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First Look: Stanford

We've all got a pretty good feel for Stanford by now, but let's review their season and overall numbers for a first look at Friday night's opponent.

n-Texas Tech, 62-61
USC, 52-46
Arizona, 56-52
at Washington St, 67-65 (OT)
Oregon, 72-43
at Arizona, 67-66
Washington St, 60-53

at Siena, 67-79
UCLA, 67-76
at Oregon, 66-71
at Arizona St, 68-72 (OT)
at UCLA, 67-77 (OT)
at USC, 64-77
n-UCLA, 64-67

Looking at Stanford's 'Game Plan' page, the number that stands out right away is their offensive rebounding percentage, which has been outstanding all season. In all three of Stanford's losses down the stretch (UCLA, USC, UCLA), the Cardinal secured less than 30% of their misses. Conversely, since March Stanford is 5-0 when securing more than 30% of its misses.

How's that look for Texas? We'll need to do a better job than we have thus far this season. On the year, Texas has allowed opponents to secure 33.8% of their missed shots, the 219th worst rate in Division 1. At least in terms of slowing down Stanford's offense, that's something we must do well.

It is worth noting, however, that Texas hasn't particularly struggled in that department in its losses this season. The 'Horns have faltered when opponents have shot the ball well, more so than when they've done a good job grabbing their misses.

Take a look at Texas' opponents' shooting percentages in the Longhorns' six losses this season:

Opponent Shooting %, Losses
Opponent FG% 3PT FG% eFG%
at Michigan St 49% 38% 51.8%
Wisconsin 42% 32% 46.9%
at Missouri 56% 46% 66.7%
at Texas A&M 56% 54% 63.5%
at Texas Tech 43% 35% 50.0%
at Kansas 49% 60% 63.2%

Offensive rebounding wasn't nearly the problem in those games as was opponents draining shots. (Wisconsin excepted, of course - a game I still don't know how we lost.) And Texas' defensive efficiency numbers don't correlate at all with opponent offensive rebounding percentage. Texas certainly has overcome poor defensive rebounding at many times this year, but I'd very much rather not have to on Friday night.

Stanford is only an average shooting team, ranking 154th in Effective FG%, 102nd in 3-Point FG%, and 167th in 2-Point FG%. Considering Texas forces the fewest turnovers per game of any team left in the tournament, disallowing second chances for Stanford looks - as you'd expect - like a potentially decisive factor.