#84 Stanford Men's Basketball Preview

Stanford Cardinal

Overall Rank: #84
Conference Rank: #7 Pac-12
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2010-11: 15-16, 7-11
2010-11 postseason: none
Coach: Johnny Dawkins (49-48 at Stanford, 49-48 overall)

Stanford finished the Pac-10 season with a 7-11 record and fell in the first round of the conference tournament. This was a young team, and still is a young team, but they struggled down the stretch. Coach Johnny Dawkins did a pretty good job of keeping everybody’s legs fresh, so that should not have been the cause of the late season struggles. The rigors of the Pac-12 were the problem. Jarrett Mann will be the man, if you will, who has to hold this team together. The 6-4 senior is not a scorer, but he is a leader who dished out 4.2 assists per game last season. He really tries to be a shooting threat to keep the opposition honest, but shooting 5.9 percent (that is not a typo and he took about one shot every other game) from beyond the arc is easy to cover if the opposition scouts at all. But Mann is a good floor general on both ends of the floor and he will have to set up the Cardinal for success.

Who’s Out:
Mann will also have to help develop the replacement for Jeremy Green, who left early for the NBA. Green led the team with 16.7 points and was easily the most efficient and effective outside shooter on the team. He connected on 42.9 percent of his 6.6 attempts per contest. That is slightly better than Mann’s 1-for-17 on the season mark. It was a surprise that Green stayed in the draft, but the bottom line is Stanford will miss his shooting and his scoring. Only Mann can get to the free-throw line more often, but Green actually converted his attempts when he got there. Finding a dynamic scorer who can shoot and attack the basket as effectively as Green will not be too easy.

Who’s In:
Or maybe it will be. Chasson Randle joins the team just in time to step right into Green’s role. Randle is more of a combo guard than a pure scorer like Green. However, he is a superb outside shooter and can learn to play the point under Mann for a year and start at the off-guard position this year. At 6-1 and 170 pounds, Randle is not going to be able to effectively attack the basket too well right away, but he will work his way through the big guys when he is not shooting from the perimeter. Randle may replace Mann at the point sooner or later since Stanford would prefer their point guard to do a little more scoring. But if that is the case, there are some questions to be answered on the wings. Andy Brown, a 6-7 forward, may be ready to play for the Cardinal after suffering multiple ACL tears over the last two years. Stefan Nastic is a big center who redshirted last season. He still may need time to develop, but he could turn into an interior big man who could come in and grab some boards.

Who to Watch:
It will take a group effort to replace Green. Anthony Brown is a 6-6 wing who can shoot the long ball and get to the basket and score. After averaging 8.7 points and 3.2 rebounds as a freshman, the bulk of the expectations will fall on his shoulders. Aaron Bright is another decent shooter who can handle the ball. He is not much of a scorer and is better suited coming off of the bench providing a spark with his outside shooting ability. Gabriel Harris and Josh Huestis saw limited action last year, but both could turn into more productive players with another year of experience under their belt. Harris could be a decent second or third string shooting guard, while Huestis, at 6-7, can fill in some minutes at the three spot.

Final Projection:
With Green gone, the scoring emphasis will move to the frontcourt. Josh Owens, a 6-8, 230 pound center, is the team’s top returning scorer with 11.6 points per game and he led the squad with 6.5 rebounds. He is a little short for a center in the Pac-12, but he is a tough player who can use his girth to create space for himself in the paint. He is also a fine offensive rebounder and a lot of his points will come from easy put-backs. Dwight Powell will again team up with Owens in the frontcourt. Powell will occasionally have a hard time staying on the floor due to foul trouble, but he is a great power forward. He can stretch out the defense a little bit with his mid-range jumper and fight it out in the paint. With John Gage, Jack Trotter and Andrew Zimmerman providing quality depth, this is a team that has a deceptive amount of talent in the frontcourt. The problem will be replacing Green and trying to be a better team without him in a conference that will not be easy to navigate. Yet, the returning group is pretty talented and this should be a group that can at least get to the NIT.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Jarrett Mann, Senior, Guard, 4.9 points per game
Chasson Randle, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Anthony Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 8.7 points per game
Dwight Powell, Sophomore, Forward, 8.1 points per game
Josh Owens, Senior, Center, 11.6 points per game

Madness 2012 NBA Draft Rankings:
#67 Dwight Powell

Madness 2011 Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#64 Chasson Randle

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