Game 18 Preview and Open Thread: Oregon State vs. Stanford

Oregon State vs. Stanford  /  7:00pm, Maples Pavilion  /  No TV, Radio on KPAM 860

The Bay Area road trip is where things were turned around last season for the Oregon State basketball team. After starting the year out with a 1-5 record in Pac-10 play, the Beavers defeated Cal by four points, then Stanford by a 15-point margin. The Beavers would later beat both Cal and Stanford again at Gill Coliseum, completing a season sweep of the Bay Area schools.

Craig Robinson's 4-0 record against the aforementioned schools will be put to the test tonight, when the Beavers play Landry Fields and the Stanford Cardinal. The Beavers and Cardinal have identical records heading into the game, as both are 8-9 on the year and 2-3 in league. Stanford suffered a 26 point loss to rival Cal to begin the season, then swept UCLA and USC and was most recently swept in the state of Washington. The Cardinal have yet to play Oregon or Arizona, the two teams the Beavers have already defeated.

Senior wing man Landry Fields is leading the Stanford offensive attack and is scoring at an impressive rate. He's averaging 21.5 points per game, a mark that puts him at second in the Pac-10 and eighth in the nation in scoring. And as if Fields isn't enough, Jeremy Green averages 17.3 points per game.

Those two combine for over half of Stanford's offensive output.

Despite the productivity displayed by Fields and Green, there isn't another player on the roster who scores more than eight points per game. Furthermore, Stanford has inexperience in the frontcourt., Elliott Bullock, a 6-10 sophomore who has scored just four points all season, moves into Stanford's starting lineup tonight. Andrew Zimmerman suffered a stress fracture to his foot that will sideline him two to six weeks

Of Stanford's nine wins on the season, eight of them have come at Maples Pavilion. Their statistics are much better at home versus on the road.

"On the road, you have to play defense, and you've got to take care of the ball," Stanford senior Landry Fields said. "Each (away) game that we've lost, we showed a lack of defense and a lack of taking care of the ball."

"I think it's (a lack of) togetherness as well as communication," sophomore Jeremy Green said. "We show it at home. We show sparks of it on the road."

Stanford's home record is impressive-- 7-2, but they've lost all their true road games, and their one away win came against Tony Bennett's Virginia Caviliers at a neutral site.

Conversely, the Beavers had success last year on the road, when they were able to spend time as a team and develop bonds.

"Winning on the road in a conference like this makes you feel good, not only that you can win, but it makes you feel confident that you are doing things right," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "I thought after [the Bay Area trip] we had a complete buy-in from the team which you need in the first year when you are trying to change the culture."

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. There is no television coverage for the game, so KPAM 860 in the Portland area looks to be the best option.

--Jake | (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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