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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 9 Arizona MBB heads on the road to face Oregon State

Mason Kumet
Keshad Johnson makes his way through the Zona Zoo after No. 1 Arizona men’s basketball’s win against the No. 23 University of Wisconsin in McKale Center on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The No. 9 Arizona men’s basketball team is headed on the road to take on Oregon State University on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. in Gill Coliseum. The Wildcats are coming off an exceptional win against UCLA on Jan. 20, where Arizona overcame a 19-point deficit to secure a 77-71 victory. Arizona hopes to continue its winning ways in the series of matchups against Oregon State and the University of Oregon whom they will be meeting on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 3:30 p.m.

History vs. Oregon State

This will be the 94th meeting between Oregon State and Arizona as the Wildcats lead the series record 71-22. The history between the two programs dates back to 1975 and has met on a consistent basis throughout the years. The most recent matchup was on Feb. 4, 2023, where Arizona won 84-52. The Wildcats have won the last seven consecutive meetings but have a 28-16 record when visiting Oregon State.

Oregon State players to watch

Oregon State is led by Wayne Tinkle, who has coached the Beavers for nine ongoing seasons and has achieved a 127-158 record with the program. Oregon State boasts a 9-9 record this season and has lost its last five games against its opponent; however, the Beavers are 9-2 when at home.

Sophomore guard Jordan Pope is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 17 points per game, 2.6 rebounds and leads the team in assists with 3.5 per game. Pope has scored over 20 points in seven games this season and is one of the vital sources for the Beavers’ success. Pope delivered a season-high 29 points against the University of Washington on Jan. 6 and has started in every game this season.

Tyler Bilodeau is a six-foot-nine forward who is a vital component to the team’s rebounding as he averages 5.6 rebounds a game. Bilodeau is as impactful on the floor when scoring as he is the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 12.7 ppg. The sophomore had a season-high of 14 rebounds in a game against UCLA on Dec. 28. In the Beavers’ most recent loss against the University of Colorado, Bilodeau led the team with 18 points.

Michael Rataj is another forward for the Beavers who stands at six-foot-nine and leads the team in rebounding with 5.8 rebounds per game. The sophomore from Germany contributes 6.3 ppg and 1.6 assists. Rataj obtained a season-high four steals in a recent matchup against Stanford University.

Arizona players to watch

Keshad Johnson has proved himself to be a key source defensively as he averages 6.4 rebounds per game and recently was able to block two shots in the recent game against UCLA. Johnson averages 11.4 ppg and 1.8 assists per game. The San-Diego State University transfer continues to work on improving handling the ball as he averages two turnovers per game.

Senior guard Pelle Larsson led the way for the Wildcats in scoring against UCLA, finishing the night with 22 points and went for a perfect 8-8 on free throws. Larsson averages 12.9 ppg, being the team’s second leading scorer. He also pulls down four rebounds per game as well as 3.4 assists.

Oumar Ballo remains consistent in affecting the game as he put up an impressive 17 points in the matchup against UCLA as well as 13 rebounds the same night. Ballo, a seven-foot center, continues to lead the team in rebounding with 9.2 rebounds per game. He is the team’s third leading scorer averaging 12.7 ppg and has recently improved on his free-throw shooting ability, shooting 47.3% from the line.

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