Dec 17, 2001
Stanford coach Mike Montgomery thinks Curtis Borchardt needs to be more involved in the Cardinal offense, so he'll look for his 7-foot center to help lead Stanford past Belmont on Tuesday in the Stanford Invitational.
On Saturday, Borchardt notched a career-high 25 points to lead the 13th-ranked Cardinal (4-1) past Long Beach State 94-77. He also had 14 rebounds in Stanford's first game since an 85-73 loss to Texas on Dec. 1.
If Borchardt, who is averaging 15.6 points, can emerge as an offensive force, it could take some pressure off All-America swingman Casey Jacobsen. Jacobsen is scoring a team-high 19.6 points per game.
"There's no question that we've got to get Curtis more involved on offense," Montgomery said. "Curtis has been improving as time goes on and he's gotten a lot more comfortable. He had a really nice turnaround shot, he had a nice touch on the ball, which is difficult for people to defend."
Jacobsen added 23 in the win over Long Beach State, but Borchardt was the biggest reason for the Cardinals' success. Borchardt, who has seen his time limited due to injuries over the past two seasons, connected on 10 of his 11 field goal attempts and had his 10th consecutive double-figure rebounding game.
"Curtis Borchardt was pretty effective," Montgomery said. "He was really shooting the ball well and rebounding."
Portland State and Santa Clara will battle at Maples Pavilion before Stanford and Belmont meet. The winners and losers will play on Wednesday.
Belmont (4-2) is coming off a a 106-95 loss to Stetson. The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Bruins, who had beaten Middle Tennessee State, Campbell and Georgia State.
Senior forward Wes Burtner leads Belmont with 19.3 points per game, and sophomore forward Adam Mark leads the squad in rebounding with 7.9 per game.
The Bruins, who have competed at the Division I level since the 1996-97 season, return four starters from last year's team, which finished 13-15.
Belmont and Stanford have never met. The Cardinal are 2-1 all-time against Atlantic Sun Conference teams, while Belmont has never played a team from the Pac-10.
Stanford has won the championship of its own holiday tournament six straight times.