Stanford Seeks First Conference Win vs. Washington State: Game Preview


Dec 21, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars forward D.J. Shelton (23) and forward Brock Motum (12) and guard Mike Ladd (2) and guard Royce Woolridge (22) during player introductions prior to the game against the Buffalo Bulls at KeyArena. Washington State defeated Buffalo 65-54. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanford Cardinal (9-6, 0-2 Pac-12) tip-off at home against the Washington State Cougars (9-5, 0-1 Pac-12) and are coming off 2 straight losses, both of which were within the Pac-12 conference.  Washington State is coming off a loss in their Pac-12 opener versus the Washington Huskies which they lost by 5.

The Cougars

Washington State comes into the game losing to their state counterpart in the friendly confines of their own home during the last minutes of play.  Poor shot selection and bad decisions led to their eventual demise in the game.  Now they head out on the road for the first time within conference play.

The Cougars are led by senior forward Brock Motum who has been tearing it up this season averaging 19.4 points per game and pulling in 6.9 rebounds a game as well.  Second on the team is sophomore guard DaVonte Lacy averaging 11.6 points a game and third for them is senior guard Mike Ladd who is solid across the board with 9.4 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, and even 2.5 assists per game.  He’s also been on fire as of late with his best scoring stretch of the year; he has double-digit points in each of his last 3 games.

The Cardinal

Stanford is still looking for their first Pac-12 conference victory and hope that the third time’s a charm.  This season they have been less than stellar and part of that has to do with their shooting percentage.  So far in conference play they have shot 39% (against the Trojans) and 34.4% (against the Bruins).  Tonight will not be an exception for the Cardinal against a Cougars team that only allows 56 points per game and holds opponents to a little over 40% from the field.  Those rank 12th and 18th in the nation, respectively.

In order for the Cardinal to come out on top they’ll need production from a few key guys.  Offensively, that guy is Chasson Randle.  He’s been inconsistent as of late and it seems to be hurting the Stanford offense.  He did have a great game against UCLA, but against USC laid a goose egg.  Here’s hoping he comes out with another performance mimicking the former rather than the latter.

Also key for the Cardinal, since they will most likely shoot 40% or below during the game, will be second chance points.  And for second chance points, you need rebounds.  That’s where Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell come in.  They’ve been beasts on the boards with Huestis hauling in 9.2 boards a game and double-digit rebounds in 4 straight.  Powell is averaging 7.5 per game and in his last 3 games has pulled in 29 rebounds.

If the Cardinal are to stay competitive in the game they’ll need Huestis and Powell to stay active on the glass.  They’ll also need underclassman Chasson Randle to have a great game and help be that secondary scorer that has yet to consistently be there on the season for them.  If these three play big, look for Stanford to come out on top and win their first Pac-12 victory of the season.