Despite Delaware rout, Stanford left feeling blue after Demon defeat

Dec. 2, 2014, 10:07 p.m.

In its last two games, the Stanford men’s basketball team (4-2) saw two vastly different outcomes.

(LAUREN DYER/The Stanford Daily)
Senior point guard Chasson Randle (center) led Stanford with 15 points in the team’s win over Delaware and scored 16 in the loss to DePaul. (LAUREN DYER/The Stanford Daily)

Last Tuesday, Nov. 25, in their first game at Maples Pavilion since returning from Brooklyn days earlier, the Cardinal routed the Delaware Blue Hens (0-4), 84-47. Stanford was in absolute command throughout the game, with the major takeaway being the impressive balance in scoring amongst the team. Four of the five starters scored in double figures, with senior guard Chasson Randle leading the way with 15 points.

“I wanted us to do a good job of focusing in,” Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins told “I think our guys came out and set the tone early. That’s what you ask of your seniors and they were able to build the lead and gain momentum.”

After opening up a 44-21 halftime lead against a young Delaware team, Dawkins got the chance to play his bench for an extended period, something he has not had the opportunity to do much so far this season.

“That’s important for us getting the younger guys in there,” Dawkins said. “They got to play extended minutes and that will help.”

It was a strong bounce back performance for the Cardinal, who were coming off their first loss of the season at the hands of No. 4 Duke in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

However, Stanford followed up the victory with a shocking defeat. In the team’s first official road game, the Cardinal fell to the DePaul Blue Demons (3-1) ion Chicago by an 87-72 score. Perhaps fatigue was to blame from the team’s second long journey from the West Coast in roughly a week, but Stanford appeared sluggish in comparison to DePaul’s unyielding athleticism.

“Our timing was off from the standpoint of valuing the basketball and putting it in positions to run our offense,” Dawkins said. “We were thrown off a little bit. It was disappointing.”

The Cardinal simply did not take care of the ball, committing 21 turnovers in the game, their most since turning the ball over 22 times in a home win over Denver in Dec. 2012. DePaul capitalized on its opponents’ miscues, scoring 25 points off the Stanford mistakes.

While Stanford had more than its share of mistakes, the Blue Demons shot 54 percent from the field and played solid defense throughout the game. Forward Myke Henry overwhelmed the Cardinal with 29 points.

“We played with a lot more enthusiasm,” DePaul forward Jamee Crockett told “We had an emphasis in practice on defense, defense, defense, so we came out and just played good defense.”

The game was a close one for the majority of the first half. Stanford was only down by one with four minutes to go in the period, but DePaul closed out the half with a 12-2 run. Throughout the second half, Stanford couldn’t manage to find an effective response to that run.

Again, scoring was distributed evenly amongst Stanford starters, with all five players reaching double figures, but there was a strong drop off in points beyond the starting five. The bench contributed just three of the Cardinal’s 82 points — a 3-point play from freshman Dorian Pickens.

Fifth-year senior center Stefan Nastic and Randle each scored 16 points in the loss. Randle, who had roughly 200 family and friends in attendance as DePaul’s campus is just about 170 miles from his native Rock Island, Illinois, also finished with 7 rebounds and matched a career-high with 6 assists, though he also turned the ball over seven times.

The onus on the starters has been a recurring theme all season, and one of the keys for the Cardinal going forward will be figuring out how to incorporate some of the bench players into more rotations. The return of injured center Grant Verhoeven, as well as the development of center Schuyler Rimmer, will help in this regard, as Nastic will benefit greatly from the other big men getting some minutes.

The limited contributions from the bench, as well as a perceived dip in athleticism, have seemed to play out on the court in the fatigued Cardinal starters. Perhaps this is simply still part of the transition from the offseason, but channeling this athleticism will be pivotal come conference play.

Stanford will now get plenty of time to reflect on their pair of games against the Blue Hens and the Blue Demons as they enter their annual break for fall-quarter finals, not playing again until Dec. 13 at home against Denver.

Contact Sandip Srinivas at sandips ‘at’

Sandip Srinivas '18 is the Football Editor, a sports desk editor and a beat writer for men's basketball and football at The Stanford Daily. Sandip is a sophomore from Belmont, California that roots for the San Francisco Giants during even years and roots for Steph Curry year-round. He is majoring in Symbolic Systems and can be contacted via email at sandips 'at'

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