A bittersweet season for Calvin Haynes

2011-03-02T21:00:00Z 2011-03-03T07:58:38Z A bittersweet season for Calvin HaynesBy Kevin Hampton, Gazette-Times reporter Corvallis Gazette Times

Calvin Haynes and Jared Cunningham get into the gym as much as they can.

The time is not wasted on goofing around.

They work a lot on honing their shooting skills.

As a senior on the Oregon State men's basketball team, Haynes has made a point of helping Cunningham, a sophomore, with his game.

"He tells me to use my pull-up (jumper) a lot more," Cunningham said. "I've seen him use it a lot of the time and it's real effective so he's been telling me to do that and use it."

Haynes has spent quite a bit of time with Cunningham as a friend and teammate.

"I've been around him a lot," Cunningham said. "For the past two years he's been helping me get better at some of the things I wasn't good at and he's been a leader to the team."

As a senior, Haynes knows the importance of working with the younger players.

Haynes tries to lead by example in games and practices along with one on one help when he has time.

"I'm just trying to help these young guys get caught up to speed, get comfortable with this level of play," Haynes said. "Just (building) confidence. I'm giving them words of wisdom, stuff like that."

It's one way to contribute to the team and help it get better.

However, leadership qualities don't always equal big games on the court.

Haynes entered his senior season wanting to have a big impact as a scorer and help the team win.

That didn't pan out exactly as planned.

The Beavers have struggled and Haynes has gone through plenty of peaks and valleys.

"I just want to play hard and finish out my career," Haynes said. "Obviously this hasn't been the best one for me but I just want to finish my career on a high and help my team win a couple more games."

It's not as if expectations have been too high.

Through the years, Oregon State fans have seen Haynes make spectacular plays.

In last week's win over Stanford, Haynes got the ball on a breakaway and soared in for a slam dunk at the end of the game.

They've seen Haynes have spectacular games.

He scored a career-high 27 points in the Beavers' 83-70 win over Charlotte earlier this season.

That was a high point for Haynes this season.

The last time he led the team in scoring was Jan. 2 when he had 18 points in the win over Arizona.

Haynes averages 9.9 points a game this season. That's down from 13 as a sophomore and 12.5 last season.

He was taken out of the starting lineup and had to accept his role of coming off the bench.

"He's a competitor," Cunningham said. "Anything he can do to help the team win, he'll do. He plays hard every game even if he's not starting."

As tough as that might seem to fellow basketball players, Haynes has faced stronger adversity.

Last season he played while carrying the weight of his mother's cancer battle on his mind.

It was a difficult time for Haynes, who questioned the importance of basketball and whether he should leave the team to spend time with his mother, Tracy Woodcox.

Haynes said the cancer is now gone.

"She's fine," he said. "It was just an obstacle in my life that I went through. I don't want to go back on that chapter of my life. It's over and I look forward to moving forward to better and more success in my life."

Although Haynes' career hasn't always been what he envisioned, he was a little sad on senior day when it hit him that it was his last home game.

"I wanted to go out on top and it didn't happen," he said. "But it was a good feeling being greeted by all the fans and being appreciated for everything I've done for the program."

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