Stanford To Open Practice in Preparation For 2003-04 Season

Stanford, Ca - It's that time of the year again. Time for Stanford Basketball.

The Cardinal of 2003-04, with four starters and ten lettermen from a 24-9 team of a year ago, opens practice on Saturday, October 18, at 11 a.m. at Maples Pavilion. Practices are open to the public.

Three of Stanford's top double-digit scorers from a year ago return while the team's top four rebounders are back. That's a lot of good news. Josh Childress (14.1 ppg), Matt Lottich (11.3 ppg) and Justin Davis (10.3 ppg) are the veteran scorers while Childress (8.1 rpg), Davis (7.8 rpg), Rob Little (5.7 rpg) and Nick Robinson (4.2 rpg) are big-time rebounders. Add to the point and rebound totals are talented veterans like Joe Kirchofer, Dan Grunfeld, Matt Haryasz, Jason Haas and Carlton Weatherby. Chris Hernandez returns from a medical redshirt year, while Stanford has added another outstanding freshman class with the addition of Tim Morris & Fred Washington.

That's why expectations and excitement continue to remain high as the nationally-ranked Cardinal prepares for another run at the Pac-10 championship and a tenth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford will be faced with a highly competitive schedule in 2003-04. The list of opponents include 2003 Final Four participant Kansas (Final Four predicted by Athlon Sports, fourth by Basketball News and College Basketball, sixth by Street & Smith's, seventh by Lindy's, eighth by Blue Ribbon College Basketball and The Sporting News) at the John Wooden Classic on Dec. 6, Gonzaga (ranked fifth by The Sporting News, ranked tenth by Basketball News and Street & Smith's, eleventh by Lindy's, 12th by College Basketball) on Dec. 20 at the Pete Newell Challenge, Arizona (ranked third by College Basketball, fifth by Basketball News and Street & Smith's, sixth by The Sporting News, eighth by Lindy's) on Jan. 10 (Tucson) and Feb. 7 (Stanford).

Several of the nation's pre-season basketball magazines have hit the newsstands and the Cardinal is prominently mentioned. Here are what several publications are saying about the Stanford Cardinal of 2003-04.

Athlon Sports College Basketball
Sweet 16 - Stanford ... Honorable Mention Pre-Season All-American (Josh Childress) ... Stanford is arguably the toughest and most tested team in the Pac-10 ... Picked to finish second behind Arizona in the Pac-10.

Basketball News
Ranked 21st in the pre-season poll ... Cardinal head coach Mike Montgomery has the makings of a team that could challenge for the Pac-10 title ... The team's frontcourt strength, production and depth are likely the envy of many coaches ... Picked to finish second in the Pac-10 behind Arizona.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook
Ranked 16th in the pre-season poll.

College Basketball
Predicted to finish fourth in the Pac-10.

Lindy's Basketball
Ranked tenth in the pre-season ... There is no reason to believe this team is in danger of veering from the 20-plus victories and NCAA Tourney path we have come to expect from Mike Montgomery's program ... Victories over Xavier, Florida and Arizona (in Tucson) were startling a year ago, but nothing this team does, including winning the Pac-10 title and making a deep NCAA run, should surprise anyone ... There's plenty of depth in the post and on the perimeter, which is another reason why Pac-10 coaches consider Stasnford at least a co-favorite with Arizona to win the conference ... If Josh Childress' jump shot falls regularly, he'll be Pac-10 Player of the Year for the league champs ... Top 10 frontcourts - #6 Stanford (The Cardinal returns its entire frontline, most notably starters Josh Childress (the best rebounding small forward in college), Rob Little and Justin Davis, with Matt Haryasz, Nick Robinson and Joe Kirchofer providing Mike Montgomery plenty of fresh and skilled troops to spell them.

The Sporting News
Ranked 22nd in the pre-season ... The silliest thing to do in evaluating one of Mike Montogmery's teams is to consider what he lost from the previous year. It doesn't matter. Just give him something to work with, and that group will contend in the Pac-10 ... Picked to finish second in the Pac-10.

Street & Smith's College Basketball
Ranked 21st in the pre-season polls ... Chris Hernandez is healthy, the rookies are veterans and the Cardinal is two-deep at every position ... Stanford has six players standing 6-7 or taller, flexibility on the perimeter and one of the best players in the conference in Josh Childress, a potential lottery pick ... In Childress and Davis, Stanford has the best forward combo in the West ... Childress is the centerpeice, but Davis, Rob Little, Joe Kirchofer, Matt Lottich and Nick Robinson are poised to take Stanford back to the NCAA tourney. And deeper this time around ... Picked to finish second in the Pac-10 behind Arizona.

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