First of Three Straight at Home Begins Saturday vs. Boise State
Dec. 18, 2003
Corvallis, Ore. -
THEME:Oregon State returns home from a one-game trip to Oahu, for three consecutive contests in Gill Coliseum. The trio begins Saturday vs. Boise State. OSU and BSU have one common opponent -- the University of Portland Pilots. The Beavers lost in double overtime to the Pilots Nov. 25, while the Broncos opened the season with a win at the Chiles Center. The Broncos enter the contest with a 7-1 record (best since 1994-95), including four consecutive victories.
ON THE TUBE: The game will be televised by the Beaver Sports Network and the Bronco Sports Network. The Beaver network includes KVAL (Eugene), KCBY (Coos Bay), KPDX (Portland), KOTI (Klamath Falls), and KPIC (Roseburg). The Bronco network includes stations in Boise, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls.
FORMER DUCK ASSISTANTS MEET: OSU head coach Jay John and BSU head coach Greg Graham were assistant coaches at the University of Oregon for the 1997-98 season. Both experienced their first seasons as a Division I head coach last year.
IMPROVING SCHEDULE: Beaver head coach Jay John stated early in his OSU career that he wanted to improve the program's non-conference schedule -- which he apparently has done. The Beavers are currently in a stretch of playing four Division I opponents (not counting Dec. 12 game vs. Willamette) with a combined record of 20-5 (through games of 12/17). KSU is 5-1, Colorado is 5-1, Hawaii is 3-2, Boise State is 7-1.
WELL WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Six overtime periods in seven regular season games, plus another during the exhibition slate. The Beavers have played a single overtime game (at Hawaii), double overtime (vs. Portland), and triple overtime (vs. Kansas State). Through games of Dec. 17, Oregon State and Kansas State are the only programs in Division I to have participated in a triple-overtime contest. The three games that have gone to extra periods are the most since the 1990-91 team played extra stanzas against New Orleans, UCLA, and Washington State. The total of six overtime periods is a school record, eclipsing the five played by the 1982-83 club. For future reference, the last time Oregon State played in four overtime games was during the 1985-86 season. Oregon State, Maryland, and USC share the honor for most Division I overtime games this season with three -- through games of Dec. 17.
SERIES: Oregon State has won six of eight meetings vs. Boise State, but the two programs have played just once since the 1989-90 season. In an encounter at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo, the Beavers defeated the Broncos 71-60 in the championship game of the Holiday Shootout Dec 30, 1997. The Beavers are 3-0 vs. the Broncos at Gill Coliseum, which includes a 60-58 overtime victory during the 1985-86 season. BSU's two wins have come at home, 76-65 Dec. 21, 1977 and 53-43 Dec. 10, 1988. The two programs have historically played low scoring games -- the 80-plus points plateau has been reached just once, that by OSU during the 1976-77 slate (89). OSU will travel to the BSU Pavilion next season.
BEAVERS LOOK FOR SHOOTING TOUCH: Oregon State continues to struggle from the field, an area that was expected to be stronger this season after an overall .421 percentage last year. The Beavers enter Saturday's game at .409 from the floor, and in the team's last four Division I games the percentage has not been higher than .377. OSU's opponents haven't exactly been sizzling from the field either; the last three have combined for .367 (77-210).
THE RETURN OF McCLOUSKEY: Boise State assistant coach Andy McClouskey visits Gill Coliseum, where he played and coached. McClouskey lettered at OSU under Hall of Fame coach Ralph Miller in 1978 and '80, and later coached for Miller and Jim Anderson (1988-95). McClouskey also had a stint as an assistant coach for the women's program for former head coach Aki Hill from 1982-85.
CREDIT THE DEFENSE: Oregon State has forced an average of 21.0 turnovers per game through seven contests, while averaging 15.9 -- plus 5.1. The last time OSU forced its opponents into a 20-plus average per game ratio was the 1979-80 season (20.0). The Beaver defense forced an average of 13.8 last season, 12.5 in 2002, and 13.2 in 2001.
SHOOTER! SHOOTER! A common exclamation coming from coaches during games when a known shooting threat has the ball; maybe that should be the cry every time a Beaver has possession. Nine of OSU's 12 eligible players have attempted at least one three-point field goal, only Kyle Jeffers, Michael Johnson, and Derek Potter have failed to attempt a three, and only Potter is not a realistic threat from that range.
YOUTHFUL LOOK: Three true-freshmen have played this season, with the trio combining for nine starts. Oregon State is one of only six schools in the nation without a senior on its roster, joining Pepperdine, Wake Forest, Tennessee, UNC-Asheville, and Harvard.
HOME TEAM: Oregon State's 17 regular season home dates are the most in the program's modern history. The team made only two non-conference road trips this season, Dec. 1 at Colorado and Dec. 15 at Hawai'i.
MAJOR MINUTES: Oregon State players haven't had too much to complain about regarding 'their' minutes. Eight players are averaging in double figures, with four averaging 29-plus. Point guard Lamar Hurd, who led the team last year for minutes played at 33.4, is playing 36.9 per game -- that does include a 45-minute double-overtime stint vs. Portland and a 43-minute effort vs. Kansas State. Guard J.S. Nash, who entered the year averaging 21.6 minutes for his 55-game career, is up to 33.9 for the season, which includes 46 vs. KSU.
HUGHES TO REDSHIRT: Freshman center Liam Hughes will redshirt this season. The 7-2, 306-pound center from Hullbridge, England is in his third year of organized basketball. Junior guard Jason Fontenet will also redshirt after transferring from New Mexico State.
THE MURAL OF THE STORY: A quick peek to the south rafters in Gill Coliseum will present you a look at a mural of some of the Oregon State University men's basketball greats. The recently completed mural includes the 1980-81 team, plus individuals Ralph Miller, Paul Valenti, Slats Gill, Steve Johnson, Charlie Sitton, Gary Payton, Lester Conner, Brent Barry, Scott Haskin, Wally Palmberg, Ed Lewis, Cliff Crandall, Mel Counts, Dave Gambee, Jose Ortiz, Jim Jarvis, A.C. Green, Charlie White, and Red Rocha.
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: The Oregon State coaching staff signed one prospect to a national letter of intent during the November period. Joining the Beavers next season will be Marcel Jones from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. The 6-7 guard averaged 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds last season for the California Interscholastic Federation champions.
BEAVERS IN THE NBA: Currently three former Beavers are residing in the National Basketball Association. NBA all-star Gary Payton is in his 14th year in the league and first with the Los Angeles Lakers. Brent Barry is in his ninth year in the league and fifth with the Seattle Sonics. Lester Conner is in his fifth year as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics, after a lengthy pro career. A total of 26 former Beavers have played in the NBA.