Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series. Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days. Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.
We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
The Oregon State Beavers picked up their first twenty win season in more than twenty years yet still weren’t even close to an NCAA Tournament berth. Though they return seven of their top eight scorers, Craig Robinson’s team still doesn’t figure to be a real threat in the Pac-12.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS
Last Season: T-8th, 7-11 in Pac-12, 21-15 overall
Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 8th
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Angus Brandt (Sr)/Joe Burton (Sr)
F: Eric Moreland (So)/Daniel Gomis (So)/Olef Schaftenaar (Fr)
F: Devin Collier (Jr)/Jarmal Reid (Fr)/Victor Robbins (Fr)
SG: Roberto Nelson (Jr)/Challe Barton (So)/Langston Morris-Walker (Fr)
PG: Ahmad Starks (Jr)/Michael Moyer (Jr)
Gone: SG-Jared Cunningham, PF-Kevin McShane, F-Rhys Murphy (transfer-Chaminade)
Had leading scorer Jared Cunningham returned to Corvallis instead of leaving early for the NBA Draft, it might be a different story. Instead, the Beaves lose the versatile Cunningham which thrusts Ahmad Starks and Roberto Nelson into the spotlight. Starks is a lightning quick point guard though not much of a true floor general. Nelson was primarily used as the team’s sixth man but is a more than capable scorer who averaged 9.3 points in just 20.8 minutes per game.
As important as Starks and Nelson will be to the backcourt, Devon Collier will be the heartbeat of the team this season. He is an extremely efficient offensive player but also possesses a terrific combination of athleticism and length which allows him to defend numerous positions due his 6’8 height. Former UTEP transfer Eric Moreland served his role in his first year with the Beavers. His biggest impact was on the glass where he led the team with 6.8 boards despite playing less than 21 minutes a night. Expanding his offensive game will do wonders for both he and the Beavers.
OSU returns a decent 1-2 punch in the middle with Angus Brandt and Joe Burton. Brandt is more skilled with a nice mid-range game while Burton relies on his brute force to bully opponents around inside. Daniel Gomis missed all of last season with a broken leg but should bring a defensive presence off the bench. The younger brother of former Beaver Roeland Schaftenaar, Olaf doesn’t figure to crack the rotation but could factor in due to his ability to shoot it from deep. He was added to the roster when freshman center Maika Ostling failed to qualify academically.
There will be plenty of competition on the wing for minutes off the bench with four new faces joining the fray. Charlie Barton is the only returner and he barely made an impact a year ago. Michael Moyer becomes eligible after sitting out last season per NCAA transfer rules and should back-up Starks at the point. Freshmen Victor Robbins and Langston Morris-Walker will compete for playing time at the two and three with fellow newcomer Jarmal Reid being capable of playing either forward spot.
It would be more shocking if Robinson’s brother-in-law, President Barack Obama was not re-elected than if the Beavers ended their 22 year NCAA Tournament drought. They have the offensive firepower to put up points but their defensive effort must vastly improve and their bench will have to figure itself out in the backcourt to get into the upper half of what should be a slightly improved Pac-12 Conference.
Player to Watch: Devin Collier
After the team’s recent trip to Spain, Robinson stated that the team “will go as Collier goes.” He won’t have to be a dominant scorer especially since he lacks any sort of outside shot and Starks, Nelson, Brandt, and Burton are all able to share the load on a team that finished ten in the nation in scoring. His biggest impact will be felt on the defensive end which has been an area Oregon State has struggled the past couple of seasons.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/11 vs. New Mexico State
11/15 vs. Alabama (2k Sports Classic)
11/16 vs. Villanova/Purdue (2k Sports Classic)
11/30 vs. Kansas (in Kansas City)
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.