1996-97 Stanford Men's Basketball Outlook
STANFORD, Calif. -- Cardinal head coach Mike Montgomery,
now in his eleventh season at Stanford University, feels good
about the health of the basketball program.
"We have had success on the court in recent years, and people are
starting to recognize that we can play at a high level," said
Montgomery, who has led the Cardinal two straight second round
appearances in the NCAA Tournament (1994-95 & 1995-96 seasons),
and eight post-season appearances (four NCAA, four NIT).
He likes the talent of the 1996-97 team, which will again be a
contender in the Pacific-10 Conference. There is excellent
competition at each position on the court, but he also recognizes
that the team must continue to play as a unit and that "hard
work" will be the key to success.
Last year, the team played very well as a group, a squad blessed
with the right chemistry, thanks to a veteran group of four
seniors, Darren Allaway, Dion Cross, David Harbour, and Andy
Poppink. This quartet provided great leadership, on-and-off the
"Each player on the team accepted their role and did their job,"
said Montgomery. "This is a team game, and as a result we won a
fair amount of games. We had toughness, versatile players, guys
who understood what it took to win. And the seniors were
extremely valuable with their excellent play and leadership."
This year, Stanford returns two players of prominence,
All-America guard candidate Brevin Knight and 7-foot-1 Honors
Candidate center Tim Young. Knight is regarded as one of the top
point-guards in the nation. Knight, who holds career school
records in steals and assists, has the ability to dominate the
game, while Young also has the ability to dominate a game. Knight
and Young were members of the 1996 USA Men's 22 and Under team
which captured the gold medal at last summer's Confederation of
Pan American Basketball Associations (COPABA) 22 and Under
Tournament in Caugas, Puerto Rico.
"Brevin Knight is the type of player that can make things
happen," said Montgomery. "Anytime you have a player that can
beat people at point of attack, and can create opportunities for
others, it's a nice starting point. Brevin's bigger, stronger, a
better shooter and always has been a winner. With Tim Young, a
seven-footer who is in the third year of the program, you have a
player in the middle who knows the system. Because Tim redshirted
last year, he has three years of eligibility remaining."
What worries Montgomery is how the other members of the team will
add to the mix in order to have a successful season in 1996-97.
Certainly, there is talent on the Cardinal varsity, but with only
two seniors on the team, the squad is inexperienced at the
off-guard, and small and power forwards. Knight and Young have
the necessary experience to lead the team, but virtually everyone
else in the program is untested.
"What we don't know is how these kids will respond to the
pressure of having to win, needing to play well together, and how
the chemistry will develop," said Montgomery. "The question is
the off-guard and small forward position. We're basically
unproven at those positions, and also at the big forward
position. We'll be encouraged if Rich Jackson comes back 100
percent from a serious knee injury at forward. He's a veteran
player who is a leader."
Kris Weems and David Moseley will be the leading candidates for
the off-guard position. Arthur Lee proved be an extremely
valuable player as a reserve point-guard for the Cardinal, while
Mark Thompson and Kamba Tshionyi are reserves at guard.
Stanford will be a bigger team along the front-line in 1996-97.
"We're going to be very big and reasonably physical, which I
don't mind at all," said Montgomery. "The emphasis will change
back to the inside more, although we still have Brevin on the
perimeter who can create."
Young is 7-foot-1, and there are two players at 6-foot-9 (Mark
Seaton, Pete Van Elswyk); Mark Madsen is 6-foot-8; Peter Sauer,
Ryan Mendez and Karl Wente are listed at 6-foot-7; and Jackson is
The 1996-97 Stanford season will be challenging. The Cardinal
will open the regular season with its first-ever appearance at
the Great Alaska Shootout. The eight team field includes NCAA
champion Kentucky, NCAA Final Four runner-up Syracuse and Pac-10
rival Arizona State.
The non-league slate includes a game against Big East member
Seton Hall, and Manhattan at the Arco Arena in Sacramento. The
Pac-10 season opens on the road at Arizona State and Arizona.
"I think we've got a very solid group of players in terms of
skills and talent. But, getting them to understand the type of
effort, toughness, and mental preparation that it takes to get
the job done is the key. I think it will be fun to try and put
the group together."
All-America candidate Brevin Knight (5-10, 173, Senior) has been
regarded as one of the top point-guards in the nation the last
two years, and that theme will again hold true in 1996-97.
Knight, a two-time All Pac-10 selection, has the ability to
dominate a game. For example at the NCAA East Regional, Knight
scored 26 points (10-for-10 from the free throw line), grabbed
five rebounds, dished out four assists and stole two passes in 36
minutes of play in the opening round victory over Bradley. Then
two days later against then #1 ranked UMass, Knight impressed a
national television audience and those fans in attendance with a
27 point, nine assists, four rebound, two steal performance.
Former UMass All-American center Marcus Camby said after the game
that Knight was one of the quickest guards he'd ever seen. Last
year, Knight averaged 15.5 ppg (#1 on the Cardinal, #8 in the
Pac-10), 7.3 apg (#1 in the Pac-10, #6 in the nation), 3.8 rpg
and 2.1 spg (#3 in the Pac-10). Knight has improved his offensive
game each year since arriving at Stanford. If you defend him
closely, he has the quickness to drive to the basket. Drop off
defensively and Knight can shoot the long range jumper. More
importantly, Knight can dominate the game in other areas. Knight
sees the entire court, sees the open man and has great timing at
stealing the basketball. Knight is the school record holder in
both career steals and assists. Arthur Lee (6-0, 175, Sophomore)
provided Stanford with outstanding play as a reserve point guard
last year as a freshman. Lee, who has been able to learn about
the college game from Knight, possesses speed, quickness and a
work ethic, and those traits have impressed the Cardinal coaching
staff. Lee, an honorable mention All Pac-10 Freshman team member,
can score when called upon from deep range, can find the open man
and plays tough defense. The off-guard position is wide open with
the graduation of the school's #3 all-time leading scorer Dion
Cross. Kris Weems (6-3, 195, Sophomore) and David Moseley (6-4,
198, Freshman) should fight for that position. Weems showed signs
during his freshman season in 1995-96 that he will be a scoring
threat from deep range this year and in the years ahead. Weems,
an honorable mention All Pac-10 freshman team member, scored a
career-high 16 points in 16 minutes of play against Oregon. In
Stanford's 67-66 victory over UCLA, Weems hit two critical
3-pointers. Moseley, a freshman, can play both off-guard and
small forward. Last year at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces,
New Mexico, Moseley averaged 26 points per game and was named
Player of the Year in the state of New Mexico by USA Today. Mark
Thompson (6-1, 180, Junior) and Kamba Tshionyi (6-2, 185, Junior)
will provide strong play off the bench.
Replacing graduated starters Andy Poppink and Darren Allaway will
be no easy task. Together, Poppink and Allaway played in 228
games for Stanford and were starters in 152. More importantly,
both were great team leaders on-and-off the court. This year, the
Cardinal will be big and physical along the front line. At the
power forward position, there will be tough competition between
Mark Seaton (6-9, 230, Sophomore), Pete Van Elswyk (6-9, 255,
Junior), and Mark Madsen (6-8, 235, Freshman). Seaton proved his
versatility last year by playing at power forward and as a backup
center. Seaton, who was a first team All Pac-10 freshman
selection, shot a team-leading 61 percent from the floor, 69
percent in his last 14 games. Seaton, who averaged 4.8 points and
3.2 rebounds per game in 14 minutes of play, scored a career-high
18 points (7-for-9 from the floor), grabbed seven rebounds,
blocked two shots and dished out two assists against USC. Against
nationally-ranked North Carolina, Seaton tallied 13 points, seven
rebounds and two blocked shots in 16 minutes of play. Van Elswyk
redshirted last year after starting two seasons (freshman and
sophomore years) at the University of South Carolina. Van Elswyk
is physical under the basket, a strong rebounder and defender,
yet can score from inside and from outside (3-point range). Van
Elswyk knows the Cardinal system having redshirting at Stanford
last year. Madsen enters Stanford as a 20-year-old freshman after
spending the last two years on a Mormon mission. Madsen has been
compared to former Stanford All-American Adam Keefe. During his
senior season at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville,
Calif., Madsen averaged 21.1 points, 16.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks
per game. Rich Jackson (6-6, 220, Senior) is hoping to return
from a serious knee injury suffered late last season. Jackson, a
three-year letterman, provides the most experience of any of the
team's forwards. Last year, Jackson provided needed defensive
help off the bench, and also proved to be a valuable team leader.
Peter Sauer (6-7, 220, Sophomore) proved to be a valuable player
last year. Sauer can put the ball on the floor, shoot it deep,
yet can take a defender inside and score. In Stanford's second
round game against then #1 ranked UMass at the NCAA East
Regional, Sauer scored eleven points (5-for-7 from the floor) and
grabbed seven rebounds. Sauer's best scoring effort was a
13-point effort against South Carolina. Ryan Mendez (6-7, 195,
Forward) is another top freshman recruit for the Cardinal. Mendez
led the state of Texas in both scoring and rebounding during his
senior season at Burleson High School (just south of Ft. Worth,
TX). Mendez averaged an amazing 38.2 points and 18.3 rebounds per
game. Mendez shot 56 percent from the floor, 54 percent from
three-point territory and 85 percent from the free throw line.
Mendez can also play the off-guard position. Karl Wente (6-7,
225, Sophomore) will be a reserve.
Tim Young (7-1, 250, Sophomore) will be an Honors Candidate in
1996-97. Young, a member of the U.S. Men's 22 and Under Select
team, only played five games last year after suffering a bulging
disk in his lower back. Young is now recovered and has the
ability to dominate a game inside. Two seasons ago as a freshman,
Young averaged 12.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game (#1 on the
Cardinal, #3 in the Pac-10). Seaton can also play center in
addition to power forward.
Brevin Knight and Tim Young are members of the 1996 U.S. Men's 22
and Under Select team.
Brevin Knight has started every game (85 games) since he has been
Brevin Knight is a two-time all Pac-10 selection and will be
aiming for a third league selection. Only five Stanford players
have ever been three-time all-league choices, Hank Luisetti
(1936-38), Ron Tomsic (1952-53, 1955), Rich Kelley (1973-75),
Kimberly Belton (1978-80), and Adam Keefe (1990-92). Todd Lichti
(1986-89) was Stanford's only four-time all-league selection.
Stanford will make its first appearance in the Great Alaska
Shootout in 1996-97. A Cardinal team has never played in the
state of Alaska.
Stanford did play the University of Alaska during the 1977-78
season with the Cardinal scoring a 108-98 victory at Maples
Stanford has never played against four teams in this year's Great
Alaska Shootout; 1996 NCAA runner-up Syracuse, College of
Charleston, UNC Greensboro, and Maine.
Not since the 1998-89 season has the Cardinal opened the season
on the road. In 1988-89, Stanford played at Montana in the
Stanford will face the University of San Diego on December 14,
the first game between the two schools.
Navy will make its first ever appearance at Maples Pavilion
during the 1996-97 season. Not since the 1974-75 season has a
service academy team (Air Force) played at Maples Pavilion.
The 1996-97 season starts the 81st collegiate season for the
Cardinal. Stanford has chalked up 1,034 wins and 43 winning
seasons. Nine of the last ten years have been winning seasons.
Birthdays During the 1996-97 Season
Mark Seaton, January 28
Tim Young, February 6
Mark Thompson, March 8