Charlotte 49ers (5-2)
- Conference/Location: Conference-USA (Charlotte, NC)
- Head Coach: Mark Price (2nd Season)
- Top Performer: Jon Davis (20.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG)
- Points For: 83.1 PPG (T-42nd)
- Points Against: 80.3 PPG (307th)
- Last Game/Streak: 65-56 Win v. James Madison (2W)
Oregon State heads into this one having lost five of their last six games, a streak that includes five straight defeats to fellow Division I opponents and just one win over NAIA foe, Southern Oregon. Simply put, the Beavers need to turn things around on the fly, with just five games left on the slate before they kick off conference play against USC.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle and company were dealt some harsh fate against Mississippi State, when the Bulldogs’ star player, Quinndary Weatherspoon, shockingly returned from a season-ending injury to torch the Beavers with a 21 point outing on 6-7 shooting from the field. However, that hasn't been the lone string of issues for Oregon State. A loss of identity without star Tres Tinkle, as well as some horrid defensive efforts and some top-heavy offensive production, have all been factors for the Beavers most recent struggles. Here’s to hoping a road trip South can help mend some fences for this team.
Charlotte will not be exactly a “welcoming” sight for Oregon State, as the 49ers have raced out to a 5-2 start on the season, all while scoring the basketball at an impressive clip of 83.1 PPG. Led by a loaded backcourt that includes the likes of Jon Davis (20.6 PPG), Braxton Ogbueze (13.7 PPG) and Andrien White (12.3 PPG), the 49ers are a guard-oriented team who will push the pace of the game and play in a free-flowing style.
The 49ers are also meeting Oregon State at a unique time in their schedule, as after squaring off with the Beavers, Charlotte will take a road trip to Wake Forest, before daunting match-ups with Florida and Maryland. With the realistic chance that they may not win again until their New Year’s Eve meeting with North Texas, expect the 49ers to come ready play in this one.
Keys To The Game
⇛ Contain The Jon Davis Scoring Machine
Charlotte’s star guard and leading scorer Jon Davis is an offensive juggernaut, who after hitting the twenty-point plateau five times all of last season, has already eclipsed the threshold four times this season, each in a 49ers victory. When Davis gets going, Charlotte seems to find success so holding the explosive guard to a pedestrian outing will be critical to Oregon State’s chances.
⇛ Utilize The Thompson-Eubanks Combo
The re-insertion of Stephen Thompson Jr. to the line-up was a breath of fresh air for the Beavers, as the talented sophomore poured in 20 points on 9-16 shooting in his return against Mississippi State. However, his counterpart in forward Drew Eubanks had trouble finding his offensive flow and only finished with 5 points. If Thompson and Eubanks can both get going offensively at the same time, Oregon State may have enough in the tank to find the win column again.
⇛ Figure Out The Road Woes
It hasn’t been fun away from Corvallis for the Beavers, who in their three true road games this season have lost to Nevada by 25, Mississippi State by 17 and Tulsa by 11, while allowing those three opponents to total 77.3 points per outing. Not good news heading into a match-up with an offensively fluent team like Charlotte. The Beavers are running out of time to “right the ship” as the away team, as they won’t play another “true road game” until January 4th against Washington State.
Player To Watch
Guard - Andrien White (Sophomore)
While Jon Davis and Braxton Ogbueze may take most of the headlines on this Charlotte team, the steady presence of Andrien White in the back-court has been a huge key to the culture change surrounding the 49ers program in Mark Price’s short tenure. An athletic, do-it-all guard, White is the definition of a “glue guy” for Charlotte, who brings both a strong defensive prowess, a tough playmaking mindset and a remarkable shooting ability to the game. Averaging 12.3 PPG and 4.1 RPG, White will remain one of the 49ers most crucial player in their match-up against Oregon State, as he could also draw the defensive assignment against the newly returned, Stephen Thompson Jr. Look for White for to make his impact felt against the Beavers, one way or another.