Dec. 15, 2011
STANFORD, Calif.- Back on the court for the first time in 13 days following its traditional break for final exams, Stanford (8-1, 0-0 Pac-12) hosts San Diego (5-5, 0-0 WCC) on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 5 p.m. The Cardinal has not played a game since Dec. 4, erasing a 12-point second-half deficit en route to a 76-72 victory over NC State.
Despite the long layoff, the program has managed to sustain the excitement and buzz generated from an impressive 8-1 start.
Consider the following:
Stanford entered this week receiving 39 votes in the latest edition of the Associated Press poll, good for 30th in the country overall. The Cardinal is gaining steam as well in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, garnering five votes. That's despite not having played in almost two weeks.
Of course it's still early, but not only does ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi have Stanford projected as an NCAA Tournament team in his Dec. 15 edition of Bracketology, he has the Cardinal tabbed as a No. 6 seed in the East Region (Boston) squaring off against No. 11 Wichita State in a first-round game played in Albuquerque, N.M.
The national pub has been great, but Stanford has also been featured among local coverage. Leading scorer Aaron Bright's hot start was recently documented in a front-page feature in the San Francisco Chronicle while the latest college hoops column in the San Jose Mercury News explains why Stanford is a legitimate Pac-12 contender. That's in addition to website profiles highlighting one of Stanford's most improved players, the best beard in college basketball, inside access on the team bus and one of four senior class presidents.
With Stanford's next game just two days away, it's time to get head coach Johnny Dawkins' take on where the Cardinal stands. Dawkins recently sat down with The Cardinal Channel's Matt Morrison.