Jay John's Crew Looks for Fifth Consecutive Victory Thursday

Feb. 3, 2003

Corvallis, Ore. -

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STREAKS: Oregon State is riding a four-game winning streak entering this week's action. The streak matches the current longest in the Pac-10 Conference (Stanford), and is OSU's longest within conference action since the beginning of the 1992-93 Pac-10 slate (five in a row).

HOMECOMING: Oregon State's first annual men's basketball Homecoming celebration will commence Feb. 8-9 on the OSU campus. More than 90 ex-players, coaches, and administrators will be in attendance, including past All-Americans Ray Blume, Mel Counts, Cliff Crandall, Dave Gambee, Jim Jarvis, Steve Johnson, Ed Lewis, John Mandic, Wally Palmberg, Red Rocha, Charlie Sitton, and Charlie White. The alumni group, which includes individuals from as early as the 1931 team, will be introduced at halftime of Sunday's game vs. No. 25 Stanford, and will be available for autographs during postgame festivities.

SERIES: The series dates back to the 1915-16 season with Cal leading overall 64-54. The Bears have won nine straight, including a 78-73 victory at Haas Pavilion Jan. 11. Joe Shipp, who went on to earn the Conference's Pac-10 Player of the Week nod, scored a career-high 35 points in the victory, while the Beavers' Philip Ricci scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. The Bears shot .509 from the field. Oregon State has not won in the series since a 46-43 victory March 5, 1998 at the New Arena in Oakland. The Beavers have also lost six straight to the Bears at Gill Coliseum, dating back to at 83-67 victory March 4, 1995.

BRIAN JACKSON EARNS HONOR: Oregon State senior forward Brian Jackson is this week's Pac-10 Player of the Week, it is his first such honor of his career. Jackson averaged 22.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in last week's victories at USC and UCLA. He shot .667 (12-18) from the field, including 6 of 9 from three-point range. He also made all 14 of his free throw attempts. Philip Ricci was the last Beaver to earn the Player of the Week honor -- Jan. 28 of last season.

OSU REGAINS PAC-10 LEAD: By virtue of Oregon State's win at UCLA last Saturday, the program is back to leading the Pac-10 (11th in the nation) for overall victories with 1,515. UCLA is second at 1,514.

BEAVER DEFENSE TOUGH OF LATE: Oregon State enters this week's games tied with Stanford for the Pac-10 Conference lead for field goal percentage defense at .409. The Beavers rank second for scoring defense, trailing only the Cardinal, allowing 65.3.

SHOOTING TWO: Oregon State has been earning numerous trips to the free throw line of late, attempting 116 (29 avg.) over the last four games, converting 82 (.707). By contrast, OSU's opponents are 41 of 70 (.586) over the same span.

FRESHMEN IN THE PAC-10: Beaver point guard Lamar Hurd entered the week leading the Pac-10 Conference for average minutes played by a freshman at 32.9 per game. Hurd has played at least 30 minutes in every contest this season, except at California where he fouled out after playing 21 minutes. Arizona State's Ike Diogu is second in the conference at 31.3, Richard Midgley of California is third at 24.6, the Huskies' Nate Robinson is fourth (22.0), and teammate Mike Jensen is fifth at 21.9.

RICCI CONTINUES HIS STELLAR PLAY: Beaver senior forward Philip Ricci continues to make a case for being the school's first all-conference selection since Deaundra Tanner in 1999. Ricci entered this week fifth in the conference for scoring (17.2), first for rebounding (9.1), eighth for field goal percentage (.548), and fifth for blocked shots (1.4). He leads the Pac-10 for active players with double-doubles with 14.

RETURN TO SENDER: Oregon State enters this week fourth in the Pac-10 Conference for blocked shots, averaging 3.83 per game. The Beavers are on pace to register 103 rejections this season, which would be the most since the 1992-93 team had 111. Oregon State had nine blocked shots vs. Washington Jan. 23.

PUT THEM IN THE BOOK: Unlike recent seasons, Oregon State has been consistent with its starting lineup. Beaver head coach Jay John has used the same five players to start the game for the last 16 contests (Ricci, Jackson, North, Haywood, Hurd).

LOOK INSIDE FIRST: Oregon State's perimeter players are looking for the big guys inside first for the most part. The Beavers are on pace to attempt 403 three-point field goals for the season, a number that would be the lowest since the 1994-95 team had 343 attempts.

THREE RECRUITS SIGNED: First-year head coach Jay John signed three individuals to national letters of intent during the early signing period in November. Joining the Beavers for the 2003-2004 season will be Liam Hughes (7-2, C) from Modesto Christian High School in California, Kyle Jeffers (6-8, F), from Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, Cal., and Jeffree Williams (6-9, F) from Roosevelt High School in Portland, Ore. John and his staff have two scholarships remaining to award during the late signing period, April 16-May 15.

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