2003 Pac-10 Preview:Stanford

No team in America--not even Duke, which lost three very good players--will feel the effects of guys leaving early for the NBA more than Stanford will in 2003. With first round picks Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt on the roster, the Cardinal would have been the favorite to challenge Arizona for the Pac-10 title. As it stands now, however, it could be a long, long year in Palo Alto.

Stanford Cardinal (Palo Alto, CA)
2001-02 record:
20-10 (12-6, Pac-10)
Lost, NCAA second round
Returning starters:

Projected Lineup: (*=returning starter; Incoming recruit in BOLD)
PG-Chris Hernandez, 6-2, 190 So. (Played big minutes late in the year)
SG-Julius Barnes*, 6-1, 180 Sr. (10.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg; Clutch outside shooter)
G/F-Josh Childress, 6-8, 200 So. (7.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg; Underachieved as a freshman)
PF-Teyo Johnson*, 6-7, 240 Jr. (5.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg; Will have to score more in '03)
C-Joe Kirchofer, 6-9, 250 Jr. (Played in 27 games and shot 61% from the field)

Justin Davis, 6-8, 230 Jr. PF (4.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, .589FG%; Big time athlete started 18 gms)
Rob Little, 6-10, 265 So. C (15 double digit minute games in '02 and shot 53.1%)
Matt Lottich, 6-4, 190 Jr. SG (Appeared in 23 games as a three-point/defensive specialist)
Dan Grunfeld, 6-6, 200 Fr. SF (Averaged 20+ppg as a senior in Wisconsin)
Jason Haas, 6-2, 175 Fr. PG (Avg'd 24 points and six assists as a Sr. in New Jersey)

Nick Robinson, 6-6, 200 So. G/F (Had four double digit minute games in 2002)
Matt Haryasz, 6-10, 215 Fr. PF/C (Avg'd 15 pts and 6 blks/game as Jr. in Page, AZ)

Recruiting class grade: C-
--All three signees are good players but none are on the same level as guys like Casey Jacobsen, Curtis Borchardt or Josh Childress, not to mention the Collins twins from a couple of years ago. Haas will most likely make the most immediate impact while Grunfeld will be expected to fill in for Jacobsen at times as well.
Gem of the Class:
Jason Haas, PG
--A scoring point guard that can get his teammates involved just as well, which is the only way it works under Mike Montgomery at Stanford. He should challenge the fiery and competitive Hernandez for the starting role for most of the season.

*Justin Davis will start at power forward until Teyo Johnson finishes his year as a wide receiver for the Cardinal football team. Davis has the potential to never let Johnson regain the starter's job back but hasn't made the most of it thus far.
*Stanford has dominated the league in rebounding for the past several years but expect that to change dramatically in 2003. No longer are guys like Mark Madsen, Tim Young, Jarron and Jason Collins or Curtis Borchardt around to clean the glass. This year could be very trying for Montgomery and his young team (only one senior on the roster).
*The Cardinal opens the schedule on November 18th against Boston University in the Preseason NIT. If Stanford should win that game, it would host a second round game on November 20th against likely top 10 team Xavier, which plays St. Peter's in the first round.
*In the second half of the Pete Newell Challenge doubleheader, Stanford will match up against West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga in Oakland. Cal plays Kansas in the first game on December 28th.
*December 17th should see Stanford playing Pepperdine in the Stanford Invitational championship game.
*Stanford was 78-17 (.821) in the three years Casey Jacobsen was on campus and was ranked No. 1 in the nation on 16 different occasions. Jacobsen left school as Stanford's third all-time leading scorer with 1,723 points, trailing only Todd Lichti and Adam Keefe.

2003 Expectations:
--Losing Jacobsen and Borchardt to the NBA draft will be a huge loss for the Cardinal. The team that finished tied for second in the conference last year will be lucky to finish in the top half of the league in 2003. Childress will have to become a force in all aspects of the game for the Cardinal to keep up with the upper echelon teams in the Pac-10 and Hernandez just isn't good enough yet at the point. Teams will attack the Cardinal in the frontcourt, where it is weakest. There is no go-to guy as of yet at Stanford. Childress had better become that guy if he wants to play in the postseason.

Pac-10 Projection: Ninth
Postseason chances:

Ben Hansen can be reached at AZPointGuardU@yahoo.com

Tomorrow, Cal
Sunday, Oregon
Monday, Oregon State
July 2, Washington
July 3, Washington State

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