Jan. 22, 2013
Stanford Cardinal (11-7, 2-3 Pac-12)
Colorado Buffaloes (12-6, 2-4 Pac-12)
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 7 p.m. PT
Boulder, CO Coors Events Center (11,064)
Series History: Stanford leads 9-3
Last Meeting: Stanford 74, Colorado 50 (Feb. 23, 2012 at Boulder, CO)
Radio: KNBR 1050 AM (PBP: John Platz, Analyst: Drew Shiller)
TV: ESPNU (PBP: Roxy Bernstein, Analyst: Miles Simon)
The Opening Tip
Stanford (11-7, 2-3 Pac-12) returns to the road this weekend, beginning its two-game swing at Colorado (12-6, 2-4 Pac-12) on Thursday night. It's a pivotal clash between two teams who were projected to finish in the top half of the league but have battled inconsistency so far. Stanford just wrapped up a three-game homestand and will play four of its next six away from Maples Pavilion.
Thursday's game can be heard live on KNBR 1050 AM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, featuring the chemistry-rich duo of John Platz (play-by-play) and Drew Shiller (analyst). The game will be televised on ESPNU, with Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Miles Simon (analyst) describing the action.
Colorado (12-6, 2-4 Pac-12) is coming off a split of its Pacific Northwest road trip, falling 64-54 to Washington before bouncing back with a 58-49 win at Washington State ... The Buffaloes spent time in the national rankings after starting 6-0, boosted mostly after defeating Dayton, Baylor and Murray State to claim the Charleston Classic title ... The Buffaloes were picked sixth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll, after finishing tied for fifth place last year at 11-7 before capturing the Pac-12 Tournament title and winning one game in the NCAA Tournament. Colorado is 7-1 at home ... Colorado is averaging 70.5 points, 38.2 rebounds and shooting 45.2 percent. But the Buffs shoot only 66.8 percent from the foul line and commit 14.1 turnovers per game ... Be sure to watch: Spencer Dinwiddie (14.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 77.4 percent FT, 46 assists), Askia Booker (14.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, team-best 29 three-pointers), Josh Scott (13.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 52.7 percent FG) and Andre Roberson (10.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 25 blocks, 36 steals).
Stanford All-Time vs. Colorado
Stanford holds the all-time edge at 9-3. The Cardinal has won five in a row overall, including a sweep of last year's regular-season series. In fact, Stanford won both of last season's meetings by 20+ points. Colorado's most recent win in the series came on Dec. 23, 1990, with the Buffs booking an 89-79 decision in Boulder.
Notable Career Totals Against Colorado
Stanford's backcourt duo of Aaron Bright and Chasson Randle gashed Colorado's defense in two games last year. Bright averaged 11.5 points and 4.0 assists while shooting 6-12 from the field. Randle averaged 19.0 points while connecting on 13-21 overall. Meanwhile, both players were terrific from three-point territory, with Bright making 5-10 and Randle 7-12. The one player Colorado managed to slow down was Dwight Powell (2-9 FG, eight points).
Upcoming Schedule Notes Stanford's Jan. 30 home game against Oregon will now be televised by ESPNU. Originally, the contest was slated to appear on Pac-12 Networks. The game will still tip at 8 p.m.
Stanford's Feb. 6 road game against Arizona has been shifted from ESPN2 to ESPNEWS. The start time remains at 6 p.m. PT.
Takeaways From The California Game
Dwight Powell scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, fueling Stanford's 69-59 victory over California in the first of two meetings in the rivalry series ... Stanford shot 35.8 percent overall, slightly ahead of California's 34.9 percent clip. After making 11-26 attempts from the field in the first half, Stanford was just 8-27 in the second ... The Cardinal cashed in at the free throw line, making 25-31 attempts and led by Dwight Powell's 9-9 performance. The Golden Bears were 11-15 from the free throw line ... Josh Huestis contributed 12 rebounds, representing the seventh time this year he has totaled 10+ boards in a game. Huestis, who added nine points, is now averaging 9.2 rebounds ... Since being held scoreless for the first time in his career three weeks ago at USC, Chasson Randle is averaging 16.0 points over the last four games while shooting 48.0 percent ... Stanford was 19-53 from the field. The last time Stanford won a game despite making less than 20 buckets was Dec. 31, 2011, when the Cardinal shot 18-44 in a 51-43 victory over USC ... Stanford has now defeated California in five of the last six games played at Maples Pavilion ... The Cardinal has now made at least one three-pointer in 373 consecutive games, dating back to an 0-6 performance against Purdue in the John Wooden Tradition on Nov. 24, 2001.
The Bright Lights Of ESPN
Aaron Bright has definitely made the most of his opportunities to play on ESPN. Entering Thursday's game against Colorado on ESPNU, Bright has posted the following totals in 14 career games shown on the ESPN family of networks: 13.7 ppg, 54.2 percent (58-107) from the field, 48.2 percent (28-58) from three-point territory and 92.3 percent (48-52) from the foul line.
So, What Exactly Worked Last Year? A simple explanation suggests Stanford's offense just happened to click. The Cardinal scored 158 combined points over the two games: 79 in the first half and 79 in the second half.
Colorado's 2011-12 campaign was a memorable one. The Buffaloes finished 24-12, won four games over four days to claim the conference title and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament after upsetting sixth-seeded UNLV. Transitioning from the Big 12 to the Pac-12, it appeared as if Colorado had every conference team figured out. Except Stanford. The Cardinal routed the Buffaloes twice: 84-64 at Maples Pavilion and 74-50 one month later in Boulder. So, what exactly was the recipe for two blowout wins?
Tied at 42-42 with 17:02 left to play in the first meeting, Stanford ambushed Colorado with a 32-5 scoring run to ice the game. In the rematch, Stanford built a 40-20 halftime lead and held Colorado without a two-point basket until the 3:41 mark of the first half.
Stanford made 55-108 attempts (50.9 percent) over the two games, while Colorado was held to 40-111 shooting (36.0 percent). Also, a 55.8 percent free throw clip didn't help the Buffs.
The Cardinal was dialed in from three-point territory over both games, making 19-41 (46.3 percent) from long distance. Conversely, the Buffaloes went cold at 10-36 (27.8 percent).
Stanford owned the glass, averaging 42.5 rebounds compared to Colorado's 26.5 boards. A big part of that difference was Josh Owens (9.5 rpg in two games), who has since graduated.
Four of Colorado's key players struggled to make shots: Carlon Brown (5-19), Austin Default (8-21), Spencer Dinwiddie (3-14), Askia Booker (5-16).
Gage Provides Boost Off The Bench
John Gage contributed a career-high 14 points in Stanford's 69-59 win over California. As usual, Gage was extremely efficient, doing his damage in only 19 minutes thanks to a 4-4 outing from long range. It was the fifth time this year Gage had reached double figures in scoring. The key for Gage this season has been simply staying on the floor. In games where Gage plays at least 15 minutes, he is averaging 9.8 points while shooting 24-47 (51.1 percent) overall and 18-35 (51.4 percent) from three-point territory.
Cardinal Exceptional From The Charity Stripe
Stanford is converting at a 74.2 percent clip that ranks 39th in the country. Only once in the last six years has Stanford finished the season making at least 70.0 percent or better, and that came in 2008-09 when the Cardinal was slightly over at 70.5 percent. Several players have enjoyed lengthy free throw streaks, including Aaron Bright's current stretch of 26 consecutive makes. Ironically, Bright has misfired on his last six attempts from beyond the arc and 11 shots overall.
Road Unkind In Conference Play
Stanford is 9-29 on the road in conference play dating back to the 2008-09 campaign. The Cardinal was 3-6 in Pac-12 action last year, tallying wins at Oregon State, USC and Colorado.
Powell Continues To Pace The Cardinal
Fully healthy and contributing consistently, Dwight Powell is showcasing the kind of dynamic all-around game many expected when he first arrived on The Farm. In addition to averaging 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds, Powell is shooting 48.4 percent overall and 80.9 percent from the foul line. A 2011 Pac-10 All-Freshman pick, Powell has notched four double-doubles while establishing career highs in every category, including points (29 vs. Denver on Dec. 2) and rebounds (13 vs. Seattle on Nov. 28).
Randle Quietly Producing In Last Four Games
A season of early struggles for Chasson Randle hit rock bottom against USC back on Jan. 3, as the sophomore guard was held scoreless for the first time in his career. Since that contest, Randle is averaging 16.0 points while shooting 24-50 (48.0 percent) from the field, 6-15 (40.0 percent) from beyond the arc and 10-16 (62.5 percent) from the foul line in a modest four-game stretch. For the season, Randle ranks second on the team in scoring (13.5 ppg) and first in assists (51) and steals (27) while excelling from the foul line (61-77, 79.2 percent).
Huestis Simply Dominating The Glass
Josh Huestis has developed into one of the Pac-12's premier defensive performers. Huestis, who tallied 10 blocks against Seattle back on Nov. 28, leads the team in that category with 39 and his 2.2 swats per game rank 45th nationally. Huestis has registered 89 career blocks, tied with Jason Collins (1997-2001) for eighth in school history. After grabbing 12 rebounds in the win against California last week, Huestis now leads the Cardinal at 9.2 boards per game.
Allen Delivering From The Line
Freshman Rosco Allen has showed plenty of promise, averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 rebounds while making seven starts and coming off the bench in 10 games. Allen's overall shooting totals are improving after a slow start, but the rookie has displayed a knack for drawing contact and getting to the free throw line. Allen has totaled almost as many free throw attempts (46) as field goal attempts (54). Allen is shooting 67.4 percent from the foul line.
12 Different Starters To Date
Of Stanford's 14 players who have appeared in a game this year, 12 have made at least one start. Andy Brown and John Gage became the latest players to crack the starting lineup when both received nods during a Jan. 5 loss at UCLA. Only Grant Verhoeven and Wade Morgan have yet to start a game. Head coach Johnny Dawkins has used nine starting lineups this year.