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?
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.
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?
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?
Dominick - NIT and Dave "Rowdy Roddy" Piper addresses that scenario in this post - http://www.addictedtoquack.
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.