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Stanford Cardinal Game Preview/Open Thread

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Can Washington avenge their home loss to Stanford from earlier this year?

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at California D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Thursday, 2/22/18

Tip-Off Time: 6:00pm PST

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: KOMO 1000

Location: Palo Alto, California

Betting Line: Stanford -5

Stanford 2017-18 Statistics:

Record: 14-13 (8-6)

Points For per Game: 74.8 ppg (24th)

Points Against per Game: 74.1 ppg (210th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 108 (126th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 100.1 (66th)

Strength of Schedule: 52nd

Stanford Key Players:

For more detailed info on Stanford’s players check out my game preview of the first matchup between Stanford and UW.

C- Michael Humphrey, Sr. 6’9, 245: 10.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 0.9 bpg, 47.3% FG, 42.9% 3pt, 73.5% FT

Conference Only Percentages: 51.1% 2pt, 34.8% 3pt, 58.3% FT

F- Reid Travis, Jr. 6’8, 245: 18.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 52.2% FG, 28.6% 3pt, 66.1% FT,

Conference Only Percentages: 54.8% 2pt (18th), 31.8% 3pt, 60.8% FT

F- Kezie Okpala, Fr. 6’8, 195: 8.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 38.1% FG, 26.3% 3pt, 60.3% FT

Conference Only Percentages: 41.9% 2pt, 23.5% 3pt, 60.7% FT

G- Dorian Pickens, Sr. 6’2, 215: 14.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 43.3% FG, 41.1% 3pt, 80.4% FT

Conference Only Percentages: 44.6% 2pt, 44.7% 3pt (4th), 79.2% FT (13th)

G- Daejon Davis, Fr. 6’3, 175: 11.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.8 apg, 47.4% FG, 36.2% 3pt, 68.5% FT

Conference Only Percentages: 51.6% 2pt, 36.4% 3pt (22nd), 71.9% FT

The Outlook

Shortly after the Huskies lost the first matchup against Stanford it looked like the Cardinal might contend for a top-2 spot in the conference and make the loss look a lot better than it seemed at the time. However, Stanford lost 5 of their next 7 and then most recently squeaked by last place Cal on the road. The Cardinal are tied with Washington for 5th place in the conference and with a big finish could still make the NIT but their dreams of an at large NCAA bid have been dashed.

This game tonight will likely come down to who is able to secure the most extra possessions for themselves. The analytical numbers for each team in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency are almost identical so I don’t expect one team to win the game by shooting a crazy percentage better.

UW has been one of the worst teams in the country at giving up offensive rebounds which isn’t unexpected playing a zone without perfect personnel. But Stanford is well equipped to take advantage of that flaw. They play 5 men in the rotation at 6’8 or taller and their starting lineup is all 6’3 or taller. It was a 14 to 3 advantage on the offensive boards in Stanford’s favor the first time and Washington needs to bring that closer to even if they want to have a chance.

Luckily, the turnover battle can help to even out that disadvantage. Daejon Davis had 7 turnovers the first time as UW was +8 in turnover margin. There’s no reason to expect a different result as Stanford is 295th in turnovers on offense and 289th in forcing turnovers on defense. Washington is 197th and 35th in those categories respectively. The end result was +3 possessions for Stanford when combining those two categories. Washington needs to flip that to +3 in their favor this time.

If those numbers are close to even then the game, like most in this conference, will come down to free throws. Stanford shoots a free throw once every 2.5 shot attempts which is 31st in the country. Reid Travis is one of the most physical players in the country and this is a tall Stanford lineup that loves to drive the ball rather than shoot from the perimeter. The Huskies are vulnerable if Sam Timmins and Noah Dickerson both get into foul trouble. Hameir Wright playing quality minutes at center could be an X factor in this one. UW will need a fair road whistle to stay alive.

This is a crucial game for Washington as its their last chance to pick up a good road win before the NCAA tournament. They need a sweep of the Bay Area to stay on the bubble. Unfortunately, the Cardinal are a really bad matchup for UW and I don’t see it happening.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 63, Stanford Cardinal- 76

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