Coach John Will Return for Game vs. Arizona

Jan. 21, 2005

Corvallis -

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UPCOMING: The Oregon State men's basketball team (11-6 overall, 3-3 Pacific-10 Conference), having put a three-game losing streak to rest with a 22-point win against Arizona State, will look to continue its success at home on Saturday (Jan. 22) against #13-ranked Arizona (15-3, 5-1) at 5 p.m. in Gill Coliseum. The Beavers are 7-0 at home this season. The win against the Sun Devils took place without head coach Jay John, who was told by doctors to rest after an event of hypertension. He has been cleared by doctors to return to the sidelines for Saturday's game.

ON THE AIR: The Arizona 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 and following the links. The Arizona game will be televised nationally by FSN and the announcers are Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson.

THE SERIES: Oregon State is 16-40 all-time against Arizona. The Beavers won last year in Corvallis, 90-84, beating the then-#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.

LOOKING BACK: The Beavers looked like a much different team than the one that had lost three straight on the road, crushing Arizona State, 88-66, on Thursday night in Gill Coliseum. Kevin Mouton stepped in as acting head coach in place of Jay John. The Beavers shot a season-high 62.5% from the field and took a halftime lead (42-39) for the first time in six Pac-10 games. David Lucas scored 27 points, two off his career high. Nick DeWitz scored a career-high 22 points and was 9-for-9 from the field. Lamar Hurd had nine assists, the most by a Beaver this season. The 22-point win was the largest against a Pac-10 team in the three seasons the current coaching staff has been in place. ASU's Ike Diogu also scored 27 points, but only five in the second half.

COACH JOHN'S STATUS: OSU Coach Jay John did not return to the sidelines after halftime of last 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 missed Thursday's game against Arizona State.

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.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Beavers are 7-0 at Gill Coliseum (3-0 in Pac-10 play), their best start at home since 1990-91, when they won their first nine home games. The Beavers are averaging 80.9 points, while opponents are averaging 67.9 points. OSU is shooting 48.9% from the field, 40.9% on three-pointers and 73.0% from the foul line in home contests.

ROAD WOES: OSU's first Pac-10 road swing was a struggle in many facets of the game. The Beavers, 0-3 on the road in the Pac-10, 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).

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

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 ... 5-0 when scoring 80 or more points ... 8-1 when outrebounding the opponent ... 8-1 when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent.

IT'S BEEN A WHILE: 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 started 2-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1992-93 (the Beavers started 5-0 that year) ... OSU won its Pac-10 opener for the first time since 1994-95 ... OSU swept the Los Angeles schools at Gill Coliseum for the first time since 1998-99 ... OSU's 22-point win over Arizona State was the largest margin of victory against a Pac-10 team since 2001-02 ... OSU's six-game winning streak was its best since early 2002-03.

EVERYONE CONTRIBUTES: 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 17 times, with OSU posting an 8-3 record in those games. The Beaver bench is averaging 25.4 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 17 games, and only four have appeared in at least 16 games. OSU has utilized 10 different starting lineups, including different lineups in each of the last five games. Lamar Hurd is the only OSU player to start all six Pac-10 games.

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 36 of 45 attempts (.800), including a streak of 13 straight at one point. As a team, the Beavers are shooting 72.5% 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 36.9% of shots from beyond the arc. The school record is 40.6% in 1987-88. Nick DeWitz (10-for-19, .526), J.S. Nash (17-for-37, .459) and Marcel Jones (9-for-23, .391) have been the most accurate long-range shooters. Chris Stephens leads the team with 21 three-pointers made. 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 five of the six 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 trailed at halftime in each of the first five Pac-10 games, but broke that streak with a three-point halftime lead against Arizona State. 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. OSU won eight of those 10 games, but gave up 13-point leads to both East Carolina and Georgia in losses.

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 2005-06 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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