Madison Taylor, OMN Photographer
From making the Elite Eight in 2020 to having a 3-28 record in 2021 the Oregon State men’s basketball team is looking for a fresh start this upcoming season.
Despite OSU’s losing record last year, senior forward Dzmitry Ryuny decided to transfer from the University of San Francisco to play for the Beavers. For Ryuny, Oregon State University presented a chance to have a bigger role on a Division One team.
It is through transfers like Ryuny and incoming freshmen that the team hopes to move on from last season according to Oregon State junior guard Dexter Akanno, who is one of four returning players from last season.
New players include transfers Ryuny alongside two other players: freshman guard Justin Rochelin, who transferred from Arizona State University, and sophomore guard Christian Wright, who transferred from the University of Georgia. The three transfers are also joined by six freshmen.
Both veterans, including Akanno, and newcomers of the team attribute the lack of team chemistry as being the cause of last season’s shortcomings.
“You saw some games where it’ll get down to the wire, and we just break apart and we just splinter,” Akanno said.” That’s pretty much what really went wrong.”
As a returning player, Akanno averaged 4.9 points per game last season and 2.1 rebounds. Akanno started for 17 of the 29 games he played last year.
In their very first game against their rival, the University of Oregon Ducks, the Beavers ended up losing the game by just two points. OSU lost the lead with just 13 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Of the 28 games lost last season, the Beavers were only down by more than ten points in half of them.
“Last season was really rough but there were a lot of learning points,” said returning Oregon State sophomore forward Glenn Taylor Jr.
According to Taylor Jr., going through such a tough season will have made veterans of the program better because they had to live through it.
“This is a new year,” Taylor Jr., said. “I feel like all the guys know we’re gonna have a way better year. We got a lot of new guys… New assistant coaches, we got some new transfers, and a new trainer. Everything’s new. We’re starting fresh.”
Taylor Jr. was a freshman last season averaging 6.9 points per game and 2.8 rebounds. Out of the 30 games he played, Taylor Jr. averaged just over 20 minutes per game and started in 12 of them.
While the new coaching personnel may not be specifically better, according to Taylor Jr., the move to change personnel was the right one.
“I feel like with everything going on last year, it was just time to get something new and fresh,” Taylor Jr. said. “Just start over.”