2013-14 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: 19-15, 9-9 in Pac-12)

2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:

F/C: Dwight Powell (Sr)/Grant Verhoeven (So)/Stefan Nastic (Jr)/Schuyler Rimmer (Fr)

PF: Josh Huestis (Sr)/John Gage (Sr)/Elliott Bullock (Jr)

SF: Anthony Brown (Jr)/Rosco Allen (So)

G: Chasson Randle (Jr)/Robbie Lemons (Sr)/Christian Sanders (So)

PG: Aaron Bright (Sr)/Marcus Allen (Fr)/Malcolm Allen (Fr)

Gone: PG-Gabriel Harris, F-Andy Brown

2013-14 Outlook:
Now in his sixth season as head coach of the Stanford Cardinal, Johnny Dawkins enters a pivotal season. The program has yet to make the NCAA Tournament under his watch, and with just about everyone back from a year ago, this is the team’s best chance to get over the hump.

The once-young Stanford team is now loaded with experience as only two rotation players are gone from last season, including forward Andy Brown, who suffered the fourth ACL tear of his career that came to an end a year earlier than it was supposed to. What Dawkins needs to do though is find some consistency with his starting lineup seeing as 12 different players started at least one game.

The constant in the starting five was the athletic frontcourt combo of Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis. The duo averaged more than 25 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocked shots per game. Both guys can sky at the rim but are also capable of stepping out to the perimeter and knocking down three-pointers.

There is no shortage of depth or size inside. John Gage was the first post off the bench last season and is joined by Stefan Nastic and Grant Verhoeven, who played sparingly a year ago. Elliott Bullock hasn’t played since 2009-10 but returns after spending two years on a Mormon mission and redshirting last season. Freshman Schuyler Rimmer will also compete for playing time, giving Dawkins five options behind Powell and Huestis or the flexibility of utilizing a bigger lineup with Powell sliding to the four and Huestis playing the three.

Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright return in the backcourt. Randle can play either guard position, but usually plays off the ball due to his scoring ability since Bright is more of a true point guard. Robbie Lemons is a three-point specialist who adds some offensive punch off the bench, while Christian Sanders also figures to see minutes on the wing. Twin freshmen brothers Malcolm and Marcus Allen will try to work themselves into the rotation as well.

A hip injury forced Anthony Brown to miss most of last season, but he returns and figures to start on the wing. His versatility is a huge asset for the Cardinal. Rosco Allen is a combo forward who will see the majority of his minutes backing up Brown at the three, but Rosco Allen can also play some power forward if Dawkins chooses to use a more athletic lineup.

The talent and experience is there for the Stanford Cardinal to make the NCAA tournament this year. Another March missing out on the Big Dance and ending up in one of those other postseason tournaments could mark the beginning of the end for Dawkins. He needs to find consistency among his roster and tighten his rotation to clearly define his player’s roles; something that’s been lacking some the past couple season.

Player to Watch: Dwight Powell, PF
After two lackluster seasons at Stanford, Powell had a breakout junior campaign earning the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player of the Year Award while being named to the All-Conference First Team. Taking another step forward would not only make the Cardinal that more dangerous of a team, but also improve Powell’s NBA Draft stock.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/8 vs. Bucknell
  • 11/11 vs. BYU
  • 11/14 vs. Northwestern
  • 11/17 at Denver
  • 11/25 vs. Houston (Legends Classic in Brooklyn)
  • 11/26 vs. Pittsburgh/Texas Tech (Legends Classic in Brooklyn)
  • 12/18 at Connecticut
  • 12/21 vs. Michigan (in Brooklyn)

  • Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 5th

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