Before we tip-off tonight's game, we decided to get a little Pre-Game chat going with the only Seattle U Blog out there: SeattleUFan.com. We asked Gary Hill some questions about tonight's game, and his responses are below. Enjoy!
Q: The Redhawks are 0-3 on the season, with blowout losses to Maryland, San Francisco, and Cal Poly. Is there an explanation for the poor play, or are those teams just really good?
A: The 0-3 record has mostly come down to poor shooting. Seattle U has not found the stroke yet this year- 36% vs Maryland, 41% vs San Francisco and 27% vs Cal Poly. It has been a vicious cycle. They need to make baskets to set up their suffocating press which leads to easy baskets. They don't make shots, they can't set up their press and they are forced into a half-court game. Their opponents have done a great job of controlling tempo in all three games so far. However, the results of the first two games were not shocking especially taking on the defending ACC champs on the road. SU is also incorporating plenty of youth into the lineup. There are three freshman playing prominent roles in what is essentially an 8-man rotation to this point.
Q: Who do you think will carry the Redhawks tonight? Who has been the best player so far?
A: Sterling Carter has been the best player on offense so far. The freshman is averaging 20 points a game and has already knocked down 10 threes. If Seattle U is going to compete tonight they need point guard Cervante Burrell to grab a prominent scoring role. He is the key to Seattle's fast, faster, fastest pace of play. He had a big first half against Maryland, but has been shut down since. He amassed 17 points against the Beavers last year. Watch Garret Lever on defense. He is averaging nearly 5 steals a game and he takes 2 or 3 charges a contest as well. His body is always in the right position and he is relentless on the ball. The son of Denver Nugget legend "Fat" Lever will not knock you over statistically, but basketball fans really enjoy watching him work on the defensive end.
Rest of the Q&A after the break
A: Key Arena can be a huge home-court advantage. The upper bowl is curtained off, just as they do for Seattle Storm games, to give the place a more intimate feel. The building was often stoked to life last year jolting memories of Seattle SuperSonics days gone by. Seattle picked off Weber State, Fresno State, Eastern Washington and Portland State on their home floor a season ago. There should be a good crowd on hand tonight.
A: I think Oregon State is going to come away with a hard fought victory. Seattle U is a young team sorting things out and the timing is not ideal going up against a Pac-10 goliath. I think SU, much like last year, will be a much better team at the end of the season than right now. I also think Oregon State will be highly motivated with the demolition last year fresh in mind.
Once again, thanks to Gary for participating in this. Remember, the game tips-off at 7:00 PM on FSN NW.