OSU Basketball Center

Oregon State unveils a new, $15 million basketball facility

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Oregon State is the latest school in join in the college hoops arms race, as they unveiled the new OSU Basketball Center on Tuesday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Gary Payton, AC Green, Jared Cunningham and head coach Craig Robinson were among the notable names in attendance.

The deets?:

The OSU Basketball Center is a 34,500-square-foot, four-story, $15 million structure that features two regulation basketball courts on the first and third floors along with locker rooms, satellite training and medical areas, and service and mechanical space. The second and fourth floors include coach and program staff offices that offer panoramic views of the basketball courts.

“This is a huge marketing tool,” Robinson said. “We all love this place. We all know this place. We all know this is the place most people want to come to go to school, but the fact of the matter is, when you’re recruiting against folks who have more resources, who live in larger metropolitan areas, we have to have something that gets them here to visit this place. That’s what this practice facility will do.”

And he’s right.

When your biggest in-state rival is Oregon, whose athletic facilities — funded by Phil Knight’s Nike money — rival that of any professional team in any sport, you need to do something to compete, especially when Oregon is far from the only school shoveling as much money as possible into developing newer and better practice center, weight rooms and arenas.

Here’s the irony.

While newer and better facilities may attract more talent to the school and help develop that talent to the point that they can play at the next level, the fact of the matter is that it’s investments like this that are one of the reasons that so many athletic departments operate in the red. Less than 10% of the athletic departments of public schools in Division I had enough revenue to cover their expenses.

The argument against paying players — or, you know, at least getting them stipends or cost of attendance scholarships — is that these athletic departments are broke.

If the athletic departments are broke, where do they keep coming up with the millions needed to build another brand-new, state-of-the-art athletic center?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: