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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - Stanford Cardinal (Game 22)

The Cardinal have won two straight. Can they make it three-in-a-row against the Beavers on Thursday night?

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford Cardinal (11-10)

  • Head Coach: Jerod Haase (3rd Season)
  • Top Performer: KZ Okpala (18.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG)
  • Points For: 73.2 PPG (T-173rd)
  • Points Against: 73.2 PPG (225th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 84-81 Win at California (2W)

The Skinny

Coming off a hard-fought win over rival California, Stanford is expected to come into Thursday night’s clash with Oregon State with some wind in their sails. The Cardinal have won two straight to bump their overall record over the .500 mark and depth-wise, some more options are being discovered by the game.

However, Oregon State may be a similarly confident team at the moment, as the Beavers took care of the always daunting Rocky Mountain road trip and in Blogging The Bracket’s most recent edition of their Bracketology, the boys from Corvallis have been thrust back into the NCAA Tournament picture.

It leaves a something’s got to give scenario to play out when these two meet tomorrow night.

For those who aren’t familiar with the rarely discussed Cardinal, head coach Jerod Haase has one of the most enjoyable talents in the Pac-12 at his disposal, in likely future NBA first-round pick, KZ Okpala (18.1 PPG). Okpala is a crafty and athletic 6’ 9” talent, who could draw the assignment of defending Beavers star Tres Tinkle in any man-to-man defensive situations. Offensively, Okpala is one of the purest scorers in the league and he’s coming off a red-hot 30-point effort against California, where he shot 10-17 from the field and got to the free-throw stripe 16 times.

Beyond Okpala, Pac-12 fans have also become accustomed to guard Daejon Davis (12.7 PPG) and his exploits, as the now only sophomore feels like he’s been around college basketball for half a decade. Davis is featured below in our “Player To Watch”, due to his regular consistency and calming presence within this Cardinal squad, as he tries to guide some of the younger pieces in Cormac Ryan (9.8 PPG) and Bryce Wills (5.6 PPG) through some of their rookie growing pains.

On the interior, German forward Oscar da Silva (9.4 PPG) and senior seven-footer Josh Sharma (8.2 PPG) take care of most of the dirty work, on a team-oriented and balanced Stanford depth chart.

For Oregon State to not have a setback against the Cardinal, it may come down to exploiting a weak Stanford defense, which has allowed opponents to score more than 90 points in four different games this season. It’ll also take the Beavers bringing a focused effort to keep themselves in the bubble conversation come Selection Sunday.

Player To Watch

Daejon Davis (Sophomore) - The team leader in assists (4.3 APG) and steals (1.6 SPG), there’s not much that Daejon Davis doesn’t do on the floor for Stanford. He’s second on the team in scoring, third on the team in three-point field goal percentage and he’s dropped at least 14 points in each of his last four contests. Davis’ level of play could be the deciding factor in this tilt between the Beavers and the Cardinal.

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at California
Sophomore guard Daejon Davis has been the model of consistency for the Cardinal.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

  • Date: Thursday, February 7th
  • Time: 7:00 PM PT
  • Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Network