Thursday, January 31, 2013
Stanford still a factor in Pac-12?
By Luke Lapinski
Stanford hasn't made a trip to the Big Dance since the Lopez twins led them to the Sweet 16 in 2008. And the Cardinal are certainly a long way from where they want to be at the moment. But last night's 24-point throttling of No. 10 Oregon is a sign they could still make some noise this season.
Johnny Dawkins' squad has talent, and that talent is performing much better of late. Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright are two of the better backcourt weapons in the league when they're on their game, but they hadn't exactly been lighting it up this season. They weren't bad, they just weren't taking the program to the next level. But a 31-point road romp over Utah on Sunday followed by last night's statement win over the Pac-12 leading Ducks are at least signs of what this cub can do when its shots are falling. Randle and Bright have combined to hit 18-of-37 shots for 53 total points over those two contests, and Dwight Powell continues to emerge as a viable weapon inside.
At 4-4 in conference and 13-8 overall, Stanford would have to make up a lot of ground to challenge for the regular season title. But games like last night show just how dangerous this group could be when the conference tournament rolls around.