Men's Basketball Opens Regular Season Play Saturday

Nov. 20, 2002

Corvallis, Ore. -

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JAY JOHN ERA BEGINS: For the third time in four years a new head coach will be on the sidelines for Oregon State when the season officially opens Saturday. Former four-year University of Arizona assistant coach Jay John makes his official debut Saturday at Gill Coliseum. John is only the seventh head since the 1928-29 season for the 12th winningest program in Division I. The 44-year-old Tucson native has also been an assistant at D-I schools Oregon, Butler, and San Francisco.

SERIES:Oregon State and Idaho, once regular foes in the Pacific Coast Conference (1922-58), have met 169 times. The Beavers have a 118-51 advantage, but the two schools have met only once since the 1986-87 season. OSU defeated Idaho 66-49 Dec. 1, 1999 at Gill Coliseum in the last meeting. The series may be most remembered by the spirited battles between the late Ralph Miller teams and former Idaho mentor Don Monson (later at Oregon) during the 1982 and '83 seasons. Idaho stunned the nationally-ranked Beavers in the second round of the '81 Far West Classic 71-49, but OSU revenged that loss with a 60-42 victory in the second round of that season's NCAA Tournament. OSU downed Idaho in the 1982 Far West Classic title game 42-41 in double overtime, and again in the first round of the 1983 NIT in Corvallis, 77-59.

SEASON OPENERS: Oregon State has won six consecutive season openers -- all at home. The Beavers defeated Portland (81-64) to open the 1996-97 season, followed by Cal State-Northridge (91-79) in 1997-98, Idaho State (63-53), Chico State (92-48), Cal State-Fullerton (68-35), and Northern Colorado (64-59).

INJURY UPDATE:Oregon State enters the season opener, as of Nov. 20, in its best physical shape in the last six years, according to team trainer Michael Sandago. The only injury of note is assistant coach Brian Loyd will be in a cast or boot due to rupturing his Achilles in a city league basketball game earlier this month.

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