Stanford Cardinal (5-2)
- Head Coach: Jerod Haase (5th Season, Overall: 74-63)
- Top Performer: Oscar da Silva (18.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG)
- Points For: 72.7 PPG (T-191st)
- Points Against: 64.6 PPG (T-72nd)
- Last Game/Streak: 63-50 Win vs. Cal-State Bakersfield (4W)
The Cardinal were tested early in the season, one of the reasons they jumped out to a 1-2 start, but since then, it’s been smooth sailing for Stanford, who have benefited from some lesser competition.
With losses to North Carolina and Indiana still on their resume, Jerod Haase and company can piece together a heck of a season in their quest to finally become a contender in the Pac-12. Grabbing a second conference win would go quite the way in that conversation and an inconsistent Oregon State group is the type of squad that give them just that.
Stanford is built like the prototype of basketball team would be, with a cornerstone option on the interior, a talented play-maker at the guard spot and a versatile threat on the wing to create balance and flow.
Oscar da Silva (18.9 PPG), the team’s irrefutable veteran, has seen a lot during his time in the Pac-12 and it’s not much of a surprise that he’s become even more of a regular double-double threat in his senior campaign. He’s the Cardinal’s best piece and it’s not even close. Consider him a lock for a first-team All-Pac-12 spot.
Guard Daejon Davis (13.8 PPG) will possibly miss this one due to injury, but he’s usually that crucial guard in the equation. Those responsibilities are now being handled more by five-star recruit Ziaire Williams (12.0 PPG), Bryce Wills (9.9 PPG) and even Noah Taitz (4.7 PPG), creating an interesting equation for the Cardinal. It’s an open back-court and the options are hit-or-miss.
Modern four-men Spencer Jones (6.1 PPG) and Jaiden Delaire (6.0 PPG) will also factor in the equation, yet their offensive production can lack in stretches. However, they are the two depth/glue type pieces that factor into every team’s make-or-break ability. Jerod Haase will never stop leaning on them for more and more going forward.
I’m not much into predictions, but I say this one goes down to the final stretch of the game, where one of the team’s play-makers prove that they’re closer to the finished product than expected. Man, could the Beavers use a victory in this one though.
Player To Watch
Ziaire Williams (Freshman - Forward)
A much-hyped recruit, Ziaire Williams came to Stanford with colossal expectations and is gradually beginning to become one of the top play-makers in the Pac-12. A lanky 6’ 8” newcomer, Williams may still have the look of a college freshman, but he has the impact of player three times his years. Against a team like the Beavers who doesn’t have a true match-up for his athleticism on the wing, the rookie could have a strong showing in this one.
- Date: Thursday, December 31st
- Time: 3:00 PM PT
- Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, Oregon)
- Coverage: Pac-12 Networks