Pac-10 Hoops Preview - Stanford

Over the next several weeks will bring you a comprehensive breakdown of the upcoming 2002-2003 basketball season in the Pacific-10 conference. Included in this analysis will be the projection of team records, and post-season individual awards. The fourth section of this multi-part series looks at the Stanford Cardinal.

Stanford Cardinal (Palo Alto, CA) 2001-2002 record: 20-10 (12-6) Postseason: NCAA second round Returning Starters: 2

Projected Starting Lineup: (Returning starters in Bold)

PG-Chris Hernandez, 6'2, 190 So. (3.0 ppg, 1.55 apg, .344 FG%, .316 3PT%, .762 FT%) SG-Julius Barnes, 6'1, 180 Sr. (10.9 ppg, 2.9 apg, .417 FG%, .338 3PT%, .814 FT%) SF-Josh Childress, 6'8, 200 So. (7.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, .402 FG%, .275 3PT%, .694 FT%) PF-Justin Davis, 6'8, 230 Jr. (4.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, .589 FG%, .414 FT%) C- Robert Little, 6'10, 265 So. (2.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, .531 FG%, .576 FT%)

Key Returning Reserves:

Matt Lottich, 6'4, 190 Jr. SG (6.2 minutes per game) Teyo Johnson, 6'7, 240 Jr. PF (5.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, .431 FG%, .596 FT%) Joe Kirchofer, 6'9, 245 Jr. C/PF (7.9 minutes per game) Nick Robinson, 6'6, 200 So. SG/SF (7.3 minutes per game)

Recruiting Class:

Jason Haas, 6'2, 175 Fr. PG (Penns Valley HS, Centre Hall, PA) Dan Grunfeld, 6'6 200 Fr. SG/SF (Nicolet HS, Glendale WI) Matt Haryasz, 6'10 210 Fr. PF/C (Page HS, Page, AZ)

This should be a particularly interesting year for the Stanford Cardinal. A relatively young team with an 8 year NCAA tournament streak on the line and a head coach within reach of 500 career wins are just a couple of the story lines to follow this year. Both Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt jumped ship to the NBA forgoing their senior campaigns, leaving Julius Barnes as the only returning 4-year player on the team. Barnes is also the leading returning scorer for the Cardinal, at 10.9 points per game and is capable of playing either guard position though he'll probably spend most of his time at the off-guard spot. Swingman Josh Childress spent the off-season working on his jumper and adding muscle to his thin frame while center Rob Little spent the summer dropping his body fat percentage while maintaining his strength and conditioning. Both players will need to use their improved physicality underneath the glass where the loss of Borchardt is sure to be felt the most. The leading returning rebounder for the Cardinal, power forward Justin Davis, averaged less than 5 boards per game last season.

Recruiting Class Grade: C

These are undoubtedly three good players, and yet not necessarily the high-impact freshmen that Stanford fans have grown accustomed to in recent years. Hass should contend for heavy playing time early on, but that's more of a testament of the team's mediocrity at the point guard position, rather than a tribute to his talent. Haas can do it all from the position: score, distribute and defend. Grunfeld led his high school squad to a perfect league record in his senior season, and has earned quite a reputation as a prolific shooter. He could play a lot, particularly if Barnes and Childress struggle from long range. Haryasz (pronounced HARRY-es) is the best player in his class out of the state of Arizona and a consensus top 100 national prospect. He's thin and will need to add size and strength but has an enormous amount of potential, with tremendous athleticism and agility for his size.


-The best returning 3 point shooter percentage-wise for Stanford is dual sport star and power forward Teyo Johnson, who made a remarkable 12 of 28(.429%) from behind the arch in conference play last season.

- On the other hand, Josh Childress only managed a paltry .275% from the 3-point line and will be stepping into the vacuum created by the departure of all conference star Casey Jacobsen.

-Incoming freshmen Dan Grunfeld is the son of Milwaukee Bucks general manager Ernie Grunfeld.

-Stanford will get tested early playing in the NIT Preseason Tournament.

2002-2003 Outlook:

This is a team that looks to be without a go-to type player, who can ala Jacobsen single-handedly take over a game. Josh Childress is thought to be a player capable of stepping into that role, but he struggled on both ends of the court in his freshmen campaign. He will have to improve substantially on his performance last season if he has aspirations of filling Jacobsen's shoes. Scoring will be a major problem for Stanford, with only one returning player, Julius Barnes, averaging in double figures a season ago. In the past Mike Montgomery has shown that he's capable of prodding his teams to overachieve, and he'll have to do so again this year if the Cardinal are to make the NCAA tournament.

Pac-10 Prediction: 7-11 Postseason: NIT

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