On Friday, Vanderbilt had the displeasure of a two-day turnaround before hosting an NIT game. Now, Stanford will have to do the same when they face the Commodores on Tuesday night.
Stanford earned a spot in the NIT's final eight when they beat Rhode Island on Sunday, leveling up for a date with the 'Dores tomorrow evening. The Cardinal overcame a performance where they made fewer than 35 percent of their shots from the field thanks in part to a monstrous 49 free throws. Their starting backcourt of Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown made 29 trips to the charity stripe alone. It's possible that URI's lineup was just five guys doing Ric Flair chops all night, but it's much more likely that Vandy fans are going to be frustrated by a combination of a contact-heavy gameplan and a few home-cooked whistles when these two teams meet in Palo Alto.
Seven of the eight Rams that played more than five minutes on Sunday ended up with at least four fouls. While that may be a worst-case scenario, it highlights how dangerous - and effective - the Cardinal's gameplan can be. Randle, in particular, will try to exploit that advantage again on Tuesday. The senior guard has 10 games this season in which he's earned eight or more free throws. He's not afraid to throw himself into the lane, and that means that Riley LaChance and Wade Baldwin IV need to be ready to dive into the paint without creating too much contact.
Randle is the engine that drives this team and the second leading scorer in the Pac-12 thanks to his 19.2 points per game. He's not an efficient shooter, but that ability to get to the line and then capitalize (88% free point shooting) makes him effective. He'll team with Brown and 6'11" Stefan Nastic to give the Cardinal a three-headed monster that matches up well with Vandy's Baldwin/LaChance/Damian Jones triumvirate. Will their scoring be enough to lead Stanford to an NIT final four date in New York City? Let's take a closer look.
|G -||Wade Baldwin IV||9.4||4.2||4.5|
|G -||Riley LaChance||12.4||3.1||2.8|
|F -||Jeff Roberson||4.7||3.1||1.2|
|F -||James Siakam||9||5.9||0.6|
|C -||Damian Jones||14.6||6.5||0.7|
|F -||Luke Kornet||8.6||3.5||1.1|
|G/F -||Matthew Fisher-Davis||6.9||2.3||1.3|
|G -||Shelton Mitchell||4.3||1.9||3.3|
|G -||Anthony Brown||14.6||6.9||2.6|
|G -||Chasson Randle||19.4||3.3||3.1|
|G -||Marcus Allen||6.2||3.2||1.2|
|F -||Reid Travis||6.2||5.6||0.4|
|C -||Stefan Nastic||13.4||6.5||1.5|
|G -||Robert Cartwright
|G -||Christian Sanders||0.7||0.5||0.6|
|F -||Rosco Allen