WSU VS. OSU: A First Look At The Beavers (Studying For The GRE Edition)

My writing has been less than frequent as of late and that is thanks to a series of events that have conspired against me.  One of those being that I am taking the GRE on Saturday.  This week has been full of analogies, antonyms, reading comprehension, and comparison questions.  They are pretty much all I have on the brain right now, so here we go!

Head Coach: Craig Robinson (65-65)

This calls for a quantitive comparison. Choose the option that best answers the question

Column A                                                                                    Column B

Your connections                                                                      Craig Robinson's connections

- The quantity in Column A is greater
- The quantity in Column B is greater
- The two quantities are equal
- The relationship cannot be determined from the information given

The answer of course is the second option.  President Obama may have waved at you from his limousine during his trip to Seattle, but that doesn't compare with Craig Robinson's freedom to give Barack the stankeye if his hand gets a little too low on Michelle's back AND not be tackled by twenty secret service men at the same time.

Record: 7-6 (2-0), No. 127 KenPom ranking.

Best Win: 76-75 over No. 16 Arizona at home.

Worst Loss: 70-68 to No. 274! Utah Valley AT HOME.  The Beavs also lost to No. 269 Texas Southern at home and No. 273 Seattle on the road.

Which leads to the analogy:

OSU : WTF? ::

- Kellen Moore : FINGAGUNZ
- Benny Hill : WSU football defense
- Butch : GO! or COUGS!
- Beer : Dinner

You got the first question right, so this one was a little harder.  The key is to make the right connection between the two words.  Oregon State's schizophrenic performance on their schedule makes you say WTF? Kellen Moore doesn't make you say FINGAGUNZ, Kellen Moore is FINGAGUNZ, so that can be eliminated.  Benny Hill provides a perfect soundtrack for the WSU football defense.  Eliminate that.  Beer makes a perfectly acceptable dinner, and sometimes it causes you to lose your dinner, but it never makes you say dinner.  The correct option is C, because no one can resist when Butch points to their side for their half of WSU's favorite cheer.

Offense: 104.3 adjusted efficiency (105th), 50.7 eFG% (103rd), 20.9 TO% (174th), 32.9 OR% (175th), 44.3 FTR (156th)

We'll use an antonym for the offense.  Choose the word closest to the opposite meaning.

Oregon State Beavers:

- Slow Tempo
- I WANNA GO FAST
- Christmas
- Dirge

This one is tricky.  Some of you may have wanted to choose I WANNA GO FAST as the opposite, but in fact slow tempo is much closer to the real answer.  The Beavers are playing at a rate of 70.1 possessions a game, 70th fastest in the land.  A stark contrast to being the 324th fastest last season.  This change seems to have had a positive effect on the offense so far, as Oregon State's efficiency is markedly improved from last season. 

Oregon State spreads those extra possessions around to a lot of different guys.  Not one person on the team who plays significant minutes uses over 25% of the possessions.  Nine different players are above 17% usage.  One might think this would be a product of OSU "spreading the ball around," but they are 258th in the country in assists per field goal made.

The scariest scorer on the floor is probably Jared Cunningham.  He leads the team in ORtg and gets to the foul line often.  His individual free throw rate is 128th best in the nation.

Defense: 100.5 adjusted efficiency (158th), 52.8 eFG% (292nd), 26.5 TO% (9th), 32.8 OR% (175th), 35.4 FTR (130th)

One last analogy.

STEALS : OSU ::

- Loafer Lightener : Hairdressing Industry
- Penguins : Canada
- Sci-Fi : Nerds
- Me : Ideas for Answers

OSU leads the country in theft.  They are stealing the ball on 15.6% of their opponents possessions.  So of course, the answer is the first option (if anyone gets that reference we are best pals for life).  Option three doesn't work because Nerds are actually what makes Sci-Fi successful.  If the two words were reversed, that would be a correct answer (I've read something like that a 1000 times this week). OSU's ability to steal the ball makes up slightly for the fact that they have been absolutely terrible in limiting effective field goal percentage.  Teams are having no problems making shots, it is getting the shots off that have been an issue.  Oregon State used their ability to turn teams over to their advantage against a point guard-less Arizona team.  Jared Cunningham pops up again here, as he is third in the nation with a 6.0 steal percentage.

Aside from the steals, this defense has been very average.  When a Pac-10 team has an average defense nationally, it probably means they have a bad defense in conference.  As I said on the podcast, if the Cougs can take care of the ball, they will have good looks.

Overall:  Despite their success this past weekend, this is still a team Washington State should beat.  They don't have a particularly great offense and a team like WSU that takes care of the ball well may limit their already shaky defense.

I'm out of ideas for GRE questions, that stuff is hard.

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