Beavers, Unbeaten at Home, Host Arizona Schools

Jan. 19, 2005

Corvallis -

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UPCOMING: The Oregon State men's basketball team (10-6 overall, 2-3 Pacific-10 Conference), following a brutal three games on the road, will look to get better at home this weekend, where the Beavers are unbeaten in six games. OSU hosts Arizona State (13-4, 2-3) on Thursday (Jan. 20) at 5:30 p.m., and #13-ranked Arizona (14-3, 4-1, plays at Oregon on Thursday) on Saturday (Jan. 22) at 5 p.m. Both games will be televised. OSU Coach Jay John will miss Thursday's game after being ordered to rest by doctors following an event of hypertension, and may miss Saturday's game as well.

ON THE AIR: The Arizona State and Arizona games 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 Arizona State game will be televised by FSN Northwest with Rich Waltz and Larry Farmer announcing the contest. The Arizona game will be televised nationally by FSN and will be called by Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson.

THE SERIES (ASU): Oregon State leads the all-time series with ASU, 34-28. The Beavers won last year in Corvallis, 68-61, ending a four-game Sun Devil winning streak. David Lucas had a team-high 20 points in that game. ASU has won nine of the last 11 meetings. But, the Beavers have won two of the last three games in Corvallis.

THE SERIES (UA): Oregon State is 16-40 all-time against Arizona. The Beavers won last year in Corvallis, 90-84, beating the #14-ranked Wildcats as David Lucas and Chris Stephens scored 22 points each. That ended a seven-game Wildcat winning streak in the series. In the last six meetings at Gill Coliseum, each team has won three times.

COACH JOHN'S STATUS: OSU Coach Jay John did not return to the sidelines after halftime of Saturday's Washington game because he felt chest pains and a shortness of breath. He was taken by paramedics to the UW Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with hypertension, which is basically an event of high blood pressure. He was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon. Doctors have ordered him to rest for at least five or six days while further medical tests are conducted and his medication takes hold. He will miss Thursday's game against Arizona State and may miss Saturday's game against Arizona.

LOOKING BACK: On top of Coach Jay John's condition, it was a difficult road trip to the state of Washington, as the Beavers lost to the WSU Cougars, 63-45, on Thursday, and then to the #14-ranked UW Huskies, 108-68, on Saturday. The Beavers had season lows for points and field goal percentage (.311) at Washington State. They gave up a season high for points allowed at Washington. One big run in each game made a huge difference. After the Beavers scored the first point of the game against Washington State, the Cougars scored 15 straight. Tied 22-22 against Washington with less than nine minutes to go in the first half, the Huskies went on a 24-0 run. David Lucas scored a team-high 12 points against WSU, while Nick DeWitz had 17 points against UW.

TSUNAMI RELIEF FUND: Oregon State Athletics and G.I. Joes have teamed up to provide life-saving relief assistance across South Asia, the area hit hard by earthquake and tsunami. For every dollar collected by Beaver Nation, G.I. Joes will match the contribution up to $20,000. OSU student-athletes and G.I. Joes volunteers will be accepting cash donations at Gill Coliseum gates for several upcoming events, including this weekend's basketball games against Arizona State and Arizona. Monetary donations will go directly to Northwest Medical Teams, which will help them to deliver medical supplies to the stricken areas of South Asia.

LAST THREE GAMES: OSU's first Pac-10 road swing was a struggle in many facets of the game. The Beavers averaged 59.0 points and shot 38.5% from the field. The three opponents averaged 81.3 points and shot 50.8%. OSU was outrebounded by a shocking -18.7 margin (42.0 to 23.3). About the only area in which OSU kept pace with the opponent was in turnovers, with both teams committing 44 in the three games (14.7 average).

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.

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: An announcement was made on Jan. 12 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.

VICTORY INDICATORS: If OSU can make the following happen, it will probably mean a good result. The Beavers are 3-0 when the opponent shoots below 39.9% from the field ... 4-0 when shooting 80% or better from the foul line ... 4-0 when scoring 80 or more points ... 7-1 when outrebounding the opponent ... 7-1 when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent.

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.

A DEEP BENCH: 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 of 16 times, with OSU posting an 8-3 record in those games. The Beaver bench is averaging 25.9 points per game, with a season high of 44 points against Sacramento State. A total of 11 OSU players are averaging at least 10.6 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 16 games, and only five have appeared in at least 15 games. OSU has utilized nine different starting lineups.

FREE THROWS ARE GOOD: Several free throw shooters have had impressive streaks this season, and have hit for an excellent percentage. Chris Stephens leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage 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 64 of 76 (.842). 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 73.2% from the stripe, which is not far off the school record of 75.0% set in 1965-66.

THREE-POINTERS TOO: The Beavers have used the three-pointer as a potent weapon this season. OSU players have hit on 36.8% of shots from beyond the arc. The school record is 40.6% in 1987-88. J.S. Nash (17-for-36, .472), Nick DeWitz (8-for-17, .471) and Marcel Jones (9-for-23, .391) have been the most accurate long-range shooters. Nash ranks fourth 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 four of the five Pac-10 games, OSU has scored more points in the second half than the first. In the victories against UCLA and USC, the opponent led at halftime, but the Beavers outscored UCLA by 10 and USC by 14 in the second half. OSU has trailed at halftime in all five Pac-10 games. All of this goes against 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 earlier in the season 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.

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