Beavers Ready For Holiday Hoops With Toreros On The Vegas Strip
Dec. 20, 2012
THE GAME: Oregon State (8-2) takes its four-game winning streak to Las Vegas, Nev., to face the San Diego Toreros (6-6) at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the new site of the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament.
The Pac-12 Conference is hosting the game, and three others, as a prelude to the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament that will be held in Vegas for the first time beginning in March 2013. James Madison will play San Jose State on Saturday after the conclusion of the Beavers' game, while two Sunday games will feature New Orleans vs. Boise State and San Diego vs. James Madison.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised nationally on Pac-12 Networks with Ted Robinson and Ernie Kent 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 online at this link for a fee or on satellite radio on SiriusXM 85.
ONLINE: Live updates are available by visiting osubeavers.com and clicking on Gametracker.
QUICKLY: Oregon State is 8-2 to open the season for the second consecutive year, its best start in back-to-back years since 1983-1984 (see Page 2) ... Oregon State has held six of its 10 opponents below 40 percent shooting and is 6-0 in those games; the Beavers held only seven of their 36 opponents below that clip last season ... The Beavers lead the Pac-12 in rebounding (40.6) and are second in three-point percentage (.399) and third in steals (8.6) ... Roberto Nelson is averaging 22.5 points and has knocked down 13-of-18 three-pointers over the past four games ... Nelson leads the Pac-12 in three-point percentage at 50 percent (20-for-40) ... Devon Collier is fifth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.578) and leads the team with eight double-figure scoring games ... Eric Moreland is third in the Pac-12 in rebounding (10.6) and blocked shots (2.2) ... Moreland has four double-doubles, the second-most in the conference ... Ahmad Starks leads the Pac-12 with 2.7 three-pointers made per game ... Starks has made a triple in 44 of his last 50 games.
vs. SAN DIEGO: Oregon State and San Diego meet for the third time in history with the series even at one win apiece. The Toreros won the first meeting, 80-71, on Dec. 2, 2000 in the second-ever game played at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus. Deaundra Tanner led the Beavers with 20 points, while Brian Jackson and Jason Heide each had 14 and Adam Masten chipped in 12. San Diego had four players in double figures with Roy Morris coming off the bench for team-high 20 points.
The teams met the following year at Gill Coliseum with the Beavers getting revenge with a 65-56 win on Nov. 26, 2001. Jimmie Haywood led Oregon State with 20 points, while Philip Ricci had a double-double with 17 and 11 and Jackson had a good game for the second straight year with 15 points. Jason Blair came off the bench to lead San Diego with 17 points and Andre Laws added 15.
This will be the third time Oregon State has played in Las Vegas. The Beavers lost to UNLV twice there, falling 96-85 on Nov. 29, 1975 and 86-61 on Nov. 26, 2004.
ANOTHER STRONG START FOR THE BEAVERS: Oregon State has started 8-2 for the second straight season, its best start in back-to-back years since opening 8-2 in 1983 and 9-1 in 1984. The 1983-84 team got to 9-2 before dropping its third game, while the 1984-85 squad was 15-1 before losing consecutive games for a 15-3 start.
Oregon State got to 10-2 last season before losing its third game to equal its best start since 1989-90 when Gary Payton was a senior and the Beavers last advanced to the NCAA Tournament. That team got to 15-2 before dropping its third game.
The 1981-82 team also had a solid start by opening 14-2, while the 1980-81 team will probably never be matched as it opened a ridiculous 26-0 before losing.
NO NEED FOR CONCERN: There was some concern Oregon State's offense would suffer after losing last year's leading scorer Jared Cunningham (17.9 ppg) to the NBA. There was even more concern about the offense when Angus Brandt was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Oregon State led the Pac-12 in scoring for the first-time ever last season with a school record 78.9 points per game (conference scoring records began in 1959-60). The Beavers are averaging 77.7 points this season, which would be the third-highest total in school history, trailing only last year's record mark and just behind the 78.4 by the 1989-90 team that had some guy named Gary Payton leading the way.
SPREADING THE SCORING AROUND: With the losses of Jared Cunningham (17.9 ppg last season) and Angus Brandt (11.3 ppg before the injury), Oregon State has gone to more of a team concept with five different players leading the team in scoring in games this season: Devon Collier and Roberto Nelson three times each, Ahmad Starks two times, Joe Burton and Eric Moreland each once. Cunningham led Oregon State in scoring in 18 of the 36 games last season.
A STEADY IMPROVEMENT: Some people have forgotten that Craig Robinson took over a team that went 0-18 in the Pac-10 the season before he arrived. That team averaged 59.9 points per game and lost those conference games by nearly 20 points per game (77.2-57.6). Oregon State's offense has continued to improve as Coach Robinson and his staff have gotten their own players into the program. The Beavers averaged 60.8 points in his first season, 60.3 his second year, 69.3 in year three, 78.9 last season and 77.7 thus far this season.
WIN #100 FOR COACH ROB: Coach Robinson notched his 100th career win when the Beavers defeated Portland State with 30 of those coming during his two years at Brown and 70 at Oregon State. Robinson now has 72 wins at Oregon State, which ties him with Jay John as the sixth-winningest coach in school history. He should pass Jim Anderson (79) this season with an outside chance of catching Paul Valenti (91). The top three coaches in Oregon State history are Slats Gill (599), Ralph Miller (359) and Bob Hager (115).
FOUR MORE STOPS PER GAME: Coach Robinson has talked about how important it is for Oregon State's defense to get four more stops per game after the Beavers lost six games by five points or less last season. The Beavers are allowing 67.5 points per game with their opponents shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from the three-point line. Last season teams averaged 72.7 points per game and shot 45.5 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from deep. Oregon State has held six of its 10 opponents below 40 percent shooting and is 6-0 in those games. The Beavers held only seven of their 36 opponents below that clip last season and were 6-1 in those games. Oregon State is 1-1 in games decided by five points or less this season.
BLOCK PARTY II: Oregon State is averaging 4.7 blocked shots per game this season after finishing second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 4.61 per game last year, trailing only UCLA by 0.03 (4.64). The Beavers tied a school record with 11 blocked shots against Montana State, a year after setting the record in the 103-101 quadruple-overtime loss to Stanford. Eric Moreland, who led the conference in blocks last season at 1.9 per game, already has 22 in his sophomore campaign.
STEALS STILL COMING: Another concern about losing Jared Cunningham was the steals department as he led the Pac-12 in that category in back-to-back seasons and helped the Beavers lead the conference in steals three straight years. The Beavers are still finding a way to get steals with 8.6 per game this season, which is good enough for third in the conference through Dec. 20 games. Oregon State averaged 9.1 (sixth in the nation) last season, 9.5 (fifth in the nation) in 2010-11 and 8.2 in 2009-10 to lead the league.
CRASHING THE BOARDS: Another point of emphasis during the offseason was rebounding, and Oregon State has seen the results by leading the Pac-12 with 40.6 boards per game, including a league-best 14.0 offensive rebounds. The Beavers have two games with 50 or more boards this season after doing it only once last season, which came in the quadruple-overtime thriller against Stanford.
THE FIVE-MINUTE MARK: Having the lead at the five-minute mark has been very important for Oregon State during the Craig Robinson era as the Beavers are 60-5 when leading with five minutes to play, including an 8-0 mark this season. On the flip side, Oregon State is 8-68 when trailing with five minutes to play in the same timeframe, with an 0-2 record this season.
ROBERTO DROPS 34 ONCE AGAIN: Roberto Nelson equaled his career high with 34 points against Chicago State. It's the second time he's hit the 30-point mark after scoring an Oregon State freshman record 34 at Arizona State on March 5, 2011. His two 34-point scoring games equal the 11th-highest totals in Oregon State history and put him in an elite list of players to hit the 30-point mark more than once, including All-Americans Gary Payton, Mel Counts, A.C. Green and Steve Johnson.
IT'S ROBERTO'S TIME: Roberto Nelson, who came off the bench in all 36 games last season, replaced Jared Cunningham in the starting lineup and has used his current scoring spree to lead the team at 16.1 points per game. Nelson has three 20-plus point games this season (22 vs. Niagara, 26 vs. Grambling State, 34 vs. Chicago State), which is already one more than what he had all of last season.
ROBERTO LIGHTING IT UP FROM DEEP: Roberto Nelson has made 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) from beyond the arc the past four games to improve his three-point percentage to 50 percent (20-of-40) to lead the Pac-12 through Dec. 20 games. He had a career percentage of 33.8 (66-of-195) from three entering this season.
SIXTH MAN NO MORE: Devon Collier got his first start of the season against Howard after coming off the bench in the first nine games. Regardless if he starts or comes off the bench, Collier is enjoying his best offensive season as a Beaver. He is averaging 15.1 points, the second-highest total on the team, and 6.1 rebounds per game. Collier leads the team in double-figure scoring games (8), 20-point games (4) and has led the team in scoring a team-high three times. The four 20-point games (21 vs. Alabama, 27 vs. Purdue, 23 at Portland State, 25 vs. Chicago State) is one more than he had in his first two seasons combined.
AS EFFICIENT AS EVER: Devon Collier is shooting a team-best 57.8 percent (52-of-90) from the field, the fifth-highest percentage in the Pac-12 through Dec. 20 games. He led the Pac-12 and finished fifth in the nation in field goal percentage at 61.5 percent (176-of-286) last season and has led the team in field goal percentage two straight years after making 57.8 percent of his shots as a freshman two years ago.
PENCIL BURTON INTO THE LINEUP: Joe Burton has only missed one game in his Oregon State career and has a chance to play in more games than any player in school history. With the Beavers guaranteed 32 games this season, Burton would tie Josh Tarver (2006-10) for the all-time record with 130 career games and could pass him depending on postseason play.
BURTON DISHING DIMES: Joe Burton is second on the team in assists with 29 and has a chance to lead the team in that category for the third straight year. Other Oregon State players to lead the team in assists three years include George Tucker (1975-77), Dwayne Allen (1978-80), Gary Payton (1987-90), Charles McKinney (1991-93) and Deaundra Tanner (1999-01). Payton is the only player to lead the team four times.
BURTON BOARDING: Joe Burton has 585 career rebounds and needs only 13 more to move into Oregon State's career top-10 list. Marcel Jones (2004-08) is currently 10th on the list with 598, while Mel Counts is the all-time leader with 1,375 boards.
MORELAND'S OWN BLOCK PARTY: Eric Moreland has 22 blocked shots this season and is third in the Pac-12 with 2.2 per game through Dec. 17 games after leading the conference in blocks last season (1.9). With three blocks during his freshman season when he was injured, a single-season school-record 69 last year and 22 this season, he has moved into fifth on Oregon State's career list with 93 and sixth on the sophomore list.
Sophomore Blocked Shots List
MORELAND BOARDING: Eric Moreland is averaging 10.6 rebounds per game (106 total), the third-best total in the Pac-12 through Dec. 20 games. Only one Oregon State player has led the conference in rebounding since 1985, and that was Philip Ricci in 2002-03 (8.2 per game). A total of nine Oregon State players have averaged double-figure rebounds in a season, but the last time it happened was 1963-64 when Mel Counts had a double-double in all 29 games and averaged 16.9 boards. Moreland crushed the freshman rebounding record that was held for 38 years by Lonnie Shelton last season, but would need a monster year to break the sophomore record of 401 that's held by Counts.
Players To Average Double-Figure Rebounding In A Season
Sophomore Rebounding List
Freshman Rebounding List
STARKS ADDS TO HIS RESUME: Ahmad Starks knocked down seven three-pointers against Kansas to tie the Oregon State single-game record that is also held by Gary Payton (1989), Josh Steinthal (1999) and Nick DeWitz (2005). Starks has moved into sixth on Oregon State's career three-point list with 148 and only 32 behind the all-time mark that is held by Chris Stephens.
Single-Game 3-FG Made Records
Career 3-FG Made List
STARKS FROM DEEP: Ahmad Starks has knocked down a three-pointer in 44 of his past 50 games, but had a streak of 15 consecutive games snapped when he failed to make one at Portland State. He is well on the way to leading the team in triples for the third consecutive year with 27 already (Roberto Nelson is second with 20). Starks leads the Pac-12 in three-pointers made per game (2.7) and is on pace for 86 in a guaranteed 32 games, which would break the Oregon State single-season and junior records that are held by Gary Payton (82). Starks is second on the single-season list after finishing with 79 during his sophomore campaign.
CHALLE DOING THE LITTLE THINGS: Sophomore Challe Barton might not fill up a box score with stats, but he does the little things on the floor to help the team. He has played in all 10 games and is shooting an efficient 52.9 percent (9-for-17) from the field. He also has 19 assists (with a career-high six dimes against Chicago State), 11 steals and 11 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game.
MISSING ANGUS & GOMIS: Senior center Angus Brandt and sophomore forward Daniel Gomis both had surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. Brandt suffered an isolated tear of the ACL in his right knee against Purdue. He was averaging 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game before the injury. Brandt will have to apply for a medical hardship from the Pac-12 office, which should be approved since he played in nine games or less during the first half of the season. The official word is expected in March during the Pac-12 Tournament. Gomis had surgery on the left leg he broke two summers ago in his native Senegal and will redshirt this season, making him a redshirt sophomore for the 2013-14 season.
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