HOOPS: Can OSU make it a sweep?
JARED CUNNINGHAM
JARED CUNNINGHAM

Posted Jan 7, 2012


CAN OREGON STATE knock of the second of the two teams picked to finish atop the Pac-12? We'll see as the Beavers prepare to host Stanford.

OSU (11-4, 1-2), after dropping their first two conference games against the Washington schools, came back with a vengeance against Cal on Thursday. Now they face Stanford (12-3, 2-1).

Tip off is at 7 p.m. on ROOT Sports

Oregon State is averaging 83.6 points per game, tops in the conference and are sixth in the nation.

Stanford is holding opponents to 57.9 ppg, second best in the conference and 20th in the nation.

Something's got to give.

STANFORD AVERAGES 71.1 ppg, but their defense is the key to their success.

Oregon State will need to make their low-post chances count because they're unlikely to shoot as well as they did against Cal. The Beavs 63.3 percent from the field and drilled 11 of 18 3-point attempts on Thursday.

The Cardinal allowed Oregon to shoot 48.1 percent from the field -- a season-worst for Stanford.

Forward Josh Owens leads the way, (12.8 ppg, 59.7 percent shooting.) Guards Aaron Bright and Chasson Randle average 12.1 and 11.1 ppg, respectively. Most importantly, Stanford leads the Pac-12 in rebound margin, grabbing 7.4 more boards that its opponent on average. Joe Burton and Co. are going to have to bring their A game on the boards.

BUT OSU HAS a lot of offensive weapons -- the Beavers have six players averaging 9.5 ppg or better.

Jared Cunningham leads the conference in scoring with 17.5 ppg -- plus in steals in 2.9 per game. Ahmad Sparks is averaging 13.7 ppg and is a threat to knock down a couple three pointers in short order, at any time. Forwards Angus Brandt and Devon Collier shoot 63.3 and 63.1 percent from the floor, respectively.

The Beavs have already matched last year's win total. Knocking off Stanford would, even at 2-2 in conference, solidify them as one of the contenders for the Pac-12 crown.

Las Vegas likes the Beavs at home in this one, favoring Oregon State by 3 points.



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