Stanford Hosts Cal State Northridge Tuesday Night In Home Opener
Nov. 16, 2008
Cal State Northridge Matadors (1-0 , 0-0 Big West)
Stanford Cardinal (1-0, 0-0 Pac-10)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PxP: Ben Spielberg, Analyst: Mark Friese)
The Opening Tip
Stanford (1-0, 0-0 Pac-10) plays host to Cal State Northridge (1-0, 0-0 Big West) on Tuesday, Nov. 18, in its home opener at Maples Pavilion. Fresh off a 75-67 victory at Yale in its season opener, the Cardinal is looking to open the year with back-to-back wins for the third straight season.
Tuesday's game can be heard live on KTRB AM 860 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 Ben Spielberg (play-by-play) and Mark Friese (analyst).
Stanford is back at home next week against Air Force (Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m.) and Colorado (Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m.). Stanford plays on the road only three times during the first two months of the year and nine of its first 12 games will be at home.
Scouting Cal State Northridge
Cal State Northridge defeated Cal Lutheran 73-62 last week in its season opener at home. The Matadors, who trailed 32-31 at halftime, shot 42 percent from the field and held a 47-39 rebounding edge despite committing 22 turnovers and making only 4-24 from three-point territory. Josh Jenkins led Cal State Northridge with 16 points in the win and Tony Osunsanmi came off the bench to grab 14 rebounds. The Matadors finished 20-10 last year and earned a share of the Big West title with a 12-4 mark. This year, Cal State Northridge is the league favorite to win the regular season league title.
Stanford All-Time vs. Cal State Northridge
Stanford is unbeaten against Cal State Northridge in three meetings, winning by an average of 23.6 points. All three games have been played at Maples Pavilion. These two teams last hooked up back on Nov. 26, 1993 in the season opener, with Stanford routing Cal State Northridge 89-58. Stanford sports a 69-9 all-time record against Big West foes.
Stanford In Home Openers
In its 93-year history, the Cardinal owns a 77-16 record in home openers. Stanford has won back-to-back home openers (111-56 vs. Harvard in 2007 and 92-72 vs. Siena in 2006) since a 79-63 loss to UC Irvine to kick off the 2005 campaign. The Cardinal is 34-6 all-time in home openers played at Maples Pavilion.
Victory At Yale Produces Several 'Firsts'
Stanford has now won three straight season openers and 20 of its last 22 lid-lifters overall following last week's 75-67 victory at Yale. The game produced several firsts:
Through the first nine minutes of Stanford's 75-67 win at Yale, 12 different players had already seen at least one minute of court time.
Milestone In The Making
Mitch Johnson stands five assists shy of 400 for his career. He is looking to become the fifth player in school history to reach that plateau, joining Brevin Knight (780), Keith Ramee (513), Terry Taylor (490) and Marcus Lollie (474). Johnson dished out 188 helpers last year and that total ranks fourth-best all-time for a single season. For his career, Johnson's 395 assists places him sixth overall.
Staying Home Early
If it seems like Stanford isn't hitting the road that much for non-conference play, that's correct. The Cardinal will play only three non-league road games this year, making stops at Yale, Colorado State and Santa Clara. In fact, the non-conference travel slate is even lighter than the 2006-07 campaign, when the Cardinal visited only Fresno State and Virginia, picking up victories at both sites.
Checking Out The Schedule
One year after establishing a program record for home victories (16) in a season, the Cardinal will play 17 games at home this year. In fact, the Cardinal will play seven of its first 10 contests at Maples Pavilion before kicking off league play against Arizona State on Jan. 2. Four of those home games include visits from Air Force (Nov. 26), Colorado (Nov. 29), Northwestern (Dec. 20) and Texas Tech (Dec. 28)- signaling the first time in school history that at least one team from the Big Ten, Big 12 and Mountain West will play at Maples Pavilion in the same season.
In a 93-54 win over Cal State Stanislaus on Nov. 4, Landry Fields posted game-high totals in points (24) and rebounds (10) while Anthony Goods knocked down four three-pointers to finish with 19 points. Four days later in a 97-56 wipeout of Seattle Pacific, Fields and Josh Owens each poured in 17 points to lead five Stanford players in double-figures.
This year's roster features nine letterwinners and three returning starters. There are four walk-ons, including three freshmen post players that stand 6-9 or taller. The Cardinal will have some added depth in the frontcourt with Elliott Bullock (6-10, 220), Matei Daian (6-10, 220) and Jack Trotter (6-9, 200). A fourth walk-on, Emmanuel Igbinosa, was also added to the roster. A 6-2, 185 guard, Igbinosa has academic standing as a junior.
A Look At The Seniors
The Cardinal will surely benefit from a four-member senior class that collectively ranks as one of the best in the conference. Three of the four seniors were regular starters from last year's squad. Guard Mitch Johnson (6.7 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 5.2 assists per game), guard Anthony Goods (10.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, team-best 64 three-pointers) and forward Lawrence Hill (8.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 74.6 percent from the foul line) will be counted on for the bulk of the club's production. Guard Kenny Brown (4.2 ppg, 24-61 three-pointers) opted to defer his admission to Baylor dental school, so he is also back.
Stanford Tabbed Ninth In Pac-10 Preseason Poll
Stanford has been picked to finish ninth in this year's conference race, according to the preseason media poll. The Cardinal received 115 total points in the poll, checking in ahead of Oregon State. This year's roster features three returning senior starters- all of whom have earned All Pac-10 honors at one point in their career- and nine letterwinners overall. However, the Cardinal will also have to overcome the losses of Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez (2008 NBA Draft) and Taj Finger, Peter Prowitt and Fred Washington (graduation). Three-time defending conference champion UCLA is again the favorite, totaling 379 points in addition to gathering 37 first-place votes. Arizona State is tabbed for second with 325 points and one first-place vote, followed by USC in third with 292 and Arizona in fourth with 241. Washington is slotted for fifth place with 217 points, Washington State is sixth with 188 points, Oregon has been tabbed for seventh with 147 points and California is eighth with 143 points.
Johnson Named Bob Cousy Award Candidate
Mitch Johnson enjoyed an impressive season in 2007-08, earning All Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors while serving as one of the Cardinal's most consistent performers. Now Johnson is garnering national attention, as he has been selected as a candidate for this year's Bob Cousy Award. The honor is given to the top collegiate basketball point guard annually and selection criteria emphasizes leadership, team work, success and fundamentals as being critical parts for the game of basketball as a point guard.
Added Experience On The Bench
Two of Dawkins' assistant coaches bring head coaching experience to the program. Associate head coach Dick Davey served as head coach for 15 of the 30 seasons he spent at Santa Clara while assistant coach Rodney Tention most recently served as the head coach at Loyola Marymount from 2006-08. Stanford's third assistant, Mike Schrage, was Dawkins' first hire and rounds out the coaching staff. Schrage previously spent the last nine seasons at Duke. Three members of Dawkins' support staff also possess assistant coaching experience. Jeff LaMere, an assistant coach at VCU from 2003-06, serves as the Assistant A.D./Director of Operations. Charles Payne, who has served as an assistant coach in stops at California and Florida International, is the program's Director of Student-Athlete Development/External Relations. Mark Sembrowich, who has assistant coach experience at Yale and Army, is the Academic/Recruiting Coordinator.