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2011-12 College Basketball Season Preview: Stanford

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Stanford Cardinal (Last Year: 15-16, 7-11 in Pac-10)

2011-12 Projected Depth Chart:

F/C: Josh Owens (Sr)/John Gage (So)/Stefan Nastic (Fr)

PF: Dwight Powell (So)/Jack Trotter (Sr)/Andrew Zimmerman (Sr)/Andy Brown (So)

SF: Anthony Brown (So)/Josh Huestis (So)

G: Chasson Randle (Fr)/Gabriel Harris (Jr)

PG: Jarrett Mann (Sr)/Aaron Bright (So)

Gone: SG-Jeremy Green

2011-12 Outlook:
Giving Johnny Dawkins a 2-year contract extension was a vote of confidence that the former Blue Devil has the Stanford Cardinal basketball program heading in the right direction. Dawkins has recruited well since arriving in Palo Alto, but his team is still a year or two away from being a true contender in the Pac-12.

The arrival of highly touted freshman Chasson Randle should provide the Cardinal with a major boost and scorer to replace Jeremy Green who left early for the NBA Draft, but was not among the sixty players selected. Randle is a scoring combo guard who will likely be paired with last year's starting point guard Jarrett Mann in the backcourt. Mann is more of a distributing floor leader and not a real threat to put up a lot of points, so the two should compliment each other well.

Aaron Bright saw significant playing time off the bench last year as a freshman and will be in the same situation this year, while Gabriel Harris will try to work himself into what figures to be a three-man rotation at guard.

Anthony Brown was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team last year and will start at the three. He played for the USA U-19 team at the World Championships this summer, but didn't see much court time. Still, that experience should pay dividends for his development. Sophomore Josh Huestes will serve as his back-up and is also capable of playing some four if Dawkins goes with a smaller, quicker line-up.

Josh Owens and Dwight Powell were effective last season, but form a somewhat under-sized starting frontcourt. Andy Brown returns from back-to-back, season-ending ACL injuries and will attempt to work himself into a crowded frontcourt, which also features John Gage, Jack Trotter, and Andrew Zimmerman who all saw decent minutes a year ago. Stefan Nastic, 6-11, adds some needed to size to the fold. He turned down an invite to try out for the Serbian U-19 team as he continued to recover from a foot injury that forced him to redshirt last season.

Entering his third season at Stanford, Dawkins is starting to bring in his own recruits and create an identity. The Cardinal figure to be in a similar standing as a year ago, but could surprise some people if the young pieces blend together sooner than expected.

Player to Watch: Chasson Randle, G
At 6-1, Randle's true position at Stanford will eventually be the point, but he arrives with more of a scorer's mentality. That actually fits perfectly considering the Cardinal have an experienced point guard and need to find someone to replace Green's point production. Eventually, Randle will need to become more of a true floor leader, but for now, he can learn from Mann while doing what he does best; scoring the basketball.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/14 vs. Fresno State (Pre-Season NIT)
  • 11/16 vs. Colorado State (Pre-Season NIT)
  • 11/23 vs. Oklahoma State (Pre-Season NIT)
  • 11/25 vs. Syracuse/Virginia Tech/George Mason (Pre-Season NIT)
  • 12/4 vs. N.C. State
  • 12/22 vs. Butler

    Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 6th

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