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The Scouting Report: Stanford Cardinal

Chasson Randle is one of the least talked about players in college basketball, yet he very well could be an All-American this season

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 12-4, 4-1 PAC-12
Head Coach: Johnny Dawkins

RPI: 28
BPI: 42
Kenpom: 40 (34th Offense, 73rd Defense, 66% chance to win)

Ranked 22nd in Blue Ribbon's College Basketball Preview, Stanford has performed well this season, winning seven of their last eight giving them an overall record of 12-4.  Among those seven wins were two upsets:  The Cardinal beat then No. 9 Texas 74-71 in overtime on the road, behind Anthony Brown and Chasson Randle, who combined for 47 points. Three games later, Johnny Dawkins' club faced another ranked team, this time No. 20 Washington.  It was again Randle who took control, as he played all 45 minutes and scored 24 points in a 68-60 overtime win.

Three of Stanford's four losses have been out of conference with their lone conference loss being a 86-80 double overtime loss to UCLA.  Bill Walton was extremely impressed by Randle's 32 point performance, but couldn't believe he missed three free throws, two of which came down the stretch.  The other three losses for the Cardinal consisted of a 70-59 loss to Duke, an 87-72 loss at DePaul, and a tough 79-77 lost in Provo, Utah to the BYU Cougars.

Stanford has been efficient on offense for most of the year, ranking 65th in the nation in PPG at 73.1 and 33rd in Kenpom's adjusted offensive efficiency.  Despite just shooting 44.1% from the field as a team, eight players who are averaging over 10 MPG are shooting over 40% from the field.  No one jumps off the chart with their shooting, but they can all consistently make shots.  Combined with just turning the ball over just 10 times a game (12th in the nation), Stanford can be a very difficult opponent to defend.

Players

Since freshman forward Reid Travis went down with a stress fracture five games ago, Dawkins has tried to figure out what lineup is best as he has employed four different starting lineups.  The five-star recruit and No.4 power forward according to ESPN was averaging 7.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG.  With the 6-foot-8 Travis out indefinitely, the Cardinal have been looking to Christian Sanders, Robert Cartwright, Marcus Allen, and Grant Verhoeven to step up.

Sanders is a combo guard who is able to play the point and off the dribble, and Cartwright is a freshman guard who had high expectations coming into the season but is only averaging 2.3 PPG, while 6-16 from three.  Allen, who has a twin brother Marcus, has benefited the most from Travis' injury, as he has the ability to drive the basketball and create.  Verhoeven has been battling hip injuries all season but has been a nice rebounder for the Cardinal.

Due to no fifth key player, Stanford' top four guys have taken about 77% of their team's shots this season and have scored almost 79% of their team's points.

Key Players

#5 Chasson Randle, Senior, Guard (6-2, 185): The team's top scoring threat who shared Illinois' Mr. Basketball with Ryan Boaright, Randle is averaging 19.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 2.6 APG in 35.9 MPG.  The 6-2 guard is a team leader who can more than create for himself and for others.  He has a very nice touch, shooting 42% from the field, 88% from the charity stripe, and 38.5% from behind the arc.  Randle can either play the point or go off the ball, which can make him extremely dangerous coming off screens or in catch and shoot situations.  He is a major contender for PAC-12 Player of the Year and has the opportunity to be an All-American.  Randle has scored in double figures in every game this season but one, including eight 20+ games, and two 30+ games.

#21 Anthony Brown, Senior, Guard/Forward (6-6, 215): A nice compliment to Randle, Brown is averaging 15.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2.9 APG in 35.3 MPG.  The 6-6 wing player is a very efficient shooter as he is 45.5% from the field and 46.6% from three, while also shooting 81.7% from the free throw line.  Brown missed the entire 2012-13 season with hip surgery but responded extremely well last season, earning PAC-12's most improved player.  He is really hitting his stride now, and has picked up the rebounding that was lost with the departures of Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis, who combined for around 15 RPG a year ago.  Brown has scored in double figures in all but three games this season and has recorded four double-doubles.

#4 Stefan Nastic, Senior, Center (6-11, 245): A native of Onatrio who has dual residency in Canada and Serbia, Nastic is the third member of the Cardinal who is averaging over 30 minutes a game.  Known as a gamble recruit back in 2010, he has more than been productive, averaging 13.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG (almost 3 Offensive), and 1.3 BPG while shooting 46.8% from the field.  Nastic became a full-time starter last year while being a serious post presence and has not looked back as he has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.  He has three double-doubles on the year including a 13 point, 13 rebound performance against Duke.

#25 Rosco Allen, Junior, Forward (6-9, 220): The last "key player" for Stanford, Allen is averaging 8.9 PPG and 4.5 RPG while shooting 44.7% from the field and 35.8% from downtown.   He has the ability to bang down low and also feels comfortable around the perimeter.  Allen has had a rough career at Stanford before stepping up big time this season, as he did not translate well to the college game as a freshman and then played in only one game last season before getting a stress fracture.  He has scored in double figures seven times this season and has a season high of 18 points on 7-15 shooting in their win over USC.

Stanford is coached by Johnny Dawkins who is in his 7th season at Stanford where has compiled a record of 129-91.  Last season was the first time the 51 year old made it to the NCAA Tournament, and he made the most of it, knocking off second-seeded Kansas before losing in the Sweet 16 to Dayton.  Dawkins led the Cardinal to the NIT Championship in 2011-12, but no one wants to be remembered for how many NIT championships they have.  Before Stanford, he was an assistant at Duke for one year before coming Associate Head Coach from 1999-2008.