1997-98 Stanford Men's Basketball Outlook
STANFORD - So where do we go from here?
The Cardinal, last year, travelled into uncharted waters with an appearance against the
University of Utah in the NCAA "Sweet Sixteen."
The 1996-97 season produced many memories and catapulted Stanford into national
prominence, and there are indications that the Cardinal will now be a force on the
national scene for many years.
"I think the team now has a sense for what it takes to reach that level, and also a
feeling for how much fun it is." said Stanford head coach Mike Montgomery. "There should
be a hunger that exists to try to get us back there again. There always is disappointment
for not going further, yet there is the excitement of accomplishing that goal and all the
things that go along with it what makes college basketball exciting."
The team returns four starters from a 22-8 season, 14 returning lettermen, and is loaded
with talent and depth at every position. Add to that mix is the recruitment of three of
the nation's top freshmen.
Montgomery knows the talent is there to keep the Stanford program at a high national
level, yet he is remindful that the team will be without the services of All-America guard
Brevin Knight, who without question, was a major influence on the team's remarkable
Knight has taken his talents to the NBA, and although Montgomery returns a talented squad,
there is a lot of work to do to reach the "Sweet Sixteen" and beyond.
"We finished strong last year, and approached a level that we have never reached before,"
said Montgomery, who is entering his 12th year on The Farm. "Because of the presence
Brevin had on our team and what he did, we probably have some habits and some things we do
that are going to cause us problems. My objective is to do a better job with the
basketball team from the standout point of execution and fundamentals and to teach the
things that are going to allow us to be success with the personnel we have."
There is no doubt Stanford will be strong up front. Six players are 6-foot-8 or taller,
and all are talented. Four of the six (All-America candidate Tim Young, Mark Madsen, Mark
Seaton, Pete Van Elswyk) have seen extensive playing time for the Cardinal, while Jarron
and Jason Collins could make an impact in their freshman seasons. All six players will
give Stanford a dominant presence on the front line.
"There is no question we'll be big at the power forward and center positions," said
Peter Sauer, David Moseley and Ryan Mendez will lead a contingent of strong, veteran
players at the small forward. Sauer occupied the power forward position in 28 games as a
starter, and he will be moved fulltime to the other forward position. Mendez is a dynamic
shooter from 3-point range, while Moseley is a strong defender and can score when called
Arthur Lee assumes the role of the starter at point guard. Lee saw extensive action at the
point and off-guard positions last year, and is ready for the challenge of running the
offense. Kamba Tshionyi and highly-recruited freshman Michael McDonald will be the
reserves at point-guard.
"We're not in a crisis situation with Arthur," said Montgomery. "We brought in Arthur two
years ago to take over the point guard position when Brevin graduated. We have to
recognize that Brevin had some unique skills, and that Arthur needs to grow into the
position. We have to take advantage of Art's skills, and do things differently enough so
that we can still play well together as a team."
The off-guard position is solid with the return of starter Kris Weems, who has shown the
ability to consistently hit the shot from 3-point territory. Mendez and Moseley can also
play the off-guard position, in addition to small forward. There is depth with veteran
The fhree freshmen, Jarron and Jason Collins, and Michael McDonald, have the ability to
make a sizable impact on the team's success immediately, according to Montgomery.
"We have good returning players at every position on the floor," said Montgomery. "How
much impact the three freshmen and how soon really remains to be seen. Coming to Stanford
is always a difficult transition for a freshman, because of the academic demands. Being
away from home for the first time is always an issue with all freshmen. And then we have a
veteran team from the stand point in being able to move fairly quickly in our teaching.
However, we will go back as a coaching staff and try to better job of teaching."
The Cardinal, despite its wealth of talent at all positions, will find itself in a
conference that will again be extremely competitive.
"Last year was probably the best in Pac-10 history," said Montgomery. "Two national titles
in the past three seasons, five teams in the tournament last year, and four reached the
Sweet 16. I feel the conference will be just as tough if not tougher than last year.
Arizona returns everybody from there championship season, UCLA adds some big-time freshmen
to a group that virtually returns everbody intact, and Cal has several transfers who are
excellent players. Washington continues to improve, and USC has an impressive group of
athletes. Everybody else in the conference is much improved."
The 1996-97 Cardinal schedule is much more competitive with key non-league games at
Connecticut (Feb. 7), Georgia at the John Wooden Classic on Dec. 6, an appearance in the
Big Island Invitational (Nov. 28-30), which features such teams as Wisconsin, Oklahoma and
Big West favorite Pacific, and an appearance in the Cable Car Classic (Dec. 28-30),
featuring Stanford, Santa Clara, Penn and Rhode Island.
"The schedule is challenging," said Montgomery. "The schedule should give us great
exposure, and a real opportunity to play some of the better teams in the country."
In short, Stanford basketball will be a contender in the conference and a candidate for a
fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
All-America candidate Tim Young (7-1, 250, Junior) will be one of the top centers in the
nation in 1997-98. Last year, he averaged 13.7 points and a league leading 8.4 rebounds
per game. Nine times last year Young recorded double-doubles (points-rebounds), including
a 20-point, 21-rebound effort against Oregon. With two years of eligiblity remaining,
Young is aleady #2 in the Cardinal record book in blocked shots. Jason Collins (6-10, 240,
Freshman), along with his twin brother Jarron, are the most visible and the most highly
recruited players that Stanford Basketball has ever recruited. Jason played center
throughout high school, and is definitely more of an inside, back-to-the-basket type of
player. During his senior season at Harvard-Westlake High School, Jason averaged 20.2
points and 14.1 rebounds per game. He shot 72 percent from the floor, and broke the
31-year-old state record for rebounds with more than 1,500. Mark Seaton (6-foot-9, 230,
Junior) can also play the center position in addition to his natural position at power
This is an area loaded with talent. Peter Sauer (6-7, 220, Junior) started 28 of the
team's 30 games at power forward. This year, Sauer will be moved to the small position
slot. Sauer averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, and can shoot the ball,
evidenced by the fact that he shot at least 50 percent in 20 games. Sauer can put the ball
on the floor, shoot it deep, yet can take a defender inside and score. Mark Madsen (6-8,
235, Sophomore) is one of the most competitive players the program has ever seen. Madsen
is destined for stardom and is a prime candidate for a starting job at power forward. Many
experts compare Madsen to former Stanford All-American Adam Keefe. Last year, Madsen
averaged 5.9 points and five rebounds per game, while shooting 54 percent. During the last
ten games of the season, Madsen averaged 9.4 points and seven rebounds per game, while
shooting 67 percent. Madsen is an excellent scorer from deep in the paint, a tough
defender and rebounder, and an excellent team player. Ryan Mendez (6-7, 195, Sophomore)
and David Moseley (6-4, 198, Sophomore) are two sophomores who have the credentials to
play extensively and make a contribution to the team's success in 1997-98. Mendez can be a
dominating player from 3-point range. Last year in averaging 5.6 points per game, Mendez
hit 43 percent from 3-point territory, sixth-best in the Pacific-10. Mendez also shot 82
percent from the free throw line. Moseley is an excellent defender and has the ability to
score when called upon. Moseley averaged 4.6 points per game last year, including a
19-point, five rebound performance at USC. Moseley attempted 71 three-pointers last year,
a freshman school record. Mark Seaton (6-9, 230, Junior) is a solid veteran at the power
forward position. In his two seasons at Stanford, Seaton has hit 60 percent from the
floor, which is on par with the school record. Pete Van Elswyk (6-9, 255, Senior) is
another veteran with solid experience and the ability to start. In three previous seasons
at Stanford and South Carolina, Van Elswyk has started 57 out of 83 games played. Jarron
Collins (6-9, 240, freshman) is an exceptionally talented freshman, and has the ability to
make an impact immediately, according to the Cardinal coaching staff. Collins has the size
and inside saavy to be a top-flight forward on the college level, but also remarkable
ballhandling and passing skills. Last year in helping lead Harvard-Westlake High School to
a second straight California state title, Collins averaged 14.2 points and 12.1 rebounds
Solid talent and valuable experience are the trademark of this area for Stanford in
1997-98. Arthur Lee (6-0, 175, Junior) assumes the duties of Stanford's playmaker at point
guard. Exceptional athletic ability, speed and a strong work ethic makes Lee a key member
of the team this year. Lee gained valuable experience at both the point and off-guard
positions last year. Lee averaged 7.6 points per game last year, and started 12 games at
the off-guard in addition to being a valuable backup to graduated All-America guard Brevin
Knight at the point guard position. At the off-guard position, Kris Weems (6-3, 195,
Junior) averaged 11.7 points per game last year. Weems is deadly from three-point range.
In just two seasons on The Farm, Weems has tallied 80 three-pointers, #8 in the Stanford
record book. And during those two seasons, Weems has averaged 42 percent from three-point
range. Weems started all 30 games last year. There is veteran depth with the return of
Kamba Tshionyi (6-2, 195, Senior), and Mark Thompson (6-1, 180, Senior). Michael McDonald
(6-0, 170, Freshman) is a heralded freshman, who has an abundance of talent at the point
guard position. McDonald is rated among the Top 15 incoming freshman point guards in the
country, accoding to a leading scouting service. McDonald plays with the ideal point
guard's mentality, yet he is capable of scoring in spurts if the team needs it. McDonald
is fully recovered from a thigh injury which forced him to miss all but two games of his
senior season at Long Beach Poly. During his junior season, McDonald averaged 18 points,
six assists and six rebounds per game. Ryan Mendez (6-7, 195, Sophomore) and David Moseley
(6-4, 198, Sophomore) can also play the off-guard position in addition to small forward.