Date: Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004
Time: Noon PST
Location: Maples Pavilion (7,391), Palo Alto, Calif.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: ABC (Brent Musberger/Dick Vitale)
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Stanford at a glance
Coach: Mike Montgomery
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Starters Returning: 4
2002-03 Record: 24-9 (14-4)
Post Season: NCAA second round
Last Meeting: Stanford won 82-72 at McKale. The Wildcats lead the series 42-24.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona fell 87-83 to Cal, while Stanford hammered ASU 81-51.
OVERVIEW: This is a typical Mike Montgomery Stanford team. They are disciplined, patient and hard working. They rarely beat themselves and do a great job dictating tempo.
The Cardinal will be missing two strong frontcourt players and that could be a break for the Wildcats as the four-headed monster gave Channing Frye fits in Tucson. With Justin Davis and Matt Haryasz out, that means only Rob Little and Joe Kirchoffer remain to bang with Frye and the undersized power forwards. This match-up could really fall into place for Arizona as swingman Nick Robinson may log a lot of time at the four. This would greatly even things up for Hassan Adams who had to contend with Leon Powe much of the game on Thursday.
Although Stanford are minus two post players, they are not without weapons. The Cardinal are a terrific outside shooting team and Arizona has been abysmal defending against the three. Matt Lottich is among the best shooters in the Pac-10 and he had a big game in Tucson.
The Cats will also have to contend with the multi-talented Josh Childress. Childress is now completely healthy and is one of the most complete players in the Pac-10. He and Andre Iguodala could have one epic battle in that they both know how to fill up a box score.
As a team, Stanford shoots 48.2 percent from the floor (508-of-1055) and averages 75.3 points per game, 15.1 points per game more than the opposition. Entering the week, Stanford ranked either first or second in the Pac-10 in 12 of 19 statistical categories, including rebound margin (+8.1).
Arizona needs to rebound after several poor performances, but Stanford is a tough team to do that against. The Cardinal play disciplined, fundamental basketball and are tough as nails. They are physical enough to give Arizona fits, but at the same time they have a lot of athleticism.
BEST PLAYER: Josh Childress. Childress can score, rebound and pass the ball. He's a great athlete and capable of taking over a game.
KEY MATCH-UP Salim Stoudamire vs. Matt Lottich. Both players can flat out shoot the ball. Stoudamire has been in a funk as of late, but if he gets hot the Cats usually win. Whoever knocks down more threes could very well be the winner.
STANFORD'S STRENGTHS: Stanford is so good on the boards and they play very hard and physical. They have great shooters and are a well coached team. One of the most fundamentally sound teams in the nation.
STANFORD'S WEAKNESSES: The Cardinal don't have the athletes that Arizona does. The loss of Haryasz and Davis could play a role. Arizona has owned the Cardinal at Maples.
For the first time this season the Wildcats are decided underdogs. Stanford controlled the Cats at McKale and the Cats have been scuffling of late. Arizona usually rebounds after bad games and they have had a lot of success at Maples Pavilion. This one should be another good game between the Pac-10's best programs.