Beavers Host Key Civil War Clash with Oregon

Feb. 1, 2005

Corvallis -

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UPCOMING: The Oregon State men's basketball team (11-9 overall, 3-6 Pacific-10 Conference), looking to end a recent stretch of frustrating results, hosts Oregon (11-7, 3-6) on Saturday (Feb. 5) at 4:05 p.m. at Gill Coliseum in the 322nd edition of the hardwood Civil War, presented by the Northwest Dodge Dealers. This begins a much-needed three-game homestand for OSU. It's an important matchup, as the two in-state rivals -- tied for eighth in the conference -- both need a victory to take a step toward qualifying for the Pac-10 Tournament. The Beavers will match their 2003-04 win total with one more victory.

ON THE AIR: The Oregon game 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 and following the links. The Oregon game will also be televised by FSN Northwest, with Jim Watson and Larry Farmer handling the announcing duties.

THE SERIES: Oregon State leads the all-time series against Oregon, 177-144. However, the Ducks have won 11 of the last 12 and 21 of the last 23 meetings. One of those rare Beaver victories came last season at Gill Coliseum on Jan. 10, 2004, as David Lucas scored 24 points in a 90-81 win.

LAST MEETING: The Beavers lost in Eugene for the 12th straight time, as Oregon pulled out a 73-64 victory on Jan. 8. OSU shot just 30.0% in the first half as the Ducks took a 38-29 halftime lead. Although the Beavers finally warmed up, making 52.2% of their shots in the second half, the Ducks answered every basket. OSU was done in on the boards, as Oregon held a commanding 44-20 rebound advantage. David Lucas led three Beavers in double-figures with 15 points.

LOOKING BACK: A pair of losing streaks to the Bay Area schools continued, as the Beavers lost at Stanford, 69-65, on Thursday, and at California, 91-66, on Saturday. OSU has lost 11 straight to Stanford and 14 in a row to California. Amazingly, the Beavers had more rebounds, fewer turnovers, a better free throw percentage and more field goals made than Stanford, yet lost. The difference was that Stanford outshot OSU, 45.5% to 38.2%, and the Cardinal hit its free throws down the stetch. The Beavers were down by 18 points at 48-30 with less than 14 minutes to go in the game. A huge rally allowed OSU to take a pair of one-point leads with less than four minutes to play, and the game was tied at 63-63 with 48 seconds to play. But Stanford's Chris Hernandez went 6-for-6 from the foul line, and the Beavers only scored once more in that time. OSU then couldn't handle the athletic Golden Bears, who went on a 29-2 run late in the first half to erase a five-point deficit. There was no comeback this time for the Beavers. The shooting woes continued, as OSU was outshot 57.4% to 38.3%.

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.

PAC-10 ROAD WOES: The Beavers have lost eight straight Pac-10 road games dating back to last year, and have only one win in the last 17 such games (at Washington State in 2004). The Beavers, 0-5 on the road in the Pac-10 this season, are averaging 61.6 points and shooting 38.4% from the field. The four opponents have averaged 80.8 points and are shooting 51.3%. OSU has been outrebounded in four of the five games, and the rebound margin for the five games is -11.2.

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 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 tests were conducted and his medication took hold. He missed the Jan. 20 Arizona State game, but returned two days later against Arizona. Through exercise, a new diet and blood pressure medication, he is expected to be fine.

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

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

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 ... 8-2 when outrebounding the opponent ... 8-2 when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent.

BAD STRETCHES: In each of OSU's Pac-10 losses, you can look back at one or two runs by the opponent that made the difference ... • at Oregon: The Ducks went on a 14-4 spurt at the end of the first half, going up by 10 points. The Beavers got no closer than seven the rest of the way. • at Washington State: The Cougars began the game with a 15-1 lead. OSU was within five midway through the second half, but WSU responded with a 12-1 run. • at Washington: The Huskies went on a 24-0 streak during the first half, turning a close game into a blowout. • vs. Arizona: The Wildcats erased a 15-point first-half OSU lead with a 21-6 run. In the second half, the Wildcats used a 16-5 advantage to erase a one-point Beaver lead. • at Stanford: The Cardinal used a 10-0 spurt near the start of the second half to take an 18-point lead, its largest of the game. • at California: The Golden Bears used a 20-0 run, which then turned into a 29-2 run, to go ahead 42-20 late in the first half.

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, as the Beaver bench has outscored the opponents' bench 13 of 20 times, with OSU posting an 8-5 record in those games. The Beaver reserves are averaging 24.8 points per game, with a season high of 44 points against Sacramento State. A total of 11 OSU players are averaging at least 10.4 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 20 games, and only four have appeared in at least 19 games. No player has started every game. OSU has utilized 10 different starting lineups, including five different lineups in nine Pac-10 games. Lamar Hurd is the only OSU player to start all nine 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). He made 22 straight earlier this season and is working on a current streak of 11. Jason Fontenet and Sasa Cuic are ninth and 10th in the Pac-10, respectively. Fontenet is 44-for-54 (.815), including a streak of 13 straight at one point. Cuic made 30 straight earlier this season to tie an OSU record, and he is 69-for-85 (.812). As a team, the Beavers are shooting 72.6% 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 37.4% of shots from beyond the arc. The school record is 40.6% in 1987-88. Nick DeWitz (12-for-25, .480) and J.S. Nash (189-for-42, .452) have been the most accurate long-range shooters. Chris Stephens leads the team with 26 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 seven of the nine 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, and in seven of nine overall. 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. Here's a closer look at this year's last-second 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.

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.

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 briefly 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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