2007 Stanford Cardinal Basketball Preview
Last season’s Stanford Cardinal (18- 13 overall, 10- 8 Pac-10) club finished sixth in the conference. After missing the tournament brackets the year before, Stanford got hammered by the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA first round by a score of 78- 58. Coach Trent Johnson (52- 40 in three years at Stanford, 131- 114 in eight years) has not yet gotten the team back to its plus-20 win seasons that they saw four and five years ago.
Under the rim, the club was plus-5.9, second in the conference and 20th in the nation. It was their finest attribute and influential in our college basketball picks. From the free throw line, the Cardinal team shot only .682. The difference between their overall scoring and opponents’ was only plus-2.4, leaving them very little room for error. This was especially tough due to the fact that Stanford turned the ball over 14.8 times each game, placing them ninth in the Pac-10 and 185th overall.
Size and strength define the Stanford frontcourt. The starters are junior forward Lawrence Hill (15.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 50.9 FG%), sophomore forward Brook Lopez (12.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 49.6 FG%) and sophomore center Robin Lopez (7.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 48.0 FG%). Brook Lopez expertly plays both sides of the ball, possessing a fine shot and top shot blocking skills. There’s a lot of depth in front, including senior Fred Washington (8.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.6 APG, 52.1 FG%)—a dynamo off the bench.
The question for this team at the point is who will have the surest hands? Look for junior Mitch Johnson (4.3 PPG, 3.3 APG, 36.9 FG%) and junior transfer Drew Shiller to get the nod at the point. Junior shooting guard Anthony Goods (12.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 36.9 FG%) can hit baskets, but he is not as accurate as one would like.
As it was in 2006- 2007, the Cardinal team’s biggest concern is still ball handling. Upfront, there are not many better teams. The frontcourt can put the ball in the hoop, grab it and block it. The other good news is that this team lost no one from last year, returning all five starters. This should be a big plus when it comes to a possible berth in the NCAA brackets.