• G Mark Lyons (6-1, senior)
• G Nick Johnson (6-3, sophomore)
• F Solomon Hill (6-7, senior)
• F Brandon Ashley (6-8, freshman)
• C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, freshman)
• G Ahmad Starks (5-9, junior)
• G Roberto Nelson (6-3, junior)
• F Jarmal Reid (6-7, freshman)
• F Devon Collier (6-8, junior)
• C Joe Burton (6-7, senior)
Arizona's glamour rivals in the Pac-12 might be UCLA, Washington and Oregon these days, but there's always something about the Beavers that tends to get under the Wildcats' skin. Not only have the games been mostly close in recent years, but the teams had memorable, ejection-marred skirmishes in the 2011 Pac-10 tournament and in last season's game at McKale Center.
OSU coach Craig Robinson described the matchup as a "rivalry game," and when Miller was told earlier this week that Robinson said this was his most confident team, he smiled. "They've always been confident," Miller said.
The Beavers are no longer the plodding, Princeton-style team they were in Robinson's early years at OSU. They are actually third in Pac-12 scoring offense, at 76.1 points a game, and are in the top three in field-goal percentage (46.2) and three-point percentage (37.9 percent). They also use more man-to-man defense than the 2-3 or 1-3-1 zones for most games.
Robinson said it has been a gradual change.
"We were more up-tempo and went man-to-man last year, but now it's just that it's been a year and a half," Robinson said. "We're more comfortable doing it, so it seems like we've been doing it for a shorter time."
That said, Robinson said he "would be surprised" if he did not pull out the 1-3-1 defense against UA.
'We don't give up'
If there's a silver lining for the UA in its 70-66 loss at Oregon on Thursday, it may be that the game was indeed 70-66 - not the 13-point deficit that UA faced in the second half.
"I guess that's probably what you can always count on with this team," Arizona guard Nick Johnson said. "We don't give up."
HOW THEY MATCH UP
• The series: Arizona has beaten Oregon State four straight times, but the Beavers took the Wildcats to overtime at McKale Center last season before UA won 81-73. The Wildcats also have not beaten OSU in Corvallis in two tries under Sean Miller. UA leads the series 55-20 overall.
• OSU overview: With a frontcourt that was already thin with the early- season loss of forward Angus Brandt to a knee injury, the Beavers are without forward Eric Moreland indefinitely due to a violation of rules. Moreland was ninth nationally in rebounding with an 11.1 average. OSU moved senior Devon Collier into the starting lineup next to Joe Burton, a nearly 300-pounder who can eat space and hit hook shots. Olaf Schaftenaar is a defense-stretching, pick-and-pop power forward off the bench. The Beavers have their top two scorers in the backcourt, with scoring-minded point guard Ahmad Starks and talented shooting guard Roberto Nelson.
The Beavers' second-leading scorer has been coming off the bench most of this season but responded Thursday with 18 points and eight rebounds when Moreland was out. He's the kind of inside threat UA has struggled with lately.
Is Chol the answer to UA's fatigue problem? Sean Miller wants to reinsert the sophomore forward into his rotation tonight, and give his key players more rest, but Chol has only played five minutes total since Christmas.
Games with 20 or more points by Mark Lyons, who scored 21 for UA on Thursday at Oregon
Years since OSU beat a top-five team. It beat No. 3 Arizona 70-69 on a buzzer-beating three-pointer in 2000.
Average points over its last five games for Arizona, which averaged 78.2 points over its first 10 games.
He said it
"They're not as much true Princeton (style offensively) as they used to be. With Starks, Nelson, Collier, guys like that, it makes sense to run up and down the floor. They're very long, very athletic."
UA assistant coach Book Richardson, who scouted the Beavers
No. 4 Arizona (14-1, 2-1) at Oregon St. (10-5, 0-2) • Corvallis, Ore. • 6 p.m., today • ESPNU • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM