2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule: Stanford

    
March 11th, 2008

Stanford Cardinal

Pacific 10 (26-7, 13-5)

Seed: #3

South Region

 

RPI: 16

Big Wins: 2/2 Washington State (67-65), 2/16 at Arizona (67-66), 3/1 Washington State (60-53)

Bad Losses: 11/17 Siena (67-79), 1/13 at Oregon (66-71), 2/14 at Arizona State (68-72)

Last NCAA Appearance: 2007, First Round loss to Louisville

Coach: Trent Johnson (2-3 in 3 NCAA appearances)

 

Probable Starters:

Mitch Johnson, Junior, Guard, 6.8 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.4 spg

Anthony Goods, Junior, Guard, 10.4 ppg, 1.7 apg

Fred Washington, Senior, Forward, 4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.2 apg

Brook Lopez, Sophomore, Forward, 19.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.2 bpg

Robin Lopez, Sophomore, Center, 10.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg

 

Key Roleplayers:

Landry Fields, Sophomore, Guard, 3.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Drew Shiller, Sophomore, Guard, 3.5 ppg

Kenny Brown, Junior, Guard, 3.7 ppg, 1.2 rpg

Lawrence Hill, Junior, Forward, 8.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg

Taj Finger, Senior, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg

 

Why They Can Surprise:

The Lopez twins have taken the nation by storm. Brook has become the go-to scorer for Stanford, but Robin is no slouch in that category either. Add in their superb rebounding abilities and imposing defensive presence, and you have got yourself a couple superstars.

 

Along with the Lopez twins, 6-8 forward Lawrence Hill and 6-5 forward Fred Washington make the Cardinal one of the nation’s best rebounding teams. Not only does Hill grab nearly five boards per game, he also is a very capable scorer who can step back beyond the arc. Washington will not put up huge numbers in the scoring column very often, although he is quite capable, but he can pass, rebound, shoot and do the dirty work.

 

Why They Can Disappoint:

With all the quality forwards and centers on the hardwood, one would think that Stanford would shoot well from the floor. Yet, they only shoot about 45 percent. The numbers do not get any better from behind the arc or at the charity stripe either. While all the big guys will help out in the rebounding department, it does the opposite trying to create turnovers. The Cardinal average just 4.3 steals per game, ranking a bleak 323rd in the nation. Stanford will have a difficult time trying to get some easy points against most teams, but as long as they do not fall too far behind like they did in last year’s tournament, Coach Trent Johnson’s team will work the ball inside and work just about every play through a Lopez or two.

 

Who To Watch:

There is a backcourt in Palo Alto. Mitch Johnson runs the show and has had a great junior season. The turnover numbers are a little high, but Johnson has more than two assists per turnover. Anthony Goods has improved this year as well. As an underclassman, Goods forced too many bad shots, especially from long range. However, that has become far less of a problem this year. The backcourt paid their dues during the tournament last year, but a year older and wiser, they have gone from a liability to a major strength.

 

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 7.7 (139th in nation, 6th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 60.2 (13, 3)

Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (136, 9)

Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (18, 2)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (268, 9)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.0 (26, 2)

Free-Throw Percentage: 69.4 (157, 6)

Rebound Margin: 8.5 (4, 2)

Assists Per Game: 14.2 (111, 6)

Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (33, 3)

 

Joel’s Bracket Says: Final Four loss to UCLA

 

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