When the Cougars take on the Cardinal on Monday in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, it will be the seventh meeting between the schools. BYU leads the series 4-2 but they sit 1-1 when visiting Stanford. BYU will be trying to exact revenge after losing their last meeting in 2004.
Honolulu, HI 2004 (4-2)
The last meeting between the schools took place in the 2004 EA Sports Maui Invitational. With Steve Cleveland as the head coach and players Keena Young, Mike Hall, and Austin Ainge on the roster, the Cougars expected to come out with a win but could not overcome poor shooting and a stifling Cardinal defense in the 62-53 setback. After a competitive first half that led to a 28-25 halftime score, Stanford took control in the second half with an 11 point outburst before the Cougars put points on the board. With the lead blooming to 15 at one point, the Cardinal didn't look back. BYU shot 35% but led the rebounding battle 38-34. BYU was led in points by Jared Jensen with 11 and in rebounds by Derek Dawes with 10.
This game should be much different than the last as Coach Dave Rose, who was an assistant the last game, plays a much faster tempo offense. Even when teams slow the game down, the Cougars continue to run and put points on the board. With the current athletes on the team, they love to run and will do so as often as possible.
As Cougar fans had hoped, Tyler Haws showed up to play against Weber State. Haws recorded a double-double with 28 points and 13 rebounds in 36 minutes. Kyle Collinsworth also added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in his first official game back after his mission. With Matt Carlino scoring 22, the Cougars were able to set the pace of the game and come away with a hard fought victory.
For the third consecutive game, including the exhibitions, the Cougars have struggled with the shot behind the arc. Carlino went 1-4 while the rest of the team going 2-5 leaving the team at 33 percent for the night. This percentage needs to increase for opponents to treat it as any type of threat.
The play of the Cougars big men was not horrible, but it wasn't spectacular like fans had hoped. Eric Mika ended with three blocks, five rebounds, and seven points but was dominated down low by the big men of Weber State. Nate Austin ended with eight rebounds but only two points as both Mika and himself found themselves in foul trouble. They will need to have a better showing in the coming weeks if they are to be taken serious.
With a game under his belt, Mika should feel a bit more comfortable as he goes forward. It will be interesting to see how he reacts on the road after being dominated at home. Stanford should try to test Mika with their junior center Stefan Nastic. Against Bucknell Nastic scored 11 points and pulled down six rebounds. He is listed at 6'11 and 245 so he has a bit of a size advantage over the BYU bigs, and should try to use it.
The Keys to Watch
When Stanford has the ball: Watch for the Cardinal to use their size and dominate the paint. Stanford starts three forwards and only one guard. With confidence in their size advantage they will try to slow the game down and make the Cougars defend the half-court. BYU will try to use their quickness to create steals and turnovers. Austin and Mika will need to use their size to slow down the opposing big men.
When BYU has the ball: As designed, look for Haws, Carlino, and Collinsworth to push the ball and wear out the Stanford defense. If they can create turnovers on defense, the fast break will be utilized. The Cougars will not stop shooting the three but they will try to be more effective. If they can hit a few, this will open up the lanes for the drive. Don't expect Stanford to stop Haws, but expect them to try and make him earn his points and shots. There will be very few open shots for him so the others will need to hit shots in order to pull the defense away.
Johnny Dawkins is in his first head coaching job at Stanford. He started off as an assistant at Duke in 1998 and stayed there until hired to lead the Cardinal. In 2012 he took the Cardinal to the NIT Championship and then the second round of the NIT last year. For a complete profile on Dawkins, click here.
The Broadcasting Details
Time: 9pm MST
Where: Maples Pavilion Stanford, CA
Radio (BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143
Listen Live via Internet (KSL): Click Here