Pac-12 Tournament Preview: Oregon State Beavers


Oregon State University (Public– Research Institution)

Mascot: Beavers

Location: Corvallis, OR

Enrollment: 23,700

Current Record: 18-13 (8-11 in Pac-12 Conference)

RPI: 147        SOS: 137

Coach: Craig Robinson (4th season)

First Thought: As predicted, Oregon State beat the Cougs. The Huskies swept the Beavers during the regular season including a 95-80 victory in Seattle on December 29th and a 75-72 win in Corvallis on February 12th. That last game was a really gut check for the Huskies, as they did not play particularly well, but were able to hang on at the end. Now, in this third time around, it is a must win for the Huskies. If they do not win this one, I suspect the Huskies will be left out of the Big Dance despite 21 wins and an outright Pac-12 regular season championship.

Best Win: 92-85 win over California (RPI 37)

Worst Loss: 66-76 at Arizona State (RPI 248)

Last Game: 69-64 win over Washington State (RPI 174) in 1st round of Pac-12 Tournament

Synopsis: Oregon State’s newer up-tempo style plays more to Washington’s strengths than the previous Princeton-style teams of the last few years. Oregon State likes to move it up the floor and score a lot of points. But, their stifling 1-3-1 zone isn’t quite what it used to be. Oregon State is prone to giving up the three point shot and we all know the Huskies love to take them. It’ll be interesting to see how well they adjust to the cavernous and mostly empty environment of the Staples Center during a mid-day game. Simply put, the Huskies need to be able to hit shots, keeping getting out into transition, dominate the boards, and take care of the ball. In Corvallis, the last game was extremely sloppy. Wroten needs to play under control and make sure his passes are crisp and accurate.

My analysis: Oregon State was lead with 19 points by Devon Collier against Washington State, while Joe Burton added 15 points, Ahmed Starks added 13 and freshman Eric Moreland scored all 11 of his points in the 2nd half. But, the Beaver’s go-to guy, Jared Cunningham had his worst game of the season, scoring just 4 points on 1-8 shooting, which ended his 22 game streak of double digit scoring. But, the Huskies can not count on such a performance again, as he is liable to bounce right back, given he averages 18.2 ppg

The Huskies really need to be on the watch for Ahmad Starks beyond the arc, as he shoots over 36% from three. One player who has a lot of talent, but who has been struggling late in the season is Roberto Nelson. The Huskies do need to keep an eye out for him, as well as, Joe Burton getting hot.

My Prediction: UW 84 OSU 77

This is the biggest game of the year in a season with a lot of “big games”. Win this one and I think the Huskies are in, since a loss in the semis to Arizona or UCLA would be a lot more excusable. But, a loss against a team who is going no where would be devastating and might just just enough to knock the Huskies off the bubble.