It's been a tough season for the Oregon State Beavers men's basketball team, especially since the squad made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1990 last year. However, after winning 19 games a year ago, the Beavers have struggled with injuries in 2017, winning just five games overall and one Pac-12 regular-season game this season. Oregon State enters the Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 12-seeded team, and it will take on No. 5-seeded California in Wednesday's opening session of tournament action.
Regular season stats: 63.2 points per game scoring (338th of 351 NCAA Division I schools), 72.7 points per game allowed (192nd of 351)
Conference record: 1-17 (12th place)
Overall record: 5-26, .161 winning percentage (347th of 351)
Home record: 5-11
Road record: 0-13
Best win: The Beavers' only conference win came at home on February 19 against the Utah Utes. Sophomore Stephen Thompson, Jr. score 31 points, including the game-winning basketball in the final 30 seconds. Oregon State hung on to the lead despite missing from the free-throw line in the final seconds, and the Beavers escaped with a 68-67 victory that was easily the biggest moment of a very disappointing season. The Utes finished fourth in the Pac-12 regular season, so Oregon State knows it can play with anyone in the league if all things break right.
Worst loss: It's hard to pick just one defeat for this distinction, but on December 11, the Beavers lost at home in overtime to Savannah State, 93-90. Oregon State already had lost at home to Lamar a month earlier in the season, but there's no way a Pac-12 team should be losing on its home court to a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) team. The Beavers overcame a six-point halftime deficit to send the game to extra time, but the Tigers still emerged victorious. The loss dropped Oregon State to 3-7 at the time, and it was a sign of the disastrous league results to come later.
Best Player: Thompson makes the highlight reels, but sophomore forward Drew Eubanks is the team's all-around star. He averaged 14.7 points per game on 59.3-percent shooting from the floor. Toss in the 8.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, and it's clear that the Beavers would be in even more trouble without Eubanks. One of three solid freshman on last year's NCAA squad, Oregon State should lean more heavily on Eubanks in this Pac-12 Tournament.
Pac-12 Tournament outlook: Oregon State will not expected to give Cal much of a fight in the opening round of the tournament. The Golden Bears beat the Beavers twice this season by an average of 20.5 points each time. Toss in the fact that Oregon State is winless away from Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, and every expert is picking Cal to advance to Thursday's quarterfinal matchup against top-seeded Oregon. Without sophomore forward Tres Tinkle in the lineup for most of the season, the Beavers have struggled, and they will continue to do so in their final game of this 2016-2017 season.
Tickets to Session 1, featuring the Arizona State-Stanford and California-Oregon State games on Wednesday afternoon, can be purchased here.