Men's Basketball Opens 99th season Saturday

Oct. 10, 2000

Corvallis, Ore. - SCHEDULE: The Oregon State University men's basketball team, under the direction of first-year head coach Ritchie McKay, officially begins the 2000-2001 season, Sat., Oct. 14. The first practice of the season will be held at 8 p.m. on Ralph Miller Court in Gill Coliseum.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: All practices are open to the public. Practices begin at 1 p.m. during the weekday and vary on the weekend.

THE NEW BOSS: Ritchie McKay is the 18th head coach in the history of the men's basketball program at Oregon State University, and only the fifth since 1965. McKay came to Corvallis from Fort Collins, Colo, where he was the head coach at Colorado State University for two seasons. He led the Rams to a record of 37-23 and a berth into the NIT in 1999. McKay's best work to date may have come at Portland State University, where he resurrected the program from a 15-year dormancy, and led the Vikings to a 24-29 two-year record (15-12 in `98). McKay, a former Seattle Pacific University student-athlete, has also served on the staffs at Washington, Bradley, Queens College (N.C.) and SPU.

McKAY ON THE TEAM: 'I can speak for the whole team and say we are very anxious to get started. I have been pleased how hard the team has worked in individual workouts and conditioning, now we need to see where we are in a team concept.'

McKAY ON THE STRENGTHS: 'On paper I our strength is our front line. Jason Heide and Brian Jackson have experience at this level, and Philip Ricci should adapt to this level without any problems. Chris Manker and Derek Potter have very bright futures for this program at center. If we can get consistent play on the perimeter, especially from seniors Deaundra Tanner and Josh Steinthal, we have a very good opportunity to experience a good year. Adam Masten, Jimmie Haywood, and Mike Cokley all have experience on the perimeter as well, and I expect major contributions from them. James Jones and Emonte Jernigan also will help on the perimeter. There are a lot of reasons for optimism about Oregon State basketball. If this team grasps the coaching staff's philosophy, and has a passion to succeed, we have a chance to be successful.'

McKAY IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH ACCOLADES: Senior guard Deaundra Tanner and junior forward Philip Ricci have a garnered several honors by various preseason publications. Here is a closer look at those honors:Deaundra Tanner -- John Wooden Award All-America Team, Second Team All-Pac-10 by Athlon Sports and The Basketball News, One of the top 15 points guards, according to Dick Vitale's College Basketball.Philip Ricci -- Pac-10 Conference Newcomer of the Year, according Athlon Sports and The Basketball News.

WHO'S BACK: Eight lettermen and one redshirt return from a team that posted a 13-16 mark in the 2000 campaign. Here is a closer look at those returnees:

Deaundra Tanner, 6-1, 205, Senior, Guard, 14.2 pts, 3.8 reb, 5.1 astTanner is a legitimate postseason honors candidate...he is 21st at OSU for all-time scoring with 1,094 points, and has an opportunity to finish his career in the top five...he will likely finish his career behind only Gary Payton in points and assists for a guard...he has 148 career three-point field goals, just 31 short of becoming the school record holder...has started 68 of 85 career games, including 52 of 55 over the last two seasons.

Brian Jackson, 6-9, 239, So., Forward, 12.5 pts, 5.1 reb.The 2000 Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman team member is set for a banner of the bright young players in the conference...averaged 26.1 minutes per game last season as a true-freshman, second for the team...scored 32 points in one game, the most ever by a Beaver freshman...recorded two double-doubles for the season.

Jason Heide, 6-9, 256, Sr., Center, 10.7 pts, 5.0 rebIf Jason stays healthy, he could be among the best centers in the region by season's end...he averaged 10.7 points for the season, but upped that average to 13.8 points and shot .585 from the field over the final four contests...he was selected to the SoCon Holiday Hoops All-Tournament Team last year.

Josh Steinthal, 6-4, 200, Sr., Guard, 9.0 pts, .399 3-pt FG PctJosh is simply one of the best long-range shooters in the Pac-10 Conference...he has converted 57 threes in each of the last two seasons and ranks fifth for all-time threes at OSU with 114...averaged 14.3 points and shot .543 (25-46) over the final seven games of last season.

Jimmie Haywood, 6-2, 166, So., Guard, 4.9 pts, 2.0 astJimmie was second for the team last season for assists with 58...he started 11 games and was one of three players to play all 29 games...he scored a career-high 12 points at Colorado State and Ritchie McKay last season.

Adam Masten, 6-5, 200, Jr., Guard, 4.5 pts, 2.1 rebAdam may be the most improved player of all the returnees...he has improved his strength immensely since first arriving at OSU...he started 13 games last season, and recorded a career-high 15 points in the victory at Washington State.

Tim Euhus, 6-6, 223, So., Forward, 1.3 pts, 1.8 rebEuhus' contributions to the basketball team have yet to be determined, due to his football responsibilities...he is attending OSU on a football scholarship, where he plays tight end for Dennis Erickson...a strong force in the middle.

Mike Cokley, 5-8, 171, So., Guard, 0.8 ptsMike is a floor general who is capable of running the team...saw action in four games last season, but should see his playing time increase this season.

James Jones, 6-5, 235, Jr., Guard/ForwardJames redshirted last season after health issues kept him off the floor...he averaged 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds as a sophomore at Compton Junior College, and 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds as a to play several positions.

THE NEWCOMERS: Four eligible newcomers join the program for the 2000-2001 season, plus one ineligible due to NCAA transfer regulations. Junior forward Philip Ricci from Delta Junior College is the most highly touted player of the fivesome. He was the California JUCO co-Player of the Year last season after averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Emonte Jernigan is also a transfer, playing one year at Santa Rosa Junior College in California. Jernigan averaged 17.5 points and shot 50 percent from three-point range. True-freshman centers Chris Manker from Laguna Beach, Cal., and Derek Potter from North Vancouver, B.C., look to have bright futures in the program, but their actual floor team may be limited due to experienced players on the front line. Senior guard Brandon Payton, the brother of Gary, will redshirt this season after transferring from UC Santa Barbara.