Okay, I have a confession to make. I'll be going to the ASU game this weekend. But not the ASU/Oregon game, the ASU/OSU game. Yes, I, a Duck fan, am going to my first game at the Gill to watch the Pac-10's bottom dwellers play a meaningless game. Now, I am only going because we are taking our basketball team there. And, yes, we tried to get Duck tickets but they were sold out. It should be an interesting experience, and I fully expect it to be the most terrible and pathetic athletic event I have ever attended (that's saying a lot, as I sat through the UO/WSU football debacle in 2003). But it should be an interesting experience, and my first time at an OSU home game. I will write a post this weekend comparing the Gill to Mac (not that I expect there to be any kind of just comparison).
Now, onto a game that actually matters. I wasn't able to watch the game last time the Ducks played ASU, but from what I have heard it was just a really ugly game. ASU really tried to slow the tempo and was largely successful in doing so. Only ten points--total--were scored in the last seven minutes, and the Ducks squeaked out a five point victory againt a really bad team. And now the Ducks come into this one reeling a bit. Sitting at fifth place in the conference, losers of three of their last four. Their offense and defense have both been poor during that stretch.
What ASU will try to do is slow the game down again, although I still believe that if the Ducks try to force a faster pace, that they can do so. Besides Pendergraph, their not a great post team, so they shouldn't be able to just pound us like USC and UCLA did. What the Ducks need to do is rediscover their defensive intensity and feed off the energy of the home crowd. If the Ducks are on defensively, ASU does not have the horses to keep up with the Ducks.
THINGS I'D LIKE TO SEE:
- I'd like to see the Ducks make an effort to get Maarty involved on the offensive end early in the game. He just hasn't done a whole lot the last few games.
- Malik and MVP need to be aggressive. This team has settled for a lot of jump shots lately, but you have to get to the rim (and the free throw line), to be successful. If you try to live by the three, you will also die by the three.
- I implore Ernie Kent to please not play Churchill Odia or Ray Schafer. If you must use bench players not name Catron or Oguchi, I encourage him to use Zahn and Stelly. Seriously. Nothing good ever becomes of Odia entering the game.
- The Ducks have to rediscover their defensive intensity if they are going to do great things this season.