LAS VEGAS — Stanford’s 89-88 overtime loss to ASU in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament could signal the end of an era for Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins at the Palo Alto, Calif., school.
Dawkins, a former Duke assistant and player under Mike Krzyzewski, has not coached Stanford to the NCAA tournament in his five years with the Cardinal. Stanford is destined again for the NIT this year after winning the championship game of that second-tier postseason tournament last season.
Before the season started, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News reported that Dawkins’ seat was “warm” because of his inability to get Stanford in the NCAA tournament. Stanford also has a new athletic director (Bernard Muir) who might want his own man running the program.
Dawkins, 49, has a record of 93-73 at Stanford. His teams have finished no better than sixth place in the conference. After beating Arizona in his first year as Stanford’s coach in 2008-09, Dawkins has lost seven consecutive games to the Wildcats.
The Cardinal is 18-14 overall this season.
ESPN analyst Miles Simon, the former Arizona guard, mentioned on the air today that Stanford is one of the biggest disappointments in the Pac-12 this season. The Cardinal returned a good core of players with forwards Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis and guard Chasson Randle.
Stanford was a pick of mine to potentially surprise in the Pac-12 tournament but the Cardinal has failed again, losing their fifth Pac-12 game by five points or less.
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. Follow his reports on the Pac-12 Tournament from Las Vegas.