Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 12/15/12
Familiar face leading Beavers The Oregon State Beavers are off to a fantastic start to the season, currently tied for fifth in the Pac-12 at 6-2. Their lone losses on the season were close games to Alabama (62-65) and Kansas (78-84). OSU has a great group of athletes, and it’s by far Coach Robinson’s most talented bunch since he joined the program. Despite losing star shooter Jared Cunningham to the NBA draft (led the Beavers in points per game in 2011), Oregon State has held the ship together. While that’s mostly been the work of a cohesive team, one young man continues to shine. Devon Collier continues to lead the way for the OSU (Photo: Jason DeCrow / AP) That’s junior forward Devon Collier. He may not be the team’s best scorer, or rebounder, but he’s certainly the team’s best player. On the season, Collier is averaging 14.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, ranking second and third on the team, respectively. He’s second on the team in both steals per game (1.4) and total blocks (seven). Almost half of his rebounds have come off offensive boards. The one bad thing you can say about Collier is his ball handling. His 0.8 assist-to-turnover ratio is second worst of the team, but it doesn’t take away from his physicality and leadership. Collier leads the Beavers with 58 free throw attempts on the season. That—combined with his 22 offensive boards—shows how aggressive Collier’s been in Oregon State’s front court. Has it been mentioned yet that his 54.3 shooting percentage is second amongst OSU’s starters? In terms of game performance, Collier has done everything he can to come up big. He posted a double-double in Oregon State’s big win against Purdue with 27 points and 14 rebounds—he also had four blocks. He scored 21 points against Alabama with six rebounds and two steals. And while he only had 12 points against Kansas it was on 55.6 percent shooting—he had two steals in that game as well. Collier started his emergence in 2011/12, but has really taken his game to the next level this season. The aggressiveness on defense has been a game changer, as has his ability to put up points. The junior is posting career highs in all major stat categories this season, despite playing in 2.7 less minutes per game than last season. With Pac-12 play right around the corner, Oregon State will need to lean on their star junior. He leads a thin front court, and must continue to be a do-everything player. As long as he can keep it up, Collier could lead OSU to its first NCAA tournament since 1990. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE BEAVERS CLUBHOUSE PAGE AT NWSPORTSBEAT!
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