To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Oregon State guard Roberto Nelson about hanging out with President Obama.
Your team got a new practice facility this summer, how big a deal is that for a college basketball player? It is huge: I feel spoiled to get to go shoot anytime and the view is great. It will really help with marketing/recruiting.
You are one of seven seniors on the roster. How big a factor do you think your team’s experience will be this season? Having all these seniors will allow us to gel a lot more and deal with tough situations. We can rely on each other and it will hopefully put us over the hump.
Your team is participating in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. How excited are you to spend Christmas in Honolulu? I am more than excited, as is my entire family! Everyone is saving up and not making any big purchases so that they will have the money to come to Hawaii this fall.
Coach Craig Robinson has stated that he expects the team to make the NCAA tourney this year, what are your own expectations for the upcoming season? I just want to be successful, play hard, and take care of business on and off the court. We can be our own worst enemy at times but I think we will do just fine.
You went to high school in California, what made you choose the Beavers? When I came on my visit I met some great fans and Coach Craig Robinson was great and more interested in who I was as a person than as a basketball player.
Coach Robinson is President Barack Obama’s brother-in-law. Did you ever get to meet the president, and if so, what was he like? I have met him a few times, but it is always nerve-racking, even though he is laid-back. He makes jokes and occasionally has dinner with us. He even called me out last year!
What are your memories of the 2012 CBI (you made it to the semifinals before losing to conference rival Washington State)? It was a rough game against the Cougars and were not clicking on all cylinders. It is tough to beat a team three times in a year, and Brock Motum was tough.
Your scoring nearly doubled from your sophomore year (9.3 ppt to your junior year (17.8 ppg). How were you able to have such a huge improvement in only one year? I had a lot more freedom and had the ball in my hands a lot more. There was more of a need for me to score after Jared Cunningham left.
Last season you were fourth in the Pac-12 in three-point shooting (39.7%). What is your secret for making shots from behind the arc? There is no secret: it is all luck! My dad had a good jump shot growing up, and he passed it on to me and has helped me maintain my form and rhythm in each shot.