Men's Basketball Season Opens Saturday

Oct. 10, 2001

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THE SCHEDULE: NCAA Division I basketball practices officially begin Sat., Oct. 13. Division I teams may begin drills on the closest Saturday to the traditional Oct. 15 practice opener. Practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays will generally be open to the public. Practices are held on Ralph Miller Court in Gill Coliseum from 8-10:30 a.m. weekdays, and vary on the weekends.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Oregon State returns just five letterwinners from last year's team, but three of them are starters. Senior guard Adam Masten is the only three-year lettermen on the club, and is coming off his best season of his college career averaging 8.4 points and 4.5 rebounds. Junior guard Jimmie Haywood blossomed into one of the best guards in the Pac-10 Conference over the last half of the league slate and was arguably the team's MVP after averaging 8.9 points and 2.8 boards. The last of the returning starters is junior forward Brian Jackson. Jackson has been bothered by various injuries his first two years in the program, but offseason workouts appear to have helped him improve his strength after averaging 9.7 points and 4.2 rebounds last season. The other two returners are junior guard Mike Cokley and sophomore forward Chris Manker. Cokley averaged 2.0 points and started 12 games in 2001, while Manker was yet another player to suffer through injuries.

REDSHIRTS RETURN: Three redshirts return from a year ago and each is expected to make major contributions this season. Senior guard Brandon Payton is eligible this season after serving the mandatory redshirt year after transferring from UC Santa Barbara to OSU. Payton is expected to be a vital member of the team in many ways, but particularly leadership at the point and as a mentor to the team's youthful perimeter players. Junior forward Philip Ricci is one of the most talented 'paint' players in recent history at OSU. Ricci was selected by various preseason publications last season as the Pac-10 Conference's Newcomer of the Year, before an early season knee injury sidelined him for the campaign. The third returning redshirt individual is freshman center Derek Potter. Potter, who also missed last year with an injury (foot), has increased his strength and should via for minutes in the middle.

THE NEW GUYS: A solid group of scholarship newcomers will all likely see action this season. Sophomore forward Jarman Sample averaged 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds last season at Colby Community College before electing to leave after one year. He should be a solid contributor at small forward. Freshman forward Floyd North III, and guards J.S. Nash and Joe See are expected to contribute this season. North is one of the most successful athletes in San Diego prep sports history, Nash is an accomplished shooter, and See has the point guard mentality to lead this program into the future.

WALKONS ADDED: Head Coach Ritchie McKay added three walkons to the roster prior to the start of practice. Joining the program are freshmen forwards Ian Elseth, David Lucas, and Vic Remmers. Elseth was a three-year letterman at Grants Pass High School, Lucas was an all-league performer at Tigard High School, and Remmers was a three-year letterman at Jesuit High School in Portland.

LETTERMEN LOST: The program lost four lettermen from last year's roster, including three seniors. Guard Deaundra Tanner (4-year letterman) left OSU eighth for career scoring (1,399 pts), first for three-point field goals (179), tied for third for assists (457), and fourth for steals (179). Center Jason Heide (4-year letterman) finished his OSU career 27th for career scoring (1,017 pts), and tied for ninth for blocked shots (54). Guard Josh Steinthal (3-year letterman) left tied for third for three-point field goals (160). Guard Emonte Jernigan also left the program after his sophomore season.

THE HEAD COACH: Ritchie McKay is the 18th head coach in the program's history, and only the sixth since 1929. McKay has a record of 10-20 at Oregon State and an overall mark of 71-72 after five years as a head coach. He was 37-23 in two years at Colorado State (1999 & 2000), and 24-29 in two years at Portland State (1997 & '98). He has also served as an assistant at Washington, Bradley, Queens College (NC) and his alma mater, Seattle Pacific University. At 36 years of age, McKay is the youngest head coach in the Pac-10 Conference, and among the youngest in all of Division I.

McKAY ON THIS SEASON: 'This season is met with a great deal of anticipation. I thought we had a pretty good team last year on paper, but it took a while for me to realize the infrastructure of our group wasn't what it needed to be to have success. Our players have done a greater job of addressing discipline and accountability. I have been impressed by our work ethic in the offseason, and that alone has given me reason to be optimistic.'

McKAY ON THE PRESEASON WORKOUTS: 'First of all, it feels like I have a football team out there with 15 guys. I like the fact that we have Philip (Ricci) and a healthy Brian (Jackson), they could effectively make a difference. We also have four or five other post players who give us depth. In addition, we have a good backcourt in returners Adam (Masten), Brandon (Payton), Jimmie (Haywood), and Mike (Cokley). We added three good freshmen, which gives us very good depth in the backcourt, and a lot of versatility.'

McKAY ON THE DIFFERENCES OF THIS YEAR'S TEAM: 'With the number of bodies we have, we can be more up-tempo, we can defend more aggressively. When you look back at last year, we were crippled with our lack of players (7-9). We slowed the game down to a snails pace last year, in contrast this season's team will enable us to play at a much different speed.'

McKAY ON CONCERNS: 'My only concern is getting the 'monkey off our back.' We have gone eleven years without a winning season. Last year the team broke down when faced with adversity, I hope this year's squad has the confidence to work through adversity and move forward -- I think it does.'

McKAY ON GOALS: 'I want to get this program back into postseason and compete for a Pac-10 Championship, that is why this coaching staff is at Oregon State University. This staff wants to restore the pride and tradition of Gill Coliseum and this program. The goal every year for this program is to compete for a championship.'

INDIVIDUAL PLAYER CAPSULES

Mike Cokley, 5-8, 170, Jr., Guard, 2.0 pts, 0.8 reb

Mike is one of the most experienced players on the team, playing 445 career minutes...an excellent ball-handler who possesses good defensive skills...started 12 games last season and averaged nearly 16 minutes.

Ian Elseth, 6-7, 215, Fr., Forward

Ian is one of three walkon players in the program...he was last year's Southern Oregon Conference Player of the Year at Grants Pass High School...first team all-state as a senior...lettered three years, starting two...averaged 14.9 points on a balanced scoring team.

Jimmie Haywood, 6-2, 175, Jr., Guard, 8.9 pts, 2.8 reb

Haywood made the most improvement of any player on the roster last season and was rewarded with the Jim Anderson Award (most improved player)...averaged 10.6 points during the conference slate, and 13.0 over the final nine games overall...shot .506 (42-83) from the field over those final nine contests...has started 25 of 57 games...played 93 percent of the possible minutes over the final nine contests.

Brian Jackson, 6-9, 240, Jr, Forward, 9.7 pts, 4.2 reb

Jackson worked hard in the offseason on conditioning...played the last 13 games of the 2001 season with a fracture in his left foot...shot .436 from the field for the season, including .484 over the final eight games...has started 50 of 54 career games...struggled with foul problems last season and was disqualified 11 times.

David Lucas, 6-6, 205, Fr-RS, Forward

Lucas is one of three walkon players in the program...he is the son of former NBA standout Maurice Lucas...has four years of eligibility remaining with no redshirt year available after entering college last year.

Chris Manker, 6-10, 200, So., Forward, 1.6 pts, 2.0 reb

Manker played as a true-freshman last season...missed all of February (8 games) with a stress reaction injury in his left leg...made noticeable strides in the offseason in the weight room...should be a major contributor this season.

Adam Masten, 6-5, 200, Sr., Guard, 8.4 pts, 4.5 reb

Masten is the only three-year letterman in the program...had by far his best season statistically last year...shot .519 from the field...one of two players (Brian Jackson) to start all 30 games...had a 1.84 assist-to-turnover ratio, 5th in the Pac-10 Conference -- the ratio was nearly 3:1 over the final nine games...shot .500 (21-42) from three-point range over the final 11 contests.

J.S. Nash, 6-1, 195, Fr., Guard

Nash comes to OSU with a 'shooters' reputation...averaged 32 points, eight rebounds, and five steals as a senior at Rancho Verde High School (Cal.)...the Riverside County coaches selected him the best shooter in the county for three years...MVP of the Sunbelt League as a junior and senior.

Floyd North III, 6-4, 215, Fr., Guard/Forward

Athletic big guard/small forward...should see immediate action...averaged 23.6 points and 9.2 rebounds as a senior at St. Augustine in San Diego...one of five players in the history of San Diego to score 2,000-plus prep points...San Diego Union Tribune Player of the Year.

Brandon Payton, 6-0, 170, Sr., Guard, 9.5 pts, 2.3 reb (2000 at UCSB)

Payton brings immediate leadership to the team with his experience at UC Santa Barbara...sat out last season due to transferring from one Division I school to another (NCAA rules)...practiced all of last year...has improved his shooting ability...likely candidate to start at the point.

Derek Potter, 6-11, 230, Fr-RS., Center

Potter redshirted last season while nursing a foot injury...the redshirt year helped him improve his strength...averaged 28 points and 16.1 rebounds as a senior at Handsworth Secondary school in British Columbia...a candidate for a starting position in the seasons to come.

Vic Remmers, 6-4, 190, Fr., Forward

Remmers is a walkon from Jesuit High School in Portland...averaged 20 points and six rebounds as a senior...two-time All-Metro League selection...team MVP as a senior...lettered three years, starting two...his father, Wally, was a three-year letterman in football (1974-76) at OSU.

Philip Ricci, 6-7, 250, Jr., Forward

The program has high expectations for Ricci...practiced nearly all of last season while redshirting from a preseason knee injury...has a clean bill of health this season...one of the strongest post players in many seasons at OSU...has excellent shooting range...transferred to OSU from San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton after the 2000 season.

Jarman Sample, 6-7, 205, So., Forward

Sample is a junior college transfer from Colby Community College in Kansas...played just his freshman year at Colby, and averaged 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds...named Colby's top rebounder...attended Westside High School in Macon, Georgia, his senior year where he averaged 12.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.2 blocked shots, and 2.3 steals as a senior.

Joe See, 5-11, 180, Fr., Guard

Joe is likely the point guard of the future...he averaged 18 points, five assists, and shot 60 percent from the field as a senior at De La Salle High School in the Bay Area...four-year starter, who led the team to a cumulative record of 110-9...selected to the state all-tournament team as a junior and senior...two-time Bay Valley Conference Player of the Year.

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