If you have never seen the movie Titanic, just Google Stanford Basketball 2014-15 season and you'll get the point. And here's a hint "THERE'S A BIG FREAKING ICEBERG!" There will be no happy ending to the basketball season after another gut-wrenching loss on Senior Day. In a de-facto Madness elimination game, Stanford was playing at home on senior day with all the marbles on the line. For some reason, I thought maybe they would miss the iceberg and cruise into the tourney. WRONG. Another choke-job at home in a close game. Oregon prevailed 73-70. Stanford was up 66-63 with under 3:30 to play and had the ball tied up for a chance to extend the lead. With the game tied, Senior Chasson Randle could end his career at home with a shot that catapulted Stanford into the last week of the season with a great feeling that they would be locked into the tournament. Instead, Randle threw the ball away.... Stanford's season in a nutshell. They just couldn't overcome the odds.
I'm not completely blaming Randle or the seniors for another terrible loss but I think it's time Johnny Dawkins hits the road. Dawkins has peaked and blown his future chance at the Duke job. At some point, the play-calling has got to be good enough to win a close game and that has not happened all season. In fact, Stanford is 2-7 in games decided by 5 points or less. One of those close victories was to the 11-18 USC Trojans. In the last 5 years, Dawkins is a combined 19-23 in games decided by 5 points or less. There comes a time when coaches cannot handle the pressure, and Dawkins is not drawing up the right plays. Highly-ranked Arizona is only 4-3 in games decided by 5 or less but they usually dominate weaker opponents. They don't let them hang around like Stanford has done.
Dawkins has had his time in the sun at Stanford and that was an N.I.T. Championship. If everyone is being honest with each other, that is the "participation trophy" of college basketball. That trophy at the time brought hope that Stanford basketball was turning the program around but it was a fluke. The same applies to the run last March. This team even with injuries was a given 20 win roster. That was even before Rosco Allen and Michael Humphrey started to play really good basketball. Johnny is a great guy don't get me wrong but if you're not getting better, you're getting worse.
The season is not technically over as Stanford still plays possibly the best team out west in Arizona in the desert and the Pac-12 Tournament but I've come to a realization that they will hit the iceberg in Tucson, and they will hit their ultimate iceberg in the conference tourney. After Stanford gets passed over on Selection Sunday, Bernard Muir should give Dawkins his walking papers and let him float into the ocean like Rose did to Jack. Let a coach come in with a great group of freshman and sophomores and rebuild.
Chasson Randle, Anthony Brown, Stefan Nastic, and Johnny Dawkins have all been a tremendous help to the program and they will be remembered but they are not irreplaceable. Stanford currently has three 4-star recruits coming in next season led by 7"0 center Josh Sharma. All Stanford needs is a coach that can win in the clutch and take this program back to the top. It's only been 15 years since Stanford was a perennial power. It's time they take a page out of the football program and start hitting people in the mouth.