The Stanford men's basketball team opened its six-game exhibition tour of Italy with a 75-26 victory over Stella Azzurra Roma Tuesday in Rome. The teams played three 10-minute quarters.
"I thought it was a good way to start the trip off," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "After the long flight and getting adjusted to the time change, I thought our guys really came out focused. I was pleased with the way our freshmen performed. You can see they were still adjusting to the speed and level of play, but all-in-all I thought they had productive performances."
Sophomore Dorian Pickens scored a team-high 15 points, freshman Josh Sharma finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and junior Marcus Allen contributed 10 points and five steals to guide the Cardinal in the victory.
Sophomore Reid Travis got the Cardinal on the board in an emphatic way, opening the game's scoring with a dunk less than a minute into the contest. Stanford continued to score from there, completing the quarter with the 24-9 triumph.
Pickens opened the third quarter with a three and the Cardinal out-scored Stella Azzurra, 25-9, in the period. Rosco Allen and Sharma highlighted the scoring burst in the period with an alley-oop as the senior found the freshman cutting towards the basket.
Stanford travels to Florence on Wednesday.
Stanford received a ranking of No. 6 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Preseason Top 20 Coaches Poll on Tuesday.
It is the highest preseason ranking in program history and marks the sixth season in a row Stanford has been recognized in the poll. The Cardinal will face seven teams ranked in the preseason poll, including No. 1 Connecticut, No. 4 Syracuse, No. 5 Duke, No. 10 Northwestern, No. 14 Michigan, No. 17 Iowa and No. 18 Massachusetts.
Last season Stanford set program records in wins (19), winning-streak (12) and national ranking (No. 3, Oct. 14-Nov. 12), while also winning its first ever NCAA Tournament game against Louisville. The Cardinal, which has been included in the national rankings for all but one week over the past five years, concluded last season ranked eighth.
Stanford will open its season at home Friday against No. 4 Syracuse followed by a match-up with No. 5 Duke on Sunday.