Stanford-USF to Tipoff 2004-05 Season At Pete Newell Challenge

Oct. 29, 2004

Stanford, Ca - The popularity of Stanford basketball remains at an all-time high, Maples Pavilion is nearing completion of a 30 million dollar renovation, daily practice is intense and several pre-season magazines predict another exciting Cardinal campaign.

November 19 seems just around the corner as the Cardinal prepares for the season opener against USF at the Pete Newell Challenge at The Arena in Oakland. Game time is slated for 8:30 p.m. At 6:00 p.m., North Carolina will face the challenge of Santa Clara.

'The team is looking forward to playing soon,' said Cardinal head coach Trent Johnson, who spoke before a large media gathering on Thursday to promote the Pete Newell Challenge. 'We will have our hands full against USF. I have a lot of respect for Jessie Evans (USF's new head coach). He is an excellent coach and the Dons are heading in the right direction.'

Tickets are on sale through all outlets in the Bay Area and at The Arena in Oakland box office. Prices start at $15. Good seats are still available in the lower bowl of the arena. For more information, visit online at, or call 415-478-2277, 510-762-2277 or 408-998-2277. The Arena in Oakland box office (510-569-2121,, is located at 7000 Coliseum Way, and is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stanford returns ten lettermen and three starters from a team that chalked up a 30-2 record, and a Pac-10 championship with a 17-1 mark. Chris Hernandez, Rob Little and Nick Robinson will spearhead the Cardinal list of veterans.

USF (17-14 in 2003-04) begins the season with three returning starters in Jerome Gumbs, Andre Hazel and Tyrone Riley. The Dons also return the team's leading scorer from two years ago, John Cox (15.3 ppg in 2002-03). Cox redshirted last year.

In the first game of the Pete Newell Challenge at 6:00 p.m., North Carolina will play Santa Clara. The Tar Heels are ranked #1 by ESPN's Dick Vitale. North Carolina has one of the deepest and most talented teams in the country. They are led by a gifted trio of juniors including shooting guard Rashad McCants, who led the ACC in scoring last season at 20 points per game.

Santa Clara returns four starters. The Broncos are coached by Dick Davey, the dean of Bay Area college basketball coaches as he begins his 13th season at Santa Clara.

What the Pre-Season Magazines are saying about the 2004-05 Stanford Basketball Team

Athlon's Magazine
'Although Stanford might lack star power, it has a solid nucleus of players who have tasted plenty of succcess. Most important, it has veteran leadership in the two most important areas, Rob Little at center and Chris Hernandez at point guard.'
2004-05 Pac-10 Prediction: 1. Arizona; 2. Washington; 3. Stanford; 4. California; 5. UCLA; 6. Oregon; 7. USC; 8. Arizona State; 9. Oregon State; 10. Washington State
All Pac-10 First Team: Chris Hernandez (Stanford); Hassan Adams (Arizona); Ike Diogu (Arizona State); Channing Frye (Arizona); Nate Robinson (Washington)
All Pac-10 Second Team: Rob Little (Stanford); Ian Crosswhite (Oregon); David Lucas (Oregon State); Brandon Roy (Washington); Dijon Thompson (UCLA)
The Top 3 new coaches stepping into the best situation: Trent Johnson (Stanford); Thad Matta (Ohio State); Ray Giacoletti (Utah)

CBS News
'This battle-tested team is hoping to fly under the radar and surprise people come March. Don't look for this version of the Cardinal to make a run at an unbeaten season, but don't expect them to fall too far down the Pac-10 standings, either. The Cardinal plays smart and plays great defense, and that should translate to another NCAA bid.'
Pre-Season Top 64: 25. Stanford
Most Underrated Players: Chris Hernandez (Stanford) - 'People who watch the Pac-10 on a weekly basis know how good he is. Although Josh Childress got all the publicity last year, Hernandez was the team's steadying force. He's a flawless floor leader who might prove to be as valuable toward keeping Stanford good as Childress was.'
2004-05 Pac-10 Prediction: 1. Arizona; 2. Washington; 3. Stanford; 4. UCLA; 5. Oregon; 6. California; 7. USC; 8. Arizona State; 9. Oregon State; 10. Washington State

Lindy's Magazine
'The Cardinal returns starters at key positions (center and point-guard). Don't look for this program to wobble despite the loss of head coach Mike Montgomery. Chris Hernandez, Nick Robinson and Rob Little - smart, strong and tough. Hernandez was an All Pac-10 choice as a sophomore. At midseason last year, he was considered by some to be the league's Player of the Year. Matt Haryasz - more than one coach in the conference thinks he's the Cardinal's most talented player and a sure-fire NBA player one day.'
Pre-Season Top 40: 29. Stanford
Nation's Top Point Guards: 7. Chris Hernandez (Stanford) - Some thought he was really the conference MVP last season.
Nation's Top Small Forwards: 17. Nick Robinson (Stanford) - May be the Pac-10's most versatile (and underrated) player
Nation's Top Power Forwards: 19. Matt Haryasz (Stanford) - Pac-10 coaches see him headed for stardom - maybe this season
2004-05 Pac-10 Prediction: 1. Arizona; 2. Washington; 3. Stanford; 4. Oregon; 5. Arizona State; 6. California; 7. Oregon State; 8. UCLA; 9. USC; 10. Washington State
All Pac-10 First Team: Chris Hernandez (Stanford); Nate Robinson (Washington); Ike Diogu (Arizona State); Channing Frye (Arizona); Hassan Adams (Arizona)
All Pac-10 Second Team: Matt Haryasz (Stanford); Salim Stoudamire (Arizona); David Lucas (Oregon State); Leon Powe (California); Brandon Roy (Washington)
All Pac-10 Third Team: Nick Robison (Stanford); Malik Hairston (Oregon); Mustafa Shakur (Arizona); Jeff McMillan (USC); Dijon Thompson (UCLA)

The Sporting News
'Chris Hernandez runs the complicated Stanford offense well, looking to pass first but not hestitating to launch his trustworthy jumper. The bulk of the Cardinal scoring came from the perimeter last season, but it could shift inside this year with Rob Little and Matt Haryasz. Both players made dramatic improvement as a result of experience and weight change; Little shed pounds to make him more mobile and a better rebounder; Haryasz gained some pountds to hold his own inside. Little has big hands and a body that's hard to push around, while the most skilled Haryasz has the potential to post big numbers. And, believe it or not, versatile Nick 'Pops' Robinson will be back (he turns 25 in November). Robinson will be penciled in at small forward but can play shooting guard or power forward behind Haryasz.'
Pre-Season Top 25: 21. Stanford
Nation's Top 20 Point Guards: 10. Chris Hernandez (Stanford)
Nation's Top 20 Power Forwards: 17. Matt Haryasz (Stanford)
2004-05 Pac-10 Predictions: 1. Arizona; 2. Stanford; 3. Washington; 4. Oregon; 5. UCLA; 6. USC; 7. Oregon State; 8. California; 9. Washington State; 10. Arizona State

Street & Smith's College Basketball
'There's much for new coach Trent Johnson to like about what's left from a team that was unbeaten going into the regular season's final weekend. There's hard-nosed point guard Chris Hernandez, steady Rob Little and versatile Nick Robinson. Watch long-limbed Matt Haryasz turn into Curtis Borchardt in his first season as a starter. Despite the heavy losses, Stanford has a solid returning core. Chris Hernandez is the heart and soul, a classic floor leader with a deft touch and knack for scoring when the Cardinal needs it most. The Cardinal needs a breakthrough season from power forward Matt Haryasz, whose live legs and long arms have put him solidly on the NBA Draft radar. Haryasz is joined up front by Rob Little who provides a physical presencce that has been so much a part of Stanford's attack over the years. Nick Robinson can play four positions, and is a master of the little things - deflecting a pass, taking a charge, tracking down a rebound.
Pre-Seasson Top 25: 25. Stanford
2004-05 Pac-10 Prediction: 1. Arizona; 2. Washington; 3. Stanford; 4. Oregon; 5. USC; 6. Oregon State; 7. UCLA; 8. Washington State; 9. California; 10. Arizona State
Pac-10's Best Leader: Chris Hernandez (Stanford)
Pac-10's Best Interview: Rob Little (Stanford)

Cardinal Chatter
Chris Hernandez and Nick Robinson will serve as Stanford's co-captains this year ... Hernandez is a junior guard, while Robinson, who also served as a captain last year, is a senior forward ... Nick Robinson, Stanford senior forward, has been nominated for the John Wooden Trophy ... The award is presented to two distinguished athletes - one intercollegiate and one professional - that best display character, teamwork, and citizenship ... Robinson is a two-year captain on the Stanford varsity, and a two-time All Pac-10 Academic selection ... The seventh annual Coaches vs Cancer Stanford Basketball Tipoff Breakfast is slated for Tuesday, November 9, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Sports Cafe at the Arrillaga Family Sports Center at Stanford University ... Tickets may be purchased at the door for $10 ... Please RSVP by November 5 to: JT Batson at 650-724-5552 ( or Aileen Reyes at 650-725-2364 ( ... Join us in the Fight Against Cancer ... Single game tickets for the Stanford-Santa Clara men's basketball game on Nov. 28 at the Leavey Center are on sale via ... Stanford has added a new player to its 2004-05 varsity ... Kenny Brown is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound freshman guard from Southlake, Tx ... Brown averaged 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals per game as a senior at Carroll High School ... Gained numerous athletic and academic honors ... Gained all-state, all-county and all-league honors during his high school career ... Helped lead his team to the third round of the Texas state tournament playoffs during his junior season ... Student Body President ... National Honor Society ... Honor Roll.™