CORVALLIS, Ore. – Roberto Nelson and Eric Moreland set several records during their Oregon State basketball careers and have recently traveled the country working out for NBA teams. Now all they can do is sit back and hope their names will be called in Thursday’s NBA Draft, which will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 4 p.m.
“The process was extremely fun and competitive,” Nelson said. “It was fun waking up each day and working out with NBA teams for a potential job in something I love to do. I worked out with a lot of good people during the process, and I see what it takes to play at the next level. I learned the style of play in the NBA, like how it is spread out and think my game will work well with it.”
“I had about 15 or 16 workouts with NBA teams, and I did what I had to do during that time,” Moreland said. “My body went through a lot of pain, but it’s all part of the job description. I got some good feedback and some teams are saying they can see me going in the second round, so I’m hoping by the second round my name gets called. That’s based on the feedback I’ve been getting.”
Nelson and Moreland had the opportunity to work out at the same time with the Golden State Warriors (see Moreland’s Instagram photo below):
Two other Oregon State players are already playing professionally following their college careers. Devon Collier is competing in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional league in Puerto Rico, while Angus Brandt inked a three-year contract with the MightyMite Sydney Kings in his native Australia.
If Nelson and/or Moreland aren’t drafted, they could sign with any NBA team as a free agent or play in the NBA Summer League to showcase their skills so teams can decide if they want to sign them at a later date.
“My plan if I don’t get drafted is to play in the Summer League or continue my career and play overseas,” Nelson said. “I’m just hoping for the opportunity. I hope a team is confident that I will be able to practice and compete at the next level and eventually help them with my shooting and scoring. I feel very good about my workouts and just need the opportunity to continue to get better.”
“If I’m not drafted, I know there are lots of teams who are willing to take me on their Summer League team or sign me as a free agent, and I’ll go from there,” Moreland said. “I’ve been going so hard in the workouts so these teams can see what I can do. I plan on getting drafted so I’m not really worried about that. It’s a deep draft, but I feel like I did what it took. I got a chance to show teams what I’m fully capable of doing on the basketball court.”
Both Nelson and Moreland have their names plastered all over the Oregon State record books. Nelson is fourth all-time in scoring (1,745), seventh in field goals made (540), tied for third in three-pointers made (179) and second in free throws made (486). Moreland is the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots (184) and blocked shots average (2.07), and fifth all-time in rebounds (762) and sixth in rebounding average (8.6).
Nelson was selected to the All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2014 and All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2013 and was named Pac-12 Player of the Week two times. He led the Pac-12 in scoring in 2014 at 20.7 points per game, becoming the first Oregon State player to lead the league since Gary Payton in 1990.
Moreland was selected Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention two times and was named Pac-12 Player of the Week during his sophomore season. He holds the Oregon State single-season records for blocked shots (73) and blocked shots average (2.52) and tied the Oregon State single-game blocked shots record with six in two different games.
There have been 42 Oregon State players selected in NBA Draft history with the most recent being Jared Cunningham who was the 24th overall pick in 2012. The last six Beaver players to get drafted in the NBA were all taken in the first round. Loy Petersen (1967 and 1968) and Vince Fritz (1969 and 1970) were each drafted twice.
Oregon State players have been on 11 NBA championship teams, appeared in the NBA Finals 19 times and played in the NBA All-Star Game 13 times. Players who won NBA titles include: Red Rocha (1951), Mel Counts (1965, 1966), Dave Gambee (1967), Lonnie Shelton (1979), A.C. Green (1987, 1988, 2000), Brent Barry (2005, 2007) and Gary Payton (2006).
OREGON STATE PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE NBA DRAFTYear -- Player -- Round (Overall Selection) -- Team
1947 -- Red Rocha -- 2nd (12th) -- Toronto Huskies
1947 -- John Mandic -- N/A (N/A) -- Washington Capitols
1948 -- Norm Carey -- N/A (N/A) -- Boston Celtics
1948 -- Cliff Crandall -- N/A (N/A) -- Minneapolis Lakers
1951 -- Bob Payne -- 3rd (30th) -- Minneapolis Lakers
1951 -- Bill Harper -- 8th (71st) -- Baltimore Bullets
1951 -- Dan Torrey -- 10th (83rd) -- Baltimore Bullets
1955 -- Tony Vlastelica -- N/A (N/A) -- Rochester Royals
1956 -- Swede Halbrook -- 4th (28th) -- Syracuse Nationals
1958 -- Dave Gambee -- 1st (7th) -- St. Louis Hawks
1959 -- Lee Harman -- 4th (31st) -- St. Louis Hawks
1961 -- Karl Anderson -- 9th (80th) -- Los Angeles Lakers
1962 -- Jay Carty -- 6th (48th) -- St. Louis Hawks
1964 -- Mel Counts -- 1st (9th) -- Boston Celtics
1965 -- Jim Jarvis -- 6th (48th) -- San Francisco Warriors
1967 -- Loy Petersen -- 17th (162nd) -- Baltimore Bullet
1968 -- Loy Petersen -- 2nd (17th) -- Chicago Bulls
1969 -- Vince Fritz -- 9th (116th) -- Seattle SuperSonics
1970 -- Gary Freeman -- 1st (16th) -- Milwaukee Bucks
1970 -- Vic Bartolome -- 6th (87th) -- San Francisco Warriors
1970 -- Vince Fritz -- 17th (233rd) -- Baltimore Bullets
1972 -- Freddie Boyd -- 1st (5th) -- Philadelphia 76ers
1973 -- Neal Jurgenson -- 6th (89th) -- Portland Trail Blazers
1973 -- Sam Whitehead -- 10th (154th) -- Portland Trail Blazers
1974 -- Ron Jones -- 10th (163rd) -- Portland Trail Blazers
1976 -- Lonnie Shelton -- 2nd (25th) -- New York Knicks
1976 -- Paul Miller -- 4th (62nd) -- Phoenix Suns
1977 -- Rocky Smith -- 4th (84th) -- Houston Rockets
1977 -- Don Smith -- 7th (148th) -- Portland Trail Blazers
1978 -- Rickey Lee -- 4th (71st) -- Indiana Pacers
1981 -- Steve Johnson -- 1st (7th) -- Kansas City Kings
1981 -- Ray Blume -- 2nd (36th) -- Indiana Pacers
1981 -- Mark Radford -- 3rd (53rd) -- Seattle SuperSonics
1982 -- Lester Conner -- 1st (14th) -- Golden State Warriors
1983 -- Danny Evans -- 7th (143rd) -- San Diego Clippers
1984 -- Charlie Sitton -- 2nd (38th) -- Dallas Mavericks
1985 -- A.C. Green -- 1st (23rd) -- Los Angeles Lakers
1986 -- Steve Woodside -- 7th (141st) -- Indiana Pacers
1987 -- Jose Ortiz -- 1st (15th) -- Utah Jazz
1990 -- Gary Payton -- 1st (2nd) -- Seattle SuperSonics
1993 -- Scott Haskin -- 1st (14th) -- Indiana Pacers
1995 -- Brent Barry -- 1st (15th) -- Denver Nuggets (traded to Los Angeles Clippers)
1998 -- Corey Benjamin -- 1st (28th) -- Chicago Bulls
2012 -- Jared Cunningham -- 1st (24th) -- Cleveland Cavaliers (traded to Dallas Mavericks)