Last year, Cal got swept by Hope In Law and his merry band of pranksters. Hopefully, this year, the joke will be on the Beavers as Cal can figure out that awful zone defense. Last year, people were taking OSU lightly, coming off of one of the worst seasons in their history. Now, Oregon State is 2-4 in the conference, but I don't think anybody is taking them lightly. After all, they are only one win worse than UW, who just took Cal behind the woodshed.
So, to help figure out what will happen tomorrow, we decided to contact Building The Dam to get the skinny on the Beavs. After the jump, check out their answers to our questions. GO BEARS!
1. What did Seattle do to you guys?
I hate to be cliche, but I think it was more about what Oregon State didn't do. Granted, Seattle made the Beavers look silly, but I think it was more of a self-implosion than anything else. For one, it was the last non-conference game on the schedule, unconventionally sandwitched in the middle of Pac-10 play. But if we want to break this down even farther, it may be best to look to head coach Craig Robinson. Craig and his wife Kelly welcomed a child into the world two days prior to the game against Seattle U. Craig even admitted in the postgame interview to being more fatigued than normal for the game, and his energy was down. It seemed like his team fed off that energy, and just went through the motions and wound up losing by a landslide. Now, we saw the same lack of energy at times in last night's Stanford game, so it's not like the Seattle U game was a complete anomaly. As Craig Robinson put it, "this team is afraid to be good". They don't have the confidence at this point in the season to get them through a full 40 minutes night in and night out. Versus Stanford, the Beavers didn't score for 9 whole minutes in the second half, which sucked.
2. What does Cal have to do to beat OSU?
If the Beavers play like they did in the second half against Stanford... the answer is not much. This teams has gone through several ups and downs this season, and they appear to be headed in the downward direction on this Bay Area trip. The number one thing Cal can do to beat Oregon State, though, is rebound. When the Beavers get beat up on the glass like they did Thursday at Stanford, it generally turns into a snowball effect and everything goes downhill. The Cardinal got 14 second chance points in the second half of the game, and none in the first half. The other thing Cal needs to do is shoot the ball well-- that's what they making a living off of, and that's how they can beat Oregon State. The Beavers aren't built to win in shootouts, they're built to win in a slow, methodical fashion.
3. So, which Tarver should we fear more?
Seth. He's the leader of the team on defense, and he has the ability to wreak havoc on your guards at the top of the zone. He's a steal machine, and that leads to a lot of fast break situations and easy buckets (although this Oregon State team has been known to miss the occasional layup). Josh has become more of a scoring threat each year and he has the ability to go of for 15 or 20 points, but Seth is the more consistent one, especially on defense, and is the one you should fear more.
4. How angry am I going to be at the Beavers ultra-frustrating I hate it so much zone defense after this game?
It really depends on how the Beavers execute. If the Beavers play with the effort they did on Thursday and can't rebound or make shots, you won't be frustrated at all. But if the Beavers can keep the rebounding differential close and get extra attempts in the paint, you'll get frustrated because it will just seem-- unfair. Cal's style is to get out and shoot, and Oregon State doesn't want to play that way.
5. Who do you want to punch in the face right now?
Up here at Oregon State, our motto is, "win or lose, we never punch each other". We would NEVER think of doing such a thing!