7. Stanford Cardinal (7-5) LW: 10
Stanford enters Pac-12 play as one of the most enigmatic teams after an up-and-down non-conference schedule.
During the Cardinal’s non-conference schedule, inconsistency showed in double-digit losses to both No. 7 North Carolina and No. 25 Wisconsin while coach Jerod Haase’s team nearly upset No. 2 Kansas in overtime.
Stanford looked helpless in both of the first two losses, suffering a 90-72 defeat against UNC before failing to reach the 50-point mark against Wisconsin in a 62-46 loss.
The main issue in both games has been a season-wide struggle – distributing the ball without turnovers.
In the two matchups, Stanford had a combined 27 turnovers, a mark that the team is currently averaging 16.1 per game while averaging only 12.2 assists.
The inability to hold onto the ball has started from the top as the team’s leading scorers in sophomores KZ Okpala and Daejon Davis, who average 16.3 and 11.3 points per game, respectively, lead the offense while also holding it back.
The pair lead the team with a combined 62 assists but also sit atop the turnover leaderboards with 33 apiece.
The reliance on the duo is evident in Okpala and Davis taking 35 percent of the team’s shot attempts, making it easy for opposing defenses to put together a game plan to shut them down.
Stanford will look to piece together some steps in the right direction when it opens conference play on Jan. 3 against UCLA.