Stanford Cardinal (18-13, 9-9 Pac-12)
Arizona State Sun Devils (20-11, 9-9 Pac-12)
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 12 p.m. Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena (13,151) Tournament Seeds: Stanford (8), Arizona State (9) Series History: Stanford leads 44-30 Last Meeting: Stanford 62, Arizona State 59 (Feb. 9, 2013 at Tempe, AZ) Radio: KNBR 1050 AM (PBP: John Platz, Analyst: Drew Shiller)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PBP: Andrew Santana, Analyst: Jack Duane) TV: P12NET (PBP: Kevin Calabro, Analyst: Don MacLean, Sideline: Yogi Roth, Ashley Adamson)
The Opening Tip
The postseason gets underway as Stanford (18-13, 9-9 Pac-12) squares off against Arizona State (20-11, 9-9 Pac-12) in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. The winner draws No. 1 seed UCLA on Thursday at 12 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
Wednesday'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). KZSU 90.1 FM also has coverage. The game is televised on Pac-12 Networks, with Kevin Calabro (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst).
Scouting Arizona State
Arizona State (20-11, 9-9 Pac-12) has lost four in a row and and six of eight overall ... The Sun Devils are coming off a 73-58 loss at Arizona in the regular season finale ... Arizona State has surprised after being picked 11th in the Pac-12 preseason media poll ... Arizona State's 45.6 percent shooting mark ranks second in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils average 70.3 points per game but shoot a league-worst 62.2 percent from the foul line ... Be sure to watch: Jahii Carson (17.7 ppg, 45.9 percent FG, 154 assists), Carrick Felix (14.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 50.5 percent FG) and Jordan Bachynski (9.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 113 blocks).
Stanford All-Time vs. Arizona State
Stanford holds a 44-30 edge over Arizona State in the all-time series, which originated back in 1957. The Cardinal has won six in a row and seven of the last 10 matchups. In this year's regular-season meeting, Stanford won 62-59 in Tempe on Feb. 9. Meanwhile, Stanford has eliminated Arizona State from the Pac-12 Tournament two of the last three years.
Notable Career Totals Against Arizona State
In three career games against Arizona State, Chasson Randle is averaging 15.6 points while shooting 14-27 (51.8 percent) from the field with nine three-pointers and eight assists. Much of that damage was done in last year's Pac-12 Tournament, when Randle exploded for 30 points (27 of which came in a record-setting first half). Josh Huestis (11-17 FG in five games) and John Gage (8-18 FG in four games) have also enjoyed solid offensive outings.
Looking Back: Stanford 62, Arizona State 59 (Feb. 9, 2013) Dwight Powell (22 pts., 10 reb.) and Josh Huestis (13 pts., 12 reb.) produced double-doubles for the second straight game, pacing Stanford to a 62-59 win at Arizona State ... Stanford connected on 10-18 three-point tries while Arizona State made just 7-23 from long range. The Cardinal shot 47.8 percent while limiting the Sun Devils to a 34.4 clip ... Stanford led 36-28 at halftime and extended its lead to 48-32 at the 14:47 mark of the second half. However, Arizona State rallied for a chance to tie at the end of regulation, only to have Bo Barnes' three-pointer bounce off the rim with five seconds left ... Aaron Bright and Chasson Randle struggled with their shooting for a combined 2-13 mark. However, the backcourt duo also combined to dish out 10 of Stanford's 13 assists ... Jahii Carson was held to 15 points (7-16 FG). He totaled four assists and five turnovers.
Takeaways From The California Game Chasson Randle scored 20 points while Josh Huestis added 18 as Stanford beat California 83-70 to complete a season sweep and snap the Golden Bears' seven-game win streak ... Stanford won in Berkeley for the first time since 2008 ... The Cardinal shot 49.0 percent overall, including a 9-17 mark from three-point territory and a 26-30 clip from the free throw line ... Stanford, which led 34-31 at halftime, erupted for a 24-8 run to start the second half, resulting in its largest lead of 58-39 at the 12:33 mark after a jumper from Aaron Bright ... The game was stopped for nearly 10 minutes late in the second half after players from both teams began pushing and shoving one another during a break in play. Six players received technical fouls, two others were ejected for leaving the bench and a combined three assistant coaches from the two schools were also ejected.
Stanford All-Time In Conference Tournament Action
Stanford now holds a 13-14 all-time record in conference tournament competition ... Stanford and Arizona State will be meeting in the conference tournament for the third time in four years ... Stanford has been tabbed the No. 8 seed for the first time since a play-in game exit in 2011 ... The winner of Wednesday's contest will face No. 1 seed UCLA on Thursday at 12 p.m. ... Stanford has not won at least two games in the conference tournament since a runner-up finish in 2008.
Powell, Huestis Highlight Stanford's All-Pac-12 Picks Dwight Powell was named an All-Pac-12 First Team selection and recognized as the conference's Most Improved Player of the Year, highlighting Stanford's honorees among this year's All-Pac-12 men's basketball award winners. Meanwhile, Josh Huestis earned a spot on the five-member All-Defensive Team, one year after receiving Honorable Mention status in the same category. Powell, who was named to the All-Freshman Team two years ago, is the first Stanford player named to the 10-member First Team since Jeremy Green in 2011. Powell also becomes the first Cardinal to earn the Pac-12's Most Improved Player of the Year, since the inception of the award four years ago.
Cardinal Has Performed Well In March
Stanford is now 15-8 in games played during the month of March under head coach Johnny Dawkins. The Cardinal has won seven March games in a row, including its final five contests of last year en route to capturing the 2012 NIT championship.
Balanced Scoring Key To Cardinal Attack
Stanford placed four players in double figures during last week's 83-70 victory at California, representing the 10th time this year the Cardinal has accomplished the feat. Dwight Powell has been the most consistent, reaching double-digit scoring in 18 consecutive games while Chasson Randle has accomplished the feat in seven straight contests and 16 of his last 17 overall. Of Stanford's 14 eligible players, 11 have scored in double figures at least once this season.
Double-Double Machines Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis are one of five duos nationally to have notched at least nine double-doubles apiece. Prior to a Feb. 27 loss to Colorado, Stanford had received at least one double-double from either Powell or Huestis in eight straight games.
Perimeter Shots Falling In Pac-12 Play
Stanford is shooting 41.7 percent overall on the season and 42.4 percent in Pac-12 games, marks that rank 12th and 10th, respectively. However, it's a different story from beyond the arc. The Cardinal ranks fourth overall in three-point field goal percentage at 35.2 percent while its 41.1 percent long distance mark in Pac-12 games leads the league.
Lineup Stability Has Defined Roles
Head coach Johnny Dawkins has employed a starting lineup of Aaron Bright, Chasson Randle, Andy Brown, Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell for 14 consecutive games, matching the longest stretch for a starting five during his tenure. Dawkins has used nine starting lineups this year, compared to 15 last season, seven in 2010-11 and six combinations in both 2008-09 and 2009-10. Meanwhile, 12 different players have made at least one start so far.
Powell Continues To Pace The Cardinal
Fully healthy and contributing consistently, Dwight Powell is showcasing the type of dynamic all-around game many expected when he first arrived on The Farm. Powell has notched nine double-doubles overall, including a 17-point, 17-rebound effort against USC on Feb. 14. In addition to averaging a team-best 15.1 points and ranking second with 8.2 rebounds, Powell is shooting 47.4 percent overall and 79.9 percent from the foul line.
Huestis Dominating The Paint 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 62 and his 2.0 swats per game rank fourth in the Pac-12. Huestis has registered 112 career blocks, good for sixth all-time in school history. Meanwhile, Huestis is averaging 10.5 points and a team-best 9.3 boards per game, looking to become the first player to average a double-double since Curtis Borchardt (16.9 ppg, 11.4 rpg) in 2001-02.
Bright's Turnover-Free Play Spanning Three Games Aaron Bright is shooting 33.9 percent overall and 29.3 percent from long distance, a noticeable difference from last year's marks of 43.2 percent overall and 43.6 percent from beyond the arc. Despite the offensive struggles, Bright is getting his teammates involved while protecting the basketball. Over the last 10 games, Bright has totaled 44 assists and only 15 turnovers (an assist/turnover ratio of 2.9). Consider this: Bright has not committed a turnover since the first half against Colorado on Feb. 27, spanning his last 85 minutes on the floor.
Cardinal Exceptional From The Charity Stripe
Stanford is converting at a 74.1 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. Aaron Bright, who has been Stanford's most consistent performer at 82.8 percent (53-64), made 29 consecutive freebies before missing the second of two attempts against Oregon on Jan. 30.
Gage Provides Boost Off The Bench John Gage leads the Pac-12 in three-point shooting at 43.8 percent (39-89). Gage's numbers in conference games are equally impressive, connecting at a league-best 49.1 percent (27-55). When Gage plays at least 15 minutes, he is averaging 9.3 points while making 48.4 percent overall and 53.2 percent from long range.
Brown's Comeback Season Fueling Stanford Andy Brown, who appeared in just nine games last year after recovering from three ACL tears in three seasons, has seized his opportunity to make a difference. Brown is averaging 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 49.1 percent. Brown, who has started 17 games, has matched his career high of 17 points on three different occasions. In addition to providing a much-needed leadership presence, Brown's hustle and basketball IQ have been key assets.
Dawkins Inks Two To Letters Of Intent For 2013-14
Joining the Cardinal are Marcus Allen (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Schuyler Rimmer (Orlando, Fla.). Allen is a 6-3, 180-pound guard from Centennial High School while Rimmer is a 6-10, 235-pound center from Boone High School.