One of the top rebounders in Pac-12 play last season, Stanford forward Michael Humphrey appears intent on expanding his game. The 6-9 senior looks to take another step forward Tuesday when the Cardinal host Eastern Washington, which is opening with a stretch of 36 straight days without a home game.
After being held scoreless in Stanford’s season-opening win over Cal Poly, Humphrey bounced back in Sunday’s 89-80 victory against Pacific, scoring a game-high 26 points and grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds. Humphrey made two 3-pointers and 12-of-14 free throws to lead the Cardinal, which made 35-of-39 free-throw tries, including their first 19 in a row. Humphrey’s continued development would help take pressure off senior forward Reid Travis, a preseason All-Pac-12 first team selection who has picked up where he left off last season. Travis is averaging 24.5 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Cardinal, who will have a decided size advantage over an Eastern Washington team picked to finish sixth in the Big Sky preseason media poll.
TV: 11 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT EASTERN WASHINGTON (1-1): Senior forward Bogdan Bliznyuk, a second team All-Big Sky selection last season, recorded 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the Eagles’ 79-69 loss at Washington on Sunday. Guard Luka Vulikic scored in double figures for the second straight game while 7-foot graduate transfer Benas Griciunas added eight points and three rebounds before fouling out after 14 minutes. The Eagles struggled to contain Washington forward Noah Dickerson (28 points, 22 rebounds) and could encounter similar problems against the duo of Travis and Humphrey.
ABOUT STANFORD (2-0): Coach Jerod Haase started an all-freshman backcourt against Pacific with Daejon Davis and Isaac White playing alongside the veteran frontcourt of Travis, Humphrey and senior wing Dorian Pickens. Davis, who missed the season opener due to neck spasms, had four points and five assists in 26 minutes against Pacific. The Seattle native could be a perfect complement to fellow point guard Robert Cartwright, a junior who played in all 31 games last season and has averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 assists through the first two games.
1. Stanford concludes its season-opening five-game homestand against Northeastern (Nov. 17) and defending champion North Carolina (Nov. 20).
2. Eastern Washington is 2-41 against Pac-12 opponents since the 1983-84 season, including 21 straight losses.
3. Stanford boasts the fifth most experienced roster in the nation in terms of games played.
PREDICTION: Stanford 73, Eastern Washington 61