Joining Southern Utah and Wyoming as the two other non-conference opponents that Oregon State has already added to their upcoming schedule this off-season, Saint Louis and the Beavers will start a two-year series against one-another this winter. The contest during the 2017-2018 season will take place at the Moda Center in Portland, with the return game during the 2018-2019 campaign being held at Chaifetz Arena in Saint Louis.
In a strange twist of fate, Saint Louis will be the third straight non-conference foe added to the Beavers schedule for the upcoming season that will feature a second-year head coach with the program. Along with Wyoming’s Allen Edwards and Southern Utah’s Todd Simon, Saint Louis’ Travis Ford is hoping to lead the Billikens back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time 2014, when then-head coach Jim Crews brought Saint Louis to the big dance in his first season. That task will be much easier said than done.
Ford will feature a unique roster in year two, which could rely heavily on transfers Adonys Henriquez (Central Florida), Javon Bess (Michigan State), D.J. Foreman (Rutgers) and Rashed Anthony (Seton Hall). Henriquez, a 6’ 6” sharpshooter, averaged 10.5 ppg over his two seasons with the Knights and is expected to be a focal point of Saint Louis’ back-court from day one, while Foreman is a developing talent who averaged 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds during his last stay with the Scarlet Knights. Bess and Anthony both played in minimal reserve roles with the Spartans and Pirates but could excel in a Billikens offense desperately in need of some new pieces. Saint Louis averaged 61.4 points per game last season, as the fourth-worst scoring offense in all of college basketball.
To improve from last year’s 12-21 showing, Travis Ford and company will also need some instant impact from their two-man recruiting haul of four-star prospects Jordan Goodwin and Hasahn French. Goodwin, a 6’ 4” shooting guard from Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, IL, is a high-motor, team-oriented player, who consistently finds ways to alter games with his mix of skill and effort. On the other hand, French, a 6’ 7” forward from Commonwealth Academy in Springfield, MA, is a more of a rough-and-tumble player who could develop into an all-league type talent in four years with the program. Both are expected to log heavy minutes all-season long.
Despite some optimism surrounding the Oregon State program, any and every opponent should be viewed with a sense of caution after last year’s 2-0 start quickly spiraled into a disastrous 5-27 campaign. However, with a healthy Tres Tinkle expected to be back in the mix, along with Drew Eubanks and Stephen Thompson Jr. returning from the NBA Draft, the Beavers could be considered one of the early dark-horse teams in the Pac-12 for the 2017-2018 season.