clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Early Stanford Notes

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Bruins get to take on one of the hottest Pac-10 teams on Sunday night. Stanford Cardinals pounded Tim Floyd's over hyped, overrated ranked bunch last night. I saw the first 10 mins of that carnage. By that time, it was pretty clear Stanford was the better team. Here is Insominac's observations on the massacre at Maples:

If you're going to have a coming-out party, ya might as well make it a block party. Stanford freshman Brook Lopez set a school record by blocking 12 shots en route to his first career triple double (18 points, 11 rebounds). USC kept driving into the paint, and Stanford defenders kept swatting it away. When the final seconds had ticked off the clock in the Stanford 65-52 victory, the Cardinal had amassed a grand total of 19 blocked shots. The Trojans had 67 field goal attempts in all, so that translates into nearly 30% of SC's shots not ever making it to the rim. You'd think at some point, the Trojans would have learned that trying to score from the low block was a bad idea. But this is Southern Cal we're talking about, and learning isn't really that high on the priority list over there.

What's interesting is that before last night Brook only had 13 blocks the entire season and it's his brother - Robin - who is now leading the Pac-10 in blocked shots. From CBS Sportsline:
--Before getting 12 blocks against USC, F Brook Lopez had only 13 blocks all season, with three being his high in a single game.

--C Robin Lopez had three blocks against USC, giving him 44 for the season, tops in the Pac-10.

--G Mitch Johnson, a starter the first 12 games of the season, came off the bench and had eight assists against USC.
The Lopez twins are grabbing the headlines. But they are not the only big guys on Stanford's roster. Cardinals have Lawrence Hill, the 6'8" sophomore is leading the team in scoring with 15.5 points a game.

Obviously this game is going to be a huge challenge for the UCLA bigs, who have been collectively playing pretty well in last three games. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the combination of Mata and AA2 at 5 continues to be productive. Hopefully, Luc can stay tenacious around the boards. Keefe needs to keep making his steady contributions. It will be interesting to see if Wright gets time on Sunday night because Howland may have to use all of his big guys to contain the Stanford monsters down low. Everyone will need to step up.

Lost among AA's brilliance and the (defensive/rebounding) domination of our big men from last night was DC's relatively unproductive night (4 points, 3 assists). Hopefully, DC can regain some of his shooting touch to supplement AA and Shipp's effort on offense. If those guys can put pressure on Stanford's backcourt defensively, while on the offensive side get some penetration inside drawing some early fouls on the Stanford bigs, we will be in good shape. Same goes for Roll and Westbrook. I know all of us sound like broken records now. But one of these days our slow starts will catch up to us if another team replicates Oregon's perfect performance from two weeks ago. Stanford is one of the teams that is capable of putting together one of those performances. They have won 5 out of their last 6 games including key victories against good squads like Virginia and Washington State.  So they are perfectly capable of beating our Bruins.

Hopefully, we will continue to get better. As usual, we still have issues to work on (such as rest of the team going 0-6 at the FT line, while AA went 9 for 9 last night). But I like how we have been playing since the ASU game.

If we play our game, we should be all right on Sunday. I will post more notes/clips on this game later this weekend.