Oregon State Suspends Eric Moreland and Devon CollierPosted by nvr1983 on October 1st, 2013
When Oregon State announced that it was suspending forwards Eric Moreland and Devon Collier indefinitely in late July many observers wondered how long the suspensions would be given the fact that both players were expected to be significant pieces of a Beaver team that was attempting to move up the Pac-12 hierarchy after failing to even finish at .500 in any of Craig Robinson’s first five seasons in Corvallis. This morning, during the team’s media day, Robinson announced the length of the suspensions–half of the regular season (14 games) for Moreland and one game for Collier–for a violation of team rules that remains unspecified.
With Roberto Nelson (17.8 points per game) coming back and Angus Brandt (11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game) returning for injury (played just four games last season), the group appeared to be ready to form the core of a solid team that could compete in the Pac-12 this season. Collier’s absence, which will just be for the opener against Coppin State, should not be felt by the Beavers and he should be able to provide them with a potent inside force (12.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocker per game last season) even without Moreland by his side. The bigger issue for the Beavers will be dealing with the prolonged absence of Moreland, who was by far the team’s best rebounder last season (9.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game). Brandt’s return will reduce some of that burden, but the rest of Moreland minutes will have to be filled by a committee of players none of whom played more than 15 minutes per game last season and nobody on roster is anywhere near the defensive presence that Moreland is.
Fortunately for the Beavers their non-conference schedule appears to be fairly easy with three challenging road games–at Maryland, Akron, and DePaul (ok, maybe the last isn’t so challenging, but it would be a power conference win)–and one interesting home game–against Towson. After that they will begin with two conference road games–at Colorado and Utah–before Moreland comes back for their January 9 home game against Stanford. If the Beavers are able to split their challenging non-conference games, they can still aspire to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Gary Payton was on the team. If not, Craig Robinson might be looking for a new job this spring.