Key Losses: C Rob Little (9.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg), G/F Nick Robinson (8.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Postseason: NCAA: Lost to Mississippi State 93-70 in the first round
Southlake, TX/Redshirt 2004-05
Glendale, AZ/Deer Valley
Tacoma, WA/Medical Redshirt 2004-05
Weatherby, a 6-foot-1 guard, missed the entire 2004-05 season after having surgery on a broken foot. Of the incoming freshmen, it would appear that the 6-8 Hill has the best chance of making an impact on a veteran team that won’t have a lot of minutes available. Goods and Johnson are intelligent backcourt additions that should provide quality depth in limited minutes. Brown, a walk-on, redshirted last season.
To order your 2005 Athlon Sports annual and receive $1 off plus free shipping courtesy of SI.com, click here.
The news came on June 20. Point guard Chris Hernandez had withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and would play his senior season at Stanford. And just like that, coach Trent Johnson's Cardinal became a legitimate Pac-10 title contender.
"Chris would be the first one to tell you that this isn't about him," says Johnson, Stanford's second-year head coach. "This is a team. But I would like to think that college basketball fans are going to like watching him play for us. He has a good understanding of the way the game should be played. He has a wealth of experience."
He also has a wealth of talent. Hernandez was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection the past two seasons. He will combine with senior guard Dan Grunfeld and post player Matt Haryasz to give the Cardinal three go-to scorers.
With that kind of star power, there is no reason to believe that Stanford won't push perennial power Arizona for the conference title. People who suspected Stanford would fall off the map after Mike Montgomery left for the NBA appear to be mistaken.
Haryasz has shown that he can be a monster down low -- he had a 20-point, 20-rebound game against Oregon last season -- but he needs to do it consistently to become one of the elite players in the conference.
"Early on last season, I didn't do a good job moving Matt around offensively," says Johnson. "I kept him in the post too much. Once he had that flexibility, he shot the ball better and became more consistent."
Playing alongside Haryasz will be 6-foot-10, 250-pound sophomore Peter Prowitt, who needs to take on a larger role after averaging just 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds last season. Prowitt will inherit many of the minutes taken last year by the reliable Rob Little, who graduated.
Sophomore Taj Finger, who averaged 9.2 minutes as a freshman, will also see more meaningful time.
"Taj was put into the situation of having to get experience against very high-caliber teams," Johnson says. "What you are going to see this season is a very active defensive player and a guy who is going to help us."
Johnson has a wealth of talent available on the perimeter. Everything begins with Hernandez, who averaged 15.2 points and played 30 or more minutes in 27 of 30 games last season.
"As we all know, he is a tough competitor," Johnson says. "His leadership is the biggest key for us."
With the point in excellent hands, Johnson will have a tough time trying to divide up minutes between his other guards, some of whom will shift to small forward depending on the situation.
Grunfeld became one of the conference's top scorers last season and was averaging 17.9 points per game when he tore his ACL against Cal in February. Although Grunfeld is coming off major surgery, Johnson says his star swingman will be ready to contribute this season.
"I don't worry about him," Johnson says. "He's right on track."
The talent keeps coming in the form of junior guard Fred Washington, who took advantage of his time on the floor following Grunfeld's injury. In his first start against USC, Washington had five dunks.
"We have to get Fred on the floor more," Johnson says. "He is a great athlete who has excellent instincts."
Johnson also will be trying to find time for senior guard Jason Haas and sophomore Tim Morris, who averaged just under 20 minutes per game before being ruled academically ineligible for the second semester.
Stanford possesses all of the qualities of a team poised to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament -- a star point guard (Hernandez), a dominant big man (Haryasz), a pure scorer (Grunfeld), plenty of senior experience and quality depth.
The question marks are the development of Prowitt and the health of Grunfeld. If both those issues are resolved, the Cardinal could be in for a tremendous season -- one that might not end until the Final Four in Indianapolis.