Stanford stops by Oregon State on Thursday

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By: Ana Kieu

The Stanford Cardinal, coming off a two-game winning streak, made sure to pay the Oregon State Beavers a visit inside the Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. Thursday night. The tipoff has been set to 7:00 pm PT on the Pac-12 Network.

The Cardinal’s last two wins occurred at Cal in a 84-81 thriller on February 3rd and at home–Maples Pavilion–versus the Colorado State Buffaloes 75-62 on January 26th. The Cardinal has been a wishy-washy team this season, but at least they aren’t in the abyss like my alma mater, San Jose State Spartans, or some other hapless men’s basketball team out there.

Anyways, the Cardinal and Cal Bears were more of a Bay Area rivalry than anything else. The Cardinal has to be focused on the road ahead in the Pacific Northwest as the Beavers and Ducks will likely be tough customers. And, of course, the home court advantage that often shifts the game in favor of the home team.

Cardinal head coach Jerod Haase told the local media that Bryce Wills has been making plays and growing each game. Wills currently holds a career-high of 16 points. That’s definitely a good thing as the Cardinal need all the help they can get.

Before the Stanford vs. Oregon State game, it was announced that KZ Okpala was named one of ten finalists for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Okpala was joined by Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson, Nevada’s Caleb Martin, Michigan’s Charles Matthews, Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield, Iowa State’s Marial Shayok, Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle, and Belmont’s Dylan Windler.

Okpala leads Stanford in scoring (18.1 points per game), rebounding (6.1 rebounds per game), three-point field goal percentage (.410), free throws (87) and minutes (33.0 mpg). He ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring, fifth in three-point field goal percentage, and 14th in rebounding. In conference play, the forward is averaging 20.4 points per game (ranks second) and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Okpala scored a career-high 30 points at Cal and leads the Pac-12 with 12 games of 20 points or more this season. He’s one of 10 individuals in the nation to average 21.0 points per game or better in their last six games.

“KZ has been a rock for us,” said the Cardinal’s Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men’s Basketball. “He’s a foundational piece for everything we do. There’s so much more for him to grow, but he’s really developing very quickly. He certainly deserves the recognition. It is great to see him among the 10 candidates for this prestigious award.”

The nation has been taking notice of Okpala, including ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas.

Three takeaways from Stanford’s 48-17 win over Oregon State

Photo credit: @StanfordFball

By: Ana Kieu

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Stanford Cardinal electrified Stanford Stadium on Saturday night, which was also Senior Night for the soon-to-be Stanford alumni, with a 48-17 win over the Oregon State Beavers. It was a fun night for those who were rooting for the Cardinal.

Here are my three takeaways from Stanford’s 48-17 over Oregon State.

Stanford’s apparent luck on Senior Night
It’s plain and simple, Stanford’s apparent luck on Senior Night has shined bright like a diamond for quite a while. With the win, Stanford improved to 7-1 under head coach David Shaw on Senior Nights. That statistic includes four wins in a row for the Cardinal.

Shaw told the media: “Proud of the way our football team came out. We made some changes to our routine. Put some pressure on some guys to step up as leaders, made sure we started the games better the rest of the year. And our guys came out tonight with a fire and energy.”

Shaw added: “So excited about our seniors. A lot of our seniors made big plays tonight, contributed a lot tonight. Both up front and on the offensive and defensive lines–Bryce Love, Cameron Scarlett, Jake Bailey. Guys came in and just made some great plays for us. Trenton Irwin made some nice catches.”

The new Cardinal in town
Look out, John Elway and Steve Stentstrom! There’s a new Cardinal in town–K.J. Costello!

On Saturday, Costello became the third Cardinal with six 300-yard passing games in a season, joining the likes of Elway (six in 1982) and Stentstrom (eight in 1993), respectively. Costello also moved into ninth place in Stanford history with 37 career touchdown passes, moving past Trent Edwards (36 from 2003-06).

When asked about Costello’s performance in Saturday’s game, Colby Parkinson said: “K.J. is awesome. He’s going to put the ball where it needs to be, going to give you a shot to go up and get it. Like I said earlier, this is stuff we’ve been working on for a year and a half now. It’s not something that just happened tonight. It’s not something that is spur of the moment. This is what we do every day in practice.”

37 years
It took only 37 years (just kidding, I’m only 25!) for the Cardinal to score 48 points in a game in which the Beavers were their opponent.

The Cardinal’s 48 points versus the Beavers on Saturday were the most by a Cardinal squad since their 63-9 blowout of the Beavers back in 1981. So yeah, it wasn’t only a high scoring game, it was also a statistic breaker.

Congratulations to the Cardinal on their huge victory over the Beavers!

Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball Podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Cardinal got game against Oregon schools; Can they do the same against in Utah and Colorado this week?

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

On the Stanford Men’s Basketball Podcast with Jerry:

1 The Stanford Cardinal in their last contest got back at the Oregon Ducks for last year’s loss with a crushing 96-61 win at Maples Pavilion last Saturday.

2 The Cardinal were only behind once in the game down 11-10 in the first four minutes until the Cardinal’s Dorian Pickens sank a three-pointer and Stanford never looked back.

3 After the Cardinal started the season with a 5-1 record they had three straight loses to Arizona, UCLA, and USC. The Cardinal turned things around in their last homestand with two wins over Oregon State and Oregon and improved their record to 13-11.

4 The Cardinal and Ducks were matching each other on the scoreboard but the Cardinal in the second half had a breakout half at one point outscoring the Ducks by 35 points.

5 Stanford opens a three-game road trip beginning tonight in Utah, and then moving onto Colorado on Sunday, and concluding the road trip the following Sunday, February 18th at Cal.

Jerry does the Stanford Cardinal Podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball Podcast: After beating OSU, can Cardinal get back on track again vs. Ducks tonight?

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By Matt Harrington

PALO ALTO–The Stanford Cardinal (12-11) started this two-game homestand with a win past the Oregon State Beavers (11-10) 80-71. Stanford head coach Jerod Haase came into the game last Thursday with some expectations. It had been some time since the Cardinal won a ball game dropping three straight and winning five straight before the skid. The thing that Haase is trying to teach his players is that when you have a big lead hold onto it and put on the gas.

There was a point in the game that it was 56-48 and it looked like Oregon State was going to be let back into that game, but Stanford battled and kept the game going wire to wire. That was a big win for them Thursday against the Beavers, they got loses in UCLA and USC in the Southland. They had to right the ship in a hurry after OSU ran off two 9-0 scores, but the Cardinal got back their lead up to 1 with three minutes left after Kezie Okpqala’s floater shot.

Matt Harrington does the Stanford Cardinal Podcasts each week and Joey Friedman has coverage of tonight’s Oregon-Stanford game at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

 

Humphrey, Cardinal Surge to Win Big Over Beavers

By: Ben Leonard

STANFORD, CA–

If Stanford thought Thursday’s game against mediocre Oregon State (17-11, 8-8) was going to be a walk in the park, they were dead wrong. They eventually won handily by a 75-48 margin, but Cardinal (18-9, 9-6) had to overcome their own struggles early on, playing sloppy basketball against the Beavers. The Pac-12’s sixth ranked team had lost three of their last four coming into Thursday, but Stanford struggled to make shots in the first half. This has been a recurring issue for the Cardinal, who trailed at halftime in their previous five games before Saturday’s victory over Cal.

Oregon State lead by as many as nine points in the first half, buoyed by Gary Payton II’s 10 points. Stanford needed this win desperately to have a shot to make the NCAA tournament, and seemed to be wilting under the pressure, making just 29.2% of their field goal attempts in the first half. Pac-12 opponents had been averaging 19.9 points in first half in first meeting against Beavers this season, and Thursday was not much different, as the Cardinal trailed by two at the half. For guard Anthony Brown, the first half forced Dawkins to ask his team at half time “what they wanted for this season…challeng[ing] us (Stanford)” to play to their caliber. A loss would have all but spelled doom for their tournament hopes, but Brown’s solid effort, 13 points and eight rebounds, helped prevent such a fortune.

Head coach Johnny Dawkins was quick to credit Oregon State for doing a “great job” with their “defensive schemes,” specifically “identifying scorers and taking them out of the game.” His remedy was to instruct his team to “focus” and  “follow” his “game plan,” albeit with language too strong for Dawkins or his players to describe.

Despite all of their problems in the first half, the second half was an entirely different story. Marcus Allen hit a huge three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Beavers’ lead to 30-28, swinging the momentum in Stanford’s favor. Brown noted that the three was “big for momentum, for confidence, and [for]…g[iving] us some energy going into half time.” After halftime, Dawkins’ team “believe[d]” in what they were doing” and the “energy picked up.”

After that key moment, shots started to fall for the Cardinal, especially for Michael Humphrey. The freshman big man pulled down a career 15 high rebounds, notching his second straight double-double by scoring 14 points. He lead the Cardinal to outscore the Beavers by a whopping 47-18 margin in the second half, giving his squad a reliable physical presence down low. Stanford out-rebounded Oregon State 46-22, and Humphrey was a big reason why.

On what changed in the second half for his team, Humphrey noted that his team “got the right mindset.” Dawkins’ “intense practices in the last few weeks” have been the difference that gave the freshman Humphrey confidence. Dawkins thinks that the freshman sensation has “com[e] into his own” and he “still has a ton of potential” as just a freshman.

The game turned into a laugher, with Dawkins opting to sit many of his regulars with the result well in hand. After trailing by seven in the first, the Cardinal went on a 56-22 run, giving the Selection Committee a reason to excuse their struggles early in games. In one of the “best second halves” of the season for Dawkins’ Cardinal, Stanford held Oregon State to just 18 points, a “heck of an effort.” Unlike Thursday, Stanford will have to play a complete game if they want to defend their home court on Sunday against Oregon, the Pac-12’s third place team.

NOTES: 

Chasson Randle’s 15 point effort on Thursday moved him into 6th place all-time on the Pac-12/10/8 scoring list, passing former Beaver Gary Payton…Payton was in attendance along with a crowd of 4,012 at Maples Pavilion on Thursday…Payton’s son, Gary Payton II plays for the Beavers and scored 17 pointsDawkins called Randle a “role model off the court, deserving of his accolades,” including being named an Academic All-American on Thursday, and a “special young man”….Dawkins noted that injured forward Rosco Allen participated in a shootaround Thursday, and will practice Friday to “get a feel” for where he is…

Trojans Upset Cardinal on Ogwumike’s Record Setting Night

By Joe Lami

For the first time ever the Stanford Cardinal will not be going to the Pac-12 Tournament championship game, as the USC Trojans defeated the Cardinal 72-68 in the semi-finals on Saturday night.  Stanford the number one seed and the favorite to win the Pac-12 Championship, is now unsure of how their NCAA Tournament is going to look.  If the Cardinal came out of the Pac-12 Tournament unscathed, they would have received an almost sure bid to a number one seed in their host west region.

The first half ended with the score tied at 32.  Stanford dominated the paint in the first half, with 18 points.  However, the Trojans led the first with points off of turnovers, bench points and 2nd chance points.

Coming out of the half, the Trojans jumped on the Cardinal early, going on a 14-4 run in the first 5:30.  Stanford would be able to crawl back slowly, and would eventually take the lead back with 6:46 remaining.  The Cardinal would push the lead to three, at 60-57 with 5:06 to go and be able to hold it for a couple of minutes.  However, the Trojans would once again march back, much in part to Cassie Harberts’ ten straight points.  This would get the USC lead to as high as seven before the Cardinal would find another bucket with 61 seconds to go.

The Cardinal pressed in the final minute to get the deficit as low as two, but the Trojans would be good enough at the foul line to be able to ice the game away and advance to the Pac-12 Championship game, where they will face the Oregon State Beavers.

Chiney Ogwumike led the way for the Cardinal with 30 points and 21 rebounds.  The 30 points ties her with Stanford Alum, Candice Wiggins as the all-time Pac-12 scorer with 2,629.  Unfortunately for Ogwumike, she scored career point 2,629 with over seven minutes remaining in the game, and couldn’t find another to break the record in game where every point mattered.

Stanford had an awful day from the field, finishing the game at just 32%.  Lili Thompson finished with 13 points, going 4 of 11 shooting.  Amber Orrange was the only other double digit scorer for the Cardinal, as she finished the night with 11 points and 3 of 11 shooting.  Mikaela Ruef was held scoreless for the first time in recent memory, as the fifth year senior went 0 for 8 from the field, but she did bring down five rebounds.  Taylor Greenfield was the only Stanford player to come off of the bench and contribute points, as she finished the game with five.

The Trojans didn’t shoot that much better, as they finished the game shooting just 39%.  USC also saw three different players get into double digits.  Alexyz Vaioletama led the way with 19 points.  She also contributed 15 rebounds, with five of them coming on the offensive side of the glass.  Guard, Ariya Cook, finished the game with 15 points.  Game MVP, Cassie Harberts only had 13 points, but ten of them came at the most opportune time, as she scored ten straight with under three minutes to go to give the Trojan’s a lead good enough to win the game.

The win for the Trojans gets them that much closer into the NCAA tournament, as ESPN’s Charlie Creme has the ladies of USC on his first four teams out of the tournament.  However, with this win it might just be enough to break the bubble and earn a bid.  That is if they don’t receive the automatic bid on Sunday afternoon by winning the Pac-12 Tournament.  Oregon State, their opponent on Sunday is looked at as already in the NCAA Tournament according to Creme.

Number four-ranked Stanford has their record drop to 29-3, and now they are a little unsure on how they will be entering the NCAA Tournament.  Some questions arise, is Stanford still a number one seed?  Does Stanford still deserve to be in the west region, their host region?  Only time will tell what the selection committee decides, but for now we sit back and prepare for another great day of Championship basketball on Sunday.

Michael Duca on Cal football

by Michael Duca

BERKELEY–One reason why the students at Cal Berkeley are walking around here with their mouths open after the loss to Oregon State which is not very polite by the way they were completely unprepared for the fact that Oregon State plays pretty good football in their 49-17 win.

Sean Mannion the Beavers starting quarterback was another reason why the students left with their mouths open he’s the leading quarterback not only in the Pac 12 he basically the FBS 1-19 highest rated quarterback in the country he came in the Cal game with the top quarterback rating.

Mannion could deliver the long ball, he can deliver the short ball, he’s got a nice touch, I’m sure that somewhere in between stacking poker chips and just saying how high three million dollars is former Bears head coach Jeff Tedford has to wondering how he missed this kid.

Mannion put in a good day’s work considering he was not paid for it, we can sit here and rag on the Bears all you want, you have to remember this is a team that has lost seven of the 11 original starters on defense, six to injuries, and one due to dismissal from the team. The Bears lost their best defensive end, they lost their best linebacker, they lost their best cover cornerback, they lost their best safety, and they lost their best defensive tackle.

Not only have they lost a ton of players and of course if you lose seven your going to lose some tough games automatically. On the defensive line if your rated the players one, two, three and four they manage to lose one player. It’s been a very hard season for the Bears over at Strawberry Canyon.

Bears quarterback Jared Goff couldn’t find the handle on the football a couple of times he got separated from the ball after a couple nasty hits. They took him out in the fourth quarter as much as anything else to make sure that his confidence didn’t get destroyed by being out there and being punished.

Honestly for the rest of the year I just see only one game out of the remaining six on the schedule that they have that they might have a shot at to compete and have a fighting chance to win it and it’s against Colorado. The Bears are going up to Washington against the Huskies a team that’s jockeying for position in the Pac 12 and will be overladen with emotion because long time head coach Don James who passed away at the age of 90 on Monday morning.

James’ entire family will be out on the field at Husky Stadium Saturday as part of the opening coin toss and you know that stadium is just going to be rocking.

Michael Duca covers Cal Bears football each week for Sportstalk radio

Michael Duca on Cal football

by Michael Duca
BERKELEY–I had a chance to work with Cal Bears radio play by play man Joe Starkey at the Rose Bowl when the Bears played against UCLA last Sat Oct 12th. I had a chance to show him around my childhood press box except I didn’t recognize much of the press box today. It’s named after a living person it’s always dangerous to name a building after a living person because their not yet done with establishing their reputation.
Joe and I had delightful time discussing how Cal has been thoroughly dismantled in the first half of the season as they get ready to go into the game with Oregon State this Saturday with a record of 1-5 and their only win came at home back on September 7th against Portland State. They’ve been dismantled in the first half and their trying to figure out what they might try to do to try to respond to UCLA in the second half.
These guys that do the Cal Bears radio network are pros nobody has ever done a more shameless call in the history of college football than Joe Starkey when he called the famous lateral plays that led the Bears to a famous comeback over Stanford and Joe was yelling “the band is on the field” over and over when the Bears scored for a touchdown. The call was so well known and it’s pretty amazing to know an icon.
Starkey has done a lot in his time and he even passed down the line to his son who is a highly respected statistician the two or three best people in the country at doing talent stats providing statistical information to broadcasters on the air while their doing their work and it’s a job I do occasionally. It’s not easy to learn someone else’s rhythm and timing and figure out what they anticipate what they want to know before they know it so you could have it ready.
Team roughing it out and getting ready for Oregon State: It seems to me that Cal played better against Oregon than against Oregon State in the last decade and a half but that could be faulty on that part. Oregon State will be forever locked in my mind as the team that came out of nowhere to deny Cal the number one spot in the rankings by scoring three touchdowns on them late in the game.
This Cal team is in transition, they had issues with their defense before the season began it was very young and very inexperienced and now they are still very young and very inexperienced and very injured. Five starters are out of the line up for various amounts of time all the way up to forever. It’s very difficult they can move the ball very well although they had issues last week against UCLA.
On the other hand you can see elements of what they are capable of doing from time to time, right now they haven’t solved their number one tailback, the don’t have the running game, they count on managing the control block and as a net result what their doing is running what seems like 1000 plays a game but it’s really about 100 but it feels like 1000. Your putting the ball in the air 40-50 times a game and your leaving yourself to the possibility of having bad things happening and more scores will go lopsided and not in Cal’s favor.
Michael Duca covers Cal Bears football for Sportstalk Radio