Both games were played quite closely, however...the Trojans just pulled away late each time.
`SC enters the contest 20-8 Overall, and ranked #22 in the nation...while the Cardinal enter at 19-8, ranked #16. They both tied with the same conference record, so the seeding separating both the Cardinal & Trojans came versus their head to head match-up's. The 1st contest played on Jan 26th at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles closed at 90-82, and it was a very closely fought contest. Sam Clancy was tremendous though, and the Trojans used a late surge to win that game. In the 2nd game played on Feb 21st at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, the Trojans took complete control in the 2nd half and pretty much laid the screws to the Cardinal, winning 77-58. That might have been as bad a half the Cardinal have played all year as well, and they might readily admit it.
In my opinion, this game will be won by Stanford if Curtis Borchardt finally plays up to his ability against `SC. I think everyone knows that Casey Jacobsen has a good shot at getting 25 points +, and Julius Barnes is never shy with his shot...but if Borchardt can use his distinct size advantage, Stanford could advance. For `SC, Sam Clancy has really been brilliant for Coach Henry Bibby against the Cardinal throughout his career, and I think the key for the Trojans might be getting timely hoops from the Frosh-Senior backcourt of Errick Craven and Brandon Granville. Knocking down the three against the Cardinal usually frustrates them defensively, and they usually get out of sync trying to retaliate. I'll go ahead and select the Trojans to get the Win, since I like the fact that they have the home-court advantage and they'll be playing with a lot of confidence against the Cardinal...as well as their ability to take Borchardt out of the game.
- 6'9 235 lbs Junior Forward Nick Curtis
- 6'7 240 lbs Senior Power Forward Sam Clancy
- 6'7 220 lbs Senior Small Forward David Bluthenthal
- 6'2 190 lbs Frosh Shooting Guard Errick Craven
- 5'9 170 lbs Senior Point Guard Brandon Granville
- 6'11 220 lbs Frosh Center Rory O'Neil
- 6'4 225 lbs Soph Shooting Guard Desmon Farmer
- 6'1 190 lbs Junior Point Guard Robert Hutchinson
- 6'7 200 lbs Soph Small Forward Jerry Dupree
- 6'6 215 lbs Junior Small Forward Casey Jacobson
- 7'0 230 lbs Junior Center Curtis Borchardt
- 6'6 240 lbs Soph Power Forward Teyo Johnson
- 6'2 180 lbs Senior Point Guard Tony Giovacchini
- 6'1 180 lbs Junior Shooting Guard Julius Barnes
Key off the Bench;
- 6'2 185 lbs Frosh Point Guard Chris Hernandez
- 6'8 180 lbs Frosh Wing Josh Childress
- 6'8 230 lbs Soph Power Forward Justin Davis
In the end, I think the game will swing with the shots of Clancy & Bluthenthal...and I like the fact that Stanford is coming off a couple of good games in Arizona, now probably a bit over-confident defensively. It was only two weeks ago when they were swept at home by `SC & UCLA...and from the games that I saw against Arizona & Arizona State, I don't think the Cardinal played that much better defensively...just better results. Stay Tuned. In the end, I like the Trojans 73-68...and I'll select the game MVP as Sam Clancy.