7. Stanford Cardinal
The loss of forward Reid Travis to Kentucky was expected to come with a drop off in Stanford’s scoring output. But the Cardinal offense has been flat out bad in 2018.
Don’t let a 96-point outburst on opening night fool you – Stanford has failed to eclipse 72 points since. To make matters worse, coach Jerod Haase’s team is on a four-game skid in which it’s shot no better than 40 percent from the floor.
In last week’s Battle 4 Atlantis, the Cardinal went 1-2, suffering losses of 16 and 23 points to Wisconsin and Florida before closing the tournament with a 13-point win over Middle Tennessee State.
Aside from sophomore KZ Okpala’s 22-point showing against MTSU, there was likely little talk in Palo Alto and quite a bit of running when the team returned home.
Make no mistake, the Blue Raiders team Stanford beat is not the schedule booster it was when MTSU was coached by Kermit Davis. To right the ship in some regard, Haase and company will need a huge win just to earn a semblance of a clean slate.
However, the lone opportunity to make a statement comes against No. 3 Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 1. Other than that, it is imperative Stanford wins games it is expected to, beginning on Wednesday against Portland State.
The Pac-12 is already approaching a point where bad non-conference losses will start limiting the conference’s chances to get additional teams into the NCAA Tournament.