Stanford men’s basketball head coach Jerod Haase was hoping there was no place like home when he returned Saturday night to his alma mater, a place where he played combo guard from 1995 to 1997. However, the Cardinal (6-3) failed to unseat heavily favored No. 4 Kansas on Saturday night, suffering a 89-74 loss to the Jayhawks.
Stanford managed to stay close in the first half, playing tight defense and headed into the break down only eight, 43-35. However, the Jayhawks used a 16-4 run in the beginning of the second half to capture a double-digit lead and the momentum. While a dunk by junior forward Michael Humphrey put the Cardinal within 10 with 7:44 left to play, Kansas once again countered with an 11-3 scoring barrage. That would prove enough for the Jayhawks to claim a 89-74 victory.
The depth of Kansas’ bench was very apparent in Stanford’s matchup against the Jayhawks. Senior standout Frank Mason III led Kansas with 20 points, with three-point ace Devonte’ Graham delivering 15. Josh Jackson and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk also added 15 points apiece, marking the team’s 44th straight victory at Allen Fieldhouse.
Even with the loss, there were many bright spots for the Cardinal. Junior Reid Travis scored a career-high 29 points to lead the team and set a school record with 19 free throws.
“I felt like my teammates did a great job of establishing me early, getting me in the post,” Travis said. “I knew I had to draw a lot of fouls, get us to the line early and get a rhythm going.”
Travis is currently leading the team in scoring, averaging 17.7 points per game with a 51.5 field goal percentage.
The opposing team’s coach noticed. “He drew basically 17 fouls on four guys, so that just goes to tell you we didn’t play the scouting report,” Kansas’ head coach Bill Self said. “Our guys just played butt-behind and let him go wherever he wanted to go.”
The away game was not an entirely hostile affair however. To start the game, Haase received a standing ovation from the crowd upon his return to Allen Fieldhouse.
“Certainly an emotional day,” Haase told the Press Democrat. “My emotions right now are more frustrated we didn’t play at a higher level, but for me personally, it means a lot — the reception.”
Even Haase’s players noticed the different tone in the building.
“Right off the plane people were running to shake his hand,” Travis said. “Like somebody was telling me he’s a legend. We definitely saw that with the ovation.”
But Haase and the Cardinal will have many more chances to earn redemption against the Jayhawks in coming years. Stanford meets Kansas next season in Sacramento. Stanford will return to Allen Fieldhouse in the 2018-19 season, and Kansas will visit Stanford in the 2019-20 season.