Beavers Visit #14 Washington on Saturday
Jan. 14, 2005
UPCOMING: The Oregon State men's basketball team (10-5 overall, 2-2 Pacific-10 Conference), having suffered its first back-to-back losses of the season, will have its hands full trying to avoid making it three in a row. The Beavers visit #14-ranked Washington (14-2, 4-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m., where the Huskies have won 16 in a row at Bank of America Arena. The Beavers received five points in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, which was 15th among schools in the 'also receiving votes' category.
ON THE AIR: The Washington game can be heard live on the Beaver Radio Network (which includes 15 stations throughout the Northwest), with Mike Parker calling the action. It can also be heard on the internet by Yahoo! Sports college broadcast subscribers by going to www.osubeavers.com and following the links. The Washington game will be televised by FSN Northwest with Jim Watson and Donald Watts announcing the contest.
THE SERIES (UW): Oregon State is 133-140 all-time against Washington. The Huskies swept both meetings in 2004, while Oregon State did the same in 2003. OSU had won four straight in Seattle before last year's 80-79 loss. The Beavers have won seven of the last 10 games, regardless of site.
LOOKING BACK: After OSU scored the first point of the game, Washington State ran off 15 straight and went on to a 63-45 victory at Friel Court on Thursday night. The Beavers had season lows for points and field goal percentage (.311). OSU rallied once in the first half to get the game back to one point at 24-23, but the Cougars ended the first half on a 5-0 run for a 29-23 advantage. The Beavers got no closer than five points in the second half. David Lucas was the only Beaver in double-figures with 12 points.
LAST TWO GAMES: OSU has struggled offensively in its last two losses at Oregon and Washington State. The Beavers averaged 54.5 points and shot 35.7% from the field. David Lucas is the only player averaging double-figure points in the last two games (13.5 ppg). One period of time in the first half of each game stands out. A 14-4 run late in the first half gave the Ducks a 10-point lead, and the Beavers never fully recovered. Washington State began Thursday night's contest with a 15-1 run.
BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER: Senior All-Pac-10 forward David Lucas missed the first 10 games due to surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right big toe. He returned at the end of December and is averaging a team-best 15.6 points per game in his first five contests, including team highs in each of the four Pac-10 games. He was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Jan. 3 after OSU swept the L.A. schools.
IT'S AWESOME, BABY: Following OSU's sweep of the L.A. schools, Jay John was named National Coach of the Week on Jan. 3 by Dick Vitale on espn.com.
REDSHIRT: The decision was made earlier this week that Angelo Tsagarakis would redshirt the 2004-05 season. He had surgery on a dislocated shoulder in September. Though he has been practicing since early December, he's wasn't quite healthy enough to play, and with the season halfway over, it was decided that three full, healthy years would be more beneficial than hoping and waiting for him to make any kind of small impact this year.
IT'S BEEN A WHILE: OSU won its Pac-10 opener for the first time since 1994-95 ... OSU started 2-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1992-93 (the Beavers started 5-0 that year) ... OSU swept the Los Angeles schools at Gill Coliseum for the first time since 1998-99 ... OSU's 10-3 start after 13 games was its best since 1989-90, the last time the Beavers played in the NCAA Tournament ... OSU's six-game winning streak was its best since early 2002-03.
SO CLOSE: The Beavers are six points away from having a 12-3 overall record (OSU suffered two-point losses to East Carolina and Georgia).
HOME SWEET HOME: The Beavers are 6-0 at Gill Coliseum, their best start at home since 1999-2000 (when they also won their first six home games). Prior to that, OSU won its first nine home games in 1990-91. The Beavers are averaging 79.7 points, while opponents are averaging 68.2 points. OSU is shooting 46.7% from the field, 41.0% on three-pointers and 74.8% from the foul line in home contests.
BENCH SCORING IMPRESSIVE: OSU's depth has been very good this season and may be among the best in the Pac-10 Conference. The Beaver bench has outscored the opponents' bench 11 times, with OSU posting an 8-3 record in those games. The Beaver bench is averaging 26.0 points per game, with a season high of 44 points against Sacramento State. A total of 11 OSU players are averaging at least 11.1 minutes per game of playing time, although the bench has grown shorter in Pac-10 play (only eight are averaging double-figure minutes in league play). The depth has come in handy, as only three Beavers have appeared in all 15 games.
FREE THROWS ARE GOOD: Several free throw shooters have had impressive streaks this season, and have hit for an excellent percentage. Chris Stephens was second in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage at the start of the week. He's now at 91.5% (43-for-47), and he made 22 straight earlier this season. Sasa Cuic made 30 consecutive free throws earlier this season to tie an OSU record, and he is now 61 of 73 (.836). Jason Fontenet has made 35 of 43 attempts (.814), including a streak of 13 straight at one point. As a team, the Beavers are shooting 73.4% from the stripe, which is not far off the school record of 75.0% set in 1965-66.
THREE-POINTERS TOO: The Beavers are also faring well from beyond the three-point line. OSU players have hit on 37.8% of shots from beyond the arc. The school record is 40.6% in 1987-88 -- the second year of the three-point shot. J.S. Nash (17-for-33, .515) and Marcel Jones (9-for-21, .429) have been the most accurate long-range shooters. Nash ranks second in the Pac-10 for three-point field-goal percentage. Nash tied a school record against UCLA for three-point field-goal percentage when he went 5-for-5 (Deaundra Tanner did the same against USC in 1999).
A TALE OF TWO HALVES: In three of the four Pac-10 games thus far, OSU was outscored in the first half, but came back with a better second half. The Beavers outscored UCLA by 10 and USC by 14, winning both times. After trailing by nine at the half at Oregon, the Beavers improved their scoring output, but couldn't make a dent in the margin. The trend ended at Washington State, where OSU's offense struggled in both halves. The Pac-10 trend reverses a non-conference trend that saw nearly the opposite occur. The Beavers led at halftime nine of 11 times, but were outscored in the second half seven of 11 times.
BIG LEADS THAT DISAPPEAR: One area of concern is that the Beavers took a double-digit lead in 11 of the first 12 games, but either gave it up partly, or entirely, 10 times. Here are the details: Siena: led by 14 in the first half, then trailed by nine in the second half before winning by two... East Carolina: led by 13 in the first half, but suffered a two-point loss... Elon: led by 14 in the second half, then had the lead cut to three points before winning by 10... Portland: led by 19 in the second half, then had the lead cut to two points before winning by three... Colorado: led by 16 in the first half, then trailed by two in the second half before winning by 11... Georgia: led by 13 in the first half, but suffered a two-point overtime loss... Bethune-Cookman: led by 20 in the second half, then had the lead cut to five points before winning by 13... Boise State: led by 17 in the second half, then had the lead cut to five points before winning by 11... Prairie View A&M: led by 17 in the second half, then had the lead cut to one point before winning by four... UCLA: led by 14 in the second half, then had the lead cut to three points before winning by five.
DOWN TO THE LAST SECOND: Four of the first seven games were decided by three points or less, keeping with a theme that the program had during last year's pre-Pac-10 action in which six of the nine games were decided by five points or less or in overtime (2OT and 3OT as well). Here's a closer look at this year's finishes: Siena (W 69-67): Sasa Cuic completes a conventional three-point play with four seconds remaining. Siena's Kojo Mensah narrowly misses a three-point attempt at the buzzer... East Carolina (L 62-64): Chris Stephens and Sasa Cuic miss three-point attempts in the last three seconds... Portland (W 66-63): Kenny Hooks blocks a Darren Cooper three-point attempt at the buzzer... Georgia (L 74-76 OT):In regulation, Chris Stephens hits a jumper with six seconds left to give OSU a two-point lead, but Georgia sends the game into overtime on a shot at the buzzer. With 1.6 seconds left in overtime, J.S. Nash throws a perfect length-of-the-court pass to Nick DeWitz, but his hurried, under-pressure lay-up attempt just misses.
FREQUENT-FLYER MILES: Oregon State made two trips to the Eastern time zone, with appearances at the Black Coaches Invitational in Raleigh, N.C., and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl for Kids in Atlanta. It's believed to be the first time in the history of the program that OSU has made two separate non-postseason trips to an East Coast time zone locale. The Beavers hit all four time zones in the non-conference season alone after the trip to Boise State (Mountain) and Prairie View A&M (Central).
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR: The Beavers have three players who hail from overseas, and another that had to cross the U.S.' northern border to get to OSU. There are three Europeans -- Sasa Cuic (Croatia), Angelo Tsagarakis (France) and Liam Hughes (England) -- while Derek Potter is from British Columbia. Another player, Jim Hanchett, served a two-year mission in Brazil and lived for a short time in Germany.
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.