Jan. 20, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The comeback of redshirt junior forward Andy Brown from three reconstructive knee surgeries has been one of the great stories of the Stanford men's basketball season.
Though Brown's play has been limited to two games, three minutes, and one point, his impact has sent a shudder through the team.
During a recent practice, the ball was loose on the floor when Brown threw his body toward the ball, diving for it "without any hesitation," guard Aaron Bright said.
"He was the first one on the floor, just laying out," Bright said.
The play became a focal point by the coaches during film study.
The message: This man has torn his ACL three times and he can dive on the floor for a loose ball. There's no reason why you guys can't.
"It takes a strong human just to come back from something like that," Bright said, and then to dive for a loose ball ... "This just shows his character and the kind of guy he is."
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Sophomore forward Josh Huestis had an excellent home weekend against Colorado and Utah last week, making 11 of 15 floor shots and scoring 13 points apiece.
In Thursday's loss at Washington State, however, Huestis was held without a field goal in 19 minutes.
"I was really proud of Josh last week," coach Johnny Dawkins said. "No kid works as hard in trying to improve his skills. But I think there's even more in him. He still has a big upside."
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Nine players are averaging more than 10 minutes per game, and 11 are getting regular time in the rotation.
"It's one of those things where you don't have separation in your unit, and everybody's coming in and giving positive minutes and contributing," Dawkins said. "You try to find ways to accommodate that. That's what we've done."
Dawkins will use a core group for specific situations and has many choices depending on matchups.
"If we have everyone playing well, we're going to give everyone an opportunity to contribute," he said.
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Stanford's worst loss in its 136-game series against Washington still conjures some unpleasant memories for the Cardinal.
Sitting behind a basket during the 94-61 rout at UW's Hec Edmundson Pavilion on Jan. 14, 2010 was high school senior Bright, a point guard from local Bellevue (Wash.) High School who already had decided to come to Stanford.
"Man, that was ugly," Bright said. "We were getting killed and everyone was kind of looking at me. I remember Isaiah Thomas was playing there at the time. He was talking smack to me after the game.
"We've got to get them back for that one."
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John Gage, the Cardinal's 6-foot-9 sophomore post, has the "green light" to shoot any time, Dawkins said.
Gage, who is shooting 39 percent from three-point range, "has become an amazing perimeter threat for us," Dawkins said. "We encourage John to take shots when he's open. When he passes the ball, his teammates say, `Shoot it, John.'
"We want him to take his shot whenever it's available because he has one of the best strokes in our conference."
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With Stanford's 75-41 women's basketball victory over visiting Washington State on Thursday, the Cardinal increased its dominance in the series to 53-0.
Trivia question: Other than Washington State, which school among their all-time opponents have the Stanford women beaten most without losing?
Answer: Utah, at 13-0.
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Two current Stanford women's soccer players make a run at the 2012 London Games while playing for Mexico at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which begins Friday in Vancouver, B.C.
Hermann Trophy winner Teresa Noyola and Stanford junior captain Alina Garciamendez begin group play against Guatemala at 5 p.m. Only three of eight teams in the tournament, which ends Jan. 29, will secure Olympic berths.
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How's this for scheduling? The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation has the Stanford men's volleyball team playing its first nine conference matches on the road. The Cardinal, which plays at UCLA on Friday, will go 40 days between home matches.
-- David Kiefer, Stanford Athletics