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Stanford on the Rise?

Can Stanford return to the glory days of the Lopez twins?

Let's be honest, the Stanford men's basketball team hasn't been very good since their  2008 Sweet Sixteen exit against Texas.  In fact, they haven't even returned to the tournament since then.  A tremendous part of that success laid upon the shoulders of one of the best college basketball twin duos (besides the Harrison and Morris twins) in recent memory, Brook and Robin Lopez.  Both of these players ended up being lottery picks in the 2008 NBA draft.  Aside from that, coach Johnny Dawkins hasn't made an appearance in the tournament yet, but has a huge opportunity after the commitment of 5 star recruit Reid Travis (Minneapolis, MN/De La Salle High School) to Stanford.

In one word, Travis is a stud.  Besides his undersized 6'7" frame for a power forward he has so many attributes to be a great college basketball player.  He can score inside the paint, has a great feel for offensive rebounding, runs the floor well and is also extremely tough.  The things you might want to worry about are his defensive abilities and lack of finesse in his game.  Bottom line he is a great scorer with an outstanding motor that some scouts even compare to Tyler Hansbrough (Poplar Bluff, MO/Poplar Bluff).

Aside from gaining Reid Travis, coach Dawkins also picked up commitments from two other ESPN top-100 recruits Michael Humphrey (Phoenix, AZ/Sunnyslope) and Robert Cartwright (Pasadena, CA/Flintridge Preparatory). 

Humphrey  is a 6'10" power forward who also received offers from the likes of Arizona, Indiana, Louisville, Notre Dame and UCLA.  He was very sought after because of his lengthy frame, timing around the rim, ability to run the floor, and his capability to play through contact.  Although Humphrey has some promising characteristics, he needs to gain strength and experience because he has only been playing for about a year.  He will be a nice addition to this team and has unlimited potential.

Another great addition to the Cardinal is 6'2" point guard Robert Cartwright.  Although he wasn't as highly sought after as Travis and Humphrey, he can still play.  Cartwright should pair well with Travis because he is not afraid to share the ball and is regarded as a pass-first point guard.  Aside from his outstanding passing abilities, Cartwright possesses a stable burst off the dribble and nice ball handling skills also.  At 165 pounds, he needs to work on are his strength and quickness.  

In the upcoming years, look for Stanford to be on the rise.  Travis' progression will be key to their success and he will have to stay for more than two years for them to make some noise.  Also, look out for ESPN Top 100 class of 2014 recruits Justise Winslow (Houston, TX/Saint John's High School) and Dorian Pickens (Cave Creek, AZ/Pinnacle High School) to commit to Stanford.  Winslow is a 5 star small forward who is known for his ability to defend multiple positions and Pickens is a 4 star shooting guard who is a great leader and excels when he is off the ball on offense.  If these two also commit then Stanford will have a really special team in a few years and will definitely contend for a Pac-12 title.