A great philosopher once said (Bill Parcells) “You are what your record says you are.” Simple, yet telling.
The Stanford basketball record is currently 12-13 (4-9 Pac-12) in Jerod Hasse’s first season on The Farm. The Cardinal’s overall record tells us that this team is slightly below average, and with five games left on the Stanford men’s basketball schedule before the Pac-12 conference Championship tournament I can see this team’s record staying around that mark. Most Pac-12 preseason predictions had Stanford around the eight to ten position in the standings. The Stanford faithful has a lot to be proud of this season. Stanford basketball coach Jerod Haase has done a solid job so far so lets take a look at some of the positives negatives of this team as Pac-12 conference play winds down…
A big positive this season is that Reid Travis and Robert Cartwright have both been able to play this season. Travis only played in eight games last season due to a knee injury. He has missed only four games this season due to injury, and is averaging 17 points and 8 rebounds while vastly improving his foul shooting from 48 percent to 65 percent.
Robert Cartwright has played in every game this season after suffering a gruesome arm injury last year. Cartwright has been solid, averaging 7 points and 3 assists. He has been erratic at times, being border line out of control, but he certainly brings the energy every night that Coach Hasse is looking for in his starting point guard.
As a team, this group plays extremely hard. With the second toughest non-conference schedule in the country, this squad has given its all in every game no matter if the game is in Shanghai, Lawrence, or Tucson. Being battle tested will prove to be an asset moving forward to next season with the majority of this core returning.
Now on to the negatives…
My biggest concern from day one with this team has been the lack of consistent outside shooting. At around 30 percent, Stanford ranks near the bottom in the country in three-point shooting percentage. In conference play alone, Stanford has only made 66 threes which is dead last. The perimeter players are barely shooting 40 percent from the field. Dorian Pickens, who is the second leading scorer on the team (12.1 pts) is only shooting 41 percent from the field, while the backcourt tandem of Robert Cartwright and Marcus Allen are barely shooting 35 percent from the field between them. This has to improve next season if Stanford wants to have any chance of competing in the Pac-12 next year.
In a previous post I mentioned in a video how Stanford struggles to defend the three-point line as well. In conference play, the Cardinal are ranked 11th, giving up 40 percent shooting from long distance. So when you’re not able to defend the three, while not being able to shoot the three, that’s a recipe for having a record that is slightly below average. It’s impossible to win trading twos for threes. Couple that with having a new coaching staff, while playing one of the most difficult schedules in the country, it was going to be tough season from start to finish for Stanford.
I’m very interested in seeing how Stanford responds these last few games of the season. They have lost five of the last six games, with their loss Saturday night against Arizona St. being a tough one to stomach since they probably should have won that game. There are three home games left, and don’t be surprised if Stanford comes out 2-1 in this home stand with Cal, Oregon St, and Oregon coming to town. Arch-rival Cal (18-7, 9-4 Pac-12) is first up, and Stanford will be looking to avenge last month’s loss, and try to pull off the upset.