Oregon State's weekend didn't start as nicely as they were throttled in Tucson in a testy battle with Arizona. Devon Collier and Joe Burton were the only Beavers in double digits with 12 and 10 respectively as 22 turnovers doomed them down the stretch.
Head Coach: Craig Robinson vs. Herb Sendek
G – Ahmad Starks (7.2 PPG, 1.5 APG) vs. Ty Abbott (12.5 PPG, 39% 3PT)
F – Devon Collier (6.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG) vs. Rihards Kuksiks (10.1 PPG, 39% 3PT)
Like Oregon, Oregon State has a lot of guards that get minutes in the rotation – the starters are Cunningham and Starks with Roberto Nelson and Calvin Haynes providing probably the best backcourt depth in the Pac-10.
It will be the end of an era with McMillan and Abbott each playing their final game at Wells Fargo Arena while Trent Lockett's career is reaching the halfway point. McMillan and Abbott came up huge against the Ducks to kick off Senior Week while Lockett had a quiet night (for him) with 8 points. Off the bench is Keala King and Corey Hawkins.
Edge – ASU
This is where the Beavers dominated in the previous meeting when Joe Burton had a career day and he didn't even start! Brandt, Johnson and Collier are the starting trio down low with Burton, Daniel Deane and Kevin McShane all seeing some minutes.
Rihards Kuksiks finally had a night where the basket was as big as the ocean as he went off for 22 points with seven three-pointers and he will look to cap off his career in style with a similar performance. Chanse Creekmur will spell Rik while the other post position will be manned by Kyle Cain, Ruslan Pateev and Jordan Bachynski. While often getting bashed, the big mean should be lauded for their effort against Oregon as it was the first time in 17 conference tries that the Devils were not outrebounded.
Edge – OSU
Momentum. The Devils do not have the talent of a last place team but that is how the cookie has crumbled this season but a dominant win over Oregon gives them two consecutive home wins dating back to the Wazzu win and a third straight isn't out of the question. As long as they can keep the momentum and knock down their shots, the Devils can ride the mini-streak into the Pac-10 Tournament.
Who Will Win and Why
The Beavers opened all of our eyes in late December when they took the Devils to the woodshed and beat them by 22 in the conference opener that started ASU's tailspin but these teams have been going in different directions lately and ASU will be a very tough beat on an emotional Senior Day. Look for Abbott to end his career in style with a big night against the Beavs.
Final Score – ASU 70 OSU 66