Wipe away the tears, my friends. It has come to this. Senior Day for Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp. Their final home game at Haas (unless we somehow miss the tourney and get to the NIT, which would be the opposite of good!). 4 long, amazing years with two great Cal heroes.
Tonight, we get to tell them goodbye against the Oregon State Beavers. Craig "Hope In Law" Robinson has the Beavs slowly going in the right direction. It appears that there is a slow, but gradual growth from the depths a year or so back. No, it's not the roaring recovery than many Oregon State fans would like, but something is better than nothing, right?
Cal hopes to crush that recovery in its tracks. We want to send things spiraling disastrously out of control back into the darkest days. Days like 2007 and 2008. We want to prove Craig Robinson out of touch with the interests of the average, middle class Oregon State fans. Cal wants to make Craig Robinson seems almost foreign to real Beavers fans. Basically, what I'm trying to say is I think Oregon State should hire Newt Gingrinch as coach. By 2020, Oregon State would have colonies on the moon!
To learn more about the hopes and dreams of certain sections of Oregon, we spoke with AndyPanda over at BuildingTheDam. They have all the info you need to know on the black and orange. Check out their answers to our questions after the jump. Many thanks to AndyPanda and all those kids at BtD. And here are our answers to their questions! GO BEARS!1. Who is the Beav player on offense that Cal fans should know about?
Roberto Nelson. (You already know about Jared Cunningham, and are likely to find out more soon enough. If you lose track of him Saturday, check around the basket; he'll show up there shortly.) Nelson played a relatively small role the first time the Beavers played the Bears, largely because Ahmad Starks had a great game, but as the third guard, he is often a critical piece of the offense. He's a more accurate shooter than Starks, and a more accurate 3 point shooter than Cunningham.
2. Who is the Beav player on defense that Cal fans should know about?
Eric Moreland. He leads the team in rebounds , and is second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots, despite playing on average only 25 minutes per game. And with a 7'5" wing span, he sometimes shows up on point on the 1-3-1 defense as well.
3. Does Hope In Law make it past the end of this season?
Without a doubt. The team is young, progress has been made, and recruiting has been promising (see #5 below as well). Also, the buyout is large, and the athletic director has already ear-marked much Pac-12 money for other things.
4. What are the updated goals for Oregon State with 15 wins so far? NIT champs? Is that realistic?
20 wins once all is over and done with is probably it. NIT champs is possible, but is a long shot. With the inconsistency this team has shown, no one is going to look that far ahead. Or be that surprised with anything that happens.
5. What does the future look like - young guys on this year's team and incoming recruits - does the future look bright or is it time for #regimechangenow?
Coach Robinson's inability to get the team over that inconsistency deal has some concerned, but with only 1 senior, and especially young players like Devon Collier and Moreland, the athleticism of the team is grounds for optimism. And there are a couple of promising front court guys verbally committed as well.
6. Why hasn't Benny beaten down that Duck?
When the Beavs went down to Matt Court and beat them, the UofO wouldn't allow OSU to bring cheerleaders, dancers, Benny, or the band into the building. And the way the football team played in the Civil War in Autzen, well, that wasn't exactly the setting for it. Oskie should understand that when it comes to fb. We are hoping Puddles shows up at Gill at the end of the month...
7. Did you tell us enough about Jared Cunningham in question 1? Why not?
We assume Bear fans have already read the Conference scoring and steals stats.
8. What does Cal need to do to win this game?
Penetrate and pass. If Jorge gets to within 15 feet, he will be able to find an open outside shooter to dump it back out to. I'd expect to find Crabbe wandering around just outside the 3 point line.
But Jorge also needs to look to make passes on into the blocks. Angus Brandt out-played Kamp on both ends of the floor last time around. If the Bears figure out how to turn that matchup around, it can turn the game around.
9. Predict a score.
Cal 80 Oregon St. 75. I can't see the Bears letting senior day go badly for Jorge and Harper. That would be redonkulous. I'd expect someone will do whatever it takes, at whatever the cost. And I expect those someones will turn out to be Jorge and Harper