This year's Stanford men's basketball team has already started out better than last season. For one thing, there's no more mystery regarding junior Josh Owens, who was cleared for his return to competition Monday.
Owens, who worked himself into the starting lineup as a sophomore two years ago, missed last season with an undisclosed medical condition.
Coach Johnny Dawkins announced the good news after one of his star player underwent a series of comprehensive examinations. He also gathered multiple medical opinions from prominent specialists around the country.
Owens has two years of eligibility remaining as he used his redshirt season. He averaged five points and 2.8 rebounds in 52 career games, including a sophomore season in which he started 28 of Stanford's 34 contests.
Owens shot 56.1 percent from the field in his last season, and recorded a team-high 28 blocked shots.
Women's basketball player Jamie Carey was forced to retire from Stanford basketball due to recurring concussions following a brilliant freshman season. She later received clearance from doctors at the University of Texas and completed her career in Austin without further incident.
In other notes, Will Paul, who would have been ineligible the first quarter, has withdrawn from the school and will not be returning.
Forward Andy Brown, Dawkins' top recruit two years ago, may actually have some college basketball in his future. The 6-11 forward tore the same ACL in his knee in two successive years and is currently on track to return in the fall.
Dawkins will have a young team -- Da'Veed Dildy is the lone senior -- but Jeremy Green, Jack Trotter, Andrew Zimmerman, Jarrett Mann and Owens will give the Cardinal a good foundation as a highly-regarded freshmen class begins to blend in.