Aleksandar Cuic Joins Program

Sept. 30, 2004

Corvallis, Ore. - Aleksandar 'Sasặ' Cuic (chew-itch) has enrolled at Oregon State University and is a member of the men's basketball program, Beaver head coach Jay John announced Thursday. Cuic is receiving a scholarship and gives Oregon State the NCAA maximum of 13.

The 20-year-old Cuic arrives on campus from Rijeka, Croatia. The 6-10, 240-pound forward averaged 14 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocked shots in 35 games for Rotterdam of the Eredivisie League during the 2003-2004 season.

'Sasặ is a highly skilled player with very good basketball intelligence,' John said. 'Part of this program's offensive philosophy is be `hard to guard' and he certainly fits in that category. He will put pressure on the opposing defenses with his size and his ability to score from various spots on the court.'

The scholarship availability for Cuic is a result of senior forward Jim Hanchett now being on scholarship with the football program. Hanchett is considered a walkon in basketball, per NCAA rules.

Cuic's was selected to the All-Holland Team in 2004 and played in the Dutch Eredivisie All-Star Game. He was a member of the Croatian Under-17 National Team and the European Championships Under-17 team in 1999. He played for the Kantrida Rijeka club team from the 1998-99 season through 2000-2001 while attending school at First Gimnasium in Rijeka. He played for Fagagna in Italy during the 2002-2003 season.

'The opportunity to play basketball and earn an education is unique to the United States and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity,' Cuic said. 'I was recruited by assistant coach Jeff Reinert for the last nine months and during that time I became familiar with Oregon State University and the basketball program. This is a great opportunity for me.'

Cuic intends to major in international business.

John also announced that sophomore guard Angelo Tsagarakis is expected to be on the sidelines until early December after having surgery on his right shoulder Sept. 16. Tsagarakis dislocated his shoulder in an offseason workout Sept. 9. The surgery was performed by OSU team physician Dr. Ronald Wobig.

NCAA Division I basketball practice begins Sat., Oct. 16. Oregon State opens the season with an exhibition game at Gill Coliseum against Western Oregon Nov. 8. Regular season play starts Nov. 17 against Siena in the opening round of the Black Coaches Association Invitational in Raleigh, NC.

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