G T.J. McConnell (6-1 junior)
G Nick Johnson (6-3 junior)
F Aaron Gordon (6-9 freshman)
F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7 freshman)
C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0 sophomore)
G Hallice Cooke (6-3 freshman)
G Roberto Nelson (6-4 senior)
F Langston Morris-Walker (6-5 sophomore)
F Eric Moreland (6-10 forward)
C Angus Brandt (6-10 senior)
HOW THEY MATCH UP
The series: Arizona leads the all-time series 56-20 and has beaten the Beavers five straight times. But Oregon State took UA to overtime before losing the last time it visited McKale Center, in 2011-12, and beat UA three times straight times during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
OSU overview: The Beavers are .500 through their first 10 games of conference play for the first time since 1999, but they have won only one road conference game so far (at WSU). They lead the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage (41.7) and have the conference’s top scorer in senior guard Roberto Nelson, who can score in a variety of ways and is an 85-percent free-throw shooter. The Beavers have turned to shooting-minded freshman Hallice Cooke at point guard. He is hitting 54.1 percent from three in conference games. Wing forward Langston Morris-Walker is a glue guy, and OSU has size, length and experience inside. Forward Eric Moreland is back in a rhythm after he was suspended for nonconference play and center Angus Brandt is playing with confidence after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Off the bench, Devon Collier brings strength and size.
Roberto Nelson: Nelson led the Pac-12 in scoring last season, but was only an honorable mention all-conference pick. That probably won’t happen this time around. Not only is he leading the conference in scoring (22.3 in Pac-12 games), but he’s shooting threes (52.0) and free throws (84.1) at eye-opening rates. Plus the Beavers are playing better overall.
Aaron Gordon: The UA freshman has shot only 27.5 percent from the field over his past three games and missed 9 of 11 free throws against Oregon. The Beavers don’t figure to make life easy for him tonight, with zone defenses and veteran big guys.
HE SAID IT:
“Offensively, they’re really good. They’re capable of scoring a lot of points and they attack the glass. Roberto Nelson is playing really well for them and Angus Brandt, although his numbers are the same, it seems to be he’s playing with more confidence. They’ve been giving him a lot of freedom. Since Moreland’s been back, he took one game to adjust and then they kind of took off. He’s a rebounder and a runner, and we definitely need to keep him off the glass.”
— UA assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who scouted the Beavers
• Arizona forward Brandon Ashley is scheduled to have surgery on his injured right foot on Tuesday in Tucson, UA coach Sean Miller said.
While Miller has declined to say more than Ashley has a “foot injury,” in part because of privacy issues, Miller said Ashley would be fine.
“The biggest thing is he’s going to be able to return and be 100 percent,” Miller said.
• For what it’s worth, Nick Johnson had a bandaged finger on his left hand Thursday, the same hand that broadcasters said was injured at Cal on Feb. 1. Miller shrugged it off.
“He’s fine,” Miller said.
• Oregon State is 5-5, its best mark after 10 conference games since 1999, but the Beavers are still only 1-4 on the road.
Today’s game will be their toughest road game yet.
“Every game’s hard in this conference,” OSU coach Craig Robinson said, according to the Oregonian (Robinson was not available for comment before today’s game). “That’s what I’m noticing. There’s no easy nights, especially on the road.”
2The national ranking of three-point percentage (55.4) by OSU’s Cook.
14Years since OSU has beaten a Top 5 team, the last victory being an overtime win over No. 3 Arizona in 1999-2000.
95UA’s “dunk margin” on the season, with 115 dunks to just 20 by opponents.
Compiled by Bruce Pascoe