The Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball team are back in action tonight hosting the California Golden Bears at Maples Pavilion or you can catch the game on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) or stream it online at Fox Sports Go.
As Stanford basketball Coach Jerod Haase continues to build the program Stanford currently has a record just below .500 and have lost 5 of their last 6 games including a current two game losing streak. Stanford was swept in the state of Arizona in those two games after a hard fought game against the Arizona Wildcats, and a heart breaker to the Arizona State Sun Devils.
What’s at stake for Stanford basketball tonight?
. . . Well, besides the obvious satisfaction of beating the bears of course; The Cardinal are looking to continue to improve and build the program, particularly on offense. Stanford also hopes to avoid the sweep. The Bears have not swept Stanford basketball since 2010. Stanford and Cal last played on the hardwood back in late January up in Berkeley with the Bears winning by 11 at home.
The Bears are currently in 4th place in the Pac-12 Conference Standings but have the USC Trojans and Utah Utes right behind them. Finishing in the top 4 gains a first round bye in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament. Pulling off an upset at home over the bears could go a long way toward dropping them back into the middle of the pack. Despite the record disparity, and the 11-point difference in the last contest the folks in Vegas only see Stanford basketball as a 4-point underdog. Stanford is also 3-3 at home this season when hosting Pac-12 Conference opponents.
A Grueling Stanford Basketball schedule:
Stanford men’s basketball schedule has been grueling having already faced an incredible 7 teams with an RPI ranked in the top 25 nationally as well as several more teams that are NCAA Tournament bound. The Stanford basketball schedule is currently ranked as the 4th most difficult in the country. If Stanford basketball coach Jerod Haase does indeed have the program headed in the right direction then this type of adversity now could go a long way toward building the young talent on the roster.
What to watch for when Stanford takes on Cal?
Reid Travis is a stud and the critical part of the Stanford basketball offense. Travis needs to avoid foul trouble and dominate on offense. The Bears have shown, like many teams, that Travis can be a bit much to handle for a full game.
Stanford also needs to help out Travis on offense. An ongoing problem for Jerod Haase and the Stanford basketball program is the lack of consistent, quality outside shooting. Without good outside shooting it is both difficult for Stanford to hit 3’s while also shrinking the court to just the Stanford big men inside the paint. This of course leaves the Stanford offense quite vulnerable if they face an excellent 3-point shooting team, or if Travis gets into foul trouble.
On defense Stanford is solid, but without a consistent offense the Stanford defense has to play lights out to keep the score low. Fortunately the Cardinal are excellent at creating turnovers giving their offense extra possessions.
Slow Down Ivan Rabb and Jarbari Bird:
Stanford has to find a way to slow down Sophomore forward Ivan Rabb in order to win. Last time these two teams played Rabb went for 25 points and 13 rebounds. The only other player to come close to that for Cal was Jabari Bird who went for 17. Just two players scored roughly 66% of all of Cal’s points that game. Rabb and Bird are both the leading scorers for the season and have accounted for about 39% of all points the Bears have scored this season. Slowing Bird and Rabb down can throw a massive wrench in Cal’s offensive game plane.
Tip time is 7pm on FS1 full game info is below.
California Golden Bears 18-7 (9-4 conference) at Stanford Cardinal 12-13 (4-9 conference)
How to Watch:
Start Time: Friday, February 17, 7:00 p.m. PST
Location: Maples Pavilion — Stanford, California
Radio: Tune In
Live Streaming: Fox Sports Go