Men's Basketball Hosts Washington State in Final Home Game of the Season

Feb. 22, 2002

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THIS WEEK: Oregon State (11-15, 3-12 Pac-10) hosts the Washington State Cougars (5-19, 1-15) Sat., Feb. 23 at 5:07 p.m. The home season finale will be played at Ralph Miller Court in Gill Coliseum.

JACKSON RETURNS: Junior forward Brian Jackson has returned to the team after a brief departure. Jackson announced he was leaving the program Wednesday, but after a late night meeting with head coach Ritchie McKay Thursday, he was reinstated.

MASTEN AND PAYTON PLAY FINAL HOME GAME: Senior guard Adam Masten and Brandon Payton are playing their final home games in an Oregon State uniform. Masten has played in 109 career games, and Payton 106 (82 @ UCSB).

TOUGH COMPANY: As of games through Mon., Feb. 18 the Pacific-10 Conference ranks second in the USA Today Sagarin Rankings, behind only the Southeastern. Seven of the league's 10 teams are among the top-25 for schedule strength, led by Arizona at one and Washington at two. The rest of the conference includes UCLA (6), USC (16), WSU (17), Oregon State (23), Stanford (24), Oregon (34), Arizona State (51), and Cal (73).

STARTING LINEUP SHUFFLE: Head coach Ritchie McKay has shuffled his starting lineup in recent weeks, due to injuries and performance. He has announced six different starting combinations in the last seven games, and has used a total of 11 lineups for the season. Oregon State does not have a player who has started all 26 games, and has only three (Joe See, Adam Masten, Floyd North III) who have played in every contest.

STILL TOURNAMENT ELIGIBLE: Oregon State still has an outside chance of earning the eighth and final spot for the Pac-10 Tournament, March 7-9 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Here is a closer look:

*OSU is in almost must win situation Saturday vs. WSU, and it needs UW to lose at Oregon. If that scenario happens, the Beavers and Huskies will be back in a tie for eighth, but Washington would have the second tiebreaker, which is the team with the victory over the highest seeded team -- Washington would hold that due to its win over Oregon (Jan. 24). For OSU to overcome that it would need one of two scenarios to play out. The first would be UW losing in its only game next week, Wed., Feb. 27 at home against WSU -- that would enable OSU to earn the eighth spot if it beats UCLA or USC on the road next week. The second chance is if UW loses Saturday at Oregon and wins next week vs. WSU, OSU may still have a chance at the eighth spot if it beats USC (Mar. 2), providing the Trojans finish in front of Oregon in the standings. The Beavers actually could lose Saturday, and still have a long-shot chance, but it would require a sweep of the Los Angeles schools on the road.

YOUTH OF THE NATION: Oregon State is second in the Pac-10 Conference for the number of minutes its freshmen (includes redshirts) are playing per game entering this week. Here is a look at the conference breakdown -- Arizona (107.5), OSU (77.0), Washington (65.6), UCLA (57.6), Cal (52.7), USC (51.4), Stanford (45.0), WSU (31.6), Arizona State (21.2), and Oregon (0).

YOUTHFUL CONFERENCE: There are 12 freshmen in the Pac-10 averaging 20-plus minutes per game, as of Feb. 19. Here is a list of the top-15 freshman (includes redshirts) in the conference: 1. Salim Stoudamire (UA), 30.1, 2. Errick Craven (USC), 26.8, 3. Amit Tamir (Cal), 25.1, Channing Frye (UA), 25.1, 5. Jamal Sampson (Cal), 24.9, 6. Josh Childress (Stan), 23.4, 7. Joe See (OSU), 22.9, 8. Cedric Bozeman (UCLA), 22.7, 9. Jason Braxton (ASU), 21.2, 10. Erroll Knight (UW), 20.8, 11. Will Bynum (UA), 20.2, 12. J.S. Nash (OSU), 20.0, 13. Floyd North III (OSU), 17.7, 14. Shaminder Gill (WSU), 16.6, 15. Jeffrey Day (UW), 16.0.

NOT SO FRIENDLY HOOPS: Oregon State enters Saturday's game vs. Washington State attempting to reverse what has become a rather baffling trend in Pacific-10 Conference action. The Beavers have shot .415 (157-378) on Ralph Miller Court in eight league games, compared to .480 (166-346) in seven road league games. The percentage is even wider when comparing three-point field goal percentages, .318 (47-148) at home -- .420 (50-119) away.

POSITIVE SIGN: Oregon State has won four road games this season (UW, WSU, Portland State, UA-Anchorage) -- the most since 1998 (Cal, ASU, UC Irvine, UH-Hilo). Oregon State hasn't won more than four on the road since the 1990 season (7).

LEARNING HOW TO WIN: Oregon State continues its rather impressive streak of leads in games. The team has led in 23 of the 26 games this season and in the second half of 18 of those contests.

1,500 MILESTONE: Oregon State earned its 1,500 NCAA recognized men's basketball victory in the New Year's Eve Day triumph over Lehigh. UCLA has 1,506 victories entering this week, followed by OSU (1,503). The rest of the conference stands at Washington (1,433), Arizona (1,404), Washington State (1,344), USC (1,333), Oregon (1,284), California (1,266), Stanford (1,188), and Arizona State (1,056).

DEFENSIVE DATA: Oregon State is second this week in the Pac-10 for scoring defense allowing 66.5 points per game. The program appears to be heading for its fifth consecutive season of allowing less than 70 points per game. The Beavers have held Portland State (46 pts), San Diego (56), Arizona State (57), and IPFW (59) to those programs lowest point total of the season entering this week.

JUST PLAIN '2': Senior guard Brandon Payton will wear jersey number '2' for the remainder of the season. Payton wore '02' the first six games in honor of his brother Gary Payton (#20), but the number has been declared ineligible by the NCAA (Sect. 5, Art. 12).

DOUBLE-DOUBLE CLUB: Junior forward Philip Ricci has recorded four double-doubles this season. Ricci is the first Beaver to have more than two in one season since Mustapha Hoff achieved seven in 1995.

Philip Ricci, 15 pts, 10 reb. vs. TexasPhilip Ricci, 17 points, 11 reb. vs. San DiegoPhilip Ricci, 23 pts, 10 reb at Cal PolyPhilip Ricci, 24 pts, 11 reb vs. IPFWBrian Jackson, 16 pts, 10 reb at WSU

A FULL BENCH: Head coach Ritchie McKay has many options this year when he turns to his bench, unlike last season. He has 13 'active' players for most games. McKay didn't have a game where he had more than nine available players in 2000-2001, and at times during the year had only seven.

OSU VS. WASHINGTON STATE: Oregon State is looking for its sixth victory in the last seven meetings vs. the Cougars, and fourth consecutive in Corvallis. The last five games (OSU is 4-1) have been decided by a combined 23 points (4.6 avg.). Former Beaver Jimmie Haywood scored a game-high 23 points, including three free throws in the final six seconds to lift OSU to a thrilling 74-72 victory in Pullman Jan. 24. Brian Jackson added his first double-double of the season (16 pts, 10 reb) and Philip Ricci contributed 16 points in the victory. Five Cougars scored in double figures led by Marcus Moore with 17. OSU hit .607 from the floor in the second half.

HOOPS RECRUITS ADDED: Ritchie McKay and his staff signed three athletes to national letters of intent during the early signing period. Joining the program for the 2002-2003 season are Kerbrell Brown (6-7, F) from Dodge City Community College in Kansas, Kevin Field (6-10, C) from Wilson High School in Tacoma, Wash., and Justin Holt (6-6, F) from Lincoln High School in Tacoma. The program has one remaining scholarship to offer during the late signing period April 10-May 15. A quick glance at the projected roster for next year (as of Nov. 15) includes four seniors, two juniors, seven sophomores, and two freshmen. The program has one scholarship available for the late signing period (April 10-May 15).

HEAD COACH RITCHIE McKAY: Ritchie McKay is in his second year at Oregon State, and is in his sixth overall as a head coach. McKay's record stands at 82-86, which includes an injury riddled 2001 season at OSU (10-20) and the first year of college basketball in 15 years at Portland State University (9-17). McKay spent two years at PSU and finished with a record of 24-29, then led Colorado State University for two of the program's most successful years ever, leaving with a mark of 37-23.

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