Head Coach: Jerod Haase
Overall Record: 15-15
Conference Record: 8-10 (8th in the Pac-12)
2015-16 Pomeroy Rating: #102 (11th in the Pac-12)
2015-16 Sagarin Rating: #91 (11th in the Pac-12)
Overall Off. Adj. Efficiency: #118
Overall Def. Adj. Efficiency: #92
Overall Scoring Average: 69.6 ppg (12th)
Overall Scoring Defense: 70.4 ppg (6th)
Conference Scoring Average: 67.8 ppg (12th)
Conference Scoring Defense: 72.3 ppg (7th)
We’ve come to the point in these projections where teams could finish anywhere from 8th to (depending on whether Allonzo Trier plays this season) 2nd in the conference. First up is Stanford, a team with lots of players returning, finally freed from the shackles of mediocrity that is Johnny Dawkins. From 1994-95 to 2007-08 (14 seasons under Mike Montgomery and then Trent Johnson), Stanford made the NCAA Tournament every single year, but one. Then came Johnny Dawkins, and in his 8 seasons the Cardinal made the NCAA Tournament only once. And yet Dawkins still managed four 20-win seasons.
Former Cal Bear Jerod Haase, who took UAB to back-to-back 20-win seasons, has taken over for Dawkins and inherited a team that returns not only 7 of its 8 top players from last season, but returns two key players from injury that should both end up starting. First, let’s take a look at how Stanford’s top performers did during the conference season:
Roscoe Allen: 34mpg, 14.5 pts/30mins, 5.8 rebs/30mins
Dorian Pickens: 30.2mpg, 11.6 pts/30mins, 3.8 rebs/30mins
Michael Humphrey: 24.8mpg, 13.0 pts/30mins, 7.1 rebs/30mins
Marcus Allen: 31.3mpg, 9.7 pts/30mins, 3.8 rebs/30mins
Marcus Sheffield: 19.1 mpg, 11.6 pts/30mins, 3.8 rebs/30mins, 1.8 asts/30mins
Josh Sharma: 8.3 mpg, 7.9 pts/30mins, 5.8 rebs/30mins
Grant Verhoeven: 17.2mpg, 7.6 pts/30mins, 3.8 rebs/30mins
Christian Sanders: 21.6, 4.6 pts/30mins, 3.3 asts/30mins
Malcolm Allen: 10.9mpg, 4.6 pts/30mins, 3.5 asts/30mins
Cameron Walker: 10.8mpg, 4.2 pts/30mins, 3.4 rebs/30mins, 2.8 asts/30mins
Roscoe Allen is gone, but Pickens, Humphrey and Sheffield all averaged in double-figures scoring per 30 minutes; and Reid Travis (12.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Robert Cartwright both return from injury.[span] Stanford has lots of pieces, and one never knows who might step up and have a breakthrough season.
The Back Court:
With Robert Cartwright out due to injury, Stanford was forced to rely on Christian Sander, something the Cardinal would prefer not to do this season. Though not a star, Cartwright projects as a significant upgrade at point.
Beyond point guard, the situation gets muddled in the back court, as Stanford has about five slashing style wings, who are all similar in style and do similar things: Dorian Pickens emerged last season as the best of the lot, and was really the only wing with legitimate 3-point range (Pickens hit 30 3-pointers in conference play, though he shot under 34%). The Allen twins (Marcus and Malcolm) are nice slashing players that add athleticism to the back court. Marcus Sheffield proved to be an effective scorer in limited minutes. And, Cameron Walker has high ceiling potential. Pickens is the close thing to a star among this group, but one never knows who may emerge this season.
The Front Court:
When Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey were recruited together in the Class of 2014, they were supposed to be a dynamic front court duo. On account of injury, that hasn’t materialized yet; but it very well may this season. Travis is a thick, bruising, athletic prototype power forward, who should be able to dominate at the rim. To date, however, Travis, who has suffered injuries in both his seasons, has struggled against high major front lines.
Michael Humphrey really came on in the month of February this past season, averaging 14 1/2 points and 8 rebounds over the final 7 games of the season. Humphrey should have a huge year, and Travis should be a great compliment to him.
Seven-footers Josh Sharma and Grant Verhoeven both have decent athleticism and will probably have professional careers overseas. It’s unclear, however, how much they will contribute with Reid Travis back. By the end of last season, Sharma was legitimately starting to cut into Verhoeven’s playing time. Freshman Koyde Pugh (a long, athletic combo forward) and Trevor Stanback (once a Trojan target, and brother of one-time Bruin Chace Stanback) may or may not see action this season; but both have decent potential as prospects.
Over time, Johnny Dawkins’s Stanford teams had acquired the reputation of having tall, somewhat-unathletic players who could nail shots from the outside. The team Jerod Haase inherits defies that mold, and may actually fit his black & blue style.
Stanford is going to be a scrappy team that is tough to deal with. Any time, a team can trot out 11 composite Top 150 players (four of whom were Top 100), that team should have the potential to win the game. There is no doubt that the lack of proven outside shooting is glaring weakness. But there is easily enough talent to make the NCAA Tournament, and, if a few things break right, challenge for the top tier of the conference.
G Robert Cartwright
G Marcus Allen
W Dorian Pickens
F Reid Travis
F Michael Humphrey
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