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November 21, 2013

Previewing the Future: Robert Cartwright

Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins didn't blink when asked if Rivals 100 Flintridge Prep standout Robert Cartwright is the most pure point guard that he's signed during his tenure on The Farm.

"Yes," Dawkins said. "Absolutely."

Stanford noticed some of those point guard characteristics early in its pursuit of Cartwright. The Cardinal was one of the first high-major programs to get heavily involved in Cartwright's recruitment.

"We saw him a few years ago and have always liked his game," Dawkins said. "We felt Robert was a guy who had all the intangibles to be a terrific point guard. Big-time leadership skills, just a winner. (He's) very talkative on the court, very positive player, really good energy. He really caught our eye with that. After watching him more and seeing his level of understanding of the game, not only did he do well himself but he made his teammates better was something that excited us. Also we felt on-ball defensively he was one of the better guards we'd seen defending other guards as well."

Cartwright began to receive national recognition during the spring and summer AAU periods, when he held his own against some of the nation's top guards, including the USC-bound Jordan McLaughlin. He vaulted into the top-100 of the Rivals.com rankings early in the fall.

"The thing I saw was whenever he played against especially guys that (were considered) elite guards he always rose to the occasion," Dawkins said. "He's a guy who really liked challenges. He had a lot of pride in who he is as a player and I respected that because as a competitor you like to see guys get up for guys that they hear a lot about and he never shrunk in those situations. He always performed well."

Dawkins thinks that Cartwright's skillset will mesh well with what Stanford hopes to do offensively.

"I think from a chemistry standpoint I think he fits in right away," Dawkins said. "He has a feel for the game, he's run some good offenses in the past and he's a guy who because he's a pass-first guy, has the ability to make guys around him better."

Why Stanford?: "Stanford is Stanford," Cartwright told Cardinal Sports Report after committing. "Its academics are out of this world, just incredible. (They're) one of the best (schools) in the world. One thing I wanted out of this entire process was to find a great academic situation. That's what it was. Honestly, relationships matter to me. I made some great relationships with a lot of schools, but at Stanford I had an amazing relationship with Coach Dawkins, Coach Schrage, Coach Payne, and Coach O'Toole. I really did. They told me what I needed to know and they were very honest with me and they told me that they wanted me and they never backed off. They did a great job recruiting me. And the location of Stanford is great. My parents will be able to see me play and family is important to me.

"And the opportunity to play in the Pac-12 is great too because I'll be able to play against some guys that I've been going against for a long time. I'll be able to compete at basically the highest level. That's something that I definitely want to do and I'm looking forward to."

Scouting Report: Cartwright looks to be a clear high-major point guard with good size, leadership and some scoring pop. He's a pretty safe bet to make the next list. - Eric Bossi, 8-1

A tough as nails floor general who competes on each end of the floor. Very alert, finds teammates and doesn't make many mistakes. Not afraid to attack the paint and is a smart jumper shooter with good range - Eric Bossi, 9-25

You didn't know that… Cartwright has played against Stanford football commit Nifae Lealao on the hardwood multiple times over the course of their careers.

On film: Here are junior season highlights from Cartwright's high school season. He wears No. 22.

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