A road trip to Corvallis is always a tough one. The ghosts of Gill Coliseum seem to delight in channeling their lonely mojo into ragged performances by visiting Cal teams. For the past three years, the Beavers have leaned on their unconventional 1-3-1 zone defense in an attempt to even the playing field.
But this year's Beavs(10-4) are a different type of animal entirely. Somewhere in the offseason, they got themselves some big, nasty, sharp teeth.
Check out some of these eye-popping stats:
Field Goal Percentage: 13th(49.4)
Free Throws Attempted: Seventh
Free Throws Made: Tenth
Field Goal Percentage: 1st
Free Throws Attempted: 1st
Free Throws Made: 1st
That's right. Those would be the Oregon State Beavers leading the conference in offense. The 1-3-1 zone and deliberate Princeton-esque halfcourt sets have been ditched in favor of a pressing man to man defense that fuels an uptempo attack.
After getting swept on the road at the Washington schools, the Beavs are angry and highly motivated to take out their angst on our visiting Bears.
After the jump, personnel and matchups:
G Ahmad Starks (5-9, So.): 12.6 ppg, 2.8 apg
G Jared Cunningham (6-4, Jr.): 16.7 ppg, 2.7 apg, 2.8 spg
F Joe Burton (6-7, Jr.): 8.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.8 apg
F Devon Collier (6-8, So.): 13.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.2 apg
C Angus Brandt (6-10, Jr.): 9.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Jared Cunningham is still the straw that stirs the Beavers drink. But unlike last year when he was also the ice cubes and glass, he's getting plenty of help. Ahmad Starks has turned himself into a defensive pest and a deadly 3-point shooter. Brandt and Burton provide versatile scoring from both inside and outside. Collier has been a consistent physical presence in the paint. Nelson is their 6th man who adds more size and scoring punch to their guard rotation. Moreland is their leading rebounder and shot-blocker off the bench.
1) Protect the Ball
The Beavers want to press, trap, and force turnovers. They were good at it last year; they're even better this year. If we're not strong with the ball, this turns into UNVL/Missouri all over again.
2) Avoid Foul Trouble
Although not a great three point shooting team, the Beavers share the ball and are very good at using their ball movement to create open shots and to draw fouls. Extended bench time for Harper Kamp or Jorge Gutierrez could be disastrous.
Tip-off: 7pm PST
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