The Beavers are still in a mode where there can be a moral victory in defeat. If that sounds discouraging, it's not. It's the reality of where OSU's program has been for the past decade and how coach Jay John has tried to rebuild it step by step.
OSU came away from its 60-53 home loss to LSU -- a returning Final Four team -- disappointed that it didn't complete the job in a comeback from 16 points down. Clearly, though, the outcome was a confidence boost to a program that has had just winning one season since Gary Payton left after the 1989-90 season.
"That's a great step for us as a team," forward Marcel Jones said. "As every minute went by, we got better as a team. The loss may not indicate that, but our young guys grew and we had a lot of energy. We have to keep this positive energy going. A lot of the guys felt we should have won this game, but we feel we played a lot better than from a week ago."
John called the game "as complete an effort as we've had."
Still, the Beavers field a youthful backcourt, and they might go only as far as those inexperienced guards will allow. In the Pac-10, with its abundance of backcourt talent, that might not be too far.
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