Stanford @ Washington State 1/16/03
Tip-off: 7:00 pm (PST)
Sponsored by the The Cafe at the Arrillaga Alumni Center: Official Pre-Game Hangout of The Bootleg
Washington State is the Pac-10 mystery team. No one knows much about them; fans in Pullman don't know that they play; and their injury report resembles the 49ers in week 14.
This week Milton Bradley is out with a fractured back. Ezenwa Ukeagu is out with appendicitis. Shami Gill is questionable with a stress reaction in his lower left leg. And Marcus Moore is probable with bone chips in his right ankle. On the plus side, Jerry McNair returned last week after being academically ineligible the first semester. The Cardinal can't be fooled into a state of relaxation. The Cougars will run and shoot.
Oregon State had Gary Payton. Arizona State had Eddie House. Washington State has or might have Marcus Moore. Moore is a 6-6 foot point guard who averages 21 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.5 assist per game in 34 minutes of work. This kid could go off at any time, as Mike Montgomery notes: "Marcus Moore is capable of putting up huge numbers, so we really have to deal with him." Their offense is run through him. Marcus is a true joy to watch. He has been hampered by bone spurs and plays great on Thursdays, but doesn't get quite play as well on Saturdays. As of now, he is listed as probable. That is code for "chomping at the bit to go off on Stanford."
WSU is the alter ego of Oregon State. They love to shoot the three. The Cougars tied a WSU team record vs. Gonzaga by making 18 out of 37 three point attempts. They lead the Pac-10 with 9.23 treys per game. Seventy five precent (75%) of Thomas Kalati's shots have been from behind the arch. Jerry "Air" McNair has shot 66% of the time behind the line. The Cougs are on track to shatter school records for most three-point shots attempted and made. Forty five percent of their points come from behind the arc. Unlike OSU you want WSU's big guys to beat you, and Shaminder Gill can if you lose track of him..
The Cougars backcourt is as capable as any other unit in the Pac-10. They can defend, get the ball out in transition and shoot. Stanford needs to get ready for a track meet and not lose sight/touch with their man. If they can't score in transition they will run plays through Moore. Their bigs bang, screen, rebound and look to get second chance baskets. On defense WSU will play a 1-2-2 zone with some man-to-man trap. Their defense isn't as "in your face" as others.
The Cougs wont have a huge raucous crowd. They have to rely on each other to get themselves going. It will be important for Stanford to get ahead early and dampen WSU's enthusiasm. The Cardinal bench needs to be loud and enthusiastic to get Stanford's head into the game early. Marcus Moore is capable of having a "Matt Lottich seven-minute 18-point stretch" at any point during the game. Stanford may need a time out if they sense this happening. Rebounds will be longer (lots of three point shots) so the Cardinal will have to make more space between their man and the basket when they screen out. Stanford needs to locate the shooters quickly in transition.
Like most Pac-10 games this season, this one won't be on TV. Add to the fact that we don't know which Cougars are truly healthy I will forgo giving you the typical starting line up. Here is who they have.
Pos Name Yr Ht Wt Min PPG RPG APG
PG Marcus Moore Jr 6-6 208 33.6 21 5.9 4.5
W Cedrick Hughey Sr 6-6 203 16.5 6.7 3.9 0.6
W Thomas Kelati So 6-4 184 32.5 9.9 3.7 3.7
F Chris Schlatter So 6-6 211 26.7 6 3.7 2.1
F Shaminder Gill So 6-7 238 21.6 7.5 5.5 0.9
W Justin Lyman Sr 6-5 195 20 9.7 2.4 1
W Jerry McNair Sr 6-2 178 14 4.7 1.3 1.3
C J. Kordsmier Jr 7-0 277 10.8 3.5 1.9 0.5
F/C J. Bellegrade Jr 6-9 240 11 2.2 3.1 0.6
G Nick Graham Jr 6-0 180 10.8 1.9 0.1 0.5
News & Notes
The first question on anybody and everybody's mind is Justin Davis. How is he coming along? When will he be back? Mike Montgomery's rule is "if you don't practice, you don't play." Davis has only been able to do a fraction of work in practice this week, and that primarily non-contact work. The optimism from the coaches, training staff and Davis last week about having a good shot at playing this week has been since tempered. "It depends on the pain," Montgomery noted this week. Davis has to feel OK on that knee with what he is doing, and only he can gauge how much pain he is able to play with, how soon. The expectation is almost nil for him to be able to go tonight. One Stanford coach says that his prognosis for the weekend is "highly doubtful."
With Davis again unlikely to go this weekend, that turns the attention to his replacement, Nick Robinson, as well as Stanford's other big men. Robinson certainly had a load of success, the most of his nascent Stanford career, last Saturday against the visiting Ducks, but Oregon is repeatedly demonstrating an inordinately feeble inside physical game. Local Eugene high school girls' squads have been reported to beat them to glass this week in scrimmages. So that gives pause to what Robinson might do against a bigger and more physical team. Might it make sense to play him down at the small forward, and play the taller and longer Josh Childress up at the power forward? Montgomery says 'no way.' "Josh is not going to help you there," the coach explains. "You'd have the same two guys on the floor, and Josh just isn't as physical as Nick. Nick is a pretty strong guy - wiry, but strong."
A remaining question still is how can you get more productivity out of starting center Rob Little. The 6'10" big body has repeatedly shown that he has turned the corner this year with his offensive abilit