Two names that could be in the mix for Oregon State: Ben Howland (although I doubt he'd take it) and Arizona assistant Damon Stoudamire.
In a Tweet this morning, ESPN college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman, a University of Arizona graduate, believes another distinguished alumnus — Damon Stoudamire of Portland — will be a candidate for the vacant Oregon State head coaching position.
Multiple reports this morning indicate Oregon State fired Craig Robinson last night. It was first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.
In six seasons, Robinson (brother-in-law of President Obama) went 93-104 with no NCAA tournament appearances. The Beavers, 16-16 last season, are losing all five starters. Robinson has three more years remaining on this contract and the university is expected to owe him more than $4 million.
Stoudamire, 40, completed his third season as a major-college assistant coach this year with Arizona after serving under former Wildcat player and assistant Josh Pastner at Memphis from 2011-13. Before that, Stoudamire was part of the Memphis Grizzlies’ staff in the NBA from 2009-11.
The diminutive (5’10” and 170-pound) point guard, nicknamed “Mighty Mouse”, attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Portland. He led the Trojans to a 74–4 record and state championships in 1989 and 1991. He averaged 26.1 points, 9.2 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game while playing for Woodrow Wilson. He earned two Oregon Player of the Year awards during his career.
Stoudamire’s new Twitter handle is “@Iambiggie503”. One of Portland’s area codes is 503.
Remember, Damon Stoudamire grew up in Portland, played and coached in the NBA — and has been college assistant at Memphis and Arizona.
Stoudamire was a first-team All-American and finalist for college player of the year as a senior with the Wildcats in 1994-95. He teamed with backcourt mate Khalid Reeves his junior year in 1993-94 to lead Arizona to its second Final Four.
During his senior year, he averaged 22.8 points per game. He also finished first on the Wildcats’ career list in three-pointers made (272), fifth in points (1,849), fourth in assists (663), and was the only player in Arizona history to have two 40-point games. Stoudamire scored his career-high 45 points at Stanford on Jan. 12, 1995. He was named a 1995 Wooden Award finalist after sharing the Pac-10 Player of the Year award with UCLA’s Ed O’Bannon.
Stoudamire, a 13-year NBA veteran, was the league’s rookie of the year in 1995-96.
Craig Robinson would have been the only major-conference coach in the nation looking for his first NCAA bid entering his seventh season.
The timing of Oregon State’s firing is peculiar, six weeks after the Beavers’ season ended in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. That might suggest the Beavers already have a candidate in mind. Goodman also listed former UCLA coach Ben Howland as a possibility.
Robinson was slated to be the head coach of a Pac-12 all-star team that was to tour China in August. The team will play two or three games in at least two Chinese cities.
Robinson was supposed to select a team by June, but with his firing, the Pac-12 will have to select another coach to lead the conference all-stars.
The Oregon State opening signals the third coaching change in the conference this offseason. Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin filled the vacancy at Cal left by Mike Montgomery’s retirement. Former Oregon coach Ernie Kent, recently a Pac-12 Networks analyst, returned to coaching after a four-year hiatus by taking over the Washington State position after Ken Bone was fired.
Martin and Stoudamire were teammates with the Vancouver Grizzlies in their rookie seasons of 1995-96.