OSU's Moreland pulls out of NBA draft

CORVALLIS — Oregon State sophomore men's basketball player Eric Moreland, it appears, will be a junior after all.

Moreland, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound forward who filed paperwork nearly a month ago to become eligible for the NBA draft, announced at a press conference Monday that he is staying in school.

"I've decided that I want to withdraw my name and continue as an Oregon State Beaver,'' Moreland said, eliciting a round of applause from teammates gathered at Gill Coliseum and a playful clap from OSU coach Craig Robinson.

Today is the deadline for players to withdraw their names from consideration for the draft and retain their college eligibility.

Monday's announcement was a surprise to some. After averaging 9.4 points and 10.6 rebounds in 2012-13, Moreland was hardly an accomplished offensive player, but his defense, athleticism and length hint at a professional future.

"At some point,'' Robinson said, "he probably will be a first-round pick.''

But this is not the point, as Moreland learned from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. Some would ask what is the point of holding a press conference to announce you are staying in school?

For Robinson's program, it's an opportunity to gain attention for producing a player with an NBA future — for the second straight year.

Moreland said he learned that he would have been undrafted or chosen in the second round — a less-glowing report than teammate Jared Cunningham received a year ago, although Cunningham was a surprise first-round pick by the Dallas Mavericks.

"I say this every year — well, the last two years I say it every year, hopefully I'll be saying it every year — if you're guaranteed money, that's a whole different decision,'' Robinson said.

Teammate Roberto Nelson said he's known for a while that Moreland would return, but with Moreland's unusual length and upside, nothing was certain.

"With his athleticism, if he had a chance to work out and show people his abilities, I mean, the sky's the limit for him,'' Nelson said.

With Moreland back in the fold, Robinson can look forward to an imposing front line next season that would feature four 6-10 players — Moreland, Angus Brandt, Daniel Gomis and Olaf Schaftenaar — as well as freshman 7-footer Cheikh N'diaye.

Moreland was the first OSU player in 49 years, since Mel Counts in 1964, to average double-figure rebounds.

Now, the Beavers retain a crucial piece in their hopes for a rebound from a 14-18 (4-14 in the Pac-12) season.

"We had a downfall last year,'' Moreland said. "And I don't think that's how anybody wants to go out.''


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK