No. 2 Stanford Visits Thursday
Jan. 27, 2004
Corvallis, Ore. -
THEME: Oregon State enters Thursday's game attempting to break to a three-game losing streak. To break the streak, the Beavers will have to defeat the No. 2 ranked and undefeated Stanford Cardinal. This is Stanford's first road game since winning in Tucson against the now No. 9 Arizona Wildcats Jan. 10 -- 82-72. Stanford is one of only two undefeated teams left in Division I (St. Joseph's) as of Jan. 26.
SERIES: Pacific-10 Conference records indicate that Oregon State has an overall advantage of 65-49 in the series that dates back to the 1929-30 season. The Cardinal have narrowed the gap by winning eight straight -- the longest by Stanford in the series. During the streak only one game has been decided by less than 10 points -- a 57-54 game last season at Stanford. Julius Barnes scored 33 points in the Cardinal's 84-73 victory last season at Gill Coliseum. Josh Childress added 17 for Stanford, while OSU was led by Philip Ricci's 21 points.
RANKED FOE IN GILL: Thursday's game marks the highest ranked opponent for Oregon State in Gill Coliseum since a then No. 2 Stanford team visited Feb. 10, 2001 (Stan 83-62). The Beavers' last victory over a No. 2 or No. 1 ranked club was Dec. 2, 1989 -- over No. 2 Arizona in Corvallis, 84-61. The last time OSU defeated a top-25 club was March 2, 2000 - defeating No. 3 Arizona, and then-assistant coach Jay John, 70-69.
BALL CONTROL GUARD: Beaver sophomore point guard Lamar Hurd has done quite a job of ball control, to borrow a term from football. Hurd has 40 assists in the last six games, and just seven turnovers -- a 5.7-1 ratio. During that stretch Hurd is averaging one turnover for every 30.4 minutes of action. Hurd is fifth in the Pac-10 for assists with a 5.3 average. At his current pace he would finish the year with 148, the third-highest number ever for a sophomore, and he would be just five short of OSU's single season top-10 list.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: A couple of key stats for this game; Stanford is first in the Pac-10 Conference for field goal percentage defense (.399) while OSU is ninth for field goal percentage at .427. Stanford is first for rebounding margin (+9.7), OSU is last (-3.1).
THIS CLOSE: Oregon State, UCLA, and California lead the Pacific-10 Conference with seven games decided by five points or less. The Beavers are 3-4 in those games, UCLA is 4-3, and Cal is 2-5.
THE BEAVERS LEAD: Oregon State has led in the second half of every game this season, except the Jan. 22 contest at Arizona. The Beavers did lead in the first half vs. the Wildcats, 27-26 at the 7:20 mark.
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS: The Beavers have hit 23 of 27 (.852) of their free throw attempts over the last two games -- which is a very good percentage. The bad news is, OSU's opponents scored 18 more points from the line over that stretch, making 41 of 54.
THE LEAGUE LEADER: Beaver Junior forward David Lucas enters this week's action fifth in the Pac-10 for scoring at 17.1 points, and he leads the conference for made field goals with 113.
GEOGRAPHY LESSON: Junior forward Jim Hanchett would likely do pretty well in a geography class. Hanchett has resided in Brazil, Germany, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Georgia.
YOUTHFUL LOOK: Three true-freshmen have played this season, with the trio combining for 16 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.
THE 'START' OF SOMETHING: Entering Thursday's contest, Oregon State's eligible players have combined for 138 career Division I starts -- the lowest number in the Pac-10 Conference. Counting games through Jan. 24, the rest of the league shapes up with UCLA (182), California (183), Oregon (188), Arizona State (192), Arizona (210), Washington (216), Stanford (236), Washington State (261), and USC (278).
CREDIT THE DEFENSE: Oregon State has forced an average of 17.5 turnovers per game through 17 contests, while averaging 13.9 -- a Pac-10 Conference leading plus 3.6. The Beaver defense forced 13.8 last season, 12.5 in 2002, and 13.2 in 2001.
WELL WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Seven overtime periods in 17 regular season games, plus another during the exhibition slate. The Beavers have played two single overtime games (at Hawaii/vs. Washington), double overtime (vs. Portland), and triple overtime (vs. Kansas State). The four games that have gone to extra periods are the most since the 1985-86 season. The last time OSU played five overtime games in one season was the 1966-67 season (4-1). The total of seven overtime periods is a school record, eclipsing the five played by the 1982-83 club. Fairfield leads the nation with five overtimes, followed by Oregon State with four through games of Jan. 26.
HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS: Even with team's struggles shooting, OSU is still averaging 15.4 assists per game. The last three seasons the Beavers have averaged 13.6 (2003), 13.8 (2002), and 13.3 (2001). Lamar Hurd has had 40 assists over the last six games, and just seven turnovers (5.7-1 ratio).
10TH NO MORE: Oregon State entered this week's action fifth in the Pac-10 for scoring, currently at 75.9 (77.6 in Pac-10). Fifth would be a significant improvement from recent years. A closer look.
Year Avg. Rank 2003 68.0 10th 2002 64.3 10th 2001 61.9 10th 2000 69.6 8th
10TH NO MORE, PART II: Further evidence of head coach Jay John's belief in 'pushing the ball,' Oregon State has scored 80-plus points 14 times in the 45-game John era. The program hit the 80-point plateau just six times in 59 games during the two-year reign of Ritchie McKay, and 16 times during the Eddie Payne 130-game tenure.
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.
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 three averaging 32.6-plus. Point guard Lamar Hurd, who led the team last year for minutes played at 33.4, is playing 35.3 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 33.1 for the season, which includes 46 vs. KSU. Chris Stephens is averaging 32.6.