Beavers Attempt to Finish First Round Pacific Northwest Sweep

Jan. 16, 2004

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THEME: Oregon State looks for its third straight conference victory Saturday in a nationally televised Fox Net game against the Washington Huskies. A win Saturday would give OSU its best record through five games of the conference slate since starting the 1993 campaign 5-0. Washington is off to its worst start since dropping its first eight league games in 1994. Oregon State is also attempting to earn its first three-game winning streak of the year; it has won back-to-back games three times this season.

SERIES: Pacific-10 Conference records indicate Washington has a 138-133 advantage in the series that dates back to the 1903-04 season. The two programs have played 271 times, the third-most contested in the nation -- Oregon and Washington have now played 272 times. The oldest is OSU vs. Oregon (319). The Beavers have won seven of the last eight meetings between the two programs, including 82-62 last season in Corvallis and 80-72 in Seattle. Six players scored in double figures in last season's 20-point win at Gill, led by former Beaver Jimmie Haywood's 16 points. OSU outscored UW 45-25 in the second half.

GEOGRAPHY LESSON: Junior forward Jim Hanchett would likely do pretty well in a geography class. Hanchett has resided in Brazil, Germany, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Georgia.

KITS VS. PUPS: A quick glance at the roster for this game shows only one senior -- UW's Curtis Allen. A 'kit,' by the way, is a young Beaver.

NASH UPDATE: Junior guard J.S. Nash dressed for practice Friday morning after suffering a quadricep bruise in his right leg Thursday night. Nash is probable for Saturday afternoon's game as of 11 a.m. Friday.

THAT'S WHAT I CALL A DROUGHT: WSU did not score a field goal for 15:20, spanning both halves last Thursday. WSU tied the game at 11-11 on a Jeff Varem three-point field goal at the 9:16 mark, which was a surprise in itself since he only had one entering the game, and did not score from the field again until Varem made a layin at 13:56 of the second half.

YOUTHFUL LOOK: Three true-freshmen have played this season, with the trio combining for 14 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.

QUITE A ROLL: I guess we should have seen this coming that guard Chris Stephens' streak of scoring 15 or more points in 10 consecutive games would be in jeopardy against Washington State (he scored 8). Stephens' streak is still the longest 15-plus points run by a Beaver since Gary Payton had 17-straight during the 1990 season.

THE 'START' OF SOMETHING: Entering Saturday's contest, Oregon State's eligible players have combined for 123 career Division I starts -- the lowest number in the Pac-10 Conference. Counting games through Jan. 15, the rest of the league shapes up with UCLA (167), California (168), Oregon (173), Arizona State (177), Arizona (195), Washington (206), Stanford (221), Washington State (251), and USC (263).

CREDIT THE DEFENSE: Oregon State has forced an average of 18.8 turnovers per game through 14 contests, while averaging 14.3 -- a Pac-10 Conference leading plus 4.5. The Beaver defense forced 13.8 last season, 12.5 in 2002, and 13.2 in 2001.

SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: OSU has generally struggled in the field goal percentage area this season, ranked ninth in the Pac-10 at .424. However, the team has shot better than .420 in six of the last seven games. Over the last four contests OSU is shooting .445 (105-236).

WELL WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Six overtime periods in 14 regular season games, plus another during the exhibition slate. The Beavers have played a single overtime game (at Hawaii), double overtime (vs. Portland), and triple overtime (vs. Kansas State). The three games that have gone to extra periods are the most since the 1990-91 team played extra stanzas against New Orleans, UCLA, and Washington State. The total of six overtime periods is a school record, eclipsing the five played by the 1982-83 club. For future reference, the last time Oregon State played in four overtime games was during the 1985-86 season. Fairfield leads the nation with five overtimes, followed by Oregon State, Maryland, USC, Santa Clara, Louisiana-Monroe and Duquesne all with three through games of Jan. 15.

HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS: Even with team's struggles shooting, OSU is still averaging 15.1 assists per game. The last three seasons the Beavers have averaged 13.6 (2003), 13.8 (2002), and 13.3 (2001). Lamar Hurd has had 17 assists over the last three games, and just two turnovers (8.5-1 ratio).

DOUBLE-DIGIT LEADS: Oregon State has had leads of 10-plus points in each of the last five games, winning three times. In fact, OSU has jumped out to impressive leads of late, leading UCLA at the half by 10 (34-24), scoring the first 13 points at USC, leading Oregon 12-2, and taking a 29-16 halftime lead against Washington State (eventually a 16-point lead). The last four games:

	Jan. 15 vs. WSU		29-16 (Half), 34-18	Jan. 10 vs. Oregon	         12-2	Jan. 4 at USC		13-0	Jan. 2 at UCLA		34-24 (Half)	Dec. 28 vs. Jackson St.	Several times

10TH NO MORE: Oregon State entered this week's action sixth in the Pac-10 for scoring, currently at 74.1 (72.5 in Pac-10). Sixth would be a significant improvement from recent years. A closer look.

	Year	Avg.	Rank	2003	68.0	10th	2002	64.3	10th	2001	61.9	10th	2000	69.6	8th

10TH NO MORE, PART II: Further evidence of head coach Jay John's belief in 'pushing the ball,' Oregon State has scored 80-plus points 12 times in the 42-game John era. The program hit the 80-point plateau just six times in 59 games during the two-year reign of Ritchie McKay, and 16 times during the Eddie Payne 130-game tenure.

QUICK HANDS: Through 14 games last season, Oregon State had 75 steals -- compared to 106 this season against better competition. The Beavers are second in the Pac-10 with a 7.6 per game average.

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.

HOME TEAM: Oregon State's 17 regular season home dates are the most in the program's modern history. The team made 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.

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 32.6-plus. Point guard Lamar Hurd, who led the team last year for minutes played at 33.4, is playing 35.2 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 33.3 for the season, which includes 46 vs. KSU. Chris Stephens is averaging 32.6.

HOOPS REUNION SCHEDULED: In what has become an annual event at Oregon State University, the Athletic Department will hold a men's basketball reunion Sat., Jan. 17 for roster members from teams from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Those three decades produced 10 conference championships, one NCAA Final Four appearance (1949), 13 All-American selections, 16 All-Pacific-Coast Conference picks, and 22 All-Northern Division honors. Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member Amory 'Slats' Gill was the head coach of the program for that entire span.

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.

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