Team preview: Oregon State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 5:16 PM ET
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After ending last season with a heart-breaking 63-60 loss to USC, Oregon State coach Jay John did not spend the off-season mulling over what could have been -- he was too busy focusing on what can be in 2004-05.

Last year, the Beavers entered the final day of the regular season needing one more victory to lock up a sixth-place finish in the Pac-10, which would have earned them a spot in the league tournament. But that three-point loss at USC dropped OSU to ninth, one spot removed from qualifying for the postseason.

John remained positive after the game.

"I think the best thing about the last game of the season is none of the guys lost their career," he said.

This season, John returns his most experienced team since leaving Lute Olson's staff at Arizona three years ago for his first head-coaching job.