By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Anthony Brown served notice he could be a star for the Stanford men's basketball team with a breakout performance against Oregon State last weekend. Now he wants to show he can perform on a consistent basis.
Brown, a 6-foot-6 freshman forward out of Huntington Beach, will be in the starting lineup Thursday when the Cardinal (4-5, 11-9) hosts No. 21 Arizona (7-2, 18-4) for a 7 p.m. Pac-10 contest.
"When I came here I set goals for myself and one of them was to start," Brown said. "I was projected as a top recruit and I was going to make a significant contribution."
He's beginning to reach his goals, even though it took a little longer than he expected. He wasn't as patient as he might have been. His father, Quentin, proved to be a big help.
"When I didn't start right away I called my dad," Brown said. "He's my problem solver. He told me it's all a process and that I just have to continue to work."
The advice proved prophetic. He made his start against the Beavers and played like he wanted to stay in the starting lineup.
Brown's father was also his first coach, his first teammate and his first best friend. He's also been to a majority of Stanford's games, home and away. They'll discuss things afterward.
"It's not always about basketball," Brown said. "We talk about life, living on my own and keeping my head up. There are plenty of ups and downs and it's not always something on the court. It could be a bad practice, a bad test or a bad day."
Brown is one of nine freshmen who came to Stanford with high expectations. He's the third to earn a spot in the starting lineup.
"I still know I may not start every game unless I continue to get better," he said. "That was definitely a confidence booster but I don't want to score 21 one day and zero the next. I want to bring some consistency."
Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins likes what he sees of his freshmen, and he thinks they will only get better.
"There's not a finished product anywhere," he said. "I've learned a lot about our team and they've learned a lot about themselves. I think we're establishing some team chemistry and now even our freshmen have seen every player on every team. I'm still excited about this season."
The Wildcats handed Stanford its first conference loss in Tucson earlier in the season. Arizona has won 10 of its last 12 games and is tied for first place in the Pac-10 with Washington.
Stanford is tied for sixth, with USC, two games out of third.
Four of Arizona's last five games at Maples Pavilion have been decided by five points or less, with the Wildcats winning three of them.
Stanford hosts Arizona State at 3 p.m. Saturday.