#78 Stanford Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Stanford Cardinal

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #78
Conference Rank: #8 Pac-12

Stanford Team Page#78 Stanford Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Stanford Basketball Tickets

Stanford won the NIT for the second time in four years, but the Cardinal need more NCAA Tournament appearances under Coach Johnny Dawkins. The backcourt lost a lot of talent, but Stanford has one of the better frontcourts in the Pac-12. They will need to find some perimeter playmakers if Coach Dawkins wants to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the second time during his seven year tenure in Palo Alto.

2014-15 Record: 24-13, 9-9
2014-15 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Johnny Dawkins
Coach Record: 141-100 at Stanford, 141-100 overall

Who’s Out:
Stanford lost their top three scorers, including guards Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown. Randle led the team with 19.6 points, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals and knocked down a team high 90 three-pointers. Brown was not far behind, averaging 14.8 points and 2.5 assists. Brown also connected on an impressive 44.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Stefan Nastic, a 6-11 center, had a big senior season, averaging 13.4 points and leading the team with 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per contest. Without Nastic developing into a dangerous interior scorer, Randle and Brown would not have been quite as effective from long range. Elliott Bullock is also gone after finally getting back on the court for a few minutes during his senior season.

Who’s In:
It is a small class, but Stanford brings in three freshmen who could make an immediate impact. Josh Sharma is a seven-footer who can get up and down the floor very well for a player his size, but he is still raw. In time, Sharma could develop into a very productive big man. Cameron Walker is another highly regarded forward. He is long and athletic and will likely spend most of his time at the small forward spot. Marcus Sheffield, a 6-5 wing, may not be as highly regarded as Sharma and Walker, but he fits a need in the backcourt and is ready to play as a freshman. Sheffield can score effectively, but it is his defense that Coach Dawkins will want on the floor this year.

Who to Watch:
The frontcourt returns Reid Travis, Rosco Allen, Michael Humphrey and Grant Verhoeven. Travis was the biggest recruit to come to Stanford since the Lopez twins. The 6-8 forward didn’t take the conference by storm, averaging 6.2 points and 5.6 rebounds as a freshman, but he is a great talent who is expected to make a much bigger impact as a sophomore. Allen was a part-time starter a year ago and the experienced senior is the team’s top returning scorer with 7.3 points per game. Allen is also a capable shooter. He knocked down 36.2 percent of his 105 three-point attempts last year. Humphrey will stay in the paint and has the potential to emerge as a very good shot blocker as a sophomore. Despite averaging just over 11 minutes per game, Humphrey scored 3.1 points and added 2.7 rebounds. His best basketball is still ahead of him and Humphrey will be an interesting player to watch this season to see how quickly he develops. The return of Grant Verhoeven, who missed nearly all of last season with an injury, gives Coach Dawkins a ton of talent in the frontcourt. With the frontcourt talent Stanford has, they should always be able to have three guys on the floor who are at least 6-7.

Final Projection:
The backcourt is where the questions are. Marcus Allen will have to step into a full-time starting role after averaging 6.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists during his sophomore season. Christian Sanders has some experience too, but do not expect much more playing time from the 6-4 senior. The pressure will be on Dorian Pickens and Robert Cartwright to step up as sophomores. Pickens showed potential in very limited action as a freshman and Cartwright will likely step into the starting point guard spot. The focus will shift to the frontcourt though where most of the experience lies, but if Marcus Allen and Pickens and Cartwright look a little bit like Randle and Brown, the Cardinal will be competing for an NCAA Tournament berth instead of having to settle for another NIT trip.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Robert Cartwright, Sophomore, Guard, 1.9 points per game
Marcus Allen, Junior, Guard, 6.4 points per game
Rosco Allen, Senior, Forward, 7.3 points per game
Reid Travis, Sophomore, Forward, 6.2 points per game
Michael Humphrey, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.3 (54th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.3 (193, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (171, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (136, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (134, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.8 (49, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.6 (57, 2)
Rebound Margin: 4.2 (50, 4)
Assists Per Game: 11.8 (237, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.8 (36, 1)

Madness 2015 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#106 Cameron Walker
#119 Josh Sharma
#128 Marcus Sheffield


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