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Oregon State Basketball: UT-San Antonio Roadrunners Preview (Game 10)

The Roadrunners have won four of their last five after a tough start to the year.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 05 Texas-San Antonio at UTEP Photo by Jorge Salgado/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UT-San Antonio Roadrunners (4-6)

  • Head Coach: Steve Henson (4th Season)
  • Top Performer: Jhivvan Jackson (25.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG)
  • Points For: 74.4 PPG (139th)
  • Points Against: 74.5 PPG (T-295th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 98-55 Win vs. Texas-Permian Basin (3W)
  • Conference Affiliation: Conference USA

The Skinny

In Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, Oklahoma’s Kristian Doolittle and Wyoming’s Hunter Maldonado, Oregon State has seen their fair share of legitimate scoring stars already this season.

On Wednesday afternoon in Houston, the Beavers will face off with another foe led by an extremely capable scorer when they meet with UT-San Antonio and the nation’s current leading scorer in guard Jhivvan Jackson (25.2 PPG).

Jackson, a six-foot junior from Puerto Rico, has emerged as one of the few reliable pieces for head coach Steve Henson, along with his running mate in the back-court Keaton Wallace (15.6 PPG), who rounds out the Roadrunners’ double-headed attack. Together, the duo combine for over 54.8% of the team’s scoring on average.

Like most mid-major teams struggling to find their identity, the roster beyond the top pieces becomes a blurry mess of hit-or-miss options on any given night. UT-San Antonio has five players that average between 4.6 and 6.1 points per contest, including freshman center Jacob Germany (6.1 PPG), Croatian big man Luka Barisic (5.8 PPG), Italian guard Erik Czumbel (5.2 PPG), junior swingman Knox Hellums (5.0 PPG) and Australian senior Atem Bior (4.6 PPG).

From that list alone, it’s easy to see that Henson has drawn on an international influence to fill out the squad’s roster, while also mixing in home-grown products to anchor a transiting core of players. Yet, despite their mixed early success, this Roadrunners group is still one to be feared, as they finished second in the C-USA preseason poll, garnering a lone first-place vote away from Western Kentucky, who currently sits at 7-3 on the year and is coming off a victory over Arkansas.

If there’s any advice for Beaver Nation before taking in this game, it’s not to let UT-San Antonio’s record fool you. Steve Henson has changed the Roadrunners into a regular contender in the C-USA and this is a team that could bring their best effort on an in-state neutral floor.

Sure, a Saturday road trip to College Station to face Texas A&M may seem daunting, but I believe this game against UT-San Antonio could be the toughest one left on Oregon State’s non-conference slate.

Player To Watch

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 05 Texas-San Antonio at UTEP Photo by Jorge Salgado/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jhivvan Jackson (Guard - Junior)

The current leading scorer in all of Division I college basketball, UT-San Antonio guard Jhivvan Jackson is narrowly edging out Marquette’s Markus Howard as the keeper of the game’s best current bucket-getter. Jackson is a high-level talent who is brutally hard to get the ball out of hands of and will undoubtedly emerge as the head of the snake for the Roadrunners.

Game Info

  • Date: Wednesday, December 18th
  • Time: 2:30 PM PT
  • Location: Toyota Center (Houston, TX)
  • Coverage: ESPN3