Cardinal Men Open Pac-10 Play At Arizona State

Dec. 27, 2006

CARDINAL KICK OFF LEAGUE ACTION AT ASU: The Stanford men's basketball team (7-2, 0-0 Pac-10) return from the holidays and hit the road as they open Pac-10 Conference play at Arizona State (6-5, 0-0 Pac-10) on Thursday, December 28 at 7 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena. The Cardinal then travel south to Tucson to face the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats (8-1, 0-0 Pac-10) on Saturday, December 30 at Noon in a game televised by FOX Sports Net. On the radio, KNTS (1220 AM) will broadcast the Cardinal matchups. Bob Murphy and John Platz will provide play-by-play and color commentary respectively.

TUESDAY RECAP: Stanford, playing in its first road game of the season, topped Fresno State 69-67, on a pair of free throws by sophomore Lawrence Hill att he Save Mart Center on Tuesday night ... Hill ended the night with a team-high 17 points and added eight rebounds ... Forward Fred Washington chipped in 12 points and nine boards while sophomore point guard Mitch Johnson set a career high with 10 assists on the night ... Lopez twins Brook and Robin, playing in front of there hometown crowd, added 10 points each.

ABOUT ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils enter Thursday's contest with a 6-5 overall record ... ASU is coming off a 75-70 loss to Davidson in the championship game of the Sleep America Classic ... Jeff Pendergraph had 17 points and 12 rebounds, his fifth double-double this season, for the Sun Devils ... Pendergraph is averaging 11.2 points and 10.8 rebounds in the past five games ... Serge Angounou is averaging 13.6 points and 9.6 boards in the past seven games and is 17-of-33 (.515) from the three-point arc in that time ... Stanford holds a 34-26 edge in the all-time series with the Sun Devils and have won 15 of the last 17 meetings including two last season ... The Cardinal won 70-64 in Tempe last year ... Stanford's last loss in Tempe was in 2004-05 when they fell 74-67 to ASU.

ARIZONA CONNECTIONS: Three Stanford players have called Arizona home, including current sophomore forward Lawrence Hill ... Hill hails from Glendale, Arizona and played high school ball at Deer Valley where he was a four-year starter ... Hill was the 2005 State Gatorade Player of the Year.

ABOUT ARIZONA: The seventh-ranked Wildcats (8-1) will play California before hosting Stanford on Saturday ... In their last game, trailing by five points at the half, Arizona responded with a 22-8 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to take control in the 79-71 win over Memphis Dec. 20 in the Chase Fiesta Bowl Classic ... They are coached by Lute Olson who is in his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 770-270 (.740) and 578-178 (.765) at Arizona ... The Wildcats hold a 46-25 lead in the all-time series against Stanford and have won the last four meetings between the two schools ... Last year, in Tucson, Arizona defeated the Cardinal 90-81 ... Stanford's last win at McKale was in 2003-04 when they beat the Wildcats 82-72.

HOME COOKING: Stanford is 5-2 in Maples Pavilion this season ... The Cardinal have had 13 straight winning seasons ... The Cardinal has won 50 of its last 58 games at Maples Pavilion dating back to the 2002-03 season.

PAC-10 RANKINGS: Lawrence Hill is 15th in scoring (14.8) ... Robin Lopez ranks 12th in the league in rebounds (6.9) and Hill is tied for 14th (5.9) ... Hill is third in the conference in FG percentage at .593 ... Mitch Johnson is 7th in the league in assists per game (4.38) ... Goods is third in 3-pt. FG made (2.50 per game) ... Robin Lopez is second in the league in blocked shots (2.63 bpg) while Hill is tied for ninth (1.00 bpg) ... As a team, Stanford is second in the conference in Rebounding defense (30.9) and is fourth in FG defense (.408) ... They are third in blocked shots (4.38 bpg) and third in rebounding margin (+8.0).

AROUND THE HORN: Guard Mitch Johnson set a career high with 10 assists at Fresno State ... The single game record in assists at Stanford is 13, held by Brevin Knight ... Senior Fred Washington collected a career-best nine rebounds against the Bulldogs on Tuesday as well.

PAC-10 OPENERS: Stanford is 7-3 in Pac-10 openers over the past 10 years however have lost thelast two seasons conference openers (last season at UCLA) - both on the road ... The Cardinal's last opening Pac-10 road win was in 2000-01 against Arizona State (94-77).

CAREER DAY FOR GOODS: Sophomore guard Anthony Goods set a career high with 30 points in Stanford's season opener against Siena ... His previous high was 12 against UCLA last season ... Goods went 11-of-16 from the field and added five rebounds and four assists.

CAREER DAY, PART II: Sophomore Lawrence Hill had a career-best 21 points in the Cardinal's 58-52 victory over Northwestern ... Hill also tied his career high with nine rebounds ... Hill currently leads the team in points per game, averaging 14.8.

BLOCK PARTY: In his collegiate debut, freshman center Robin Lopez tied the school record for single game blocks with six against Siena College ... Lopez currently leads the team with 22 blocks (2.6 bpg) in eight games ... Lopez is currently eightth on the single season freshmen block record at Stanford.

INJURY UPDATE: Junior center Peter Prowitt missed Saturday's game against Santa Clara with pain in his knees and did not play in Stanford's last game against Fresno State.

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.

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.

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 returns to the friendly confines of Maples Pavilion on January 3 as they host cross-town rival California at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Bay Area.

LISTEN TO THIS: The Cardinal men's basketball home games can also be heard on KZSU 90.1 FM this season - Stanford's student radio station.

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