By Jon Rothstein
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It’s not an oversight, it’s an insult.
Game after game, Josh Huestis tallies close to a double-double for Stanford and performs like one of the best power forwards in the country. Yet the days and weeks pass without him being mentioned as one of the best players at his respective position.
Dare we say it, but Huestis could very well be the best kept secret in college basketball.
“He has all the tools,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said of the 6-7 Huestis, whose averaging 9.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for the 14-8 Cardinal. “Josh has gotten better every year. He’s put in the work and deserves everything he gets.”
The junior forward is the type of player that looks like he’s playing the entire game on a trampoline. A terrific athlete with great timing, Huestis is an absolute nuisance to stop on the offensive glass, and has already had nine games this season with ten rebounds or more.
“He could be a pro,” one head coach said of Huestis.
We have no doubts that Huestis will emerge as one of the better players in the country next season when he’s a senior — but before that, he has to deal with the present — and that recently got very interesting for Stanford.
The Cardinal have won three straight and are finally resembling the team that won 26 games and the Postseason NIT last season.
Stanford has finally gotten better outside shooting from their two starting guards — Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright — who both shot over 40% from three-point range last season but really struggled out of the gate this year. During the three game winning streak, Randle has made 9-of-12 from behind the arc while Bright has hit 6-of-11.
“Those two got off to a slow start shooting the ball but they’ve done a good job of fighting back,” Dawkins said of Bright and Randle. “It was tough for those two when we lost Anthony Brown for the year with a hip injury because he did so many things that helped them. It took them a while to adjust, but they’re in a good rhythm right now. When Chasson and Aaron make shots, it opens thing up for everyone else.”
And that’s something Stanford will desperately need this week. The level of competition will be raised in the next few days when the Cardinal hit the road for a two-game road trip at Arizona and Arizona State.
“Both of these games are big for us,” Dawkins said. “This is a litmus test week.”
Will Huestis get his due? Be heard in the comments!