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Oregon State Beavers Game Preview & How to Watch

Washington looks to finally get in the win column in Pac-12 play

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Saturday, 1/6/23

Tip-Off Time: 3:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks


Radio: Huskies Gameday App, Sports Radio KJR

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting Line: Washington Huskies -12

Oregon State Beavers 2023-24 Statistics:

[Stats from before Thursday night]

Record: 9-5 (1-2)

Points For per Game: 71.1 ppg (209th)

Points Against per Game: 71.1 ppg (143rd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 102.9 (208th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 103.3 (146th)

Strength of Schedule: 217th

Oregon State Key Players:

G- Jordan Pope, So. 6’2, 165: 16.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.6 apg, 42.9% FG, 36.3% 3pt, 88.9% FT

It was clear last year that Pope was one of the key building blocks for the Beavers and he has taken another leap as a sophomore. He has increased his assists by about 50% without raising his turnover rate and has kept his efficiency pretty close while greatly increasing his shot attempts. Pope doesn’t add any defensive value but he does everything for them on offense playing 37 minutes per game so that’s not really his fault.

G- Christian Wright, Jr. 6’3, 185: 4.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 37.5% FG, 28.0% 3pt, 81.3% FT

Some guys just aren’t good at scoring the basketball. It happens. He’s a 6’3 guard who shoots below 20% for his career from 3-point range but somehow 86% from the free throw line. It’s perplexing. Wright is asked to matchup on the best opposing guard to save Pope that matchup and generally does a pretty good job but he’s someone that UW can absolutely just stash Sahvir Wheeler on when the Beavers have the ball.

G- Dexter Akanno, Sr. 6’5, 210: 13.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.3 apg, 40.7% FG, 34.0% 3pt, 75.0% FT

This is by far Akanno’s best offensive season as he has finally both cut down on turnovers and discovered a 3-point shot. He was 7/10 from deep against the LA schools and has had 15+ points in 7 of the last 10 games in which he’s been healthy. That outside shot has helped open up the threat of a drive and he loves to take it to the basket and draw fouls.

F- Tyler Bilodeau, So. 6’9, 220: 12.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.2 apg, 49.1% FG, 22.6% 3pt, 80.0% FT

The native of Kennewick, WA was a bit overwhelmed at times as a freshman but has looked pretty good so far as a stretch 4 for OSU. The outside shot is still a work in progress but he has already taken more free throws this year than he did all last year including going 8/9 from the FT line as part of a 26-point performance in a win over USC. He’s a very good rebounder and will be a true problem as soon as that outside shot becomes reliable.

F-Michael Rataj, So. 6’9, 220: 6.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 42.4% FG, 14.3% 3pt, 80.0% FT

The other part of OSU’s 6’9 stretch 4 platoon. The German has really struggled to shoot it so far but is making more than half of his shots inside the arc to compensate. Unlike Bilodeau he is a little more finesse and prefers to focus on rebounding while taking only the occasional shot when he’s open. Neither he nor Bilodeau is much of a rim protector though.

The Outlook

The advanced stats say that this isn’t a very good Oregon State team despite their record. But an 8-3 non-conference season plus a home upset (by 16 points) over USC is much better than what the Beaver faithful are used to in recent seasons.

Three of Oregon State’s wins to this point came in OT or 2OT including against Troy and Cal Poly, the latter of which ranks 328th at KenPom. Still, they have avoided any truly embarrassing losses and at this point will continue to do so since they play California only on the road this year.

It has been a bit of a one-man show for Oregon State to this point. Jordan Pope is asked to do absolutely everything for them as he takes the most shots, leads them in assist rate by a huge margin, and plays 37 minutes per game. He has made 11 more 3’s than anyone else on the roster and is tied for the most made 2’s. I shudder to think where OSU would be without him.

If there’s one strength to this Beavers team it’s that they get to the free throw line. They rank 28th in free throw rate nationally and when there’s nothing else happening are content to just drive to the basket and hope for a call. Expect Braxton Meah to wrack up fouls quickly and force this to be a Wilhelm Breidenbach game down low with Franck Kepnang still unavailable.

The downside for OSU is that they are one of the worst turnover teams in the country with a giveaway on nearly 21% of possessions. If those turnovers end up being of the live ball variety then Washington will be able to thrive in transition and avoid having their somewhat clogged half-court scheme.

The Beavers are a little better on the defensive end. The center rotation of 6’10 KC Ibekwe and 7’2 Chol Marial provide good rim protection when they’re on the court and in particular Marial’s block rate would come close to leading the country if he played more minutes. Ibekwe on the other hand is one of the best offensive rebounders in the country and will pose a tough matchup against Washington’s depleted and foul-prone bigs.

OSU’s most frequest 4 lineups include one of those centers plus both of their 6’9 forwards Tyler Bilodeau and Michael Rataj which makes the Beavers one of the tallest teams in the country. They’re also one of the most experienced playing together as Oregon State added no one through the transfer portal and only lost one impact player. They are used to playing together and have great chemistry even if they’re not nearly as talented as the teams they’re playing in the Pac-12.

This feels like the kind of game where Washington will let OSU hang around longer than you’d expect but eventually will force a few turnovers that lead to fast break buckets and keep the Beavers at bay.


My record this year: 11-2 Straight Up, 3-9-1 Against the Spread

Washington Huskies- 77, Oregon State Beavers- 71