Scouting Report: Oregon State

The Wildcats are coming off a huge win over Oregon, while Oregon State is reeling from a loss in their conference opener. Former Arizona assistant Jay John gets his first crack at his former mentor as Oregon State hopes to trip up the Wildcats two days after serving notice that they are the Pac-10 front runner.

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No. 4 Arizona (8-1, 1-0) at Oregon State (7-3, 0-1)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003
Time: 8 p.m. PST
Location: Gill Coliseum (10,400), Corvallis, Ore.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)

LAST TIME OUT: Arizona came from behind to beat Oregon 81-72 in Eugene. The Beavers fell to Arizona State 67-47 on their home floor.

LAST MEETING: Arizona beat the Beavers 93-87 after the Wildcats came back from a 21-point deficit. The Cats went on a 24-6 second half run led by Jason Gardner. Gardner scored 23 of his 34 points in the second half.

BACKCOURT: This is a weakness for the Beavers. They have four capable bodies, but no one who gives opposing coaches nightmares. Jimmie Haywood is a solid scorer on the wing. When Haywood is hitting from the outside, he is dangerous. In the three games where he has made three or more three-pointers, Haywood has averaged 23.3 ppg and has not scored less than 20 points.

Freshman Lamar Hurd has been a solid assist man, averaging 4.3 apg. He's not much of a scorer, averaging only 5.3 ppg and is no threat from the outside, making just one three-pointer.

Floyd North III gives the Beavers another tall guard. The 6-4 sophomore hits the boards well (4.1 rpg) but is just an average scorer (6.6 ppg). He's a decent outside shooter, but does not take a whole lot of three-pointers.

James Nash is a solid, if unspectacular, guy off the bench. He has played some key minutes and is good all around, hitting to boards (2.6 rpg) and dishing the ball (2.9 apg).

Jason Gardner put the Wildcats on his shoulders and led them during the Wildcats the second half comeback against Oregon. He is doing a great job running the half court offense and his shot is looking better and better.

Salim Stoudamire did not score much (six points) against Oregon, but did a remarkable job of defending Luke Ridnour. Expect Stoudamire to take more shots, especially from the outside where he is so deadly.

Chris Rodgers will be the first guard off the bench, but is more of a defensive specialist. Hassan Adams will see some time at the two-guard spot, but will primarily split time with Andre Iguodala at small forward.

FRONTCOURT: The Beavers have two of the better bigmen in the Pac-10. Phillip Ricci is a banger who has some skills. The 6-9 center leads the team in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.7rpg) and is the team's best player.

Brian Jackson is a more finesse player in the post. The 6-9 Jackson is a decent scorer (13.1 ppg) with a nice stroke. He is not real aggressive inside and does not rebound as well as the Beavers would like (4.8 rpg), however, he is a threat from beyond the arc.

Derek Potter gives them some size off the bench. The 6-11 sophomore isn't used for much more than a player to spell Jackson and Ricci. He has played more than 12 minutes only once and even in that game has not pulled down more than four rebounds.

Arizona will continue to trot out four post players to try to show Oregon State a number of looks. Rick Anderson and Channing Frye are more similar to the Beavers, although neither are as physical as Ricci. Anderson is coming off a great game and hopes the momentum will continue.

Dennis Latimore has been a monster on the boards as of late and will be called upon to give the Cats a physical presence inside. Isaiah Fox had a good scoring game in Eugene and will provide a wide body for the Cats. Both will try to bang the Beaver players and get them out of their game.

OUTLOOK: Oregon State wants to slow it down, while the Cats want to get up and down the court. The Cats may use the press to try and dictate the pace. Arizona is much deeper than Oregon State, although Ricci is the kind of physical player who can give the Wildcats trouble. Unless the Cats rest on their win over Oregon, the more talented team should win. Here's guessing that the Cats win in a rout.

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