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Scoring phenom boosts OSU hopes

Perimeter shooting, an Achilles' heel for Oregon State last season, shouldn't be as big a problem if Angelo Tsagarakis is as good as advertised.

The 6-3, 185-pound guard from Casa Grande High in Petaluma, Calif. Ñ and a native of France Ñ averaged 23 points as an exchange-student senior. He bombed in a school-record 41 points in a playoff game.

'Angelo brings us instant credibility as a shooter,' OSU coach Jay John says. 'This year, we had no credibility in that area. This kid, you can't leave him alone. If he comes across halfcourt, somebody better be close to him. If he has his feet set, he can hit shots.'

Oregon State coaches noticed Tsagarakis (pronounced 'sock-ah-ROCK-us Ñ you have to like that) while watching another OSU signee, forward Kyle Jeffers of Santa Rosa, Calif., face Tsagarakis' team this season. Tsakarakis scored 30 points in the game, and the Beavers were suddenly in hot pursuit.

Three of the Beavers' five recruits played prep ball in a 150-mile radius Ñ Tsagarakis, Jeffers and 7-2 Liam Hughes of Modesto, though only Jeffers is American. Hughes is from England.

The Beavers got a plum in Jason Fontenet, a 5-10 point guard from Phoenix who will transfer from New Mexico State and have two seasons left beginning in 2004-05. Fontenet was the Arizona prep player of the year and teamed with Arizona standout Channing Frye for a state championship in 2000-01. He was recruited by Arizona, Southern California, Arizona State and Notre Dame but opted for New Mexico State because he wanted to play with his twin brother, James.

Jason, second in scoring at 12.2 points and the team leader in assists at 4.0 for the Aggies this season, grew tired of coach Lou Henson's deliberate offense and decided to transfer.

John says Fontenet will fit nicely with incumbent point guard Lamar Hurd in the OSU backcourt two years down the road.

'I learned from coach (Lute) Olson, if you can put even three point guards on the court who can do everything, you are hard to guard,' John says. 'Jason was one of the best guards in the Sun Belt Conference this year and can definitely play at the Pac-10 level.'

Oregon State has one scholarship left, to be used for a small forward. No. 1 on the Beavers' list: 6-7 Kenny Hooks from Moss Point, Miss.

• Irish golfer Padraig Harrington, 31, is ranked eighth in the world, but in the United States, he is all but an unknown compared to his second cousin: Joey Harrington.

Joey followed Padraig for three rounds at last year's Masters and had plans to go to dinner with him after the third round. But, after Padraig double-bogeyed the 18th hole, his wife, Caroline, suggested it might not be a good time for a family meeting. Joey went home.

This year, Joey invaded Augusta again with a couple of friends and had better luck. He watched his cousin the first two days (Padraig missed the cut), then went to dinner with his family. 'It was nice for Joey to finally get a chance to spend some time with him,' says Joey's father, John Harrington.

• Oregon State has landed one of the prime baseball prospects in the Northwest in Dallas Buck, a 6-3, 195-pound pitcher and shortstop who helped Newberg to the Class 4A state finals as a junior last spring. And OSU coach Pat Casey says Buck, who also wants to play college football, can help the Beavers in that sport, too.

'Dallas can come in and pitch and be an impact guy for us right away,' Casey says. 'I watched him in football, and he could play safety or wide receiver (for the Beavers). He is a tremendous athlete along the lines of a Mitch Meeuwsen.'

Casey has a gem already on his team in sophomore center fielder Aaron Mathews, who returned to action and was named the Pac-10 player of the week his second week back. Mathews, who broke an arm in the first inning of OSU's second game of the season, tied a school record by going 5 for 5 with a homer and four RBIs in Saturday's 11-3 victory over Washington State.

Contact Kerry Eggers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .