Former five-star prospect Harrison Ingram made a somewhat surprising decision to return to Stanford Basketball. Will they make the Big Dance next season?
For two years in a row, Stanford Basketball landed a five-star prospect out of high school. The first was Ziaire Williams, who ended up going No. 10 to the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2021 NBA Draft. After him was Harrison Ingram, a 6’8 versatile forward and consensus top-20 prospect out of Dallas, Texas.
This past season, Ingram was solid for the Cardinal, averaging 10.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, and 3.0 apg in 31 mpg on 30 starts. Some highlights include a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds against USC, 16 points and nine assists versus Oregon State, and back-to-back games of 19 points at the start of the season against Santa Clara and San Jose State.
It wasn’t all great, as Ingram had plenty of growing pains as a freshman. He scored fewer than eight points 14 times, including seven straight towards the end of the season. Overall, the forward shot 39% from the field and 31% from deep. When he struggled, Stanford struggled as a team, hence why they failed to make the NCAA Tournament for another year.
The expectation at the start of the offseason was that Ingram would be a “one and done” and stay in the NBA Draft process. However, the Cardinal got different news this weekend.
Ingram coming back solidifies the frontcourt for next season, especially after losing starter Jaiden Delaire to the transfer portal. He and returning leading scorer Spencer Jones is a potent duo offensively and both Maxime Raynaud and Brandon Angel adds depth.
It was the backcourt that was the bigger issue last season, with Michael O’Connell the only guard that scored more than 5.0 ppg. They’ll need more from he and Isa Silva to become more formidable next season but the addition of Davison transfer Michael Jones, a 6’5 guard coming off a breakout junior campaign of 11.8 ppg on 42% shooting from three-point range.
Stanford and Ingram will benefit from having such a deep threat in the backcourt and will have a more balanced offense, the team can rise up the Pac-12 standings. If the sophomore forward can have a breakout campaign of his own, not only will the Cardinal be in the NCAA Tournament picture next season, but Ingram himself will see his NBA Draft stock rise to the point where he’ll have to leave.