Both the Oregon State Beavers and Florida A&M Rattlers are trying to break in rosters that include nine new players this season.
That process will continue when the teams meet Friday night in Corvallis, Ore.
It’s gone better so far for Oregon State (1-0), which secured a 73-70 comeback victory against visiting Tulsa on Monday to improve to 9-0 in season openers under coach Wayne Tinkle.
The Beavers trailed by 19 late in the first half before opening the second half on a 14-0 run.
True freshman point guard Jordan Pope scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the second half. Pope made two of Oregon State’s four 3-pointers in the opening five minutes of the second half.
The Beavers are aiming for a major turnaround following a dismal 3-28 season that ended with 18 consecutive defeats.
“Our guys responded in the second half to doing it our way,” Tinkle said. “This is a resilient group. We knew they had it in them, and we just had to get them to that place.”
Florida A&M’s inexperience has shown in road losses to No. 21 Oregon on Monday and Portland on Wednesday. The Rattlers (0-2) committed 21 turnovers in the 80-45 loss to the Ducks.
The Rattlers will play eight road games this season against Power 5 conference opponents, which should help the roster in the long term.
“This was the first Division I game for some of them,” coach Robert McCullum said. “Right now, they’re having to figure out the best way we need to play.”
Jordan Chatman and Jordan Tillmon led the Rattlers with eight points each against Oregon, but as a team, the Rattlers only made 3 of 18 attempts from 3-point range.
Against Portland, Tillmon led the way with 16 points and Byron Smith added 14 points, but the Rattlers were down 42-21 by halftime.
McCullum served as an assistant coach at Oregon from 2014-17 before leaving to become the head coach at Florida A&M, where he has a 54-90 record.
–Field Level Media