Men's Basketball Returns to Action at Portland State

Dec. 10, 2001

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THIS WEEK: Oregon State (4-2) returns to game action, Wed., Dec. 12 at Portland State University (3-3). The game will be played at the Rose Garden, with tipoff scheduled for 7:07 p.m. The team continues on to Cal Poly (4-2) for a game Dec. 15 at Mott Gym in San Luis Obispo at 7 p.m.

OSU VS. PSU: This is only the 10th meeting between the two schools, and the first since the Beavers defeated the Vikings and then PSU coach Ritchie McKay 67-63 Jan. 28, 1998 in Gill Coliseum. OSU is 9-0 in the series, but its Dec. 5, 1976 victory was later forfeited due to using an ineligible player (Lonnie Shelton).

OSU VS. CAL POLY: The two schools have never met in men's basketball.

THE LONG BREAK: When the Beavers play Portland State it will end a lengthy break of non-competitive game action. OSU's last game was Nov. 30 at home against Southern Utah. The Beavers six games in the month of December match the program's fewest in modern history. The six games played in November is a school record.

ON TARGET: Through its first three games Oregon State was shooting .435 from the field, including .278 from three-point range. In its last three games, the team has shot .547, including .412 from beyond the arc. The Beavers tied a school record with 13 threes in the victory over Southern Utah. Oregon State is second overall in the Pac-10 Conference entering the week with a .486 percentage. The last time OSU finished in the top five in the conference for shooting accuracy was in 1998 (5th/.460). Since the '98 season the program has been ninth (1999), sixth (2000), and eighth (2001).

THIS IS A GOOD SIGN: Oregon State has become known as a finesse team in recent years, but that reputation may be changing. Through the first six games OSU has attempted 37 more free throw attempts than its opponents, an indication of players getting to the rim. In fact, OSU's opponents have been whistled for 27 more fouls. Beaver post players Philip Ricci, Brian Jackson, and Jarman Sample have combined for 50 percent of the team's 135 charity attempts.

CLOSING IN ON 1,500: Oregon State enters Wednesday's game with 1,496 NCAA recognized victories, the 10th-highest figure in Division I basketball. Oregon State has the most victories of any school in the Pac-10 Conference.

JUST PLAIN '2': Senior guard Brandon Payton will wear jersey number '2' for the remainder of the season. Payton wore '02' the first six games, but the number has been declared ineligible by the NCAA (Sect. 5, Art. 12).

DOUBLE-DOUBLE CLUB: Junior forward Philip Ricci has already recorded a pair of double-doubles in five games played. No Beaver has had more than two in one season since Mustapha Hoff achieved seven in 1995.

Philip Ricci, 15 pts, 10 reb. vs. Texas			Philip Ricci, 17 points, 11 reb. vs. San Diego

POTTER DOUBTFUL: Redshirt-freshman center Derek Potter is doubtful for Wednesday's game at Portland State with a stress reaction injury in his left leg. He is questionable for Saturday's game at Cal Poly. Potter played briefly in the season opener, but since has been unable to run. He missed all of last season with a broken toe among other ailments.

A FULL BENCH: Head coach Ritchie McKay has many options this year when he turns to his bench, unlike last season. He has 13 'active' players for Wednesday's game. McKay didn't have a game where he had more than nine available players in 2000-2001, and at times during the year had only seven.

'STARTING AT FORWARD': OSU players Adam Masten and Brian Jackson have started 36 consecutive games each entering Wednesday's contest. For Jackson, he has started 93 percent (56 of 60) of his career college games.

HOOPS RECRUITS ADDED: Ritchie McKay and his staff signed three athletes to national letters of intent during the early signing period. Joining the program for the 2002-2003 season are Kerbrell Brown (6-7, F) from Dodge City Community College in Kansas, Kevin Field (6-10, C) from Wilson High School in Tacoma, Wash., and Justin Holt (6-6, F) from Lincoln High School in Tacoma. The program has one remaining scholarship to offer during the late signing period April 10-May 15. A quick glance at the projected roster for next year (as of Nov. 15) includes four seniors, two juniors, seven sophomores, and two freshmen.

HEAD COACH RITCHIE McKAY: Ritchie McKay is in his second year at Oregon State, and is in his sixth overall as a head coach. McKay's record stands at 75-74, which includes an injury riddled 2001 season at OSU (10-20) and the first year of college basketball in 15 years at Portland State University (9-17). McKay spent two years at PSU and finished with a record of 24-29, then led Colorado State University for two of the program's most successful years ever, leaving with a mark of 37-23.

TOP EIGHT QUALIFY: For the first time since the 1989-90 season, the Pacific-10 Conference will hold a postseason tournament. The top eight teams from regular season play will qualify for the March 7-9 event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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