THE GAME: The Oregon State men’s basketball team opens its 2013-14 regular season on Sunday when the Coppin State Eagles invade Gill Coliseum for a 5 p.m. tip.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Networks with Rich Waltz and Lamar Hurd calling the action.
RADIO: The game will air live on Beaver Sports Radio Network with Mike Parker calling the action. It can also be heard on Sirius 117.
PROMOTION: The first 1,000 Oregon State students who enter Gill Coliseum will receive a free Beaver Dam t-shirt. The doors will open at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
vs. COPPIN STATE: Oregon State and Coppin State meet for the second time in history with the Beavers leading the series 1-0 after winning the first game, 59-53, on Dec. 28, 2002 at Gill Coliseum. Philip Ricci led Oregon State with 17 points and six rebounds and Brian Jackson added 14 points. Lamar Hurd chipped in four points and a game-high seven assists and J.S. Nash came off the bench to add nine points and three steals. Larry Tucker led Coppin State with 18 points.
QUICKLY: Oregon State enters its 113th season as the 20th-winningest program in Division I college basketball with 1,654 victories … The Beavers return five players who started at least 11 games last season, plus Angus Brandt who started the first four contests before suffering a season-ending injury ... In Pac-12 team production returning this season, Oregon State is third in scoring (70.4%) and rebounding (74.9%), second in blocks (93.9%), fourth in steals (65.8%), and fifth in assists (60.0%) and three-point field goals (65.6%) ... Roberto Nelson became the first Oregon State player since Gary Payton in 1990 to lead the Pac-12 in scoring in league play when he averaged 19.1 points per game last season ... Devon Collier (1,086) and Nelson (1,082) both joined the 1,000-point club last season ... Oregon State has won three consecutive season openers, its longest streak since winning six in row from 1996 to 2001.
FAST BREAK: Due to a violation of team rules, Devon Collier is suspended for the two exhibition games and first regular-season game, and Eric Moreland is suspended for the two exhibition games and 14 regular-season games ... Oregon State lost seven games by four points or less last season with five of them coming in Pac-12 play ... The Beavers led at halftime in 10 of their 18 Pac-12 games last season ... Angus Brandt recorded his first career double-double (vs. Alabama) and had nine points and nine rebounds the following night against Purdue before his season-ending injury ... If Roberto Nelson scores as many points as he did last season, he will move into fifth on Oregon State’s career scoring list, trailing only All-Americans Gary Payton, Steve Johnson, Mel Counts and A.C. Green ... Challe Barton started the final 11 games last season and returns for his junior season having missed only one game in his first two years ... Barton shot 40.7 percent (11-for-27) from beyond the arc in the final 10 regular-season games ... Moreland became the first Oregon State player since Mel Counts in 1964 to average double-figure rebounds after finishing with 10.6 boards per game ... Moreland also broke his own Oregon State single-season blocked shots record with 73 ... Moreland (145) and Collier (97) are second and tied for fifth, respectively, on OSU’s career blocked shots list.
EXHIBITION I: Oregon State opened its two-game exhibition slate with a 69-42 win over Corban University on Oct. 29 at Gill Coliseum. Roberto Nelson led the Beavers with 15 points, while Victor Robbins got the start and responded with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.
The biggest story of the night was the return of Angus Brandt, who suffered a season-ending injury in the fourth game a year ago, and Daniel Gomis, who missed the past two seasons with a leg injury. Both players received a loud ovation from the crowd of 3,190 when they were introduced.
Starting point guard Challe Barton had a solid game with eight points, five assists and four rebounds, as did Jarmal Reid who finished with seven points, nine rebounds and five assists. Fifteen Oregon State players saw action in the game and nobody played more than 27 minutes.
Corban, an NAIA school from Salem, was led by Jordan Carter’s 15 points.
The Beavers fell behind by eight points in the first half before Nelson hit a three-pointer just before the break to tie it at 43. Concordia jumped ahead by eight again in the second half, but Oregon State answered with an 11-2 run to take its first lead of the game with 12:53 to play and held on the rest of the way for the win.
Three other OSU players joined Nelson and Duvivier in double figures, as Olaf Schaftenaar and Challe Barton each had 16 and Angus Brandt finished with 15. Schaftenaar had a team-high seven rebounds, while Nelson added six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Concordia, an NAIA school from Portland, was led by Adam Herman, who had 34 points, and Willy Ligon, who chipped in 24.
SCHEDULE NOTES: For the second consecutive year, every regular-season game will be televised ... Oregon State will face Maryland for the first time ever on Sunday, Nov. 17 in College Park, Md. ... The Beavers will host the 4th Annual Nike N7 Game presented by Spirit Mountain Casino on Tuesday, Nov. 26 against SIU-Edwardsville ... Oregon State will play DePaul for the second time in history and the first time since 1945 (59-40 loss in Chicago) on Sunday, Dec. 1 in Chicago, Ill. ... The Beavers will open the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic against Akron on Sunday, Dec. 22 in Honolulu; other teams in the field include Boise State, George Mason, Hawai’i, Iowa State, Saint Mary’s and South Carolina ... With the 18-game conference schedule, Oregon State will “miss” home games against Colorado and Utah and road games at California and Stanford ... The Beavers open Pac-12 play at Colorado and Utah and finish league play at home against the Arizona schools ... The Pac-12 Tournament will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the second straight year; game dates are Wednesday, March 12 to Saturday, March 15.
1,000-POINT CLUB: Roberto Nelson, Devon Collier and Joe Burton all joined the exclusive 1,000-point club last season. It was just the second time in Oregon State history that a team had three 1,000-point scorers; the other being the 1980-81 squad that was ranked No. 1 in the nation:
WELCOME BACK, ANGUS: After suffering an isolated tear of the ACL in his right knee in the fourth game last season, Angus Brandt is fully recovered and ready to play. Prior to the injury, which occurred at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Sports Classic, Brandt was playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, including his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Alabama. The 6-foot-10 Aussie can score from anywhere on the floor and led the Beavers in three-point field goal percentage at 49.2 percent (29-for-59) two years ago.
ROBERTO SETS SCORING MARK: Roberto Nelson became the first Oregon State player since Gary Payton in 1990 to lead the Pac-12 in scoring in conference play. Nelson averaged 19.1 points in 18 conference games (Jahii Carson of Arizona State was second at 17.8) with 111 field goals, 30 triples and 91 free throws for 343 points. Nelson led the team with 27 double-figure scoring games, including 17 in a row to end the season. The Glove averaged a ridiculous 25.2 points per game when he led the league in 1990.
ROBERTO’S SCORING IMPROVEMENT: Roberto Nelson came off the bench in all 36 games during his sophomore campaign and averaged 9.3 points. He moved into the starting lineup last season when Jared Cunningham left early for the NBA and responded with a scoring average of 17.8 per game, fifth best in the Pac-12 and the second-biggest increase in the conference from the previous year. Here’s a look at the biggest scoring improvement among players in the Pac-12 in all games:
1. Dwight Powell, Stanford -- +9.1 (5.8 in 2011-12; 14.9 in 2012-13)
2. Roberto Nelson, Oregon State -- +8.5 (9.3 in 2011-12: 17.8 in 2012-13)
3. Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado -- +5.3 (10.0 in 2011-12; 15.3 in 2012-13)
4. Mike Ladd, Washington State -- +5.1 (5.4 in 2011-12; 10.5 in 2012-13)
POSSIBILITY TO JOIN ELITE COMPANY: If Roberto Nelson equals his scoring output from last season (569), he will move into fifth on Oregon State’s career scoring list with 1,641 points and trail only four players who have their jerseys hanging in the rafters at Gill Coliseum -- Gary Payton (2,172), Steve Johnson (2,035), Mel Counts (1,973) and A.C. Green (1,694). Charlie Sitton is currently fifth on the list with 1,561 points.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT DEVON: Lost among the scoring of Jared Cunningham and Roberto Nelson the past two seasons has been the consistency of Devon Collier. The lefty has scored 1,086 points in his first three seasons, while shooting a solid 56.7 percent (396-for-699) from the field. That total puts him 28th on Oregon State’s career scoring list (one spot above Roberto Nelson), and if he’s able to equal the 404 points he scored last season, he will move into seventh all-time.
MISSING ERIC: With the suspension to Eric Moreland for the first 14 games, Oregon State will be without one of the best rebounders and shot blockers in school history. All he did last year was: 1) break his own Oregon State single-season blocked shots record (73); 2) set the school record with 2.52 blocks per game; 3) become just the 10th OSU player all-time to average double-figure rebounds (10.6); 4) post 12 double-doubles despite missing three games. He finished second in the Pac-12 in rebounding, blocked shots and double-doubles and third in field goal percentage (.574), and earned Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention.
MORELAND AND COLLIER’S OWN BLOCK PARTY: Eric Moreland (145) and Devon Collier (97) are second and tied for fifth, respectively, on Oregon State’s career blocks list, making them the best shot blocking tandem in school history. When Moreland returns from his suspension on Jan. 9 against Stanford, he will need to average only 1.6 blocks in a guaranteed 17 games to become the school’s all-time leader. Collier had 46 blocked shots as a sophomore, which would move him into third on the career list if he can match that total.
Oregon State Career Blocked Shots List
1. Scott Haskin (1989-93) -- 172
2. Eric Moreland (2011-present) -- 145
3. Steve Johnson (1979-81) -- 114
4. Nick DeWitz (2005-06) -- 111
t5. Devon Collier (2011-present) -- 97
t5. Kyle Jeffers (2004-07) -- 97
Oregon State Single-Season Blocked Shots List
1. Eric Moreland (2012-13) -- 73
2. Eric Moreland (2011-12) -- 69
3. Scott Haskin (1991-92) -- 68
4. Nick DeWitz (2005-06) -- 59
5. Nick DeWitz (2004-05) -- 52
6. Scott Haskin (1992-93) -- 51
IT’S CHALLE’S TIME: Challe Barton started the final 11 games last season and is slated to be the starting point guard in his junior campaign. Barton averaged 1.8 points and made only 1-of-9 shots from the three-point line in his 21 games as a reserve last season, but increased that to 5.0 points per game while knocking down 12-of-31 from beyond the arc as a starter. Roberto Nelson benefitted the most with Barton as the starter by averaging 20.5 points per game.
TIME TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP: Oregon State’s four sophomores -- Langston Morris-Walker, Jarmal Reid, Victor Robbins and Olaf Schaftenaar -- all showed flashes last season, but also had their growing pains as true freshmen. They will each get their chance to shine this season, and they all bring something different to the table. Morris-Walker has worked hard on his defense in practice with Reid, who started 17 games a year ago because of his presence on that end. Robbins has been one of the most impressive players in practice with his outside shooting and athleticism, while Schaftenaar should improve on the 30.9 percent clip he shot from beyond the arc last season. For what it’s worth, Olaf shot 97 triples as a freshman; his brother Roeland, who played for the Beavers from 2007-2010, took 198 three-point attempts in his entire four-year career.
IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME FOR GOMIS: Daniel Gomis sat out his freshman season after breaking his left leg in his native Senegal. He also missed last season after getting surgery on that leg, but he is fully healthy and ready to play. The 6-foot-10 forward brings a defensive tenacity and toughness to the court and is expected to be the backup center to Angus Brandt.
FRESHMAN GUARDS: Most of the talk from the preseason practices has been about the play of freshman guards Hallice Cooke and Malcolm Duvivier. Coach Robinson has said both will play significant minutes this season, giving the Beavers much-needed depth to starters Challe Barton and Roberto Nelson. Cooke, who attended St. Anthony High School like Devon Collier, was ranked the 45th best guard in the nation by Rivals.com. He adds quickness to the roster and a pretty, high-arching jump shot. Duvivier, a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, chose to reclassify to the class of 2013 and sign with the Beavers. He replaces Ahmad Starks on the roster after he chose to transfer to Illinois to be closer to home. Duvivier is built like a fullback and plays with that same tenacity on both ends of the court.
OREGON STATE 7-FOOTERS: Freshman Cheikh N’diaye, who was ranked the 36th best center in the nation by ESPN.com, will be just the 10th 7-footer in history to play for Oregon State. Here is the full list of 7-footers that have played at Oregon State:
HEIGHT -- NAME -- YEARS -- HOMETOWN
7-3 -- Swede Halbrook -- 1954-55 -- Portland, Ore.
7-3 -- Liam Hughes -- 2005-07 -- Hullbridge, England
7-1 -- Johan Reinalda -- 1988-89 -- Akkrum, Netherlands
7-0 -- Phil Shadoin -- 1955 -- Corvallis, Ore.
7-0 -- Mel Counts -- 1962-64 -- Coos Bay, Ore.
7-0 -- Vic Bartolome -- 1968-70 -- Santa Barbara, Calif.
7-0 -- Dean Hart -- 1982 -- Susanville, Calif.
7-0 -- Greg Wiltjer -- 1982 -- Victoria, British Columbia
7-0 -- George von Backstrom -- 1999-00 -- Pretoria, South Africa
7-0 -- Cheikh N’diaye -- Present -- Dakar, Senegal
EXPANSION CREW: Coach Robinson calls his four walk-ons the “Expansion Crew” as they do a lot of the dirty work on the scout team in practice. Veterans Daniel Jones, C.J. Mitchell and Michael Moyer return for their senior seasons, and will be joined by true freshman Alex Roth. A native of Salem, Ore., Roth led the state in scoring at 28.5 points per game last season, and added 10 rebounds and 4.5 assists, to earn Statesman Journal All-Mid-Valley boys basketball player of the year honors.
OTHER NEW FACES: Oregon State will not only have four newcomers on the court this season, but will have a pair of new faces on the bench. Freddie Owens, who served as an assistant coach at the University of Montana the past four seasons and was a standout guard at the University of Wisconsin, was named an assistant coach in June to replace David Grace who left to UCLA. Joe Kennedy, who served as the Director of Operations at Northwestern University the past three seasons, was added to the staff as a newly-created Director of Player Personnel.
WHAT THE BEAVERS WILL MISS: Gone from last season’s roster are Joe Burton, who graduated, and Ahmad Starks, who transferred to Illinois to be closer to his family. Both players had a unique game that will be hard to replace. Burton, a 6-foot-7, 300-plus pound power forward, led the team in assists the past three seasons and became the first Oregon State player in history to record at least 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 300 assists. He missed only one game in his career, playing in 130 total, to tie him with Josh Tarver for the most in school history. Starks, who was listed at 5-foot-9, finished his Oregon State career as the all-time leader in three-pointers made (185) and three-pointers attempted (505).
COACH ROBINSON VICTORIES WATCH: Craig Robinson is currently the sixth-winningest coach in Oregon State history with 78 victories and needs only two more to pass Jim Anderson (79 wins, 1990-95) and move into fifth all-time. Robinson needs 14 wins this season to pass Paul Valenti, who had 91 from 1965-70. Slats Gill holds the school record with 599 wins (1929-64), while Ralph Miller is second with 359 (1971-89) and Bog Hager is third with 115 (1923-28).
OREGON STATE NUMBERS TO LOOK AT FROM LAST SEASON: 14-2 when leading with five minutes to play; 0-15 when trailing ... 13-8 when leading at halftime; 1-10 when trailing ... 4-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field; 0-6 when shooting less than 40 percent ... 6-0 when scoring more than 80 points; 4-13 when scoring less than 70.
OH, SO CLOSE: Oregon State lost seven games by four points or less last season, with five of them coming in Pac-12 play. Three of the losses were by one point (vs. Towson, at USC, vs. California), three were by three points (vs. Alabama, vs. Washington State, at California) and one was by four points (vs. Colorado). On the flip side, the Beavers had only one win in games decided by four points or less, a 67-66 victory at Washington State.
A LOOK AT BOTH HALVES: Oregon State had the halftime lead in 10 Pac-12 games last season, but was unable to hold it in losses to Oregon, Washington State, California, Colorado, Washington, Stanford and Oregon again. In those seven losses, the Beavers outscored their opponents 252-223 (36.0-31.9) in the first half, but were outscored 309-227 (44.1-32.4) in the second frame. The biggest discrepancy was free throws, as opponents went a combined 21-for-34 in the first 20 minutes, but 83-for-106 after the break. If the Beavers were able to hold those leads, they would have been 11-7 in Pac-12 play instead of 4-14.