Date: Sunday, 3/3/19
Tip-Off Time: 1:00 pm PT
Location: Palo Alto, California
Betting Line: Washington -1.5
Stanford 2018-19 Statistics
Record: 15-13 (8-8)
Points For per Game: 73.9 (129th)
Points Against per Game: 72.2(185th)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 105.2 (153rd)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 98.5 (75th)
Strength of Schedule: +5.23 (64th)
Stanford Key Players
C-Josh Sharma, Sr. 7’0, 230: 9.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 70.8% FG, 71% FT
Sharma has been unstoppable in conference play. He’s shooting a ridiculous 78.7%(!!!) in Pac-12 play which is of course the best in the league. But he only shoots 55% on non-dunks and actually is a mediocre post-up player. But man can he dunk and the Huskies will have huge problems keeping him off the boards. The only answer UW has is getting him in foul trouble early which is a problem for him (although he’s been at his best in that regard over the last month).
F- Oscar Da Silva, So. 6’9, 225: 9.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 48.6% FG, 26.7% 3pt, 65.2% FT
Da Silva is right there with Sharma as he’s shooting 71% on 2-pointers in conference play. The difference is that Oscar also floats to the perimeter and puts up about 3 3’s per game at just 25% on those shots. Sharma’s 8th in the Pac-12 in block percentage but Da Silva is right behind him at 9th. The key is to make sure that Da Silva doesn’t touch the ball at the basket and he becomes much less effective.
F- KZ Okpala, So. 6’9, 215: 17.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 46.5% FG, 38.5% 3pt, 69.6% FT
Despite the hype around Bol Bol and Kevin Porter Jr., there’s a good chance that Okpala is the first Pac-12 player taken in the upcoming NBA Draft. After shooting nearly 50% on 3-pointers in the non-conference his numbers have stabilized and he’s making just 32.6% during Pac-12 play which seems closer to his true ability. But he can do everything on the court and will make things difficult when UW has the ball with his defense.
G- Cormac Ryan, Fr. 6’5, 190: 8.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 34.1% FG, 32.6% 3pt, 75.8% FT
Ryan missed the first game against UW with an injury (he ended up missing 5 in total) but has been extremely hit or miss when he’s healthy. He’s played at least 18 minutes in all 12 of his Pac-12 games and has had 14+ points 3 times and 7 or fewer points 9 times. He’s 15 of 27 from 3-point range in those 3 games and 8 of 46 in the other 9. Basically if the Huskies can get him to miss his first couple looks the odds are he won’t re-discover his rhythm but if he makes them early then he could really cause UW problems.
G- Daejon Davis, So. 6’3, 185: 11.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.6 apg, 43.4% FG, 35.4% 3pt, 75.8% FT
Stanford fans have to be a little disappointed that Davis’s rate numbers from conference play last year to this year are almost identical except that he’s getting to the free throw line more often and shooting it better when he gets there. Davis hurt his foot 9 minutes into the rout of Washington State on Thursday night and he’s listed as questionable for the game today.
2018-19 Stanford Shot Chart
One of the prime UW defensive philosophies is that a team won’t beat you by shooting midrange jumpers all night. Cal had an out of body type experience shooting them on Thursday night to spring the massive upset. Stanford isn’t going to do that as they take an average of about 3 per game and don’t shoot it very well when they do. If you keep Stanford away from the rim then you win the game.
These two teams couldn’t be coming off any more different games then the ones they played in on Thursday night. Stanford had the best game in the Pac-12 all season in an insane 48 point win over Washington State. The Cardinal shot nearly 60% from the field and 55% from 3-point range while the Cougars shot 31% from the floor and 21% from deep. Meanwhile, we all know the abomination that occurred in Berkeley on Thursday. I can analyze the matchup but the most important factor will likely be the relative mental states of each team. Can the Huskies refocus a few days after that loss or will it break them?
The key for this Cardinal team is to get to the rim. They are the 3rd tallest team in the country with 3 starters at least 6’9 and every player on their roster is at least 6’2. They are able to use that height to bludgeon teams low to the tune of the 42nd best 2-point offense in the country. Stanford was extremely effective in the paint against the Huskies the first time around as they shot 61% in that range. Washington won because the Cardinal were just 20% from 3-point range and had 18 turnovers.
Washington also had a great night offensively in that first game making 43% of outside shots and 52% overall while committing just 6 turnovers. Stanford predictably held a +8 rebounding advantage but if the Huskies can again win the turnover battle by double digits then they’ll be able to survive it. Stanford is in the top-5 nationally in limiting both assists and 3-point attempts so Washington has to succeed in isolation. Jaylen Nowell had 22 points in that first meeting and he’ll need a similarly big night this time around.
The pressure is on for Washington. If they had taken care of business on Thursday then they could’ve lost this game without much consequence for their NCAA seeding. But this team can’t afford a road losing streak heading into the last weekend of the regular season. Stanford is 10-2 at home with no loss by more than 5 points so far this season. They are good in Palo Alto. The Huskies are now 6-4 on the road this year and their last 3 games were 2 losses and a 2-point escape at Wazzu. If the Huskies want to show they deserve to be in the NCAA tournament then they need this one. But it’s going to be very tough.
EDIT: Daejon Davis will not be playing today with a foot injury. I’m not going to alter my prediction but that’s probably more than a 2-point swing in UW’s favor. Davis has an assist rate of 27.7 this year. The next highest Stanford player is at 14.1. Ball movement could really be an issue for the Cardinal which isn’t great against the Huskies who are one of the best teams in the nation at getting steals.
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