 51 point road loss at Arizona against a team that won the national championship that year.
The similarities between the Redhawks and the Jason Terry, Mike Bibby led ‘Cats are few, other than the thought that they guy that sat on the bench for most of the game last night in Garcia could have fit in on that great Lute Olson juggernaut, but when a team just gives up like Oregon State did, you’ve got to wonder how long Robinson will be there. This is a coach that was the talk of off-season coaching scuttlebutt for major jobs after he led a previously winless team in the Pac-10 to a .500 record and the CBI title.
This type of embarrassment is the type that could spell the end of Robinson, despite his success in his 1st year and great recruiting class, unless his Beavers really turn things around and quickly. I know of a coaching candidate for them right here in Seattle.
If Dollar can get guys that are so far under the recruiting radar that you can’t find them on the internet and beat the Beavers like that, imagine what he could do with the kind of players that he could recruit to a Pac-10 school?
Seattle U is now 7-9 on the year and travel to Sacramento State of the Big Sky Conference for a 1PM (PST) tip-off this Saturday. You can hear the game on 710 ESPN in Seattle. The Redhawks then continue their travels down the coast to Cal State Northridge for an 8PM (PST) game on this coming Monday. They return to the Key Arena to face Utah Valley at 7PM (PST) on Saturday January 16th.
WSU’s blog in the Spokesman Review had a nice segment on Marcus Capers, who is starting to add a decent offensive game to his lock down defensive identity. Capers was quoted after practice yesterday that it was a combination of Coach Ken Bone and a guy at the dinner table.
“Coach (Ken Bone) told me, well actually coach and my dad (Frankie) told me, for us to win, I am going to have to stay on the court. The way for me to stay on the court, I have to stay aggressive on offense. If I don’t, it’s like they are guarding four people”.
Husky Recruiting Corner
ESPN did a feature on the Pangos Dream Classic which included news on three different UW recruits, Grant Jerrett, Jabari Brown and Norvel Pelle. Six-foot-eight 2012 center Jerrett is one of the highest regarded post players in California along with the Bay Area’s Brandon Ashley. Jerrett, who leads his high school team in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage is regularly mentioning UW among his favorite and is also getting rave notices.
ESPN said that, “Jerrett’s game is blossoming”. They also added that he’s, “Fielding several offers mainly from Mountain West and Pac-10 schools, including locals USC and UCLA, and Washington”. 2011 guard and UW recruit Jabari Brown has left Findlay Prep in Las Vegas NV. According to ESPN, Findlay’s assistant coach Todd Simon said that Brown had, “Withdrawn from the boarding school and could resurface at hometown Oakland (Calif.) High”.
Pelle has transferred to Price High School in LA, CA, but according to ESPN, “He is still awaiting clearance by section officials to play this season”.
Pac-10 Round Up
Trying to establish a consistent “Pac-10 Power Rankings” is a thankless job these days, folks like the Seattle Times Percy Allen and ASU beat writer Doug Haller keep on trucking’ week after week after unbelievable week. This time the team that Percy picked (the Oregon Ducks) as the #9 team last week is his #1 team this time out. Doug Haller did something similar this week as well. This year’s Pac-10 is going to be nothing if not entertaining. It is fun to watch this stuff, just to see how ridiculous it gets.
UCLA is all of a sudden considered a decent team by this year’s Pac-10 (or is it 9) standards with wins over ASU and a sleepy Cal team that last night went 2-18 from three point range and lost to the Bruins in overtime 76-75.
It was Mike Roll that was the hero and he turned a lucky bounce off a Jamal Boykin deflection of a poor Jerime Anderson entry pass into an open shot at the free throw line to go ahead with 1.9 seconds in OT. As I said in my conference preview UCLA will win some games this year if Roll and Nikola Dragovic have hot shooting nights and Wednesday nights was just that. The Bruin senior duo went a combined 14-26 from the field and 7-15 from behind the arc, while their Cal counterparts struggled mightily in a part of the game in which they have led the nation for the last two years.
Reeves Nelson was also impressive for UCLA in bulling his way to the bucket Jon Brockman style and added 7-14 from the line also embarrassingly like JB. UCLA looked much better with Malcolm Lee at the PG and Anderson coming off the bench. Lee had a poor shooting game, but his personality fits UCLA’s personnel much better than Jerime and you could see that this is a much more effective line-up for the Bruins.
Lee didn’t have a great game with 6 points on 1-7 from the field, 7 assists, 6 boards and 4 turnovers, but he looked much better than Jerime has thus far and more importantly his team did when he was on the floor. Anderson had a couple of nice moments off the bench to go with his 4 turnovers and converted an open three look down the stretch that was an important part of the Bruins late comeback that forced overtime.
Cal was just inept in the 2nd half after controlling the game in the first half in which they bested the Bruins 34-26. This one could have gone either way as Boykin had scored on the previous play and seemingly caused a turnover on the final Bruin score, but the ball just bounced the right way to Roll to give him a wide open shot. Frankly I didn’t see a team in UCLA that look as if they can seriously challenge for the Pac-10 crown, despite this win over a very lost looking group of Bears.
This game was just a combination of a lot of positives for the Bruins and a really sloppy performance by Cal, who is still my choice as the favorite to win the conference. The Bruins are now 7-8 and 2-1 in the Pac-10, but I do not believe that UCLA can finish above .500 for the season, let alone contend for the Pac-10 title. Bruin fans are not a forgiving lot and should Ben Howland have a losing year, followed by one that lacks a triumphant come-back next year (as I doubt it will) the powder blue and gold faithful will be awfully antsy.
Bruins Nation Blog published an article that illustrates just how close this opinion of mine, unbelievable that it is so shortly after three straight Final Four appearances, is to the truth.
Now UCLA must travel to Palo Alto to face Stanford on Saturday at 3PM (PST), while the Bears welcome the Trojans to Haas Pavilion at 7:30PM (PST) that evening.
USC had its 8-game winning streak broken at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal in Palo Alto on Wednesday night 54-53.
In a defensive struggle that saw hot shooting Jeremy Green (with 17 points on 7-10 from the field) lose the statistical battle to Dwight Lewis (with 22 points on 9-15 from the field) but win the war. Landry Fields was clearly the best player on the court with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists and though Alex Stepheson himself had 13 points and 8 boards, it was Stanford that made the defensive plays in the final possession to secure the win.
USC had three offensive rebounds on that possession, but each time Stanford defended the shot well enough to get the Trojans to brick it and Stanford held on for a huge win that serves notice to the Pac-10 that this team is well coached and capable of beating teams with superior talent on paper by playing smartly. USC played very poorly in the first half of the game, but did a decent job of playing much better in the 2nd.
One can’t help but wonder how the news of the self-imposed sanctions has affected this veteran team that features a number of players who like it or not must finish their careers at the school in the midst of this scandal.
The news keeps getting worse for USC as the LA Times reported that Scott Schenter, a Santa Monica businessman whose relationship with a star USC football player who is being investigated is also the registered owner of a 2006 Land Rover that was recently being driven by Joe McKnight, the Trojans starting tailback. They also reported that, “Schenter is also the registered owner of a 1992 Mazda Miata that he equipped with a vanity license plate, OJMAYO”.