Stanford Cardinal (13-6, 4-3 Pac-12)
No. 1/1 Arizona Wildcats (20-0, 7-0 Pac-12)
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 • 6 p.m.
Stanford, Calif. • Maples Pavilion (7,233)
Series History: Arizona leads 55-29
Last Meeting: Arizona 73, Stanford 66 (Feb. 6, 2013 at Tucson, Ariz.)
Radio: KNBR 1050 AM (PBP: Scott Reiss, Analyst: John Platz)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PBP: Shawn Tuteja, Analyst: Preston Chin)
ESPN Radio - national (PBP: Dave Flemming, Analyst: Miles Simon)
TV: ESPN2 (PBP: Dave Pasch, Analyst: Bill Walton)
The Opening Tip
For the first time since 2003, the nation’s No. 1 team will visit Maples Pavilion. Stanford (13-6, 4-3 Pac-12) welcomes No. 1/1 Arizona (20-0, 7-0 Pac-12) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
The game can be heard on KNBR 1050 AM, featuring the insightful duo of Scott Reiss (play-by-play) and John Platz (analyst). KZSU 90.1 FM provides coverage with Shawn Tuteja (play-by-play) and Preston Chin (analyst). ESPN Radio has the national broadcast with Dave Flemming (play-by-play) and Miles Simon (analyst). The contest will be televised on ESPN2, with Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and Bill Walton (analyst).
Scouting No. 1/1 Arizona
Arizona (20-0, 7-0 Pac-12), riding a school-record 20-game winning streak, entered the week joining Syracuse and Wichita State as the nation’s only undefeated teams ... Ranked No. 1 in the country for the eighth consecutive week, Arizona is off to its best start in school history, eclipsing the 16-0 debut produced in 1931-32 ... Arizona boasts signature non-conference wins against San Diego State, Duke and Michigan. The Wildcats have won four of their seven Pac-12 games by double digits ... The Wildcats are averaging 75.0 points, shooting 48.6 percent overall and own a +10.1 rebounding margin. Opponents are scoring only 56.7 points per game while shooting 37.2 percent overall and 29.4 percent from beyond the arc ... Look out for: Nick Johnson (16.7 ppg, 49.8 percent FG, 79.8 percent FT), Aaron Gordon (12.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 48.8 percent FG), T.J. McConnell (7.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 119 assists).
Stanford All-Time vs. Arizona
Arizona owns a 55-29 all-time advantage and has won seven straight in the series, which dates back to the 1937-38 campaign. Arizona posted a 73-66 victory last year in Tucson in the only meeting between the schools. Close games have been the norm as 14 of the last 20 contests have been decided by 10 points or less. Arizona’s current seven-game winning streak comes on the heels of a four-game Stanford winning streak. The Cardinal’s most recent victory in the series was a 76-60 triumph on Jan. 4, 2009 at Maples Pavilion.
Notable Career Totals Against Arizona
No current Stanford player has totaled more than 12 buckets against Arizona. In four career games, Dwight Powell has averaged 9.2 points on 12-30 (40.0 percent) shooting while grabbing 5.8 rebounds. Also in four games, Josh Huestis has totaled more rebounds (21) than points (20) on 7-21 (33.3 percent) shooting. Anthony Brown is shooting 3-18 (16.7 percent) from the field over three games. In two career outings, Chasson Randle has scored 21 points on 7-27 (25.9 percent) shooting from the floor.
Stanford Against The Nation’s No. 1
Stanford's most recent win over a No. 1-ranked team was a 64-58 triumph over Kansas on Dec. 6, 2003 at the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim, Calif. Meanwhile, Stanford’s last home win against the nation’s No. 1 team came back on Feb. 4, 1988, when the Cardinal edged No. 1/1 Arizona 82-74 at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal is 4-7 against No. 1 teams over the last four decades and 4-25 overall. The Cardinal owns a 6-13 record all-time against top-25 teams under head coach Johnny Dawkins.
Looking For A Third Top-25 Victory
Stanford has already notched two victories over top-25 squads this year, winning road games at No. 10/10 Connecticut (53-51 on Dec. 18) and No. 17/13 Oregon (82-80 on Jan. 12). Three victories over ranked opponents would be the most for Stanford since the 2007-08 campaign, when the NCAA Sweet 16-bound Cardinal knocked off six top-25 clubs.
Takeaways From The USC Game
Chasson Randle scored seven of his team-high 17 points in overtime, powering Stanford past USC 79-71 for only its second victory in 18 road games against UCLA and USC ... Stanford won its first overtime game since a 92-88 home victory over Illinois State in the Postseason NIT on March 19, 2012. It was also Stanford’s first overtime road victory since Jan. 7, 2012, when the Cardinal edged Oregon State 103-101 in quadruple-overtime ... Josh Huestis added 16 points and Dwight Powell 14. Both players grabbed six rebounds ... In addition to matching a season high with 12 points off the bench, John Gage hauled down four rebounds and came up with a career-best four steals in 22 minutes. Gage has now made 13 of his last 21 attempts (61.9 percent) from beyond the arc ... The Cardinal improved to 10-0 when leading at halftime ... Stanford racked up 11 steals, its most since tallying 12 thefts versus UC Davis last December ... Physical play dominated the contest, with Stanford accounting for 24 of the combined 50 fouls. The Cardinal converted 20-28 from the foul line while the Trojans were 19-30. Stefan Nastic and Dwight Powell fouled out, leaving Stanford with a depleted frontcourt.
Offense Has Been Much Improved
Stanford has excelled offensively, reaching the 70-point plateau in 14 games this year and shooting at least 50.0 percent on nine occasions. Credit a shift in philosophy to the triangle offense, which has showcased the team’s versatility and athleticism. The Cardinal is ranked 28th nationally in field goal percentage (40.4) and 14th in three-point field goal percentage (40.4). It’s a sharp contrast to last year’s offensive struggles up to this point, when Stanford was shooting 40.0 percent overall, 30.5 percent from distance and had compiled only eight 70-point games.
Finally, Some Production From Bench...
Head coach Johnny Dawkins has employed a starting lineup of Chasson Randle, Anthony Brown, Josh Huestis, Dwight Powell and Stefan Nastic in all 19 games. Every member of the experienced starting five, which has accounted for 85.4 percent of Stanford’s overall scoring, is averaging double figures with the exception of Nastic (8.2 ppg). Stanford has received less than 10 points from its bench in nine games this year.
...But Here’s The Primary Reason
Why the lack of bench production? Stanford has been decimated by injuries to key players that were significant contributors at this time last year. Three players have missed the entire season, with Aaron Bright (dislocated right shoulder) the most recent addition to a list that already included Andy Brown (torn right ACL) and Christian Sanders (hip). Meanwhile, Rosco Allen (stress fracture) returned against Cal Poly on Dec. 29 but has since suffered a setback.
Randle Returns To Form Of Rookie Year
Chasson Randle appears to have put last year’s struggles behind and is 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 19.1 points (also ranking third in the Pac-12) while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 78.2 percent from the foul line. Randle has also scored in double figures 17 times, matching his career high of 33 points on two different occasions.
Powell Displays Dynamic All-Around Game
Dwight Powell is averaging 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 48.5 percent overall. However, two underrated aspects of his game have looked very impressive so far. Playing the role of a 6-10 “point forward”, Powell has dished out a team-best 75 assists (3.9 per game). He also leads the club with 30 steals. Powell ranked third on the squad in those same two categories last year, so his production this year is no fluke. One of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, Powell was named to the John R. Wooden Award watch list.
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 14 games, Brown is averaging 13.1 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from three-point territory. His slashing, attacking style of play has resulted in an 81.7 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.
Nastic Anchoring The Frontcourt
Playing regularly for the first time in his career, Stefan Nastic is averaging 8.2 points and 3.2 rebounds. Nastic has scored in double figures seven times, a feat he had accomplished only twice in 53 career games prior to this year. In addition to shooting 58.9 percent overall, Nastic is a solid free throw shooter (67.2 percent) who has a knack for drawing contact.
Huestis’ Strong Defensive Play Continues
The front-runner for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Josh Huestis is averaging 11.2 points and a team-best 8.1 rebounds in his annual quest to become the first Cardinal player to average a double-double since Curtis Borchardt in 2001-02. With 36 swats, Huestis ranks second in school history with 157 career blocks. Only three players boast career marks of at least 500 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks: Huestis (830, 693, 157), Tim Young (1544, 1070, 167) and Howard Wright (1599, 860, 121).
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.
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.
Top-15 Recruiting Class Signed For Next Year
Head coach Johnny Dawkins has announced the signing of four incoming student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The group will join the Cardinal for the 2014-15 campaign. 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. This year’s group represents the second top-15 class for Stanford in five years.
Home Sweet Home
Stanford is 72-25 at home under head coach Johnny Dawkins. Stanford has reached the 10-win mark at Maples Pavilion for 20 consecutive seasons and is 8-2 on its home court so far.