Men's Basketball Hosts No. 13 UCLA Saturday

Feb. 1, 2002

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THIS WEEK: Oregon State (10-10, 3-7 Pac-10) hosts the No. 13 (ESPN/USA Today & AP) UCLA Bruins (14-6, 6-4) Sat., Feb. 2. The game is scheduled for Ralph Miller Court in Gill Coliseum.

RICCI EARNS PAC-10 HONOR: Junior forward Philip Ricci earned this week's Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week honor after leading OSU to road victories over Washington and Washington State. Ricci averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and shot .519 (14-27) from the field for the week. In addition, he was 8 of 9 from the free throw line, had eight assists, three blocked shots, and five steals. Ricci is the first OSU player to earn the weekly conference honor since Deaundra Tanner Jan. 11, 1999.

YOUTH OF THE NATION: A survey of the nation's top eight conferences (Southeastern, Pac-10, Atlantic Coast, Big VII, Big Ten, Big East, Mtn. West, and Conf. USA) according to the latest Sagarin Power Ratings poll, Oregon State is eighth among the 90 schools for minutes played per game by its freshmen. The Beaver freshmen are averaging 73.8 minutes per contest. Arizona leads the pack at 110.8, followed by Colorado State (86.7), Michigan State (85.2), North Carolina State (83.2), Iowa (78.3), Wisconsin (75.1), and Auburn (74.6).

YOUTH OF THE NATION II: Oregon State entered this week second in the Pac-10 Conference for the number of minutes its freshmen (includes redshirts) are playing per game. Here is a look at the conference breakdown -- Arizona (110.8), OSU (73.8), Washington (64.9), UCLA (57.0), Stanford (56.6), California (54.4), USC (54.1), Washington State (29.1), Arizona State (20.4), and Oregon (0).

SAGARIN RANKINGS IMPROVED: Oregon State entered this week 89th in Sagarin Computer Rankings. The Pac-10 Conference has its top six teams in the standings ranked in the top 33. The Beavers finished last year 141th in the rankings, 108th in 2000, and 106th in 1999.

I'LL TAKE THAT: Oregon State has 37 steals over its last six games, including eight vs. Stanford, and seven against California and Oregon. The 37 total is 43 percent of the team's entire sum for the year (86).

ANOTHER POSITIVE SIGN: Oregon State has won four road games this season (UW, WSU, Portland State, UA-Anchorage) -- the most since 1998 (Cal, ASU, UC Irvine, UH-Hilo).

LEARNING HOW TO WIN: Oregon State continues its rather impressive streak of leads in games. The team has led in 19 of the 20 games this season, and in the second half of 17 of those contests.

NOT SO FRIENDLY CONFINES: A rather baffling trend has developed for Oregon State and its lack of shooting prowess as home during the Pac-10 Conference slate. The Beavers are shooting a combined .372 (71-191) at home in the last four conference games (.409 for six games), while hitting .523 (104-199) in four Pac-10 road games.

TOUGH STRETCH: Oregon State continues through its toughest part of the schedule hosting No. 13 UCLA Saturday. The Beavers hosted No. 20 USC last Thursday, travel to California (receiving votes in the top-25) Thursday, at No. 18 Stanford Feb. 9, and at Oregon (probable top-25 next week) Feb. 16. OSU's schedule is ranked 26th in the nation this week.

INCREASED INSIDE SCORING: Oregon State enters the game with 27 percent of its field goals coming from three-point range, compared to 34 percent last year, and 29 percent in 2000.

1,500 MILESTONE: Oregon State earned its 1,500 NCAA recognized men's basketball victory in the New Year's Eve Day triumph over Lehigh. UCLA has 1,503 victories entering the week, followed by OSU (1,502). The rest of the conference stands at Washington (1,431), Arizona (1,400), Washington State (1,344), USC (1,330), Oregon (1,281), California (1,261), Stanford (1,184), and Arizona State (1,053).

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE INCREASES UNDER McKAY: Oregon State is third in the Pac-10 Conference for free throw percentage at .721. The team shot .727 last year in Ritchie McKay's first year, marking the highest percentage since 1992 (.729). OSU has shot .720-plus from the line for the season only 10 times since 1954.

LONG RANGE ACCURACY: Oregon State is third in the Pac-10 for three-point field goal percentage at .371. If that percentage holds through the year it would be the highest since the 1989 season (.380).

RETURN TO SENDER: Oregon State has rejected a modest 54 shots (8th in Pac-10) this season, eight more than all of last season.

DEFENSIVE DATA: Oregon State is second in the Pac-10 for scoring defense allowing 64.5 points per game. The Beavers have held Portland State (46 pts), San Diego (56), Arizona State (57), and IPFW (59) to those program's lowest point total of the season entering this week. OSU is also fifth for field goal percentage defense at .418.

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 recorded four double-doubles this season, and teammate Brian Jackson has one. Ricci 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. TexasPhilip Ricci, 17 points, 11 reb. vs. San DiegoPhilip Ricci, 23 pts, 10 reb at Cal PolyPhilip Ricci, 24 pts, 11 reb vs. IPFWBrian Jackson, 16 pts, 10 reb. at WSU

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 Saturday's game with 50 consecutive starts. Brian Jackson has a streak of 49 starts in games that he has played -- he missed the Jan. 4 game at Arizona State (concussion). For Jackson, he has started 94 percent (69 of 73) of his career college appearances.

OSU VS. UCLA: UCLA leads 70-30 and has won five straight. The then No. 15 Bruins defeated the Beavers 68-65 in overtime at Gill Coliseum last season. Oregon State had a 32-24 halftime lead and equaled the eight point advantage with 8:18 left before UCLA rallied to tie the game and eventually take the lead three times in the last 2:50. Brian Jackson made one of two free throws with 19 seconds left to force overtime. Oregon State never led in the extra period. Earl Watson paced UCLA with 20 points with Billy Knight adding 16 and Dan Gadzuric 15. Jason Heide led OSU with 19 points, with Jackson adding 16 and Jimmie Haywood 14. UCLA won at Pauley Pavilion last year 67-40.

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. The program has one scholarship available for the late signing period (April 10-May 15).

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