The injury bug has wasted no time finding Stanford, which was missing three key players in Tuesday’s 67-61 surprising loss to Eastern Washington. The Cardinal hope to have the trio back in the lineup Friday when they face visiting Northeastern as part of the PK80 Invitational.
Starting wing Dorian Pickens and reserves Kodye Pugh and Marcus Sheffield were unavailable Tuesday due to foot or ankle injuries, leading coach Jerod Haase to start three freshmen in Oscar da Silva, Isaac White and Daejon Davis. Senior forward Reid Travis had 20 points but the Cardinal were unable to slow down Eastern Washington, which ended a 21-game losing streak to Pac-12 teams by making 11 three-pointers. “There’s tremendous room for growth,” Haase told reporters. “We have such a long way to go, and we’re not covering that gap as quickly as we can. Defensively, I was disappointed in both our man and our zone. We just weren’t effective.” The Cardinal will look to bounce back against Northeastern, which was picked to finish sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT NORTHEASTERN (2-0): The Huskies’ lone senior is guard Devon Begley, who led the CAA in steals last season and has averaged 10 points and five rebounds in wins over Boston University and Wentworth. Freshman forward Tomas Murphy was named conference Rookie of the Week after averaging 11.5 points and four rebounds, while sophomore guard Shawn Occeus has made five of his first seven 3-point attempts. Junior forward Jeremy Miller, who is being eased back into action after missing most of last season with a leg injury, contributed six points in 15 minutes in Sunday’s win over Wentworth.
ABOUT STANFORD (2-1): One of the few bright spots in the loss to Eastern Washington was the play of da Silva, a native of Germany who finished with 12 points and a game-high 17 rebounds in 38 minutes. “The first week of practice, he had a high ankle sprain and really hasn’t practiced a whole lot until recently,” Haase told reporters. “He’s going to be a heck of a player for a long time, and people are going to enjoy watching him play.” Haase is exercising patience with all his freshmen, including Davis, who missed all five of his field goal tries and committed four turnovers in Tuesday’s loss.
1. Stanford’s stretch of five home games in 11 days concludes against defending champion North Carolina on Monday.
2. Northeastern travels across the country after Friday’s game to face Ohio State in Columbus on Sunday.
3. Stanford forward Michael Humphrey is averaging 11.3 points and a team-high 12.7 rebounds.
PREDICTION: Stanford 66, Northeastern 61