Oregon State Week: Players Not ReturningPosted by Connor Pelton on August 22nd, 2012
Last year the Beavers only had one senior on the roster, seemingly ensuring that the 2012-13 roster would be made up of the same guys. But one early entry to the NBA and two transfers later, Craig Robinson is indeed losing four players from last year’s squad. Below we’ll break down those four players in roughly the order of the degree to which they’ll be missed.
Jared Cunningham – Despite earning offers from basketball powerhouses San Diego State and California (among others), Cunningham decided to leave his home state and go north to Corvallis. Three years later, he leaves as arguably the most talented player to don a Beaver uniform since Corey Benjamin’s single season in 1997-98. Cunningham instantly played major minutes as a freshman, and by the end of the season was starting regularly and scoring in double figures. As a sophomore, with Seth Tarver graduating, his role and production increased. He started 29 of the 30 games he played in, missing only the third-to-last game of the year for reportedly blowing curfew. That year was when people nationally began to take notice of the athletic shooting guard at OSU. Cunningham averaged 14.2 PPG and 2.8 SPG as a sophomore, and had the top dunk of the year in a game against Arizona. Last season, he led the Beavers to 21 wins with 17.9 PPG and 2.5 SPG. At the end of the year, Cunningham announced he was leaving early for the NBA, a decision that raised some eyebrows around town. Sure enough, however, he was drafted in the 1st Round by the Dallas Mavericks last June.
Kevin McShane – After grey-shirting the 2007-08 season at Clackamas Community College, McShane had a rough start to his Oregon State career. The walk-on forward overslept for the first two 5:00 AM practices of the 2008-09 season, which left new head coach Craig Robinson wondering if he even deserved a walk-on spot with the team. But McShane impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic and hustle, making him a fan favorite whenever he entered the game. The years rolled by with McShane only playing garbage minutes or the not-so-rare instance when Gill Coliseum was so sleepy, Robinson decided to throw him into the mix just to liven things up. With an open scholarship available, McShane was the first in line to get one during his senior season. He responded by averaging 1.6 PPG, the highest total of his Oregon State career.
Rhys Murphy – Like McShane, Murphy had an inauspicious start to his Oregon State career. The forward who was actually not really a forward at all was forced to sit out the entire 2009-10 season with a foot injury sustained during the first practice of the season. The next season was not much better for him, as he was forced to have season-ending surgery on his left wrist after playing in just four games. He played in 18 games last year, and he showed some scoring ability by dropping in nine points against West Alabama, five against Illinois-Chicago, and six on the road against Chicago State. Unfortunately for the Aussie, the offseason saw the signing of three new players, all wings who would be in front of him for playing time in 2012-13. With that news, Murphy announced he was transferring to Chaminade, where maybe he’ll have a bigger impact and show off more than just a jump shot. Plus, you get to live in Hawaii and play on ESPN three times a year. Not a bad decision.
Chris Brown – Brown scored a career high five points against Colorado as a freshman in 2010-11, but the fight for playing time was all uphill from there. Brown never even left the bench as a sophomore, and announced he would be transferring to Cleveland State midway through the year. The odd process of Brown’s transfer is a story in itself, as the center showed up behind the Cleveland State bench on December 10 for the Vikings game against Akron. Brown didn’t even announce he was transferring until December 23, and didn’t officially announce he was going to CSU until January 5. It’s not entirely out of the ordinary to visit other schools while still playing for a team, but to do it without any local media or fans knowing about it is odd, to say the least.