Previewing Stanford

Dwight Powell and Stanford (7-3) will be looking to upset NC State tonight in PNC Arena.


    5: G Chasson Randle 6-1 180 So. 14.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg
    12: F Rosco Allen 6-9 215 Fr. 3.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg
    23: G Gabriel Harris 6-2 190 Sr. 2.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg
    24: F Josh Huestis 6-7 230 Jr. 8.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg
    33: F Dwight Powell 6-10 235 Jr. 14.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg

    Dwight Powell -- Fully healthy and contributing consistently, Dwight Powell is showcasing the kind of dynamic all-around game many expected when he first arrived at Stanford. In addition to averaging 14.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, Powell is shooting 56.3 percent overall, 84.9 percent from the foul line and is also 5-12 from long distance.

    A Pac-10 All-Freshman pick two years ago, Powell has notched two double-doubles while establishing career highs in every category, including points (29 vs. Denver on Dec. 2) and rebounds (13 vs. Seattle on Nov. 28).

    Aaron Bright -- He isn't listed as a starter, but Bright has started four games this year at point guard and was the team's leader last season.

    He comes in averaging 7.8 points per game, but is shooting just 26% from the field. Stanford needs Bright to have a big game if they are going to have a chance to knock off the Wolfpack.

    Stanford Notables

    The Opening Tip
    Stanford (7-3) prepares for its first away game of the season, traveling to No. 25/- NC State (7-2) to kick off a crucial non-conference road swing. After taking on the Wolfpack, the Cardinal squares off against Northwestern three days later. Following the holiday break, Stanford hosts Lafayette on Dec. 29 before the start of Pac-12 play.

    Scouting No. 25/- NC State
    • NC State (7-2, 0-0 ACC), which is coming off an 84-62 rout of Norfolk State on Saturday, has been ranked as high as No. 6 in both national polls to open the year.
    • This year's preseason pick to win the ACC, NC State is averaging 78.4 points and 36.7 rebounds while shooting 52.7 percent overall, but only 63.9 percent from the foul line.
    • The Wolfpack has navigated through a difficult schedule, having already faced off against Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan and Oklahoma State.
    • Four players average double-figure scoring, led by T.J. Warren (14.6 ppg, 69.1 percent FG), Richard Howell (14.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 66.7 percent FG), C.J. Leslie (12.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 57.7 percent FG) and Lorenzo Brown (11.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 54 assists, 21 steals).
    • NC State returns four starters from a squad that finished 24-13 last year and reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

    Stanford All-Time Against NC State
    In the only previous meeting, Stanford clipped NC State 76-72 last December at Maples Pavilion.

    Josh Owens scored 19 points and Chasson Randle added 16 points, rallying the Cardinal from a 12-point deficit in the second half. Stanford shot only 36.2 percent, but cashed in at the foul line (29-34), held a 40-30 rebounding edge and forced 17 turnovers. NC State, which shot 47.3 percent and made 7-17 from beyond the arc, held a 35-31 lead at halftime and did not trail until the game's final three minutes.

    Takeaways From The UC Davis Game
    • Dwight Powell erupted for 20 points after a scoreless first half to lead Stanford past UC Davis 75-52. Josh Huestis added 14 points and nine rebounds while Chasson Randle chipped in with 12 points.
    • The Cardinal has won its last six games following the extended break for final exams.
    • Stanford shot only 37.3 percent overall and 24.1 percent (7-29) from three-point range. However, UC Davis was limited to 35.8 percent shooting and was 3-16 from distance.
    • Stanford racked up a season-best 12 steals, its most in a game since also recording 12 steals in last year's NIT championship victory over Minnesota.
    • Stanford posted its first 20-point victory of the year in Saturday's win over UC Davis, a feat the Cardinal accomplished 11 times in 2011-12.
    • Stanford boasted a commanding 45-30 edge on the glass, including 17 offensive boards.
    • Rosco Allen and Gabriel Harris received starting nods for the second consecutive game. Head coach Johnny Dawkins has employed four different lineups this year.
    • Stanford has averaged 37.5 first-half points over its last two games. In its first eight games of the year, the Cardinal averaged 30.5 points over the game's first 20 minutes.
    • Stanford has now made at least one three-pointer in 365 consecutive games, dating back to an 0-6 performance against Purdue in the John Wooden Tradition on Nov. 24, 2001.

    Stanford Against The Top-25
    Stanford is 3-9 all-time against top-25 opponents under head coach Johnny Dawkins. The Cardinal has faced one nationally-ranked opponent already this year, dropping a 78-70 decision to No. 13/14 Missouri on Nov. 22 in the opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas. Stanford last defeated a top-25 team back on Jan. 13, 2011, with the Cardinal picking up a 58-56 home victory over No. 17/18 Washington.

    Finally, A Road Game
    Tuesday's game will represent the first true road game of the year for the Cardinal, which has played four neutral-site games to date. The Dec. 18 date is the latest Stanford has played a true road game since the 2010-11 campaign, when the Cardinal faced Butler, also on Dec. 18. The Bulldogs won that contest, 83-50, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

    Stanford Winning Despite Shooting Struggles...
    It's been no secret that Stanford has struggled with its shooting, connecting at 39.8 percent overall and 26.0 from three-point territory.

    Those marks rank last in the Pac-12. The Cardinal has shot better than 40.0 percent just four times this year and has topped the 50.0 percent mark in only one contest. The extended cold stretch has been a surprise, considering the number of talented shooters on this year's team. Only one starter (Dwight Powell, 56.3) is shooting at least 50.0 percent from the floor.

    ...Because The Defense Has Been There
    However, Stanford is holding its opponents to 61.2 points per game, a total that ranks fifth among Pac-12 teams. The opposition is shooting 38.3 percent from the floor, with six teams held to under 40.0 percent so far this year. And while the Cardinal has struggled from beyond the arc, its foes haven't fared much better. Stanford is the Pac-12's best team at defending the three, as opponents are shooting only 28.3 percent from long distance. That total also ranks 42nd in the nation.

    Cardinal Productive From The Charity Stripe
    Stanford has excelled at the free throw line, converting at a 75.1 percent clip to rank third in the Pac-12 and 36th nationally. Only once in the last six years has Stanford finished the season making 70.0 percent or better, and that came in 2008-09 when the Cardinal was slightly over the mark at 70.5 percent.

    Three players are connecting at better than 80.0 percent: Aaron Bright (85.7), Dwight Powell (84.9) and Chasson Randle (83.9). Earlier this year, Powell had made 18 in a row at one point while Randle owned a streak of 15 straight makes.

    Randle Contributing Despite Shooting Woes
    One year after producing arguably the best freshman season in school history, Chasson Randle has struggled with his shooting touch early on. The sophomore floor general is shooting only 35.8 percent overall and 21.6 percent from three-point territory.

    That being said, Randle is still averaging 14.4 points per game while also leading the team in assists (32) and steals (19). In addition to grabbing 3.3 rebounds per game, Randle has been impressive from the foul line (83.9 percent). Randle's totals should continue to increase when Aaron Bright returns to the lineup on a full-time basis, after missing four games in late November due to an ankle injury.

    Huestis' Block Party Continues
    The milestone everyone was talking about after Stanford's 68-57 win over Seattle on Nov. 28? Josh Huestis' 10 blocked shots, just two shy of the school record established by Brook Lopez on Jan. 25, 2007 against USC in a triple-double performance that included 18 points and 11 rebounds.

    Huestis has totaled a team-best 29 blocks this year and his 2.9 swats per game rank 15th nationally. Stanford's single-season record is 85, achieved by Curtis Borchardt in 2001-02.

    Stanford athletics contributed to this report.

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