Friday, January 18, 2008

Stanford at Oregon

This was a very well played game for the most part, playing the game the way it was meant to be played. Kudos to both teams, coaches and players for representing the game so well in front of a national TV audience on CBS Sports with the Governator (Bill Raftery) calling the game.

The offense dried up towards the end of the game (or perhaps the defense picked up), but the low turnovers made this a very pleasant game to watch.

Each team went to its strengths, Stanford took advantage of their size advantage inside, with Brook Lopez rehearsing his NBA moves against the Oregon smalls. Oregon went to their strength, the run and gun, mismatch-causing small team, with Mighty Mouse breaking ankles and Malik Hairston malik'ing the defense, and Leunen being the "tough fundamental".

But don't get me wrong, if you peruse the Oregon roster you will find lots of size there, it's just that Ernie Kent prefers to play with the smaller guys, partly because they are faster, partly because they are better than the big guys, and partly because it's cool :)

In my opinion, Stanford continues to under-achieve. Granted, they had their share of injuries and issues, but it's very rare that a team has two solid 7-footers. To not be able to capitalize on them is disappointing. It sort of reminds us of the failure of Rob Evans at Arizona State when he had a program-changing player in Ike Diogu. After one good year and an NCAA tournament bid, they were unable to capitalize on having Diogu for the next two years. Is Trent Johnson heading into Rob Evans territory? Probably not, but he has two game-changers, Evans only had one.

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