Beavers Travel to Hawaii for Monday Night Game
Dec. 13, 2003
THEME: Oregon State plays its final non-conference road game of the season Monday night at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawai'i-Monoa. The game will mark the first regular season contest for the Warriors since Nov. 26.
IMPROVING SCHEDULE: Beaver head coach Jay John stated early in his OSU career that he wanted to improve the program's non-conference schedule -- which he apparently has done. The Beavers are currently in a stretch of playing four Division I opponents (not counting Dec. 12 game vs. Willamette) with a combined record of 17-5 (as of 12/12). KSU is 5-1, Colorado is 5-1, Hawaii is 2-2, Boise State is 5-1.
SERIES: Oregon State and Hawai'i have played 26 times, but not since Dec. 21, 1984 in Oahu where Hawai'i downed the previously undefeated (5-0) Beavers 81-64. OSU has won 21 of the 26 games. The Beavers have an overall mark of 38-20 vs. the Western Athletic Conference.
BEAVERS IN THE 50TH STATE: Oregon State sports a 22-7 record in games played in the Islands. The Beavers have won 14 of 18 meetings at the UH, and are 2-0 at Hawai'i-Hilo, 1-0 at BYU-Hawai'i, and 1-0 at Hawai'i-Loa (now Hawai'i Pacific). OSU's last trip to the 50th state was during the 2001 season when it competed in the Big Island Invitational at Hilo's Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, where it defeated Appalachian State (60-37) in the opener and Long Beach State (78-66) in the second round, before falling to No. 19 Oklahoma (78-60) in the title game. The Beavers have also competed recently in the Pearl Harbor Classic (Dec. 21-23, '98) in Laie and the Hilo Holiday Shootout (Dec. 28-30, '97). The Beavers won the Hilo Shootout with victories over UH-Hilo, Kent State, and Boise State.
HALL OF FAMER ON THE TRIP: Making the trip to Honolulu with the Beavers is Ephraim 'Red' Rocha. The 80-year-old is a member of the Hawai'i Sports Hall of Fame, the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, and the Oregon State Sports Hall of Fame. Rocha began his collegiate playing career at Hawaii during the 1940-41 season, before transferring to Oregon State. He was a three-time All-Pacific Coast Conference selection at then named Oregon State College, and was a 1947 All-American. He led Oregon State to the 1947 NCAA Tournament and at the time of his playing career was the school's all-time leading scorer with 911 points. He played for four professional teams after being drafted by St. Louis, and appeared in two NBA All-Star games. He earned an NBA championship ring with the Syracuse Nationals. Rocha later coached the Detroit Pistons and was named The Sporting News Coach of the Year twice. Rocha was the head coach at the University of Hawai'i from 1964-73, and led the program to the 1971 NIT (23-5 final record) and the 1972 NCAA Tournament (24-3). Both tournament appearances were a first for Hawai'i. Rocha now resides in Corvallis.
WELL WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Beaver fans who have been in Gill Coliseum for every game this season, counting the exhibition tilts, have witnessed six overtime periods in six games. As of Dec. 9, Oregon State and Kansas State are the only programs in Division I to have participated in a triple-overtime contest.
BEAVERS LOOK FOR SHOOTING TOUCH: Oregon State broke a streak of five consecutive halves of shooting .379 or less, when it shot .464 in the first half last Friday at home against Willamette. The Beavers actually shot .516 for the game. OSU's shooting percentage has crawled up to .414 for the season, including .339 (37-109) from three-point range.
CREDIT THE DEFENSE: Oregon State has forced an average of 21.3 turnovers per game through six contests, while averaging 15.2 -- plus 6.2. The school record for forced turnovers per game is 22.9 in 1979. The Beavers forced a season-high 25 vs. Prairie View A&M, and every OSU opponent, except Willamette, has turned the ball over at least 21 times.
SHOOTER! SHOOTER! A common exclamation coming from coaches during games when a known shooting threat has the ball, maybe that should be the cry every time a Beaver has possession. Nine of OSU's 12 eligible players have attempted at least one three-point field goal, only Kyle Jeffers, Michael Johnson, and Derek Potter have failed to attempt a three, and only Potter is not a realistic threat from that range.
YOUTHFUL LOOK: Three true-freshmen have played this season, with the trio combining for seven starts. Oregon State is one of only six schools in the nation without a senior on its roster, joining Pepperdine, Wake Forest, Tennessee, UNC-Asheville, and Harvard.
HOME SCHOOL: Oregon State's 17 regular season home dates are the most in the program's modern history. The team makes only two non-conference road trips this season, Dec. 1 at Colorado and Dec. 15 at Hawai'i.
MAJOR MINUTES: Oregon State players haven't had too much to complain about regarding 'their' minutes. Eight players are averaging in double figures, with three averaging more than 32. Point guard Lamar Hurd, who led the team last year for minutes played at 33.4, is playing 36.3 per game -- that does include a 45-minute double-overtime stint vs. Portland and a 43-minute effort vs. Kansas State. Guard J.S. Nash, who entered the year averaging 21.6 minutes for his 55-game career, is up to 34.0 for the season, which includes 46 vs. KSU.
HUGHES TO REDSHIRT: Freshman center Liam Hughes will redshirt this season. The 7-2, 306-pound center from Hullbridge, England is in his third year of organized basketball. Junior guard Jason Fontenet will also redshirt after transferring from New Mexico State.
THE MURAL OF THE STORY: A quick peek 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. The recently completed mural includes 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 three 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, after a lengthy pro career. A total of 26 former Beavers have played in the NBA.