They Count for Real Starting Saturday

Nov. 19, 2003

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THEME: The 103rd season for the 12th-winningest program in Division I basketball begins Sat., Nov. 22 when the defending Southwest Athletic Conference champions Prairie View A&M Panthers visit Gill Coliseum.

WHERE SHOULD I GO? That might be the question for both coaches Saturday from their teams as the starting lineups are being prepared to be announced by public address announcer Mike Stone. Of the possible 10 starters, only three started a majority of their respective teams' games last year. For OSU, it's only sophomore point guard Lamar Hurd, and for Prairie View its senior center Roderick Riley and senior guard Derek Flora.

SERIES: This is the first meeting ever on the hardwood for the two programs. The Beavers will make the return trip to Prairie View, Texas next season to give Beaver point guard Lamar Hurd a chance to play before family. Oregon State plays fellow Southwest Athletic Conference member Jackson State Dec. 28 in Gill Coliseum. OSU's only other meeting with a current SWAC member was Dec. 4, 1998 when the Beavers defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 74-56 at Gill Coliseum. The other SWAC members include Alcorn State, Alabama State, Grambling State, Texas Southern, Southern, Mississippi Valley State, and Alabama A&M.

STREAKS: Oregon State has won its last four non-conference home games and 11 of its last 12. The streak includes victories over Cal Poly, Portland State, Coppin State, Northern Colorado, San Diego, Southern Utah, IPFW, Lehigh, South Carolina State, Seattle, and Eastern Washington.

YOUTHFUL LOOK: Oregon State no doubt has a youthful look this season. The program is the only one in the Pac-10 Conference and one of only three (Wake Forest, Tennessee) in the BCS conferences to be void of a senior. The Beavers will likely start at least one freshman in Saturday's game. In fact, the entire conference has a youthful look to it this season as 22 of the possible 50 starters in the last exhibition game were underclassmen.

SEASON OPENERS: Oregon State's six-game win streak in season openers was snapped last season with an overtime loss at home to Idaho (76-73). This is the eighth consecutive year the Beavers have opened the year at Gill Coliseum.

SPEAKING OF HOME GAMES: Oregon State's 17 regular season home dates are the most in the program's modern history (since 1950). The team makes only two non-conference road trips this season, Dec. 1 at Colorado and Dec. 15 at Hawai'i.

TEAM CAPTAINS: Junior guard J.S. Nash and sophomore guard Lamar Hurd have been elected team captains for this season.

POTTER DOUBTFUL: Beaver junior center Derek Potter is doubtful for Saturday's game. He has been hampered by back spasms and has missed most of preseason practice.

HUGHES TO REDSHIRT: Head coach Jay John announced this week that freshman Liam Hughes will redshirt this season. The 7-2, 306-pound center from Hullbridge, England is in his third year of organized basketball.

THE MURAL OF THE STORY: A quick peak to the south rafters in Gill Coliseum will present you a look at a mural of some of the Oregon State University men's basketball greats. Once completed, expected to be at the end of December, the mural will include the 1980-81 team, plus individuals Ralph Miller, Paul Valenti, Slats Gill, Steve Johnson, Charlie Sitton, Gary Payton, Lester Conner, Brent Barry, Scott Haskin, Wally Palmberg, Ed Lewis, Cliff Crandall, Mel Counts, Dave Gambee, Jose Ortiz, Jim Jarvis, A.C. Green, Charlie White, and Red Rocha.

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: The Oregon State coaching staff signed one prospect to a national letter of intent during the November period. Joining the Beavers next season will be Marcel Jones from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. The 6-7 guard averaged 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds last season for the California Interscholastic Federation champions.

BEAVERS IN THE NBA: Currently five former Beavers are residing in the National Basketball Association. NBA all-star Gary Payton is in his 14th year in the league and first with the Los Angeles Lakers. Brent Barry is in his ninth year in the league and fifth with the Seattle Sonics. Lester Conner is in his fifth year as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics. Geoff Clark is an assistant trainer with the Portland Trail Blazers and Janna Ford (cheerleader) is in the front office with the Sonics. A total of 26 former Beavers have played in the NBA.

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