John's focus on team not media after WSU loss

OREGON STATE remained winless in the Pac-10 (0-5) as No. 8 ranked Cougars pounded out a 69-46 win in Pullman on Thursday night. The Beavers, who dropped to 6-11 on the season, next face Washington on Saturday and an Oregonian columnist this week opined OSU head man Jay John will need to upset the Huskies in order to keep his job.

John Canzano's column in the Oregonian this week took dead aim at the OSU head coach, writing a victory against WSU or UW would be required to allow John to finish out the season.

"It's why John needs a loud but unlikely victory, to buy him a little more time. If not, he's toast," wrote Canzano.

The columnist then went on to quote an unnamed Oregon State athletic department staffer as saying; "Jay's pretty much walking around the halls with a toe tag on."

Following the game, John said media speculation isn't exactly high up on his radar -- coaching his team is his focus.

"I work independently of what others say and write," John said. "I have a job to do and I can't let negative comments interfere."

Oregon State would owe John $1.1 million if he were terminated, reported the Oregonian.

Meanwhile, there was actually a basketball game played amidst all the speculative innuendo.

Oregon State, however, was up against the experience-laden Cougars who entered the game with the nation's best scoring defense, allowing just 52 points a game.

Oregon State hung in for the fist 20 minutes, entering the locker room down by a still manageable 10 points. But an early second half run, a trademark for the Cougars this season, settled the issue. WSU blanked the Beavers 10-0 the first 5:19 out of the second half gate to go up 44-24 and put the contest out of reach.

Seth Tarver led OSU with 12 points, brother Josh Tarver added 10.

The Beavers shot 41 percent for the game, hitting on but 7-of-21 field goals in the second half. WSU won the rebound battle 33-17. Center Aron Baynes led all scorers with 17 points, SG Derrick Low added 15.

The Beavs are a young team, with only one senior on the roster while the Cougs are a veteran group -- Kyle Weaver, Low and Robbie Cowgill are senior seniors who took their lumps as starters during freshman and sophomore seasons. The other two starters, Baynes and PF Taylor Rochestie, and sixth man Daven Harmeling, are juniors.

Those facts were not lost on John.

"We had some stretches that were good, but otherwise it was like the varsity against the JV," John said. "...It's very hard to guard them...They are every bit as good as their reputation."


BEAVER COACH JAY JOHN'S SQUAD FOUND LITTLE SUCCESS GOING AGAINST THE COUGAR DEFENSE.


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