Going into Saturday's first installment of the basketball version of the Civil War Oregon State and Oregon's head coaches spoke about the upcoming game on the Pac-10 conference call.
"It means a lot," said OSU's Craig Robinson. "Our kids are huge Oregon State fans. So they are not only interested in their own games but they go to all the other games, football, volleyball, women's basketball when they can, and baseball games. They love going to Civil War games because they know how much it means to them.
"This is a huge game for us. A huge rivalry and it's a good rivalry."
Last season the Ducks were known to be one of the better offensive teams in the league and OSU was able to limit the Ducks to only 42 points and won by 20.
"We really focused on our defense [last year] and this year this is our only game we are playing this season," said Robinson.
"Last year I think losing that game against Seattle got our attention and got our focus for that Civil War. This year I'm just hoping this is a big enough game where we know what we have to do and our job now is to execute."
For Oregon this will be Dana Altman's first go-round with the Civil War and he himself admitted he's not too sure of what it will be like right now.
"I'm not really sure yet, I know it means a lot to our fans," said Altman. "I am starting to get a little feel for it because of our fans. But it really hasn't sunk in yet with our players as I was out Monday recruiting so today [Tuesday] will be my first day with the team as we prepare for Oregon State. But I know its very important for our fans and I get a feeling it will be very important for our players."
Maybe the bigger question mark for Altman and his program is the availability of senior Joevan Catron and his 15 points and six rebounds a game.
"That's a big question for us this week," stated Altman. "He is the heart and soul of our team. He has really been our leader day in and day out in practice and in ball games. I sure hope we get him back but I would say at this time he's 50/50 but in his mind he might say he's 100% that he is going to play. But it is up to the trainers and the doctors to make that decision and then we will be ready hopefully on Saturday."
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