Hassan Adams is the stuff of Stanford nightmares. Long and athletic, Adams can break down experienced but slightly slower Cardinal wing players, turning any of their mistakes into easy fast-break layups or dunks.
Now he’s gone, suspended for the Pac-10 tournament after a DUI arrest last weekend. “He’s an amazing athlete,” Stanford forward Matt Haryasz said. “That is obviously going to hurt their team. But Arizona’s a very resilient team.”
The Wildcats were resilient on Jan. 19, at least. On that night, just after Chris Rodgers was kicked off the team and Jawann McClellan underwent season-ending wrist surgery, Arizona beat Stanford 90-81 in overtime at McKale Center.
Marcus Williams scored 22 points and Mustafa Shakur had a career-high 12 assists, while UA coach Lute Olson cited a newfound focus.
“I think the guys knew that we were shorthanded,” Olson said after that game. “The enthusiasm in the locker room and on the bench — it was obvious that everyone was on the same page and focused.”
So with that history in mind, knowing that Adams is out for today’s Pac-10
tournament quarterfinal doesn’t make Stanford coach Trent Johnson and guard Chris Hernandez breathe much easier.
“I have a good feeling that a lot of their guys are going to have games they don’t usually have,” Hernandez said. “When we played at Arizona, they didn’t have Chris Rodgers and they just lost McClellan but a bunch of guys came out and had a great game.”
That was before Arizona forward Ivan Radenovic began making his lateseason emergence, too. Radenovic scored 23 points in Arizona’s 76-72 win over Stanford on Feb. 19, and has scored in double figures in 12 of his past 14 games.
This time, the Wildcats will also have Rodgers in the starting lineup for the first time since his Feb. 13 return to the team.
“For us, they cause problems with their ability to get out and defend,” Stanford coach Trent Johnson said. “Rodgers is in the fold and . . . I think Radenovic is very underrated in this conference. That’s a loss but they have plenty of time to adjust and somebody will have an opportunity to produce.”