Stanford Basketball quietly usually plays a tough non-conference schedule. Who are the top opponents for the Cardinal for the 2022-23 campaign?
Last season, Stanford Basketball finished the non-conference slate with a record of 6-3. It started off rough, with a loss on the road at Santa Clara in the second game of the season. Then eight days later, the team lost by 38 points to Baylor. Later on, the Cardinal also lost to another Big 12 opponent in Texas. The lone measure of success was beating both Wyoming and Liberty in the Diamond Head Classic, before having to cancel its title game matchup with Vanderbilt due to covid issues.
This season, Stanford has another set of tough matchups awaiting them, including a few potential ranked opponents. Check out the key non-conference foes this upcoming season.
at (N) Wisconsin (Nov 11th)
The second game of the season will be a tough one against a consistently good defensive program in the Badgers. But the offense will be a question mark, now that All-American wing Johnny Davis isn’t around. Unless sophomore guard Chucky Hepburn is ready to take his own leap, they’ll be vulnerable early on the schedule.
San Diego State Aztecs (Nov 15th)
If Wisconsin is a “good” defensive unit, the Aztecs are a “great” defensive unit. They were in the top 5 in the country last season and return star guard and leading scorer Matt Bradley. He’s joined by Seattle transfer Darrion Trammell and bolsters the backcourt offense and makes them a Mountain West favorite. If Stanford is going to be an NCAA Tournament contender this season, this is the kind of game they need to win.
Orlando Invitational (Nov 24-26th) – Ole Miss, FSU/Siena, Seton Hall/Memphis/Nebraska/Oklahoma
One of the best non-conference tournaments in the sport, Stanford has a couple of opportunities for resume builders. Ole Miss is a solid SEC team but not a definite postseason team so they’ll have to win that one. Mainly because if they lose, they’ll likely take on Siena in the next matchup and that only offers downside for the program. There are a number of different scenarios that can occur in this tournament but to avoid the worst cases, the Cardinal needs to beat the Rebels.
at (N) Texas Longhorns (Dec 18th)
Texas is a top-15 caliber roster this season, led by guards Marcus Carr and Iowa State transfer Tyrese Hunter. Leading scorer Timmy Allen is also back, while five-star freshmen, Arterio Morris and Dillon Mitchell join the talented roster. With the game away from California, the Longhorns are going to be a big favorite but a huge game from Harrison Ingram could give the Cardinal a chance.
Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (Dec 22nd)
The Ramblers have a lot new going on, including moving from the Missouri Valley to the Atlantic 10, as well as full roster turnover. Braden Norris and Marquise Kennedy are the lone key returning players, while transfers such as Bryce Golden and Sheldon Edwards will have to have big years to keep them competitive.
Stanford should be viewed as a favorite in this matchup but the Ramblers are far from an easy matchup. It’s the kind of game that they have to win to help upgrade its resume for the upcoming season. It’s the last game before the full start of Pac-12 play and just a few days after the Texas matchup, it’s a near “must win” for the Cardinal.