Tag: Devon Collier

Oregon State Athletics

Devon Collier’s return an important one for Oregon State

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What a difference a week makes for the Oregon State Beavers.

With big men Devon Collier and Eric Moreland suspended the Beavers lost their regular season opener to Coppin State, a team picked to finish ninth in the MEAC. That loss occurred despite senior guard Roberto Nelson scoring 36 points, as he attempted to carry Oregon State to the victory with limited offensive help from his teammates.

Now that Collier’s back in the fold Nelson has some help when it comes to managing the scoring load, and on Sunday evening those two combined to lead Oregon State to a 90-83 victory at Maryland. Nelson scored a game-high 31 points to go along with seven assists, shooting 12-for-14 from the foul line, and Collier added his second consecutive double-double with 29 points and 11 rebounds. And it’s safe to say that these last two games have displayed Collier’s importance to the Oregon State attack.

Nelson’s ability to score has been there for quite some time, but Oregon State wasn’t going to be able to “tread water” in either non-conference or Pac-12 play if he were the only scoring option. Enter Collier, who averaged 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season and has posted double-doubles in each of the two games he’s played in this season. With the return of Angus Brandt (missed much of last season with a torn ACL) inside and guards Challe Barton and Victor Robbins the Beavers do have experience, but without Collier they didn’t have much in the way of scoring punch.

“It was a team effort,” Collier said after the game. “I came out to play. Berto came out to play. Angus came out to play. The whole team came out to play. I felt it was a team effort; everybody followed the game plan and we came out with a victory.”

Oregon State will add their best interior defender in Eric Moreland when conference play begins in January and he’s a valuable piece, but he doesn’t threaten defenses to the level that Collier does inside. Maryland had no answer for the senior forward, and that proved to be as important as Nelson’s 31-point night. The Beavers will play four of their next five games in Corvallis, with the lone road trip coming in the form of a game at DePaul.

Can they get hot before leaving the mainland for the Diamond Head Classic in late-December? The schedule sets up for such a run, but then again in recent years Oregon State’s seemingly made a habit of squandering such opportunities. This time around the Beavers have two proven scoring options, and that could make all the difference as Oregon State looks to rack up some wins before the start of Pac-12 play.

Also of note: Oregon State moved to 4-0 in games played with President Barack Obama and his family in attendance.

Oregon State suspends Eric Moreland 14 games, Devon Collier for one

Devon Collier, Eric Moreland, Askia Booker
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Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson finally provided a timetable for the return of forward Eric Moreland and Devon Collier.

The frontcourt duo had been suspended indefinitely in July for violation of team rules, and Robinson said on Tuesday that Collier will be gone one game, though Moreland will miss 14 games.

“They know what they’ve done has sort of put us in a little bit of a bind, but I feel really good about the way they’re tackling their suspensions,” Robinson told reporters according to OregonLive.com.

The 6-foot-8 Collier, who averaged 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season, will make his season debut on Nov. 13 against Portland. Moreland won’t see the floor until 2014, which is the result of his second suspension in seven months.

Moreland filed for the NBA Draft in March only to withdraw his name three weeks later. His return is was a boost to Oregon State. He rejected 2.5 blocks per game last season, and is school’s second all-time leading shot blocker. His presence inside is much needed, especially when the Beavers are coming off a season ranked last in the Pac-12 in scoring defense.

The 6-foot-10 junior averaged 9.4 points and 10.6 rebounds last year, and his absence makes the play of senior center Angus Brandt more important early into this season. Sophomore forwards Olaf Schaftenaar and Jarmal Reid both return to the frontline after logging a more than 13 minutes per game in 2012-2013. Also returning is 6-foot-10 Daniel Gomis, who missed last year with a leg injury, and could help pick up the slack defensively.

“If we end up having a good season despite all of this, hip-hip hurray,” Robinson added. “And if not, that’s the result of what happens when you do stuff you’re not supposed to do.”

This could be a decisive year for Robinson entering his seventh season. His Beavers finished 14-18 (4-14 Pac-12) a season ago.

Devon Collier trusted coach Craig Robinson, and now he’s making an impact at Oregon State

Devon Collier
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Devon Collier chose to attend college nearly 3,000 miles away from where he grew up in New York City.

He had a chance to stay closer to home, perhaps at Seton Hall, St. John’s, or Providence, but made the decision to head west and play for coach Craig Robinson at Oregon State.

“He has a very good support system who wanted him out of the city, but they let him make his own choice,” said Robinson. “He came out here and trusted what I said and it’s been a match made in heaven.”

After a 21-point, six-rebounds performance Thursday night in a loss to Alabama to start his homecoming, Collier tallied a double-double of 27 points and 14 rebounds in a 66-58 win over Purdue in the Consolation Game of the 2K Sports Classic Friday evening at Madison Square Garden.

“This means a lot, especially coming off a bad loss yesterday,” said Collier. “My family being able to come through and see me play was great. They were excited whether we lost or won and just to have them around.”

“Most guys don’t play when they have a homecoming,” said Robinson. “Devon has now proven me wrong four different times.”

According to Robinson, Collier is growing and maturing in Corvallis, doing well in school and getting involved in the community.

On the court, he’ll continue to be key for Oregon State if the Beavers want to make a run at the postseason. Through three games, he’s averaging 15.5 points and seven rebounds.

The Beavers travel home to take on Montana State Sunday.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_