How to Watch (and bet)
Date: Saturday, 2/18/22
Tip-Off Time: 5:00 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Location: Seattle, Washington
Oregon State Beavers 2022-23 Statistics:
Points For per Game: 60.6 (353rd)
Points Against per Game: 66.8 (82nd)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 100.1 (273rd)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 102.2 (114th)
Strength of Schedule: 44th
Oregon State’s Key Players:
G- Jordan Pope, Fr. 6’2, 165: 12.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 43.7% FG, 38.8% 3pt, 84.2% FT
Pope has been a great find for OSU as a 3-star true freshman who had the keys handed over to him and has been much better than his recruiting rankings. He leads the team in both points and assists per game and is 5th in 3-pt shooting during Pac-12 play at nearly 40%. It looks like Pope is a definite building block for OSU even if he’s not quite a true point guard yet. Playing alongside better talent would help him though and he’s already good.
1st UW Game Stats: 6 pts (1/7 FG), 2 reb, 5 ast
G- Dexter Akanno, Jr. 6’5, 210: 8.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.6 apg, 35.9% FG, 24.5% 3pt, 74.3% FT
His backcourt mate has been less impressive on offense this season as Akanno has struggled to get the ball in the basket although he is drawing fouls at a career high rate. And that’s fortunate because the one place he has been very good in conference play is at the free throw line (82%). Generally though if Akanno does literally anything other than take a shot in the paint, it’s a win for the defense.
1st UW Game Stats: 13 pts (0/5 3pt), 4 reb, 1 ast, 4 to
G-Glenn Taylor, So. 6’6, 200: 11.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 43.8% FG, 31.5% 3pt, 77.3% FT
Taylor had a solid freshman season last year and has been asked to do more this season but sometimes struggled with that task. His assists are up quite a bit but his turnovers have risen accordingly and he has 5+ giveaways in 5 games this season. Last year Taylor made almost 60% of his 2’s but that has dropped to 47% this season which has greatly hurt his efficiency. Taylor can make the occasional 3-pointer but is at his best driving to the hoop and getting fouled.
1st UW Game Stats: 10 pts, 6 reb
F- Dzmitry Ryuny, Sr. 6’9, 220: 5.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.8 apg, 46.7% FG, 42.9% 3pt, 55.0% FT
The transfer from San Francisco has been a nice pickup as a stretch 4 who’s a career 37% 3-point shooter. He was the MVP against the Huskies making a trio of 3-pointers from the same spot so UW should pay closer attention to him this time around. He leads Oregon State in rebounds, steals, and blocks per game.
1st UW Game Stats: 14 pts (5/10 FG), 9 reb, 5 ast, 5 stl
F- Tyler Bilodeau, Fr. 6’9, 220: 6.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.4 bpg, 43.9% FG, 28.6% 3pt, 78.7% FT
I’ll be honest that I struggled to decide who the 5th player to highlight here should be. There are 5 forwards/centers who have both played at least 13 minutes per game and started at least once over OSU’s past 5 contests. The rotation is very much a hodgepodge. I settled on Bilodeau who is a true freshman from the state of Washington that has seen his role increase since these 2 teams played last. He tied a career high in OSU’s last game with 18 points on 7/11 shooting and is another capable stretch 4 whose 3-point shooting is a little worse than you’d like.
1st UW Game Stats: 3 pts, 2 reb (in 5 minutes)
How time flies. It has been 2 and a half months since these two teams squared off for the first time in Corvallis in one of the most bizarre games of the season. Braxton Meah was unavailable and Oregon State went on a 21-0 run over 7 minutes in the first half to open up a 27-9 Beavers lead. The Huskies fought back despite Franck Kepnang tearing his ACL mid-game and Washington went on a 15-2 run in the final 4 minutes to go up 65-63 with 14 seconds left. However, Keion Brooks Jr. missed a free throw and Oregon State secured the long rebound and the refs called phantom contact by Cole Bajema for an and-1 to give OSU a one-point win.
It turns out that the loss was an omen of things to come on the road for the Huskies who are now 1-8 in other team’s home arenas. The good news for Washington is that this game is in Seattle and barring something going terribly wrong in the next few hours, Braxton Meah will be available. Also hopefully available after missing the first game is Noah Williams, although he is clearly still banged up and eventually left Wednesday night’s game hobbling.
The major points that were relevant in the preview I wrote in early December are still true in mid-February. Oregon State plays at one of the slowest paces in the country and have one of the least efficient P6 offenses out there (only ahead of Minnesota and California). That combination means they are in the bottom-10 among all D-1 schools in total points per game. They’ve been held to fewer than 48 points 3 times during Pac-12 play (at Stanford, Utah, and UCLA).
It’s a pretty simple formula for sucking. Oregon State is 314th or worse in turnovers, offensive rebounding, and 2-point shooting. When you can’t hold onto the ball, can’t give yourself second chance opportunities, and can’t get easy shots at the rim it probably means you won’t be very good at scoring. Those things were mostly true in the first game against UW. The Beavers shot slightly better from 2 than normal but took 6 fewer shots than the Huskies as they lost the turnover battle but narrowly won the rebounding advantage.
The defense for Oregon State is surprisingly decent even when you account for the glacial pace of play. They give up a lot of second chance opportunities but otherwise are pretty close to average across the board. Average for D-1 though means they still rank 10th in the conference in defensive efficiency during Pac-12 play giving up the most free throws and blocking the fewest shots.
The struggles inside have left Wayne Tinkle throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. Over the last few weeks all of 6’8 Rodrigue Andela, 6’9 Tyler Bilodeau, 6’9 Michael Rataj, 6’9 Dzmitry Ryuny, and 6’10 KC Ibekwe have started multiple games. Each of them get a few games to audition and when the results don’t get much better it cycles through to someone else.
If this was ever a matchup for Braxton Meah to absolutely dominant, it should be this one. With 7’2 center Chol Mariol out the Beavers have most recently turned to JUCO add KC Ibekwe. He has a stunning 13.5% block rate in limited minutes but also played just 2 minutes on Thursday night against Washington State so it’s unclear how much he’ll play tonight.
There isn’t a lot of evidence that Oregon State is able to play above their station away from Corvallis. The Beavers are 1-12 when not playing in their home arena with the only win coming over lowly Cal (although it was by 20 points). At home they’ve knocked off UW, Colorado, and USC but that magic hasn’t translated anywhere else. The only road loss they’ve even gotten to within single digits in was against USC who they apparently just have their number.
There’s really no excuse for the Huskies not winning this game comfortably. Yes, Oregon State won the first time around but Washington didn’t have Braxton Meah and yet it still took a missed free throw and generous home court call for OSU to squeak by despite a 21-0 run. Washington has a favorable schedule to close out the year and it doesn’t get much more favorable than the Beavers away from Corvallis. Get it done.
Max’s Record this Year: 19-8 Straight Up, 14-12-1 Against The Spread
Washington Huskies- 72, Oregon State Beavers- 61