The View from Section 7: Denver

It was Stanford's largest margin of victory since 2002, more that doubling Denver Saturday afternoon in a 82-39 romp. The Cardinal enjoyed Peter Prowitt on the floor for the first time this year, and Stanford handled an undersized Denver on the boards, 46-29. Five Cardinal players, all freshmen and sophomores, hit double figures in scoring. Here is how the rout played out at Maples Pavilion.

Pregame:  Looked like there would be a good crowd coming in with lines at every door about 10 minutes to tip-off.  As soon as I walk in, however, the place looks more than half empty.  Not too surprising, but we'll see what it looks like as we get under away.

Pregame:  For the first time all season, both Brook Lopez and Peter Prowitt are in full game gear during pre-game drills.  Prowitt is the only one shooting of the injured duo, however, but I still don't expect either one to play.  I also notice Will Paul not doing any drills.  I wonder what may be wrong with him, but looking at what Denver has brought with them to Maples, the Cardinal do appear to have a huge advantage, regardless of who they put on the floor.

Lineups:  Denver starts a four-guard lineup plus one forward, with the tallest men standing at 6-8 (guard Antonio Porch) and 6-6 (guard DaShawn Walker).  The Cardinal start a lineup of Mitch Johnson, Anthony Goods, Lawrence Hill, Robin Lopez, and Fred Washington.

19:45 (1st Half):  Denver gets the opening tip, and Tyler Bullock of Denver hits a long three to start the game.  For a team shooting 33% from beyond the arc, this perhaps could get them going.

19:27:  Mitch Johnson misses a jumper, but Robin Lopez gets the offensive rebound and lays it back in.  This is no real surprise considering the height advantage and will be something we see time and time and time again.

17:25:  After another offensive rebound and subsequent lay-up, this time by Fred Washington to give Stanford a 6-5 lead, Denver coach Terry Carroll calls a 30-second time out.  On the next offensive possession for the Cardinal, Denver goes from a man-to-man D to a zone they'll use for most of the game.  It appears Coach Carroll knows that he can't play straight up, so he tries the zone to clog up the middle.

15:40:  WOW!  Robin Lopez was double-teamed just outside the paint, along the baseline.  He makes one move, scoots down the baseline and dunks via a one-hand jam!  Impressive from the young freshman, who shows something new from the center position almost every game.

15:18:  Just before the first media timeout, we see Peter Prowitt make his way to the scorer's table to check in.  It is good to see the Potomac, Virginia big man come back from his injury and give the Cardinal some valuable minutes inside.  15 seconds after he checks in, he gathers his first rebound of the season.

12:34:  Carlton Weatherby spots Prowitt inside, and the center puts it in for his first points of the season.  30 seconds later, Peter will check out to applause from the crowd, ending his first playing time of the year.  Not too bad, although a couple of times he did look out of position on the court, even being called out to step out on defense by Weatherby.  I suspect these types of errors will dissipate as he gets more time on the court.

11:53:  In a sequence that will play itself out a few times today, Robin Lopez misses a lay-up, fights hard to get his own rebound, tries another lay-up, misses that one, grabs another rebound and finally lays that on in the hoop.  That gives Stanford an 18-7 lead as we head to the second media time out.

10:04:  Kenny Brown checked into the game at the 12-minute mark, and on his first two touches, he attempted three-pointers.  Neither one goes down, but I do like to see someone not afraid to shoot the ball when he's open.

9:40:  Lopez gets faked out of his shoes by Antonio Porch, but he makes up ground quickly to swat a shot away at exactly the same time Mitch Johnson draws an offensive foul.  Yet another impressive aspect of the freshman's play.  And, on another topic, how many charges have Stanford players taken this year?  Lots more than I can remember last season.

7:45:  Anthony Goods hits his first three-pointer of the game from the right wing and, just moments later on the break, hits his second after a nice cross-court pass in transition from Fred Washington.  He's heating up!

4:28:  Lopez shows a bit of his youth when Denver runs a fast break from a missed Lawrence Hill free throw and finds Chris Timms streaking to the basket.  Lopez is out of position and tries to catch up and block the shot.  Instead, he gets the arm, and Timms makes the lay-up to convert the three-point play.

3:19:  Of course, Lopez makes up for his mistake: he converts another one-handed dunk after a series of offensive rebounds for the Cardinal.  This makes the score 30-16 for Stanford as we head to the final media time out of the first half.

2:31:  A turnover by Mitch Johnson starts a sequence which sees Denver guard Steve Wetrich try to push it up fast by throwing a deep outlet pass to a streaking player down the middle of the court.  Fred Washington, however, has other ideas, making a great over-the-shoulder catch of the pass and starting the play back the other way.  After slowing the pace down, the ball is worked down low to Lopez, who hits a turnaround jumper.  Maybe we can have Washington play during Big Game and catch a ball or two?

0:47:  Mitch Johnson finds Lawrence Hill at the top of the key, who drains the three to give the Cardinal a 35-19 lead.  It was a solid looking shot and looks to end the scoring for Stanford in the 1st half…

0:05:  ...until we get an even better end to the half, as Landry Fields hits an open three-pointer from the left wing - his first long-range bomb of his Stanford career!  It came off a nice pass from Hill and helped Stanford cap a 10-3 run to end the half up 38-19.

Halftime:  A good flow to the game so far as only 14 fouls have been called, nine of which were on Stanford, but no individual is in any foul trouble.  Denver only made 7-of-30 shots (23.3%) and had just one assist to Stanford's 10.  The Cardinal also out-rebounded the Pioneers, 24-14, and had three blocked shots to Denver's 0.  To give you some more perspective on Denver's lack of height, DU had only four blocked shots through the first four games of the season.  Stanford had 17 coming into today.

Halftime:  Other halftime notes… Kiss Cam was back!  I think you could just show this for an entire half, and folks would be somewhat entertained.  However, I must say I do like the introduction of a different athletic team at each halftime.  It does remind me of what Notre Dame does during its football games during time outs and gives the folks a chance to see what else this athletic program offers.  I wonder how successful it is in getting people to see these events at least once a season?  Finally, the attendance did pick up after a late showing crowd.  Looks to be about 4,000 (actual attendance was listed as 3,596), a bit of a surprise I suppose when all is said and done, especially when you consider this is a holiday weekend.  Not many students, but the bottom is mostly full after those buying seats in the 6th man club area poured in shortly after tip-off.

19:35 (2nd Half):  Goods makes a bad entry pass to Lopez, which turns into a three-pointer on the other end for Antonio Porch.  Another three to open the half for the Pioneers, who would only have 16 points without those two shots.

17:28:  Guard DaShawn Walker hits a jumper to make it 43-24.  That would be the last basket for Denver for a very, very long time.

15:19:  Da'Veed Dildy, just a minute and a half after checking in for the first time today, hits his second career three-point shot (in just two attempts) on a flat looking shot to give Stanford a 49-24 lead.  It came off a nice pass out of a double team by Prowitt.  Stanford is beginning to run away.

14:37:  On the very next possession, Taj Finger feeds Landry Fields for his second three-pointer of the game from the left corner.  It appears Fields just needed some confidence to get his game on track.  Let's hope we see more of this in the season to come.

13:20:  Another action-packed sequence as Fields barely misses a three from the left wing, but Prowitt grabs the offensive rebound and puts it back in for two while fouled.  He does miss the free throw, but Fields gets the offensive rebound, passes it out to Dildy for another three-point attempt, which rims out.  But Kenny Brown is there for a wide-open offensive rebound and putback for the Cardinal, giving Stanford a 56-24 lead.

11:05:  Finger misses a three-pointer from the top of the key, but Fields gets into the "offensive rebound and make a shot right afterwards" act, giving the Cardinal 19 straight points.  Although the defense has been solid, man-to-man, the Pioneers just do not have the horses inside or outside to shoot themselves back into games where they fall behind.

9:37:  Fred Washington makes a steal in the paint and races coast-to-coast for the lay-up, giving Stanford their first 40-point lead in recent memory, 64-24.

9:15:  Tyler Bullock, a freshman guard, finally hits a jumper to end the Stanford run at 21 points.  During that span, Denver was 0-of-7 from the field and had five turnovers.  The made shot, though, is just a 99-cent store bought band-aid to the onslaught Stanford has delivered so far in the second half.

7:31:  Welcome Carlton Weatherby to the three-point show, as he hits a shot from the left wing after the following sequence:  Fields lobs a pass over the defense inside to Prowitt, who dishes across the paint to Finger, who then finds Weatherby wide open for the shot.

6:04:  Kenny Brown gets five points in less than minute, both on shots at or beyond the 3-point line.  The stroke looks nice, and the ball has lots of arc to it.  Perhaps a bit of rainbow to his shot, but as long as he keeps finding gold at the end, I have no problem with him trying his shot.

4:45:  Chris Bobel comes into the game to a rousing ovation.  The crowd loves him and would enjoy this victory even more if he gets on the board.

3:23:  Dildy dribbles into the lane and hits a bit of an up-and-under lay-up that looked pretty nice.  We'll see what he may do against some tougher competition soon.

2:55:  Chris Bobel records an assist by dishing out to an open "Downtown" Kenny Brown, who makes it 78-33 in favor of your about-to-be 4-1 Stanford Cardinal.

2:38:  Only two question remain:  (1) Will Denver hit 40 points and (2) Will Chris Bobel score?

1:50:  Bobel is fouled and goes to the line for a second one-and-one opportunity.  The first shot is up and… GOOD!  His smile shown on the Cardinaltron is a country mile wide.  He also swishes the second free throw.

1:19:  Denver's Alex Cox hits a three to make it 80-39.  One more shot of any kind will put the Pioneers over 40.

0:17:  Bobel gets the ball underneath after a great pass, but passes up the shot and makes a terrific pass to Fields, who gets the final score for the Cardinal.  That makes two points and two assists for Bobel this afternoon.  Not a bad day's worth of work for the senior walk-on.

0:00:  Denver dribbles the clock off and doesn't try to score over 40, giving the Cardinal an 82-39 win over the Pioneers.

Final Thoughts:  I can't believe its only 2:37 when I exit the arena.  That was one fast game.  The Cardinal go just 4-for-11 from the free throw line, but they do shoot 10-of-23 from beyond the arc and out-rebounded Denver 46-29, including 16 on the offensive end.  The Cardinal also delivered 20 assists to just nine turnovers, while Denver gets just five assists to 15 turnovers.

All in all, the Cardinal put on a great show against an undermanned Denver program.  Stanford needs to do the same against UC Davis before they play Texas Tech next Sunday at the Pete Newell Challenge in San Jose.

Stanford will try to exact some revenge on UC Davis at Maples Pavilion on Tuesday, November 28th at 7:30pm.

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