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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - Eastern Kentucky Colonels (Game 8)

One more victory match the Beavers win total from a season ago. Can Oregon State get the job done at home against Eastern Kentucky?

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Kentucky at Western Kentucky Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Kentucky Colonels (4-4)

  • Head Coach: Dan McHale (3rd Season)
  • Top Performer: Nick Mayo (18.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG)
  • Points For: 74.6 PPG (T-190th)
  • Points Against: 75.6 PPG (T-245th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 70-65 (OT) Win v. Jacksonville (1W)

The Skinny

Just seven games into the 2017-2018 season, Oregon State has taken a colossal leap from the spot they were in a season ago.

With a 4-3 record to their name, the Beavers currently sit just one victory away from matching last year’s win total for the whole season. It’s a sign that not only is the Oregon State program potentially heading in the right direction, but that also, head coach Wayne Tinkle is beginning to find the right pieces to make program find itself in a steady incline.

After all, it’s all about trajectory in college basketball. If you’re not trending up, you’re simply heading in the wrong direction.

Where the Beavers improved play has been most evident has been in their past two victories over Marist and Loyola Marymount, where in a combined eighty minutes, Oregon State has failed to trail their opponents for even a single second.

Heading into Tuesday’s clash with Eastern Kentucky, they’ll be hoping that streak continues for at the very least, another forty minutes.

The biggest key for the Beavers to find their fifth win of the season, will be continuing their strong offensive showings, that have been aided by recent stand-out displays from the forward combo of Drew Eubanks and Tres Tinkle. They’ll also likely need both pieces of the brothers Thompson, Stephen Jr. and Ethan, to keep up with their consistent play, especially now that point guard JaQuori McLaughlin has left the program.

If not, it could leave the door open for a sneaky team like Eastern Kentucky.

While on paper, the Colonels have failed to impress, with only two Division I wins on the season and a handful of blowout losses on their resume, that doesn’t mean that the Beavers can overlook Eastern Kentucky, in any way shape or form. Third year head coach Dan McHale has three legitimate scorers at his disposal in Nick Mayo (18.5 PPG), Dedric Boyd (15.9 PPG) and DeAndre Dishman (11.4 PPG), along with a sophomore talent in Asante Gist (7.0 PPG) who has been an impact player since his return to the line-up.

Oregon State will need to care of business from the get-go to make sure they don’t allow the Colonels to garner any type of momentum in this one.

Players To Watch

Nick Mayo (JR - Forward): A junior who is posting near identical numbers from his fantastic 2016-2017 campaign, forward Nick Mayo will be a headache of a match-up for Drew Eubanks or Tres Tinkle all-night long, as Eastern Kentucky’s versatile stretch-four talent. Mayo is like the “head of the snake” for the Colonels, as there’s not much of a chance for the Ohio Valley squad, if the 6’ 9”, 240-pounder is held in check.

Dedric Boyd (FR - Guard): Maybe the best play-maker on the Eastern Kentucky roster, freshman guard Dedric Boyd is a star in the making for Dan McHale, who has an all-conference accolade waiting for him somewhere down the road. Boyd has scored in double-figures in all but one game this season and he also posted a stunning 12 assists in the team’s victory over NAIA school Asbury. Simply put, the kid can play.

DeAndre Dishman (SO - Forward): A bit more blue-collar of a contributor than his comrades in Mayo and Boyd, 6’ 6” forward DeAndre Dishman does more of the dirty work for his squad, in his second year with the program. Dishman is coming into the match-up against the Beavers, fresh off the heels of a very efficient, double-double performance in the team’s most recent victory over Jacksonville (11 points, 12 rebounds).

Game Info

  • Date: Tuesday, December 5th
  • Time: 7:00 PM PT
  • Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Network