THE GAME: Oregon State (11-8, 3-4 Pac-12) will attempt to get back in the win column when it hosts the USC Trojans (10-10, 1-6) for a conference tilt in Gill Coliseum at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with JB Long 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 92 and XM 192.
QUICKLY: Oregon State is shooting 49.5 percent from the field, which would be its highest percentage in a season since 1984-85 ... The Beavers lead the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.7 percent, which will be a school record if it holds up ... Roberto Nelson (22.2), Devon Collier (14.6) and Angus Brandt (12.4) combine to average more points than any three teammates in the Pac-12 ... Nelson became the sixth Oregon State player in history to reach the 1,500-point mark ... Nelson has scored 20-plus points in five consecutive games ... Brandt has scored in double figures in a career-best five straight games ... Collier has scored more points in his last two games (33) than he did in his previous five (32) ... Collier leads the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.626), something he also did two years ago (.615) ... Hallice Cooke (10-for-19) and Langston Morris-Walker (6-for-10) are shooting a combined 55.2 percent from beyond the arc as starters.
vs. USC: Oregon State and USC meet for the 128th time in history with the Trojans leading the series, 67-60. The Beavers hold a 37-29 advantage in games played in Corvallis, including a streak of four straight wins at Gill Coliseum.
The teams met only once last season with USC coming away with a 69-68 victory on Jan. 19 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The Beavers rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to take the lead, but USC pulled out a back-and-forth game with a basket in the final seconds. Roberto Nelson scored a game-high 26 points by going 7-for-15 from the field and 10-for-10 from the line, and Devon Collier added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Oregon State had lost seven straight in the series before Craig Robinson was hired, and he has led the Beavers to a 5-3 record over USC since.
A WIN OVER THE TROJANS: If Oregon State defeats USC it will improve to 12-8 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-12. It would also:
- Be the first time Oregon State is .500 or better through eight Pac-12 games since the 1999 team also started 4-4.
- Be Oregon State’s fifth-straight home win over USC.
FROM THE FIELD: Oregon State is shooting 49.5 percent (492-for-993) from the field, which is third in the Pac-12 and 10th in the nation. If the season ended today, it would be the Beavers’ best percentage since 1984-85 when they led the conference at 52.5 percent (759-for-1,445).
FROM BEYOND THE ARC: Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.7 percent (107-for-263). If the season ended today, it would be the first-ever time the Beavers led the conference in that category and a school record, bettering the 40.6 percent (97-for-239) in 1987-88.
FROM BEYOND THE ARC IN LEAGUE PLAY: Oregon State shot 35.0 percent (55-of-157) from the three-point line in non-conference games but has been red hot since Pac-12 play started. The Beavers lead the Pac-12 in three-point percentage in conference games at 49.1 percent (52-for-106) with UCLA sitting a distant second at 40.5 percent (52-for-106).
FIRST HALF SUCCESS FROM THREE: Oregon State has shot a ridiculous 62.9 percent (22-for-35) from beyond the arc in the first half in the past five games, which has allowed the Beavers to hold the halftime lead in all five contests (37-32 vs. Stanford, 45-35 vs. California, 37-30 vs. Oregon, 33-27 at Washington State, 38-33 at Washington). Oregon State shot 32.4 percent (9-for-27) in the second half of those games.
CLOSING IN THE SECOND HALF: Oregon State was 6-0 in non-conference play when leading at the half, but are 3-2 in Pac-12 play when leading at the break after falling to California and Washington. The Beavers had the halftime lead in 10 of their 18 Pac-12 games last season but went 3-7 in those contests, so it’s just a matter of closing out the games with the lead.
ROBERTO NELSON QUICK HITTERS: Roberto Nelson has led the Pac-12 in scoring every week this season and continues to move up Oregon State’s career scoring list. Here are some quick hitters about the senior guard:
- He became the sixth Oregon State player in history to reach the 1,500-point mark (he now has 1,504 career points).
- He needs 58 points to pass Charlie Sitton (1,561) and move into fifth on Oregon State’s career scoring list. He would 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).
- He has scored 20-plus points in five consecutive games, which equals Devon Collier for the eighth-longest streak in school history.
- He has scored in double figures in 35 of the past 36 games; the only game he didn’t hit double digits came against Towson on Dec. 18 when he was ejected in the first half for a flagrant 2 foul.
- He’s on pace to become the fifth Oregon State player since 1958 to lead the league in scoring. The others are Steve Johnson (1981), A.C. Green (1985), Jose Ortiz (1987) and Gary Payton (1990).
- He’s on pace to become the first Oregon State player since Deaundra Tanner in 2000 to lead the team in scoring and assists.
- He is currently seventh all-time at Oregon State in three-pointers (157) and fourth in free throws (419).
ROBERTO EYEING ALL-PAC-12 FIRST TEAM: Since 1955, there have only been two players who led the Pac-12 in scoring that didn’t receive First Team honors (Steve Puidokas of Washington State in 1975; Brock Motum of Washington State in 2013). Nelson led the Pac-12 in scoring in league games last season but only received Honorable Mention recognition. Do people take his scoring for granted?
DEVON COLLIER QUICK HITTERS: Devon Collier has quietly put together an outstanding college career. Here are some quick hitters about the senior forward:
- He needs 42 points to pass Mark Radford (1,390) and move into 10th on Oregon State’s career scoring list.
- He is currently second at Oregon State in career field goal percentage at .624, which would trail only Steve Johnson’s Pac-12 record of .678.
- He is currently third all-time at Oregon State in blocked shots (121) and eighth in rebounds (636).
DEVON OUT OF HIS SLUMP: Devon Collier has scored in double figures in back-to-back games after going five straight contests without hitting double digits. He has more points in his last two games (33) than he did in the previous five (32) and appears to be out of the slump. He has been a beast in the second half of the past two games as he’s scored 24 of those 33 points after the break.
DEVON AT TOP OF THE LEAGUE AGAIN: Devon Collier leads the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 62.6 percent (97-for-155) and could become the first player to lead the league in that category two times since Todd MacCulloch of Washington did it in 1998 and 1999. Collier led the Pac-12 in field goal percentage as a sophomore at 61.5 percent (176-for-286), becoming the first Oregon State player to lead the league since Scott Haskin in 1992.
ANGUS BRANDT QUICK HITTERS: Angus Brandt looks to be fully recovered from last season’s ACL tear and the scare he had in Hawai’i when he suffered a hyper-extended knee injury. Here are some quick hitters about the senior center:
- He has scored in double figures in a career-best five consecutive games; his previous best was four games two times in 2011-12.
- He is third in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage in conference play at 90.0 percent (18-for-20).
- He needs three blocked shots and five steals to reach 50 in both categories in his career.
- He has scored 20-plus points in three games this season after hitting that total just two times in his first four years (counting last season’s four games).
ANGUS BACK TO FORM: Angus Brandt was averaging 3.8 points in games away from Corvallis before the Washington trip, but he played with confidence against the Cougars and Huskies, averaging 12.5 points while shooting 50.0 percent (11-for-22) from the field.
THREE-HEADED MONSTER: Roberto Nelson (22.2), Devon Collier (14.6) and Angus Brandt (12.4) are averaging a combined 49.2 points per game, which is the highest total by three teammates in the Pac-12. The second-highest total is Stanford at 46.5 points per game by Chasson Randle (19.1), Dwight Powell (14.3) and Anthony Brown (13.1), while Washington is third at 45.3 by C.J. Wilcox (19.6), Nigel Williams-Goss (13.0) and Andrew Andrews (12.7). (#MattStats)
ERIC MORELAND QUICK HITTERS: Eric Moreland was suspended for the first 12 games for a violation of team rules, and he has been up and down since his return. Here are some quick hitters about the junior forward:
- He needs 16 blocked shots to break the Oregon State career record that is held by Scott Haskin (172).
- He is currently second all-time at Oregon State in blocked shots (157) and 11th in rebounds (615).
- He is currently first at Oregon State in career block average (2.07) and 10th in career rebound average (8.1).
- He has 18 career double-doubles and needs three more to move into Oregon State’s career top-10 list.
- He is shooting 82.3 percent (14-for-17) from the free throw line over the past three games; he entered this season at 52.1 percent (111-for-213).
- He is fifth in the Pac-12 in rebounding in league games (8.3); he won’t qualify for all games because he can’t play in 75 percent of the team’s games.
ERIC MORELAND AT HOME vs. ON THE ROAD: Eric Moreland is struggling with the same issue Angus Brandt did earlier this season, as he’s playing much better at home than on the road. In three home games, Moreland is averaging 15.3 points and 13.0 rebounds with three double-doubles. In four road games, he is averaging 3.3 points and 4.8 boards per game. His shooting is consistent as he’s averaging 40.6 percent at home and 41.7 percent on the road, although he took 32 shots in the three games at Gill Coliseum and only 12 shots in the four away games.
- He is second in the Pac-12 and eighth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 52.3 percent. The last freshman to lead the nation in three-point percentage was Brendan Winters of Davidson in 2003 (.513) and the last frosh to lead the Pac-12 was Jason Kapono of UCLA in 2000 (.474).
- He is third in the Pac-12 in assist/turnover ratio in league games at 2.2; he’s the top freshman on the list.
- He is fourth in the Pac-12 in three-point field goals made in league games at 2.1; he’s the top freshman on the list.
AMONG ELITE COMPANY: Hallice Cooke has knocked down 23 three-pointers this season, which puts him on pace with Oregon State’s top four career three-point field goal leaders through 19 games. The Oregon State freshman record for threes is 45 by Angelo Tsagarakis in 2003-04.
INDIVIDUALLY SHOOTING IT WELL: Oregon State is shooting a league-best 49.1 percent (52-for-106) from beyond the arc in conference play, and has three players among the top six -- Langston Morris-Walker (.692, 9-for-13) is first, Hallice Cooke is fifth (.517, 15-for-29) and Roberto Nelson is tied for sixth (.500, 17-for-34). Malcolm Duvivier is shooting 71.4 percent (5-for-7) but doesn’t have enough makes to qualify.
CRASHING THE BOARDS: Oregon State has outrebounded six of its seven Pac-12 opponents and is fifth in rebounding margin in conference play at +2.4 per game. The Beavers outrebounded seven of their 12 non-conference opponents and are now 8-5 on the season when pulling down more boards than their opponent. Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in rebounding defense in league games at 30.9 boards per game.
WITH TWO MINUTES TO PLAY: Oregon State is shooting a solid 54.7 percent (35-for-64) from the field and 80.9 percent (76-for-94) from the free throw line in the final two minutes of games but struggling from deep at 28.6 percent (6-for-21). There’s no doubt who Coach Robinson wants at the line in the final two minutes as Roberto Nelson has more makes (43) and attempts (49) than the rest of the team combined (33-for-45) in that span. Nelson is shooting 87.8 percent in the final two minutes, while Hallice Cooke is at 75.0 percent (12-for-16). Devon Collier is 2-for-5 in the final two minutes and no other player on the roster has more than four attempts.
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). In the past four seasons, Oregon State is now 65-5 when leading (10-0 this year) and 5-73 (1-8 this year) when trailing with five minutes left to play.
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL NON-CONFERENCE SEASON: Oregon State went 8-4 in non-conference play this season and is now 28-9 the past three seasons combined (10-2 in 2011; 10-3 in 2012). It’s the most non-conference wins by the Beavers over a three-year span, although the 1979 (10-1), 1980 (9-0) and 1981 (7-2) teams went a combined 26-3 in eight fewer games. The best three-year record during the Gary Payton era was 1987 (6-3), 1988 (8-1) and 1989 (7-2) for a combined 21-6 mark.
NELSON EARNS PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN: Roberto Nelson has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week two times this season (Nov. 18 and Dec. 30) and joins Gary Payton (9), A.C. Green (4), Scott Haskin (3), David Lucas (3), Jose Ortiz (3), Brent Barry (2), Corey Benjamin (2), Chad Scott (2), Charlie Sitton (2), Jared Cunningham (2) and Ahmad Starks (2) as Oregon State players to win the award more than once.
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.