Scouting report: No. 9 Oregon State
Game info: noon Thursday at Staples Center (19,060 capacity)
TV: FSN (Kevin Calabro, Don MacLean and Rebecca Harlow.)
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton)
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Click here.
Coach: Craig Robinson is 61-69 in his fourth season with the Beavers. He’s 91-97 overall in six years. His previous stint was at Brown were he had a 17-11 record.
Prediction: Picked to finish eighth in the Pac-12 by media.
Series: Washington leads 154-136 in a series that began in 1904. Lorenzo Romar is 16-5 against OSU and Robinson is 1-7 versus UW.
Last meeting: Neither team led by more than six points in a seesaw battle that wasn’t decided until the final minute. Washington led by just two points with 25 seconds left and converted five of six free throws down the stretch to claim a 75-72 win at Gill Coliseum on Feb. 12. Terrence Ross finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, C.J. Wilcox had 17 points and Tony Wroten Jr. added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Previous game: Beat No. 8 Washington State 69-64 in the first round on Tuesday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Junior guard Jared Cunningham (above) scored 23 points, but had a tough night shooting in the last game versus Washington. He missed 13 of 20 shots, but was solid at the line where he made 7 of 8. Cunningham also had seven rebounds and four turnovers in 38 minutes.
Cunningham struggled Tuesday against WSU. He was held to a season-low four points on 1-for-8 shooting. However, Cunningham played solid defense on Reggie Moore and forced him into a 3-for-16 shooting performance.
Cunningham, a first-team all-conference pick, had his streak of 22 straight double-figure games snapped against the Cougars. He led the Pac-12 in scoring with an 18.2 points per game average. He was also the conference leader in steals averaging 2.6.
Cunningham is a slasher, extremely athletic and one of the best dunkers in the league. Cunningham likes to attack the basket and draw fouls. He leads the league with 179 free throws and 237 attempts. Cunninham is improving as a three-point shooter. He’s shooting 33.7 percent behind the arc. Still his specialty is driving to the basket. He very fast and has a quick first step.
— Devon Collier tends to take a backseat to Cunningham and becomes assertive when pushed. If he’s aggressive, he can be a nightmare. At 6-10 and 215 pounds, he’s can be a difficult matchup when he’s active. The sophomore forward leads the conference with a .605 field goal percentage and is fifth in blocked shots averaging 1.3. It’s not difficult to find Collier. He hardly ever leaves the paint and hasn’t attempted a three-pointer this season. He runs the floor well for a big man and likes to finish in transition with dunks. He also likes to set screens before rolling to the basket and retrieving a pass for a dunk.
— Ahmad Starks is a streaky shooter. He made four three-pointers in the opening minutes Tuesday, but only attempted one trey in the second half. In the last game against Washington, Starks scored 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting. He also had a career-high seven rebounds, which is somewhat outstanding for the 5-9 guard. Starks has 51 steals.
— Oregon State is 7-12 in conference tournament games. The No. 9 seed is 6-5 all-time in the tournament.
— Joe Burton is arguably the most versatile player in the Pac-12. In the first game against Washington he had 18 points on 9-for-12 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists. In the second game, he was scoreless in eight minutes.
— Angus Brandt has hammered the Huskies inside this season. He had 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting in the first game and 12 points in the previous meeting. Brandt shoots 55.0 percent from the floor and he’s made 24 three-pointers.
— Roberto Nelson would start for most Pac-12 teams. The sophomore guard averages 9.8 points and 21.4 8 minutes as a reserve. He’s streaky shooter.
— Freshman Eric Moreland, a 6-10 backup forward, is third in the conference with 1.5 blocks per game. He averages just 18.4 minutes, but leads OSU with a 6.4 rebounding average.
— Backup forward Kevin McShane is the only senior on the team. He’s 10th on the team in minutes (9.2). The former walk-on is a three-time captain.
— OSU is first in the Pac-12 in scoring at 79.6 points per game.
— The Beavers have used five starting lineups this season. The group (below) has a 4-4 record.
C – Angus Brandt, 6-10, 242, Jr., 9.2 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 1.2 apg.
F – Eric Moreland, 6-10, 215, Fr, 4.8, 6.4, 1.1
F – Devon Collier . 6-8, 215, So., 12.8, 5.1, 1.7
G – Jared Cunningham , 6-4, 194, Jr., 18.2, 3.7, 2.6
G – Ahmad Starks , 5-9, 165, So., 12.4, 2.2, 2.8
— Oregon State presents many problems for Washington. The Huskies have struggled with their big guys inside, but it’s important that UW keeps track of Cunningham and Starks because they are capable of scoring 20-plus points. Robinson did something bizarre and started freshman guard Challe Barton the last time against UW in a three-guard lineup. It backfired big time. Barton had four fouls and was scoreless in 10 minutes. If OSU starts the lineup (above), then Ross wold likely be paired against Collier, which would be intriguing.