THE GAME: Oregon State (14-12, 6-8 Pac-12) hits the road for the final time in the regular season starting with a Thursday tilt against USC (10-17, 1-13) that tips at 8 p.m. at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised on FOX Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher and Marques Johnson calling the action.
RADIO: The game will air live on Beaver Sports Radio Network with Mike Parker calling the action. USC’s broadcast can be heard on Sirius 93 and XM 190.
QUICKLY: Roberto Nelson leads the Pac-12 in scoring (20.8), free throws made (173), free throws attempted (203) and 20-point games (15) ... Nelson is on pace to become the first Oregon State player to lead the team in scoring, assists and steals since 2000 ... Eric Moreland needs three blocked shots to become the career leader at Oregon State ... Moreland has grabbed double-figure rebounds in eight of his 14 games this season ... Angus Brandt has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games ... Brandt has knocked down seven three-pointers in the last six games after making five in the first 20 ... Devon Collier is one of five players on both of Oregon State’s top-10 career scoring and rebounding lists ... Hallice Cooke continues to lead the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage (.486) ... Langston Morris-Walker has started 14 of the past 15 games ... Craig Robinson passed Paul Valenti to become the fourth-winningest coach in Oregon State history.
vs. USC: Oregon State and USC meet for the 129th time in history with the Trojans leading the series, 67-61. The last two meetings have each been decided by one point with USC winning 69-68 on Jan. 19, 2013 in Los Angeles and the Beavers taking a 76-75 overtime victory earlier this season on Jan. 30 in Corvallis.
Since 1990, USC is 19-3 at home in the series, although Oregon State’s three road wins during that stretch were part of season sweeps (2003, 2005 and 2010). If the Beavers want to sweep the Trojans again this year, they’ll need a better effort than the first meeting when their biggest lead in the game was two points. The key to Oregon State’s 76-75 overtime win earlier this season was 19 offensive rebounds and a 22-8 advantage in second chance points. Roberto Nelson scored a game-high 24 points, while Angus Brandt (14), Devon Collier (13) and Hallice Cooke (11) were also in double figures. Byron Wesley led the Trojans with 23 points and Pe’Shon Howard added 16 but missed a free throw with one second left in overtime that would have sent it to double overtime.
A WIN OVER THE TROJANS: If Oregon State defeats USC it will improve to 15-12 overall and 7-8 in the Pac-12. It would also:
- Be just the third time since 1992 Oregon State is above .500 through 27 games (the 2004-05 team started 16-11; the 2011-12 team started 15-12).
- Equal Oregon State’s best Pac-12 record since 1993 through 15 conference games (the 2004-05 and 2008-09 teams also started 7-8).
- Be the third time in five years the Beavers sweep USC (Oregon State won both meetings in 2010; the teams played once in 2012 when the Beavers won).
OREGON STATE QUICK HITTERS: Here are some quick hitters about the Oregon State basketball team through 26 games:
- Oregon State has outrebounded 11 of its 14 Pac-12 opponents. When the opposition has outrebounded the Beavers it has been by big numbers: Washington +20 (43-23); at Arizona +15 (39-24); and at Washington +7 (34-27) so Oregon State’s rebounding margin in conference games is only +0.5.
- The Beavers are 13-1 when shooting a better field goal percentage than their opponent and 1-11 when the opposition shoots a better percentage.
- Oregon State is 13-0 when leading with five minutes to play this season; 1-12 when trailing. In the past four seasons, Oregon State is now 68-5 when leading (13-0 this year) and 5-77 (1-12 this year) when trailing with five minutes left to play. The one win when trailing came against George Mason in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i.
- Through 24 games, the Beavers led the Pac-12 and were sixth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.409). In the last two games, Oregon State shot just 21.4 percent (6-for-28) from beyond the arc and fell to second in the Pac-12 and 20th in the nation (.395).
- Oregon State shot 35.0 percent (55-for-157) from the three-point line in non-conference games but is shooting a league-best 42.8 percent (89-for-208) in conference games.
- The Beavers are shooting 48.2 percent (665-for-1,379) from the field, which is third in the Pac-12 and 20th in the nation. If the season ended today it would be the Beavers’ best percentage since 1991-92 when that team finished at 48.6 percent (860-for-1,771).
- Oregon State has the top scoring trio in the Pac-12 with Roberto Nelson (20.8), Devon Collier (13.6) and Angus Brandt (12.6) combining for 47.0 points per game, which is 60.1 percent of the team’s output.
- With six Pac-12 wins, the Beavers have already more than or equaled the total number of conference victories they finished with in 15 of the past 20 seasons.
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 fifth Oregon State player in history to reach the 1,600-point mark (he now has 1,623 career points).
- He trails 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 needs 72 points to pass A.C. Green and move into fourth on Oregon State’s all-time scoring list.
- He has scored in double figures in 42 of the past 43 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 Pac-12 in scoring. The others are Steve Johnson (1981), A.C. Green (1985), Jose Ortiz (1987) and Gary Payton (1990).
- He’s currently the only player in the league averaging more than 20 points per game at 20.8 (Chasson Randle is second at 18.8).
- Since 1955, there have only been two players who led the Pac-12 in scoring that didn’t receive All-Pac-12 First Team honors (Steve Puidokas of Washington State in 1975 and Brock Motum of Washington State in 2013).
- He led the Pac-12 in scoring in league games last season (19.1) but only received Honorable Mention recognition.
- He’s on pace to become the first Oregon State player since Deaundra Tanner in 2000 to lead the team in scoring, assists, steals, three-point field goals and minutes played.
- He’s third all-time at Oregon State in free throws made (453) and fifth in three-pointers made (168).
- After scoring 20-plus points in six consecutive games, teams have gone out of their way to stop him. In the last six games he is averaging 15.8 points while shooting just 38.2 percent (29-for-76) from the field.
- He made a three-pointer in 14 consecutive games this season but has failed to hit one in three of the past four games.
- He wore No. 20 growing up because of Gary Payton. Since GP’s number is retired, Nelson selected No. 55 because it was the highest number available.
DEVON COLLIER QUICK HITTERS: Devon Collier has quietly put together an outstanding college career. Here are some quick hitters about the senior forward:
- He scored six points at Oregon and became the ninth Oregon State player in history to reach the 1,400-point mark.
- He passed Deaundra Tanner (1,399) and Eric Knox (1,407) to move into eighth on Oregon State’s all-time scoring list with 1,425 points.
- He needs 44 points to pass Dave Gambee and move into seventh on Oregon State’s all-time scoring list.
- He is one of five players on Oregon State’s top-10 lists in both scoring and rebounding (former All-Americans Steve Johnson, Mel Counts, A.C. Green and Dave Gambee are the others).
- He is currently fourth at Oregon State in career field goal percentage at .577.
- He is currently third all-time at Oregon State in blocked shots (129) and ninth in rebounds (654).
- He has scored in double figures in eight of the past nine games after failing to reach double digits in the five games before that.
- He’s second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 61.4 percent (121-for-197). Collier led the Pac-12 in field goal percentage as a sophomore at 61.5 percent (176-for-286) and has a chance to become the first player to lead the league in that category two times since Todd MacCullouch of Washington did it in 1998 and 1999.
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 12 consecutive games; his previous best was four games two times in 2011-12. Coincidentally, Hallice Cooke became a starter when Brandt began his current streak.
- He is averaging 13.7 points over the last 12 games, which is second on the team to Roberto Nelson’s 20.4 scoring output.
- He has made seven three-pointers in the last six games after making five from beyond the arc in the first 20 games.
- He got his 50th career blocked shot in the Arizona State game and his 50th career steal in the Washington State game. He now has 52 of each.
- 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).
ERIC MORELAND QUICK HITTERS: Eric Moreland was suspended for the first 12 games for a violation of team rules, and he looks to be back to form after an up-and-down start. Here are some quick hitters about the junior forward:
- He needs three 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 (170) and seventh in rebounds (686).
- He has 20 career double-doubles and needs one more to move into Oregon State’s career top-10 list.
- He is third in the Pac-12 in rebounding (9.2) and tied for third in blocked shots (1.8) in league games; he won’t qualify for all games because he can’t play in 75 percent of the team’s games.
- He leads the team in double-figure rebounding games (8) and is tied for the team lead in double-doubles (5) despite missing the first 12 games.
- He leads the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage at 48.6 percent (34-for-70). The last freshman to lead the Pac-12 was Jason Kapono of UCLA in 2000 (.474).
- He scored a career-high 20 points against UCLA, the most by an Oregon State freshman since Roberto Nelson had 34 at Arizona State on March 5, 2011.
- Since being a starter, he is averaging 9.6 points per game, the fourth-best total on the team. He averaged 5.9 points in 14 games as a reserve.
- He made a three-pointer in 13 consecutive games (28-for-49) but is 0-for-8 from deep in his last two games.
- He has made 34 three-pointers this season. The Oregon State freshman record is 45 by Angelo Tsagarakis in 2003-04.
LANGSTON MORRIS-WALKER QUICK HITTERS: Langston Morris-Walker has started 14 of the past 15 games. Here are some quick hitters about the sophomore guard/forward:
- He played a total of 20 minutes, with two DNP’s, in the first nine games; he has played 20-plus minutes in 12 of the past 15 contests.
- He has career highs this season in points (11), rebounds (6) and steals (2).
- He has knocked down multiple three-pointers in nine games this season.
- He strums an air guitar after making a three-pointer, a tradition he started in grade school.
MISCELLANEOUS QUICK HITTERS: Here are some quick hitters about other players on the Oregon State basketball team:
- Daniel Gomis missed the past two seasons with a leg injury, but has been very efficient in his return. He is shooting 56.5 percent (26-for-46) from the field and has a pro-rated average of 9.4 rebounds per a 40-minute game.
- Gomis has a blocked shot in a team-best four consecutive games and has knocked 10 of his past 14 shots from the field.
- Olaf Schaftenaar played 25 minutes in the past two games after playing a total of 21 minutes, with two DNPs, in the previous nine games.
- Schaftenaar made his first two-point basket in the 13th Pac-12 game on a layup against Washington State.
- Malcolm Duvivier has averaged 17.0 minutes in the past four games after averaging 8.0 minutes in the first 10 Pac-12 games.
- Challe Barton started the first 14 games this season and Victor Robbins started the first 12.
- Cheikh N’diaye is just the 10th 7-footer in history to play for Oregon State.
INDIVIDUALLY SHOOTING IT WELL: Oregon State is shooting a league-best 42.8 percent (89-for-208) from beyond the arc in conference play, and has three players among the top five -- Hallice Cooke is first (.473, 26-for-55), while Roberto Nelson (.438, 28-for-64) and Langston Morris-Walker are tied for fourth (.438, 14-for-32). Malcolm Duvivier is shooting 50.0 percent (7-for-14) from beyond the arc in conference games but doesn’t have enough makes to qualify.
WITH TWO MINUTES TO PLAY: Oregon State is shooting a solid 49.5 percent (48-for-97) from the field and 76.2 percent (99-for-130) from the free throw line in the final two minutes of games but below its average from deep at 35.5 percent (11-for-31). There’s no doubt who Coach Robinson wants at the line in the final two minutes as Roberto Nelson has more makes (54) and four less attempts (63) than the rest of the team combined (45-for-67). Nelson is shooting 85.7 percent in the final two minutes, while Hallice Cooke is at 72.7 percent (16-for-22).
COACH ROBINSON MOVES INTO FOURTH: After defeating Washington State, Craig Robinson became the fourth-winningest coach in Oregon State history with 92 victories. He has passed Jim Anderson (79) and Paul Valenti (91) this season, who each coached the Beavers six years. Robinson trails only Hall of Famers Slats Gill (599) and Ralph Miller (359), and Bob Hager who had 115 wins from 1923-28. Only Gill (36 years) and Miller (19 years) coached at Oregon State more than six seasons.
NELSON EARNS PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK TWICE: 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.