Moreland Returns. Will Success Follow?

Moreland Returns. Will Success Follow?
January 19, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Finally, the suspension comes to an end. Eric Moreland returns to the court. But it didn't come soon enough. That UCLA game was ugly (Ahmad Starks had 5 points, FIVE!).

Now, will their lead shot-blocker help lift the Beavers from a four-game funk? How easily will he transition back into the fold? At 5pm, we will start to find answers.

Team Release
Moreland is second in the Pac-12 in rebounding (11.1), blocked shots (2.7) and field goal percentage (.621) ... Moreland has seven double-doubles this season to tie him with Andre Roberson of Colorado for the most in the Pac-12 ... Roberto Nelson is seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring (15.5) and three-point percentage (.453) ... Nelson has scored in double figures in 11 of the past 12 games ... Ahmad Starks moved into fourth all-time at Oregon State in three-point field goals with 164 ... Joe Burton moved into eighth all-time at Oregon State in rebounds with 630 ... Olaf Schaftenaar had career highs in points (10) and rebounds (4) against UCLA ... Devon Collier had a streak snapped of 11 consecutive games scoring in double figures when he finished with nine points against UCLA ... Oregon State is second in the Pac-12 with 15.4 assists per game.

Last Meeting
In front of a packed house of 7,537 fans, including Oregon State legend Gary Payton, Jared Cunningham scored a game-high 18 points and Joe Burton added 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench to help the Beavers trounce USC, 78-59, on Saturday night at Gill Coliseum.

vs. USC:
Oregon State and USC meet for the 127th time in history with the Trojans holding a 66-60 advantage, including a 34-22 edge in games played in Los Angeles. The Beavers had lost seven straight in the series before Craig Robinson was hired, and he has led Oregon State to a 5-2 record over USC since.
The teams met once last season with the Beavers coming out on top, 78-59, on Jan. 21 at Gill Coliseum to complete the home sweep of the Los Angeles schools after knocking off UCLA, 87-84, on Jan. 19. Four Oregon State players scored in double figures against USC with Jared Cunningham leading the way with 18 points, while Devon Collier added 12, Joe Burton had 11 and Ahmad Starks chipped in 10.

The Beavers defeated USC, 49-44, on Feb. 27, 2010 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles to snap a six-game road losing streak to the Trojans. The teams didn't play in Los Angeles last season as part of the Pac-12 "miss", but USC won on its home court two years ago, 67-56, on Feb. 10, 2011.

OFFENSIVELY SOLID ONCE AGAIN: Oregon State's offense has been solid this season despite losing last year's leading scorer Jared Cunningham (17.9 ppg) to the NBA and Angus Brandt to a season-ending injury. The Beavers are averaging 75.0 points per game this season, which is fourth in the Pac-12 and just 3.9 less than last year when Oregon State led the conference in scoring for the first-time ever with a school-record 78.9 points per game (conference scoring records began in 1959-60).

SPREADING THE SCORING AROUND: Oregon State has gone to more of a team concept with five different players leading the team in scoring in games this season: Ahmad Starks 5, Devon Collier 4, Roberto Nelson 4, Joe Burton 1, Eric Moreland 1 (Nelson and Moreland shared scoring honors in two games). Jared Cunningham led the Beavers in scoring in 18 of the 36 games last season. Those five players have all scored 20-plus points in a game this season with Starks, Collier and Nelson each doing it four times.

UTILIZING THE ARC: Oregon State has used the three-point line as a weapon this season, offensively and defensively, as the Beavers are second in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage at 37.1 percent (99-of-267) and third in three-point percentage defense at 31.9 percent (96-of-301). Oregon State has NEVER led the conference in three-point percentage since the statistic began in 1986-87. The 37.1 percentage would be the fourth highest in school history if the season ended today. The school record is 40.6 percent (97-of-239) in 1987-88, which is the only time the Beavers shot better than 40 percent from the three-point line in a season.

BOMBS AWAY FROM THE BACKCOURT: The starting backcourt of Roberto Nelson and Ahmad Starks have combined to make 73 percent of Oregon State's three-pointers (72 of 99) and have attempted 63 percent of the team's shots from beyond the arc (167 of 267). Nelson is second in the Pac-12 in three point percentage at 45.3 percent (29-for-64), while Starks is sixth in the conference at 41.7 percent (43-for-103). The only Oregon State player to lead the conference in three-point percentage was Sasa Cuic, who finished at 49.3 percent (36-of-73) in 2005-06.

IMPROVING ON THE DEFENSIVE END: Oregon State has held eight of its 16 opponents below 40 percent shooting and is 7-1 in those games (Towson shot 38.5 percent in the loss). The Beavers held only seven of their 36 opponents below that clip last season and were 6-1 in those games. On the season, Oregon State's opponents are shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from the three-point line. Last season teams shot 45.5 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from deep.

BLOCK PARTY: Oregon State is averaging 4.9 blocked shots per game this season, which is third in the Pac-12 and would be a school record if the season ended today. The Beavers averaged 4.61 blocks per game last season to finish second in the Pac-12 and trail only UCLA by 0.03 (4.64). The Oregon State school record for blocked shots in a season is 4.7 in 2005-06.

CRASHING THE BOARDS: A major emphasis during the offseason was rebounding, and Oregon State has seen the results by averaging nearly five rebounds more per game this season (39.1) than it did last season (34.8) despite losing Angus Brandt who was averaging 8.5 boards before his injury. The Beavers are fourth in the Pac-12 in rebounding and third in offensive rebounding (12.9).

THE FIVE-MINUTE MARK: Having the lead at the five-minute mark has been very important during the Craig Robinson era as the Beavers are 62-6 when leading with five minutes to play, including a 10-1 mark this season. On the flip side, Oregon State is 8-72 when trailing with five minutes to play in the same timeframe, with an 0-6 record this season.

THE STREAK STOPS AT 11 FOR DEVON: Devon Collier scored nine points against UCLA to end a streak of 11 consecutive games in double figures. The 11-game streak was the second-longest of his career after he reeled off 12 double-digit scoring games last season from Jan. 7 to Feb. 18, 2012. Collier still leads the team in double-figure scoring games (14) and 20-point games (4, tied with Roberto Nelson and Ahmad Starks). The four 20-point games is one more than he had in his first two seasons combined.

SHOOTING IT WELL ONCE AGAIN: Devon Collier is ninth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 53.0 percent (87-for-164). He led the Pac-12 in field goal percentage last season at 61.5 percent to become the first Oregon State player to lead the conference in that category since Scott Haskin in 1991-92.

STARKS CLIMBING THE CHARTS: When all is said and done, Ahmad Starks will be the most prolific three-point shooter in Oregon State history. He has knocked down six triples the past three games to move into fourth on Oregon State's career three-point with 164. At his current pace of 2.5 per game, he will become the school's all-time leader in early February to pass Chris Stephens who made 180 in four years. Starks is also fourth all-time in school history in three-pointers attempted with 446

A CHANCE TO MAKE IT 3-FOR-3 FROM THREE: Ahmad Starks has 43 triples this season and has a chance to lead the team in three-pointers for the third consecutive year (Roberto Nelson is second with 29). Other Oregon State players to lead the team in three-pointers in three consecutive years are Gary Payton (1988-90), Charles McKinney (1991-93) and Chris Stephens (2004-06). Starks made 79 last season, which was the second most in Oregon State history, and is on pace for 80 this season in a guaranteed 32 games, which would be two short of the school record.

MORELAND BOARDING: Eric Moreland is averaging 11.1 rebounds per game (155 total), the second-best total in the Pac-12. Only one Oregon State player has led the conference in rebounding since 1985, and that was Philip Ricci in 2002-03 (8.2 per game). A total of nine Oregon State players have averaged double-figure rebounds in a season, but the last time it happened was 1963-64 when Mel Counts had a double-double in all 29 games and averaged 16.9 boards. Moreland crushed the freshman rebounding record that was held for 38 years by Lonnie Shelton last season.