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Some pregame thoughts from Gill

COUGARS

Is there a little less consternation out there now that Oregon has also handled Washington today? Or does that create more worries in that Oregon State defeated the Huskies here Thursday night? More thoughts on that, and the extra "g" I had this morning on the link, so read on.

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• First off, let me apologize to Steve Lavin for misspelling his name wrong today in our morning post. Now if he'll just apologize for some of the games UCLA played while he was in Westwood, we'll be even. ... Which is a nice lead-in to my next thoughts. ... Watching Oregon's win this afternoon, I was struck by much the Ducks flew around. When they did, throwing their bodies around as if they didn't care if the other team took advantage, they gave the Huskies fits. When Oregon slowed down, when the energy was sapped, UW rallied. There are a lot of college basketball teams that could learn from that. One of the reasons I really admired Jerry Tarkanian's UNLV teams was not for their talent. No, it was for how hard they played – and practiced. Talented guys throwing their bodies around every day. And that's why they were so good. Talent is rare, but many times God given. Playing with passion comes from within. ... So that's the one thing we'll be looking for tonight. Not turnovers, not blocked shots, not offensive efficiency, not rebounds. Effort. If that comes first, the rest should follow. Ken Bone thinks he'll see it from his team tonight. ... Just watched Will DiIrio sink a shot from the first row of the seats. Reminds me of a high school game I saw once when Brad Holland sank a shot to give Crescenta Valley a lead late, only to have it whistled off. He was out-of-bounds by about six inches. ... What else is there to say about tonight's game? It's obvious it's a must win in the Cougars want to have any hope of playing in the NCAA tournament. With their RPI at 74 right now – and Oregon State's 220 – another bad loss might just be the killer – if Thursday's wasn't. The last time these teams met, OSU opened in a 2-3 – the Beavers played that exclusively Thursday night – zone and WSU picked it apart. But when the Beavers went to their 1-3-1 trap, the Cougars struggled – despite spending all week preparing for it. Well the preparation time was much shorter this week, so, if you were Craig Robinson, wouldn't you figure WSU would struggle again? It makes sense the Beavers will at least want to see what the Cougars will do differently in the way of attacking the zone. ...

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• That's all for now. We'll be back on Twitter with our game updates, but I'm sure most of you will be watching on FSN. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi





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