The Beavers released their 2009-2010 non-conference schedule on Friday, which features a trip to the Duel in the Desert (first three games) and trips to Washington D.C. and Chicago. Here's a rough look how it shakes out:
Texas A&M Corpus Cristi (November 17)- Perry Clark's club has a chance to standout this season in the Southland Conference, a conference that should no longer be dominated by Stephen H. Austin. The Jacks were decimated by graduation, unlike Corpus Cristi, who only lost one key player. Plus, the Islanders return Kevin Palmer, their standout from last season who averaged 18.8 points per game. Not only is Palmer a scorer, but he was second on the team in assists, steals, and rebounds. Coach Clark has turned the Islanders around from a 5-win team in 2007 to a 18 win team last year, and has his team primed for a run at the conference crown.
South Dakota (November 18) - Dave Boots is in his 22nd year with the Coyotes, however it will be just his team's second year of Division I competition. South Dakota is temporarily in the Great West Conference, but will move into the Summit conference in a year. Boots, on scheduling: ""Just getting all 29 games was tough." The Coyotes are better than your average transition team, as they went 20-9 in their first season of Division I competition.
Texas Tech (November 19) - First year head coach Pat Knight's first year at Texas Tech wasn't so memorable, as the Red Raiders finished with a 14-19 overall record, and 3-13 mark in the Big 12. His team did win two big conference games down the stretch over Kansas and Texas A&M, so at least that's a bring sign headed into next season. Needing athleticism, coach Knight brought in three junior college transfers, all of whom are shooting guards or small forwards. Two other freshmen join the team, but Knight is obviously looking for players who can quickly come in and make a difference.
Sacremento State (November 21) - The Hornets of the WAC are coming off a very poor season in which they only won two games. In order to improve, head coach Brian Katz has brought in six junior college transfers. It will be Katz's first year at the helm of the program, and Sacramento State will be without Loren Leath, a graduated shooting guard who led the Hornets in scoring in 20 games last season.
(at) George Washington (November 28) - Coach Robinson gets to take a trip to the Nation's capitol to see family, and the Beavers get what likely will be a very competitve game at Geroge Washington. Last year, the Beavers scheduled a home-and-home with Howard, another team out of the D.C. area, and that series turned into a classic microcosm of Oregon State's season: OSU loses at Howard by two to start the season, then beats the Bison by 36 at Gill later in the year. George Washington went 10-18 last year, and 4-12 in the Atlantic 10 under coach Karl Hobbs.
Colorado (December 4) - The Big 12 Hardwood series, which has seen the Beavers play Nebraska and Iowa State in past years, continues this year, with the Beavers drawing Colorado at Gill Coliseum. The Beavers will still get one of the weaker teams out of the Big 12, as Colorado went 9-22 overall last season and 1-15 in conference play. The team they beat was Iowa State, a team the Beavers lost to last year at Gill. Leading scorer Cory Higgins (17.4 ppg) returns for the Buffs.
Cal State Bakersfield (December 6) - A matchup with Cal State Bakersfield is one thing that is similar when you compare the schedules from the past three years, and the Beavers are 2-0 so far against the Runners in that stretch. CS Baksersfield went 8-21 last year in their first year of Division 1 athletics. A win over Oregon State back on January 26 could have been their first signature win at the D1 level, but Roeland Schaftenaar made sure that didn't happen with a 20-point performance.
(at) Nebraska - (December 13) - The Beavers will travel to Lincoln to play a post-season caliber team, the Cornhuskers, who lost in the first round of the NIT last season. Nebraska was 18-13 a year ago, but leading scorers Ade Degroundou and Steve Harley depart. That makes way for Sek Henry and Cookie Miller, who will be expected to step up as leaders this season.
(at) Illinois - Chicago (December 16) - The Flames lose several players from a team that beat Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt on the road last year, on their way to a 20-10 finish. No matter what happens on the court, the Chicago media will likely enjoy the fact that Coach Robinson is bringing his Beavers to Chicago, his former home, and home of president Barack Obama.
Mississippi Valley State (December 19) - The Delta Devils went 7-25 last year out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, winning all their games during league play. That's right, MVS lost their first 14 games, most of them non-conference bouts. They'll come to Corvallis for a game that will surely be highlighted on their schedule.
Fresno State (December 23) - Before the team breaks for Christmas, they'll get the rowdy Bulldogs at Gill Coliseum, who went 13-21 last season out of the WAC. They finished 3-13 in league play, but they'll return two players who both averaged over 10 points per game last season.