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Big game against Nike U

Another crucial road trip starts tonight.  For us to stay in the Pac-10 championship race we need preferably sweep the Oregon schools or at least get a split. Our best chance to get a split is tonight as we take on a Oregon team which has been struggling to stay above .500 (with a lot of talented players). They lost their last game against Washington in Seattle, but they have won 3 out of their last 4 and are 9-2 at home. So yeah they are no pushover.  BBR has the preview:

Oregon has a 4-3 record in Pac-10 conference play. The Ducks are undefeated at home this season in conference play which included an impressive win over Arizona.

Last week the Ducks beat Washington St. 52-50 at Pullman but then were routed by Washington 78-59.

The Ducks are led by sophomore forward Malik "Carmelo" Hairston (6'6, 200). He is averaging 15.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Hairston can hit from anywhere on the court; he is shooting 48% from the field, and 45% from beyond the 3-point arc.

A healthy Cedric Bozeman would have been a good size and athletic match-up for Hairston. Michael Roll has done a good job defensively against his opposing number at SF but Hairston plays at another level. Most likely we'll see Arron Afflalo, Michael Roll, and Cedric Bozeman take their turns matching up with Hairston.
Well we learned yesterday Ced is going to available tonight. So lets see how effective he is with his injured shoulder.

On our side, the keys as usual are going to plays of Arron and Jordan. Dohn had an article on Arron's double duties and how he may be wearing out trying to do too much on the court. Howland dismissed the notion wanting AA to be more aggressive:
In his last five games, Afflalo is 6 for 37 (16.2 percent) from 3-point range. Before that, he was shooting 45.2 percent from beyond the arc. In those games Afflalo is 23 of 63 (36.5 percent) from the field. He was shooting 55.5 percent in his first 15 games.

"Everybody is playing him for the catch-and-shoot," Howland said. "I want him to be more aggressive, driving the basketball. I think he's very good at that. He has a strong body, but he's going to be fine."
Meanwhile, AA's backcourt mate Jordan is finally starting to get healthy.  Dohn has a report on the maturation process of the Bruin superstar:
A year ago, the intensely competitive Farmar admitted to frustration about coach Ben Howland's insistence on using a jump-stop in the lane to create passing or shooting space, which resulted in Farmar taking some ill-advised shots when the offense became stagnant.

Now, Farmar utilizes the jump-stop to near-perfection, earning raves from Howland and a conference-best 5.9 assists per game. He understands the importance of getting his teammates involved in the offense, even if it means passing up open shots.
It's fun to see these kids growing up process and rebuilding of our program. By the way, while Jordan is getting healthy, fresman pg DC is hobbling somewhat with a sprained ankle. Hopefully DC will learn to play with adversity and take the cue from his team-mates.  LA Times also has a game day report focusing on Hollins' improved play in last 3 games. Lets hope everyone is ready tonight. Another big game. GO BRUINS.