Stanford Cardinal (23-12, 10-8 Pac-12)
Dayton Flyers (25-10, 10-6 Atlantic 10)
Thursday, March 27, 2014 • 4:15 p.m. PT
Memphis, Tenn. • FedExForum (18,119)
Tournament Seeds: Stanford (10), Dayton (11)
Series History: First Meeting
Radio: KNBR 1050 AM (PBP: Scott Reiss, Analyst: John Platz)
Westwood One (PBP: Gary Cohen, Analyst: Will Perdue)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PBP: Shawn Tuteja)
TV: CBS (PBP: Kevin Harlan, Analysts: Len Elmore, Reggie Miller, Sideline: Rachel Nichols)
The Opening Tip
Seeking its first regional final appearance since 2001, Stanford (23-12, 10-8 Pac-12) faces Dayton (25-10, 10-6 Atlantic-10) on Thursday night in NCAA Sweet 16 action.
The game can be heard live on KNBR 1050 AM, featuring the insightful duo of Scott Reiss (play-by-play) and John Platz (analyst). Westwood One Radio has the national call with Gary Cohen (play-by-play) and Will Perdue (analyst). KZSU 90.1 FM provides coverage with Shawn Tuteja (play-by-play). The CBS crew features Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Len Elmore (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Rachel Nichols (sideline).
Despite losing two starters and two key reserves to season-ending injuries, Stanford reached the 20-win plateau for the 22nd time in school history and third during head coach Johnny Dawkins’ six-year tenure. Of Stanford’s 35 games to date, 18 have come against NCAA Tournament teams. The Cardinal ended the regular season No. 38 in the RPI and owns a 5-2 record against top-25 opponents. In addition to finishing tied for third in the highly-competitive Pac-12, Stanford’s six road victories ranked second in the conference behind Arizona’s eight. A challenging non-conference slate featured tilts against BYU, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Michigan and two road trips to the East Coast.
Dayton (25-10, 10-6 Atlantic 10) is making its seventh appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16 and first since 1984. The Flyers are 16-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament ... After defeating Ohio State and Syracuse, Dayton has now won 12 of its last 14 overall ... Dayton is averaging 72.5 points and 35.1 rebounds per game while shooting 46.4 percent overall and 37.6 percent from distance. Opponents are averaging 67.0 points ... Look out for: Jordan Sibert (12.4 ppg, 45.5 percent FG, 42.9 percent 3FG), Devin Oliver (11.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 49.0 percent FG, 83 assists), Dyshawn Pierre (11.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg).
Stanford/Dayton Common Opponents
Stanford and Dayton feature only two common opponents: California and USC. Stanford was 3-1 against its Pac-12 rivals, splitting against California and sweeping USC. Dayton routed California 82-64 in Maui but dropped a 79-76 overtime decision to USC at home.
Stanford All-Time In NCAA Tournament
Stanford owns a 23-15 record in NCAA Tournament competition and is making its 17th appearance overall. The Cardinal was tabbed a No. 3 seed during its most recent NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008, losing 82-62 to Texas in the Sweet 16 following victories over Cornell (77-53) in the opening round and Marquette (82-81 in overtime) in the second round. Stanford captured the 1942 championship, reached the Final Four in 1998, advanced to the Elite Eight in 2001 and moved on to the Sweet 16 in 1997.
Breaking Down The Seeding
Stanford has been assigned a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history. The last time Stanford was tabbed a No. 10 came during the 1994-95 campaign, defeating No. 7 UNC Charlotte 70-68 in the opening round in Albany, N.Y. The Cardinal then suffered a 75-53 second-round loss to No. 2 seed Massachusetts.
Stanford vs. NCAA Tournament Teams
The Cardinal has squared off against 13 teams in this year’s NCA A Tournament field, posting a 9-9 record. Six of its 12 non-conference foes made the NCAA Tournament.
Takeaways From The Kansas Game
Fueled by one of the year’s stingiest defensive efforts, Stanford posted a 60-57 upset ... Kansas, which entered the contest averaging 79.6 points per game while shooting 49.8 percent overall, led for only three minutes while projected NBA lottery pick and leading scorer Andrew Wiggins was limited to four points on 1-6 shooting in 34 minutes ... Dwight Powell’s 15 points led four players in double figures while Chasson Randle added 13. Stanford shot 44.7 percent overall and 18-26 from the foul line ... Making the win even more impressive was Stanford’s 0-9 clip from three-point range ... The Cardinal had made at least one three-pointer in 422 consecutive games dating back to a 0-6 outing against Purdue on Nov. 24, 2001 in the John Wooden Tradition ... Stanford owned advantages in rebounds (37-35) and points in the paint (30-20) ... Stanford was 9-12 from the foul line over the final 2:04, led by Anthony Brown’s 6-9 clip.
Takeaways From The New Mexico Game
Chasson Randle poured in a team-high 23 points, pacing Stanford to a 58-53 victory ... Stanford led for all but two minutes of the game. Anthony Brown and Stefan Nastic added 10 points for Stanford, which shot 38.8 percent overall but 8-15 from distance ... Despite an off night from Dwight Powell (three points, 0-8 FG), Stanford received timely bench production from John Gage (three points, six rebounds) and Robbie Lemons (two free throws with 23 seconds remaining) ... Stanford made eight of its first 10 shots and led 20-4 with 13:23 left in the first half ... Anthony Brown (1,001) and Josh Huestis (1,000) both reached the 1,000-point mark for their careers. Powell and Randle had already accomplished the feat this season ... New Mexico led for only 24 seconds, shot 36.5 percent and was 4-21 from long range.
It’s That Time Of Year For #NerdNation
It’s Spring Break on The Farm and that means a well-earned respite for Cardinal players, who spent last week wrapping up final exams in the hotel mere hours before competing in the NCAA Tournament. Last Thursday, 12 hours before facing New Mexico in the second round, Stanford players found time to knock out a total of 15 finals, the majority of which required three hours to complete. So if guys like John Gage (Programming Methodology), Josh Huestis (Cognitive Neuroscience), Stefan Nastic (Political Science) or Chasson Randle (Linguistics) appear a little less stressed this week, it’s for good reason.
Five Trends You Must Monitor
Chasson Randle has played all 80 minutes of the NCAA Tournament and committed only two fouls. Randle has logged 40 minutes in a game five times this season ... Stefan Nastic will be playing his ninth game at a neutral site on Thursday and he could care less. Nastic is 27-34 (79.4 percent) from the field in eight neutral-site games this year. But it gets better: over his last six games overall, Nastic is shooting 22-24 (91.7 percent) overall ... Stanford has trailed for a total of 3:31 in the NCAA Tournament: 24 seconds against New Mexico and 3:07 against Kansas ... Stanford’s 46.2 shooting percentage is its highest since the 2003-04 team connected at 47.9 percent. It’s a noticeable improvement over last year’s 41.6 percent mark. Credit a shift in philosophy to the triangle offense, showcasing the team’s versatility and athleticism ... Nobody has played more games in Stanford history than Dwight Powell (135) and Josh Huestis (134), both of whom recently surpassed previous record holder Tim Young (132).
Defense Ignites First Two NCAA Wins
Stanford is into the NCAA Sweet 16 after shutting down two of the nation’s most efficient offenses in New Mexico and Kansas. Through its first two games in the postseason, Cardinal opponents are averaging 55.0 points while shooting 34.5 percent overall and 24.3 percent from three-point territory. The Cardinal’s size advantage proved to be a key factor in both contests. Stanford’s defense has actually been terrific down the stretch, with UCLA (84 points) the only opponent to score more than 63 points over the last seven games.
Starters Account For 87.3 Percent Of Scoring...
Head coach Johnny Dawkins has used the same starting lineup of Chasson Randle, Anthony Brown, Josh Huestis, Dwight Powell and Stefan Nastic in every game this season, with the exception of a Senior Day combination that saw Brown and Nastic come off the bench. Every member of the experienced starting five, which has accounted for 87.3 percent of Stanford’s overall scoring, is averaging double figures with the exception of Nastic (7.2 ppg).
...But Here’s The Primary Reason
Consider this: Stanford has received less than 10 points from its bench in 20 games this year. Why the lack of bench production? Stanford has been decimated by injuries to key players who were valuable contributors at this time last year. Andy Brown (torn right ACL) and Christian Sanders (hip) have missed the entire season, Aaron Bright (dislocated right shoulder) appeared in only the first seven games and Rosco Allen (stress fracture) played seven minutes against Cal Poly on Dec. 29 before suffering a setback.
Cashing In From The Charity Stripe
Stanford is converting 70.3 percent from the foul line and averaging 24.1 trips to the charity stripe per game. A Cardinal player has made at least 10 free throws in a game on seven occasions. Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell have accomplished the feat three times while Anthony Brown has done it once.
Balanced Scoring Attack
Stanford’s triangle offense allows for multiple scoring options and rewards good decision-making. The Cardinal’s 46.2 shooting percentage ranks 77th in the country and is the highest of head coach Johnny Dawkins’ tenure. There have been six instances this year in which Stanford received at least 20 points from two players in the same game.
Randle One Of Pac-12’s Elite Performers
Chasson Randle successfully put the struggles of his sophomore year behind (39.9 percent FG), performing at a similar level to 2011-12, when he produced one of the best rookie seasons in school history. Randle is averaging a team-high 18.7 points (third in the Pac-12) while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the foul line. Randle has reached double-figure scoring in all but two games while matching his career high of 33 points twice. Named an all-conference pick for the first time in his career, Randle has scored at least 20 points in five of Stanford’s last seven contests.
Powell Displays Dynamic All-Around Game
Dwight Powell is averaging 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 45.7 percent overall. A two-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree, Powell is a matchup nightmare who has notched seven double-doubles this year while scoring in double figures 27 times. Playing the role of an athletic 6-10 “point forward”, Powell has dished out a team-best 110 assists (3.1 per game) and also leads the club with 45 steals. Powell ranked third on the squad in those same two categories last year, so his production this year is no fluke.
Powell Also The Pac-12’s Best In The Classroom
Two weeks ago during the conference tournament, Powell was named this year’s Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year (senior on track to receive degree, cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, athletic accomplishments). A Science, Technology & Society major, Powell sports a 3.05 GPA and will graduate in June. Powell has twice earned Pac-12 All-Academic team accolades, named to the second team last year after receiving honorable mention status as a sophomore. In addition to being named to this year’s John R. Wooden Award preseason watch list, Powell was one of 30 Senior CLASS Award candidates (notable achievements in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition.)
Brown’s Return Provides Immediate Boost
Anthony Brown has successfully returned to action after missing all but four games last year due to a hip injury. Reaching double figures in 25 games, Brown is averaging 12.5 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 45.2 percent from three-point territory. His slashing, attacking style of play has resulted in an 78.9 percent ledger from the foul line. A 2011 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team selection, Brown provides Stanford with added length and athleticism while also serving as its best perimeter defender.
Huestis One Of Nation’s Premier Defenders
Josh Huestis continues to prove why he is one of the Pac-12’s premier defensive performers, earning All-Defensive Team accolades for the third consecutive season. Huestis is averaging 11.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting 45.1 percent overall and 62.0 percent from the foul line. In an 80-59 rout of USC on Feb. 20, Huestis became Stanford’s all-time leading shot-blocker and is now up to 186 career swats - quite an accomplishment for a player who stands only 6-7. Huestis has also racked up seven double-doubles.
Nastic Anchoring The Frontcourt
Playing regularly for the first time in his career, Stefan Nastic is averaging 7.2 points and 2.9 rebounds. Nastic has scored in double figures 12 times, a feat he had accomplished only twice in 53 career games prior to this year. In addition to shooting 57.4 percent overall, Nastic is also a capable free throw shooter (63.5 percent). A skilled passer with solid footwork, Nastic boasts consecutive made field goal streaks of 16 (snapped against New Mexico on March 21) and 14 (snapped against California on Jan. 2). Back in November, Nastic saw his streak of 16 straight made free throws dating back to last year come to an end.
Well Represented Among All-Pac-12 Picks
Dwight Powell and Chasson Randle both earned spots on the All-Pac-12 First Team, as Stanford was well represented with four honorees overall among this year’s All-Pac-12 award winners. Josh Huestis was tabbed to the five-member All-Defensive Team while Anthony Brown was named the Most Improved Player of the Year award. Stanford’s four all-conference selections are the most since four players also received accolades in 2010-11. It’s the first time two players were named to the 10-member All-Pac-12 team since the 2005-06 season, when Chris Hernandez and Matt Haryasz were honored.
Stanford traveled 14,591 miles during non-conference play. After visiting Denver (2,584 miles round trip), the Cardinal embarked on the first of two trips to Brooklyn (5,896 miles round trip) one week later. One month later, Stanford flew to Hartford (3,043 miles one-way) before arriving in Brooklyn (120 miles one-way) via bus the next day. The final leg home from Brooklyn (2,948 miles one-way) completed one of the more grueling non-league swings in Division I.
No. 10 UConn Win Highlights Non-Conference Play
Stanford upset No. 10/10 Connecticut 53-51 on Dec. 18 in Hartford, notching its first road win over a top-10 team since edging No. 9/9 Washington State 67-65 in overtime on Feb. 2, 2008. Trailing 43-30 four minutes into the second half, Stanford limited Connecticut to just 5-31 (16.1 percent) shooting over the final 20 minutes. Connecticut had won 54 straight home games against non-conference foes dating back to 2007. Chasson Randle scored a game-high 22 points while Dwight Powell posted a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Top-15 Recruiting Class Signed For Next Year
Head coach Johnny Dawkins announced the signing of four incoming student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The class is recognized as one of the best in the country, currently ranked as high as No. 9 by ESPN.com, No. 14 by Scout.com and No. 15 by Rivals.com. Robert Cartwright (Pasadena, Calif.), Michael Humphrey (Phoenix, Ariz.), Dorian Pickens (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Reid Travis (Minneapolis, Minn.) are projected as top-100 players and four-star recruits by multiple services. Travis is Stanford’s seventh McDonald’s All-American selection overall and first since Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez were honored in 2006.
Latest Set Of Twins
Freshmen guards Malcolm Allen and Marcus Allen are only the fourth set of twins to play varsity basketball at Stanford since 1960. Twin seven-footers Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez (Fresno, Calif./San Joaquin Memorial HS) played two seasons together before both were selected in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. All-Americans Jarron Collins and Jason Collins (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS) also both went on to play in the NBA after successful four-year stints on The Farm that included an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1998. Twins Don Clemetson and Doug Clemetson (Richmond, Calif./Harry Ellis HS) competed on Stanford’s varsity squad from 1960-62 after playing together on the freshman team the previous season. The conference first started recognizing multi-team status (first, second, honorable mention, etc.) in the 2007-08 season.