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College Hoops Q&A with Rule of Tree

After the rousing success of last week's Q&A with Building the Dam, the Q&A offers come POURING in.  Of the literally two Q&A's I did this week, only one had the courtesy to use my formal title THE COMMODORE, SIR, KING OF ALL THAT IS GLORIOUS.  So props to you, Scott Allen of Rule of Tree.  You've shot to the top of my Top 10 Favorite Stanford Bloggers list.

1. Who is your personal favorite member of this highly-touted Stanford freshman class?

My favorite Stanford freshman is Dwight Powell, the most touted of the bunch, and the one who has shown the most promise of developing into an all-conference performer in the games that I've watched. He's been pretty inconsistent and has been limited to some extent by his inability to stay out of foul trouble, but I think he'll post a few double-doubles before the season is over. While he does most of his work around the basket, I like that he has the ability to hit the outside shot.

2. What will Stanford do well in a win, and what will they do poorly in a loss?

I'll keep it simple. When Stanford wins, it plays solid defense, gets contributions from players other than Jeremy Green and Josh Owens, and generally shoots the ball well. When Stanford loses, nobody, Owens and Green included, does much offensively. The Cardinal has shot 34, 22, and 31 percent in its last three games, the team's ugliest stretch of the season. Win or lose, Stanford will probably miss a lot of free throws. The Cardinal is shooting 66% from the charity stripe this season.

3. Where does Stanford's season end this year?

I'd say the Staples Center, but the CBI is still around, right? If Oregon State made the field last year, I like Stanford's chances, even without a relative of the POTUS as head coach.

Check out the rest of the interview after the jump!

4. Is it tough on the men's team being the second most popular basketball team on their own campus?

The team can't be thrilled playing in a half-empty Maples Pavilion, but I'm sure they're happy to see the women's basketball team succeed. During the nonconference season, you'd see members of the men's team at a women's game and vice versa. I think the men are probably more than a little envious of the adoration the football team has received in recent years. Just 5 years ago, the situation was flipped. The men's basketball team was pretty good and got all the love while the football team, which stunk, was an afterthought among students.

5. Off topic, but what are your thoughts on Harbaugh leaving and Luck staying?  That definitely wasn't the outcome I expected.

I certainly wasn't expecting it either. Toward the end of the season, I thought both would be gone. I was surprised when Luck announced that he was returning and then I allowed myself to get caught up in the idea that with his favorite QB coming back, Harbaugh was coming back too. Hello, BCS title talk. It was a little bit of a letdown when Harbaugh took the 49ers position, but I'm happy with the hiring of David Shaw and I'm not complaining. One of out of two isn't bad, and at least in terms of next year's prospects, the more important of the two will be back.

6. Which player will have the biggest offensive impact against the Ducks?

I'll go with Owens, whose been a little more consistent and certainly more efficient than Green offensively.

7. What are your thoughts on this year's Tree?  It's more of a palm tree than an evergreen.  Welcome change, or eyesore?

I dig it. It's a nice change, at least for a year. It kind of reminds me of Robin Lopez, which is to say it reminds me of happier times.

8. Finally, what's your prediction for the game?

I expect a close game and I think the homecourt advantage tilts this one in favor of the Cardinal. I'll go out on a limb and say Stanford shoots better than 40%.