The Oregon State men’s basketball team continues on their seven-game losing streak, after losing to the California Bears 69-58 Saturday night at Gill Coliseum. This is the worst start to a conference record the Beavers have had since 2008.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle says there are multiple reasons why they are struggling to get a victory. First, they are a young team. With leading scorer Tres Tinkle out due to injury since the start of the season, the Beavers starting five consists entirely of freshmen and sophomores. Because of this, their maturity and mental toughness struggle against more veteran teams.
“On a couple of timeouts, we came back out and did not execute plays,” Tinkle said. “These weren’t new plays either; these are plays we’ve had in our playbook. And that’s where you have to show your maturity and mental toughness to be dialed in, and be able to go out there and execute under pressure.”
The team’s communication is also lacking. Tinkle addresses this as another main reason for their series of losses; and attributes it to the fact that they are a young team.
“I have not been around a team that talks less than this team,” said Tinkle. “This team does not talk. And that is part of a young team who’s becoming a little more mature I guess, but we need to learn how to change that.”
Sophomores Drew Eubanks and Stevie Thompson Jr. are the two starting captains. They agreed with their coach in the post-game press conference, stating that they lack communication.
“I need to be more of a leader,” said Eubanks. “I need to be more dominant as a captain. Most of this falls on Stevie and my shoulders; we need to lead by example and be more vocal.”
“We talk a lot at the start of the game, breaking out of huddles,” said Thompson Jr. “But as time goes on throughout the game, the talking becomes less and less.”
Thompson Jr. had 19 out of the 58 points against Cal, Eubanks had 22. They each played 37 and 38 minutes of the game, respectively. Eubanks was fighting through a thigh injury that pulled him out of the Beavers last game against Stanford.
“We didn’t care if he had to drag his leg up and down the court, his team needed him,” said Tinkle. “We challenged him to rebound the ball better, and he accepted that challenge. I was proud of the way he accepted the challenge, and how really battled out there.”
“I have spent probably 14 hours in the training room this week just trying to get my leg healed up and get it ready to play,” said Eubanks. “I feel pretty good [after tonight’s game]. My leg’s still a little stiff, but I’m just going to work through it.”
Oregon State will travel to University of Colorado to face the Buffs Jan. 26. Colorado has also yet to get a conference win.
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