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OSU Men's basketball preview vs. Stanford

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Both OSU and Stanford exceeded expectations during the non-conference schedule. Which one of these overachievers will take this matchup? Insight to the Cardinal's style of play, personnel, and strategies against them... after the jump!

Offensive report:

Stanford balances out to be an average team offensively. They play a balanced pace (67 possessions) and have extreme strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, they are fantastic on the boards, rebounding around 37% of their misses, a mark that is tops in the Pac 12, resulting in easy and numerous second chance opportunities. However, at the same time, they are turnover prone, coughing up a 5th of their possessions and having more turnovers than assists. Something else the Cardinal do relatively well is taking and making the 3. They take the 5th most amount of 3balls and they go in at a 37.5% clip, which is slightly above the Pac average at this time.

In short, good offensive rebounding team, good 3 point shooting team, turnover prone team.

On the Defensive End...

Stanford is one of the top (if not the top) defensive teams in conference. Of course, it starts with their work on the glass, but the Cardinal also force opponents to score 58 points a game, shoot 40% from the floor, although they give up an average 33.3% from downtown. They get a lot of steals but don't swat a lot of shots. In short, Stanford plays good pressure team defense, a quality that is not unlike the great teams of Coach Dawkin's mentor, Coach K.

(Some, because there's alot) Key Personnel Snippets

Josh Owens is the senior leader and primary inside threat. Not a power guy but a guy who uses his athleticism to score inside via dunks, lay-ins and hook shots.

Aaron Bright is the primary ball-handler of the team. Great shooter from the field, from downtown and from the free throw line. Only major Cardinal to average more assists than turnovers.

Chasson Randle leads the team in minutes, chips in double digit points. Has amazing quickness for his combo guard position. Good shooter from 3 and from the line but not so much from anywhere else. The other guy who handles the ball.

Anthony Brown is a swingman who chips in close to double digit points, but is erratic from the field. Good at the line but average from 3.

Jarrett Mann is the primary defensive stopper off the bench. Average from 3 but can't do much after that.

Andrew Zimmerman is a senior, the hustle player off the bench. Can't do much after that.

Josh Huestis is a 2nd string big forward who can board but whose shooting numbers is below that of the average big man.

John Gage contributes good shooting off the bench, be it from the floor, from 3 or from the stripe.

Strategy Zone

- MUST. REBOUND. BOX. OUT. NOW!!!!

- Take away the 3 ball. Get up on them. At the same time, do not allow Josh Owens to get the ball down low, because he will beat you there.

PS; take ball out of big man's hand. Deny the 3. Where have I heard that before? (see. Ohio State).

- Quicken the pace. Stanford has the bodies but not the experience to counteract a fast-breaking team.

- The 3 ball looks like the only thing Stanford gives up at an average rate. Take those shots within the offense and with confidence.

- The frontcourt must run over Owens. He can't outproduce them all by himself (I hope).

- Stop Bright and Randle. Assigning Cunningham and Starks to both seem like the right idea. Force them to put the ball on the floor, rather than make them take rhythm 3s.

- Beware the Ides of Zones. They will come. Make cuts and take good 3s to get Stanford out of them.

Extra bit: What we can learn from quack (aka Oregon)

They beat Stanford because the Cardinal lost in the rebound battle and couldn't make those 3s. Doesn't hurt to have Devoe Joseph go off for 30 as well. This is the type of game plan that OSU should follow as well (stop the 3, rebound well on both ends. Get 1 guy to be hot).