Jared Cunningham has had 14 assists in Oregon St.'s last 2 games, but it hasn't kept him from adding to his highlight video. The Chicago St. game could provide some opportunities to work on both aspects of his game. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
Oregon St. (9-2) at Chicago St. (0-11) at 7 PM CST (5 PM PST) at the Jones Convocation Center in Chicago, IL / No TV / KEJO 1240 AM / KPAM 860 (Streamed)
Oregon St. goes for their 10th. win of the pre-season on a trip home for Ahmad Starks, who went to Whitney Young High, and head coach Craig Robinson, who attended Mount Carmel High. It shouldn't be that difficult to get, given that Chicago St. of the Great Northwest Conference have only come within 10 points of an opponent twice this season.
It's the last game for the Beavers before they begin Pac-12 play next week with another trip, to the state of Washington.
Starks won the Pac-12 Bank of the West Player of the Week award for his efforts in Oregon St.'s last 3 games, including leading the Beavers in scoring in their wins over Howard and Portland St. Oregon St., the Pac-12's leading scoring team, topped 90 points in all 3 games, the first time they have done that since the 1991-92 season, which was also the last time before this year that the Beavers have scored in triple digits twice in the same season, after beating Portland St. 101-68.
The Beavers have also now won 7 times by at least 20 points, and the last time that happened was under coach Ralph Miller, who had the Orange Express rolling back in 1981-82.
The Cougars' last outing was a 15 point, 64-49 loss at Loyola-Illinois last Saturday. Before that, it was a 50 point loss, 94-44 at Wichita St. However, they did come within 7 points in the game before that, a 102-95 loss at DePaul, so Chicago St. can score in the absence of defense.
The key to controlling the Cougars is keeping the trio of 6'9" junior forward Jeremy Robinson, 6'5" senior forward Lee Fisher, and 6'0" guard Matt Samuels under control. Robinson averages 14 points per game, Fisher 11.9, and Samuels 11.1. No other Chicago St. player averages as many as 6 points per game.
Fisher and Robinson average 6.9 and 6.3 boards per game respectively, the only Cougars who average as many as 3.5, on a team that averages only 33 rebounds per game. This while shooting 39%, and 25% on three pointers, and are 317th in the country in scoring, averaging just 58 points per game.
Considering the Beavers are 11th. in the nation in scoring, 17th. in the nation in field goal percentage, and 10th. in the country in assists, and the Beavers have the top two percentage shooters in the Pac-12 in Angus Brandt and Devon Collier, Oregon St. should turn this game into an early Christmas party pretty quickly.
The Cougars are hosting the Beavers for the first time, after visits to Corvallis in Feb. 1987 and Nov. 1998. Oregon St. won those games by scores of 79-52 and 87-56.
If you are listening to Mark Parker's call of this game instead of watching the Poinsettia Bowl, here's the place to discuss how its going for the Beavers, and speculate about what Stark's mom has cooked up for the team get-together afterward.