College Basketball Nation: Lathen Wallace

Not a graceful finish for Oregon State

March, 10, 2011
3/10/11
9:28
PM ET
Oregon State capped off its 11-20 season with a 78-69 loss to top-seeded Arizona that saw sophomore big man Joe Burton ejected in the Pac-10 tournament quarterfinal.

From The Associated Press:
Burton was assessed a flagrant foul and got ejected for elbowing [Kevin] Parrom in the face near the baseline with 10:25 remaining. Burton walked back to his bench claiming he got hit. Arizona fans chanted "Throw him out!" as the referees reviewed the play.

The Beavers trailed by nine when Burton left the court. Parrom scored six of the Wildcats' next nine points, with Williams adding his fifth 3-pointer to extend the lead to 70-56.

The play was the latest in a string of incidents that highlights how much coach Craig Robinson's team needs to mature before it can compete for the top of the Pac-10.

During the Beavers' loss in their regular-season finale to Arizona State, Robinson left himself with only six players after he suspended numerous members of his regular rotation for curfew violations, according to The Oregonian.
Freshman guard Roberto Nelson, one of the few who did make bed check Thursday, exploded for a career-high 34 points, evoking memories of his days with his Compton Magic AAU team.

Among the players who were disciplined were usual starting guards Jared Cunningham and Ahmad Starks, starting forward Devon Collier, and key reserves Calvin Haynes and Lathen Wallace.

Nelson quipped, "I'm a boring guy" when a reporter asked him why he wasn't out with everyone else.

According to The Oregonian, Burton was also suspended for the team's loss at UCLA last month for breaking a team rule. Burton couldn't play on a day when hundreds of Native American children were invited to see him play and hear him speak afterward.

Robinson has spoken extensively about changing the losing culture of the program. He has brought in talent that has surprised with some wins, but those same players have also racked up bad losses. That talent is still learning, and Robinson has asked fans for patience.

They continue to be reminded how long of a road this team will have to travel.

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