Nearly a Beaver, Now a Sun Devil. Jahii Carson Returns to Gill

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Nearly a Beaver, Now a Sun Devil. Jahii Carson Returns to Gill

By Jordan Whitley, College Basketball Insider, @JordanWhitley

VIDEO: When Joe Burton steps onto the court this Thursday night, his friend Jahii Carson becomes foe.

Carson, the red shirt freshman guard who's re-energized the Sun Devils with his speed and electricity, came oh-so-close to being a Beaver prior to the 2011 season before de-committing to the progam.

"Yeah we still talk and text a lot," says Burton, but when he comes to Gill "I don't know him."

Jahii and Joe's relationship goes back to prep days, when they were team mates on the Compton Magic. "It's the best travel team in the country...Compton Magic is family for life."

For Coach Robinson, he doesn't plan to let the emotions of a losing someone in 2011 affect him Thursday night. "I coach the guys who are in this locker room, and we win or lose together."

It will be interesting to see if emotions get to Carson, who's admitted that he "committed too early." The emotions, if any, are over a year in the making, as he had to sit out last season due to academic ineligibility. To boot, this is his first time back at Gill since a high school visit.

Mind games aside, Carson comes in as the number one weapon the Beavers must contain, averaging 16.7 point per game and leading the Pac-12 in minutes.

What to the Beavers have to do to stop him?

"Keep him from scoring," Joe says, and a telling grin spreads slowly across his face.

Check back tomorrow for a full scouting report from Coach Robinson and players.

Oregon State hoping second year under Andersen brings better results

Oregon State hoping second year under Andersen brings better results

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Oregon State coach Gary Andersen narrowed down the Beavers' point of emphasis that could lead improvement over last season's 2-10 showing to one simple goal: Improved physicality. 

OSU needs more of it. Lots more. Or the Beavers will be dead in the water before the season begins. 

"If it does not [improve] then we will be right where we were a year ago because we could not hang in there physically with people in our league week in and week out," Andersen said today during Pac-12 Media Days. "If you cannot do that, the way we want to play football and the way you have to play football to win at this level, you will not be successful."

Andersen's first season proved disastrous for the Beavers, who went 0-9 in conference play while ranking at or near the bottom of the Pac-12 in virtually every meaningful statistical category. Year two sees a program picked by the media to once again finish last in the Pac-12 North as well as the conference. 

The Beavers are certainly capable of finishing higher than last. Climbing much higher than 10th, however, could require a quantum leap in all facets of the game, and that would only occur with extreme hard work at a bit of luck. 

OSU junior wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr., named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, said the team has embraced the challenge of working harder to improve. 

"Coach Andersen tells us to live in the hard," Bolden said. "And this offseason that's what we're doing, we've living in the hard, and grinding."

OSU must also mix in some talent and skill to win. The Beavers certainly lacked in those areas last season, especially on offense where the team adjusted to a new system. Andersen essentially tried to squeeze former coach Mike Riley's pro-style talent into a spread attack. The result was a team that ranked last in the Pac-12 in both scoring offense (19 points per game) and total offense (336.8 yards per game). Keep in mind that 10 of 12 conference teams averaged more than 395 yards and 30 points per game in 2015. 

Andersen said he's already noticed signs of the team being much more comfortable within the system this year. Coaches know the players better; their personalities, deficiencies, strengths and temperments. Players also learned the same things about themselves, leading to improvement. 

"It's much more comfortable as a head coach," Andersen said of fitting players to his system. "Much more comfortable as a position coach. And I believe our kids are much more comfortable with us as a whole, and with the scheme."

Bolden said he expects to play in a much more potent offense this season. 

"The transition is not as rough," he said of the team's familiarity with the schemes. "Not as extreme. I think guys are picking it up good and the offense is rolling pretty smoothly. Good things are going to happen for us."

The Beavers showed major signs of improvement in the final game of last season, a 52-42 loss at Oregon. 

"We're going to take the momentum we had in the Oregon game and transition that into the offseason and work hard and get ready for next season," Bolden said. 

For the offense to take the next step, OSU must get much better production from the quarterback position. 

Transfer quarterback Darrell Garrettson won the job during spring drills. He will give the team an upgrade at the position, especially in experience. He started 12 games at Utah State including five in 2014 before getting injured. He was off to a great start to the season, completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,140 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions. 

"He understands the offense very well and he's such a dynamic player," Bolden said. "I think he is going to fit into our offense good and we're going to need him to do big things for our team to be good this year."

Seth Collins played quarterback much of last season but struggled. He is an elite athlete, however, and will remain a focal point of the offense as a receiver and, according to Andersen, will line up at running back and quarterback. 

As for the defense, Bolden said it will be bolstered by guys taking more of a leadrship role. He said safety Devin Chappell, corner Treston Decoud, linebacker Dwayne Williams and defensive lineman Baker Pritchard are taking it upon themselves to make sure the rest of the defense falls in line with the team's commitment to improve.  

Andersen's been involved in a reclimation project before. He turned around Utah State before going to Wisconsin and then landing at Oregon State.

"Ther's a lot of similarities," he said of what he did at Utah State and what he is trying to accomplish at OSU. He believes he can replicate that success in Corvallis. 

"I love to be involved in a big boy fight," Andersen said. 

OSU certainly has one in front of it. 

Gary Payton II goes undrafted, set to sign with Houston Rockets

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Gary Payton II goes undrafted, set to sign with Houston Rockets

Oregon State point guard Gary Payton II went undrafted during Thursday's NBA Draft, though it appears he quickly found an NBA suitor. 

From Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Payton, 6'3", 175 lbs.,  was originally projected as a 2nd round pick. The two-time defensive player of the year averaged 16.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.5 steals in 34.3 minutes last season for the Beavers.

 

KJ Harrison Accepts Team USA Invite

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KJ Harrison Accepts Team USA Invite

 CARY, N.C. – Oregon State sophomore infielder KJ Harrison has accepted an invitation to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer.

In doing so, Harrison joins Michael Conforto as the only Oregon State players to compete for the Collegiate National Team twice. Harrison played in 17 games for the 2015 team, collecting 10 hits, including two doubles, with six runs batted in.

“Having the opportunity to play for Team USA again is truly an honor,” Harrison said. “I am so humbled and blessed to receive and accept the invitation. Being able to play for our country and represent Oregon State is something that is very special. I can’t wait to get it started.”

Harrison was one of three Oregon State players to appear in all 54 games this past season, and the only one to start every contest. He batted .265 with 14 doubles, four triples and 10 home runs, which ranks second in the Pac-12 Conference. He finished with a .525 slugging percentage and a .381 on-base percentage.

Harrison led the Pac-12 with eight home runs and 30 RBI in conference action.

“It’s a well-deserved honor for KJ,” head coach Pat Casey said. “He represented Oregon State University and our country tremendously last summer. Once again, due to his talent and what he did on the field this year, he’s being given this wonderful opportunity.”

Team USA will train in Southern California this summer, with the first game slated for June 28. The team will compete in international friendship series against Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Cuba.

Jonah Nickerson and Kevin Gunderson were the first Beavers to compete for Team USA, doing so in 2005. Darwin Barney followed them in 2006, with Kevin Rhoderick in 2008. Matt Boyd began the string of now six consecutive seasons in 2011, followed by Conforto (2012 and 2013), Dan Child (2012), Andrew Moore (2014), Harrison (2015) and Drew Rasmussen (2015).

Additionally, Brian Barden competed for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics. Carter Bell and Jordan Lennerton have also worn their country’s colors, with both playing for Team Canada.

Fans wishing to track Harrison’s summer with Team USA can find information atUSABaseball.com, or via Twitter at @BeaverBaseball and @USABaseball.

For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/BeaverBaseball, by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball or on Instagram at Instagram.com/BeaverBaseball.

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Caleb Hamilton selected by Minnesota in 23rd Round

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Caleb Hamilton selected by Minnesota in 23rd Round

Oregon State infielder Caleb Hamilton has been selected in the 23rd round, 693rd overall, by the Minnesota Twins in the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.

 

The Woodinville, Wash., native has played in 149 games over three seasons in an OSU uniform, starting 124. He’s batting .223 with 12 doubles, five triples, six home runs and 53 runs batted in. He’s also 12-for-17 in stolen base attempts.

He is the fourth Oregon State player selected by Minnesota all-time.

The selection is the second of Hamilton’s career. He was taken in the 38th round of the 2013 draft by Washington.

Five Beavers have been selected in the MLB Draft. In addition to Hamilton, they include Logan Ice (second round – Cleveland), Travis Eckert (seventh round – Kansas City), Trever Morrison (12th round – Milwaukee) and John Pomeroy (13th round – Pittsburgh).

John Pomeroy selected by Pittsburgh in the 13th round

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John Pomeroy selected by Pittsburgh in the 13th round

Oregon State right-handed pitcher John Pomeroy has been selected in the 13th round, 405th overall, by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.

Pomeroy has spent three seasons in an Oregon State uniform, making 23 appearances, all in relief. He’s 2-0 with a 5.29 earned run average in 17 innings. He has 14 strikeouts and opponents are batting just .204 against him.

He is the sixth Oregon State player selected by Pittsburgh all-time.

The selection is the first of Pomeroy’s career.

For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball, by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball or on Instagram at Instagram.com/BeaverBaseball.

Trever Morrison selected by Milwaukee Brewers in 12th round

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Trever Morrison selected by Milwaukee Brewers in 12th round

Oregon State infielder Trever Morrison has been selected in the 12th round, 351st overall, by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.

Morrison has appeared in 155 games over three seasons for the Beavers, starting in 149. He’s batting .271 in 543 career at bats, collecting 18 doubles, 12 triples – good for second in OSU career history - and two home runs with 61 runs batted in.

He is the fifth Oregon State player selected by Milwaukee all-time.

The selection is the second of Morrison’s career. He was taken in the 36th round of the 2013 draft by Boston.

For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball, by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball or on Instagram at Instagram.com/BeaverBaseball.

Travis Eckert selected by Kansas City in seventh round

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Travis Eckert selected by Kansas City in seventh round

Oregon State right-handed pitcher Travis Eckert has been selected in the seventh round, 223rd overall, by the Kansas City Royals in the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday.

Eckert, a two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week in 2016, finished his Oregon State career with a 12-6 record in 30 games, all starts. He worked 183 2/3 innings, striking out 116 while opponents batted .250. In 2016, he was 6-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts.

He is the sixth Oregon State player selected by Kansas City all-time.

The selection is the second of Eckert’s career. He was taken in the 20th round in 2015 by the San Francisco Giants.

He joins Logan Ice (second round – Cleveland) as OSU draftees thus far.

For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball, by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball or on Instagram at Instagram.com/BeaverBaseball.

Logan Ice selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 2nd round

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OSU Beavers

Logan Ice selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 2nd round

Oregon State catcher Logan Ice has been selected in the second round, 72nd overall, by the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.

Ice has played three seasons for the Beavers, posting a .279 batting average with 26 doubles, six triples, 10 home runs and 80 runs batted in over 164 games.

The Puyallup, Wash., native is the reigning Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year – in addition to being a first-team selection - and is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top catcher.

In 54 games for Oregon State in 2016, he committed just one passed ball, tallied a .990 fielding percentage and threw out better than 44 percent of opposing basestealers. In his three seasons in Corvallis, he has thrown out 48.5 percent (49-of-102) of runners attempting to steal and committed just four passed balls.

He is the seventh Oregon State player selected by Cleveland all-time, and the first since Taylor Starr in the 37th round in 2011.

The selection is the first of Ice’s career.

Ice is the 41st Oregon State player to be selected in the top nine rounds of the draft under head coach Pat Casey, and the 30th since 2005.

For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball, by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball or on Instagram at Instagram.com/BeaverBaseball.

Wayne Tinkle awarded contract extension

Wayne Tinkle awarded contract extension

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State men’s basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle received a two-year contract extension that takes him through the 2021-22 season, Vice President/Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury announced Tuesday.

In his first two seasons, Tinkle won 36 games, including upsets over two Top 25 teams, and led the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990. He became the second Oregon State coach in history to win 17-plus games in each of his first two seasons (Bob Hager, 1923-24).

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to continue to build the Oregon State men’s basketball program,” Tinkle said. “I want to thank President Ed Ray and Todd Stansbury for their trust and confidence in our staff and program. We all love Corvallis and are thrilled to be a part of the OSU family and truly respect the responsibility that brings.

“We’re thankful to be at an institution such as Oregon State that encourages us to teach our student-athletes to first learn how to win in the community and in the classroom, enhancing their college experiences and knowing that will lead to success on the court.”

In Year 1, he guided a team picked to finish last in the Pac-12 after losing its top five scorers from the previous season to a 17-14 overall record, the most home wins (15) in school history, and victories over Pac-12 champion Arizona and NCAA Sweet-16 finisher UCLA.

In Year 2, he surpassed those milestones and capped another season of notable accomplishments when the Beavers garnered their first berth in the NCAA Tournament in 26 seasons. OSU finished in a three-way tie for sixth place with a 9-9 Pac-12 record, its best conference record since 1993. The Beavers won 17 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1989 (22-8) and 1990 (22-7).

“What our men’s basketball program has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time under the leadership of Coach Tinkle has not only been recognized regionally, but also nationally,” Stansbury said. “I’m thrilled to announce to Beaver Nation that Coach Tinkle will represent Oregon State University on and off the court for the foreseeable future and look forward to continued success.”

Under Tinkle the Beavers are 29-5 when leading at halftime, 30-2 when leading with five minutes to play, 19-1 when outrebounding its opponent and 9-2 in games decided by five points or less. They are also 27-5 (.844) at home in Gill Coliseum.

The 50-year-old Tinkle, who signed a six-year contract when he was hired on May 19, 2014 after eight successful seasons at the University of Montana, became the fourth OSU coach since 1928 to record a winning record in his first season. He joined Beaver legends Slats Gill, Paul Valenti and Jim Anderson in that exclusive fraternity.

OREGON STATE ATHLETICS’ EVERYDAY CHAMPIONS CULTURE
Through the power of sport, we help people discover and pursue their passions, talents and purpose in order to live a life of balance and positive contribution.

Bryce Fehmel named second team All-America

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Bryce Fehmel named second team All-America

Oregon State freshman right-handed pitcher Bryce Fehmel has been named a Second-Team All-American by Louisville Slugger, it was announced Thursday by the publication Collegiate Baseball.

Fehmel is just the second freshman in Oregon State’s history to be named an All-American, joining Michael Conforto in 2012.

The right-hander earned the honor with good reason after having a spectacular first season in Corvallis. He led the Pac-12 Conference in regular season victories with 10, posted a 2.31 earned run average and held opponents to a .222 batting average. He appeared in 26 games, making six starts.

A native of Agoura Hills, Calif., Fehmel was even better against conference competition. He went 4-1 with a 1.42 ERA and two saves in 11 Pac-12 games, holding opponents to a .193 batting average. Fehmel closed out the season with an impressive stretch of 19 2/3 innings where he held opponents to 11 hits, one unearned run and four walks while he struck out 13 en route to two wins and a save.

Fehmel is one of eight Pac-12 players on the three Louisville Slugger All-America teams.

He is the 27th All-American in Oregon State’s history, and the 18th under head coach Pat Casey. The Beavers have now had at least one All-America selection in six consecutive seasons. Eight players have been named one over that stretch.

For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball, by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball or on Instagram at Instagram.com/BeaverBaseball.