Beavers Return to Action at UNLV Friday
Nov. 23, 2004
Corvallis, Ore. -
THEME: Oregon State returns to action Fri., Nov. 26 at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The Beavers won two of three games at last week's Black Coaches Association Invitational in Raleigh, finishing third.
THE SERIES: The two programs have met only twice, with UNLV winning both -- 96-85 Nov. 29, 1975 in Las Vegas and 74-59 Dec. 15, 1973 in Corvallis.
FOUR IN A ROW ON THE ROAD: Oregon State hasn't played its opening four games of a season out of Corvallis since it opened the year with four straight on the road during the 1977-78 campaign -- at No. 2 North Carolina (twice), Wake Forest and vs. Oregon (in Portland).
QUITE A START: Beaver true-freshman forward Sasa Cuic, a member of last week's BCA Invitational All-Tournament team, is off to a great start to his Beaver career. The Rijeka, Croatia native is averaging 20.7 points per game through three contests. His three-game scoring average is the best start for a Beaver freshman since future All-American Steve Johnson averaged 25.3 points to open his career in 1976-77. Johnson averaged 20-plus points for his first four games before ending the year with a 13.5 average.
EARLY LEADS: The Beavers have enjoyed big leads early in games so far this season. OSU led by 14 points in the first half vs. Seina and Elon, and 13 against East Carolina.
THANKS FOR THE CHARITY: It's early, but Oregon State is off to a torrid pace from the free throw line, hitting what would be a school record .790 (64-81). The Beavers have actually made more free throws than their opponents have attempted (61). Junior guard Chris Stephens is perfect on 14 attempts and freshman forward Sasa Cuic has made 23 of 24. Cuic has made 23 straight free throws and Stephens 18 going back to last season.
ON THE BENCH: Oregon State continues the 2004-2005 campaign with three major contributors on the bench. Senior starting forward David Lucas, a 2004 1st team All-Pac-10 and 2005 postseason honors candidate, is out for an indefinite time after having surgery on his right big toe (Oct. 28) to repair tendon damage. Sophomore shooting guard Angelo Tsagarakis, one of the first players off the bench last season, is out through at least this week's game at UNLV after dislocating his right shoulder prior to the start of practice. Junior forward Nick DeWitz, potentially a starter or sixth man, is not eligible until Dec. 11 due to NCAA mid-year transfer rules. DeWitz started the season last year at Iowa.
WHEN AT FULL STRENGTH: If Oregon State didn't have injury issues -- the program would have all five starters and 11 lettermen available from last year's team. The club was expected to open the season returning 99 percent of last year's minutes, 99 percent of the points, and 98 percent of the rebounding.
THE NEW CLASS: Head coach Jay John signed three student-athletes to national letters of intent during the early signing period (Nov. 10-17). Joining the program for 2005-2006 will be guards Josh Tarver (6-3, Jesuit HS, Portland, OR) and Wesley Washington (6-3, Compton CC, Compton CA), and power forward Calvin Hampton (6-9, New Hampton Prep School, NH). Tarver's brother Zach is a true freshman receiver on the OSU football team and his oldest brother Shon was a standout guard at UCLA (1991-94).
BEAVERS IN THE NBA: Two former Beavers are currently in the National Basketball Association. NBA all-star Gary Payton is in his 15th year in the league and first with the Boston Celtics, and Brent Barry is in his 10th year in the league and first with the San Antonio Spurs. A total of 26 former Beavers have played in the NBA.