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Outside » Outside Features

The Real Campaign Starts Now


For new Oregon State head basketball coach Craig Robinson, helping his brother-in-law win the presidency of the United States is going to seem like a piece of cake compared to trying to win a Pac 10 conference basketball game this season - let alone a championship.

Robinson - Michelle Obama's brother - inherited a team that went 0-18 in conference play last season and won only six of the 31 games it played. Unfortunately for the Beavers last year, they weren't able to give a concession speech mid-way through the season when they realized the race was over.

But this is a new year, and this coach is instilling in his players the same concept that Barack Obama sold the nation: Change.

Enter a new Princeton-style offense - more passing, more cutting and more off-the-ball motion necessary for a team who often encounters players more athletic than its own. Enter the task of turning around a culture of losing.

Robinson, the former head coach at Brown University and two-time Ivy League player of the year at Princeton, has said that while he's excited about this season, he's also excited about future recruiting classes at Oregon State. He's excited because he knows "The President's Brother in Law" title will get him into living rooms of recruits who normally wouldn't listen to simply the basketball coach at Oregon State.

There's a lot to be excited about if you're a Beaver fan these days - with a baseball program winning national championships, a football team poised to play in the Rose Bowl and a new basketball coach unwilling to put an 0-18 Pac 10 conference team on the floor.

The Beavers lost their season opener last week against Howard University in, of all places, Washington, D.C. But there's some hope in Corvallis this season inspired by a man who was inspired by a man who truly believed, "Yes we can."


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