Beavers Look for Success on Road in Bay Area

Jan. 24, 2005

Corvallis -

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UPCOMING: The Oregon State men's basketball team (11-7 overall, 3-4 Pacific-10 Conference) will try to earn its first Pac-10 road win this weekend as the Beavers make the trip to the Bay Area. OSU takes on Stanford (10-7, 4-3) on Thursday (Jan. 27) at 7 p.m., and then visits California (9-8, 2-5, hosts Oregon on Thursday) on Saturday (Jan. 29) at 7:30 p.m. The Beavers are looking to end long losing streaks to both schools, and to end their frustration with conference road games. OSU will have reached the midpoint of Pac-10 play after this weekend. The Beavers will match their 2003-04 win total with one more victory.

ON THE AIR: The Stanford and California games can be heard live on the Beaver Radio Network (which includes 15 stations throughout the Northwest), with Mike Parker calling the action. Games can also be heard on the internet by Yahoo! Sports college broadcast subscribers by going to www.osubeavers.com and following the links. The California game will be televised by the Beaver Sports Network, with Todd McKim handling the play-by-play.

THE SERIES (STANFORD): Oregon State leads the all-time series with Stanford, 65-51. However, the Cardinal has won the last 10 meetings. The last Beaver victory was in 1998-99. The last time OSU won in Maples Pavilion was 1992-93 (11 straight losses).

THE SERIES (CAL): California leads the all-time series, 67-54. The Golden Bears have also won 13 straight meetings (six games were in the Bay Area). The last Beaver victory was in 1997-98, a game played in Oakland. The last time OSU was credited with a victory in Berkeley was in 1995-96 via forfeit. The last time the Beavers defeated the Golden Bears on the floor in Berkeley was in 1994-95.

LOOKING BACK: The Beavers split at home with the Arizona schools last weekend. OSU began by routing Arizona State, 88-66, on Thursday. Jay John missed the game while dealing with a case of hypertension. It was the largest margin of victory by OSU over a Pac-10 team in the three years that the current coaching staff has been together. The Beavers shot a season-high 62.5%, as David Lucas (12-for-18) scored 27 points and Nick DeWitz (9-for-9) scored a career-high 22 points. Though John returned to the sidelines two days later against #13 Arizona, and despite shooting 54.2% from the field, the Wildcats left Gill Coliseum with a 92-83 victory. Lucas and Chris Stephens scored 17 points apiece in front of a near-sellout crowd. The Beavers took a 15-point first-half lead, though the Wildcats cut the margin to one at halftime.

COACH JOHN'S HEALTH: OSU Coach Jay John did not return to the sidelines after halftime of the Jan. 15 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 a day later, but doctors ordered him to rest for a few days while further medical tests were conducted and his medication took hold. He missed the Jan. 20 game against Arizona State, but returned two days later against Arizona. Through exercise, a new diet and blood pressure medication, he is expected to be fine.

HOME SWEET HOME: OSU is 7-1 at Gill Coliseum (3-1 in Pac-10 play). The Beavers won their first seven home games, their best start at home since 1990-91, when they won their first nine. The Beavers are averaging 81.1 points, while opponents are averaging 70.9 points. OSU is shooting 49.4% from the field, 42.4% on three-pointers and 72.8% from the foul line in home contests. Opponents are at 45.6%, 32.6% and 65.7%, respectively.

ROAD WOES: The Beavers have lost six straight Pac-10 road games dating back to last year, and have only one win in the last 15 such games (at Washington State in 2004). OSU's first Pac-10 road swing this season 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 espn.com.

REDSHIRT: An announcement was made on Jan. 12 that Angelo Tsagarakis would redshirt the 2004-05 season. The long-range shooting expert had surgery on a dislocated shoulder in September. Though he has been practicing since early December, he hasn't been quite healthy enough to play, and 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 ... 5-1 when scoring 80 or more points ... 8-1 when outrebounding the opponent ... 8-1 when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent.

A SHARP-DRESSED MAN: OSU assistant coach Brian Loyd is ranked #6 among the nation's assistant coaches on collegeinsider.com's 'FPI' -- the Fashion Power Index that rates the best-dressed coaches.

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 12 of 18 times, with OSU posting an 8-4 record in those games. The Beaver bench is averaging 25.3 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 18 games, and only four have appeared in at least 17 games. OSU has utilized 10 different starting lineups, including five different lineups in seven Pac-10 games. Lamar Hurd is the only OSU player to start all seven 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 92.0% (46-for-50), and he made 22 straight earlier this season. Sasa Cuic and Jason Fontenet are seventh and 10th in the Pac-10, respectively. Cuic made 30 consecutive free throws earlier this season to tie an OSU record, and he is now 66 of 80 (.825). Fontenet has made 42 of 52 attempts (.808), 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 37.8% of shots from beyond the arc. The school record is 40.6% in 1987-88. Nick DeWitz (12-for-22, .545), J.S. Nash (18-for-40, .450) and Marcel Jones (9-for-23, .391) have been the most accurate long-range shooters. Chris Stephens leads the team with 23 three-pointers made. DeWitz and Nash rank second and fifth in the Pac-10 for three-point field-goal percentage, respectively. 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 seven 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 and led at the half of both the Arizona State and Arizona 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 is that the Beavers have taken a double-digit lead in 14 games, but have either given it up partly, or entirely, 11 times. OSU won eight of those 11 games, but gave up a 15-point lead to Arizona and 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):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: It's believed that this is 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 (Raleigh, N.C., and Atlanta). 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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