And now, in honor of the Big Game, C and R present the 158th annual Q & A with Nick from SB Nation’s California Golden Blogs.
He asks the Q’s, C and R answer them. (Secretly, we think he just wants our Stanford blog to mention his Cal blog, hoping for bad karma or ju-ju or what have you, but I digress). Our questions to him are at the bottom, and we will publish tomorrow or whenever we get around to it.
One note, usually his questions are funny and silly, so that’s how we wrote ours. Then he writes these scholarly and insightful questions, like he’s been studying basketball or something. Ours look stupid by comparison. Oh well, when have we ever let that stop us! Enjoy.
1. I don’t really think anybody has effectively slowed down the elder Ogwumike, but if it can be done, how would a team go about doing so?
A: Break her legs? Just kidding. No really, we kid, cuz then we would have to hunt you down and return the favor. Okay, real answer, and not that we are totally biased or anything, but Nneka is an unstoppable force! LOL. She has always been good around the basket, with an incredible vertical leap. This year she has gone out and got a soft-touch shot from about 15 feet or so. She has so many ways to score it’s not funny. She can drive to the basket, hit a pull up jumper, break your ankles with a move or just jump over your head. (She can grab a rebound and put it back up without touching the ground! Oh, and she can catch and shoot an alley-oop pass without touching the ground, too. Not very many women’s players can do that). C and R’s recommendation to stop her? Go out and kidnap Britteny Griner.
2. After the Ogwumikiis there hasn’t been a ton of production (by Stanford’s lofty standards, at least). Is that a case of a lack of opportunity, or a lack of the type of depth usually seen on the farm?
A: Haven’t you been reading our blog? All season long it has been the Nneka and Chiney show (no complaints here) and three warm bodies (tons of complaints here). There has been hardly any scoring production from anyone! Jos Tinkle was demoted this year and then cracked the starting lineup the last 3 games and is taking nothing for granted and playing much better. She is averaging about 8 points. Why isn’t anyone else scoring? We have been scratching our heads all year. Could it be the case of watching a talented superstar like Nneka and depending on her too much? Chiney is wily and creates most of her own opportunities and points on offensive rebounds. Not a lot of people can wrestle a rebound like Chiney, not even Tinkle. We hope this lack of scoring by others is something super-genius Tara VanDerveer can solve. BTW, Sisters Ogwumikii? We like that, patent pending.
3. What’s the best way to attack Stanford’s defense? Drive-and-dish? Entry passes to the post? You have to give us something!
A: Well geez, why should we help Cal? Hee hee. Okay, you twisted our arm. This year, super genius Tara VanDerveer has been experimenting with different defenses, so that makes it harder for teams to prepare for what might happen, as opposed to relying heavily on man to man. Heck, we have even seen some1-3-1, and against one of the Washington schools, they used some sort of “Buzz” defense. So Cal needs to be prepared for many looks, not just one or two. Okay, that was a cop out. Here’s a better hint, attack the weakest player on the floor.
4. Stanford has their usual crop of highly rated freshmen, but I haven’t seen any of them yet because they’re too young to play much in the biggest televised games. What are your thoughts on the freshmen?
A: Well, two are hurt and gone for the season (Alex Green and Jasmine Camp). Jasmine Camp was the “it” freshmen for a while before she was hurt, now it is Amber Orrrrange (just kidding on the spelling, it’s really just 2 “R”s). She is a good playmaker, but not a huge scoring threat. Bonnie Samuelson has this CRAZY 3-point shot with a super fast release, but only goes in the hoop in games that are not close. Not so much when the game is on the line. Taylor Grenfield and Erica Payne play forward and although they look good, they don’t score and look like they are still trying to figure out the game. Don’t expect to see much of them if the game is close. Tara trusts Ogwunikiis, Tinkle, Toni, and subs out the fifth spot.
5. Any predictions? (Score or otherwise.)
A: Um, Stanford is going to win?
Sorry, that was cheesy, but it is Maples and if you can’t stop Nneka (one team triple teamed her and she still scored!!), it’s all over but the shouting. We predict Nneka will throw us a victory ball (hint, hint!).
Questions for Cal Blog:
You have a new head coach, Lindsey Gottlieb (Who likes to use Twitter, no less, her handle is @CalcoachG), what type of energy does she bring to this team?
We’ve been hearing all about the one and only Brittany Boyd (her twitter handle no less, is @ONEandONLYbboyd, and we are sensing a theme). Just how good is she, and is she really Alexis Gray Lawson in disguise trying to have four more years of college eligibility?
Nneka and Chiney clean up any and all rebounds. What do you see Cal doing to keep them off the boards? (Short of breaking legs?)
What’s with no last names on the home shirts? Can your uniform maker not spell? How will we tell whom Nneka is dunking over?
Down by one against Washington State, Brittany Boyd loses her show but continues playing, passes and Cal scores, she gets an assist. Was that a planned ploy to distract the other team? (An our Toni Kokenis beat her to it last year, she ran so fast she ran right out of her shoe yet had the presence of mind to throw it back to the bench).
Breaking news, Cal players campaigned on Twitter to get disco ball on bus on way to Stanford (no really, we saw it on Twitter, look in Coach G’s timeline!). Do you see that as a help or distraction?