Oscar da Silva is off to the best start of his college career and he's taking Stanford men's basketball team along for the ride.
da Silva, who scored a career-high 26 points in the Cardinal's 72-54 nonconference victory over visiting UNC-Wilmington Sunday, has reached double figures in scoring eight times in nine games and averages 16.6 points a game. His career average was 7.8 entering the season.
"Our game plan offensively is to play with pace, get to multiple sides of the floor and then attack them from the inside out. One of the best ways we have at our disposal is throwing it to Oscar," Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. "He's making a lot of good decisions in there. As long as he's not turning the ball over, good things are going to tend to happen."
da Silva was 11 of 14 shooting and added five rebounds. He played most of the second half with a bandage and headband over his head after getting hit by an elbow.
"I was just in the paint and did the pump fake and somebody hit me with an elbow maybe or something," da Silva said. "I got a little bump. Didn't really hurt so I came back in."
The junior has been pivotal for the Cardinal in terms of production and leadership. Stanford lost its top two big men in Josh Sharma (graduation) and KZ Okpala (NBA draft) from last year and da Silva has accepted the challenge to step up.
"I love that mid-post area and then we have great shooters," da Silva said. "It's a very good combination of different styles of individual skills that come together really nicely for us."
Freshmen Tyrell Terry and Spencer Jones have made an immediate impact for Stanford and da Silva has benefited from their presence. Jones scored 17 points, netting five 3-pointers, and Terry added nine points, four rebounds and five assists.
Stanford (8-1) is off for nearly two weeks and plays at San Jose State on Dec. 14.