The Stanford Cardinal men's basketball team kicks off the third season under coach Johnny Dawkins as they face the 1-0 San Diego Toreros. This is the second consecutive season Stanford has opened against San Diego. The Toreros won last season's opener 77-64. San Diego is 1-0 after defeating Occidental College 83-66 behind four players in double figures. The Toreros were tabbed in the preseason media poll to finish last in the West Coast Conference as they will have 12 underclassmen on their 16-man roster.
Stanford is just as young as San Diego and has been picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 this season. Stanford will have eight freshmen and no seniors on their roster. While it will likely lead to a bumpy 2010-2011 campaign, this year's recruiting class could show some serious long term potential. This year's freshman class has been ranked among the country's top-20 by three different major recruiting services, so it's likely that a few newcomers could contribute immediately.
Among the returning players, the team features co-captain Jeremy Green. The junior scored 16.6 points per game last season. Green was second team All-Pac-10 last season and led the conference in three-pointers made. The 6-4 guard will likely carry a heavy weight on his shoulders until somebody else proves they can put some points on the board. The next highest scoring returner is junior Jack Trotter who averaged 6.8 points per game last season. It will be interesting to see how Green carries the weight of expectations. He saw his scoring average increase by 10.2 points from his freshman season to his sophomore season. I doubt we'll see another ten point increase, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him bump it up close to 20 points per game. Of course, he could find himself double teamed every time down the court until the Cardinal establish a second big scoring threat.