7. Stanford Cardinal (8-8, 1-3 Pac-12) LW: 9
After an underwhelming 0-3 start to conference play, the Cardinal broke into the win column with an impressive win over Arizona State on Saturday. The 14-point victory brought Stanford back to an 8-8 record.
The bounce-back victory was a breath of fresh air for a team that had lost four of their last five, despite excellent play from KZ Okpala. Contributions all over the court were vital to the upset.
Okpala played 30 minutes on the night and scored 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting. It wasn’t just the scoring, however, that impressed Cardinal fans around the Bay Area. Okpala’s NBA-ready skillset was on full display, as the sophomore forward grabbed nine rebounds, dished two assists and compiled two steals on the night.
Oscar Da Silva, a product of Munich, Germany, also excelled for the Trees. He scored 21 points, blocked two shots and shot 9-of-11 from the field. His 31 minutes proved to be by far his most effective and efficient performance to date.
Shooting 81 percent from the field and having the ability to step out and knock down a three gave the Cardinal an added dynamic they have sorely missed in previous weeks.
This last win could be seen as a beacon of hope for this team, who still has time to turn things around in an wide-open conference.
If they are to turn things around, it has to start now. Next on the docket is a matchup against one of the better teams in the Pac-12 this Thursday, Washington.