Cardinal Men Open Regular Season With Siena College
Nov. 10, 2006
CARDINAL HOST SIENA COLLEGE IN HOME OPENER: The Stanford men's basketball team (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) officially open the 2006-07 regular season schedule on Saturday, November 11 against Siena College (0-0, 0-0 MAAC) at 1 p.m. in Maples Pavilion. It is the season opener for both teams. FOX Sports Bay Area will broadcast the game locally with Glen Kuiper and Dan Belluomini providing play-by-play and color commentary respectively. On the radio, KNTS (1220 AM) will broadcast the matchup.
TUESDAY RECAP: Sophomore Lawrence Hill had 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds to help the Stanford men's basketball team to a 79-59 win over the University of British Columbia this evening in an exhibition game at Maples Pavilion. Senior Fred Washington chipped in 15 points while freshmen Will Paul added another 12 for the Cardinal. Stanford tied the game up on the second play in the second half when Hill hit a three pointer to make the score 28-28. With the Cardinal trailing 30-31, Stanford went on a 14 point run to take a 44-32 lead over the Thunderbirds. Stanford never looked back and led 70-41 on a layup by Taj Finger with 6:42 remaining on the clock.
ABOUT SIENA COLLEGE: The Siena Saints, led by head coach Fran McCaffery, will make their first trip to Maples Pavilion this weekend ... McCaffery, in his second year at the helm of the program, led the Saints to a fourth place conference finish last year, earning a bye to the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament ... The team is led by sophomore guard Kenny Hasbrouck, who was tabbed MAAC Rookie of the Year in 2005-06 ... Siena and Stanford have met on the court twice before with the two teams splitting, 1-1 ... The Cardinal won the last meeting, 94-72, in 1991-92, at the Cutlass Spartan Classic. The Saints upset Stanford in the 1989 NCAA Tournament, 80-78 ... Siena is 2-2 vs. Pac-10 opponents all-time.HOME COOKING: The Cardinal hold an 8-2 record in opening games at Maples Pavilion in the last 10 years ... Stanford finished the 2005-06 season with a 11-3 record at Maples Pavilion ... The Cardinal has had 13 straight winning seasons ... The Cardinal has won 45 of its last 51 games at Maples Pavilion dating back to the 2002-03 season.
YEAR IN REVIEW: Stanford made its fifth NIT appearance in 2006 (1987-88, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1993-94) and first since 1994 ... The Cardinal made their 13th straight postseason appearance dating back to 1993-94 ... After a 65-49 victory over Virginia in the first round of the NIT Tournament, the Cardinal fell to Missouri State, 76-67, in the second round ... Stanford finished the season with a 16-14 overall record and were 11-7 in Pac-10 Conference play (T4th) ... Senior Matt Haryasz is one of three Cardinal all-time to post 1,000 points/700 rebounds/100 blocked shots... Senior guard Chris Hernandez finished his career with 1,265 points, 396 assists and 138 steals ... Former Cardinal players Brevin Knight and Todd Lichti were the only other Cardinal players to post 1,250 points, 300 assists and 100 steals ... Stanford's 39 points in its victory at Washington State is the fewest for a winning team in Pac-10 play since the introduction of the shot clock in 1986 ... Returning starters for the Cardinal in 2006-07 include sophomore F Taj Finger (4.8 ppg/3.3 rpg) and freshman G Mitch Johnson (3.4 ppg/3.3 apg).
UCLA PICKED TO DEFEND ITS PAC10 TITLE IN 2006-07: The UCLA Bruins are picked to finish first in the 2006-07 Pacific-10 Conference Men's basketball race, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. The poll shows that UCLA, the defending Pac-10 champion and Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament champion, gathered 21 first-place votes and is picked the favorite this season. Arizona picked up 13 first-place votes and is tabbed for second place. Washington is slotted for third place, followed by Oregon, which picked up the remaining first-place vote. California is picked for fifth, followed by USC and Stanford. Rounding out the preseason poll is Oregon State in seventh, followed by Arizona State and Washington State.
INJURY BUG: As the Cardinal begin the 2006-07 season, there are already a few players sidelined ... Freshman forward Brook Lopez had back surgery on a bulging disk in late September and is currently sidelined ... Junior center Peter Prowitt suffered a fracture of the medial tibia plateau in his right leg during Stanford's first practice and will be out at least six weeks ... Junior forward Taj Finger was experiencing back spasms last week but is expected to play on Saturday.
PAC-10 HALL OF HONOR: Each year, the Pac-10 honors a former coach or student-athlete with induction into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor. The induction will place at the 2007 Pac-10 Tournament. Former Stanford standout George Yardley is the Cardinal recipient in 2006-07. Yardley, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, was an All-American during his senior season at Stanford and is considered one of the top forwards in school history. After Stanford, Yardley played three years of AAU basketball with Stewart Chevrolet and at the Los Alamitos Naval Air Base. Yardley later enjoyed a highly productive career in the NBA, winning All-Star honors six times.
SEASON OUTLOOK: After making their 13th consecutive postseason appearance in 2005-06, Stanford will have a different look in 2006-07 with the departure of three all-conference starters and four veteran seniors (Jason Haas, Chris Hernandez, Dan Grunfeld and Matt Haryasz). The Cardinal loses one of the conferences top post players in Haryasz and one of the nation's top guards in Hernandez. Grunfeld, Haryasz and Hernandez all scored in double-figures for Stanford last year. Only four upperclassmen dot the Cardinal roster this season. Helping lead the team this year will be seniors Fred Washington (Los Angeles, CA) and Carlton Weatherby (Tacoma, WA). The Cardinal played small last season with only four players on the roster taller than 6-6. That changes in 2006-07 with six players over 6-6, including two seven-footers. Junior Taj Finger (Mt. Kisco, NY) is one of two starters returning to the court for Stanford. At guard, sophomore Mitch Johnson (Seattle, WA) is Stanford's only other returning starter. Seven newcomers grace the 2006-07 roster and will add a complete new look to the Cardinal. Once again, staying injury free this season will play into the success of the squad.
HEAD COACH Trent Johnson: Trent Johnson became the 16th men's basketball head coach in Stanford history on May 25, 2004. Johnson, who is considered one of the true teachers of the game, is a perfect fit for one of the most dominant basketball programs in the last two decades. In Johnson's first season on The Farm, he showed the strength of his leadership style as Stanford dealt with a season-ending injury to its leading scorer and only nine healthy players competing at the end of the year. But despite the obstacles, Johnson helped lead the Cardinal to its11th consecutive NCAA postseason appearance. With an 18-13 overall record and 11-7 mark in the Pac-10 Conference (third place finish), three players were tabbed to the Pac-10 All-Conference teams: Chris Hernandez (first team), Dan Grunfeld (first team) and Matt Haryasz (honorable mention). Hernandez and Grunfeld were further honored as first-team NABC District-14 selections. Several student-athletes were recognized for their work in the classroom. Grunfeld was honored as a 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic Second Team All-American selection while four of the five first-team Pac-10 All-Academic spots were awarded to Cardinal players (Grunfeld, Hernandez, Rob Little and Nick Robinson). Jason Haas was second team selection as well.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Sophomore Lawrence Hill turned some heads last year when he blocked six shots in a single game against Washington last year ... That number ties the school record by an individual for most blocked shots in a single game ... Hill ended the season with 22 on the year - good enough to rank 7th all-time for freshmen shot blockers.
YOUTH IS SERVED: This year's team welcomes seven newcomers including five freshmen ... The class includes McDonald's High School All-Americans Brook and Robin Lopez ... Also expected to see time on the court this year are Will Paul, Da'Veed Dildy and Landry Fields.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stanford will host San Jose State in the opening round of the BCE Classic, Tuesday, November 14, at 8 p.m. in Maples Pavilion ... The game will be broadcast on ESPNU ... The Cardinal will play Air Force or Long Beach State on the second day of competition at 5 or 7 p.m.
LISTEN TO THIS: The Cardinal men's basketball games can also be heard on KZSU 90.1 FM this season - Stanford's student radio station.