Nationally-Ranked Stanford Opens Practice - October 16
Oct. 11, 2004
Stanford, Ca - Yes, it's hard to believe, but Stanford Basketball is BACK.
One of the most successful collegiate basketball programs in the United States will soon be embarking on its 90th season of competition and the 2004-05 Cardinal varsity will begin practice on Saturday, October 16, at 9 a.m. at Burnham Pavilion.
Stanford's first regular season game will be on Nov. 19 when Stanford faces the University of San Francisco (USF) at the Pete Newell Challenge at The Arena in Oakland. Stanford's first home game at the renovated Maples Pavilion will be Dec. 18 against UC Davis. Stanford will have one exhibition game; a Nov. 13 game against Concordia University at Santa Clara University.
Above all the wins and its success on the court, Stanford Basketball has gained upmost respect for its ability to work hard, define the meaning of team chemistry, and represent the University with players who are also highly regarded as student-athletes.
Both at home and on the road, fans and foes of Stanford have admired the basketball program for its ability to produce standout results not only on the court but in the classroom as well (12 All Pac-10 Academic honors in the last four years). Stanford has earned a school record ten straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, has won the Pacific-10 title four of the last six seasons, has been ranked #1 in two of the last four years and has earned a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament three of the past five years. That impressive resume has always caught the attention of Trent Johnson, who enters his first season as head coach of the Stanford Cardinal.
'Stanford is special to every coach in college basketball,' said Johnson, whose first tour of Stanford was as an assistant coach from 1996-99. 'This university represents what all college athletics should represent; the student-athlete. I think Stanford breeds excellence; a positive attitude. The student-athletes are highly motivated. They always put themselves in position to succeed.'
The Stanford basketball program has enjoyed great success with student-athletes who work very hard, are highly motivated and bright, and combined with a great coaching staff, the team has succeeded on-and-off the court.
Each year, great players have graduated from Stanford, only to be replaced by another group of young, eager players who have accepted the challenge to represent Stanford in the sport of basketball. In recent years, great players such as Casey Jacobsen, Jarron and Jason Collins, Mark Madsen and Arthur Lee have left lofty memories for others to pick up and enhance.
This year, the Cardinal will miss the talents, experience and leadership of Josh Childress, Matt Lottich, Justin Davis and Joe Kirchofer. All four helped Stanford to a 30-2 record and a #1 ranking last year. Childress has now taken his talents to the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, while Lottich, Davis and Kirchofer graduated with Stanford degrees along with the respect of Stanford followers because of their winning personalities.
Three starters return along with seven other lettermen, and the addition of two freshmen should help keep Stanford in the running for another Pac-10 title and an eleventh straight journey to the NCAA Tournament. However, head coach Trent Johnson says the journey won't be easy.
'You don't replace Josh Childress with one guy; it's going to be done by committee. You don't replace a guy like Matt Lottich who was so competitive; a tough guy who could shoot the ball from deep range. One or two guys are going to have to come in and fill that void. Joe Kirchofer will be missed. Joe was a warrior. Along with another graduating senior Justin Davis, this group of graduating seniors plus Josh Childress will be hard to replace. Our returning players will have some challenges in front of them to get back to the level where we can compete for a Pac-10 championship.'
Stanford's three returning starters (Chris Hernandez, Rob Little and Nick Robinson) will provide the anchor for this year's squad. Each provides different types of personalities that will add up to a winning formula. Hernandez is the fiery point-guard leader; Little is the experienced big man who will provide scoring inside, while Robinson is the silent leader who has gained the respect of his teammates with his ability to help Stanford win numerous games.
Hernandez was an All Pac-10 performer and a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award last year, symbolic of the nation's best point-guard. In averaging ten points per game last year, Hernandez won the Pac-10 free throw percentage title (.914, fourth-nationally) and the three-point field goal percentage crown (.460). Little averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Little's shooting percentage of .571 was third-best in the conference. Stanford was 24-1 in games started by Robinson last year. In the last two seasons, Robinson has started 36 games, and Stanford has won 33 times. Robinson is simply a winner.
Matt Haryasz, Dan Grunfeld, Tim Morris, Jason Haas, Fred Washington, Carlton Weatherby, Mark Bradford and Evan Moore will need to step up to keep Stanford among the nation's elite in basketball and this group is capable of doing that. Haryasz is expected to produce major numbers for Stanford in 2004-05. The potential and talent are there for Haryasz who has worked hard since the end of last year knowing that he will step into a starting role at power forward this year. Grunfeld will seek to fill the three-point scoring punch provided by Lottich last year. Grunfeld has deep shooting range and will be a contender for a spot at off-guard. Morris redshirted last year, and thus knows the Cardinal system and has gained weight and strength to handle a lengthy season. Morris can shoot, run the court, and has the ability to drive to the basket. Haas earned quality playing time at the point-guard position last year. His experience and confidence will be obvious this year. Washington shot 47 percent from the floor last year and has the ability to provide scoring and additional rebounding in 2004-05. Weatherby gives Stanford another quality point-guard while Bradford and Moore are members of the Cardinal football team who will join the Cardinal hoopsters at the conclusion of the 2004 season.
Taj Finger and Peter Prowitt are the incoming freshmen for Stanford who will see immediate action this season. Finger, a forward, has shown the ablity to shoot the basketball while Prowitt, a center, will see immediate action as a backup center and forward to Little.
'Our biggest goal is to be aggressive at both ends of the floor, and to try and get better every day,' said Johnson. 'I have told the team not to worry about the middle or end of the year; just take the necessary steps during the course of the season in terms of making yourself a better basketball player, enjoy the journey and stay aggressive. If we can do all those things, and remain injury free, then by the end of the year, hopefully we'll be playing our best basketball, and then let the chips fall where they may.'
A highly competitive schedule again awaits the Cardinal team in 2004-05. The schedule includes the EA Sports Maui Invitational (Nov. 22-24). The field includes North Carolina, Texas, Louisville, and Tennessee (Stanford's first round opponent). Stanford opens the 2004-05 season against San Francisco at the Pete Newell Challenge (Nov. 19) in Oakland. Maples Pavilion is nearing completion of a $30 million renovation with the first home games scheduled against UC Davis (Dec. 18), Dartmouth (Dec. 22) and Montana (Dec. 23). An exhibition game against Concordia College (Nov. 13) will be played at Santa Clara's Leavey Center.
Make no mistake about it, Chris Hernandez (6-foot-2, 190, Junior, Fresno, Ca) is a tested leader and dominant figure on the court for Stanford. Athletic, competitive, hard-working and intense are just a few adjectives to describe Hernandez' game. Hernandez refuses to be defeated. Hernandez leads from the start of the game to the very end. Many rival coaches, last year, thought Hernandez was the Pac-10's Most Valuable Player. Hernandez, a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award (symbolic of the nation's best point-guard), gained first team All Pac-10 honors last year in averaging ten points and 4.4 assists per game (#8 in the Pac-10). Hernandez led the conference in free throw percentage (.914) and three-point field goal percentage (.460). Jason Haas (6-foot-2, 190, Junior, Spring Mills, Pa) provided Stanford with excellent point-guard play as a reserve last year. Haas started two games and helped lead Stanford to wins over Nevada-Las Vegas and Florida International. Expect increased confidence from Haas who will also be counted upon to increase his scoring totals along with his ability to run the team. Carlton Weatherby (6-foot-1, 180, Junior, Tacoma, Wa) will provide added depth at point-guard. Stanford needs a long-range shooter at the off-guard position and Dan Grunfeld (6-foot-6, 215, Junior, River Hills, Wi) is the answer. Grunfeld has the ability to shoot from deep behind the arc, and will fill the need left by the graduation of Matt Lottich. Grunfeld scored a career-high 21 points (5-for-8 from the floor, 9-for-9 from the free throw line) in 22 minutes of play against Southern Utah last season. Tim Morris (6-for-4, 215, Redshirt Freshman, Atlanta, Ga) is ready to contribute to Stanford's success in 2004-05. Morris added weight and strength along with learning the intricate Stanford system as a redshirt freshman last year. Morris can run the court, score to the basket, and possesses good range from the outside. Mark Bradford (6-foot-2, 205, Sophomore, Los Angeles, Ca) is another Cardinal football standout at wide receiver and like forward Evan Moore (6-foot-7, 235, Sophomore, Brea, Ca) will be available to the basketball team at the conclusion of the football season.
Get ready for a huge season from Matt Haryasz (6-foot-11, 230, Junior, Page, Az). Haryasz is expected to start at power forward and will be a scoring force inside for Stanford in 2004-05. Last year, Haryasz averaged 17 minutes per game as a key reserve and averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Haryasz shot 53 percent from the floor and collected 37 blocks, eighth-best in the Pac-10. Haryasz started one game last year and responded with a career-high 19 points (9-for-14 from the floor), seven rebounds, three assists and a block in 33 minutes of play at Oregon. Nick Robinson (6-foot-6, 205, Senior, Liberty, Mo) simply goes about his business; the business of winning. Such hard work and dedication has earned Robinson the upmost respect from his teammates and opponents. Robinson doesn't seek the limelight. All he does is work behind the scenes to encourage his teammates, work diligently in the weight room, spend extra hours working on his game, and also being an All Pac-10 Academic student-athlete. In the last two seasons, Robinson has started 36 games, and Stanford has won 33 of them. Last year, Stanford went 24-1 with Robinson as a starter. Robinson averaged 6.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game last year while second on the team in steals (32). Robinson will always be remembered for his successful 35-foot three-point winner at the buzzer as Stanford beat Arizona, 80-77. That play earned an ESPY nomination. Fred Washington (6-foot-5, 210, Sophomore, Los Angeles, Ca) gives Stanford excellent depth at the small forward position behind Robinson. Washington played in 24 games and showed the ability to shoot the basketball (47 percent) and run the floor. In 13 minutes of play against Oregon State, Washington tallied eleven points (4-for-5 from the floor), three rebounds, a block and a steal. Evan Moore (6-foot-7, 235, Sophomore, Brea, Ca) provides bulk under the basket but Moore will not be available until the end of the Stanford football season. Moore is another major contributor as a wide receiver. Taj Finger (6-foot-8, 185, Freshman, Mt. Kisco, Ca) will provide depth. Finger has a large array of shots.
Honors Candidate Rob Little (6-foot-10, 260, Senior, Hampton, Va) has continued throughout his Stanford career to make sharp improvements in his game, and this senior is on track to enjoy a memorable season in 2004-05. Little possesses a knack for scoring around the basket, grabbing the tough rebounds, providing excellent leadership and has worked extremely hard during the last two seasons to be in top physical condition due to a healthy diet and an extensive weight training program. Little averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last year, and expect those figures to climb dramatically this year. Little shot .571 from the floor last year, third-best in the Pac-10. Little scored a career-high 18 points (7-for-9 from the floor) along with seven rebounds and two blocks in Stanford's 73-60 victory at UCLA. Little will be asked to play a lot of minutes this year with inexperienced depth at center. Last year, Joe Kirchofer provided great depth at center with his experience and court saavy. Kirchofer has graduated, and now Peter Prowitt (6-foot-10, 250 pounds, Arlington, Va) must fill that role. Prowitt has the talent to get the job done.
The 2004-05 Stanford Basketball Schedule
Saturday, December 13 vs Concordia University (exhibition at Santa Clara), 1:00 p.m.
Friday, November 19 at the Pete Newell Challenge vs USF (at Oakland), 8:30 p.m.
Monday, November 22 at the EA Sports Maui Invitational against Tennessee, 6:30 p.m. (hst)
Tuesday, November 23 at the EA Sports Maui Invitational, tba
Wednesday, November 24 at the EA Sports Maui Invitational, tba
Sunday, November 28 at Santa Clara, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 11 vs Michigan State at Auburn Hills, Mi, (CBS), 4:00 p.m. (est)
Monday, December 13 at Denver, 7:00 p.m. (mst)
Saturday, December 18 vs UC Davis (KRON), 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 22 vs Dartmouth, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 23 vs Montana, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 31 at Washington State (Spokane), 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 2 at Washington, 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 6 vs Arizona State, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 8 vs Arizona (Fox Sports Net), Noon
Saturday, January 15 at California (Fox Sports Net), 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 20 at UCLA, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 22, at USC (ABC), 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 27, vs Oregon State, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 29, vs Oregon (Fox Sports Net), 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 3, at Arizona State, 6:30 p.m. (mst)
Saturday, February 5, at Arizona (CBS), 11:00 a.m. (mst)
Saturday, February 12, vs California (ABC), 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 17, vs USC, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 20, vs UCLA (CBS), 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 24, at Oregon State, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, February 26, at Oregon, tba
Thursday, March 3, vs Washington State, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 5, vs Washington, tba
Thursday-Saturday, March 10-12, at Pacific-10 Tournament (Los Angeles, Ca)
Thursday-Sunday, March 17-20, at NCAA Tournament First/Second Round
Thursday-Sunday, March 24-27, at NCAA Regional Finals
Saturday/Monday, April 2 & 4, at NCAA Final Four (St. Louis, Mo)
Cardinal Catalogue: Stanford's basketball practices will be closed to the public from October 16 to November 20 except for designated open days. In the interest of coaching and team developmednt, Stanford head coach Trent Johnson has asked practices to be closed in order to best help the team prepare for the its 2004-05 season. Recognizing the interests of fans and supporters, Coach Johnson will designate certain days as open to the public. The first open date will be Saturday, October 30. Further dates are TBD. If you have any questions, please contact JT Batson, Director of Men's Basketball External Relations at 650-723-0562.