Men's Hoops Continues Homestand With Air Force On Wednesday
Nov. 24, 2008
Air Force Falcons (3-1, 0-0 Mountain West)
Stanford Cardinal (2-0, 0-0 Pac-10)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PxP: Christian Jennings, Analyst: Chris Fitzgerald)
The Opening Tip
Stanford (2-0, 0-0 Pac-10) closes out the month of November with a pair of home games this week. The Cardinal plays host to Air Force (3-1, 0-0 Mountain West) on Wednesday, Nov. 26, in a 7:30 p.m. start at Maples Pavilion. Three days later, Stanford welcomes Colorado (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) to The Farm.
Wednesday'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 Christian Jennings (play-by-play) and Chris Fitzgerald (analyst).
A 14-day finals break awaits the Cardinal following this week's home games. Stanford, which returns to the hardwood Dec. 14 at Colorado State, plays on the road only three times during the first two months of the year.
Scouting Air Force
Air Force (3-1, 0-0 Mountain West) opened the year with three straight wins before suffering a 74-61 setback to Wofford at the Reggie Minton Air Force Classic on Sunday. The Falcons, who play eight of their first 10 games at home, are taking to the road for the first time. Air Force is averaging 71.8 points per game, shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc. Keep an eye on: Andrew Henke (13.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 57.9 percent three-pointers), Matt Holland (11.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 65.4 percent from the field) and Anwar Johnson (11.3 ppg, team-high 12 assists). Head coach Jeff Reynolds enters his second season after leading the Falcons to a 16-14 mark last year.
Stanford All-Time vs. Air Force
Air Force owns a 6-5 edge in the all-time series, winning three of the last four meetings. All five Cardinal victories in the series have come at home. These two teams last met on Nov. 15, 2006, when Stanford hosted Air Force in the CBE Classic and the Falcons posted a 79-45 win and reached the NIT semifinals to wrap up a 26-9 campaign. Stanford's last win over Air Force came back on Nov. 29, 1980 in the season opener.
Senior Starters Pace Offense
A total of 97 games passed before Stanford received at least 10 points apiece from Mitch Johnson, Anthony Goods and Lawrence Hill in the same game. The senior trio finally accomplished the feat in a 75-67 season-opening win at Yale, with Hill leading all scorers with 22, Goods adding 19 and Johnson chipping in with 11. In the Cardinal's next game against Cal State Northridge, the group was at it again with Goods scoring a game-high 25 points and Hill and Johnson adding 14 each. Stanford is hoping for continued offensive production from Johnson, Goods and Hill to be effective this year.
Earning And Making The Freebies
Through the first two games of the year, Stanford has displayed a knack for getting to the charity stripe. In the season opener against Yale, Stanford connected on 19-31 free throw opportunities and followed that up with a 40-47 performance against Cal State Northridge that threatened school records for makes (44) and attempts (62). Getting to the line is one thing, but for the most part the Cardinal has converted on its chances with a 75.6 percent clip. Anthony Goods (14-16), Mitch Johnson (11-14) and Lawrence Hill (11-17) are all above 60 percent while Josh Owens is perfect in 10 tries. In fact, Stanford is 59-78 from the free throw line so far and has attempted 50 more freebies then its foes.
Fields, Owens Excelling In Starting Roles
Junior Landry Fields and sophomore Josh Owens have been penciled into the starting lineup for the first time in their careers and the results have been solid so far. After coming off the bench in his first 63 games, Fields is averaging 13.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game so far while shooting 57.1 percent overall. Fields poured in a career-high 18 points in a win over Cal State Northridge on Nov. 18. After averaging just 5.8 minutes of playing time last year, Owens logged a career-high 32 minutes against Yale in the season opener. Owens, who is averaging 11.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, also established a career mark with 14 points in Stanford's victory over Cal State Northridge.
Last Time Out: Stanford 103, Cal State Northridge 85 (Nov. 18, 2008)
Anthony Goods scored 25 points, including 11-of-12 from the foul line, to lead Stanford past Cal State Northridge 103-85. Landry Fields added 18 points and Lawrence Hill, Mitch Johnson and Josh Owens each had 14 as the Cardinal improved to 78-16 in home openers and 35-6 all-time in home lid-lifters at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal made 40 of 47 free throws, its most since matching the team record of 44 made in 1994 against Cal Poly. Cal State Northridge shot 62.5 percent from the field, was only 9-12 from the foul line and trailed 52-42 at halftime. However, Stanford held a 32-24 rebounding edge and forced 25 turnovers. Rodrigue Mels hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 70-70 before Goods and Fields started a 23-8 run, combining for 15 of the points. Josh Jenkins led the Matadors with 24 points.
Milestone In The Making
With eight assists against Cal State Northridge on Nov. 18, Mitch Johnson increased his career total to 403 and moved into fifth place on the all-time list. He is one of five players to reach the 400-assist 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.
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.
Andy Brown Signs National Letter Of Intent
Head coach Johnny Dawkins announced the signing of Andy Brown to a National Letter of Intent to join the Cardinal for the 2009-10 campaign. A 6-8, 215-pound forward from Yorba Linda, Calif., Brown has helped guide Mater Dei High School to state championships during his sophomore and junior seasons. An all-state selection as a junior, Brown has also been recognized as an All-Orange County first team selection. A two-time all-league honoree, Brown was also tabbed an All-CIF first team selection as a junior. A two-time team captain, Brown is coming off a junior season in which he posted averages of 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.