Game Time: 7:30pm, FSN, Live Stats and Radio
This will be the last Civil War Men's Basketball game at Mac Court so if you've been thinking about heading down to the Pit this season, this would be the game to do it. Oregon is riding a 6 game winning streak and will look to continue that trend against the Beavers. Oregon State is coming off a damaging 51 point loss to Seattle University and will go in either one of two directions. Either come out fighting and make a game of it or roll over and pout about the losses this year.
This Beaver team isn't that different personnel-wise from last year but that hasn't translated into building upon the success they had. Roeland Schaftenaar doesn't look nearly as dominant as he did last year. Instead of the offense flowing through him, his minutes are down and almost appears lost out there in the changes that Craig Robinson and coaching staff has implemented. Seth Tarver and Calvin Haynes are both averaging about 12 points per game with Haynes representing the major 3 point threat. Roberto Nelson still hasn't been cleared to play by the NCAA and is regardly considered the best player on the team. We might have to deal with him at Gil later in the year but we dodge the bullet in this game.
If the Beavers do come out and keep it close, they are more likely to give it away at the end. Oregon State is 1-4 in games decided by less than 6 points while Oregon is 1-1.
Keys to the Game
1. No ticky tack fouls. On paper, Oregon State will turn the ball over a lot by themselves. We can't afford to bail them out of difficult shots with bad reaching or slapping fouls. If they get to the line, they will make about 70% of their shots and that could be a difference maker in the game. Let them work their offense and play good defense. They will give you chances
2. Limit offensive possessions by Oregon State. While not a great offensive rebounding team, additional chances at the bucket will give Oregon State confidence and keep it close.
3. Get out early on offense and defense. This team is coming off a big loss and jumping on them early may give them a "hear we go again" feeling.
This game makes me very nervous. The Beavers are going to be coming in mad after being embarrassed by Seattle U. Although the Ducks are better than last year, I'm still concerned about the youth of this team. This is a statement game on how this season will go. Oregon should put this team away on paper but this is a must-win game for Oregon State. One thing is for sure, the Pit will be rocking from a 6 game winning streak.