Men's Hoops Begins Final Homestand With No. 22/19 UCLA On Thursday
Feb. 24, 2009
Stanford Cardinal (15-10, 4-10 Pac-10)
No. 22/19 UCLA Bruins (20-7, 9-5 Pac-10)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PBP: Ben Spielberg, Color: Mark Friese)
FSN Prime Ticket (PBP: Bill Macdonald, Color: Don MacLean)
The Opening Tip
After three straight road games, Stanford (15-10, 4-10 Pac-10) returns to Maples Pavilion for the final two home games of the regular season. The Cardinal faces the L.A. schools and will be looking to avenge losses to both programs last month. First up is a date on Thursday with No. 22/19 UCLA (20-7, 9-5 Pac-10), which finds itself in an unfamiliar slump having lost three of its last four games overall. Two days later, Stanford hosts USC (16-10, 7-7 Pac-10) on Senior Night in a 5 p.m. tip-off to close out the regular season home slate.
Thursday's game can be heard live on KTRB AM 860 and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, featuring the chemistry-rich tandem of Dave Flemming (play-by-play) and John Platz (analyst). KZSU 90.1 FM provides coverage with Ben Spielberg (play-by-play) and Mark Friese (analyst). The game will also be televised by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, as Ted Robinson handles play-by-play duties while Kris Weems offers color commentary.
Scouting No. 22/19 UCLA
No. 22/19 UCLA (20-7, 9-5 Pac-10) enters this week having lost three of its last four games overall. That's unfamiliar territory for a program that finished 35-4 last year en route to its third straight Final Four appearance. A fixture in the national rankings throughout this year, UCLA is just 4-4 away from Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins boast an impressive offense that is averaging 76.6 points per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point territory. The Bruins are averaging only 32.2 rebounds per game but have racked up 236 steals. Players to watch include: Darren Collison (15.0 ppg, 53.6 percent from the field, 93.5 percent from the foul line, 134 assists, 46 steals), Josh Shipp (13.0 ppg, 40.2 percent from three-point territory), Alfred Aboya (9.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 58.0 percent from the field) and Jrue Holiday (9.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 93 assists, 40 steals).
Stanford All-Time vs. UCLA
UCLA owns a 131-89 edge in the series, which dates back to the 1924-25 campaign. Since posting a six-game winning streak that spanned from 2002-2005, Stanford has dropped seven of the last eight meetings, including a 97-63 decision at Pauley Pavilion back in January. UCLA swept all three meetings last year. Stanford's last win against UCLA at home came back on Jan. 28, 2007.
Who To Watch Against UCLA
In seven career games, Anthony Goods is shooting 29-55 from the field (52.7-percent) and averaging 13.0 points per game. Goods has also knocked down 18 three-pointers, his most against any other Pac-10 club. Lawrence Hill has made 22-49 from the field while averaging 7.7 points per game in eight contests. Mitch Johnson is averaging 5.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in eight career meetings.
Stanford's four-member senior class of Kenny Brown, Anthony Goods, Lawrence Hill and Mitch Johnson will be honored in a ceremony prior to Saturday's game against USC. The Cardinal owns a 6-4 mark over its last 10 Senior Day games, winning last year against Washington State 60-53 for the first time on Senior Day in three years.
Shaking It Off
Stanford's current three-game losing streak is the second this year and just the third since the end of the 2006-07 campaign. The Cardinal has not lost four consecutive games since an 0-6 end to the 1992-93 season.
Stanford suffered its 10th conference loss of the year back on Feb. 21 in a 68-60 setback against Oregon, representing the first time since a 2-16 finish in 1992-93 that the Cardinal ended league play with a losing record. Stanford's 10 losses in Pac-10 play are the most since the club posted a 10-8 mark two years ago before eventually qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. Stanford checked in at 3-6 through the first half of Pac-10 play, representing the first time since 1992-93 (1-8 through the first rotation) that the Cardinal had not tallied at least six victories in the first nine conference games.
What About The Big Picture?
Despite being saddled with its first losing record in Pac-10 play since 1992-93, Stanford can keep two lengthy streaks alive by winning just one more game. Stanford's next victory will: (1) guarantee a winning record for the 16th consecutive season and (2) give the Cardinal at least 16 wins for the 16th straight year. Keep on winning games, and Stanford can extend another streak to 16 years in a row: qualifying for postseason play.
Home Sweet Home
Stanford sports a 12-3 record at home this year and reached the 10-win mark at Maples Pavilion for the 16th consecutive year with a 77-55 win over Oregon back on Jan. 22. In 2007-08, the Cardinal set a record for home victories (16) in a single season. Additionally, the Cardinal is 28-4 in its last 32 home games dating back to the start of last year.
Moving Up The Charts
With two assists against Oregon on Feb. 21, Mitch Johnson increased his career total to 491 and moved into third place on the all-time list. He is nine handouts away from becoming one of three players in school history to reach the 500-assist plateau, joining Brevin Knight (780) and Keith Ramee (513). Johnson is also contributing 7.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.