Men's Basketball Visits Arizona on Sunday

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Jan. 5, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz. - For complete release, see pdf version.

THE NEXT GAME: Oregon State (8-5, 1-2 Pac-10) travels to No. 14 Arizona (8-4, 1-2) Sun., Jan. 6. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. PST from the McKale Center.

ODD SCHEDULE: The Pac-10 moved this week's games to Friday and Sunday to avoid playing during Thursday's Rose Bowl. The back-to-back games with the Arizona schools are due to the rebirth of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament. The Arizona schools were originally scheduled to play in Oregon the last week of the regular season in March, but those games were forced to December to make room for the tournament.

FG PERCENTAGE DEFENSE IMPROVES: Oregon State has allowed its last seven opponents to shoot a combined .388 from the field. For the season, OSU's foes are shooting a paltry .401.

SHOOTING PERCENTAGE CLIMBS: Oregon State has improved to .475 from the field for the season, and has eclipsed the .500 mark twice in the last four games.

JACKSON DAY-TO-DAY: Junior forward Brian Jackson missed Friday's game at Arizona State after suffering a mild concussion in practice Wednesday. His condition is day-to-day. Jackson had started 42 consecutive games.

1,500 MILESTONE: Oregon State earned its 1,500 NCAA recognized men's basketball victory in the New Year's Day triumph over Lehigh. OSU has the most victories of any conference institution.

INSIDE SCORING IMPROVING: Oregon State enters game 14 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.

TOUGHER ON THE BOARDS: Oregon State still is a minus-1.5 in rebounding margin for the season, but the team has made strides in recent games. The Beavers have outrebounded three of their last five opponents by an average of 3.3 per outing. The only team in the five-game stretch to outmuscle OSU was Arizona State twice (37-24 in Corvallis & 34-32 in Tempe).

FREE THROW PARADE: Oregon State has attempted 86 free throws over the last four games, converting 64. During the same time, OSU's opponents have just 53 tries, making 33.

TURNOVER ISSUE: Oregon State has committed a combined 34 turnovers in its last two losses (vs. UA, @ ASU), compared to 18 for its opponents.

OSU VS. ARIZONA: Arizona owns a 36-15 advantage (Pac-10 records) and has won three straight and five of the last six meetings. The Beavers have not won in Tucson since the 1983 season (72-54). The average margin of defeat in OSU's 19-game losing streak at the McKale Center has been 19 points -- only the 1986 game, a UA 63-62 overtime victory has been decided by fewer than 11 points. These two teams opened this year's Pac-10 season in Corvallis Dec. 20, with the Wildcats posting a 76-73 victory. The short-handed 'Cats, two players were suspended for the game, were led by Channing Frye's 18 points and 16 rebounds, with Luke Walton adding 17 points. Philip Ricci paced OSU with 19 points, and Brian Jackson added 16. The game was decided on the free throw line, where Arizona converted 29 of 34, while OSU made 15 of 19. There were 10 ties in the contest.

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 in honor of his brother Gary Payton (#20), but the number has been declared ineligible by the NCAA (Sect. 5, Art. 12).

DOUBLE-DOUBLE CLUB: Junior forward Philip Ricci has already recorded four double-doubles this season. He is the first Beaver to have 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
Philip Ricci, 23 pts, 10 reb at Cal Poly
Philip Ricci, 24 pts, 11 reb vs. IPFW

A FULL BENCH: Head coach Ritchie McKay has many options this year when he turns to his bench, unlike last season. He has 14 'active' players for most games. 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 STREAK: OSU senior Adam Masten enters Sunday's game with 43 consecutive starts. Brian Jackson's streak of 42 games ended last Friday at ASU (injury). For Jackson, he has started 94 percent (62 of 66) of his career college appearances.

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 79-77, 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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