The last time these two teams met, it was a gut-wrenching, physically exhausting 4 overtime affair, but at the end of that fiasco the Cardinal managed to steal the wind away from Gill. Fast forward to today, and Stanford seems to fall back to Earth, barely above .500 in league play. Meanwhile, OSU is starting to head towards respectability after a dismal start. Can the Beavers take the win out of Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto? More about the Cardinal after the jump.
Back then, I've noted in my previous preview that Stanford had a passable offense that predicated on 3 point shooting. The offense is still similar but it is much less effective, especially considering that the Cardinal shoot around 33% (8th in the Pac) despite taking more threes than any other conference team. However, even if they take a shot somewhere else, expect that attempt to clank out as well. The Cardinal shoot an abysmal 41% from the floor and 63% from the line. They also have more turnovers than assists. If there is one thing Stanford hangs its hats on offensively, it's their offensive rebounding. They are THIRD in the Pac in offensive rebound rate. Given how OSU is poor on the defensive glass, rebounding has to be a priority for the Beaver squad.
Dawkins' team hangs its hat on defense. Opposing teams shoot 43% from the floor and 32% from the 3. Expect heavy doses of ball pressure especially when playing with a small lineup, but not a lot of steals and forced turnovers. The Cardinal is also an OK shot-blocking team, but they foul an awful lot. Expect a lot of free throws and one-ones given to the Beavers; let's hope they can convert.
The roles for our opponents haven't really changed much, other than the fact that freshman Chasson Randle has taken over as the team's leading scorer in conference. Other than that, it's still the core of Randle, Josh Owens, and Aaron Bright doing a lot of the work, with players like Anthony Brown, John Gage, Dwight Powell to chip in their share of points, boards and others. You know what? I should list these players in a different way:
-Double Digit Scorers to be afraid of:
Chasson Randle (around 13ppg), Josh Owens (around 12 ppg), Aaron Bright (around 11 ppg)
Josh Owens (58% from the floor)
-Outside Threats (those who shoot at least 33% from the 3)
Aaron Bright, Chasson Randle, John Gage, Anthony Brown
Josh Owens (6 rpg), Josh Huestis (4.5 rpg), Dwight Powell (4.5 rpg)
Josh Huestis (1.5 bpg)
Aaron Bright (3.5 apg,2.2 tpg)
This is a matchup that will be largely decided on the boards. If OSU can cancel Stanford's rebounding advantage then the Cardinal are going to be stuck; they are not apt at scoring and their only good offensive weapon is the offensive rebound (maybe the 3 ball but they aren't making a lot of them). Offensively, force the Cardinal into foul trouble as they have a penchant to get into foul trouble thanks to their stingy, in yo face defense. Oh, and can we get the Airspace Vanguard (Cunningham) some help?