Now It's For Real: Beavs Open Season Friday In 2K Sports Classic
Nov. 5, 2012
THE GAME: The Oregon State men's basketball team opens its 112th season in school history when Niagara invades Gill Coliseum at 6 p.m. on Friday in the regional round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
The Beavers played four games in Europe during the summer, a scrimmage we can't talk about and an exhibition contest against Lewis & Clark last Sunday, but they were all merely for practice as the season begins now with a 0-0 record.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised nationally on Pac-12 Networks with JB Long and Lamar Hurd calling the action.
RADIO: The game will air live on Beaver Sports Radio Network with Rich Burk calling the action.
ONLINE: Live updates are available by visiting osubeavers.com and clicking on Gametracker.
TICKETS: Tickets are available by visiting beavertickets.com, calling 1-800-GOBEAVS or visiting the Oregon State Athletic Ticket Office located at Gill Coliseum. Ticket office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
QUICKLY: Oregon State defeated Lewis & Clark, 83-58, in an exhibition game Sunday ... With a 21-15 record last season, the Beavers won 20+ games for the first time since 1989-90 ... The Beavers led the Pac-12 in scoring for the first time in school history last season with an OSU record 78.9 points per game (conference statistics began in 1959-60) ... The 78.9 points per game was the 10th most in the nation ... The Beavers also set a school record with four 100-point games, nine 90-point games and 17 80-point games ... Oregon State has led the Pac-12 in steals three consecutive years ... Despite losing leading-scorer Jared Cunningham to the NBA, the Beavers still return the highest percentage of scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks and steals of any team in the Pac-12 ... Devon Collier led the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.615) and Eric Moreland led the conference in blocks last season ... After only two years, Ahmad Starks has already made the 10th most three-pointers in Oregon State history.
vs. NIAGARA: Oregon State and Niagara meet for the first time in history. The Purple Eagles went 14-19 last season, including an 8-10 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) for a tie for sixth place. Joe Mihalich enters his 15th season as the head coach at Niagara and owns a 246-189 career record during that time. The team returns five starters, including MAAC Rookie of the Year Juan'ya Green, a 6-foot-3 guard, who averaged 17.7 points and 4.5 assists per game last season. Sophomore Antoine Mason (15.1 ppg) and junior Marvin Jordan (10.4 ppg) also averaged double figures last season.
EXHIBITION WIN: Oregon State relied on a balanced offensive attack and committed only eight turnovers to pull away from Lewis & Clark College for an 83-58 win this past Sunday at Gill Coliseum. Ahmad Starks had 14 points, making 4-of-5 from three-point range, and Devon Collier added 12 points off the bench on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting to lead the way. Twelve of the 15 players who saw action for the Beavers scored in a game in which they never trailed.
FAST BREAK: Oregon State will play at Madison Square Garden for the first time in school history as part of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project ... The Beavers will play Kansas for the first time ever when the teams meet on Nov. 30 in Kansas City, Mo. ... Oregon State will host the 3rd Annual Nike N7 Game presented by Spirit Mountain Casino against Montana State on Nov. 25 ... The Beavers return four starters and 12 letterwinners ... In Pac-12 team production returning this season, the Beavers are first in scoring (74.4%), rebounding (76.6%), assists (79.7%), blocks (89.85) and steals (69.5%) ... With the 18-game conference schedule, Oregon State will "miss" home games against UCLA and USC and road games at Arizona and Arizona State ... The Beavers went 4-0 on their European tour this summer, winning by an average of 16.8 points per game after putting up 82.8 and limiting their opponents to just 66 ... Angus Brandt averaged a team-high 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in Europe ... Brandt led the team in three-point field goal percentage last season at 49.2 percent (29-for-59) and finished ninth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 53.5 percent (122-for-228) ... In Pac-12 career leaders returning this season, Joe Burton is second in steals (93) and fourth in rebounding (522) and assists (206) ... Burton was the only player in the Pac-12 last season to finish in the top 15 in rebounding, steals and assists ... Ahmad Starks made 79 three-pointers last season, the second-most in Oregon State single-season history (Gary Payton, 82 in 1988-89) and most by a sophomore in school history ... Starks made a three-pointer in 19 consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak in school history, and made a three-pointer in 31 of his 35 games and two or more in 23 games ... Devon Collier finished 12th in the Pac-12 in scoring and seventh in blocked shots and broke the Oregon State record for most blocked shots by a sophomore with 46 ... Eric Moreland broke the Oregon State single-season record with 69 blocked shots that was held by Scott Haskin (68 in 1991-92) and shattered the school's freshman blocked shots record that was set the season before by Collier (23) ... Moreland broke the Oregon State record for most rebounds by a freshman (211) that was held for 38 years by Lonnie Shelton (204 in 1973-74).
ROBINSON'S RECORD: It's been noted often that Craig Robinson has more wins (64) in his first four years at Oregon State than Slats Gill (57) and Ralph Miller (58) in the same timeframe. It was the fifth year for both Hall of Fame coaches when they turned the corner with Gill winning 21 and Miller claiming 19. With 16 victories this season, Robinson would become the fifth-winningest coach in Oregon State history and 28 would move him all the way to fourth, trailing only Gill (599), Miller (359) and Bob Hager (115).
BREAKING DOWN THE SCHEDULE: Highlights of the non-conference schedule include playing at Madison Square Garden for the first time in school history and the first-ever meeting against Kansas and possibly Purdue (depending on the first games in the 2K Sports Classic). The Beavers will also play Portland State in Portland for the fourth time in history, but it will be the first time ever at the 1,500-seat Stott Center. Oregon State opens conference play with three home games for the first time since 2006-07 with Oregon (Jan. 6), Arizona State (Jan. 10) and Arizona (Jan. 12) all visiting Gill Coliseum.
OFFENSIVELY: Oregon State enjoyed its best offensive season in school history as it led the Pac-12 and finished 10th in the nation in scoring at 78.9 points per game. It was the first time the Beavers led the conference in scoring (team statistics began in 1959-60) and bettered their previous best of 78.4 points per game in 1989-90.
OFFENSIVELY II: Associate head coach Doug Stewart talked often about "taking the training wheels off" the offense and the results were obvious for Craig Robinson and his staff with all of their own players on the roster. The Beavers averaged 60.8 points in his first season, 60.3 his second year, 69.3 in year three and 78.9 in the fourth year.
PAC-12 OFFENSIVE RANKINGS: In addition to leading the Pac-12 in scoring, Oregon State finished first in free throws made (630) and free throws attempted (931) and second in field goal percentage (.475, 22nd in the nation) and assists (15.8, 15th in the nation).
100+ SCORING GAMES: Oregon State set a team record with four 100-point games last season and has now hit the century mark 30 times in school history. The 1978-79, 1979-80 and 1988-89 teams all scored 100 or more points in a game three times.
100-Point Games in 2011-12 Season
90+ SCORING GAMES: Oregon State scored 90 or more points in a school-record nine games last season (1979-80 and 1988-89 teams did it six times). The Beavers scored at least 90 points in four consecutive games for just the second time in school history to equal the 1980-81 team and scored 90 or more points in consecutive conference games (92 vs. California, 101 vs. Stanford) for the first time since 1978-79.
80+ SCORING GAMES: Oregon State scored 80 or more points in a school-record 17 games last season (1979-80 and 1989-90 teams did it 14 times), including streaks of four consecutive games on two occasions (OSU hadn't scored 80 or more points in four consecutive games since 1989-90). The Beavers scored 80+ points 10 times in Robinson's first three years and are now 23-4 under his watch when it happens, including a 14-3 record last season.
DEFENSIVELY: Oregon State led the Pac-12 and finished sixth in the nation in steals at 9.1 per game. It was the third consecutive year leading the conference in steals with 9.5 (fifth in the nation) in 2010-11 and 8.2 in 2009-10. Individually, an Oregon State player led the conference in steals the past three seasons with Jared Cunningham (2.5) in 2011-12 and (2.8) 2010-11 and Seth Tarver (2.2) in 2009-10.
DEFENSIVELY II: Oregon State forced a Pac-12 best 598 turnovers (16.6 per game) last season, including 20 or more turnovers in nine games. The Beavers had fewer turnovers than their opponent in 23 of their 36 games and finished second in the Pac-12 with a +2.53 turnover margin.
DEFENSIVELY III: Oregon State finished second in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 4.61 per game, trailing only UCLA by 0.03 (4.64). The last time the Beavers led the conference in blocked shots was 2005-06 when they finished with 4.7 per game.
MISCELLANEOUS STATISTICS: Oregon State outscored its opponent in every specialty statistic last season, including points off turnovers (705-534), second chance points (476-446), points in the paint (1,326-1,082), fast break points (329-194) and bench scoring (715-702).
EUROPEAN TOUR: Oregon State went 4-0 during its summer trip to Europe, winning all four games by double figures while averaging 82.8 points and limiting its opponents to 66.0. Angus Brandt led the team with 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game with two double doubles. Roberto Nelson averaged 15 points and Devon Collier averaged 12.5 points and made 23-of-32 field goal attempts. Eric Moreland chipped in nine points a game on 16-of-19 from the field with 11 blocked shots and Langston Morris-Walker had a double double with 10 points and 10 boards in the final game.
Aug. 21 - Oregon State 76, St. Charles 59 (at Charenton, France)
TALENTED FRONTLINE: Oregon State's frontline has to be one of the most experienced and talented in the country with seniors Angus Brandt and Joe Burton, junior Devon Collier and sophomore Eric Moreland all returning. The players combined to make 56.4 percent of their shots (488-of-865), grabbed 61 percent of the team's boards and swatted 84 percent of the blocked shots last season. The four also played in all 36 games last season.
THE VERSATILE BURTON: Joe Burton simply does it all on the basketball floor. He was the only player to finish in the top 15 in the Pac-12 in rebounds, assists and steals, after leading the Beavers in assists for the second straight season (2.8) and pulling down the second-most rebounds on the team (5.9). He also finished fifth in the conference in field goal percentage at 55.9 percent (124-for-222).
ANGUS READY FOR SENIOR YEAR: Ask anyone in the program and they will all say Angus Brandt has been the most impressive during the summer and fall practices. He showed off his newfound confidence by dominating in Europe by making 52 percent of his shots, and 40 percent from deep, to lead the team in scoring (15.8) and rebounding (8.8). Brandt led the team in three-point percentage last season (49.2 percent), which would have topped the Pac-12, but he didn't take enough to qualify with only 59 attempts.
STARKS FROM DEEP: Ahmad Starks led the team in three-pointers made (79) last season after doing the same as a freshman (42). He knocked down a triple in 31 of 35 games (he missed the final game due to an ailment), including two or more in 23 games, to finish second on Oregon State's single-season list. He is already 10th on the school's career list with a chance to become the all-time leader after just three seasons.
STARKS STEALING: Ahmad Starks has 58 steals last season, after coming away with only 18 as a freshman, to finish seventh in the Pac-12 at 1.7 per game. The 58 steals were the fourth most by a sophomore in Oregon State history, trailing only Jared Cunningham (85), Gary Payton and Ray Blume (63).
COLLIER SHOOTING: Devon Collier led the Pac-12 and finished fifth in the nation in field goal percentage at 61.5 percent (176-of-286), becoming the first Oregon State player to lead the conference in field goal percentage since Scott Haskin in 1991-92 (.612). It was the second straight season Collier led the team in field goal percentage after making 57.8 percent of his shots two years ago.
COLLIER SCORING: Devon Collier finished 12th in the Pac-12 in scoring last season at 13.1 points per game and scored in double figures in 28 games, the second-most on the team, including a streak of 12 consecutive games. He scored 473 points, the sixth most by a sophomore in Oregon State history, and is sixth on the Pac-12's list of career scoring leaders returning with 682 points.
IT'S ROBERTO'S TIME: Roberto Nelson is expected to take over the starting guard spot for Jared Cunningham, who started 65 of the 66 games the past two seasons. Nelson played in all 36 games last season as the primary sixth man and can score in bunches with 16 of those games in double figures, including back-to-back contests with 20-point nights. He set an Oregon State freshman record with 34 points at Arizona State and brings a career scoring average of 8.6 points in just 19.4 minutes per game.
BLOCK PARTY II: The forward tandem of Eric Moreland (1.9) and Devon Collier (1.3) ranked first and seventh, respectively, in the Pac-12 in blocked shots last season. Collier set the Oregon State freshman blocks record, which was shattered by Moreland, and set the sophomore record last year. The pair have already jumped into the Beavers' career top-10 list with Moreland eighth (72) and Collier tenth (69).
Sophomore Blocked Shots List
IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Eric Moreland made an immediate impact during his redshirt freshman season after playing in only four games as a true frosh. He led the team in rebounding (6.8) and blocked shots (1.9) to rank fifth and first, respectively, in the Pac-12. He also set the Oregon State single-season blocked shots record with 69 to pass Scott Haskin and crushed the freshman rebounding record that was held for 38 years by Lonnie Shelton.
Freshman Rebounding List
NEW FACES READY TO PLAY: Six players could see their first career action for the Beavers this season. True freshmen Langston Morris-Walker, Jarmal Reid, Victor Robbins and Olaf Schaftenaar are all expected to contribute, while Daniel Gomis sat out last season with a broken leg and Michael Moyer had to sit out after transferring from St. John Fisher College. All but Schaftenaar played during the team's trip to Europe as the younger brother of former Beaver Roeland Schaftenaar joined the team shortly after the trip.
TAKING ONE MORE LOOK BACK: Oregon State is coming off its most memorable season in more than two decades and here are some of the highlights:
FROM OSU TO NBA: Jared Cunningham left after his junior season and became the first Oregon State player drafted in the NBA in 14 years when he was the 24th overall selection by the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night (Corey Benjamin was the 28th overall selection in 1998). Cunningham concluded his three-year Oregon State career 13th all-time in scoring (1,271), second in steals (219), third in free throws made (427) and fifth in free throws attempted (566). He was an All-Pac-12 First Team (junior season) and All-Pac-12 Second Team (sophomore season) selection and made the Pac-12 All-Defensive and All-Tournament Teams two times each. The Oakland, Calif., native holds 11 school records, including most steals as a junior (91, tied with Gary Payton), most steals as a sophomore (85), most steals in a game (8, tied with Brent Barry and Seth Tarver) and most minutes played in a season (1,245). If he had returned for his senior season, he most likely would have finished in the top five in Oregon State history in career scoring and as the all-time leader in steals, free throws made and free throws attempted.
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