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Q & A with Building the Dam

Jake from the our fellow SBN Blog Building the Dam was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about tonight's game against the Beavers. Jake will have our answers up later today.

1.  'SC gave the Beavers by far their worse loss of the season, at Corvalis.  How do you expect the team to respond?

They're definitely going to be playing with that in the back of their minds. To be honest, I don't think our team is any better shape than it was at the time of the 45 point loss. However, when USC and OSU met up the first time the Beavers had come off games against Oregon and UCLA- the two best teams in the conference. Whether that had anything to do with the result, who knows. Since that game the Beavers have only won 1 game out of the 6 they've played, and the mood in the locker room lately has not been pleasant. They will be motivated for this game, but the real question will be if they can put two decent halves of basketball together.

2.  The Beavers are about to hit one of the most difficult conference trips, as the Bruins have been dazzling this season, and 'SC has been much more competitive than expected.  What will the team's focus be and why?  Is it more important to get the big upset against the Bruins, or the smaller, more manageable one against the Trojans?

We need wins at this point. Either win would significantly boost our confidence, but we would greatly accept either of the scenarios you offered. Again, the key to Oregon State's success is if they can go out and play strong the whole game. Time and time again we get a great first half, then a gutless second half. The Beavers have a chance to win when they play wire to wire the whole game; it's just a matter of when that happens.

Picking one or the other is hard. If we beat UCLA, well, that significantly helps out the Ducks, which, from a Beaver fan's standpoint, isn't necessarily a good thing. But part of any Beaver fan wants the Ducks to make some waves this year, whether they will openly admit it or not. Beating 'SC would erase some memories of the 45 point loss, and again, it would significantly help our team gain confidence in themselves.

3.  The Beavers have had fairly inconsistent guard play, with most of their points coming from their forwards down in the paint.  How important is it for Josh Tarver to have a good game a be a threat from outside the arc?  Can the Beavers win a game without a 3 point threat?

Shooting the ball has been our Achilles heel all year. Josh Tarver has had his share of tough games, but every once and awhile he'll have a great game, like the one he had last week against Washington. If the Beavers win without a three point threat, that means the guys down low (Jeffers, Cuic, Shaftanaar, Jones, etc.) will have to take the load on their shoulders. I don't think we're going to have a one man three point threat, but we will still knock some down.

4.  Against the Trojans earlier this season, only one player, Tsagarakis from the bench, posted double digit points.  Which single player will need to have the biggest impact for the Beavers to be successful?

Offensively, we need a good game from Josh Tarver. I'm very tempted to say we need everyone to have the biggest impact, but if I had to pick one, I would go with Josh. We need to put up numbers like he did against Washington, and we need him to be able to make free throws from the line.

Defensively, Sasa Cuic needs to have a good game. Sasa will have games where he goes off on offense, but still can't play a lick of defense. We're almost better when he's not in the game, just we don't score as many points. It's almost a matter of if he scores more points than he gives up.

5.  OSU is coming in on a 4 game losing streak.  You need to get a win and rebound back for a bright looking future.  What's the key going to be?

Actually getting the ball through the basket. Oregon State ranks 253rd nationally in field goal percentage, and our free throw shooting is even more atrocious. We're ranked 328th nationally from behind the arc, and that's from a field of 336 teams. Obviously, there are more factors to the game than simply making shots, but when we get a open look we need guys to convert. Hopefully we can get a lot of penetration into the low box, and Jeffers will be able to have the breakout game he needs.

Thanks Jake!

Good luck tonight.