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Oregon State Basketball: Grambling State Tigers Preview (Game 6)

An SWAC opponent makes the trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Grambling v Wisconsin Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Grambling State Tigers (3-1)

  • Head Coach: Donte’ Jackson (3rd Season)
  • Top Performer: Devante Jackson (16.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG)
  • Points For: 101.5 PPG (2nd)
  • Points Against: 68.8 PPG (T-187th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 83-76 Loss at San Jose State (1L)
  • Conference Affiliation: Southwestern Athletic Conference

The Skinny

With wins over East Texas Baptist and Ecclesia College to their name, don’t let Grambling State’s 3-1 record fool you. The Tigers are a simple 1-1 against Division I foes and are headed to Corvallis fresh off a loss at the hands of San Jose State.

However, Grambling State is a team that can really score the ball in bunches, anchored by a plethora of talents who currently average double-figures in scoring each night.

At the top of the pile for the Tigers is 6’ 9” forward Devante Jackson (16.8 PPG), who is by far the team’s most complete and dangerous option. Jackson comes across as a high-major forward, with his competitive nature on both ends of the floor and on the glass. The senior leads the team with 5.8 boards per outing as well.

In the Tigers’ system, Jackson is one of the few pure interior talents, while the rest of the depth chart that sees regular minutes spends most of it’s time operating from the perimeter. Prince Moss (15.0 PPG) is a 6’ 7” junior that is arguably the squad’s next best at battling inside, but he finds himself operating more in transition and in slashing opportunities. The same can be said for guards Trevell Cunningham (11.0 PPG), whose first outing was against San Jose State, and Kelton Edwards (10.5 PPG) is a 6’ 6” swingman from Dallas.

In terms of who runs the show for Grambling State, that answer can be found in seniors Anthony Gaston (13.3 PPG) and Ivy Smith Jr. (12.3 PPG), two play-making talents who will help this team to play with the tempo and pace they enjoy. Gaston has been a steady riser in his four years with the program, who has really come into his own in his final campaign. For Smith Jr., featured below in our Player To Watch, the 2019-2020 season could be his third straight with the Tigers in which he averages over 12 points per game.

For a team scoring at the clip that Grambling State is (regardless of who they’ve played), obviously the name of the game for the Beavers is to quell their chances in transition and make them earn their points in the half-court. Oregon State has had some solid moments on the defensive end, relying on center Kylor Kelley as a true shot-changer at the rim and their improvement on that end, could fuel a renewed offensive surge for a group still working out some kinks.

Pending anything unforeseen though, the Beavers should be able to handle the Tigers in the third tilt of their SWAC opponent’s five-game road trip. However, in the world of college basketball, we all know that on any given day, anything can happen.


Player To Watch

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 10 SWAC Tournament - Texas Southern v Grambling State Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ivy Smith Jr. (Guard - Senior)

A native of Tacoma, Washington (Rainer Beach High School), Ivy Smith Jr. has emerged as a program stalwart down in Louisiana, helping to run the show for a Tigers team that likes to get up-and-down the court. While Smith Jr. averages a strong 12.3 points per game, it’s his 4.3 assists and 4.0 steals per contest that really show his all-around ability to impact his group when he’s on the floor.


Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, November 23rd
  • Time: 11:30 AM PT
  • Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Network