The Cavaliers have had a week to get smart and take exams, and now it's time to return to basketball with a pair of road games against Oregon and Seattle. The Ducks are 6-2, with losses coming at then-No. 7 Vanderbilt and BYU. To help us get a look at Oregon, we sat down with SB Nation's Oregon site, Addicted To Quack.
Streaking the Lawn: I just spent the last 25 minutes staring at a picture of the Oregon court. The court's been around for a little while now -- how have other teams reactions been, during and after the game? Do you think there's any competitive advantage there?
Addicted to Quack: Reaction has been mixed. Some people really like it, others despise it. I like the trees, but there are way too many floor graphics in the middle of the court. I don't think its any kind of home court advantage, as its actually quite muted in person. Last year, there wasn't a half court line, and that proved pivotal in the CBI finals, but one was added in the offseason.
STL: Garrett Sim scares me. Over the past three games, he's shot over 70%, including over 60% from beyond the arc. What should Virginia be thinking about as they lay out their game plan against him? What's Sim's style -- is he a catch and shoot kind of guy? Does he need the time to plant his feet and square up? Does he create his own opportunities?
Addicted to Quack: Sim is a shooter, and is at his best in catch and shoot situations. He'll be able to cause some problems because the pack line defense will give him some open opportunities. He doesn't really create for himself, but moves well away from the ball. The guy you should be more worried about is EJ Singler, who is a poor man's version of his brother Kyle, the former Dukie. The offense really runs through him, and he can shoot, create his own shot, and create for others.
STL: By the numbers, aside from Sim, Oregon seems to have a very well-balanced offense. It seems like a different player every night leads the team in scoring, and everyone's put up double figures at least once this season. Everyone can shoot, everyone can score. Is Oregon's offense as deep as the numbers would suggest?
Addicted to Quack: It's really the Singler and Sim show (and Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph has played really well in the two games since he's become eligible). A lot of the other guys have decent numbers, but are maddeningly inconsistent. Johnathan Loyd went off for 24 against UTEP, then disappeared the last three games. Every post on the roster is inconsistent-from 12 points one day to zero the next. One of them is likely to step up on any given day, but you have no idea who. There have been games where none of them have. If a Tony Woods or an Olu Ashaolu can play to their potential, Oregon is a scary team. If not, Oregon is what they are now, which is avery inconsistent team that lacks cohesion.
STL: Last year Oregon opened up a huge lead to start the game against Virginia before the defense clamped down and held the Ducks to just 48 points. Is this year's squad a team that can keep up a fast-paced tempo, and can they play for the full 40 minutes? At 6-2 right now, with one of those losses coming from then-No. 7 Vandy, what's the expectations for this squad?
Addicted to Quack: Last year's team couldn't shoot, which is not a problem for this year's squad. The expectation coming into the year was a return to the NCAA Tournament. After watching this team in action, my expectations have tempered quite a bit. They turn the ball over a ton. They don't rebound particularly well despite their size. They rotate badly on defense and have terrible lapses on that side of the ball. They have managed not to lose to any bad teams, albeit barely, which does make them unique in this year's terrible Pac-12, but they haven't played very competitively against good teams, either. If they get it together, which they have the talent to do, they have NCAA potential. Right now, they're an NIT squad.
STL: Prediction time. Who ya got?
Addicted to Quack: I honestly like Virginia. Oregon hasn't shown me that they can be consistent enough to beat a quality opponent. Hope I'm proven wrong.
STL: Bonus question, because this is on all of our (the Virginia fanbase's) minds. Pick the winner of the Chick-fil-A Bowl between Virginia and Auburn. Yes, I know these are two teams you almost certainly don't follow. No, I don't care.
Addicted to Quack: You may remember we played in a little bowl game against Auburn last year. They can go to hell and die. Give me Virginia. Hopefully big.