March 9, 2011
STANFORD, Calif.- Jeremy Green is going to look back on his junior season and he's going to see the whole picture.
"I think I'm going to remember that throughout the season, we had many highs and lows and that sometimes things were working on all cylinders and other times we weren't sure what was going on," Green said. "But this whole season, I think we felt like everything was going to be all right. We kept giving it our all."
Green's unvarnished eye applies to the Cardinal's trip down to Los Angeles today to open the Pac-10 Tournament against Oregon State at the Staples Center.
Stanford (15-15) finished in the seventh spot in the Pac-10 standings and will need to win four games in four days to win the tournament title and the conference's automatic NCAA bid.
Still, Green - who was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team on Monday, said his teammates are confident.
"We aren't going to kid ourselves," Green said. "We know we have to win the tournament to have any hopes of the postseason, which is something we all want. So we know we have to give every little bit we have."
Green has been doing that all season as the Cardinal's most experienced returner. One of five juniors on a roster with no seniors, Green was the only one when the season started who had seen significant playing time last season.
He was named a team captain. He knew he was going to be the go-to player on offense. With a bevy of freshmen on the roster he would be a leader and a mentor.
At the beginning of the season, it was weighing on Green.
"I knew we were losing a lot with Landry (Fields) and Drew (Shiller) gone and I knew I had to produce, not only what I did last year, but even more," Green said. "I was thinking about what ways I could score and I think I had to score to win games. But it was the wrong way to think about things and it hurt me and it hurt our team."
Cardinal head coach Johnny Dawkins said he watched Green struggle with his new responsibility.
"He's a very confident player, but it was an adjustment for him," Dawkins said. "I think there was some uncertainty about where we were going to get points from and it put a burden on him. It would do that to any player and he had to make the adjustment."
Green has closed the season in his best form, scoring at least 20 points in seven of Stanford's last 10 games. During that same stretch he is shooting 53.5 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arch and 80.8 percent from the foul line.
Included in this productive stretch is a four-game run in which Green hit 12 consecutive 3-pointers, the second-best streak in NCAA history.
Green heads into the conference tournament as Stanford's leading scorer at 16.5 points per game. He leads the team in minutes played, field goals attempt and three-pointers made with 81.
His totals from beyond the arc put him in rarefied territory.
Green holds the Stanford school record for 3-pointers in a season with 93 last year and now he's closing in on the school record for a career with 221. One more trey will tie him for second with Casey Jacobsen. Dion Cross (1992-1996) owns the record at 241.
- Michelle Smith
Green said he never wanted to shoot his team out of games and that when he was struggling he tried to do other things to help his team. He said his focus on rebounding and defense and assists began to open up his offensive game again.
"I got my rhythm back," Green said. "Coach always wants me to be aggressive. To me, shooting is all about form and mechanics. It's the little details and I always try to think about what I did wrong so I can do it right the next time."
It's a plan that's clearly worked for Green and it might lead to a surprise season ending for the Cardinal, a team clearly headed for better things with Green leading the way.
"I give him a lot of credit," Dawkins said. "He started the season off and he wasn't shooting the ball as well as in year's past and he had to fight out of that."
- Michelle Smith