OSU’s Malcolm Duvivier could play a big role in Civil War game—even if he does not score a point

Men’s Basketball vs Colorado

When Oregon State takes the floor in Matthew Knight Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday for the 346th Civil War, Malcolm Duvivier won’t be expected to lead OSU in scoring.

He might not even score at all—the junior guard did not have a single point in the first game against Oregon this year, a 70-57 win.

But that will not decide how effective Duvivier is. In fact, scoring is the least of his worries right now.

“Me, I’m the type of guy that just does whatever we have to do to win,” Duvivier said this week, days before his seventh Civil War.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder from Toronto describes himself as “mainly a defensive player,” though he has offensive flair, winning the team’s preseason dunk contest his freshman and sophomore years.

In his history of Civil Wars, however, Duvivier has been especially quiet offensively. In three of his six games against Oregon, he has gone scoreless. He’s committed 10 turnovers while going 2-for-11 from 3-point range, but he also had a career game in Gill Coliseum last year, posting 18 points with three assists and three steals as OSU nearly upset Oregon in a 65-62 loss. He hasn’t scored 18 points in the 25 games since.

But, Duvivier’s scoring totals are not what decides the team’s overall success. When the Beavers snapped a four-game losing streak to Oregon on Jan. 3 this year, Duvivier went 0-for-2 from the floor in 24 minutes and did not get to the free throw line. He wasn’t happy with parts of his offensive performance, but the fact that he had no points in the win didn’t bother him.

“I was kinda frustrated at myself because I missed shots that I usually make, so from that aspect I was frustrated,” he said. “But as a whole, it was a team effort. I was happy. I was out there making defensive stops, making key plays for my team to help them win. That’s all I can do.”

“There’s going to be days where stuff is not going your way, so no matter what you have to go out there and make a contribution to your team.”

Last season was different, when Duvivier was OSU’s second leading scorer at 10.7 points per game. But with five freshmen getting playing time this year, Duvivier is scoring 6.4 points per contest and his 11 points versus Stanford last week is his only Pac-12 game this year with double digit scoring.

“Malcolm has always had a career of ups and downs since he’s been here,” said senior guard Langston Morris-Walker, who has been in the program even before Duvivier arrived in Corvallis. “I think he’s doing a good job at doing his role as good as he can and staying positive. He’s really helping people, he’s really helping the freshmen and that’s a credit to him.”

“We’re just so deep this year, everybody’s role is changing,” added freshman forward Tres Tinkle. “It’s someone else’s night every single night. He had a great game against Stanford, and we can get that out of him every single time.”

This year, Duvivier doesn’t try to elevate himself to a level outside of his role. He simply calls himself “that fifth guy that gels everyone together,” which may be as critical of a position as any other. He has to bridge the gap between the five seniors and five freshmen who are playing this year, organizing the offense and spearheading the defense. In OSU’s defensive zone, Duvivier will have to secure the perimeter Saturday against Oregon’s talented athletes like Tyler Dorsey and leading scorer Dillon Brooks.

And when OSU has the ball Saturday, he’s content to take shots when they come, facilitating and not forcing the issue. Maybe he’ll score 18 points again, or maybe he’ll go scoreless. But either way, Duvivier could be a catalyst for the Beavers’ success or failure in the Civil War.