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From Wednesday: Men's Basketball Signs Three in Early Period
CORVALLIS, Ore. - A new era of Rice University men's basketball begins on Friday, Nov. 14, as head coach Mike Rhoades leads the Owls into the season opener at Oregon State. The contest will air live on the Pac-12 Networks. Fans nationwide can also tune in to a free online stream at Pac-12.com/live.
The game is the first of four non-conference road games for the Owls and the only true scheduled road contest for Rice in November. The other three games all take place in Texas during December and January (at Lamar, at Texas, at Houston).
The game will be a homecoming for senior forward Seth Gearhart, who grew up approximately 60 miles north of Corvallis in Wilsonville, Ore. The former Wilsonville High School standout enters his final season in the Blue and Gray as the squad's returning leader in rebounds and blocked shots.
The Rice cheering section may receive an additional boost from the team's other senior, Dan Peera, who hails from the west coast as well (San Ramon, Calif.). In addition to Gearhart, Rice returns a pair of starting guards in Max Guercy and Marcus Jackson. The pair combined for 32 points (including 6-of-11 three-pointers), six rebounds and four assists in Rice's Nov. 8 exhibition win over LeTourneau. Gearhart and sophomore Andrew Drone added 12 points apiece in the 82-64 win at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Scouting the Beavers
Oregon State also features a new head coach, as Wayne Tinkle joined the program after coaching Montana for the past eight seasons.
The squad returns seven players from last season's 16-16 team, including just one starter and the team does not have a senior on the roster.
Langston Morris-Walker is the top returning scorer for the Beavers at 3.97 points per game in 2013-14.
In pre-season exhibition action last Friday, the Beavers fell into an 18-point hole and eventually fell to Western Oregon, 57-47. Gary Payton II recorded a double-double in the game with 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Freshman Dylan Livesay attended the same high school as Rice senior Seth Gearhart.
The Owls break a string of six-straight season openers at home as the team ventures out on the road to begin the 2014-15 campaign.
Rice last opened the season on the road on Nov. 13, 2007, a 76-49 setback at TCU.
Rice has won four of its last five season openers, including a 69-60 win against St. Thomas last season.
The Owls last won a season opener away from home on Nov. 21, 2003, a neutral-site game against Idaho State at the BP Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska (76-46).
Rice seeks its first road win in a season opener since Nov. 18, 2000 when it claimed a 69-51 victory over Navy (0-2 record since).
Against Oregon State and Pac-12 Competition
Rice is 13-34 all-time against current members of the Pac-12, including a 1-1 mark against Oregon State.
Rice took a 55-54 win in Corvallis on Dec. 19, 1956.
After a 21-year hiatus the teams squared off in Portland at the Far West Classic on Dec. 28, 1977, when OSU claimed a 75-58 victory.
The Owls have faced off against all 12 members, including eight meetings with Stanford (0-8 record) and seven against former WAC rival Utah (1-6 record).
Rice's only unblemished record comes against Washington State (1-0), a potential opponent in the upcoming 2014 Great Alaska Shootout.
The Owls last faced a Pac-12 opponent on Dec. 1, 2010, an 84-57 setback at home against Arizona.
Following Friday's game, the Owls open their home slate against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 19. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse. Season and single-game tickets are on sale now at RiceOwls.com.