Beavers return home looking to rebound

Josh Worden, Senior Beat Reporter

There may be no sight easier on the eyes for the Oregon State men’s basketball team than Gill Coliseum, where the Beavers return this week after a pair of road losses to Colorado and Utah.

OSU is 9-2 at home this year and 24-4 in Corvallis under second-year head coach Wayne Tinkle. In games away from Corvallis dating back to last year, the Beavers are 4-15.

OSU plays UCLA on Wednesday at 8 p.m. and then USC at 12 p.m. on Sunday. OSU will play the same two teams in early March to round out the regular season schedule in Los Angeles.

The Beavers have defeated UCLA in Gill Coliseum three consecutive times.


What’s at Stake

After the losses to Colorado and Utah, the Beavers are 2-3 in the Pac-12. With the conference slate still in its early stages, eight teams in the Pac-12 are either 3-2 or 2-3, so the Beavers can use these two games to leapfrog upwards or stumble south in the conference standings.

“You can lose a lot of ground in a weekend, but then you can bounce back and gain a lot of ground,” Tinkle said. “It’s just the way this conference is this year.”

Reid’s Absence

The UCLA game marks the first contest senior forward Jarmal Reid will miss. Reid was suspended four games after his ejection in Sunday’s loss to Utah for tripping an official. Reid missed the first six games this year with a foot injury.

“We’ve won games in his absence,” Tinkle said. “I really believe in our group. Some other guys will step up for sure.”

“Everyone knows that this program is based on discipline,” added senior forward Daniel Gomis. “It’s unfortunate. We’ve just got to learn from it and move on. I know Jarmal is a good person, he’s one of my favorite teammates.”

Reid is averaging 4.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in 15.7 minutes. Last season, he chipped in 8.3 points per game as a reserve forward.

“It’s going to make us come together as a team,” added junior guard Malcolm Duvivier. “We’re going to have to gel more and play together more.”

Starting Five

For the first time this season, OSU shifted its starting lineup when Gomis started on Sunday against Utah. Gomis started last year but has been working back from a broken hand this season. He replaced freshman forward Drew Eubanks in the opening lineup, who was the first one off the bench for the Beavers when he came in for Gomis 3:11 into the game.

“There may even be some other tweaks,” Tinkle said. “It’s not panic time, it’s just we’re ultimately trying to find a way to put our guys in the best situation to succeed.”

UCLA’s Season

The Bruins have been up and down this season, beating a nationally No. 1 ranked Kentucky squad but also dropping their season opener to Monmouth.

UCLA started the Pac-12 schedule with losses to both Washington schools before defeating both Arizona teams, including then-No. 7 Arizona. UCLA’s most recent game was an 89-75 loss at home to USC.

UCLA is 2-5 when not playing in Pauley Pavilion.

Deciding Factor

In OSU’s Pac-12 wins, the Beavers have outrebounded their opponent by three boards per game. In OSU’s losses, the Beavers average a deficit of 13 rebounds per contest. Cleaning up the glass could be critical against UCLA, which has been aggressive on the glass with 13.7 offensive rebounds per game.

The Bruins’ senior forward Tony Parker provides the bulk of that rebounding effort, leading the conference with 4.1 offensive rebounds per game. At 10.1 rebounds per contest overall, he’s one of just three players in the Pac-12 averaging double digits on the boards.

“He’s a physical presence,” Tinkle said. “He’s a beast on the boards. Very good around the basket.”

On Twitter @BrightTies

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