The Stanford team that visits Pauley Pavilion to play No. 17 UCLA today is significantly different from the one fans might recall from previous seasons.
"It is different because you don't have the 7-foot pros in the middle," Coach Ben Howland said.
That would be the Lopez twins, Brook and Robin, now in the NBA. The current roster presents other challenges.
The Cardinal is playing more up-tempo under first-year Coach Johnny Dawkins. Along with a pair of senior guards in Mitch Johnson and Anthony Goods, Stanford has 6-8 Lawrence Hill and 6-7 Landry Fields, big men with small forward skills.
"They're a difficult team to match up with," Howland said.
The Bruins expect Stanford, which lost to USC by a point Thursday, to play mostly man-to-man defense with an occasional zone.
The 13 points that Jrue Holiday scored in Thursday night's victory over California included five free throws, the result of a shift in his perspective. Instead of driving to the basket and passing, the freshman guard says he has started looking to shoot or at least create contact.