A few hours after Stanford forward Dwight Powell announced that he would return for his senior year, reports emerged on Twitter that coach Johnny Dawkins would return to The Farm next season as well.
Stanford AD Bernard Muir says Johnny Dawkins will be back next year but gives him a win-or-else ultimatum.— Tom FitzGerald (@tomgfitzgerald) March 16, 2013
Stanford was picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 conference in preseason polls, but struggled to a 9-10 mark in conference play, including a loss to Arizona State in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cardinal also had a disappointing showing in the nonconference portion of the schedule, and finished the regular season with an 18-14 record.
As a result, Stanford will miss the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season.
Before Dawkins, Stanford hadn't finished lower than 6th in the Pac-10 since 1993. Since Dawkins, they haven't finished higher than 7th— Ben Muth (@FO_wordofmuth) March 16, 2013
A significant portion of the Stanford fan base will likely find fault with the decision to retain Dawkins. The Card struggled mightily in close games, and seemed disoriented in late-game situations.
Moreover, a Stanford team that won 26 games and an NIT title in 2011-2012, seemed to regress amidst high expectations. While both Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis improved, guards Aaron Bright and Chasson Randle were inconsistent, and shot drastically worse percentages from three-point range and the field.
Still, with the entire starting five set to return in 2013, the expected maturation of freshmen Rosco Allen, Grant Verhoeven and Christian Sanders, and the infusion of talented freshmen Marcus Allen, Malcolm Allen and Schuyler Rimmer, Stanford will again be expected to finish in the top-half of the Pac-12 and contend for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Another mediocre season would likely be Dawkins' last on The Farm.
Muir said expectation is that Stanford must make the NCAAs next season.— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) March 16, 2013
Muir: Combo of "all the near misses and what we have intact and the incoming class ... and Dawkins' leadership" = Dawkins coming back.— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) March 16, 2013