Stanford Cardinal vs. Washington St. Cougars Pick & Prediction JANUARY 18th 2024

Washington State and Stanford want to be considered contenders in the Pac-12 Conference race.

The team that wins Thursday night, when the Cardinal (9-7, 4-2 Pac-12) play host to the Cougars (12-5, 3-3), will have a better argument for that perspective.

Washington State is coming off a 73-70 upset of then-No. 8 Arizona, the lone ranked team in the conference, on Saturday in Pullman, Wash.

“I think it just goes to prove that we can compete with anybody in the country,” said Washington State guard Myles Rice, who scored 18 points against the Wildcats and was named the Pac-12 freshman of the week. “No matter whether it’s on the road, at home, at a neutral site. We got the guys in the locker room, the coaches in the locker room as well to go out there and do what we need to do.”

Forward Isaac Jones, a transfer from Idaho, added 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Cougars and was named the Naismith national player of the week as well as receiving the Pac-12 honor.

It was Jones’ fifth double-double of the season and third in conference play.

“I think it’s huge because it’s part of who I am. Like, I got a chip on my shoulder,” Jones said. “A lot of them think I shouldn’t be here, or that I’m a fluke and I just get lucky. They were telling me in the game, I can’t score without getting fouled — and I was like, ‘Bro, I got 20.’ So I think it’s huge.”

Stanford is the other team to have defeated Arizona in conference play this season, posting a 100-82 victory Dec. 31 at home.

That sparked the current run of four wins in five games for the Cardinal. They beat visiting Utah 79-73 on Sunday as Maxime Raynaud totaled 20 points and 11 rebounds.

“For the most part, it’s just a great growth in our team,” Stanford guard Michael Jones said. “Guys are getting experience and know what to do down the stretch. We’re able to make the simple plays, fall back on our training.”

Stanford guard Jared Bynum, who leads the Pac-12 and ranks ninth nationally with 6.5 assists per game, has missed the past two contests with a lower-body injury. Coach Jerod Haase said Bynum is day to day and the Cardinal hope to have him back Thursday.

–Field Level Media

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