Stanford Preview

Devils Digest Previews ASU's next Pac-10 Opponent.

Stanford Cardinal (6-6, 0-2)

Stanford Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Trent Johnson (1st year)
Assistants: Tony Fuller, Eric Reveno, L.J. Hepp

Projected Starting Five (returning starters in bold; 2004-05 statistics):
PG – Chris Hernandez 6-2 190 Jr.; (12.9 pts, 2.3 rebs, 3.9 asst)
SG – Dan Grunfeld 6-6 215 Sr.; (16.8 pts, 5.8 rebs)
SF – Nick Robinson 6-6 205 Sr.; (6.7 pts, 4.3 rebs)
PF – Matt Haryasz 6-11 230 Jr.; (9.0 pts, 8.3 rebs)
C – Rob Little 6-10 260 Sr.; (9.3 pts, 4.4 rebs)

Key Reserves: PG – Jason Haas 6-2 190 Jr.; (1.5 pts, 1.25 TO, 9.5 mins) – will play along side Hernandez at times; disappointment so far this season; much better in practice than games so far
C – Peter Prowitt 6-10 245 Fr.; (1.25 pts, 2.1 rebs) – big, young body in the paint; not a good offensive player yet; decent post defender and rebounder but struggles defending on the perimeter
SF – Fred Washington 6-5 205 So.; (1.83 pts, 9.1 mins) – may see some time at SG because of Stanford's lack of bodies
PF – Taj Finger 6-8 184 Fr.; (<1 pt, 1.4 rebs) – long and athletic, but skinny frame; good effort as a rebounder; can be moved around in the post; prefers to face up on the offensive end

The Cardinal have had a rough start to Trent Johnson's first year as head coach. They currently have a .500 record (6-6) and just got swept on the Washington road trip.

Then, to kick a team when they are a bit down, freshman Tim Morris was declared academically ineligible on Monday. This hurts the Trees because Morris had just earned his first start and was playing well. Additionally, the Cardinal now only have nine scholarship players available for this weekend's games (all listed above and expected to see playing time).

When looking at Stanford's record, it appears that they have done a decent job beating the teams they should beat but losing to the stronger opponents. Their six losses have come against Tennessee, Louisville, Santa Clara, Michigan State, and the Washington schools. All of those teams are from major conferences, have big wins under their belt already, or both.

In what was probably their best game of the year so far, the Trees took conference power Washington to the wire this past Sunday, losing 76-73. Stanford did a very good job dictating the pace of the game and not letting UW's athletes get out and run consistently.

The Sun Devils should prepare for Stanford's level of play against Washington. The Trees still have a strong core of players, although the reserves are a significant drop-off from the starters.

To keep the starters rested and out of foul trouble, Stanford may employ a zone defense. They will hope to slow the game down, keep the ball out of Ike Diogu's hands, and hide some of the reserves deficiencies when they are on the floor.

When ASU is on defense, they must find Hernandez and Grunfeld on the perimeter. One of those two players has led the Cardinal in scoring in ten of their 12 games played. To date, neither Little nor Haryasz have shown the ability to score consistently. The outside shot has been the Trees' best offensive weapon.

If ASU can get a hand up on perimeter shots, dictate tempo, and rebound, they should be in good shape to pull out Rob Evans' first win against Stanford.

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