Men's college basketball

Oregon State missing its man in the middle

Loss of Angus Brandt has hurt Beavers

Kevin Hampton / Corvallis Gazette-Times /

The Oregon State men’s basketball team misses Angus Brandt.

Just look at the numbers. When he was lost for the season with a torn ACL, Brandt had per-game averages of 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in four contests. At 6-foot-10 and 242 pounds, he gave the Beavers another big body inside.

“We miss Angus a lot. We’re going to miss him a lot this whole season,” OSU guard Ahmad Starks said. “With the way Angus was rebounding at the beginning and his presence, his strength, his size, we’re going to miss that.”

As a senior, Brandt brought another aspect to the game. One that never shows up in the stats.

Brandt brought leadership to the court.

Other players have failed to fill that role and it showed in OSU’s 79-66 loss to Oregon on Sunday evening.

“We, since Angus has gone down, have had a void in the leadership department,” OSU coach Craig Robinson said.

“I try and get across to these guys that I can be a leader on the sideline, but not on the court.”

The result can be play that is akin to a rudderless ship, drifting and lacking focus.

A leader was needed to step up in the second half against the Ducks.

The Beavers played well enough in the first half, but UO got its transition game going and OSU could not recover. The Ducks outscored the Beavers 51-32 after the break.

“They just came out with a purpose and ran up and down the floor and we weren’t able to run with them,” OSU guard Roberto Nelson said.

Not only was it a home Civil War game, but the first Pacific-12 game of the season for both teams.

The Beavers could not muster enough good basketball on both ends of the court.

Robinson said the Beavers didn’t make plays.

“And that could be nerves, that could be the moment, it could be the fact that it’s the first conference game,” he said. “It could be anything. It could be psychological, which I’m not pooh-poohing at all. I think we still are at a point where we need to feel like we can win games like this and not just suppose we can win games like this.”

A stabilizing influence on the court would make a significant impact on a team that needs a belief boost.

Brandt would have been that player.

“I think we have a group of very nice kids but we don’t have anybody who’s going to take somebody and kind of shake them out of the negativity like an Angus would do,” Robinson said.

Next up

Arizona State at Oregon State

• When: Today, 8:30 p.m.

• TV: Pac-12 Network

• Radio: KICE-AM 940

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