Game Preview: Stanford


by: Griffin Bennett

It’s time to shake off Thursday night’s loss. The season can slip away with a loss to the Cardinal on Saturday so it’s game face time. Stanford lost their share of the conference lead when they lost to WSU in Pullman so they will be looking to salvage a split on the road to try and keep pace with Cal.

For the Huskies, it’s one game at a time as they continue to struggle to find any kind of consistency. The first halves have been slow all season long and they can’t seem to find an answer as to why. The Dawgs have scored only 25 points in the first half twice in a row now and barring an insane second half from Ross against the Cougs, they could be staring at two straight losses.

Stanford comes in with a 15-4 record and 5-2 in the conference. They have a very balanced team which makes they dangerous. Their leading scorer is forward Josh Owens with 13.1 ppg who also leads their team in rebounds wirth 6.1 rpg. Aziz will get the first nod to guard the 6-8 Owens which will be interesting due to the size/speed give and take.

Sophomore Aaron Bright, from Bellevue High, is a solid point guard who can do a bit of everything, including shooting the three. He leads their team in 3 point percentage at 43% as well as scoring 12.1 per game. Alongside Bright is freshman SG Chasson Randle who has been equally impressive with scoring 12.3 per game which is good for second best on the squad. Behind Wroten, this may be the freshman of the year in the Pac-12.

Rounding out their starters are sophomore forwards Josh Huestis and Anthony Brown. They are each effective role players who can’t be ignored which makes Stanford so challenging. Filling out their rotation are John Gage, Dwight Powell, Jarrett Mann, and Andrew Zimmerman. It’s a deep team.

Projected Starting Line Ups:


Aaron Bright, 5-11

Chasson Randle, 6-1

Anthony Brown, 6-6

Andrew Zimmerman, 6-8

Josh Owens, 6-8


Abdul Gaddy, 6-3 

Tony Wroten Jr., 6-5 

Terrence Ross, 6-6 

Desmond Simmons, 6-7 

Aziz N’Diaye, 7-0 

Keys to the Game:

  • Early Energy: The Huskies can’t keep trying to climb out of first half holes. They need to start the game with the same energy that they find in the second half. It’s easier said than done, however.
  • Rebounding – UW leads the league in rebounds per game (14.5) but Stanford is right behind them in second (12.7). Which ever team can assert their dominance in the post will have a huge advantage. Look for Aziz to continue his hot streak against a smaller Cardinal team.
  • Perimeter Shooting –  The Dawgs need to find someone other than Ross that can make an open three. Teams will continue to play zone while shadowing Ross unless someone (Gant and Gaddy preferrably) can start hitting their shots. I’m not asking them to be C.J., just hit the wide open ones.
  • Free Throws – It’s most likely going to be another close one, and free throws will be needed. At some point this ceases to be a key to the game and just a fact of the game.

Final Thoughts:

The Huskies are impossible to predict. Will Ross catch on fire? Will Wroten score at will or keep shooting threes? Will Gant go 0 for 8? Will Aziz have a career high or foul out? You get the point.

The real problem has been motivation and offensive execution in the first half. Even Ross noted as much saying they were forgetting plays during the first half on offense this Thursday. Someone needs to get this team pumped up before the game. I don’t think Hikeem Stewart’s dance in the tunnel is going the job.

Let’s get a win and keep on truckin’. Maybe this will help. Bow Down.