Feb. 29, 2012
Stanford Cardinal (19-10, 9-8 Pac-12)
California Golden Bears (23-7, 13-4 Pac-12)
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2012 2:30 p.m.
Site: Maples Pavilion (7,329) Stanford, CA
Series History: California leads 142-113
Last Meeting: California 69, Stanford 59 (Jan. 29, 2012)
Radio: KSFO 560 AM (PBP: John Platz, Analyst: Drew Shiller)
(PBP: Lucas Prokopiak, Analyst: Eli Katz)
TV: FSN (PBP: Steve Physioc, Analyst: Marques Johnson)
The Opening Tip
Stanford (19-10, 9-8 Pac-12) and California (23-7, 13-4 Pac-12) square off in the regular season finale for both teams Sunday afternoon at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal is aiming for its 20th victory overall and 10th in Pac-12 play, translating into a winning conference record for the first time since 2008. California won this year's earlier meeting, 69-59.
Sunday's game can be heard live on KSFO 560 AM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, featuring the insightful tandem of John Platz (play-by-play) and Drew Shiller (analyst). KZSU 90.1 FM provides coverage with Lucas Prokopiak (play-by-play) and Eli Katz (analyst). The game will be televised nationally on FSN, with Steve Physioc (play-by-play) and Marques Johnson (analyst) calling the action.
California (23-7, 13-4 Pac-12) enters the week with the most victories of any Pac-12 team. The Golden Bears also boast a league-best RPI of No. 36 ... California has yet to lose back-to-back games this year. The Golden Bears earned a split of their road trip last weekend, defeating Utah 60-46 before falling 70-57 to Colorado three days later. The loss to the Buffaloes snapped a six-game winning streak ... The Golden Bears were picked to finish second in this year's Pac-12 preseason media poll, receiving 13 first-place votes. UCLA earned 14 first-place votes as the favorite ... The Golden Bears are 6-6 away from Haas Pavilion (5-5 road, 1-1 neutral) ... California is averaging 72.0 points per game while allowing only 60.8. The Golden Bears lead the conference in free throw percentage (75.1) and field goal percentage (48.1) ... Keep an eye on: Allen Crabbe (15.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 84.2 percent free throws, team-best 73 three-pointers), Jorge Gutierrez (13.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 119 assists, 35 steals) and Harper Kamp (11.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 55.5 percent FG).
Stanford All-Time vs. California
In a series that dates back to the 1913-14 campaign, California owns a 142-113 edge. The Golden Bears have won five of the last six matchups overall, with Stanford's only victory coming in the form of an 82-68 win last January in the Pac-10 opener for both teams. Stanford has won three of the last four meetings at Maples Pavilion, with California's only win during that stretch coming two years ago (71-61).
Who To Watch Against California
Dwight Powell has enjoyed success in three career matchups, averaging 11.6 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 14-28 from the field. That includes a career-high 20 points (7-11 FG, 6-7 FT) in his debut against the Golden Bears last year. Jack Trotter has averaged 5.2 points over five games while making 12-21 (57.1 percent) from the field. Meanwhile, Josh Owens has yet to make his presence felt against Cal, scoring only 24 points on 10-24 shooting with 20 rebounds overall in six career meetings.
Stanford's four-member senior class of Jarrett Mann, Josh Owens, Jack Trotter and Andrew Zimmermann will be honored in a ceremony prior to Sunday's game. The Cardinal owns a 6-4 mark over its last 10 Senior Day contests, with its most recent win coming in the form of a 75-63 triumph over USC three years ago. Last year's Stanford team was the first in school history without a senior on its roster.
One More Victory Means...
Owens Closing In On Milestone...
Josh Owens now stands 28 points away from 1,000 for his career. Should Owens reach the mark, he will become the 40th player in school history to reach the prestigious scoring mark. Even more impressive, Owens would become the 21st player in school history to end his career with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Meanwhile, Owens currently boasts a career field goal percentage of 58.1, ranking fifth-best in school history.
...And Performing At A High Level
Josh Owens is also enjoying the best season of his career, ranking second on the club in scoring (12.4 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.0 rpg) while starting all 29 games. An active player on both ends of the floor, Owens is also tied for the team lead with 30 steals. In addition to scoring in double figures 21 times, Owens has led Stanford in scoring on 12 occasions. Perhaps most impressive, Owens' 59.4 percent field goal percentage (148-249) ranks ninth in the nation.
Randle Making An Impact In Rookie Season
Chasson Randle is bidding to become the first freshman to lead Stanford in minutes played since Casey Jacobsen's 28.5 average during the 1999-2000 campaign. Randle is averaging a team-best 30.0 minutes played, slightly ahead of Aaron Bright's 29.2 clip. The last freshman to average at least 30.0 minutes played in a season was Brevin Knight at 32.7 in 1993-94. Meanwhile, Randle continues to lead Stanford in scoring (13.0 ppg) and is tied for the team lead in steals (30). His production over the last four games has been even better.
Two Of The Pac-12's Most Improved Players
The race for this year's Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year might include two Stanford players, as sophomores Aaron Bright and Josh Huestis would both make worthy candidates. Stanford's only All-Tournament Team selection from the Postseason NIT, Bright's 105 assists and 3.6 assists per game lead the team and rank seventh in the Pac-12. He is averaging 11.0 points per game, good for third on the team. Huestis has developed into one of the league's best "Sixth Man" performers while his 5.2 rebounds per game clip is second to Josh Owens (6.0). Huestis also leads the team with 33 blocked shots. It's a modest total, yet still ranks as the most swats by any Cardinal player since Robin Lopez (83) and Brook Lopez (56) in 2008.
70 A Key Number For Stanford
Stanford improved to 13-0 when scoring at least 70 points after a Feb. 23 victory at Colorado. The Cardinal is 23-2 combined over the last two years when reaching the 70-point plateau.
Rare Road Win In Tough Environment
Making Stanford's 74-50 victory over Colorado on Feb. 23 even more impressive was the fact Colorado entered the game undefeated at Coors Events Center against Pac-12 opponents and 13-1 overall. The Buffaloes bounced back with a double-digit victory over Cal three days later, leaving the Cardinal as the only conference squad to win a game in Boulder.
Lineups Based On Matchups
Head coach Johnny Dawkins employed his 14th different starting lineup on Feb. 25 against Utah, using a combination of Chasson Randle, Anthony Brown, Josh Huestis, Dwight Powell and Josh Owens. Ten different players have received at least one starting nod this year.
Winning The Rebound Battle
Stanford has owned a strong edge on the glass, averaging 37.3 rebounds per game compared to just 31.3 by its opponents. The Cardinal's rebounding margin (+6.0) ranks 24th in the country. Five different players are averaging at least 3.0 rebounds, led by Josh Owens' 6.0 clip.
Balanced Scoring A Trademark
Stefan Nastic became the 11th Cardinal player to register a double-digit scoring effort with his career-high 11-point outing at California on Jan. 29. That surpasses last year's total when 10 players reached double figures in scoring at least once.