No. 8 Stanford Battles Washington Thursday In Final Home Week
Feb. 26, 2008
No. 8/8 Stanford Cardinal (22-4, 11-3 Pac-10)
- VS. -
Washington Huskies (15-13, 6-8 Pac-10)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PxP: Daniel Novinson, Analyst: Ben Spielberg)
The Opening Tip
No. 8/8 Stanford (22-4, 11-3 Pac-10) wraps up its final homestand of the year this week by hosting the Washington schools. The Cardinal, ranked in the top-10 of both national polls for the fourth straight week, battles Washington (15-13, 6-8 Pac-10) on Thursday night. Winners of nine of its last 10 overall, Stanford trails only UCLA (12-2) in the conference standings with four games left to play.
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 offers color commentary. KZSU 90.1 FM provides coverage with Daniel Novinson (play-by-play) and Ben Spielberg (analyst). There is no television coverage of Thursday's contest.
Washington (15-13, 6-9 Pac-10) has won three of its last five games following a four-game losing skid. While the Huskies are 6-9 in conference play, they are also just two games out of fourth place in the muddled Pac-10 standings. Washington is 3-7 away from home. The Huskies average 72.3 points per game, own a +6.7 rebounding margin over their opponents and shoot 44.7-percent from the field. However, they allow 69.3 points per game and shoot only 58.9-percent from the charity stripe. Keep an eye on: Jon Brockman (17.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 53.8-percent field goals), Ryan Appleby (11.3 ppg, 63 three-pointers) and Quincy Pondexter (9.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 51 assists).
Stanford All-Time vs. Washington
Stanford owns a 68-59 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to the 1915-16 campaign. Both programs have enjoyed recent success, essentially alternating wins over the last 13 meetings for a 7-6 Cardinal advantage. Stanford claimed a 65-51 victory back on Jan. 31 in Seattle, winning on the road in the series for the first time since 2002. In that game, Brook Lopez poured in a career-high 31 points to go along with 13 boards. Each squad won on its home court last year.
Who To Watch Against Washington
Robin Lopez has averaged 10.0 points per game against Washington in three career meetings. However, his eight rebounds are the fewest against any other team in the conference. Also in three games, Brook Lopez is averaging 16.3 points and 6.6 rebounds while making 20-31 from the field. Anthony Goods has averaged 6.8 points in five meetings. Taj Finger has been effective in seven games, making 7-13 from the field.
Stanford's Mar. 6 game at UCLA is now scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net. Also, the Cardinal's Mar. 8 contest at USC is now slated for 11 a.m. and will be televised nationally on CBS.
Home Sweet Home
Stanford can establish a program record for home victories in a single season (15) this week. The Cardinal currently sports a 14-1 mark at Maples Pavilion, matching the school record for most home wins in a season. Five different Stanford teams have won at least 14 home games in a season, with the 2003-04 squad most recently accomplishing the feat.
Can They Complete The Sweep?
With a pair of victories this weekend, Stanford will have swept the season series against both Washington schools for the seventh time in program history since the start of Pac-10 play. It has been six years (2001-02) since the Cardinal won both regular season meetings against both Washington and Washington State.
Conference Streak Continues
Stanford picked up its 10th Pac-10 win of the year on Feb. 16 with a 67-66 win at Arizona. The Cardinal has now notched at least 10 conference victories for the 15th consecutive season. There are four Pac-10 games remaining in the regular season.
Cardinal In The Pac-10, National Statistics
Stanford is the Pac-10 leader in rebounding (39.7 rpg), field-goal percentage defense (38.3), rebounding margin (+10.0) and blocked shots (133). The Cardinal also ranks second in the following categories: scoring margin (+12.7), three-point field-goal percentage defense (30.8). Mitch Johnson ranks second in assists per game (4.6) while checking in third in assist/turnover ratio (2.16). Robin Lopez is second in the Pac-10 with 58 blocked shots. Stanford is also well-represented in the following national categories: rebounding margin (2nd), defense (8th), field-goal percentage defense (10th) and scoring margin (17th).
Back Among The Top-10
Stanford is ranked in the top-10 of both national polls for the fourth straight week, occupying the No. 8 position. The Cardinal checked in at the No. 7 spot two weeks ago, representing the club's highest mark since the 2003-04 squad was ranked No. 1 late in the year. Stanford cracked the top-10 back on Feb. 4, vaulting to No. 9 in both polls.
20 In The Books, Looking For More
Having already surpassed last year's win total (18), Stanford posted the 19th 20-win season in program history with a 71-56 victory over Oregon State on Feb. 9. Prior to this year's 22 victories, the Cardinal last reached the 20-win plateau in 2003-04 with a 30-2 finish.
The ability to shoot at least 40-percent from the field and hold opponents to under that same mark has been a key to victory for the Cardinal. Stanford is 17-0 when connecting at a 40-percent or better rate overall while holding its foes to a percentage under 40. Furthermore, only eight teams have shot better than 40-percent in a game this year.
Milestones In The Making
One year after establishing the freshman single-season record for blocked shots (73), Robin Lopez is climbing the charts again. With a team-best 58 swats this year, he now ranks third all-time in the Cardinal record books with 131. Next up: Curtis Borchardt (1999-02) with 146. Meanwhile, Mitch Johnson has dished out a team-best 121 assists this year to increase his career total to 322. That's now good enough for eighth on the all-time list.
Share The Ball, Force Mistakes
Two of Stanford's trademarks this year have been the ability to share the basketball and force its opponents into making mistakes. The Cardinal has tallied more assists than its opponent 20 times this year, winning every game when that's the case. The tone was set in the season opener, when Stanford dished out 25 assists that led to 43 buckets in a 111-56 pounding of Harvard. It's been a different story for opponents, as Stanford has forced at least 10 turnovers on 19 different occasions this year.
Stanford's work on the glass has been very impressive. The Cardinal is averaging 39.7 boards per game while limiting the opposition to just 29.7 per contest. Six different players are averaging at least 4.0 rebounds per game, led by an 8.0 clip from Brook Lopez. Stanford trails only North Carolina (12.0) in rebounding margin at +10.0 and has only been outrebounded by two opponents (Fresno State, California) this year. The biggest discrepancy came in the season opener against Harvard, when Stanford held a 50-19 edge.
Leaders On The Cardinal Side
There have been only six instances this year when the game's leading scorer has not come from the Stanford bench. Only Jerryd Bayless (Arizona), Kyle Weaver (Washington State), O.J. Mayo (USC), Josh Shipp (UCLA), Marcus Hall (Colorado) and Josh Duell (Siena) can claim the distinction of having game-high scoring honors in games against Stanford. In the rebounding department, only five players have grabbed more boards in a single 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 19-0 when leading at the half and 3-4 when trailing.
Brook Lopez Carrying The Cardinal
Since Brook Lopez was cleared to return to NCAA competition on Dec. 17, he has been nothing short of unstoppable. He missed the first nine games after being ruled academically ineligible. In 17 games back, Lopez is averaging 18.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2-percent (108-224) from the field. Lopez, who poured in a career-best 31 points against Washington on Jan. 31, has scored in double-figures in 12 consecutive games and 16 overall.
Robin Lopez Productive In The Post
Robin Lopez has developed into a tremendous rebounder and intimidating defensive presence for the Cardinal. He has scored in double-figures in 10 games, including a career-high 24-point performance against Yale on Nov. 20 that featured 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Lopez has also reached double-digit board totals four times and has been the Cardinal's leading rebounder on six different occasions. He is currently third in scoring (9.5 ppg) and ranks second in rebounding (5.8 rpg).
Floor Leader Helping In Other Areas
Mitch Johnson is best known for providing his teammates with scoring chances, as evidenced by a team-best 4.7 assists per game clip. Johnson has scored in double-figures five times, including a career-high 16-point outing in a win at California on Jan. 26. He is averaging 6.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game and leads the club with 121 assists.
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