No. 24/20 Stanford Opens Pac-10 Play With No. 5/5 UCLA
Jan. 2, 2008
No. 24/20 Stanford Cardinal (11-1, 0-0 Pac-10)
- vs. -
No. 5/5 UCLA Bruins (12-1, 0-0 Pac-10)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PxP: Jake Kelman, Analyst: Ben Spielberg)
The Opening Tip
No. 24/20 Stanford (11-1, 0-0 Pac-10) welcomes No. 5/5 UCLA (12-1, 0-0 Pac-10) to Maples Pavilion on Thursday night in the conference opener for both teams. The Cardinal has won seven in a row overall and owns an 8-0 mark at home this year. The Bruins are riding a five-game winning streak and will be playing just their second road game of the season.
Thursday's game can be heard live on KNTS 1220 AM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com. Dave Flemming handles play-by-play duties while John Platz provides color commentary. KZSU 90.1 FM provides coverage with Jake Kelman (play-by-play) and Ben Spielberg (analyst). The game will also be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net, with Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Marques Johnson (analyst) and Michael Eaves (sideline).
Scouting No. 5/5 UCLA
No. 5/5 UCLA (12-1, 0-0 Pac-10) begins defense of its Pac-10 regular-season title on Thursday night. The Bruins, ranked among the nation's top-10 each week so far, are riding a five-game winning streak following a 63-61 home loss to Texas on Dec. 2. All 12 wins have come by double-digit margins. UCLA averages 75.2 points per game while limiting foes to just 53.8 points per game and 39.6-percent shooting from the field. Keep an eye on: Kevin Love (16.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 57.8-percent from the field), Josh Shipp (14.4 ppg, 31-79 three-pointers) and Darren Collison (12.7 ppg in seven games, 27 assists).
Stanford All-Time vs. UCLA
UCLA owns a 127-89 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to the 1924-25 campaign. Stanford has won seven of the last 10 meetings overall, spanning the last five seasons. The two clubs split last year's series, with each winning on its home court. Stanford's victory was perhaps its most impressive of the year, rallying from a 17-point deficit to upset then-No. 3 UCLA 75-68 in front of a frenzied Maples Pavilion crowd. In fact, that's been the only contest decided by 10 points or less between the two clubs since the Cardinal posted a 93-84 road win back on Feb. 22, 2003.
Who To Watch Against UCLA
In three career games, Anthony Goods is shooting 10-15 from the field (66.7-percent), 7-9 from beyond the arc and averaging 12.3 points per game. Lawrence Hill has made 14-28 (50-percent) from the field while averaging 10.0 points per game in four contests. Brook Lopez averaged 15.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in two meetings against UCLA.
Stanford In Pac-10 Openers
Stanford is 7-3 in Pac-10 openers over the last 10 seasons. The last time the Cardinal opened conference play at home was Jan. 2, 2004, with a 73-51 win over Washington State. Stanford and UCLA last matched up in a league lid-lifter on Dec. 29, 2005, with the Bruins coming out on top 71-54. Since the 1978-79 campaign, Stanford owns a 16-13 mark in Pac-10 openers (11-4 at home and 5-9 on the road).
Cardinal Strong In Non-Conference
Stanford's 11-1 record in non-conference competition was the program's best since 2000-01, when the squad was undefeated in 12 games. That's also the last time the Cardinal picked up at least 10 wins against non-league competition. Stanford finished 8-3 in non-league action last year.
Streak Hits Seven
Stanford's current seven-game winning streak is the team's longest since a 26-0 start to the 2003-04 campaign.
10 In The Books Already
Stanford picked up its 10th victory of the year on Dec. 22 in a 62-61 win over Texas Tech, signaling the first time the Cardinal had reached the 10-win plateau before January since the 2000-01 campaign. During that season, Stanford stood at 11-0 before opening Pac-10 play at Arizona State on Jan. 4.
Finally, A Close Call
Prior to a 62-61 victory over Texas Tech on Dec. 22, Stanford's last 13 victories dating back to the 2006-07 campaign had been decided by double-digit margins. In fact, the Cardinal's first nine victories of this year came by an average of 25.6 points. However, Stanford's one-point triumph over Texas Tech was the club's first in almost a year (78-77 win over Washington on Jan. 11, 2007).
Stanford's work on the glass has been very impressive. The Cardinal is averaging 39.4 boards per game while limiting the opposition to just 28.2 per contest. Five different players are averaging at least 4.0 rebounds per game, led by a 7.3 clip from Brook Lopez. Stanford leads the Pac-10 with a rebounding margin of +11.3 and has only been outrebounded by one opponent (Fresno State) this year. The biggest discrepancy came in the season opener against Harvard, when Stanford tallied a 50-19 advantage.
Stanford's starters and reserves have been getting their opportunity to make an early contribution. Eleven different players are averaging at least 11.0 minutes of playing time per game, with Josh Owens close behind at 8.9 per contest. Head coach Trent Johnson has employed just three different starting lineups this year.
...And Everyone Scores
Stanford is receiving balanced scoring from its entire roster to begin the year. Starters, reserves, it doesn't matter- everyone is getting into the act. Chalk it up to hot shooting, as seven players are shooting at least 50-percent from the field. Nine of the 12 players are averaging at least 5.0 points per game. Stanford has placed at least three different players in double-figure scoring on eight different occasions this year. Stanford is connecting at a 48.8-percent rate from the field while scoring 75.0 points per game.
Stanford is averaging 75.0 points per game during its 11-1 start. That includes a 111-point outing against Harvard in the season opener, representing the Cardinal's highest point total since a 117-point showing against UC Irvine in 1990. In that game, Stanford led 63-28 at halftime, signaling the first time the Cardinal reached the 60-point mark in any half since getting 65 during the first half at home against New Hampshire on Dec. 29, 1999.
Brook Lopez Cleared For NCAA Competition
Sophomore forward Brook Lopez was deemed academically eligible on Dec. 17 and has been cleared to return to NCAA competition. Lopez was ruled academically ineligible for the fall quarter back on Oct. 5 and missed the first nine games of the year. In his first three games back, Lopez is averaging 19.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 50-percent (20-40) from the field. He poured in a game-high 20 points in his season debut against Santa Clara on Dec. 19 and notched his first double-double of the year (19 points, 12 boards) versus Fresno State on Dec. 29. A 7-0 sophomore from Fresno, Calif., Lopez averaged 25.2 minutes, 12.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game last season.
Robin Lopez Productive In The Post
Known best for his emphatic shot-blocking ability and intimidating presence, sophomore center Robin Lopez has simply taken over as of late. He has scored in double-figures in six games, including a career-high 24-point performance against Yale on Nov. 20 that included 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. His 10.4 points per game ranks third on the club and he has also snagged 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 57.8-percent.
Number 100 Comes Against Santa Clara
After setting the freshman single-season blocked shot record last year (73), Robin Lopez is off to another quick start. Thanks to his team-high 31 swats, Lopez' career total now stands at 104. That's good for fifth behind Howard Wright's 121 in the school record books. Lopez reached the century mark during the first half of Stanford's 74-48 win over Santa Clara on Dec. 19 at Maples Pavilion.
It's All Goods
Anthony Goods has been one of the Cardinal's best offensive players so far. The junior guard is second on the squad in scoring at 12.8 points per game and is shooting 44.3-percent from the field and 40.8-percent from beyond the arc with a team-best 29 triples. He has scored in double-figures nine times so far, including a 23-point outing against UC Santa Barbara that earned him the MVP award of the Basketball Travelers Classic.
It's The Law
Junior forward Lawrence Hill is quickly returning to the form shown last year when he earned All-Pac-10 honors. After a slow start in which he reached double-digit point totals in just three of the first four games, Hill has become a key contributor to Stanford's 11-1 start. Hill is averaging 9.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 44.1-percent from the field and 78.3-percent from the charity stripe. He poured in a career-best 25 points during a 72-61 victory over Yale on Nov. 20.
Floor Leader Helping In Other Areas
Junior guard Mitch Johnson has enjoyed a solid start to the season. Johnson is best known for providing his teammates with scoring opportunities, as evidenced by a 4.9 assists per game clip. But he is also scoring and helping out on the glass. Johnson has scored in double-figures twice already, matching his complete output from last season in that category. He is averaging 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Score At The Half
How will the Cardinal fare against an opponent? Enjoy the first 20 minutes then glance at the scoreboard. Stanford is 10-0 when leading at the half and 1-1 when trailing.