Sports

Stanford returning starters set the pace in basketball win

 

Anthony Brown may not have made headlines for his efforts over Stanford's first two basketball games but Cardinal men's coach Johnny Dawkins knows just how valuable he is for the team as it tries to repeat last year's run to the Sweet 16.

Brown recorded his first double-double of the season, and the fourth of his career, Sunday with 11 points and 10 rebounds as Stanford beat visiting South Dakota, 84-73, as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

"It's fun to watch people grow up," Dawkins said. "He came to us as a 17-year-old freshman and you see where he is now. He makes a coach proud. He's a very good player, one of the best '2' guards in the conference, if not the nation. That's how good I think he is. He does a lot of things that won't show up in the box score, like defending the other team's best perimeter player."

Brown, a fifth-year senior who had to sit out most of the 2012-13 season with a hip injury, was overshadowed by the likes of Stefan Nastic, who turned in another fine game against the Coyotes with his own double-double, the first of his career. He also blocked three shots.

Senior guard Chasson Randle added 23 points, which included a 12 of 12 effort from the foul line, and Rosco Allen delivered his career-best effort with 17 points.

Brown gets a chance to shine in the national spotlight when Stanford (2-0) travels to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to meet UNLV in the semifinal round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The Cardinal plays either Duke or Temple the next night.

"We're looking forward to getting the opportunity to play UNLV," Randle said. "We know they're a good team and we're excited about going."

It's Allen's turn to make for lost time this season. Various foot issues kept him off the court for all but seven minutes of last season.

"That whole year I loved being part of the team and going deep into the tournament," Allen said. "It's a different feeling out on the court instead of being on the sidelines. I'm so happy and maybe we can make another run this year."

Allen made five of his first seven shots but the Cardinal never did run away from the Coyotes.

"He's our X-factor," Randle said of Allen. "He came out of the gates and gave us a lift."

Randle helped the Cardinal shot just under 83 percent for the game. Stanford shot 61 percent from the foul line in a win over Wofford on Friday night.

"When you look at Stanford's roster -- first of all, Randall -- I mean, sometimes you just have to punt," South Dakota coach Craig Smith said. "You're just hoping he's disinterested because I'm not sure there's much the guy can't do. We tried to take away his right hand, but we really didn't. We just tried to corral him as best we could, but Randall's just really good."

Stanford was 17 of 28 (60.7 percent) from the charity stripe on Friday night. The Cardinal was 38 of 46 (82.6 percent) against the Coyotes.

"We're shooting free throws well in practice and the younger guys are getting that experience in games now," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "You look at the guys who missed and it's the new guys." The three returning starters -- Randle, Nastic, Brown -- are a combined 37 of 39 on the young season. The rest of the team is 18 for 35.

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