Tuesday’s game against Sonoma State is just an exhibition game. But while it won’t count in the final record, it will give us a first glimpse at the team as they head into the new season. With changes in roster and style, there will be a number of things to look for when they take the court.
Only Daejon Davis and KZ Okpala return from last year’s typical starting lineup. Who will slot in for Travis, Humphrey, and Pickens? Marcus Sheffield and his 9 career starts seem probable, especially as he started last year’s exhibition before going down with an injury. Oscar da Silva and Josh Sharma seem likely candidates as well. Others we might see include freshman Cormac Ryan.
Who is the first big man off the bench?
The 5 position is a big question mark going into the year. Stanback, Kišūnas, and Fitzmorris are all candidates for minutes there, but Stanback played just 52 minutes last season and the other two are new to the squad.
How fast will they play?
Last year Stanford was the 53rd fastest team in the country, up from 171st the year prior. Haase seems to want to play even faster than that. With Reid Travis gone and a roster built for versatility, the Cardinal should have little trouble ratcheting up that pace.
How many turnovers will they commit?
It’s no secret that Stanford was turnover happy last season, particularly Daejon Davis. Coach Haase insists that Davis’ turnover problems have been largely worked out over the offseason. Exhibition games are notoriously sloppy, so it might be inappropriate to draw too many conclusions from this. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how strong Davis, Okpala, da Silva, et al are with the ball.
How many threes will be attempted?
Last season Stanford saw a 142 year-on-year increase in three point attempts. It seems likely they will shoot even more this season. Prolific shooter Dorian Pickens is no longer around, so who will be the new marksmen? Cormac Ryan, Marcus Sheffield, and Jaiden Delaire are all capable shooters to add to the fold, and da Silva and Isaac White might get more shots up in year two.