My all-time favorite Sportscenter commercial is the one where John Anderson throws a piece of paper into the garbage as the Stanford Cardinal mascot is watching. Anderson looks at the big oafy tree, then picks the paper out of the trash and puts it in the recycling bin. Get me every time.
What does this have to do with my Stanford basketball preview? Nothing. I just figured it is a good way to change my lead-in. The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” runs down the 72 college basketball power conference teams and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. Click here if you missed teams #84-#99.
Stanford Cardinal (T-8th, 7-11 in Pac-10, 14-18 overall)
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Josh Owens (Jr)/John Gage (Fr)/Matei Daian (Jr)
PF: Dwight Powell (Fr)/Jack Trotter (Jr)/Andrew Zimmerman (Jr)/Stefan Nastic (Fr)/Andy Brown (Fr-out for season with torn ACL)
SF: Anthony Brown (Fr)/Josh Huestis (Fr)
SG: Jeremy Green (Jr)/Gabriel Harris (So)
PG: Jarrett Mann (Jr)/Aaron Bright (Fr)
Gone: SF-Landry Fields, PG-Drew Shiller, G-Emmanuel Igbinosa, SG-Da’Veed Dildy, F-Elliott Bullock
Johhny Dawkins makeover of the Stanford program is entering year three. Last season, the Cardinal was a two man show of Landry Fields and Jeremy Green, who combined for nearly 56% of their scoring output. With Fields graduating and being a second round pick of the Knicks, Dawkins ushers in a new crop of players in hopes of making his team more well-rounded and not so reliant on two players.
Six in-coming freshmen will try to help get Stanford back on the right track. 6-10 forward Dwight Powell and 6-6 wing Anthony Brown are the best of that bunch and should be able to earn a spot in the starting line-up. Josh Huestis and John Gage should see quality minutes off the bench.
There is also encouraging and discouraging news regarding injuries for the up-coming season. Redshirt freshman Andy Brown will miss his second straight season due to a torn ACL. Josh Owens sat out the 2009-2010 season with an undisclosed medical condition and it was originally thought he would not be able to return to basketball. But after undergoing several tests, Owens was cleared to play this season and will add some needed experience to the Cardinal frountcourt.
This team is young as there no seniors on the roster. While there are sure to be some growing pains in Palo Alto this season, at least the future is starting to look a little brighter for Stanford.
Player to Watch: Jeremy Green, SG
With their top and third leading scorers from last season gone, Green is the only returning player to average more than seven points per game. He loves to chuck it from three as 244 of 453 field goal attempts last season came from beyond the arc. Until the freshmen are able to acclimate themselves to college basketball, Green will be asked to carry the load without having a proven wingman.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/18 vs. Virginia
11/25 vs. Murray State (76 Classic)
11/26 vs. UNLV/Tulsa(76 Classic)
11/28 vs. Virginia Tech/Cal State Northridge/DePaul/Oklahoma State (76 Classic)
12/18 at Butler
12/21 at Oklahoma State
Other 99 in 99’s:
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#89 Boston College
#93 Oregon State
#97. Iowa State