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Pac 10 Basketball Preview: Oregon State

Key Returners: Seth Tarver (9.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG), Josh Tarver (6.7 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.4 APG), Roeland Schaftenaar (2.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG)

Key Losses: Marcel Jones (10.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG)

Key Recruits: None

Oregon State was just plain awful last year and earned themselves the dubious distinction of being the only team to ever go winless in conference play in the Pac 10, and there is little reason to expect that they will be much better this year. There are few positives on the horizon for the hapless Beavers as they have almost zero talent incoming, and promising recruit Eshaunte Jones switched his commitment to Nebraska over the summer. However, it appears that the hiring of Craig Robinson may end up being a positive but the program is still at least a couple years out from being competitive.

But let's stay focused on the present for now. Oregon State suffers from an overall lack of talent relative to most other teams in the Pac 10, and its clear from the overall lack of efficiency and production. Marcel Jones was the leading scorer and rebounder at a fairly modest 10.4 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game, and the team really lacked a standout player. OSU also suffered from very poor shooting percentages which greatly effects their ability to level the playing field against more talented teams by shooting the three. On the bright side, Schaftenaar has shown some promise of becoming a solid post player and if coach Craig Robinson can get either Josh Tarver or Ricky Claitt to step up at PG then the Beavers will be on track to building a respectable team.

Oregon State is also beginning to build a solid recruiting class for 2009. Robinson has effectively used some of the fame coming from being Barack Obama's brother in law to lure in 4 star guard Roberto Nelson and 3 star power forward Joe Burton. He is also in the hunt for other quality prospects such as center Angus Brandt and Portland native (and recent Arizona decommit) Mike Moser. If (and that is a big IF) Robinson somehow secures all four of those players then the Beavers will have a likely top 25 recruiting class and a solid base of talent to build off of for years to come. Believe it or not, there is reason to get excited about the future of Hoops in Corvallis.

There is not much else to say. Oregon State will be dismal once again, and it is not likely that until some new talent starts coming through the door that they will be comnpetitive. Although the Beavers will be improved over last year, expecting anything higher than last place is probably expecting too much. At least they (probably) won't go winless again this year.

Prediction: 10th