When thinking about Trevor Stanback, legendary basketball coach Red Auerbach famous axiom — “you can’t coach height” — comes to mind.
The 6-foot-10 Stanback is a 4-star recruit from Maranatha High School in Pasadena, California. He brings a ton of length to Palo Alto and has even speculated that he isn’t done growing. Combine his height, his athleticism to run the floor, rim protection and a decent touch around the basket and you get a highly recruited prospect.
Stanback selected Stanford’s offer over Connecticut, Arizona State, Colorado, USC, North Carolina State, San Diego State and UNLV.
To get a feel of what to expect from Stanback this season, take a minute to watch this pair of highlight videos:
Stanford’s strength in the returning roster is found on its frontline. Michael Humphrey took several steps forward in his development during his sophomore season and is poised to be an important player this season. Reid Travis commands minutes with his physical gifts, but the only thing keeping him off the court are, ironically, injuries. Grant Verhoeven and Josh Sharma have both demonstrated position play in the right role. The question is, where does Trevor Stanback fit in?
Stanback certainly adds depth to the frontcourt. His ability to adopt and perform Jerod Haase’s system will determine how often Stanford fans will get to watch this exciting prospect during this season. I will be curious to see how quickly Stanback can adjust and find comfort in the college game.
The transition into the college game can take more time for inside players. For the bulk of their life, big men play against opponents considerably smaller than they are. Then when they get to college, that is no longer always the case.
Freshman big men learn that their technique, savvy and effort generate rebounds — not just their length. Their ability to block shots will require a good feel for their opponents tendencies and avoiding pump fakes and tricks that give overanxious players problems with foul trouble. The release point of their shot may need to be fixed as equally tall opponents can challenge and deny the shot. The way that a big man has to attack the basket around the hoop typically has to get stronger.
The degree to which these issues will come into play concerning Stanback is unknown. He will, however, have to make adjustments to the habits of his game to be effective for Stanford in 2016-17. The amount of work that Stanback gives to adapting to college speed will make the difference in the amount of playing time he receives.
Trevor Stanback is an excellent prospect and Stanford and its fans should enjoy watching his development during the coming seasons.