Opponent preview: Oregon State Men’s Basketball

Reading Time: 2 minutes Utah Valley travels to Corvallis, Oregon to take on Oregon State for just the second time ever, how can UVU defeat the Beavers?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Utah Valley Men’s Basketball program will head to the northeast to take on Oregon State in Corvallis on Saturday, Dec. 9 for just the second meeting ever between the two teams.  

This matchup highlights one of just two games versus a power five, or non-mid-major, opponent for UVU this season.  

What is the rundown on Oregon State, and more importantly, how can Utah Valley upset the Beavers? 

Oregon State sits at 5-3 on the year with losses to Nebraska, Pitt, and No. 13 Baylor, all by at least 15 points. Their highlight wins are from Troy, Appalachian State, UC Davis, and Cal Poly.  

The Beavers are coming off a disappointing year in 2022 which featured only five conference wins and 11 total on the year. Suffering notable losses to Portland State, Stanford (twice), and Washington State.  

While returning their leading scorer Jordan Pope, the Beavers are averaging 71.4 points per game and allowing 70.9, which bodes well for Utah Valley who only allow 65.6 points per contest. 

The daunting error of the Beavers game is their assist total.  

Oregon State ranks No. 280 in the country in assists per game with just 11.8, converting 14.8 turnovers, which results in a 1.25 turnover to assists ratio. 

However, despite the large turnover margin, they are forcing 14 turnovers of their own against opponents this season, which will put UVU to the test as they have 12.7 turnovers a game themselves. 

In addition to the high turnover numbers, it was reported that junior guard Drake Allen suffered a sprained ankle after landing on a ball during shootaround, his status is listed day-to-day and is potentially out for the matchup against the Beavers. 

This would have Utah Valley down one of their best ball handlers. 

Oregon State currently sits at 205 in NET rankings to Utah Valley’s ranking of 143, which would make this a Quad 3 victory for Utah Valley if they were to emerge victorious, and a Quad 3 win for Oregon State. 

In addition to the NET rankings, Oregon State lies at 187 in KenPom’s rankings to the Wolverines ranking of 160.  

The Beavers have an adjusted offensive rating of 268 and defensive rating of 118, meaning the Wolverines will need to be aggressive offensively to give them a chance to win. 

Despite Utah Valley leading Oregon State in nearly every category, both statistically and in the eye test, so why is Utah Valley a +2.5 underdog and a 35% chance to win per ESPN? 

Generally, the home team is spotted anywhere between 2.5-6-point advantage when playing at home according to most betting experts.

So how can Utah Valley “upset” the Beavers? 

The key is to out-rebound the Beavers. Utah Valley is 4-0 when outrebounding their opponents and are 2-3 when on the opposite side of the rebounding margin.  

In addition to the rebounding, Utah Valley has won all six games by leading in assists as well. 

As basic as it sounds, those two factors will be key in defeating the Beavers who have a high turnover and low assist rates. 

The Wolverines and Beavers will tip off at 3 p.m. MST, 2 p.m. on the west coast, and will be broadcast on the PAC12 Network.