After securing their first conference victory of the season on Wednesday the Stanford Cardinal (10-6, 1-2 Pac-12) play game two of their 3-game home stand against the visiting Washington Huskies (10-5, 2-0 Pac-12).
The Huskies have won their first two Pac-12 games (Cal Bears and Washington State) of the season and both have been on the road. They’ll be seeking their their third straight road win before heading back home for two games next week. So far Washington has looked good on the road beating the Bears handily and against Washington State at one point held a 17 point lead before eventually coming out with the victory.
Washington is led by leading scorer C.J. Wilcox who averages 18.5 points per game and almost 5 boards a game, all the while playing 35+ minutes game in and game out. His supporting cast includes 3 other players averaging double-digit points each game in Scott Suggs (12.8 ppg), Abdul Gaddy (12.3 ppg) and Aziz N’Diaye (11.1 ppg). N’Diaye aslo leads the team with 9.4 rebounds per game and is tied with Wilcox for most blocks (20) on the team.
The Cardinal are coming off a great victory in which the team was firing on all cylinders. Defense dominated in the first half, the offense took over in the second half and all their key guys came to play. If Stanford continues to play that brand of basketball they’ll be hard to stop. They key for them today is simple, keep it rolling.
In order for the Cardinal continue their success from last game we are going to look at a few of the second tier scorers to step up. Someone like Aaron Bright could be considered on the bubble between 1st tier scorer ( for example Dwight Powell) and 2nd tier (i.e. Robbie Lemons) because of his inconsistent play, but usually if Chasson Randle happens to have a bad game then Bright is there to pick up the pieces and has that ability to take over the basketball game so for all intents and purposes we’ll look a little farther down the bench than Bright. I’m lookin at guys like Robbie Lemons, Andy Brown, Roscoe Allen and John Gage who, when given the opportunity today are going to have to contribute. Basketball is, after all, a team game and in college basketball it takes a team effort to win.
For today we’ll look at Andy Brown who plays the most minutes (22+) per game than the rest of the group. In fact, 9 more minutes than second of the group Robbie Lemons’ 12+ a game. For a guy who plays a little more than half a game you’d be hoping he would produce more than just three double-digit games for the season so far with 2 of those games having been back in November. Yes, I know points are not everything, so let’s look at rebounds. He averages 3.4 a game. That wouldn’t be too bad since he is third best on the team but in reality would like to see him with at least 4 a game if not more for the number of minutes he logs. On the plus side there is improvement here as he has averaged 4.0 rpg in his last 5 games.
I’m not knocking the guy because he’s most likely the 5th scoring option on the team and definitely won’t get the looks the other guys do. But, there are other ways to contribute such as rebounding and defense and as far as his efficiency goes it just seems to not be there more often than it is.
In the end, I think today’s game for the Cardinal will be to keep the ball rolling with all the positive things they did last game against the Cougars. In order for good things to continue happening I’m looking for secondary tier guys to step up and with their limited time on the floor be productive. In the case of Andy Brown I’ll be looking for him to continue to improve his efficiency while on the court and perhaps take his game to the next level.