Dec. 16, 2011
Stanford Cardinal (8-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
San Diego Toreros (5-5, 0-0 WCC)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 5 p.m.
Site: Maples Pavilion (7,329) Stanford, CA
Series History: Stanford leads 4-2
Last Meeting: Nov. 15, 2010 (Stanford 64, San Diego 48)
Radio: KNBR 1050 AM (PBP: John Platz, Analyst: Drew Shiller)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PBP: Kevin Zhang, Analyst: Daria Godorozha)
Webcast: www.gostanford.com (PBP: Chris Fitzgerald, Analyst: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude)
The Opening Tip
Back on the court for the first time in 13 days, 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 was most recently in action on Dec. 4, rallying from a 12-point deficit in the second half to defeat NC State 76-72.
Saturday's game can be heard live on KNBR 1050 AM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, featuring the insightful tandem of John Platz (play-by-play) and Drew Shiller (analyst). A premium webcast is offered on www.gostanford.com, with Chris Fitzgerald (analyst) and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (play-by-play) calling the action.
Stanford is receiving 39 votes in the latest edition of the Associated Press poll, good for 30th in the country overall, and five votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Scouting San Diego
San Diego (5-5, 0-0 WCC) is coming off a hard-fought 65-61 home loss to UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday night. Trailing by eight with under three minutes to go, San Diego pulled to within 63-61 with 21 seconds left ... After a 4-1 start, San Diego has dropped four of five overall. Saturday's tilt kicks off a stretch that includes three games away from home before hosting Saint Mary's on Jan. 5 ... After finishing 6-24 overall and 2-12 in WCC play last year, San Diego was tabbed to finish ninth in this year's WCC preseason coaches poll ... The Toreros are averaging 67.0 points and 33.8 rebounds per game while shooting 44.8 percent ... However, opponents are scoring 68.4 points per game and making 46.5 percent ... Players to watch include: Johnny Dee (14.9 ppg, team-high 30-66 three-pointers), Chris Manresa (12.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Darian Norris (9.2 ppg, 30 assists, 14 steals).
Stanford All-Time vs. San Diego
Stanford owns a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series. Stanford picked up a 64-48 victory over San Diego in last year's season opener, returning the favor after the Toreros booked a 77-64 win at home to tip off the 2009 campaign. San Diego's only other win in the series (79-70 in overtime) occurred back on Dec. 27, 1980, in the first-ever meeting between the schools.
Comeback victories have been extremely rare in recent seasons, making Stanford's 76-72 win over NC State on Dec. 4 that much more impressive. Against the Wolfpack, the Cardinal erased an 11-point deficit in the first half before rallying back from 12 points down in the second half. The contest also represented just the second time over the last two seasons Stanford won a game when trailing with five minutes to play in regulation. Stanford was 1-11 last year when trailing at the 5:00 mark of the second half, overcoming an 11-point second-half deficit en route to a 58-56 upset of No. 17/18 Washington. Two years ago at home, Stanford trailed by 18 points with 11:44 remaining in regulation before storming back to edge Washington State 60-58.
Aaron Bright: 50/50/10
In addition to embracing his role as Stanford's floor general, Aaron Bright has elevated his game to the point where he actually ranks as one of the nation's most efficient offensive players. As of Dec. 15, Bright was one of just seven Division I players who were shooting at least 50 percent from both the floor and three-point territory while also scoring at least 10.0 points per game. Joining Bright (53.7 from the field, 53.8 from beyond the arc, 12.2 ppg) in this exclusive group are: Creighton's Doug McDermott, NC State's Scott Wood, Air Force's Mike Fitzgerald, Missouri's Kim English, James Madison's A.J. Davis and San Diego State's Chase Tarpley.
Suddenly In The Groove
The two-week break could not have come at more inopportune time for Anthony Brown, who might be starting to find his niche in the offense. Used primarily so far as one of the first players off the bench, Brown averaged 11.7 points (35 total points) while shooting 11-27 from the field, 5-11 from three-point territory and 8-11 from the foul line in Stanford's three victories before the break. Brown's totals from that final week nearly equaled his production from the team's first six games, where the sophomore guard had scored 39 points (6.5 ppg) while making 16-42 from the field, 4-18 from three-point territory and 3-4 from the free throw line.
Stingy Defense Setting The Tone
Stanford has allowed only 56.2 points per game, a figure that ranks second in the Pac-12 and 17th in the nation. The Cardinal has limited six of its first nine opponents to under 60 points. In fact, it's really been a challenge for the opposition to score from anywhere on the court, as Stanford's foes are shooting 39.2 percent from the field, 29.9 percent from beyond the arc and 60.4 percent from the foul line.