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Stanford Cardinal Game Preview & How to Watch

Washington looks for a sweep on their final trip to the Bay Area

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Saturday, 1/20/24

Tip-Off Time: 6:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Radio: Huskies Gameday App, Sports Radio KJR

Location: Palo Alto, California

Betting Line: Washington Huskies +1

Stanford Cardinal 2023-24 Statistics:

Record: 9-8 (4-3)

Points For per Game: 78.6 ppg (52nd)

Points Against per Game: 76.2 ppg (258th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 112.1 (71st)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 103.4 (122nd)

Strength of Schedule: 48th

Stanford Key Players:

G- Jared Bynum, Sr. 5’10, 185: 8.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 6.5 apg, 35.3% FG, 32.6% 3pt, 86.4% FT

Stanford brought in Bynum from Providence and he has been one of the best passers in college basketball, ranking 8th nationally in assist rate. He has struggled to score the basketball though and doesn’t provide much in the way of defense or rebounding. Bynum has missed the last 3 games with an injury and his status for tonight’s game is questionable.

G- Michael Jones, Sr. 6’5, 205: 11.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 55.2% FG, 42.9% 3pt, 68.9% FT

Jones doesn’t take many shots but when he does get one up, by God it almost always goes in. He ranks 7th nationally shooting 74% on 2-pointers and has made 56% of his 3’s in conference play to rank 11th nationally in true shooting percentage. He’s 8th on the team in percentage of shots taken when on the court though and somehow attempted just 1 shot against Wazzu in 33 minutes. How?

F- Spencer Jones, Sr. 6’7, 225: 10.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 44.2% FG, 40.0% 3pt, 71.0% FT

Jones was Stanford’s leading scorer last year at over 14 points per game but has per game scoring has dipped because he’s taken fewer shots with almost the same efficiency. He’s a very good shooter that has consistently been in the 37-41% range from deep his entire career. Jones though has missed 5 games across 4 different stints with a variety of injuries this season. He was out with a wrist injury against Wazzu on Thursday and is questionable for tonight.

F- Brandon Angel, Sr. 6’8, 240: 12.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.9 apg, 60.9% FG, 54.3% 3pt, 87.2% FT

There are heaters and then there are heaters. Angel has made 11/16 three-pointers in Pac-12 play to now rank 3rd in the country in true shooting percentage. He doesn’t provide a lot of help with steals and blocks and turns it over more than you’d like but if he is at all open when he shoots it then it’s probably going in the hoop.

C- Maxime Reynaud, Jr. 7’1, 250: 14.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 0.9 bpg, 56.1% FG, 30.8% 3pt, 79.4% FT

There were definitely flashes in past years for the big man from Paris but he has finally taken the leap this year. He is 11th in the country in defensive rebounding rate and absolutely gobbles up any miss in his vicinity. His efficiency isn’t up much from last year anywhere but the free throw line but he has become a much more integral part of the offense. If you want to nitpick someone almost averaging a double-double you could note that he hardly ever gets to the free throw line for a scoring 7-footer (about 2 attempts per game) and he’s not much of a shot blocker for his size.

The Outlook

This game is very much up in the air considering that Stanford has a pair of starters who are listed as day-to-day with PG Jared Bynum and SF Spencer Jones. Thursday night against the Cougars was the first time that Stanford has had to play without both of them and they lost 89-75 and committed 17 turnovers. If both are missing again tonight it’s a big boon for the Huskies.

Stanford still has options despite the injuries. Freshman Kanaan Carlyle took full advantage of Bynum’s absence to score 31 points on just 18 shots to try to keep the Cardinal in the game. He missed the first 8 games of the season with an injury but has averaged 18 points per game in Pac-12 play for Stanford. The problem? He had 6 turnovers to go along with it against just 3 assists with Bynum out.

The Cardinal have relied on their offense to carry them so far this season. They rank 10th in the country in three-point percentage at 39.2%. Every player on the roster except for backup center James Keefe shoots at least 31% from deep and 7 different players have made at least 15 threes already this season.

Part of the reason Stanford shoots it so well is that they move the ball constantly. They rank 12th in the country with an assist on 63% of their baskets. That could be more difficult if leading passer Bynum and his 6+ assists per game is out tonight but they much prefer to share the ball than play isolation basketball.

There are downsides to that approach. Stanford almost never gets to the free throw line. Center Maxime Reynaud has been dominant inside but he much prefers to try a hook shot and avoid contact rather than dunk through opposing players. Having so many players on the perimeter also means that Stanford is in the bottom-15 teams in the country in offensive rebounding rate.

That lack of possessions advantage carries over to the defensive end. Stanford ranks 318th in opponent turnover rate and they rely on being in the right place at the right time rather than gambling for steals. They don’t commit fouls and when they do it’s usually the opposing center as opponents are dead last in the percentage of points they get from free throws when playing Stanford. That could be trouble for a UW team that needs to get to the line consistently to prop up their half court offense when it gets bogged down.

Washington had a similar opportunity on the road when they played Colorado missing 2 of their 3 best players. That Buffs team is much better than Stanford but the Huskies have not exactly been playing inspiring basketball themselves. If both Bynum and Jones are out then there’s potential for this to turn into a double digit win. I’m just not sure this team has enough magic to pull off a buzzer beater and then turn around for a resounding win the next game. It’s a reverse of Thursday night.

Prediction

My record this year: 12-6 Straight Up, 6-11-1 Against the Spread

Washington Huskies- 75, Stanford Cardinal- 77