We'll start with the good news from another mixed bag day of basketball for Stanford fans, which is to say we'll start with a recap of the women's game.
Jeanette Pohlen scored 21 points and had 12 assists to lead No. 4 Stanford to a 95-51 rout of USC, stretching the Cardinal's home winning streak to 56 games. There are so many stats to love from Stanford's latest laugher: 27 assists against 10 turnovers, a 54-36 rebounding advantage, 11 different players in the scoring column. Wow. Wow. Wow.
There's also this quote from USC head coach Michael Cooper:
"What the world has seen, and we have definitely seen this, I think you're seeing the next NCAA championship team. Last time I had my butt kicked this bad was in Boston Garden and that was as a player. That was a long time ago. This team's probably going to win it all. I will put my namesake on that one. They're a very good team and they showed it stopping UConn's 90-game winning streak."
OK, Coop. We'll remember that come March, er, April.
One final note from the game: Stanford led 67-38 at the half. 67! The Stanford men have scored 67 points in an entire game only six times this season and not since Jan. 2. That includes today's 68-57 loss at UCLA, Stanford's third straight. The Cardinal jumped out to an 8-0 lead and led by as many as 14 points in the first half, but the Bruins' defense tightened up and pressured Stanford into 31% shooting.
RedOscar raises an interesting question, and one that I must admit I hadn't really considered until today. With six freshmen, nary a senior, and Josh Owens returning after a one-year hiatus, we knew coming into the season that the Cardinal would endure some growing pains. Still, the team's offensive struggles in Johnny Dawkins' third season at the helm are troubling.
Oregon and Oregon State visit the Farm this week. They're not exactly must-wins, but they're should-wins, and the games should tell us a lot about the Cardinal's prospects for the rest of the season. Good coaching can't necessarily fix horrific free throw shooting, but good coaching can help a team learn from a couple of demoralizing losses and maximize its potential. I think most would agree that this team's potential is much greater than 64 points per game.