Beavers Look to Avenge Last Season's Loss to Colorado
Dec. 2, 2004
Corvallis, Ore. -
THEME: Oregon State finishes its brief home stand by hosting the University of Colorado Buffaloes Saturday at Gill Coliseum. The Beavers will take next week off for Finals before starting a four-game 10-day stretch which includes three road games (Georgia, Boise State, Prairie View). Colorado travels to the Bay Area following the game to battle California and then plays four straight at home.
THE SERIES: Colorado has won all five meetings between the programs, including last year's 81-66 victory Dec. 1, 2003. Prior to that game the programs hadn't met since Dec. 3, 1956. This is CU's second appearance ever at Gill Coliseum, defeating the Beavers 63-53 Dec. 3, 1955. Last season at the Coors Events Center a very competitive game (tied at 39-39 with 16:40 to go) turned into a route thanks to a 32-14 run over the next 11 minutes. CU center David Harrison dominated the game with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Oregon State, which shot .357 from the field (CU .560), was led by Chris Stephens' 15 points.
SO MUCH FOR THAT EXPERIENCE THING: As of about the end of October Beaver fans were expecting a starting lineup of the following:
F--David Lucas, 6-8, Sr., -- 31 starts C--Kyle Jeffers, 6-9 1/2, So., 23 starts G--J.S. Nash, 6-2, Sr., 48 starts G--Chris Stephens, 6-2, Jr., 26 starts G-- Lamar Hurd, 6-4 1/2, Jr., 56 starts
For the Dec. 1 game vs. Portland Jay John started this lineup:
F--Marcel Jones, 6-8, Fr. -- expected to play, but not start. F--Sasa Cuic, 6-10, Fr. -- not in the program until Sept. C--Derek Potter, 6-11, Sr. -- played 9 mins entering the game. G--Lamar Hurd, 6-4 1/2, Jr. -- 14 turn, 9 ast -- 2:3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio last season. G--J.S. Nash, 6-2, Sr. -- the only player with stats close to last year's.
A NEW SCHOOL RECORD, ALMOST: Freshman forward Sasa Cuic has already tied an OSU record by making 30 consecutive free throws after missing the first of his Beaver career. Cuic was going for the record of 31, but OSU SID Steve Fenk put the kiss of death on him by alerting media of his record tying performance -- he promptly front rimmed his next attempt on the first of two charity tosses with four seconds remaining in the win over Portland. As it is, Cuic and former Beaver guard Danny Evans share the mark -- Evans' feat was in 1982-83. Meanwhile, Junior guard Chris Stephens is perfect on 16 attempts this season and has made 20 straight dating back to last season.
DOWN THE STRETCH: Oregon State enters Saturday's game looking to improve on its finishes. The Beavers were outscored 25-13 over the last eight minutes at UNLV Nov. 26 and 20-8 over the last 6:34 vs. Portland Dec.1.
COLD SHOOTING: Oregon State is off to a poor start from the field hitting just .392 as a team -- that percentage would be the lowest for the program since it hit .389 in 1961. The percentage figures to climb as the season progresses considering last season's percentages of individuals. A closer look:
2004-05 2003-04 J.S. Nash .387 .415 Chris Stephens .356 .417 Kyle Jeffers .292 .372
WE DO KEEP IT INTERESTING: Three of the first five games have been decided by three points or less, keeping with a theme that the program had during last year's pre-Pac-10 action in which six of the nine games were decided by five points or less or in overtime (double and triple as well). Here is a closer look at this year:
vs. Siena (W 69-67) -- Sasa Cuic completes conventional three-point play with four seconds remaining...Siena's Kojo Mensah narrowly misses a three-point attempt at the buzzer.
vs. East Carolina (L 64-62) -- Chris Stephens and Sasa Cuic miss three-point attempts in the last three seconds.
vs. Portland (W 66-63) -- Kenny Hooks blocks a Darren Cooper three-point attempt at the buzzer.
PLENTY OF PLAYING TIME: Through five games of this young season Oregon State has nine players averaging in double-figures for minutes. Last year's team finished the season with seven players at 10-plus minutes.
'BUT, WE GAIN THREE HOURS ON THE RETURN:' Oregon State is off to Atlanta next week to face the University of Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl for Kids. The game will mark what is believed to be the first time in the history of the program that Oregon State has made two separate non-postseason trips to an East Coast Time Zone locale. Earlier this season the Beavers played at the Black Coaches Invitational in Raleigh, NC.
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.