Throughout the course of the off-season I will release my season’s preview for each Power 5 team. I will start out west with the PAC-12 teams and the work my way east. These previews will be very simple but a nice guide for the casual college basketball fans to become aware of some of the new faces and up and coming teams for the 2017-2018 season.
Season Preview: Stanford Cardinals
Last Season: 14-17
Key Losses: Malcolm Allen, Marcus Allen, Christian Sanders
Key Additions: Daejon Davis, Oscar da Silva, Kezie Okpala, and Isaac White
Standford struggled last year in a loaded PAC-12 but Jerod Haase has done an incredible job building up the program over the past few years. This season, those rebuilding efforts will pay off as Stanford returns most of its core and adds a great recruiting class. In a conference that will take a step back in 2018, Stanford will look to jump into the top tier of the conference.
The senior return of Reid Travis was huge for Haase and the Cardinals. Travis quietly averaged 17 and 9 last season as a junior. He will add some senior leadership and a high quality big man. Travis will have a great supporting cast with seniors Michael Humphrey and Dorian Pickens returning.
Stanford’s biggest personnel loss is Marcus Allen who played a large number of minutes but did not have a huge offensive impact. The Cardinals also lost Christian Sanders to graduation but he was another role player.
Jerod Haase did not have many scholarship openings, but he did a tremendous job bringing in talented players to hopefully have quality turnover with so many seniors next year. Daejon Davis is the one freshman that stands out as an immediate impact guy as he can really fill it up. Davis is a 4-star combo guard that can play with the ball in his hands or in more of a catch and shoot role. Kezie Okpala is another intriguing player as a 3/4 player but he may have issues getting on the court with Travis taking most of the power forward minutes. Finally, Oscar da Silva is a big body that will play a minor role as an extra body down low but he could develop into a special talent over his career at Stanford.
Stanford only won 14 games last year, but I am predicting they win 22-24 games this season and make it to the NCAA Tournament. The senior laden team will have tons of opportunities to pick up quality wins in the PAC-12 and the freshman class will only add depth to the program. Big things ahead for Stanford Basketball!!!
Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Robert Cartwright
SG: Marcus Sheffield
SF: Dorian Pickens
PF: Reid Travis
C: Michael Humphrey