Chaos Theory: Avoiding Do or Die vs. Cougs

Chaos Theory: Avoiding Do or Die vs. Cougs
February 13, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Eight points.... EIGHT.

The Beavers haven't lost by more than eight points since January 23. Let's take a look at the numbers:

69-68 USC

71-68 WSU

71-68 Cal
81-73 Stanford

72-68 Colorado

Those were winnable games. Often games where the Beavers either came back for the lead, or at one point had a substantial run going to pull away. What happened?

Crunch time happened.

“Youth. Inexperience. Nerves,” offered Coach Robinson after the Buffs loss.

Somehow, the Beavers manage to get themselves into “do or die” situations, and the Beavers start playing out of character.  Roberto Nelson passes when he should shoot, players don't take care of the ball, moral sinks low.

They begin playing “not to lose” rather than seeking victory.

To quote the great K-State football coach Bill Synder, “Expect to Win.”

The Cougars have lost their last four games. This is a chance for the Beavers to change course. But will they?

In a recent press conference, WSU Coach Ken Bone said of the Beavers
“Right now, they are not winning ball games. But they are able to get teams to play their style, which is really up-tempo.  They throw different defenses at you.” They shoot it well.”

Different defenses have worked of late. The 1-3-1 throws off teams until they figure it out. Then the Beavers find success with the zone.

I asked Ahmad Starks the other night what Coach is preaching on defense of late:
“Talk more. When we stop talking, stop communicating, we lose ourselves.”

While defense is key, Starks just needs three three-pointers to lead OSU in all-time from beyond the arc. As a Junior, if he plays like he did in the first half of the Colorado game (6 three-balls), future Beavs will be chasing him for years to come in that category. Coach Robinson has been adding Challe Barton to the mix at point lately, taking pressure off Starks. Look for that tonight.

Top Players

Cougars (WSU Athletics)
In the first meeting this season, Mike Ladd had a career night to lead the Cougars to a 71-68 victory at Corvallis, Jan. 26. 

Ladd led WSU with a career-high 23 point and was 10-for-11 from the field, including 1-for-1 from 3-point range and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Brock Motum leads the team with 18.1 points per game and 6.5 rebounds. He ranks third in the conference in scoring.

Beavers (OSU Athletics)
Eric Moreland is second in the Pac-12 and 10th in the nation in rebounding (10.5)

Roberto Nelson has led the Beavers in scoring in six of the past eight games. Nelson leads the Pac-12 in scoring in conference games at 18.6 points per game.

The last time Nelson was held below 20 points was against these Cougars in Corvallis when he finished the night with 14 points.

Nelson has scored 20-plus points in four consecutive games.