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Profilin': Oregon State vs. Arizona

Pacific Ten Conference play begins today, and the Beavers start things off in Tuscon, where they'll take on the Arizona Wildcats.

The Beavers, coming off a ninth place Pac-10 finish a year ago, have been slated to finish in the Pac-10 basement for the (we're not counting)th year in a row.

One way for the Beavers to start things off on a positive note would be to win their first game. Duh. Last year's squad only won three games during the conference schedule, so starting the season off 1-0 would be the equivalent of... .... ...nevermind.

Two of those wins came against Arizona State, the only team that finished below Oregon State in the final conference standings. They wound up with two wins. Oregon State's other win came against Washington. The Huskies wound up seventh in the Pac-10.

Although the Wildcats have three losses, they're one of the best teams in the country. As you'll see to the right, they're very high in the Sagarin, Pomeroy, and RPI computer rankings. The Beavers are very low.

However. The Wildcats will be without freshman phenom Jerryd Bayless and starting forward Bret Brielaier. Jerryd has a sprained knee, Bret a separated shoulder.

Will the Beavers be able to capitalize on Arizona's injuries? Probably not. The Wildcats still have plenty of talent waiting in the wings (no pun intended). They've still got Jawann McClellan, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, and Nick Wise. To name a few. Nick will likely take over for Jerryd at point guard.

Oregon State, whose starting lineup will likely include guys like Marcel Jones, Seth Tarver, Ricky Claitt, and C.J. Giles need to play lights out if they want to win in the McKale Center. Oregon State hasn't won in Tuscon since 1983. That's 25 games!

Arizona leads the series 44-13 since 1980. That's not good. The last time Oregon State beat the Wildcats was when they pulled an upset at Gill Coliseum in 2006.

Tonight's X-Factor? C.J. Giles. We'll leave it at that. We know he's got the potential to dominate the paint, and if he shuts down Chase Budinger, Arizona should have troubles getting points. They'll still get points, but you know what I'm saying.

C.J.: Don't foul out in six minutes. Please.