Men's Basketball Looks For Fifth Straight Win

Dec. 14, 2001

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THIS WEEK: Oregon State (5-2) concludes its non-conference road schedule Sat., Dec. 15 at Cal Poly (4-2). The game will tipoff at 7 p.m. from Mott Gymnasium in San Luis Obispo.

OSU VS. CAL POLY: This is the first meeting between the two schools in men's basketball.

WIN STREAK BUILDING: A win vs. Cal Poly would give OSU a five-game win streak, its longest since the 1993 season under head coach Jim Anderson. The Beavers won seven straight games from Dec. 29 to Jan. 21, defeating No. 25 BYU, UC San Diego (D-III at that time), Stanford, California, USC, No. 15 UCLA, and Washington. Current OSU Director of Basketball Operations Jason Tyrus had a part in ending the streak while playing at the University of Washington. Tyrus collided with then starting Beaver guard Brent Barry in Seattle, forcing Barry to miss a number of games -- OSU lost five of its next six.

RARE ROAD WIN STREAK: Oregon State can win its third straight road game Saturday, a feat that has not been accomplished since the same 1993 season -- at Stanford, at California, and at Washington.

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 seven games OSU has attempted 54 more free throw attempts than its opponents, an indication of players getting to the rim. In fact, OSU's opponents have been whistled for 36 more fouls. Beaver post players Philip Ricci, Brian Jackson, and Jarman Sample have combined for 54 percent of the team's 158 charity attempts.

THE GLASS IS A LITTLE CLEANER: Oregon State is minus 3.1 for rebounding margin, but the team has made huge strides in the last three games with a plus 2.7 margin.

CLOSING IN ON 1,500: Oregon State enters Saturday's game with 1,497 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.

NOTICEABLE IMPROVEMENT INSIDE: Oregon State enters game eight of the season with 26 percent of its field goals coming from three-point range, compared to 34 percent last year, and 29 percent in 2000.

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 this season. No Beaver has had more than two in one season since Mustapha Hoff achieved seven in 1995.

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

POTTER QUESTIONABLE: Redshirt-freshman center Derek Potter is questionable for Saturday's game at Cal Poly with a stress reaction injury in his left leg. Potter played briefly in the season opener, but aggravated the injury. He returned to practice Thursday for the first time in over three weeks. Potter 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 or 14 'active' players for Saturday'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 37 consecutive games each entering Saturday's contest. For Jackson, he has started 93 percent (57 of 61) 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 76-74, 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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