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Know The Enemy: Stanford

Stanford heads to Corvallis with a two-game winning streak in tow and star forward Reid Travis’ health in question.

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Stanford Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford Cardinal (10-8)

  • Latest BTD Pac-12 Power Rankings: 8th Overall (2-4)
  • Head Coach: Jerod Haase (1st Season)
  • Top Performer: Reid Travis (16.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG)
  • Points For: 69.9 PPG (264th)
  • Points Against: 69.6 PPG (117th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 76-69 Win v. Washington (2W)

The Skinny

A few days ago, the potential of an Oregon State win with Stanford coming to town seemed highly unlikely. The Cardinal have won their last two games, knocking off Washington and Washington State in the process, while the Beavers were recently routed by arch-rival Oregon for their fifth straight loss. Then, Stanford’s star forward Reid Travis re-injured his arm mid-way through the first half against the Huskies and suddenly, things have changed heading into this one, both for Stanford and Oregon State.

Currently listed as “day-to-day” the chance that the Cardinal may use extreme caution with Travis is plausible, considering his importance to the program. Travis is leading Stanford in scoring (16.6 PPG), rebounding (8.9 RPG) and field goal percentage (57.4%) this season, as the focal point of a Cardinal roster in flux. At 10-8, and in the midst of a huge development year under first year head coach Jerod Haase, it’s not easy to see how this injury-scenario has a way of playing out.

If Travis does play, look for him to combine with fellow junior forward Michael Humphrey (8.9 PPG) to create a nightmare interior match-up for a Beavers group that lacks front-court depth. However, if Travis doesn’t play, look for the focus of this Stanford group to found in the backcourt, where Haase has a full compliment of suitable ball-handlers.

Between Dorian Pickens (13.4 PPG), Robert Cartwright (7.7 PPG), Marcus Sheffield (7.3 PPG) and Marcus Allen (4.9 PPG), Stanford can become a guard-driven team at times that doesn’t mind playing at a conservative pace and trying to win the game in the half-court. Some good news for Oregon State? The Beavers’ opponents have scored between 50-64 points (50, 58, 59, 64) in all four of Oregon State’s victories this season. More bad news? Oregon State hasn’t held an opponent to less than 70 points since Pac-12 play has begun.

Players To Watch

Michael Humphrey (Junior - Forward)

If Reid Travis doesn't play, forward Michael Humphrey becomes the most important player in this game for Stanford, as he immediately morphs into the role of focal point in a razor-thin Cardinals front-court. That’s a dangerous role to play for a rollercoaster talent like Humphrey. While Humphrey has some noted ability, his up-and-down tendencies are what makes him both the player that could help Stanford to it’s third straight victory or aid Oregon State in breaking their conference losing skid. In his last four outings, Humphrey has had two impressive outings (18 points vs. Washington and 27 points at UCLA) and two lackluster showings (4 points vs. Washington State and 6 points against USC) as well.

Marcus Allen (Senior - Guard)

If you’re looking for the best guard on Stanford’s roster to be here, you’d be better off checking out Dorian Pickens, the team’s second leading scorer, or maybe even sophomore guard Robert Cartwright, who could be one of the highest potential players on this Stanford roster. So why is Marcus Allen here? Besides a great name, Allen is a senior guard who has had his fair share of ups and downs at Stanford and now in his final campaign, has taken a colossal backseat under first year head coach Jerod Haase. However, in his last outing against Washington, Allen chipped in 15 points on 5-8 shooting from the field in 30 minutes of action in a classic, throwback performance.

Reid Travis (Junior - Forward)

It’s been extremely difficult to gauge whether Travis’ injury is simply one of those “fight through the pain” setbacks or something that could cause the Cardinal to have to shut the former McDonald’s All-American down for the season. At this point, it’s simply too early to tell. However, if Travis is out there on Thursday night, he’ll be arguably the best player on the floor along with Oregon State’s Drew Eubanks. Containing him is the Beavers number one concern.

Game Info

Date: Thursday, January 19th
Time: 11:00 PM PT
Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
Coverage: Pac-12 Network