2011/12 Pac-12 Preview – Stanford

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by: John Chase

After a season where the Stanford roster featured not one senior player, the Cardinals have 4 seniors, 2 juniors, and 6 sophomores. A lot more experience could mean a lot more talent, but that remains to be seen as the early departure of Jeremey Green for the NBA draft has left another big hole in the Stanford offense.

Stanford finished 15-16 overall and 7-11 in conference. Thankfully, for the Cardinals, Josh Owens is around for his final season along with Andrew Zimmerman (Here) and Jack Trotter meaning there is some good experience and size in the post. This will be helpful as the Stanford backcourt will likely be less talented than in past years.

Key Losses:

Jeremy Green, 6-4 198lb – The athletic guard let Stanford in scoring at 17 points per game. Following in the steps of Landry Fields, Green was a quick guard with the ability to create shots at will. He had a sweet shot, hitting nearly 43% from the 3-point line.

Last season was his junior year, but rather than returning for his senior season like Fields, Green opted to declare for the draft and hired an agent almost immediately thereby making himself illegible for his senior season should he wish to withdraw from the draft.

In the end Green made a poor decision for his career. Between not getting drafted and the NBA lockout, Green has missed out on valuable playing time that could have helped his stock and skill set.

Incoming Freshmen:

Chasson Randle, 6-1 170lb – Randle is a hybrid 1/2 guard will room to improve in each positions skill set. His shot is effective out to the 3 point range, but from deep it is still so-so. With a better 3 point range, his scoring ability can jump through the roof. He also needs to develop his passing abilities should he wish to run an offense properly. He should be a good guard for the Cardinals, not terribly exceptional, but good enough to get the job done. He should find more success once he develops a role within the team.

Wade Morgen 6-1 165lb
Jack Ryan 6-7 200lb

I couldn’t find anything useful on either of these new freshmen. ESPN didn’t list them on Stanford’s 2011 class list and the Stanford web page offered little in terms of useful information. Even Googling the players told me next to nothing about their talents and weaknesses. If you know anything about these guys or have video highlights, post a link in the comments.

Returning Players:

Aaron Bright, 5-11 177lb
Gabriel Harris, 6-2 190lb
Robbie Lemons, 6-3 205lb
Jarrett Man, 6-4 195lb
Anthony Brown, 6-6 210lb
Josh Heustis, 6-7 225lb
Andy Brown, 6-7 210lb
Andrew Zimmerman, 6-8 230lb
Josh Owens, 6-8 240lb
John Gage, 6-9 225lb
Dwight Powell, 6-9 225lb
Jack Trotter, 6-9 225lb
Stefan Nastic, 6-11 245lb

It’ll be all about Stanford’s frontcourt this year. Owens, Powell, Trotter,  Zimmerman, and Gage all have experience and some talent amongst them. Owens and Powell are the cream of their crop and will likely play the 4 and 5 in the starting positions. Look for Bright to lead the backcourt.

Predicted Starting Line-Up:

G – Aaron Bright 5-11 177lb
G – Jarrett Mann 6-4 195lb
F – Anthony Brown 6-6 210lb
F – Josh Owens 6-8 240lb
F – Dwight Powell 6-9 225lb

What to Expect:

Stanford will likely be near the middle to bottom of the conference again. As experienced as their frontcourt is, the talent the players’ possess is far from exceptional.

Owens will likely have the biggest impact as the returning, leading scorer and could average a double-double if he picks up his rebounding game a bit. Owens should shore up the middle with Powell, while Bright and Mann lead the attack from the perimeter.

Stanford plays too much of a slow down offense to compete with athletic teams like UW and UA who like to run. Teams like UCLA have too much strength and size for Stanford to bang with and UO has a much better backcourt.

I could see Stanford as high as 6th and as low as 9th in conference. I’m betting on ASU, CU, and Utah to fill out the basement.