Arizona Wildcats (9-3, 3-3)
- Head Coach: Sean Miller (12th Season, Overall: 294–103)
- Points For: 78.5 PPG (T-75th)
- Points Against: 67.9 PPG (T-129th)
- Last Game/Streak: 81-76 Loss vs. UCLA (2L)
- James Akinjo (13.9 PPG, 5.4 APG)
- Jemarl Baker Jr (12.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG)
- Azuolas Tubelis (10.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG)
- Bennedict Mathurin (10.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG)
- Jordan Brown (9.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG)
- Terrell Brown Jr. (7.8 PPG, 3.3 APG)
- Christian Koloko (4.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG)
- Ira Lee (4.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG)
The Beavers will be facing off with Arizona this week in the midst of some huge changes for the Wildcats program, as they plan on reshuffling their lineups and rotations following the loss of guard Jemarl Baker to a season-ending wrist injury. Into the starting lineup will go Bennedict Mathurin and Terrell Brown Jr., which may mean a bit of chemistry test for a 9-3 team coming off two straight losses at the hands of USC and UCLA. That’s where the issues are for the Wildcats.
However, it’s not that the Beavers are without their problems as well. Oregon State returned to practice on Tuesday from a “program pause” due to COVID-19 protocols and rust may be an issue for Wayne Tinkle’s squad, who wasn’t exactly flourishing before their hiatus. The Beavers will need to find their shooting stroke early, which has plagued them in many of their defeats this season. When the Beavers can’t get things going offensively, the overloaded stress on their defense to carry them through stretches of games becomes too much.
In this one, I think a lot of the game comes down to the players on the wings and how the perimeter game is decided. Both teams are erratic from behind the arc and have servicable bigs, so those unique matchups that come off of switches and mismatches may be crucial for both teams. Arizona has their guys. Oregon State has theirs. Seeing who gets the job done at the end of the day is the real test.
Don’t Forget About...Bennedict Mathurin: The “unicorn” of the Wildcats roster, Mathurin is a 6’ 7” guard out of Canada who can do it all. A solid rebounder, Mathurin can also stroke it from long range and make plays for teammates when asked to. He’s a true changeup for the Wildcats.
- Date: Thursday, January 14th
- Time: 8:00 PM PT
- Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, Oregon)
- Coverage: Fox Sports 1