Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
Now entering his sixth season as head coach of the Stanford Cardinal, Johnny Dawkins enters a pivotal season. The program has yet to make the NCAA Tournament under his watch and with just about everyone back from a year ago, this is the team’s best chance to get over the hump.
Last Season: T-6th, 9-9 in Pac-10, 19-15 overall
Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 5th
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Dwight Powell (Sr)/Grant Verhoeven (So)/Stefan Nastic (Jr)/Schuyler Rimmer (Fr)
PF: Josh Huestis (Sr)/John Gage (Sr)/Elliott Bullock (Jr)
SF: Anthony Brown (Jr)/Rosco Allen (So)
G: Chasson Randle (Jr)/Robbie Lemons (Sr)/Christian Sanders (So)
PG: Aaron Bright (Sr)/Marcus Allen (Fr)/Malcolm Allen (Fr)
Gone: PG-Gabriel Harris, F-Andy Brown
The once young Stanford team is now loaded with experience as only two rotation players are gone from last season including forward Andy Brown who suffered the fourth ACL tear of his career which came to an end a year earlier than it was supposed to. What Dawkins needs to do though is find some consistency with his starting lineup seeing as twelve different players started at least one game.
The constant in the starting five was the athletic frontcourt combo of Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis. The duo averaged more than 25 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocked shots per game. Both guys can sky at the rim but are also capable of stepping out to the perimeter and knocking down three-pointers.
There is no shortage of depth or size inside. John Gage was the first post off the bench last season and is joined by Stefan Nastic and Grant Verhoeven who played sparingly a year ago. Elliott Bullock hasn’t played since 2009-10 but returns after spending two years on a Mormon mission and redshirting last season. Freshman Schuyler Rimmer will also compete for playing time giving Dawkins five options behind Powell and Huestis or the flexibility of utilizing a bigger line-up with Powell sliding to the four and Huestis playing the three.
Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright return in the backcourt. Randle can play either guard position but usually plays off the ball due to his scoring ability since Bright is more of a true point guard. Robbie Lemons is a three-point specialist who adds some offensive punch off the bench while Christian Sanders also figures to see minutes on the wing. Twin freshmen brothers Malcolm and Marcus Allen will try to work themselves into the rotation as well.
A hip injury forced Anthony Brown to miss most of last season but he returns and figures to start on the wing. His versatility is a huge asset for the Cardinal. Rosco Allen is a combo forward who will see the majority of his minutes backing up Brown at the three but can also play some power forward if Dawkins chooses to use a more athletic line-up.
The talent and experience is there for the Stanford Cardinal to make the tourney this year. Another March missing out on the Big Dance and ending up in one of those other post-season tournaments could mark the beginning of the end for Dawkins. He needs to find consistency among his roster and tighten his rotation to clearly define his player’s roles; something that’s been lacking some the past couple season.
Player to Watch: Dwight Powell
After two lackluster seasons at Stanford, Powell had a breakout junior campaign earning the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player of the Year Award while being named to the All-Conference First Team. Taking another step forward would not only make the Cardinal that more dangerous of a team, but also improve Powell’s NBA Draft stock.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/8 vs. Bucknell
11/11 vs. BYU
11/14 vs. Northwestern
11/17 at Denver
11/25 vs. Houston (Legends Classic in Brooklyn)
11/26 vs. Pitt/Texas Tech (Legends Classic in Brooklyn)
12/18 at UConn
12/21 vs. Michigan (in Brooklyn)
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#40 Arizona State
#44 Iowa State
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#56 Saint Mary’s
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#64 Florida State
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks