Men's Basketball Travels to the Bay Area

Feb. 4, 2002

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THIS WEEK: Oregon State (10-11, 3-8 Pac-10) travels to the Bay Area. The Beavers open the trip Thurs., Feb. 7 at California (15-5, 6-4) at 7:37 p.m. from Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. The road swing concludes at No. 20 (ESPN/USA Today & Associated Press) Stanford (13-6, 6-4), Sat., Feb. 9 at 7:05 p.m. from Maples Pavilion.

YOUTH OF THE NATION: A survey of the nation's top eight conferences last week (Southeastern, Pac-10, Atlantic Coast, Big VII, Big Ten, Big East, Mtn. West, and Conf. USA) according to the latest Sagarin Power Ratings poll, revealed 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 (Feb. 4) 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), OSU (73.8), Washington (64.5), UCLA (59.0), Stanford (55.9), USC (54.2), California (52.8), Washington State (29.1), Arizona State (20.7), and Oregon (0).

I'LL TAKE THAT: Oregon State has 42 steals over its last seven games, including eight vs. Stanford, and seven against California and Oregon. The 42 total is 46 percent of the team's entire sum for the year (91).

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). Oregon State hasn't won more than four on the road since the 1990 season (7).

LEARNING HOW TO WIN: Oregon State continues its rather impressive streak of leads in games. The team has led in 20 of the 21 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 at home during the Pac-10 Conference slate. The Beavers are shooting a combined .368 (89-242) at home in the last five conference games, while hitting .523 (104-199) in four Pac-10 road games.

TOUGH STRETCH: Oregon State continues through its toughest part of the schedule, traveling to the Bay Area this week. The Beavers hosted a pair of top 25 teams last week (USC, UCLA), and travel to No. 20 Stanford this week. No. 15 Oregon is on the horizon (Feb. 16). Following Thursday's game at Cal (a.r.v. in AP Poll), OSU's final four regular season road games are against nationally ranked clubs.

INCREASED INSIDE SCORING: Oregon State enters the game with 28 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 1,504 victories entering the week, followed by OSU (1,502). The rest of the conference stands at Washington (1,431), Arizona (1,401), Washington State (1,344), USC (1,330), Oregon (1,282), California (1,262), 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 .719. 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.

RETURN TO SENDER: Oregon State has rejected a modest 55 shots (8th in Pac-10) this season, nine more than all of last season.

DEFENSIVE DATA: Oregon State is second in the Pac-10 for scoring defense allowing 64.8 points per game. The program appears to be heading for its fifth consecutive season of allowing less than 70 points per game. The Beavers have held Portland State (46 pts), San Diego (56), Arizona State (57), and IPFW (59) to those programs lowest point total of the season entering this week. OSU is also fifth for field goal percentage defense at .427.

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 Thursday's game with 51 consecutive starts. Brian Jackson has a streak of 50 starts in games that he has played -- he missed the Jan. 4 contest at Arizona State (concussion). For Jackson, he has started 95 percent (70 of 74) of his career college appearances.

OSU VS. CAL: California leads the series 62-54 and has won seven consecutive games -- the longest current win streak for a Pac-10 program vs. OSU. The Beavers' last victory in the series was at the New Arena in Oakland March 5, 1998 (46-43). The Bears won this season's earlier encounter 61-53 at Gill Coliseum (Jan. 12). Cal erased an eight-point second half deficit and held OSU scoreless the final 3:16 to post the victory. Joe Shipp led Cal with 14 points with Dennis Gates and Brian Wethers each adding 10. Brian Jackson scored a game-high 16 points for Oregon State, with Jimmie Haywood adding 13 points.

OSU VS. STANFORD: Stanford has won five straight and eight of the last nine in the series. Oregon State leads overall 65-46, but it is attempting to break an eight-game losing streak at Maples Pavilion. The then No. 14 Cardinal led 41-40 with 9:26 remaining in this season's earlier encounter (Jan. 10), before finishing the game outscoring OSU 26-10 for a 67-50 victory. Stanford's Josh Childress led all scorers with 19 points, followed by Curtis Borchardt with 17 (18 reb.). Oregon State was led by the 14 points from Philip Ricci, with Brian Jackson adding 12. Stanford won last year at Maples Pavilion 73-49 after leading by just one at halftime (24-23).

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).

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 81-83, 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.

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