Stanford faces No. 4 UCLA at 5 p.m.
LOS ANGELES – Stanford will close its five-day trip to Los Angeles on Sunday with a 5 p.m. PT matchup against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. After not traveling to LA last year due to Pac-12 Conference scheduling for the first time since the 1955-56 season, the Cardinal opened its Southern California trip this year with a setback to USC on Thursday.
The Cardinal, 8-7 overall and 0-3 in the Pac-12, will face a UCLA team that is 15-1 on the year and 2-1 in the Pac-12 following its 81-71 victory over California on Thursday. The Bruins, 9-0 at home this season, are ranked No. 4/5 nationally.
In its lone meeting with UCLA last season, Stanford earned a 79-70 win over the Bruins at Maples Pavilion. Michael Humphrey led the Cardinal with 24 points and nine rebounds and Dorian Pickens added 16 points in last season’s win.
THREE CONSECUTIVE RANKED FOES FOR FIRST TIME IN 15 YEARS
Stanford’s current stretch of games has the Cardinal facing three consecutive teams ranked in the Associated Press national poll. The Cardinal, which dropped decisions to No. 18 Arizona last Sunday and No. 25 USC on Thursday, will face No. 4 UCLA on Sunday in Los Angeles. It is the first time Stanford will play nationally-ranked teams in three consecutive games since the 2001-02 season, when ironically the Cardinal faced the same three teams. Stanford lost to No. 20 USC and No. 25 UCLA at home, before winning at No. 14 Arizona.
JEROD HAASE FAMILIAR WITH UCLA
While Stanford head coach Jerod Haase faced UCLA as the head coach of UAB twice during the 2014-15 season, it was his one game as a player against the Bruins that stands out the most.
As a freshman playing for California, Haase scored 16 points, five assists and a steal in 30 minutes to help guide the Golden Bears to a 104-82 victory over No. 23 UCLA on Jan. 24, 1993. The 22-point defeat was the Bruins’ worst loss in Pauley Pavilion at the time. It was later eclipsed by Arizona (35-pooint win) during the 2002-03 season.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
In its first 15 games, Stanford played seven teams projected to be in the 2017 NCAA Tournament field, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. All seven of those teams – Kansas (5), USC (20) Saint Mary’s (22), Arizona (27), Miami (31), Seton Hall (35) and SMU (47) – also rank among ESPN analyst Jay Bilas’ list of “Top 68 Teams In The Land.” The Cardinal played only two of these teams (Arizona and Saint Mary’s) at home. Stanford’s strength of schedule as of Jan. 7 ranks sixth nationally.
STANFORD AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
Stanford is 0-4 against nationally-ranked opponents in the Associated Press poll this season and 48-57 against ranked foes since 2000. Sunday marks the Cardinal’s third consecutive nationally-ranked opponent, following setbacks to No. 25 USC and No. 18 Arizona. Earlier in the season, Stanford played back-to-back ranked foes in a home loss to No. 12 Saint Mary’s and a road defeat to No. 4 Kansas.
STANFORD AGAINST TOP-FIVE TEAMS
Stanford is 5-13 against Associated Press top-five teams since the 2000-01 season. The Cardinal last defeated an AP top-five team on Jan. 28. 2007, earning a 75-68 victory over No. 3 UCLA at
home. Stanford’s last road win vs. an AP top-five team was Jan. 10, 2004, when No. 4 Stanford
defeated top-ranked Arizona, 82-76, in Tucson. The Cardinal’s last neutral-site win vs. an AP
top-five opponent was No. 21 Stanford’s 64-58 win over top-ranked Kansas in Anaheim. Sunday marks the Cardinal’s second top-five opponent this season. Stanford dropped an 89-74 decision to No. 4 Kansas in Lawrence on Dec. 3.
JEROD HAASE AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
Head Coach Jerod Haase owns a 2-12 all-time record against nationally-ranked teams. He played 10 ranked foes as the head coach at UAB, leading the Blazers to a win over No. 9/10 Iowa State (60-59) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 19, 2015 in Louisville, and a victory over No. 16/16 North Carolina (63-59) in Birmingham, on Dec. 1, 2013.
UCLA owns a 142-93 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams. The Cardinal is coming off a 79-70 win over the Bruins at Maples Pavilion last season. UCLA has won three of the last four games in the all-time series. Stanford has dropped its last 10 games to UCLA in Los Angeles. The Cardinal’s last win against the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion came on Jan. 20, 2005, when Dan Grunfeld led four Stanford players in double figures with 25 points in a 75-64 win over UCLA.
TRAVIS’ INJURY IMPACT
Forward Reid Travis sustained a right shoulder injury during practice and is out of action indefinitely. The junior has been the Cardinal’s leader and has been among the Pac-12 leaders in scoring and rebounding all season. Through 14 games, Travis accounted for 25.3 percent (245-of-967) of the Cardinal’s scoring and 27.0 percent (134-of-497) of Stanford’s rebounding total.
SHEFFIELD’S CAREER NIGHT AGAINST ARIZONA STATE
Sophomore Marcus Sheffield poured in a career-high 35 points on 11-of-15 shooting against Arizona State. He was just the second underclassman in the history of the program (Ron Tomsic, 39 vs. Bradley and 38 vs. USC in 1952-53) to score 35 or more points in a game. Sheffield was the first Cardinal to record a 30-point game since Chasson Randle collected 35 against Rhode Island in the 2014-15 season. Sheffield has started each of the last four games.
PICKENS ON TARGET FROM BEYOND THE ARC
Junior Dorian Pickens has posted at least one three-pointer in 13 games, with multiple three-pointers in eight contests. He is shooting 41.4 percent from three-point range, with a team-best 29 three-pointers (12th in the Pac-12). He registered a career-high seven (7-of-10) against Idaho. Pickens connected on the game-winning trifecta against Indiana State with 2.0 seconds left.
MARCUS ALLEN WITH BEST OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE IN RETURN TO LINEUP AT USC
Senior guard Marcus Allen made the most of his return to the starting lineup in Stanford’s last game at USC on Thursday. The Cardinal poured in a season-high 13 points, matched his season-high with five rebounds and added two steals in a season-long 37 minutes of action against the Trojans. Allen, averaging 4.5 ppg on the year, has totaled 19 points, seven rebounds and four steals in his last two games against USC and Arizona.
THE JUNIOR CLASS
Stanford’s four-member junior class – Reid Travis, Dorian Pickens, Michael Humphrey and Robert Cartwright – has accounted for 61.8 percent (632-of-1023) of the scoring this season. Travis (17.5 ppg), Pickens (13.2 ppg), Humphrey (7.4 ppg) and Cartwright (5.7 ppg) rank one, two, four and five, respectively, among Stanford’s scoring leaders. Cartwright is listed as a sophomore after receiving a medical redshirt for the 2015-16 season.
RUNNING POINT BY COMMITTEE
Stanford has started three different players at the point guard position this season. Senior Christian Sanders started the first 11 games, while redshirt sophomore Robert Cartwright started three contests and sophomore Marcs Sheffield started his first game at the point at USC on Thursday. Sanders ranks eighth in the Pac-12 with an average of 3.8 assists in 18.3 minutes per game. Cartwright, who missed all of last season with an arm injury, is averaging 5.7 points and 2.8 assists in 23.4 minutes per contest. Sheffield, who has started the last four games, opened the USC game as the starting point guard for the first time this season.
Boasting one of the most experienced rosters in the Pac-12, four starters – Reid Travis, Michael Humphrey, Marcus Allen, and Christian Sanders – and 10 of the top 11 scorers from last season are back. Including the first 15 games of this season, Stanford’s roster has combined for 763 appearances.