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Q+A with Building The Dam About Cal-Oregon State Pac10 Men's Basketball Game

Well, we have another big game tomorrow.  Cal is readying to take on Hope In Law and his be-oranged bethren in Corvalis.  OSU has seemed to be a thorn in Cal's side these last few years.  This is true not only in football, but also basketball. 

Hopefully, Cal can grab a key victory on the road against the ever so annoying Beavers.  OSU is a reeling team.  They did have a big victory over Washington, but have middled along ever since.  Can Cal take advantage of such a struggling team?  I sure hope so.

To learn more about the Beavs, we talked the lovely folks over at Building The Dam.  They are the go to source for Oregon State.  After the jump, see their answers to our questions.  Find out which incredibly lanky white guy will annoy us this game!  GO BEARS!

1.  What is the biggest difference in the Beavers since these two teams last played?

Ahmad Starks has moved into the starting lineup at point guard, and Roberto Nelson has moved into a bench role, and sometimes not a real large one. This has been in an attempt to get better defense on opponents' key perimeter players. And it has worked. Both Washington's Isaiah Thomas and WSU's Klay Thompson were largely shut down. Oregon St. is losing much more because their offense is under-performing than due to defensive problems.

2. When looking at the Kenpom stats I was shocked to see that OSU is playing at one of the faster paces in the nation after two years of slowing games down as much as possible.  Why the change in style?.

Devon Collier, Starks, and Nelson are all faster, and more athletic, players than those they replaced. Coach Craig Robinson wanted to eventually play a faster style all along, but lacked the players to do it with.

3. Last time against OSU, Cal's collection of big men combined for 46 total points on 17-27 shooting.  What do you think Robinson and the Beavers will do to play better interior defense?

Primarily, try to better defense the passing lanes, and not let the ball get into the big men as much. Also, try to have Joe Burton and Angus Brandt establish position better earlier in their setup. The Beavers would like to control the Bears inside by making Cal take more outside shots.

4. How the heck is your only win in the last 7 games vs. UW?

The Huskies don't play nearly as well on the road, and they shot terribly (as they did in most of their losses). Thomas wasn't allowed to create the way he wanted to (and he was a bit beat up), and Washington had to rely on outside shots they didn't make. The Huskies shot 24% on 3s, but only 32% overall, and 47% from the line. That won't win games.

5. Expectations on how your team finishes out the rest of the season?

The team is playing very inconsistently offensively, but consistently poorly offensively on the road. Or I should say, shooting inconsistently. 2-3 wins is probably max. (they do have probably 2 games with ASU, given they will probably face the Sun Devils in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament. At home this week, a split might be possible (written before the Stanford game). Arizona is untouchable. Getting to the second round of the Pac-10 tournament is probably the height of hardwood March Madness for the Beavers this year.

Unless the Beavs pull of a couple of upsets in the next 3 weeks, I doubt a third CBI tournament is in the cards.

6. Now, who do you want to punch in the face?

USC's Nikola Vucevic, but just because he will probably punch someone in the face himself, and hit them with a double double, like the one that beat us, as well.

7.  last question: In 1992, Cal football shut out OSU 42-0. CGB Hit Squad member Leon Powe was standing on the field pulling the field goal nets up and down, and Benny the Beaver came over to stand next to Leon. He leaned over and says "You guys are kicking our ass." I have no question here, I just wanted to tell that story.

Benny is a realist. That's probably a much better football memory for Cal fans than the last 4 years have been. I haven't noticed Oskie having anything to say to Benny as the size of the margins have been mounting.