THE GAME: Oregon State (8-4, 0-0 Pac-12) will open Pac-12 play against No. 20 (Associated Press) Colorado (11-2, 0-0) at 7 p.m. PT (8 p.m. MT) on Thursday at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colo.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised on ESPNU with Roxy Bernstein and Corey Williams calling the action. It can also be seen online on WatchESPN at this link.
RADIO: The game will air live on Beaver Sports Radio Network with Mike Parker calling the action. Colorado’s broadcast can be heard on Sirius 93 and XM 191.
QUICKLY: Roberto Nelson was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Dec. 30; it’s the second time he has received the honor this season ... The last time the Beavers defeated a Top 25 team on the road was Jan. 5, 1985 when they upset No. 15 Washington, 52-45, in Seattle ... Oregon State is eighth in the nation in field goal percentage (.508) through Dec. 29 games ... Nelson leads the Pac-12 in scoring (21.4) ... Devon Collier has five double-doubles this season to equal the total number he had in his first three seasons combined ... After missing two games with a hyper-extended knee, Angus Brandt returned to the starting lineup and scored a game-high 21 points in the win over Quinnipiac ... Hallice Cooke scored a career-high 12 points against the Bobcats ... Langston Morris-Walker got his first career start against Quinnipiac ... Eric Moreland is suspended for the first 14 regular-season games for a violation of team rules.
THE SERIES: Oregon State and Colorado meet for the 14th time in history with the Buffs leading the series, 9-4, including a 6-1 edge in games played in Boulder. The Beavers got their first-ever win over Colorado in Boulder on March 9, 2013 in the final regular-season game for both teams. The Buffaloes held a slim 29-27 lead at halftime, but Oregon State caught fire in the second half to win 64-58. It was the only time all season the Beavers won when trailing at the half. Eric Moreland (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Joe Burton (10 points, 10 rebounds) each posted a double-double. The win was impressive considering the Beavers had lost their two previous trips to Boulder by an average of 24 points per game (82-60 on Feb. 2, 2012; 83-57 on Dec. 4, 2010).
The teams met four days later, in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, with Colorado pulling out a 74-68 win to advance. The Buffs also won the first meeting last season, 72-68, on Feb. 10 at Gill Coliseum. Roberto Nelson averaged 18.7 points in the three games against Colorado last season, while Devon Collier averaged 8.7 points, his lowest total against all Pac-12 schools.
The teams split their inaugural Pac-12 matchups in 2012 with the Buffs winning 82-60 on Feb. 2 in Boulder and the Beavers earning an 83-69 victory on March 3.
The Oregon State-Colorado series began in 1940 when the Buffaloes won both games in Boulder that year, 38-29 and 42-41. Colorado won again in 1955, 1956 and 2003 before the Beavers got their first win in the series on Dec. 4, 2004 at Gill Coliseum, 98-87. OSU also won, 74-69, on Dec. 4, 2009 at Gill.
MOVING ON UP: Roberto Nelson and Devon Collier both continue to move up Oregon State’s career scoring list. Nelson, who entered the season with 1,082 career points, is on pace for 663 points in a guaranteed 31 games, which would give him 1,745 and move him into fourth. Collier, who entered the season with 1,086 points, is on pace for 540 in his 30 games, which would give him 1,626 and move him into sixth. They also have a chance to combine to be the highest-scoring teammates in Oregon State history, passing A.C. Green and Charlie Sitton.
Oregon State Career Scoring List
1. Gary Payton (1987-90) -- 2,172
2. Steve Johnson (1977-81) -- 2,035
3. Mel Counts (1962-64) -- 1,973
4. A.C. Green (1982-85) -- 1,694
5. Charlie Sitton (1981-84) -- 1,561
6. Dave Gambee (1956-58) -- 1,468
7. Eric Knox (1985-89) -- 1,407
8. Deaundra Tanner (1998-01) -- 1,399
9. Mark Radford (1978-81) -- 1,390
10. Roberto Nelson (2011-present) -- 1,339
11. Scott Haskin (1989-93) -- 1,319
12. Brent Barry (1992-95) -- 1,304
13. Ray Blume (1978-81) -- 1,288
14. Devon Collier (2011-present) -- 1,284
15. Jared Cunningham (2010-12) -- 1,271
THE 1-2 PUNCH OF NELSON & COLLIER: Roberto Nelson and Devon Collier have been among the top scoring tandems in the nation all season, and even held the top spot for more than two weeks. They are currently tied for fourth through Dec. 29 games at 39.4 points per game. The top scoring tandem in a full season in Oregon State history is Mel Counts (26.7) and Jim Jarvis (13.9) at 40.6 points in 1963-64 (note courtesy of #MattStats).
Reger Dowell (22.3) & Brandon Edwards (19.3) -- Texas-Arlington (41.6)
Shawn Long (21.2) & Elfrid Payton (19.9) -- Louisiana-Lafayette (41.1)
Jabari Parker (22.2) & Rodney Hood (17.6) -- Duke (39.8)
Roberto Nelson (21.4) & Devon Collier (18.0) -- Oregon State (39.4)
Jelani Hewitt (21.1) & Tre Bussey (18.3) -- Georgia Southern (39.4)
Shawn Glover (20.4) & Obi Emegano (19.0) -- Oral Roberts (39.4)
ROBERTO LIGHTING IT UP: Roberto Nelson led the Pac-12 in scoring in conference games last year at 19.1 per night, and he has a chance to lead the league in scoring in all games this season as he is currently first at 21.4 through Dec. 29 games. The last Oregon State player to lead the Pac-10/12 in scoring was Gary Payton in 1989-90 when he finished with 25.7 points per game.
ANGUS RETURNS FROM INJURY: After missing two games with a hyper-extended right knee, Angus Brandt started against Quinnipiac and responded with a game-high 21 points, going 8-for-11 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He fell to the floor in the opening minutes of the second half against Akron, and everyone assumed he had torn the ACL in his right knee for the second straight year. The injury wasn’t serious, although he sat out the other two games in the Diamond Head Classic against George Mason and Hawai’i.
ANGUS AT HOME vs. ON THE ROAD: Angus Brandt has played much better basketball in the comforts of Gill Coliseum than on the road, as he continues to work hard to return to form after last year’s season-ending injury. The question will be how he responds on the road since he suffered an isolated tear of the ACL in his right knee on Nov. 16, 2012 against Purdue in the 2K Sports Classic in New York.
Home: 17.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 60.9 FG% (42-for-69), 78.6% FT% (33-for-42)
Road: 4.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 33.3 FG% (3-9), 50.0 FT% (1-2)
LANGSTON GETS THE START: Langston Morris-Walker got his first career start against Quinnipiac and scored five points in a season-high 20 minutes. The start shows how hard he has worked throughout the year, as he played a total of four minutes in the first five games of the season and scored just three points.
ROBERTO HOT FROM THE STRIPE: Roberto Nelson has been red hot from the free throw line, as he has knocked down 92.3 percent (36-of-39) in the past four games to improve his percentage to 86.1 percent (87-of-101) to move into sixth in the Pac-12 through Dec. 29 games. He went 10-for-10 against George Mason, which is just the 11th time in Oregon State history a player has been perfect from the stripe with a minimum of 10 attempts. The list includes some of the all-time Beaver greats, and Nelson is the only player on there twice:
15-for-15 Jared Cunningham vs. George Washington (Dec. 18, 2010)
14-for-14 Steve Johnson vs. Washington (Jan. 24, 1981)
12-for-12 Brent Barry vs. BYU (Dec. 29, 1992)
12-for-12 A.C. Green vs. Tennessee State (Dec. 27, 1982)
12-for-12 Vince Fritz vs. UCLA (Feb. 17, 1968)
11-for-11 Lonnie Shelton vs. Oregon (March 8, 1975)
11-for-11 Mel Counts vs. California (Dec. 14, 1962)
11-for-11 Terry Baker vs. Oregon (Feb. 4, 1961)
11-for-11 Bob Jacobson vs. Seattle (Dec. 30, 1960)
10-for-10 Roberto Nelson vs. George Mason (Dec. 23, 2013)
10-for-10 Roberto Nelson at USC (Jan. 19, 2013)
DOUBLE DOWN FOR DEVON: Devon Collier already has five double-doubles this season in his 11 games, which equals the total number he had in his first three seasons in 98 games. The lefty has been a beast on the boards this season, as he’s averaging 8.0 per game, the ninth-best total in the Pac-12 through Dec. 29 games. Here’s a look at his 11 career double-doubles:
Nov. 13, 2013 vs. Portland -- 11 points, 11 rebounds
Nov. 17, 2013 at Maryland -- 29 points, 11 rebounds
Dec. 13, 2013 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff -- 20 points, 10 rebounds
Dec. 15, 2013 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore -- 24 points, 12 rebounds
Dec. 25, 2013 vs. Hawai’i -- 13 points, 10 rebounds
Nov. 16, 2012 vs. Purdue -- 27 points, 14 rebounds
Jan. 12, 2013 vs. Arizona -- 13 points, 15 rebounds
Jan. 7, 2012 vs. Stanford -- 16 points, 11 rebounds
Feb. 18, 2012 at California -- 14 points, 11 rebounds
Feb. 5, 2011 vs. Washington State -- 16 points, 10 rebounds
DEVON’S STREAK COMES TO AN END: Devon Collier scored 20-plus points in five consecutive games after going for a then career-high 29 at Maryland, 20 against SIUE, a career-best 32 at DePaul, 20 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and 24 against Maryland Eastern Shore. But he finished the Towson game with just 13 points to end his streak at five, which was the longest by an Oregon State player since Gary Payton reeled off seven 20-plus point games from Dec. 1989 to Jan. 1990.
DEVON BACK TO SOPHOMORE FORM: Devon Collier is second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage through Dec. 29 games at 64.7 percent (75-for-116), which is comparable to his sophomore campaign when he led the conference at 61.5 percent (176-of-286). He struggled last year, in his junior season, when he finished the season at 51.2 percent (146-of-285).
MISSING ERIC: Eric Moreland has to sit out three more games due to a violation of team rules, leaving Oregon State 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, and the first since Mel Counts in 1964, 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: Devon Collier moved into third on Oregon State’s career blocked shots list with 116, passing Nick DeWitz and Steve Johnson, With Eric Moreland sitting with 145 swats, they are 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.
Oregon State Career Blocked Shots List
1. Scott Haskin (1989-93) -- 172
2. Eric Moreland (2011-present) -- 145
3. Devon Collier (2011-present) -- 116
4. Steve Johnson (1979-81) -- 114
5. Nick DeWitz (2005-06) -- 111
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
CAREER NIGHT FOR HALLICE: Hallice Cooke has been the most consistent freshman on the team, and he had his breakout game when he scored a career-best 12 points in the win over Quinnipiac. He knocked down 4-of-6 shots, including both from beyond the arc, and added four rebounds and two assists. He leads the Beavers in three-point percentage at 53.3 percent (8-for-15).
GOMIS SHOWING HIS POTENTIAL: Daniel Gomis, who sat out the past two seasons with a broken leg, showed the player he can be in Hawai’i. In the Akron game, he recorded career highs with nine points, three field goals, three free throws and two assists. When he was inserted into the starting lineup against George Mason for the injured Angus Brandt, he was a beast on the inside with a career-high eight rebounds, five blocked shots, two steals and 33 minutes. He was in foul trouble the majority of the Hawai’i game, but has shown he is getting better every day.
CHALLE STEPPING UP: Challe Barton was asked to be more aggressive by the coaching staff, and he has stepped it up considerably in the past four games by averaging 7.8 points, while shooting 44.4 percent (12-for-27) from the field and 42.9 percent (6-for-14) from beyond the arc. In the seven games prior, Barton averaged only 4.1 points per game and shot 45.0 percent (9-for-20) from the field and 30.0 percent (3-for-10) from the three-point line. He had 11 rebounds and 12 assists in the first seven games, but has 14 boards and 12 dimes in the past five contests.
MALCOLM SEEING MORE TIME: After playing just one minute at Maryland, freshman guard Malcolm Duvivier has averaged 13.0 minutes since and has knocked down 47.8 percent (11-of-23) of his shots from the field. He played a season-high 17 minutes and made two huge three-pointers in the Beavers’ come-from-behind win over George Mason. His season-high is just seven points against Maryland Eastern Shore, but the potential to score is there as he had 17 points in an exhibition win over Concordia.
WITH TWO MINUTES TO PLAY: Oregon State had an issue last season at closing out close games, but the Beavers have been much better this season with a 5-2 record in games decided by less than 10 points. In the final two minutes of games, Oregon State is shooting 57.9 percent (22-of-38) from the field and 85.5 percent (47-of-55) from the free throw line. Roberto Nelson has made 25 of his 27 free throw attempts in the final two minutes, while Hallice Cooke is 9-for-10.
WITH FIVE MINUTES TO PLAY: Oregon State got its first win in two seasons when trailing with five minutes to play, when it came back against George Mason for the 58-54 victory in Hawai’i. The Beavers were 0-15 last season when trailing. Counting this season, Oregon State is now 62-5 when leading (7-0 this year) and 5-69 (1-4 this year) when trailing with five minutes left on the clock.
BEAVERS SIGN THREE STUDENT-ATHLETES FOR 2014-15 SEASON: Chai Baker, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard from Malone, Fla., Isaiah Manderson, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center from Oldsmare, Fla., and Gary Payton II, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard from Las Vegas, Nev., all signed National Letters of Intent to join the Oregon State men’s basketball program for the 2014-15 season. Baker attends Malone High School and is a three-star recruit according to ESPN.com and Rivals.com. Manderson attends Oldsmare Christian High School and is a four-star recruit according to ESPN.com. Payton II, the son of Oregon State legend Gary Payton, attends Salt Lake Community College.