2008 Stanford Cardinal Basketball Preview
Last season, the Stanford Cardinal (28-8 overall, 13-5 Pac-10) finished second in the conference and made it all the way to the NCAA Sweet 16. After beating Cornell and Marquette in the tournament, the Cardinal team lost to Texas 82-62. It was a watershed year for coach Trent Johnson and company. This season, however, is devoted to rebuilding as the team has lost two key players—the frontcourt Lopez brothers and their 29.5 PPG, 13.9 RPG, and 4.4 BPG—and head coach Johnson, who went to LSU.
The frontcourt was supposed to have the services of freshman talent Miles Plumlee; but Plumlee decided to go to Duke, leaving the Cardinal team without one of its best recruits. Six-foot-eight, 215-pound senior Lawrence Hill (22.8 MPG, 8.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 41.2 FG%, 74.6 FT%) was All-Pac-10 as a sophomore when he averaged 15.7 PPG and 6.0 RPG. It’s hoped he can crank it up once again for his final season after last year’s slump. Forward Josh Owens (5.8 MPG, 1.7 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.3 APG, 61.9 FG%, 40.0 FT%), a sophomore, will be asked to contribute more and redshirted sophomore Will Paul, who is six-foot-nine and 220 pounds, needs to bring his game to the court.
The guard positions look solid and deep. Mitch Johnson (31.5 MPG, 6.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.2 APG, 42.2 FG%, 74.6 FT%), the team’s senior point guard, showed a lot of improvement last season. Johnson proved that he can ably run the offense. Senior shooting guard Anthony Goods (27.6 MPG, 10.0 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 36.4 FG%, 74.6 FT%) has been inconsistent from the perimeter. Look for Goods to take the majority of his shots from inside the three-point arc. There are some good freshmen who will see some playing time.
New coach Johnny Dawkins has a lot to do, especially when it comes
to frontcourt play. This is a transitional season and everyone should
be ready for some bumps in the road. It’s doubtful that Stanford
will earn a NCAA Tournament berth or even a NIT invite. Fans should
be hopeful; Stanford will be up and running sooner than later.