Beaver Notebook: Signings, bowls and hoops

OREGON STATE's list of mid-year junior college transfer signees now stands at three. Meanwhile, Joey LaRocque becomes the fourth Beaver to head to Hawaii to play in a post-season bowl, and the seventh overall from Oregon State. And the OSU mens' hoops team opens Pac-10 play tonight in the desert against No. 21 Arizona in a regionally televised matchup.

Jeremy Francis of El Camino has signed his national letter of intent, head coach Mike Riley announced Wednesday. Francis is the third mid-year JC transfer to join the program.

The 6-1, 220-pound running back accounted for 269 yards and two touchdowns rushing, and 180 yards receiving and a touchdown last season, helping El Camino to the state title game.

Francis joins El Camino teammate offensive lineman Brent McNeil and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (Paw-A-uh) from Snow College in Utah as the latest additions to the OSU program. McNeil and Paea signed their letters of intent on Dec. 21.

The mid-year junior college transfer signing period runs through Jan. 15.

BEAVER LINEBACKER Joey LaRocque has been invited to play in the Hula Bowl All-Star football game Jan. 12 at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium.

A second team All-Pac-10 performer this season, LaRocque finished the year with 86 tackles, second-most on the team, after racking up a team-high 98 in 2006.

LaRocque joins teammates Yvenson Bernard, Gerard Lawson and Jeff Van Orsow on the Hula Bowl roster. The West (Kai) team will include Oregon State coaches Mike Riley, and assistant coaches Danny Langsdorf and Mark Banker.

The Hula Bowl is one of three postseason all-star games that will include Beavers. Center Kyle DeVan is playing in the 83rd East-West Shrine Game, Jan. 19 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, while offensive tackle/guard Roy Schuening and placekicker Alexis Serna are competing in the 59th Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Jan. 26.

OREGON STATE's HOOPS team open Pac-10 Conference play against No. 21 Arizona tonight at 5:30 p.m. The contest against the Wildcats will be broadcast by FSN Northwest and FSN Arizona.

Oregon State enters the conference opener on a two-game losing skid after falling to Montana State 60-59 earlier in the week that evened their record at 6-6.

Seth Tarver, who has scored in 11 of 12 games this season, continues to lead the way for the Beavers as the sophomore leads the team and ranks second in the conference with 14.5 points per game.

Marcel Jones is the only other Oregon State player in double figures, averaging 13.4 points per game. The forward continues his march up the Oregon State career scoring charts as he currently ranks 33rd in school history with 1,016 points and enters the game against the Wildcats just four points shy of surpassing David Lucas (2002-05) for 30th on the all-time list.

Arizona sports a 9-3 record and is ranked No. 21 in the country in the latest AP and ESPN/USA Today polls. The Wildcats come into the league opener after falling to No. 2 Memphis, 76-63, on Saturday.

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