Home Opener Wednesday Night vs. Portland

Nov. 30, 2004

Corvallis, Ore. -

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THEME: Oregon State opens its 2004-2005 home schedule Wed., Dec. 1 against the University of Portland Pilots. The Beavers play three of their next four games at home. The next three contests will be televised.

CONNECTIONS: Pilot head coach Michael Holton was an OSU assistant coach for the 1995-96 season. UP assistant Rich Wold was an OSU assistant from 1991-2001 and lettered in 1989 and `90. Pilot play-by-play voice Darrell Aune was the long-time voice of Oregon State football and men's basketball. Pilot center Kevin Field played at Oregon State the last two seasons, earning a pair of letters.

THE SERIES: Oregon State has won 48 of the 63 meetings, but the Pilots won a thriller last season (Nov. 25) in double overtime at Gill Coliseum 97-89. Portland led by as many as 11 points in the second half, before OSU ended the game on a 19-8 run that was capped by Chris Stephens' game-tying jumper with two seconds remaining. Portland had an opportunity to win in regulation, but Adam Quick missed a three-point attempt and Donald Wilson failed on a tip -in attempt. UP's Eugene Jeter made a layin with seven seconds left in overtime forcing the second extended period with the game tied at 82-82. The Pilots then outscored OSU 15-7 in double overtime. Jeter was the game-high scorer with 25 points with Wilson adding 23, and OSU's David Lucas 22.

QUITE A START: Beaver true-freshman forward Sasa Cuic, a member of the BCA Invitational All-Tournament team, is off to a great start to his Beaver career. The Rijeka, Croatia native is averaging 18.5 points per game through four contests. His four-game scoring average is the best start for a Beaver freshman since future All-American Steve Johnson averaged 22.0 points to open his career in 1976-77. Johnson averaged 20-plus points for his first four games before ending the year with a 13.5 average.

THANKS FOR THE CHARITY: It's early, but Oregon State is off to an outstanding start from the free throw line, hitting .740 (74-100) -- which would be the best season mark since 1991 (.740). Junior guard Chris Stephens is perfect on 16 attempts and freshman forward Sasa Cuic has made 26 of 27. Cuic has made 26 straight free throws and Stephens 20 going back to last season.

ON THE BENCH: Oregon State continues the 2004-2005 campaign with three major contributors on the bench. Senior starting forward David Lucas, a 2004 1st team All-Pac-10 and 2005 postseason honors candidate, is out for an indefinite time after having surgery on his right big toe (Oct. 28) to repair tendon damage. Sophomore shooting guard Angelo Tsagarakis, one of the first players off the bench last season, is out through at least this week's games vs. Portland and Colorado after dislocating his right shoulder prior to the start of practice. Junior forward Nick DeWitz, potentially a starter or sixth man, is not eligible until Dec. 11 due to NCAA mid-year transfer rules. DeWitz started the season last year at Iowa.

WHEN AT FULL STRENGTH: If Oregon State didn't have injury issues -- the program would have all five starters and 11 lettermen available from last year's team. The club was expected to open the season returning 99 percent of last year's minutes, 99 percent of the points, and 98 percent of the rebounding. Instead, at the start of the year the Beavers had 67 percent of the scoring, 78 percent of the rebounding and 78 percent of the minutes.

THE NEW CLASS: Head coach Jay John signed three student-athletes to national letters of intent during the early signing period (Nov. 10-17). Joining the program for 2005-2006 will be guards Josh Tarver (6-3, Jesuit HS, Portland, OR) and Wesley Washington (6-3, Compton CC, Compton CA), and power forward Calvin Hampton (6-9, New Hampton Prep School, NH). Tarver's brother Zach is a true freshman receiver on the OSU football team and his oldest brother Shon was a standout guard at UCLA (1991-94).

BEAVERS IN THE NBA: Two former Beavers are currently in the National Basketball Association. NBA all-star Gary Payton is in his 15th year in the league and first with the Boston Celtics, and Brent Barry is in his 10th year in the league and first with the San Antonio Spurs. A total of 26 former Beavers have played in the NBA.