The Farm Boys continued to hold serve in Pac-10 play, knocking off the Oregon Ducks 84-69 on Saturday night in front of a very sizable crowd. The win put Stanford back above .500 for both their overall and conference records, as they now stand at 10-9 (4-3 Pac-10). Let's take a look at what made Stanford successful against the Ducks.
It all started
and ended with the captain on Saturday night. Landry Fields DOMINATED the
Ducks with a stellar 32-point, eight-rebound, and five-assist performance.
Heck, he even had three blocks and two steals on defense! It didn't matter
who Oregon put on Landry - Longmire, Sim, Singler - Fields was going to get off
his shot one way or another. This performance, combined with his 17-point
effort against the Beavers on Thursday night, earned him the first Pac-10 Player
of the Week honor of his career. It's about time others started to take
notice of this guy. Those Pacific Northwest fellers Quincy Pondexter and
Klay Thompson are certainly great talents, but neither have been more consistent
than Landry. Long Beach's Finest has scored at least 14 points in every
game this season, has recorded at least five rebounds in 18 of 19 contests, and
has seven double-doubles. Quincy Pondexter, on the other hand, already has
four games this season in which he has scored fewer than 10 points, including a
mere two against USC on Saturday in their blowout loss to the Trojans.
Klay Thompson? Two games under double-figures and has yet to record a
double-double. That looks like pretty simple math to me, folks.
Landry Fields should be Pac-10 Player of the Year and he should win it going
away, provided he keeps up his productivity rate.
His sidekick Jeremy Green was pretty good as well. That Texan was more than Robin to Landry's
Batman with his 25 points on 8-12 FGs, 3-4 3FG, and a perfect 6-6 from the
charity stripe. Shot selection was a little bit of a concern at the
beginning of the season, but it certainly isn't anymore. Plus, any
possession that ends in some sort of attempt by Jeremy is a good
possession. This guy does not need much daylight, and he certainly took
advantage of smaller defenders on Saturday. One thing that goes a little
bit unnoticed is his vertical leap when taking his shot. Typically he gets
off his shot quickly and doesn't need to get much elevation, but when he needs
to, he can certainly rise above a defender of his height to get off an
attempt. He is a very athletic guy and it has already surprised a few
defenders that just expect him to pull up from long distance every
I also liked Drew Shiller a lot in this game. He wasn't as
accurate as he usually is from the field, but he never stopped looking for his
shot and he was very aggressive. Even though he missed a couple early in
the game, he kept shooting and eventually he knocked down a couple of
threes. With perfect free throw shooting down the stretch, he wound up as
the third and last Cardinal player in double figures with ten points. For
the Cardinal to be successful throughout the rest of the season, Shiller is
going to need to come up big. And how about that kid Matei? Once again,
Matei came in off the bench and gave the Card another six points on 3-4
shooting. His two rebounds were both on the offensive glass. He just
produces - that's all there is to it.
Obviously, Landry and Jeremy were
able to get whatever they wanted offensively and that is what propelled Stanford
to a 15-point victory. But defensively, Stanford did a very good job on
Oregon's top threats for the vast majority of the game. Michael Dunigan
was rendered irrelevant and only played 14 minutes with just two points (and
zero rebounds) to show for his efforts. He turned the ball over once -
when? When Stanford doubled him on the low block, that's when! He
tried to pass out of the double and it ended up going the other way for an easy
two for the Farm Boys. That 1:25 assist-to-turnover ratio says a lot about
his passing abilities, and it was good to see Stanford take advantage of his
Tajuan Porter scored 16 points, but just about all of them were
by the time the game was well out of reach. He hit three three-pointers in
the final minute of the game with his team down by at least 15. When it
mattered most, the Cardinal perimeter defenders did more than hold Porter in
check - he didn't have a field goal until the game was more than decided and
turned the ball over four times.
The Cardinal won the rebounding battle
for the second straight game, 36-29, always a stat that is good to see.
However, the Ducks got more than their fair share of offensive rebounds.
Stanford did a great job of forcing rushed shots all night long, but were unable
to corral a lot of the misses. I was shocked to see that Stanford had a
20-13 rebounding edge at the half when the halftime stats were displayed on the
scoreboard. Although the rebounding on the defensive end wasn't superb, it
certainly was on the offensive end. Coach Dawkins' kids corralled 14 of
their own misses and ended up with 18 second-chance points as a result.
Six different players had an offensive rebound and four had two. That is
just a great collective effort on the glass. If the Cardinal can protect
the glass on the road, they will be in good shape.
All might be good now
for the Farm Boys, but it has been a different story so far on the road.
Can Stanford straighten things out in Arizona against the Wildcats and Sun
Devils? Catch the games on Thursday and Saturday, and check TheBootleg.com
for wonderful post-game analysis from Boom Boom Salloom!
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And 1: Stanford 84, Oregon 69
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