Stanford Cardinal basketball podcast Daniel Dullum: Could be more for Cardinal as they eye the NITs

The Stanford Cardinal battled hard but fell short to the Arizona Wildcats at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Thu Mar 10, 2022 at the Pac 12 Tournament (photo by Stanford Athletics)

1) Stanford went down battling against powerhouse Arizona 84-80 in the Pac-12 tournament.

2) The Cardinal came out with hot shooting overall, strong 3-point shooting,

3) Spencer Jones had one of his best games of the season, with 28 points.

4) The Cardinal didn’t fold in the second half, battling to the final possession.

5) Does Stanford still have a chance for the postseason?

Daniel does the Stanford Cardinal podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Arizona holds off challenge from Cardinal 84-80

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Arizona Wildcats Christian Koloko is jubilant over the success of the Wildcats in their win over the Stanford Cardinal at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Thu Mar 10, 2022 at the Pac 12 Tournament (AP News photo)

Stanford gave top-seed Arizona all it could handle in Thursday’s quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. The No. 2-ranked Wildcats held off an inspired Cardinal team to win 84-80.

Christian Koloko topped the U of A scoring with 24 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists, followed by Bennedict Mathurin with 20 points and seven rebounds, as the Wildcats (29-3) struggled with Stanford for the second time this season before prevailing, Azuolas Tubelis added seven rebounds and five assists, and point guard Kerr Kriisa had 10 points and five assists before leaving with an injury in the final minute.

The nine-seed Cardinal opened the tournament with a last-second win over Arizona State on Wednesday and opened Thursday’s game with a barrage of 3-pointers, going 11 for 20 behind the arc while shooting 54 percent against the league’s top defense.

Spencer Jones bagged a game-high 28 points – 13 in the first half – followed by Harrison Ingram with 16. Jones was 12 of 18 overall from the field, including 4 of 7 3-pointers. Ingram and Michael O’Connell (11 points) each had four assists.

Arizona led 49-37 at halftime and outscored the Cardinal 44-43 in the final 20 minutes. The Cardinal were 6 of 8 behind the arc in the first half and never allowed the Wildcats to build a big lead.

Down the stretch, Arizona took an 82-77 lead on a Koloko dunk, but the Cardinal (16-16) responded with a 3-pointer by Ingram, cutting Stanford’s deficit to 82-80 with 13 seconds remaining, The Cardinal fouled Pelle Larsson, who made a pair of free throws with 8.5 seconds to play, accounting for the final score.

The Wildcats will face Colorado in the semifinals, while Stanford awaits a possible postseason invite to a tournament other than the Big Dance.

Cal Bears/Pac 12 Tournament podcast with Morris Phillips: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; Cal eliminated by WSU in first game of tournament

California’s Lars Thiemann (21) tries to get around the Washington State Cougars defense at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas in the first game of the Pac 12 Tournament on Wed Mar 9, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Cal Bears/Pac 12 Tournament podcast with Morris:

#1 It’s been a long season Morris and its come down to this a first game loss of the Pac 12 Tournament to the Washington State Cougars (19-13) for the Cal Bears (12-20) a seven point 66-59 loss for the Bears.

#2 We know you’ve said it all season with this loss did it just come down to a lack of talent or the Cougars just had enough offense to make this work on Wednesday night.

#3 How disappointing does this have to be for Cal head coach Mark Fox having finished the season eight games below .500 and being eliminated in the first game of the Pac 12 Tournament.

#4 Once again the ball was going to Jordan Shepherd who led Cal with 19 points Cal also outscored the Cougars in the second half 39-34 but time just ran out for the Bears.

#5 For coach Fox talk about some of the things that he needs to work on, put together to get this team ready for 2022-23 and who do you see coming back for next season?

Morris Phillips filled in for Michael Duca who did the Cal Bears basketball podcasts Fridays during the 2021-22 season with Morris at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Short Stay In Vegas: Cal can’t keep up with Washington State in 66-59 Pac-12 Tourney loss

By Morris Phillips

Several of the elements Cal needed to extend their stay in Las Vegas were present on Wednesday. The key ingredient–made baskets–was completely absent.

The Bears shot a dreadful 31 percent from the floor, missing 16 3-point attempts, in a 66-59 first round loss to Washington State at the Pac-12 Tournament.

“Offensively we seemed to be out of rhythm and didn’t shoot it well in the first half and so we dug ourselves too big of a hole, eventhough in the second half we played a little bit better,” coach Mark Fox said.

Down the stretch Cal stayed within reach, and cut their deficit to six with 23 seconds remaining, but the Cougars–near perfect from the foul line–held them off.

Efe Abogidi led WSU with 19 points, five rebounds and Tyrell Roberts added 14 as the Cougs advanced to a quarterfinal meeting with UCLA on Thursday.

The Bears (12-20) finished their season with losses in five of their last six contests, and took their 20th loss in the finale. They also saw the college careers of Grant Anticevich and Jordan Shepherd, two of their key contributors, come to a close.

The first half contained enough Cal errors to create the hole Fox eluded to as the visitors shot a chilly 23 percent while allowing the Cougars to expand their lead in the last two minutes. Joel Brown attempted to give the Bears a defensive leader, but he only lasted nine minutes before it became apparent that he should not play any further with his knee that foced him to miss the regular season finale an issue.

Meanwhile, Abogidi with his lengthy arms and quickness seemed to slither around Lars Thiemann for a memorable layup, and leading scorer Michael Flowers put Jalen Celestine on skates with some playground moves.

But WSU wouldn’t pull away as Cal’s edge in rebounding, as well as their deliberate pace kept the high-scoring Cougs from gaining any offensive consistency. With 7:35 remaining Celestine’s layup kept the Bears within range, down 49-41.

“They bothered us with their physicality and they got on the glass, but our zone defense was pretty good and we hit our free throws,” WSU coach Kyle Smith said.

Facing WSU’s zone look, the Bears couldn’t find their offense or get any closer. Anticevich (2 for 12) and Shepherd (6 for 17) finished with subpar numbers and no one else stepped up. Defensively, Abogidi’s quickness put Cal in a predicament as Theimann wasn’t quick enough to defend the 6’8″ forward which necessitated Fox to commit Anticevich to cover him. That ultimately kept the Cal senior from having an impactful evening with his scoring.

The Bears will have a new look in the upcoming season without Shepherd and Anticevich, and with the return of the injured Andre Kelly in question as well. Fox has vowed to extract an offensive leader from the graduate transfer market to lead the Bears in 2022-23.

Last-second shot by Keefe helps Cardinal stun ASU 71-70 in Pac-12 tourney

Stanford’s James Keefe (22) shoots a game-winning shot against the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Pac 12 Tournament in Las Vegas on Wed Mar 9, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The good news for Stanford: It gets to continue in the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. The bad news: The Cardinal get to play top seed and No. 2-ranked Arizona in the quarterfinal round.

Stanford stopped a late-season nosedive on Wednesday when James Keefe converted a short jumper as time expired, providing the Cardinal with a stunning 71-70 opening round win over favored Arizona State.

Going into the tournament, Stanford (16-15) had lost five straight and seven of its last eight games in the regular season. The Sun Devils (14-17) came into the tournament on a roll, having won four straight and seven of their last eight.

Keefe’s shot, which bounced around the rim and backboard as time elapsed, capped a 16-1 run that erased a 14-point Cardinal deficit. The Sun Devils were up 50-33 at 13:35 of the second half before a 13-3 Stanford run pulled them to within seven at 7:47.

Two more 3-pointers and a dunk by Kimani Lawrence put the Devils back up by 14 with three minutes remaining.

Spencer Jones sank a 3-pointer that pulled the Cardinal to within 70-69 with 37 seconds to play. Stanford chose not to foul, and after Harrison Ingram got the rebound off a miss by ASU’s Jalen Graham with nine seconds remaining, he headed up court but had the ball stripped in the lane.

Keefe picked up the loose ball about ten feet away from the basket and hoisted a desperation floater with a half-second showing on the clock that found the mark.

Jones made six 3s while scoring a career-high 26 points for Stanford. Keefe finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while making seven of eight from the field. Brandon Angel added 15 points.

ASU lost to Stanford for the first time this season despite tying the Pac-12 tournament record of 15 3-pointers, set by Stanford against Arizona State in an overtime game in 2013. The Sun Devils were also 11 of 33 on 2-point field goals and three of seven at the free throw line.

DJ Horne led the Sun Devils with 21 points, including five treys. Marreon Jackson had 14 points, including three 3s, and Jay Heath made four 3-pointers for 12 points.

As the tournament’s top seed, Arizona drew a first-round bye and will tip off with the Cardinal Thursday at 12 noon PST.

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Cal no match for No.2 Arizona in 89-61 loss; Cal moves onto Pac 12 Tournament Wednesday

Cal Bears Jordan Shepherd led Cal in scoring last Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats with 16 points. Cal will be dependent on Shepherd’s offense as the Bears face the Washington State Cougars Wed Mar 9, 2022 at the Pac 12 Tournament. ( file photo by Sports Illustrated)

On the Cal podcast with Morris:

#1 Anytime you know your going to face the Arizona Wildcats (28-3) you know you have your work cut out for you such was the case in Saturday’s 89-61drilling of the basket by the Wildcats who threw up 62% of their shots from the floor against the Cal Bears (12-19).

#2 The Wildcats didn’t show any ware at all after playing five games in ten days in an almost NBA type schedule the Wildcats have won nine of their last ten games.

#3 But what may have been most impressive was the Cats put up 89 points despite having to deal with Cal’s plodding pace, and a couple of impressive, but short-lived stretches of play by the Bears.

#4 Oumar Ballo, the transfer from No. 1 Gonzaga, led the Cats with 16 points on 7 for 7 shooting from the floor. Ballo was the biggest piece of Arizona’s octet of reserves that combined to shoot 18 of 24 from the floor and 7 for 7 from the foul line.

#5 Next up for Cal the Washington State Cougars (18-13) to open the Pac 12 Tournament who have won five of their last six games and also defeated the Oregon Ducks (18-13) by 20, 94-74 at Washington State on Saturday. This will be game one for Cal at the Pac 12 Tournament on Wednesday.

Join Morris Phillips for the Cal Bears podcasts Mondays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cardinal close out regular season with 65-56 loss to ASU

The Arizona State Sun Devils jump for joy after nailing down a victory against the visiting Stanford Cardinal at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Sat Mar 5, 2022 (photo by Arizona State Sun Devils Athletics)

By Daniel Dullum
Saturday, March 5, 2022

For the second straight game, Stanford took a halftime lead but couldn’t sustain it, as the Cardinal fell to Arizona State 65-56 Saturday at Tempe, Ariz., in the Pac-12 men’s basketball regular season finale for both schools.

Senior Marreon Jackson netted 18 points in his final home game, as the Sun Devils (14-16 overall, 10-10 Pac-12) finished their conference schedule with four straight victories and seven wins in their final eight games.

Stanford closed out the Pac-12 slate with five consecutive losses, dropping seven of its last eight games.

Jackson was eight of 15 from the field, along with six assists, six steals and six rebounds. Jalen Graham was next for ASU with 16 points on five of six field goals, and DJ Horne added 12 points and four assists.

Spencer Jones and Brandon Angel each scored 14 points to lead the Cardinal. Jones connected on three of five behind the arc, and Angel made four three-pointers. Harrison Ingram grabbed nine of the Cardinal’s 36 rebounds to go with four assists and three steals.

Stanford (15-15 overall, 8-12 Pac-12) led 32-30 at the intermission. Alonzo Gaffney hit a jumper to tie the game to open the second half, and followed with a 3-pointer at 16:41, putting the Sun Devils up 35-32.

Jaiden Delaire responded with a 3-pointer for the Cardinal, but Graham converted a three-point play, Horne and Jackson hit baskets, and ASU had a 43-37 lead.

Brandon Angel sank a three–pointer with 6:13 to play, putting the Cardinal up 52-51, but the Sun Devils responded with a 10-0 run and didn’t look back.

Stanford and ASU will meet in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Piling Up The Points: Pac-12 champion Arizona looks NCAA Tournament-ready in 89-61 pasting of Cal

By Morris Phillips

Are the Arizona Wildcats the favorite to cut down the nets and win their second National Championship?

If the Cal Bears wanted to be the voice of dissent regarding UA’s chances, they unearthed very little evidence on Saturday afternoon.

No. 2 Arizona (28-3, 18-2) looked the part, shooting a sizzling 62 percent from the floor in dispatching Cal, 89-61 at the McKale Center in Tucson. It didn’t matter that Arizona was playing its fifth game in 10 days, or that they had little to play for after clinching the Pac-12 regular season title on Tuesday at USC.

But what may have most impressive was the Cats put up 89 points despite having to deal with Cal’s plodding pace, and a couple of impressive, but short-lived stretches of play by the Bears.

How’s that possible? Make shots, and Arizona did that in bunches.

Oumar Ballo, the transfer from No. 1 Gonzaga, led the Cats with 16 points on 7 for 7 shooting from the floor. Ballo was the biggest piece of Arizona’s octet of reserves that combined to shoot 18 of 24 from the floor and 7 for 7 from the foul line.

Those bench contributions were the biggest indicator of the hosts’ ability to impose their will. The team picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 before the season literarily outplayed expectations down to their 13th man. Coach Tommy Lloyd, who denied any celebrations prior to Saturday’s final buzzer couldn’t hold back his praise.

“These dudes are unbelievable,” Lloyd said. “What they gave me this year has inspired me to coach forever. They practice their ass off every day and they handle me being on them. It’s such a special group to be around.”

Cal was competitive for the game’s first six minutes, then a 9-0 run for Arizona gave evidence that the visitors were in for a rough ride. The Cats extended their lead to 36-17 on Christian Koloko’s layup with 4:21 remaining at which point the Bears settled in with a 14-4 run to end the half that had them within range, down 40-31 at the half.

But the second half saw Arizona shoot 65 percent and their crowd grow more jubilant with each made basket. Despite their starters playing sparingly UA led by 31 before winning by 28.

“We got a little fatigued and made some costly errors there in the second half defensively,” coach Mark Fox said. “Against a team with as much talent as they have, you cannot afford to do that.”

Jordan Shepherd led Cal (12-19, 5-15) with 16 points. Lars Thiemann had 12 points, five rebounds and Makale Foreman added 11. Thiemann was able to go despite being a gametime decision due to an injury, but starting guard Joel Brown was scratched due to a knee injury.

Cal opens the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday with their opponent to be determined after action concludes on Saturday night, with the Washington Huskies as the most likely opponent in a 7 versus 10 matchup.

Stanford Cardinal podcast with Daniel Dullum: Stanford good first half, lose second half to Arizona 81-69 in Tucson

Stanford forward Spencer Jones (14) drives on Arizona guard Pelle Larsson at the McKale Memorial Center in Tucson on Thu Mar 3, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Stanford podcast with Daniel:

1 Despite a gallant effort, Stanford bounced back from a horrendous game against Cal and played at least one good half against Arizona.

2 What was working for the Cardinal in the first half, and where did it go south in the second half?

3 How are Stanford’s chances to pick up a win on Saturday against Arizona State to end the regular season on a positive note?

4 What do Stanford’s chances for postseason men’s basketball look like?

5 Meanwhile, Teri Vanderveer just received Pac-12 women’s basketball coach of the year for the 17th time, as the Cardinal women are primed for an extended tournament run.

Catch Daniel for the Stanford podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Pac-12 champion No. 2 Arizona defeats Stanford 81-69

Stanford guard Michael O’Connell (5) drives on Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin at McKale Memorial Center in Tucson on Thu Mar 3, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, March 3, 2022

Fresh off clinching the Pac-12 regular season title, No. 2 Arizona returned home to McKale Center in Tucson and held off inspired Stanford 81-69 in men’s basketball Thursday.

Bennedict Mathurin led the Wildcats with 24 points, followed by Christian Koloko with 21 points and 10 rebounds, as U of A (27-3 overall, 17-2 Pac-12) remained undefeated at home in its first season under Coach Tommy Lloyd. Kerr Kriisa added seven assists and Azuolas Tubelis chipped in with 11 points.

Arizona also clinched its first conference championship in four years.

After defeating No. 16 Southern California on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Arizona came out sluggish against the Cardinal (15-14 overall, 8-11 Pac-12), shooting poorly while Stanford built a nine-point lead in the first half, eventually whittled down to a 39-37 Cardinal lead at halftime. Stanford made more baskets in the first half (12) than they did in their entire loss to California.

But the Wildcats pulled away after the intermission, outscoring the Cardinal 44-30, as Stanford’s late-season tailspin continued with its sixth loss in seven games. Mathurin had a personal 8-0 run against the Cardinal to open the second half that put U of A up 67-58.

Arizona stayed close by making 16 points off 11 Cardinal turnovers. Things didn’t go much better for Stanford in the second half, making 3 of 9 from 3-point range while finishing the game with 17 turnovers.

Spencer Jones led the Cardinal with 22 points, followed by Michael O’Connell with 16 points – all scored in the first half. Maxime Raynaud added 10 points and seven rebounds, and Harrison Ingram led the Cardinal with nine boards.

Stanford made 15 of 28 in the first 20 minutes, including 7 of 10 behind the arc.\

Stanford finishes the regular season in Tempe on Saturday, visiting Arizona State.