By Quinn Barry
Reid Travis. Dorian Pickens. Daejon Davis.
Take a look at the box score from any conference game during the Cardinal’s successful 11-7 Pac-12 run, and chances are one of these three student-athletes will have taken control.
Pac-12 head coaches agree. Senior forward Reid Travis was voted to the first-team All-Pac 12 for the second straight year. Senior guard Dorian Pickens earned honorable mention and title of scholar-athlete of the year, while freshman guard Daejon Davis earned a spot on the all-freshman conference team.
In a year in which Pickens missed almost the entirety of non-conference play and Stanford’s Class of 2021 blossomed late, Travis was anchoring the Cardinal offense from Day One. His 19.6 points per game ranked third-best in the conference. His clip of 8.2 rebounds per game was good for fourth, and the DeLaSalle High School (MN) grad pulled in the third-most offensive boards in the Pac-12.
Pickens’ shooting and veteran presence, moreover, helped the Cardinal surprise after a slow start to the year. The Phoenix-native posted career-highs in points scored per game (15.4), three point shooting percentage (42.6 percent), overall field goal percentage (43.7 percent), free throw percentage (77.8 percent) and assists (2.0). More tellingly, the Cardinal went 11-7 in games in which Pickens played and 6-7 without him.
The senior’s on-court work, though, was only part of what impressed Pac-12 coaches. A two-time Pac-12 All-Academic team member with a 3.42 GPA as a communications major, Pickens won praise not just for his classroom performance, but his lead role in the team’s adoption of 11-year-old Ty Whisler as honorary captain for the 2017-18 season.
The Cardinal future rests in the hands of Davis. The freshman tested Coach Jerod Haase’s faith in non-conference play, with an 11-turnover performance against Portland State in late November more the norm than an anomaly.
But the Washington-native improved and exhibited incredible promise as the season progressed, finishing fourth in the conference in assists per game and fourth on the team in total points (10.6 per game). Davis’ ability to get to the basket (second on the Cardinal with 4.3 trips to the line per game), knock down triples (37.3 percent from deep), and find the open man were key to the Cardinal’s conference success and give the program hopes of continuing to improve next year.
Before Pickens graduates, the trio hopes to make one final run together in the Pac-12 Tournament, which kicks off March 7 in Las Vegas. Fifth-seeded Stanford will face the twelfth-seeded Cal Golden Bears with a 2:30 p.m. PT tip-off. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Quinn Barry at qmbarry ‘at’ stanford.edu.