Stanford’s early-season injury woes have created an opportunity for several newcomers, including freshman point guard Daejon Davis. The 6-foot-3 native of Seattle looks to continue his strong start Sunday against visiting San Francisco, which has won three in a row following a 75-57 loss to Pac-12 foe Arizona State.
Stanford returned from an 11-day finals break and led by as many as 16 in the first half of Friday’s 75-62 victory over Denver, giving the Cardinal two wins in their last three games. Davis, who had a season-high 20 points and five assists in the victory, has started nine games and averages 10.6 points on 50.8 percent shooting. “We see a young man that’s getting better and better every game,” coach Jerod Haase told reporters. “I think you’re going to continue to see that. When he’s thinking as a point guard and as a leader, his game will just flow.” Davis needs to cut down on his turnovers but could remain in the starting lineup even when key contributors Dorian Pickens and Marcus Sheffield return from foot injuries at the end of the month.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO (6-3): The Dons registered their most complete game of the season in Friday’s 74-61 win over UC Davis, shooting a season-high 51 percent from the field with four players scoring in double figures. Junior guard Frankie Ferrari came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points while senior forward Chase Foster made four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points for the Dons, who have outrebounded their opponent in all but one contest this season. Sophomore swingman Charles Minlend, a member of the preseason All-West Coast Conference team, remains out with a shoulder injury.
ABOUT STANFORD (5-6): Junior forward Reid Travis averages a team-high 21.5 points and 7.3 rebounds for Stanford, one of two teams with an overall losing record in the Pac-12. Haase continues to be encouraged by the play of Davis and two other freshmen, forward Oscar da Silva (5.6 rebounds per game) and long-range threat Isaac White (team-high 28 made 3-pointers). Stanford has more experience in the frontcourt, where Travis and senior forward Michael Humphrey have combined to average 32.6 points and 15.9 rebounds.
1. Stanford holds a 45-21 lead in the all-time series, including a 74-62 win in the last meeting on Nov. 9, 2012.
2. San Francisco is 6-0 when leading at halftime.
3. Stanford faces No. 12 Kansas on Thursday before starting Pac-12 play against California on Dec. 30.
PREDICTION: Stanford 77, San Francisco 69