Tako Tuesdays: Garrett Sim, Basketball Villain-For-Hire?

YOU!

You look like a nice person. You shower every day, you hold the elevator for people, you recognize when you're walking in a group, someone walking toward you on the sidewalk won't have enough room to get by, so you move into a single-file line to let them through. - sidenote: if you don't do this, I hate you. Stop being selfish, share the sidewalk. - People like you; you've got some close friends, some more not-so-close ones, you go to parties and chat with people, and no one goes home thinking, man, wasn't so-and-so a real jerk?

But there's something missing. You are, by no fault of your own, incomplete. And I've got what you're looking for.

His name is Garrett Sim, and he's here to antagonize people that you need antagonized.

Once called a "D-II talent" by a noted sportswriter, Sim has blossomed into a legit Pac-12 guard in his senior season. A 38% percent shooter for his career entering 2011, he is currently making 49% of his shots, and 45% from three-point range. Why the dramatic uptick in production? Was it a senior stepping up to lead his team? Coaching from Dana Altman and staff? Nope, nope, and nope. Sim has merely assumed the position of "Oregon player whose production can't be explained by opposing fanbases." In 2010, it was Joevan "I'm a 6'5" big man somehow scoring 15 points a game" Catron. Before that, we were treated to four years of Tajuan Porter, the Area 51 of basketball players. Some kind of high powered mutant never considered for mass production, he's allegedly 5'6", has range from 40 feet, removed his ear keloid after his freshman year and lost his sparkle and mojo almost immediately, and is allergic to passes, defense, and the key. If I were a fan of another Pac-12 team, and I saw Tajuan Porter walking down the street in the rain, there's no way in hell I'm stopping and offering him a ride. So now Garrett Sim gets to be that guy, bugging the heck out of anyone whose team is playing Oregon. And, and I know this won't be the first time or the last time this gets said in America but is worth saying anyway: it makes a big difference that he's white.

Every great college basketball team needs a white guy who bothers the hell out of opposing fans. It can't just be a white guy that's good at basketball; they have to make big shots at the right time, play better than their talent would suggest, and give off that "I'm gonna pound some Milwaukee's Best's after the game and hook up with a sorority chick" vibe. Stanford had Chris Hernandez, Mark Madsen, and Casey Jacobson, Arizona has Luke Walton, the huskies had Ryan Appleby, and Duke had Bobby Hurley, JJ Reddick, and like three dozen other guys. Oregon hasn't had one in their history. The Lukes weren't annoying or overachieving by any stretch (I should know, I was a Cal fan at the time). Stan Love was years ago, and this generation of Duck fans remember him for what he said in the 2000s instead of how he played in the 1970s. So who's the current #1 Obnoxious White Duck entering 2011? Maarty Leunen? Too understated. Adam Zahn? Too unproductive. Mitch Platt? Too catatonic. Enter Garrett Sim, and raise the curtain on Sunday night's game against Oregon State.

Garrett Sim already had the hot hand, and was starting to get on Gill Coliseum's nerves. Sim was talking to a referee heading into a timeout, and ended up smack in the middle of the OSU huddle. I don't know exactly what down next. All I know is, Sim threw an elbow disguised as a raised hand, walked away like he didn't do a god damn thing, and after a short deliberation, OSU's Jared Cunningham had his third foul of the first half. Beaver fans booed Sim every time he touched the ball, and for good reason. Their best player was suddenly limited in his aggressiveness in an already-aggressive game. And this short white guy was hitting every freaking shot. The short white guy who went 2-11 the last time these two teams met, who didn't score against the Beavers until his junior year and had a total of eight field goals in six career games. Sim fed off the energy, finishing the game with 25 points on 10-14 shooting, by far the best game of his Duck career. It wasn't a Jeremiah-type performance (Johnson in '08 or Masoli in '09), but it'll take a little while for the Beaver diehards to forget about this game.

It's where Garrett Sim belongs, as the heel. He's the bad cop to EJ Singler's good cop, the Avon Barksdale to Singler's Stringer Bell (completing the analogy, Devoe Joseph is Marlo, Tony Woods is Cheese, Jon Loyd is Bodie, Olu Ashaolu is Slim Charles, and Sean Miller is Sen. Clay Davis). He's got all the tools to thrive as the pesky Pac-12 guard; pity he's got only a few games left in his Oregon career to try and make it a reality. At least he had it for one game, for the Civil War, against the team he grew up wanting to play for, the team that didn't offer him a scholarship. If it's only for that one game, I'll bet it still felt really good.

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