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Pac-12 Tourney: Oregon State Game Preview/Open Thread

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The Huskies start their quest for 4 wins in 4 days

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Wednesday, 3/7/18

Tip-Off Time: 6:00pm PST

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Betting Line: Oregon State -2

Oregon State 2017-18 Statistics:

Record: 15-15 (7-11)

Points For per Game: 74.1 ppg (145th)

Points Against per Game: 70.8 ppg (118th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 110.2 (85th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 102.5 (109th)

Strength of Schedule: 86th

Oregon State Key Players:

C- Drew Eubanks, Jr. 6’10, 250: 13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 62.3% FG, 68.9% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 58.8% 2pt (8th), 62.7% FT

F- Tres Tinkle, So. 6’8, 220: 18.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, 48.8% FG, 34.3% 3pt, 85.4% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 56.3% 2pt (14th), 33.8% 3pt, 86.6% FT (4th)

F- Alfred Hollins, Fr. 6’6, 195: 5.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.5 apg, 51.8% FG, 38.2% 3pt, 67.2% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 55.6% 2pt, 37% 3pt, 72.1% FT

G- Ethan Thompson, Fr. 6’5, 290: 10.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.4 apg, 39.2% FG, 33% 3pt, 73% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 41.1% 2pt, 35.7% 3pt, 72.1% FT

G- Stephen Thompson, Jr. 6’4, 190: 16.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.3 apg, 46.1% FG, 35.5% 3pt, 66.7% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 51.5% 2pt, 37.9% 3pt (16th), 62% FT

The Outlook

After 90 minutes of basketball the current tally is Oregon State- 174, Washington- 173 including a 2OT heart breaker/thriller in Corvallis. It’s hard for things to get much closer than that. Now we get what should be a hotly contested Round 3 although the Huskies would’ve much preferred not seeing it on Wednesday.

At this point it’s clear that Oregon State is going to be able to score on the Huskies. Washington led the conference in defensive efficiency by a pretty wide margin. But the Beavers put up the most and 3rd most points per possession against the Huskies in their two games of all of UW’s conference matches. On the flip side, the game last Thursday was Washington’s highest output of conference play in offensive points per possession. Expect a high scoring game.

I noted in my recap last week that Oregon State did a few intriguing things that allowed them to succeed against the zone. That included faking an entry pass to the high post with no one there to get Crisp and Thybulle to jump in the air and then driving past him. If I noticed it, Hop will notice it and we’ll see if they can make an adjustment. Hopefully after 2 games the Beavers are out of new tricks to run against the zone.

On offense, it’s clear that none of the Oregon State bigs are capable of defending Noah Dickerson. He’s 18/24 from the field in the two games for a gaudy total of 75%. We’ll see if they’re more willing to double team Noah and live with the openings it causes elsewhere in the defense this time around.

This is an extremely important game for the Huskies. If they lose this game I don’t think they’re a 100% lock for the NIT. It’s not the team’s chief goal but in terms of realistic outcomes I would advise them to win this game to ensure postseason play. The most important reason this game is big is because it’s step 1 out of 4 in the Huskies clawing their way into the NCAA tournament. Washington can’t assume that a finals appearance will do it. Realistically, it will take winning the entire tournament for UW to break the streak. This is step 1 to that end which means Oregon State has the exact same motivation as Washington.

I really didn’t want this to be the Huskies’ first opponent. If the Beavers had taken care of Cal in Berkeley then they’d be playing Colorado and I’d breathe much easier. Not only have the Dawgs beaten the Buffs twice but Colorado has a higher RPI. The Beavers are a team that’s much better than their RPI which means UW won’t get much credit if they win even though they should. I have a bad feeling about this game and unfortunately I think the Huskies go out early yet again.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 78, Oregon State Beavers- 82

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