Q+A with Addicted To Quack About Cal-Oregon Pac10 Men's Basketball Game

Red hot!  Coming off of Cal's thrilling overtime victory over UCLA last weekend, Cal heads up north to go DEEP IN THE WOODS against those Qrazy Quackers!  For the longest time, the Oregon basketball team was one of the worst teams in the Pac10.  It was surprising given the millions upon millions of unaccounted for dollars that shadow Athletic Director Phil Knight was throwing around up there. 

Now, thanks to the unparalleled financial advantage enjoyed by Oregon, their basketball team is starting to turn it around.  Also, hard work.  Hard work is paying off for them.  But mostly the money.  Let's go with that.

To learn more about the Oregon basketball team, we contacted Addicted To Quack, SBN's finest University of Oregon blog.  They took time out of their busy counting Uncle Phil's money schedule to answer our questions.  After the jump, learn more about tonight's opponents, the Oregon Ducks.  GO BEARS!

PS  Phil, thanks for the jerseys!  Also, paying Coach Tedford's contract!  You're the best!

1.  Do you believe Oregon's unique court provides any home court advantage for those who have never played on there before?

Dave - 1.  No.  In person, it doesn't stand out nearly as much as it does on TV.  Ultimately, if you blame a loss on how the court is painted, it tells you a lot about why you suck.

 


Dominick - Maybe initially but opponents adapt. We aren't talking about a Rock n' Jock style environment with 10 point shots, different types of hoops and a penalty box. Players who aren't used to the textured look may have some initial trouble but we aren't talking about a rip in the space-time continuum


2.  What is the #1 difference in Oregon since the last time these two teams played?

 

Dave - 2.  Not much, we were hot the last time we played you as well.  We got down big early and just ran out of time.  The biggest difference is that this game will be in Eugene, and Cal will experience what its like to be DEEP IN THE WOODS.

Dominick -  More experience and confidence. Every single game, the team is growing and learning how to win. The team has developed a sense of chemistry that's been lacking the past few years and the defensive intensity has been ratcheted up another notch. On both sides of the ball, the team has become a lot more instinctive in their reads and playmaking ability.

3. So that Joevan Catron guy certainly got way better - what specifically about his game has improved, and what's the best way to slow him down?

Dave - 3.  We have an offense that utilizes a post instead of having a guard dribble around for 34 seconds before launching a fade away three.  As for specific skils, Catron has learned how to use his crazy athleticism to draw fouls.  When you look at season Catron is having, the fact that he's shooting over seven free throws a game is a big reason he scores so much.


Dominick - Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. Last year, there was a pretty specific flow in feeding Catron the ball. 1) Catron gets fed the ball in the post, 2) Catron dribbles the ball, 3) Catron shuffles feet, 4) Ref calls Catron for travelling, 5) Ernie asks TP to take a 3 point shot next time down the court. Rinse, repeat. Joevan's play is a night and day difference from last year and it has to do with how much work he's been putting in on the little aspects of the game.


4. In Berkeley, Harper Kamp and Markhuri Sanders-Frison both had efficient offensive games.  What do you anticipate Oregon doing to slow down our posts on defense?

Dave - 4.  We're going to press a ton and force you to turn the ball over, then we're going to run a zone and really pack it in.  Opposing posts who hurt us do so on the offensive glass, not in the half court offense.  We are small, and play a zone defense, both of which leave us vulnerable on the boards.


Dominick - Given how small we are upfront, I'm not sure we can do much to slow down the posts. I'm hoping that our guys can work to deny the entry passes and push Kamp and Sanders-Frison off the block a little so that their looks aren't as good. We can't allow offensive rebounds. Giving second chance opportunities to this group will make for a long night for the green and yellow...and black...and steel.

5. Since falling in Berkeley Oregon hopped right back on the wagon by winning 4 of 5.  What has Oregon been doing particularly well during this long streak of good play?

Dave -  5.  Oregon has been playing hard all year long.  But the difference between good Oregon and bad Oregon is shooting.  The way Oregon plays defense, they are going to be in every game.  If Oregon shoots well, they are going to win most of those.  Jay-R Strowbridge has been particularly effective as of late, as his six threes in the Civil War can attest.



Dominick - Defensive pressure. USC, Oregon State, and Washington State were all held under 40% from the field and this Ducks team converts those opportunities. Rebounding has also been a huge factor in the outcome of games. When Oregon has done well, they've been winning or competitive. When the opponent has a distinct advantage, Oregon has problems.

6. You guys have won 6 of your last 8 - things confident in Eugene? What's the best case scenario for this team?

 

Dave - 6.  Well, the best case scenario is to win the Pac-10 Tournament and get an automatic bid to the dance.  That's not terribly likely, but you never know.  Realistically, securing a winning record and an NIT berth would be phenomenal considering what was expected of this team and the talent on the roster.


Dominick - NIT and Dave "Rowdy Roddy" Piper addresses that scenario in this post - http://www.addictedtoquack.com/2011/2/22/2005785/so-realistically-just-what-are-oregons-nit-chances

7. With your upswing - what do you attribute it to - easy schedule? players buying into the coaching philosophy? Luck?

Dave - 7.  That Dana Altman is a really good coach, and the players are buying everything he is selling.  They  just flat out outwork other teams.


Dominick - You always need a bit of luck but I think the true answer is all over the above. Pac-10 is down again this year, check. New coach putting his players in position to win, check. The players buying into the system and putting in the effort to get better, double check. It almost makes you forget that we lost 7 of 8 in December and January. The team is growing and Altman is a coach that understands the strengths and weaknesses of his team and makes adjustments.


8. Aside from TwistNHook, most annoying Pac-10 player?

Dave - 8.  Venoy Overton.  No means no.

Dominick - No one makes me say "DERP" like Reeves Nelson. After getting shut out by EJ Singler in our first meeting with UCLA, he started crying about how Singler was a dirty player. His face makes me want to punch kittens.

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