Caught the Beavers’ 86-62 win over Corban University on Tuesday night. So I thought I’d share a few quick observations/thoughts. It’s hard to put much stock in this game because the Warriors are an NAIA team, but considering wins could be hard to come by for OSU this season, it was a a nice win.
Reid flashing long-awaited potential. Jarmal Reid was a decent recruit coming out of high school, but struggled to make much of an impact his first two seasons for the Beavers. However, the junior has played very well his past two games. Against Corban, he displayed good finesse and athleticism while being aggressive on the offensive end. It’s early, and the competition will get tougher (and taller), but could Reid simply have been misused/under-utilized by the previous coaching staff?
This squad has some serious athleticism. It’s obvious that Gary Payton II, Malcoln Duvivier, and Langston Morris-Walker are explosive athletes, but how about posts Daniel Gomis and Cheikh N’diaye? They may be raw, but they move well and are surprisingly agile for their size. If they continue to get stronger, they could become forces for the Beavers. Because you know Wayne Tinkle and Kerry Rupp know a thing about coaching up big men. I especially liked seeing Gomis’ turnaround jumper. It looked pretty smooth and natural.
Where does Olaf fit? Olaf Schaftenaar turned in a solid performance about Corban but I couldn’t help but wonder how he fits into the Beavers’ offense — enough that I asked myself, “Is he the odd man out?” The coaches have talked about turning him into more of a post player, which is a good thing, but he’s not exactly getting the ball down low much. And when he’s been up top (his usual comfort zone), he’s been quick to pass the ball. So it will be interesting to see how Schaftenaar gets incorporated into this year’s offense.
Gridiron to Hardwood. It was interesting that the walk on who played the most against the Warriors was Tanner Sanders. The 6-4 freshman also is a wide receiver on the OSU football team. And the hometown hero (Crescent Valley) was pretty impressive, draining two 3-pointers and playing solid defense. Most impressive to me was that he didn’t force things and he boxed his man out after shots. Those are the little things that can go a long way. Who knows how much he will play against tougher competition, but Sanders might surprise.
Lack of mid-range game. My biggest concern through the very young season is the Beavers’ mid-range shooting or lack of it. They don’t really have a pure shooter such as Roberto Nelson, and that’s going to hurt against teams that play good defense. (OK, maybe using someone such as Nelson is an unfair example, but you know what I am trying to say.) Someone needs to emerge and start knocking down shots inside the arc more consistently. But at this point I am not sure who that will be. I’d like it to be Morris-Walker, because he elevates well, but he must be more consistent.
Overall, the Beavers moved to 2-0 for only the third time since the 2000-01 season (my freshman year at OSU, EEK!), and should have some momentum heading into their Friday evening matchup against Oral Roberts.
A lot can happen and the Beavers will probably lose more than they win this season, but I think they will surprise here and there — and provide a lot of hope for next year. Go Beavs! (RW)
What are your thoughts about the Beavers after three games?