After already exceeding its overall win total from last season, Oregon State looks to take another step forward when the Beavers face visiting Seattle on Thursday at Corvallis, Ore.
Oregon State (4-6) has relied on its freshmen during an encouraging start that included a three-point loss to Duke and a 66-65 win over Washington at home on Dec. 1.
The Beavers finished 3-28 overall last season and won just one Pac-12 game, leading coach Wayne Tinkle to bring in a total of 11 newcomers, including eight true freshmen.
Point guard Jordan Pope has led the freshmen while averaging a team-high 14.3 points and 3.7 assists. He scored 15 points in a 72-54 loss to Texas A&M last Sunday.
The Beavers have also received a spark from senior forward Dzmitry Ryuny, who is averaging 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists and 2.7 steals over his last three games.
Oregon State begins a three-game homestand with the matchup against Seattle (7-1), which is off to its best start since 2006-07.
Picked to finish sixth in the WAC preseason coaches’ poll, the Redhawks’ lone setback came in a 77-66 loss to Washington on Nov. 28.
Seattle boasts a strong backcourt led by junior guard Cameron Tyson, who scored 24 points in Seattle’s 80-78 overtime win over North Dakota last Saturday. Tyson is averaging a team-high 23.7 points while shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range.
Oregon’s State backcourt is now at full strength after guards Justin Rochelin and Christian Wright made their debuts against Texas A&M. Rochelin is being eased into action after missing the team’s first nine games due to injury.
“He’s a physical defender, great athlete and really competes,” Tinkle said. “I don’t want him putting too much pressure on himself to be a big production guy offensively when he’s not ready. I think that will come.”
Tinkle is monitoring the status of starting center Chol Marial, who sat out Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.
–Field Level Media