Craig Robinson asks fans to stay patient

At some point, the young talent Oregon State coach Craig Robinson has brought into the program is expected to put it together and turn the Beavers into a contender in the Pac-10.

That hasn't happened yet. After Oregon State opened its Pac-10 season with a promising sweep of the Arizona schools at home, the Beavers are now ninth in the conference having lost five of its past six games. Next up? The Beavers are at UCLA, and they haven't won in Pauley Pavilion since 2003.

Still, in an interview with The Oregonian, Robinson calls the frustration of the fans "premature" and asks them for patience while his rebuilding project continues.

"I guess you see it more than me, but all I can say is if the fans are frustrated then I can say they are a little bit - what's the word? - premature. I mean, we're three seasons away from not winning a game in the Pac-10.

I can't worry about the fans. I think the knowledgeable fans know exactly what we're trying to do. If the fans want a quick one (good season) and done, you can do that and not have a program. If you want a program, you've got to be patient.

I owe it to these players and to the University and to all of the people who are true 'Beaver Believers' to build a program, not a season.''

Oregon State's wins against Arizona and Washington this season are signs that Robinson's projections for long-term success will someday be achieved. But the inconsistency of this year's team has far overshadowed the fleeting moments.

It hasn't helped that freshmen Eric Moreland and Rhys Murphy have missed significant time due to injuries. And after a long period away from competitive basketball, Roberto Nelson still needs time to work himself into major minutes.

But behind the talented Jared Cunningham, the Beavers will soon have to step up as a program. They're 9-14 now and can't be happy that rival Oregon is having the better season even in a rebuilding year.

Soon Robinson will no longer be able ask for more patience because after three seasons on the job, he'll be demanding and expecting positive results as well.