Men's Basketball Looks Road Road Split In The Desert
Jan. 29, 2010
Stanford Cardinal (10-10, 4-4 Pac-10)
Arizona State Sun Devils (14-7, 4-4 Pac-10)
Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 1 p.m. PT
Wells Fargo Arena (14,141) Tempe, AZ
Series History: Stanford leads 38-28
Last Meeting: Stanford 74, Arizona State 64 (Mar. 5, 2009)
Radio: XTRA Sports 860 AM (PBP: Dave Flemming, Analyst: John Platz)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PBP: Kevin Danna, Analyst: Brandon Crockett)
The Opening Tip
A key matchup awaits Stanford (10-10, 4-4 Pac-10) on Saturday afternoon, as the Cardinal closes out its road trip with a contest at Arizona State (14-7, 4-4 Pac-10). Both teams are sitting in a five-way tie for third place, and a winning league record at the midway point of the conference season is also on the line. Not to mention Stanford is still searching for that elusive first road win of the year after dropping a 76-68 decision at Arizona two days ago.
Saturday's game can be heard live on XTRA Sports 860 AM 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 rare road coverage with Kevin Danna (play-by-play) and Brandon Crockett (analyst) handling the broadcast chores. There is no television coverage of this game.
After this week, Stanford is back on the road again for a second straight road trip. The Cardinal faces UCLA (Feb. 4 - 7:30 p.m.) and USC (Feb. 6 - 4:30 p.m.).
Scouting Arizona State
Tabbed seventh in this year's Pac-10 preseason media poll, Arizona State is 11-3 at home and enters Saturday's game at 14-7 overall and 4-4 in league action.
Arizona State, which has compiled three different four-game winning streaks already this year, has lost back-to-back games after falling to Cal 78-70 on Thursday night.
The Sun Devils boast one of the nation's best defenses, allowing just 56.9 points per game while holding opponents to 39.7 percent shooting from the field.
Arizona State is averaging 68.1 points per game. The Sun Devils shoot well from beyond the arc (37.3 percent) and at the charity stripe (72.1 percent).
Rihards Kuksiks (12.7 ppg, 38.9 percent three-pointers) leads three players in double-figures. Ty Abbott (10.6 ppg) and Derek Glasser (10.0 ppg, 106 assists) are key factors.
Stanford All-Time vs. Arizona State
Stanford holds a 38-28 edge over Arizona State in the all-time series, which originated back in 1957. The Cardinal has dominated this matchup, winning six of the last eight and 19 of the last 23 contests overall dating back to 1998. The meetings were split last year, with Arizona State registering a 90-60 victory at Maples Pavilion in the season opener for both teams before Stanford notched a 74-64 upset in Tempe to close out the regular season.
Who To Watch Against Arizona State
Landry Fields has averaged 7.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in seven matchups against Arizona. Jeremy Green was 3-8 from the field with nine points last year in his first two meetings. And while the statistics will not jump off the stat sheet, Matei Daian played arguably his best game of the year in 2009 at Arizona State, frustrating Jeff Pendergraph (2-4 from the field, four turnovers in 39 minutes).
Tavita Pritchard Added To Roster, Available This Weekend
Senior Tavita Pritchard, Stanford's starting quarterback during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, has been added to the roster and is with the team for this weekend's road trip. A fifth-year senior who has exhausted his eligibility in football, Pritchard is cleared for competition. Pritchard becomes the first multi-sport athlete on the men's basketball team since football players Mark Bradford and Evan Moore played limited minutes for the Cardinal during the 2004-05 campaign. Pritchard, who first participated in practice on Jan. 26, will wear number 42. A member of the Stanford football team for the last five seasons, Pritchard played in 27 games and made 20 starts during his career, completing 254 of 471 passes for 2,865 yards and 15 touchdowns. In his first career start, Pritchard engineered an epic 24-23 upset road victory over then-No. 2 USC back on Oct. 6, 2007, connecting with Mark Bradford for the game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play from the USC 10-yard line with 49 seconds left in the game. Pritchard's only start in 2009 came in Stanford's 31-27 loss to Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl, as the Cardinal was making its first Bowl Game appearance since 2001.
Bench Is Thin This Weekend
Stanford is without five players for this weekend's road trip. Freshman forward Andy Brown is out for the season due to an ACL tear in his left knee while junior forward/center Josh Owens has not been cleared to practice by the team's medical staff and remains out indefinitely. Recent stress fracture injuries have sidelined starting sophomore forward Andrew Zimmermann and reserve freshman guard Gabriel Harris, as both are expected to miss another 3-4 weeks. Reserve senior guard Emmanuel Igbinosa is not making this week's road trip due to an academic commitment.
Despite the mounting injuries and lack of depth, Stanford currently sits in a five-way tie for third place at 4-3 in the Pac-10. Picked to finish last in the preseason media poll, the Cardinal is 10-10 overall and hanging tough despite a relatively inexperienced roster that features only five scholarship players. With a win over Arizona State on Saturday, Stanford will climb back above the .500 mark for the fifth time this year.
Fields, Green Among Nation's Top Scoring Duos
Landry Fields and Jeremy Green have provided Stanford with a devastating 1-2 punch, accounting for 55.9 percent of the team's scoring. Fields is averaging a Pac-10-best 22.3 points per game, while Green is up to 17.9 points per game, ranking fifth in the conference. Entering the week, the duo of Fields and Green was one of just seven sets of teammates around the country to be ranked among the top-six in their respective conference in scoring while averaging at least 17.0 points per game.
Road Unkind To Stanford
Excluding a 1-1 finish at the Cancun Challenge (played of course at a neutral site), Stanford is 0-7 on the road so far this year. The Cardinal has been outscored by an average of 15.0 points while averaging 68.7 points per game and shooting 40.5 percent from the field. Conversely, opponents are averaging 83.7 points per game and shooting 48.2 percent from the floor. Stanford finished 1-8 last season in Pac-10 road games, with its only win coming in the form of a 74-64 upset of No. 21 Arizona State during the final week of the regular season.
TOMORROW | 5:00pm PTLive