Going up against two of the Pac-12’s most improved players last night in Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski and Carrick Felix, Oregon State could have used all hands on deck in its front court.
Only problem with that was the fact that just before the game both Eric Moreland and Victor Robbins were both suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. While Robbins, a freshman who has played in just nine games, hasn’t seen a great deal of action Moreland has been a valuable contributor with averages of 10.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
Not having him on the floor last night played a significant role in the Beavers’ struggles inside as Bachynski and Felix combined for 28 points, 23 rebounds and four blocked shots (all by Bachynski) in the 72-62 Arizona State victory.
“You’ll ask me 15 different ways and I’ll give 15 different answers that it’s a violation of team rules, and that’s all I’ll say for now. I wish they weren’t, but life happens to these young guys,” said Robinson following the loss.
“As soon as I’m able to let you know how long they’ll be suspended, I’ll let you know. I believe they’ll be able to practice. This all kind of happened right before the game.”
Without Moreland, who also set a school record for blocked shots in a season as a freshman last year, the Beavers were out-rebounded 49-35 with the Sun Devils grabbing 16 offensive caroms.
“It’s one of those things that you can never be prepared for. This is the first time this has happened to me ever,” lamented Robinson. “You can’t prepare your players for that, and I know it’s a big letdown for a player like Eric who is a big part of the production of our team.”
Oregon State was able to make a second half run to pull within six thanks to a spark provided by players such as Devon Collier, Jarmal Reid and Olaf Schaftenaar but ultimately the Sun Devil front court and freshman point guard Jahii Carson (20 points, four assists) proved to be too much.
Next up for Oregon State is No. 4 Arizona on Saturday, and with their being no timeframe in regards to the suspensions the Beavers could once again be without a key cog in Moreland.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.