As Seattle Times reporter Percy Allen wrote in his preview of the Stanford Cardinal, their strength this year has been their defense.
Husky Men's Basketball Blog | Scouting report: Stanford | Seattle Times Newspaper
Nobody in the Pac-10 plays defense like Stanford. The Cardinal allows 62.1 points per game, which leads the conference and ranks 40th in the nation. They held Washington, the highest scoring Pac-10 team, nearly 30 points below its average. Stanford has held five opponents to less than 50 points. Only three opponents have scored at least 75 points and Stanford is 1-2 in those games.
And with two guards standing at 6'4", the Cardinal have the ability to both Isaiah Thomas at the top of that defense in ways that other teams in the Pac-10 don't.
Key statistical battle ground: turnovers
However, as conservative as their defense might be, one of their biggest strengths is also their turnover differential, currently hold about a 3 percent advantage over their opponents and in winning three of their last four games, the Cardinal have been under their season average in turnover percentage.
Given that UW continues to focus on defense as their emphasis in turning things around, their ability to maintain their defensive intensity and force turnovers today might make a difference in the outcome of this game.