Moreland will return from suspension Saturday
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 01:01
The ailing Oregon State men’s basketball team will get some much needed help when sophomore forward Eric Moreland and freshman guard Victor Robbins return to the lineup Saturday against the University of Southern California. Both players were suspended indefinitely last Thursday just prior to the Arizona State game for a violation of team rules.
Moreland’s absence hurt the Beavers (10-6, 0-3 Pac-12) both defensively and offensively, as he is averaging 10.8 points and 11.1 rebounds this season. The Beavers have been outscored 76-60 in the paint and outrebounded 92-72 in the two games Moreland has missed.
Head coach Craig Robinson knows how much it will help to have him back on the court.
“It’s almost needless to say, because he’s such an important part of our team, that just the fact that our guys who’ve been playing know that they have one more guy, and a significant guy to be able to look forward to having,” Robinson said. “It’s going to hopefully build everybody’s confidence.”
Moreland agreed that his presence will be a boon to a struggling OSU squad.
“It’s been tough, we’re 0-3 at home,” Moreland said. “But against the Arizona schools ... I’m not saying I’d make them win, but I could have helped, so it hurts not being out there.”
There has been countless speculation and numerous rumors swirling around concerning the reason for these suspensions, but Robinson refuses to say more than “violation of team rules.”
“In this day and age, there are going to be stories that go from nuclear war down to he stole a marshmallow, and I’d rather it be that and nobody know what happened for their sake,” Robinson said. “So I just say, always say violation of team rules.”
Robinson added that public shaming — such as being suspended from games — is an effective tool to teach discipline. He recounted a story from his childhood in which he stole a piece of another kid’s candy back in second grade, got caught, was spanked in front of everybody and sent home.
“I had this whole public humiliation thing that’s kept me out of trouble,” Robinson said. “When you don’t have that growing up, you don’t learn that embarrassment, and that filter. I had never gotten in trouble at school and I never did after that.”
Although he is only averaging seven minutes and 1.1 points per game, Robinson said Robbins has been practicing very well and should see some playing time upon his return from suspension.
“Victor’s situation is a shame, because he was playing better in practice — and in the little bit of time he was getting in games — that he probably would have played more for us in these last three games than he would have prior to that happening,” Robinson said.
With Moreland suspended, junior forward Devon Collier was forced to ditch his sixth-man role and start the previous two games for the Beavers. Robinson says this is a trend that will continue for the time being.
“Eric won’t start when he comes back,” Robinson said. “You know how I am. I might be trying to make a point, so I might not start him for a while.”
Alex Crawford, sports reporter