The Pacific 10 Conference is not what it used to be, and neither is Loyola Marymount, which means that the Lions have a good chance to knock off Oregon State in Corvallis tonight, even though Coach Paul Westhead won't say so.
"We go in (to Gill Coliseum) expecting the roof to fall in on us," Westhead said.
Loyola is 3-1 and averaging 107 points, however, while Oregon State is 1-2 and has beaten only the University of Portland, which figures to be one of the weaker teams in the West Coast Athletic Conference. The Beavers have lost to Clemson and UC Santa Barbara on the road. Loyola is 1-1 on the road.
The Lions have four players averaging double figures, led by Corey Gaines at 22.8, Hank Gathers at 21.5 and Mike Yoest at 17.5. Gaines is handing out 10.2 assists a game and shooting 62% from the field, including 8 of 11 shots from three-point range. The Lions have made 52% of their three-point attempts.
Oregon State has three players in double figures, led by center Bill Sherwood at 13 points a game and forward Earl Martin, a Carson High graduate, at 12 points. Standout point guard Gary Payton is averaging 9.7 points and 7.3 assists.
Beaver Coach Ralph Miller, the winningest active college coach, will be trying for victory No. 634. He's nine wins behind Marv Harshman for seventh place on the all-time list.