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Know The Enemy: Stanford

The Beavers are coming off their first conference win over Utah. Can they make it two-in-a-row on the road at Stanford?

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

Stanford Cardinal (13-13)

  • Latest BTD Pac-12 Power Rankings: 9th Overall (5-9)
  • Head Coach: Jerod Hasse (1st Season)
  • Top Performer: Reid Travis (17.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG)
  • Points For: 68.9 PPG (278th)
  • Points Against: 69.5 PPG (104th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 73-69 Win v. California (1W)

The Skinny

The long, losing streak was finally broken by Oregon State on Sunday night in Corvallis, when the Beavers knocked off Utah in impressive fashion, with help from some late-game heroics from sophomore guard Stephen Thompson Jr.. Now, Oregon State will try to make it two-in-a-row on Wednesday evening against Stanford, this time, in the friendly confines of Maples Pavilion. Can the Beavers figure out their road woes against a Cardinal team coming off an impressive victory over rival California?

It was a stunning victory over the Golden Bears for Stanford, who had lost five of their six games previous and were entering one of their roughest patches of the season, but the Cardinal now have a legitimate potential to finish the 2016-2017 campaign on a high note. Starting off this final stretch of games with a win over Oregon State would be just what the doctor ordered for what has been a rollercoaster group all season long. The Cardinal will be hoping for a repeat of the two teams’ first meeting, back on January 20th in Corvallis, when Stanford held the Beavers to just 46 points en route to a sixteen point road win.

Not much has changed for the Cardinal personnel-wise since late January, as junior forward Reid Travis (17.3 PPG) is still the main option in Stanford’s offense, which ranks 11th in the conference overall (in front of only Oregon State). Behind Travis, junior guard Dorian Pickens (12.5 PPG) remains a viable second option, who is coming off a 23-point, 6-rebound display in the team’s victory over Cal. Travis and Pickens are the only two players on the roster that currently average double-figures in scoring for head coach Jerod Hasse and his staff.

A third junior, forward Michael Humphrey (9.4 PPG), is the next-best thing to Travis that Stanford has on the interior, while a slew of guards round out the rest of the regularly-used Cardinal depth chart. Senior Marcus Allen (7.1 PPG) and sophomores Robert Cartwright (7.1 PPG) and Marcus Sheffield (7.0 PPG) are all solid pieces for Haase, who have individually had their fair share of breakthrough moments at different junctures during this season. It seems that the biggest concerns for this Cardinal group (in a similar respect to the Beavers) is the consistency of their efforts on a nightly basis and the ability for them to string wins together in a turbulent Pac-12.

For Oregon State, Wednesday’s showdown will be a chance to find some new footing, as the Beavers enter this game fresh off a win for the first time since the start of conference play back on December 28th. Expect the Beavers to be confident and excited for the task at hand, but also mindful of the fact that they are still a winless road outfit on the season. However, in front of a nationally televised audience against a manageable opponent, the potential is there for Oregon State to reach out and grab the opportunity laid out before them. Don’t be surprised to see the inside-out duo of Drew Eubanks and Stephen Thompson Jr. try to carry this team once again, just as they did in their first conference win on the season over Utah.

Players To Watch

Reid Travis (Junior - Forward)

Travis has nearly played himself into an All-Pac-12 honoree selection at this point, as the bruising junior forward just continues to churn out big-game after big-game for this up-and-down Stanford group. Over the past four games, Travis has averaged 22 points per contest, which has also included two double-doubles. Travis missed the Cardinal’s first meeting against Oregon State as he dealt with a lingering shoulder injury but he’ll be the Beavers’ number one priority on the scouting report heading into this one.

Dorian Pickens (Junior - Guard)

Pickens has had his own hot-and-cold tendencies but when the Phoenix native gets going, it’s hard to slow down his crafty all-around game. The junior guard didn’t have a great showing last time out against Oregon State (8 points on 1-8 shooting from the field) but he is coming off arguably his best outing of the season, in a free-throw laden 23 points against California.

Michael Humphrey (Junior - Forward)

Another native of Phoenix, Humphrey had his way against the Beavers back on January 20th, when the junior forward took advantage of Travis’ absence and posted 21 points on a stellar 7-10 shooting from the floor against a lackluster Beavers defense. Not a bad day at the office for a guy who is considered as the Cardinal’s third option offensively. Like Pickens, Humphrey will have his shoddy moments but he also encompasses the potential to have a big performance at any given moment. Oregon State will need to do more against him this time around.

Game Info

Date: Wednesday, February 22nd
Time: 8:00 PM PT
Location: Maples Pavilion (Stanford, CA)
Coverage: ESPNU