By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Jeremy Green is Stanford's leader these days. He's not afraid to say things, good or bad, to the large contingent of freshmen that surround him on the basketball court. It also helps to play well.
Green scored 21 points in leading Stanford to an 81-60 victory over visiting Virginia on Thursday night in a nonconference game.
The Cardinal (2-0) will be back at it Sunday against visiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Tipoff is 5 p.m.
"It's been fun," Green said of working with the nine freshmen on the roster. "Every day is an experience and something new. It's very exciting they're here. I feel like we have a great group. I tell each and every one of them something different."
Some of those discussions are planned and some are spontaneous "depending on how much one of us messes up," said freshman guard Aaron Bright, who scored 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point land.
"They have really done well," Green said with a smile. "But they are freshman and of course they mess up."
Freshman Anthony Brown added 13 points for the Cardinal (2-0), who had five players reach double figures in scoring.
"Last game it was Gabriel Harris and Andrew Zimmerman. This time it was Aaron Bright and Anthony Brown," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "They both gave us a lift off the bench. The thing is to always be ready. We're still in the process of figuring out the rotation."
After Monday's victory over San Diego, Dawkins said he saw a definite difference in the way the freshmen approached practice.
"It's like the guy's eyes have opened," Dawkins said. "The lights are on, the fans are here and it's a different atmosphere. They just played their first collegiate game and they learned from it."
Andrew Zimmerman and Aaron Bright each scored 12 points and freshman Dwight Powell made all five of his shots for 10 points. Bright hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Stanford a 37-34 halftime lead. Green hit eight of 13 shots three days after making one of seven.
"I was in a better rhythm," said Green. "I was more patient."
The Cardinal began drawing away from the Cavaliers midway through the second half and eventually took a 21-point advantage into the last two minutes. After Virginia drew within 44-43, the Cardinal countered with an 18-5 run and were never headed.
Stanford missed its first seven free throws before Harris sank the second of two shots late in the first half.
"I'm not as worried about making free throws right now as getting to the line," Dawkins said. "That's when you're being aggressive and attacking the basket. We'll improve in that area. This is a new group and it's a process for them. Just getting comfortable takes time."