It all started in 2010 with Dwight Powell and Anthony Brown. Powell, a native Canadian, came from IMG Academy in Florida to Stanford while Brown was a Southern California kid. Both were top 75 talents, and had the athletic ability combined with the skill to attract interest from all over the country.
At the end of the day, Dawkins was able to snag both, and brought in some cornerstones to his recruiting efforts. Then in 2011 it was Chasson Randle. Randle, an Illinois native, also considered offers from the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Purdue Boilermakers before deciding to head west and play for Dawkins and company.
Now in 2012, Stanford is doing it again. First Grant Verhoeven joined the fold. Verhoeven is a tough as nails 6-foot-8 center who plays with chip on his shoulder every time out. Now most recently it is skilled power forward Rosco Allen who committed to the Cardinal.
Allen, who is the No. 72 prospect, has been a longtime target of Dawkins and company, and gives the versatility to play multiple positions on the offensive end, while having the talent to make a difference right away in the Pac 12.
On the floor things haven't gone as well as hoped for Stanford. They finished the 2010-11 season with a record of 15-16, but in the process Brown and Powell put up solid freshman campaigns each averaging north of eight points per game.
Having those two key pieces back with a year of experience and a full college offseason in the weight room is huge. Now they also get surrounded by a big time player in Randle. Randle is a big time scorer in the backcourt, and does his damage going to the rim which complements Brown's game quite nicely.
Where things get very exciting for Stanford fans is when those three, and a trio of talents in the 2012 class are all on the roster together. Verhoeven will bring toughness inside to complement Powell's length, athleticism, and skill. Allen is the type of pick and pop power forward who could help create a major matchup problem when guarded by bigger and slower defenders, and the third commitment, Christian Sanders, is not only a great shooter, but also one of the smartest players in the class.
There is no substitute for talent, but talent with experience, that is where things can get scary for opponents. With schools such as UCLA and Arizona loading up with top classes, Stanford is now showing that they are also going to be a force.
Dawkins might now have the largest group of talented players to choose from given the restrictions he is working with academically, but with five top 100 players in the last three years, and several other very solid role guys surrounding them, Stanford could be soon making a move back up to near the top of the Pac-12 standings.