Beavers Gunning For Championship At TicketCity Legends Classic
Nov. 20, 2011
THE GAME: The Oregon State men's basketball team (4-0) will play Vanderbilt (3-1) in the championship game of the TicketCity Legends Classic on Monday, Nov. 21 at approximately 6 p.m. PT at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
North Carolina State and Texas will play in the consolation game at 3:30 p.m. PT and the Beavers game against the Commodores will begin 25 minutes after that game ends.
RADIO: The game will air live on Beaver Sports Radio Network with Jon Warren calling the action.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised on ESPN3 with Dave Popkin and Derrick Whittenburg calling the action and Andy Katz reporting from the sideline.
THE SERIES: Oregon State and Vanderbilt meet for the first time in history.
QUICKLY: Oregon State matched its best start since the 1986 team opened with five consecutive wins (1997 and `01 teams also started 4-0) ... The Beavers are No. 2 in the RPI Rankings through Nov. 19 games ... The 100 points against Texas is the most by a Beavers team since 1997 ... OSU is outscoring its opponents 38-4 on fast break points ... Jared Cunningham is the first Oregon State player to score 30 or more points in consecutive games since Corey Benjamin in 1998 ... Cunningham set two Oregon State records against Texas and now holds nine school records ... Joe Burton has led the Beavers in assists in all four games ... Cunningham leads the Pac-12 and is third in the nation in scoring (26.0) and Burton leads the conference in assists (6.3) ... Angus Brandt is second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.722) and fourth in three-point percentage (.571).
OFFENSIVELY: Oregon State has scored 80 or more points in all four games this season. It's the first time the Beavers have scored 80 or more points in four consecutive games since Jan. 25 to Feb. 3, 1990 when they scored that many against USC (92), UCLA (80), California (98) and Stanford (84). The Beavers scored 80 or more in seven games last season and only one time in 32 games during the 2009-10 season.
LEADING THE PAC-12: At 90.2 points per game, Oregon State leads the Pac-12 and is 11th in the nation in scoring. The Beavers averaged 69.3 points per game last season after averaging 60.3 per game the season before. Oregon State scored 110 points combined in the first half in its first two games on a ridiculous 64 percent (38-for-59) shooting.
DEFENSIVELY: The new man-to-man defense hasn't missed a beat from the famous 1-3-1 defense as the Beavers have forced 86 turnovers (with 107 points off the turnovers) in the first four games with 41 steals (10.3 per game) to lead the Pac-12. The 19 steals against CSU Bakersfield was the most in a single game since 1984. Oregon State led the Pac-10 and was fifth in the nation with 9.5 steals per game last season and had more steals than their opponent in 23 of its 31 games. It's the second consecutive year the Beavers led the conference in steals after averaging a league-best 8.2 per game in 2009-10. Individually, an Oregon State player has led the conference in steals the past two seasons with Jared Cunningham (2.8) in 2010-11 and Seth Tarver (2.2) in 2009-10 leading the way.
STARTING FIVE: The Beavers starting five of Ahmad Starks, Jared Cunningham, Devon Collier, Joe Burton and Angus Brandt are off to a hot start. As a group, they are shooting 55.9 percent (90-for-161) from the field and have scored 286 of the team's 361 points through the first four games. They have also given the Beavers the early lead in three of the four games. As a side note, the Beavers used 11 different starting lineups last season.
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK: Oregon State scored 100 points against Texas to hit the century mark for the 27th time in school history and the first time since scoring a school-record 116 points against UC San Diego on Nov. 25, 1997.
Oregon State All-Time 100-Point Games
JARED GOES BACK-TO-BACK 30: Jared Cunningham scored a career-high 37 points against Texas after going for 35 the game before against Hofstra. He's the first Beaver to score 30+ in consecutive games since Corey Benjamin went for 30 or more in three consecutive games in 1998. It's also just the fifth time an Oregon State player has scored 30 or more points since 2000 and the 111th time a Beaver has reached the 30-point plateau.
Oregon State 30+ Scoring Games Since 2000
TWO MORE RECORDS: Jared Cunningham added a couple of Oregon State records to his resume in the Texas game. The 20 free throws made tie him with A.C. Green and Mel Counts (who both have their numbers retired) for most in a game and the .870 percentage (20-of-23) is the best with at least 20 attempts to surpass the .833 (20-of-24) record that was held by A.C. Green. To show how clutch he was against Texas, he made all eight of his free throw attempts in overtime to lead the Beavers to the come-from-behind win.
Cunningham Oregon State Records
JARED STEALING: Jared Cunningham has nine steals through the first four games (2.3 per game) and is tied for seventh in the Pac-12. He had 128 steals in his first two seasons, while Gary Payton had 130 after his first two years at Oregon State. To put it in perspective how impressive Cunningham was in his first two seasons, you have to look at the minutes played for both players -- GP with 2,293 and Jared with 1,488.
MORE GP vs. JARED: Both are 6-foot-4 and from Oakland, Calif., and there are other similarities besides their height, hometown and defensive prowess. Payton scored 449 points as a sophomore (14.5); Jared had 427 (14.2). Payton hit 13 three-pointers as a freshman and 31 as a sophomore; Jared made seven as a freshman and 27 as a sophomore. Payton made 47 percent of his shots from the field through two seasons; Jared made 46 percent. Payton had 103 rebounds as a sophomore; Jared had 92.
IRON MEN: Several players have played career-high minutes already this season. Jared Cunningham (43), Devon Collier (42) and Ahmad Starks (39) all hit their career-bests in the overtime win over Texas. Joe Burton played all 40 minutes against Hofstra after playing a career-best 39 against Arizona State last season on March 5. He also played 38 in the Pac-10 Tournament win over Stanford last season.
MAGIC BURTON THE ICEMAN: The versatile Joe Burton said he learned his passing skills by watching old NBA games. He has used those skills to lead the team in assists in all four games, including a career-high 11 dimes against Hofstra, besting his previous mark of seven in an 83-70 win over Charlotte on Nov. 24, 2010. He also leads the Pac-12 in assists at 6.3 per game after leading the Beavers in assists last season.
BURTON FROM LONG DISTANCE: Joe Burton entered the season with one career three-pointer made on three attempts. He has already made two from long distance this season on three attempts in just three games.
BURTON FROM THE STRIPE: If there was one weakness in Joe Burton's game last season, it was his free throw shooting as he shot just 49 percent (35-of-71) from the line. But, like everything else, he worked hard on it during the summer and is shooting 78 percent (14-of-18) through the first three games from the stripe.
COLLIER SWATTING AWAY: Devon Collier has seven blocked shots in the four games this season to lead the team. He had a total of three blocked shots in 11 non-conference games last season before starting his own block party with 16 in 17 Pac-10 games and four in the two Pac-10 Tournament games. The 23 blocked shots are the most by a freshman in school history to pass the 20 Gary Payton had in 1986-87.
COLLIER SCORING: Devon Collier has scored in double-figures in three consecutive games, including a career-high 25 against Hofstra. He is shooting 69.7 percent (23-of-33) from the field this season, the third best percentage in the Pac-12, after leading the team last season at 57.8 percent (74-of-128), the third best by an Oregon State player since 1991-92.
ANGUS OFF TO A HOT START: Angus Brandt is off to a hot shooting start to the season as he's second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 72.2 percent (13-of-18) and fourth in the conference in three-point shooting at 57.1 percent (4-of-7). He tied his career-high with 13 points against Hofstra and followed that up with a career-high 14 points against Texas, including a huge three-pointer in the overtime. He finished the game 3-of-4 from behind the arc, both of which are career-highs.
STARKS KEEPS IT GOING: Ahmad Starks won't let anything bother him. After starting the game 0-for-11 against Texas, Starks hit a huge three-pointer at the end of regulation and added another in overtime that were key to the Beavers victory. He leads Oregon State in three-pointers made (5) and attempted (20) this season after doing the same last season as a freshman (42-for-130). The 42 threes he made are the third most by a freshman in Oregon State history, trailing only Angelo Tsagarakis (45) and Joe See (43).
ROBERTO WORKING HIS WAY BACK: Roberto Nelson is working his way back into basketball shape after suffering a anterior/posterior talo-fibular sprain in his left ankle. He has scored five points in all four games and had several key plays down the stretch against Texas.
WELCOME BACK, ERIC AND RHYS: Forwards Eric Moreland and Rhys Murphy both played in the season-opener after each player missed all but four games last season due to injury. Moreland has shown an immediate impact with first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the opener and a team-high 10 rebounds against West Alabama. He is just the third current Beaver to reach double-digits in two statistical categories in a single game to join Joe Burton and Devon Collier. He also blocked a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds of regulation against Texas to send the game to overtime. Murphy played three minutes and missed both of his three-point attempts in the opener but scored his first career points and knocked down 3-of-5 three-point attempts against West Alabama to finish with a career-best nine points.
FROM WALK-ON TO THREE-TIME TEAM CAPTAIN: Craig Robinson can't remember another playing doing it in college basketball history, but senior forward Kevin McShane joined the program as a walk-on and will leave it as a three-time team captain. He does all of the little things on the court to help the Beavers that doesn't always show up in the box score. He did it against Texas with career-highs with six points and two blocked shots and added two key offensive rebounds.
SUCCESSFUL COLLEGIATE DEBUT: Freshman Challe Barton checked into the CSU Bakersfield game with 4:13 remaining in the first half to record his first action for the Beavers and quickly filled up the stat sheet, converting a traditional three-point play on a driving layup and successful free throw just nine seconds after coming on the court. He finished his Oregon State debut with eight points on a perfect shooting day. Barton was 2-for-2 from the floor, including one three-pointer, and converted all three of his free throw attempts.
RIGHT ON TRACK: If you compare Craig Robinson's first three years to Hall of Famers Slats Gill and Ralph Miller, you realize he's right on track to a very successful career with the Beavers. Gill and Miller each won 45 games in their first three seasons at Oregon State, while Robinson has 43 thus far. Gill won 12 games in his fourth season and had 57 wins through four seasons before finishing with 599 in his 36-year career. Miller won 13 games in year four and had 58 in four seasons before retiring with 359 wins in 19 seasons. To do the math, if Robinson wins 16 games this year he'll have more after four seasons than the two coaching legends.
PAC-12 SCHEDULE: With the start of the Pac-12, the Beavers will play Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and USC only one time each this season. Oregon State will play the Arizona schools on the road and the Los Angeles schools at home. The Beavers will play everyone else in the conference twice, including new members Colorado and Utah.
2012-13 RECRUITING CLASS: Langston Morris-Walker, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound small forward from Berkeley, Calif., Jarmal Reid, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound small forward from Decatur, Ga., and Maika Ostling, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound center from Dayton, Ore., all signed a National Letter of Intent on Nov. 9 to play for the Beaver next season. Morris-Walker is ranked the 29th best small forward and 146th best player in the nation by Rivals.com. Reid is ranked 73rd on the ESPNU Classic of 2012 with an 88 rating and the 52nd best small forward in the nation by ESPN.com. Ostling is rated the 30th best center in the nation by ESPN.com.
BEAVERS WITHOUT BORDERS: Kevin McShane, Joe Burton and Roberto Nelson took part in the second Beavers Without Borders trip when they traveled to Kumanovo, Macedonia, this past summer with 14 other Oregon State student-athletes to build a second story on a small home for a large family. Beavers Without Borders is an organization developed by former student-athletes and the Department of Athletics at Oregon State University that aims to provide a platform for current and former student-athletes to experience the world outside Corvallis and the United States and use the energy that defines them to serve others.
BEAVER SPORTS TALK: "Beaver Sports Talk", a weekly statewide call-in show, begins on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and will feature Oregon State men's basketball head coach Craig Robinson and Mike Parker. The show is live from McMenamins Brewpub on Monroe Street in Corvallis and airs on most of the Beaver Sports Radio Network stations and is streamed live on Beaver Nation Online at osubeavers.com.
BEAVERS ALL-ACCESS: ROOT SPORTS will again air the popular magazine show tentatively on Wednesday nights during the season. The show will also be replayed several times each week on FSN's ROOT SPORTS, a part of the DIRECTV Sports Networks that comprises three regional sports networks that reach more than 8.5 million viewers across 17 states. Through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and other countries in Latin America, DIRECTV, the world's most popular television service, serves more than 18.4 million households.
BEAVER NATION ONLINE: The subscription-based site within osubeavers.com offers exclusive interviews, highlights, webcasts and special features from Oregon State coaches and players during the year. More than 500 videos are added to Beaver Nation Online during the year, including more than 40 live baseball games, game replays, weekly and postgame press conferences, special features, highlights, classic games and much more.
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