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Scouting report: Oregon State
Game info: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gill Coliseum (10,400 capacity).
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd).
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Coach: Craig Robinson is 74-79 in his fifth season with the Beavers and 104-107 in seven years as a head coach. Prior to joining OSU in 2008, he spent two years at Brown where he amassed a 30-28 record.
Prediction: Picked to finish eighth in a preseason poll in the Pac-12 by media who cover the conference.
Series: Washington leads 154-137 in a series that began in 1904. Wednesday’s game is the 292nd contest between the teams, which is the second longest rivalry in the Pac-12. UW coach Lorenzo Romar is 16-6 against OSU, including a 6-4 record in Corvalis, Ore. Robinson is 2-8 against the Huskies.
Last meeting: Oregon State was the No. 9 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, but the Beavers upset top-seed Washington 86-84 in the quarterfinals. Tony Wroten Jr. scored a career-high 29 points, a record for a UW freshman, but he missed four game-deciding free throws in the final 18 seconds. Terrence Ross added 15 points. The Huskies were 9 of 21 at the free throw line in the second half. Washington overcame a 46-33 halftime deficit and led 79-73 with 2:44 left. OSU received 18 points from Jared Cunningham.
Previous game: Lost 69-68 at USC on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Junior guard Roberto Nelson (right) should be a candidate for the Pac-12 Most Improved Player award. Last season he averaged 9.3 points and 20.8 minutes in a reserve role. This season, he’s started every game and leads Oregon State in scoring with 16.1 points per game.
Nelson had big shoes to fill while replacing Cunningham, a first-round NBA pick last summer. The 6-3 junior does his best work at the free throw line where he’s second in the Pac-12 in attempts (109). He’s shooting 76.1 percent at the charity strip. In Saturday’s game at USC, Nelson was 10 for 10 on foul shots. It was the third game this season when he’s notched double digit free throw attempts.
He also scored 26 points against the Trojans, which was his second highest scoring tally this season. His career best is 34 points.
Nelson is also deadly behind the arc where he shoots 44.9 percent.
He’s struggled big-time against the Huskies last season scoring 10 points total in three games.
— In his last outing against Washington, junior Devon Collier finished with 19 points and seven rebounds to lead the Beavers in an upset victory. He’s a terror in the painted area. The 6-8, 215-pound forward is averaging 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds.
He scored a career-best 27 points against Purdue this season. He also ranks among the Pac-12 leaders with 19 blocked shots.
— Oregon State began 1-5 twice under Robinson and turned the season around. It happened last season and in 2008-09. Both seasons the Beavers went 6-6 in the final 12 games.
— If Robinson doesn’t turn things around this season, got to wonder if OSU will regret giving him a one-year extension before the season. His contract runs through the 2016-17 season. Don’t expect the Beavers to make any changes after the season. Robinson led OSU to a 20-win year last season and its second winning campaign since 1989-90.
— Oregon State is averaging 74.6 points, which is fourth in the Pac-12.
— Sophomore Eric Moreland returned last Saturday after missing three games due to a team suspension. Many believe the talented sophomore has a NBA future because of his height (6-10), immense wing-span and untapped potential. He’s one of two Pac-12 players who averages a double double, 10.3 points per game and 10.9 rebounding average.
— Junior guard Ahmad Starks is a streaky shooter. He won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award this season averaging 25.5 points in wins over Niagara and New Mexico State. His season high is 33 points. However, in the past two games he’s scored just five points total while shooting 2 of 10. He attempted just one shot in OSU’s last outing. Last season, the 5-9 and 165-pound guard gave UW fits. He scored 14 points in each of their three meetings.
— Oregon State is efficient on the perimeter and in the paint. The Beavers are second in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage (.367) while post players Moreland (.612), Joe Burton (.542) and Collier (.531) are third, sixth and seventh respectively in the conference in field goal percentage.
— Senior Angus Brandt suffered a season-ending knee injury and played just four games. He was averaging 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds. He’ll apply for a medical-redshirt and should return next season. Newcomer forward Jarmal Reid replaced Brandt in the lineup. He’s the best of OSU’s three-man freshmen class that includes reserves Victor Robbins and Olaf Schaftenaar.
— Burton is a crafty playmaker who leads the Beavers with 56 assists. He burned Washington with 18 points and seven rebounds last season at Edmundson Pavilion.
— Sophomore forward Daniel Gomis had season-ending surgery to repair a leg injury.
— Oregon State averages 4,628 fans at Gill Coliseum, which ranks 10th in the Pac-12.
F – Devon Collier, 6-8, 215 Jr. 14.4 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 2.0 apg.
C – Joe Burton, 6-7, 295, Sr., 11.1, 6.1, 3.1
F – Jarmal Reid, 6-7, 225, Fr.,2.3, 2.0, 1.2
G – Roberto Nelson, 6-3, 195, Jr., 16.1, 3.0, 2.7
G – Ahmad Starks, 5-9, 165, Jr., 11.9, 2.5, 1.9
UW COACH LORENZO ROMAR ON OREGON STATE:
(On matchup problems) “Their length bothers everyone. They have more talent than people might want to give them credit for. Last year they were talented. This year they’re talented.
(On the last meeting with OSU) “They were up and we made a great comeback. We didn’t take care of the ball or make free throws down the stretch. Aziz (N’Diaye) was in foul trouble. That’s what I remember mostly. When Aziz was out of the game, they went inside and there wasn’t a whole lot we could do with them.”