Pepperdine Waves (6-5)
- Head Coach: Lorenzo Romar (1st Season)
- Top Performer: Colbey Ross (20.3 PPG, 6.8 APG)
- Points For: 80.4 PPG (71st)
- Points Against: 76.4 PPG (T-276th)
- Last Game/Streak: 78-69 Loss at Southern Utah (1L)
After starting the season with a 6-1 mark, Oregon State looked like they could potentially be headed to an NCAA Tournament type season. The Beavers had found steadiness in their veterans, production in their youth and an inspired style of play that looked to be conducive to the success of the team.
But now, after two setback losses that were decided by a combined margin of seven total points, Oregon State is looking forward with a sense of desperation and a lack of room for error. That glare into the distance has to come full circle on Monday night, when they return to their home-court at Gill Coliseum and welcome in the West Coast Conference’s, Pepperdine Waves.
The Waves, who are coached by Pac-12 mainstay Lorenzo Romar, are finding an up-tempo identity under their first-year program director, anchored by one of the country’s most electric guards in Colbey Ross (20.3 PPG). A 6’ 1” talent from Aurora, Colorado, Ross has followed up his impressive freshman campaign with a hot start to his sophomore season, as he leads the team in both points and assists per contest.
Romar will also go deep into his depth chart, allowing his fluid style to trickle down to whatever hot-hand is finding his rhythm on that night. Since Kameron Edwards (17.7 PPG) has been out due to injury, the bevy of talented pieces who can score the ball on this team have emerged in the forms of guards Eric Cooper Jr. (12.1 PPG) and Jade’ Smith (8.9 PPG), as well as forwards Darnell Dunn (11.5 PPG), Kessler Edwards (10.7 PPG) and Victor Ohia Obioha (5.4 PPG).
The key for the Beavers in this one will obviously be not allowing this game to become a “track meet” and played at a tempo that favors Pepperdine. Oregon State is a team that relies heavily on it’s star-studded scoring options, but lacks the wealth of offensive depth to play an up-and-down type of contest for forty minutes. The Beavers will also want to keep the pressure on the Waves defensively, where taking a player like Ross out the equation could severely affect Pepperdine’s normal flow of operations.
Regardless, if Oregon State wants to salvage a post-season birth for their season, it has to start on Monday night in Corvallis with a victory over Pepperdine. Otherwise, head coach Wayne TInkle will be forced to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out just what went wrong with his Beavers squad.
Player To Watch
Eric Cooper Jr. (Senior): In games like this where mid-major squads are matched-up against a Power 5 foe, it’s often the job of veterans on the smaller school’s roster to help bridge the gap into a higher level of competition. And while Colbey Ross will be busy trying to do it all for the Waves on Monday night, it’s safe to say that you should keep an eye on senior guard Eric Cooper Jr., the team’s second-leading active scorer and a candidate for a bounce-back outing. Cooper Jr. has struggled in the team’s last few contests scoring-wise, which could signal an explosive outing is waiting on the horizon.
- Date: Monday, December 17th
- Time: 7:00 PM PT
- Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
- Coverage: Pac-12 Network