Stanford basketball’s return to legitimacy remains incomplete. Too many empty seats fill Maples Pavilion. Too many big-name prep recruits ignore Stanford. Seven years have passed since the Cardinal seriously challenged for a conference title. A big opportunity to reclaim some luster occurred last night UCLA, but Stanford choked it away.
It’s been ten years since the Cardinal last won a game at Pauley Pavilion. Exactly how long ago was that?Only one current Pac-12 coach remains where he was 10 years ago
Washington’s Lorenzo Romar, now in his 13th season in Seattle, is the conference’s dean of coaches, by far. Herb Sendek is the second-longest tenured coach, having led Arizona State since the fall of 2006. Stability is in short supply elsewhere. Andy Enfield is USC’s sixth head coach since the start of the 2004-05 season, when Henry Bibby was still in charge of Trojan hoops (he was fired four games in.) Wayne Tinkle is Oregon State’s fourth head coach during that span. Ernie Kent is the fourth coach at Washington State.Half of that season’s AP All-American First Team is either in Europe or out of basketball
Three players remain in the NBA, and they're enjoying varying degrees of success: one of the game’s best point guards (Chris Paul), a productive niche player (J.J. Reddick) and a big man who can’t avoid the injury list (Andrew Bogut). Similar credentials have eluded the other three. Dee Brown, who led Illinois to the 2005 title game, plays in Romania. Former Syracuse star Hakim Warrick earns minutes in Turkey. Kansas alum Wayne Simien retired from the professional ranks in 2009.Some very familiar names played their last NBA games in 2005
Kenny Anderson and Derrick Coleman retired after the 2004-05 season. Shawn Bradley appeared in 77 games that season for Dallas before ending his pro career. As for old friend Curtis Borchardt, the most productive season of his brief NBA stint (67 games, 23 of them starts in 2004-05 for Utah) proved to be his last.Three usual suspects are the three winningest coaches in college basketball since then
Now in his 39th season at Syracuse, Jim Boeheim has recorded 283 of his 959 career wins – just under 30 percent of that total -- since the start of the 2004-05 season. Only Mike Krzyzewski (303) and Roy Williams (298) own more victories in that time.The conference’s other imposing venue has not been kind to Stanford
The Cardinal have dropped five straight games – and nine of their last ten tilts – at the McKale Center. Keep in mind Stanford went 4-0 in Tuscon from 2001 and 2004. Once upon a time (as in between 1998 and 2005), the Cardinal enjoyed an eight-game winning streak at the Bruins’ home court.
Winning at Pauley Pavilion does not make you legit. Losing ten straight there guarantees you’re not.