Before we tip-off tomorrow night's game, we decided to get a little Pre-Game chat going with Rule of Tree, the SB Nation Stanford blog. We asked Scott Allen, who not only manages the site but is a frequent "The Bachelor" viewer on the side, some questions about tomorrow's game, and his responses are below. Enjoy!
He had some questions too, and you can see our answers here.
Q. Who has been the best player so far for the Cardinal? Who should Beaver fans be looking out for?
A. Jeremy Green has been the Cardinal's best player this year. The junior has been inconsistent, but that's been true of everyone on the roster. Green had his streak of five consecutive games with at least 20 points snapped on Saturday against USC, two days after Ben Howland called him one of the most underrated shooters in college basketball.
Green is shooting 42% from beyond the arc, and though he doesn't contribute much in the way of rebounds or assists, he is the most prolific scorer on a team that struggles mightily to score. Stanford defeated Oregon State in the teams' first meeting despite a poor performance from Green, but the Cardinal will need him to play better on the road if it is to complete the regular season sweep.
Q. Obviously, the Cardinal are a dangerous team after defeating Washington and Washington State. But they also have some bad losses. Obviously teams have bad nights, especially young teams, but what went wrong in those games and how can the Beavers do the same thing?
A. Stanford is at its worst when it's out of rhythm offensively, which is more often than not. If Green's shot isn't falling and Josh Owens isn't left open inside, the Cardinal must rely on one of its freshmen, usually Dwight Powell or Anthony Brown, to carry the load. The freshman haven't demonstrated the ability to produce on a consistent basis. Stanford's defense has kept it in a few games it has no business winning, but even that has failed the Cardinal recently. UCLA and USC both shot better than 50% from 3-point range at Maples Pavilion last weekend.
Q. What must happen for Stanford to make the NIT?
A. I think Stanford would have to win its remaining four regular season games, including a nonconference matchup with Seattle, and a couple of games in the Pac-10 tournament to even sniff the NIT.
Rest of the Q&A after the break.
Q. Which newcomer has had the biggest impact for the Cardinal?
A. Probably Powell. The most hyped member of the Cardinal's freshman class is averaging 8.3 points and 5 rebounds per game. I thought Powell would be a double-double machine by this point in the season, but he only has one, and that came in November. Powell has been very inconsistent offensively. While he has the range to score from the perimeter, too often he settles for the outside shot instead of taking advantage of his quickness to get to the rim.
Q. Did you guys lose anyone from last year's team, and if so, were they key player(s)?
A. Stanford really misses Landry Fields, the reigning Pac-10 scoring champ, who led the Cardinal in every major category. Fields is tearing up the NBA as a rookie for the New York Knicks and selling jerseys on the side.
Q. Predictions for the game?
A. I know Oregon State has been a different team at home, but after watching the first meeting between the two schools and some of Saturday's Civil War, I like Stanford's chances to eke out a win in Corvallis. I fully expect this game to produce a few Not Top 10-worthy plays.