Men's Basketball Travels to the University of Portland Saturday

Dec. 5, 2002

Corvallis, Ore. -

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SERIES: This will be the 59th meeting between the two schools, with Oregon State holding a 44-14 advantage. The last contest was Feb. 18 of last season, with the Beavers posting a 74-60 victory at Gill Coliseum. Former OSU player Brandon Payton scored 21 points, with current undergraduate assistant coach Adam Masten adding 15. Oregon State shot .511 from the field for the game and outrebounded the Pilots 40-31. OSU led by as many as 10 points in the first half before taking a 30-25 advantage at the break. The Beavers had 16-point leads three times in the second half. OSU is 1-3 all-time at the Chiles Center, falling to the Pilots 61-50 Nov. 30, 1995, 74-71 Dec. 3, 1994, and, 58-57 Nov. 22, 1985. OSU's lone victory in the Center was Dec. 5, 1987 (74-62).

BELIEVE IT: Oregon State head coach Jay John can become the first Beaver head coach to be victorious in his team's initial road game since Slats Gill defeated the Multnomah Club in Portland to open the 1928-29 season. Paul Valenti lost his first road game as the interim head coach Dec. 2, 1959 at Hawaii, and then as the head coach Dec. 23, 1964 at Cincinnati. Ralph Miller lost at No. 7 Kentucky Dec. 22, 1970, Jim Anderson lost at No. 16 Memphis Dec. 8, 1989, Eddie Payne lost at Portland Nov. 30, 1995, and Ritchie McKay lost at San Diego Dec. 2, 2000. Valenti, Miller, and McKay did win a neutral site game before their first 'true' road tests.

A 'POINT(S)' OF EMPHASIS: Oregon State has eclipsed the 80-point mark twice in its first three games, after reaching that plateau three times in the 29-game season last year. In fact, in the previous four seasons (115 games), OSU recorded 80-plus points just 12 times.

THEY USED TO BE ON OUR SIDE: Portland head coach Michael Holton and assistant coach Rich Wold were both former assistant coaches at Oregon State. Holton served for one year with Eddie Payne during the 1995-96 season. Wold was a letterman during the 1989 and '90 seasons, and was an assistant for nine years under Jim Anderson and Payne. UP basketball operations assistant Eric Bowman was a manager at OSU.

MAJOR MINUTES: Head coach Jay John has repeatedly stated the players earn their minutes in practice, and a glance at the statistics signifies who those players are. Six Beavers are averaging at least 22.7 minutes, with freshman point guard Lamar Hurd at a team-high 34.7, and senior guard Jimmie Haywood at 33.7. Sophomore center Derek Potter is just short of reaching double figures for minutes at 9.3.

THANK YOU: Freshman guard Lamar Hurd and sophomore J.S. Nash have combined for 33 of the team's 55 assists this season -- or 60 percent. For the season, OSU is averaging 18.3 assists per game (which includes a .319 shooting effort vs. Idaho), compared to 9.0 for its opponents. The 18.3 average would be the highest since the 1989-90 team averaged 18.6. OSU has had a credited assist on 65 percent of its field goals for the season.

MUST HAVE BEEN NERVES: Since opening the season with a .319 shooting effort vs. Idaho, the Beavers have combined for a .534 (62-116) over the last two contests, including a respectable .440 (11-25) from three-point range.

IT'S EARLY, BUT: Oregon State enters Saturday's game averaging 44.0 rebounds per game. The program hasn't averaged over 37 since the 1972-73 season, and has ended the year on the plus side of the rebounding margin ledger only twice since the 1985-86 campaign. The Beavers have a +14.0 rebounding margin number.

THE AGGRESSORS: Oregon State enters tonight's game with more free throws converted (51) than its three opponents have attempted (43).

TALL TEAM: The 2002-2003 roster features seven individuals 6-feet-7 inches or taller, the most since eight players were at least that height during the 1992-93 campaign.

THREE RECRUITS SIGNED: First-year head coach Jay John signed three individuals to national letters of intent during the early signing period in November. Joining the Beavers for the 2003-2004 season will be Liam Hughes (7-2, C) from Modesto Christian High School in California, Kyle Jeffers (6-8, F), from Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, Cal., and Jeffree Williams (6-9, F) from Roosevelt High School in Portland, Ore. John and his staff have two scholarships remaining to award during the late signing period, April 16-May 15.

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