June 26, 2014


Two weeks ago, Arizona women's basketball issued a challenge to Pac-12 Coaches and Players to take part in a Cold Water Challenge to benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. This is how it all started:

Lindsay Gottlieb and several of her players were called out and took their dousing together last week:

Lindsay called out Tara, assistant coach Kai Felton called out Amy and Brittany Boyd called out Amber. Here's the Nerd Nation dousing:

I assume that Tara stepped up to the challenge by donating to the Kay Yow fund, as Kelly Graves did (or so he intended), and that Amber donated community hours. Or perhaps they took their dousing separately with videos that haven't been published yet.

Now in its third week, the challenge has spread across the nation and beyond women's college basketball. There are now about 11,800 #chillin4charity videos on YouTube. Here are links to some videos that have a Cardinal connection:

Katy Steding


E Payne

Bobbie Kelsey



Jennifer Azzi

June 20, 2014

Summer basketball

If you haven't been going to Kezar for summer basketball the past couple of years because there were no Cardinal players, you'll be happy to hear that Amber and Briana and alum Markisha Coleman ('07) have signed up with the South Bay team.

League play begins tomorrow (Saturday, June 21), but South Bay has a bye. They'll play the following Saturday afternoon at 3:30.

Forgotten where Kezar Pavilion is? Here's the map and the SF Pro-Am website with the full schedule and all the rosters.

June 14, 2014

Awards for Chiney, Sara, Amber and Erica

The Stanford Athletic Board held its annual award ceremony last week in which they honored 57 student-athletes in 31 varsity sports.

Chiney was co-recipient (with Patrick Rodgers, men's golf) of the highest award — the Al Masters Award, which is presented to the Stanford athlete attaining the highest standards of athletic performance, leadership and academic achievement. This is the second time that Chiney has received this award. She was co-recipient last year with Mark Appel (baseball).

Chiney also received the Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal, which is awarded to each member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.

Chiney was also honored for her receipt in March of the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete, women's basketball.

Sara was awarded a Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship, which the conference awards to student-athletes who have excelled academically and athletically and whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.

Amber was honored as a Block S Outstanding Female Junior.

Erica was honored for her receipt in Nashville last March of the NCAA Elite 89 Award, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA Division I championships.

Here is the awards ceremony program, which lists all the awards and honorees.

Tara and Amy attended the awards ceremony in Bing Hall, but none of the women's basketball honorees were present — at least, they didn't appear in any of the photos in this Stanford Photo gallery.

June 10, 2014

Why is the number of female coaches dwindling?

Jimmy Dykes, who has never coached women's basketball at any level, was recently named the head women's basketball coach at the University of Arkansas.

The appointment drew a good deal of criticism from Tara and other female coaches.

And it led Seth Davis (Sports Illustrated) to investigate why the percentage of women coaching women's college teams has dropped from about 9 of 10 to less than half in the 42 years since Title IX. Tara knows one reason, "When there was no money in it, there were no men in it."

Davis concludes with another quote from Tara, "The world we live in still has a long way to go in terms of sexism ..."

Read more in Davis's article and in “Women in Intercollegiate Sport. A Longitudinal, National Study, Thirty Five Year Update. 1977-2012”.

May 23, 2014

A serious concussion problem in athletics

Do-Hyoung Park (The Stanford Daily) has written an article about a serious cause of concern to basketball players and other athletes:
“I remember thinking I was feeling fine and I played the rest of the game…we did the concussion tests and everything seemed okay. Then I woke up the next morning and everything was super foggy and I couldn’t really think straight. I could barely get out of bed. I just didn’t know what was happening.”

It was a scary situation for then-freshman women’s basketball player Toni Kokenis ...


April 29, 2014

Looking back at 2013-14

Stanford Athletics has published its retrospective of the 2013-14 season: Looking back at 2013-14.

April 23, 2014

Cardinal Channel turns 5

The Cardinal Channel, Stanford's creative video department, turned five this season.

In celebration, director Bud Anderson and his staff selected their Top 25 of the more than 1,200 videos they've produced.

You'll find some of your women's basketball favorites among the top 25, and surely you know which one's #1.

Here's the story, and here are the Top 25:

April 22, 2014

A very early look at 2014-15

Charlie Creme (espnW) says, "It's never too early to take a look at next season," and gives us a pre-preseason look at his top 25.

He has a very dim view of an Ogwumike-less Stanford and puts us at #20 with this evaluation:

With the Nneka/Chiney Ogwumike era now over, the Cardinal will be without a bona fide superstar for the first time in a decade. Much more will be needed from the backcourt of Amber Orrange and Lili Thompson, but the key to winning a 15th straight Pac-12 title might depend on the kind of leap 6-3 sophomore-to-be Erica McCall makes.
We'll see. What is certain is that the Cardinal and several other Pac-12 teams will be very different next season, and it's going to be very interesting.

Click here to read about Creme's other 24.

April 12, 2014

The best for the best

They left the best until last, honoring Stanford's shining stars with the most prestigious college basketball honors.

TARA VANDERVEER OF STANFORD CHOSEN 2014 JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD® “LEGENDS OF COACHING” RECIPIENT — Tara is the second women’s coach to receive the Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor, and the second Stanford coach chosen.

STANFORD’S CHINEY OGWUMIKE WINS 2013-14 JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD®.— Chiney is the first Wooden Award winner from Stanford, and the first from the Pac-12 Conference as well.

Nneka accompanied Tara and Chiney to the Wooden Award Gala last night. Here are a couple of selfies taken in the elevator.

April 11, 2014

In the record book, 2013-14

Chiney set ten Stanford records and seven Pac-12 records this season.

Mikaela earned two entries in the Stanford record book in her senior year.

Lili earned four entries in Stanford freshman records, Karlie earned two and Bird earned one.

Chiney Ogwumike

Chiney scored 967 points this season, which breaks the Stanford record and the Pac-12 record of 809 set by Nneka in 2011-12.

She scored those points at a rate of 26.1 per game, which breaks the Stanford record of 22.5 set by Nneka in 2011-12 and the Pac-12 record of 26.1 set by USC's Cherie Nelson in 1988-89 (The Pac-12 ranks this as a tie, but Chiney's average was 26.135, Cherie's was 26.077.)

She scored 2,737 points in her career, which breaks the Stanford record and the Pac-12 record of 2,629 set by Candice Wiggins in 2003-08.

She attempted 669 field goals this season, which breaks the Stanford record of 602 set by Candice Wiggins in 2007-08 and the Pac-12 record of 617 set by UCLA's Rehema Stephens in 1990-91.

She made 402 of those attempts this season, which breaks her own Stanford and Pac-12 record of 317 that she set in her junior season.

She made 1,100 field goals in her career, which breaks the Stanford record of 965 set by Nneka in 2009-12 and the Pac-12 record of 973 set by USC's Lisa Leslie in 1990-94.

She made 58.9% of her field goal attempts in her career, which breaks the Stanford record of 58.6% set by Jeanne Ruark Hoff 31 years ago.

Free throws were sometimes a problem for Chiney, but she shot a lot of them — 755 in her career, which breaks the Stanford record of 718 set by Nneka in 2008-12.

Chiney retains three Stanford rebounding records that she set in her junior year — single-game rebounds (24), season rebounds (466) and season rebounds per game (12.9). She lost the Pac-12 record for season rebounds to Oregon's Jillian Alleyne, who made 519.

Chiney made 1,567 rebounds in her career, which breaks the Stanford record and the Pac-12 record of 1,266 set by Kayla Pedersen in 2006-11.

Her career rebounding rate was 10.8, which breaks her own Stanford record of 10.4 that she set in her junior season.

She combined her scoring and rebounding in her junior season for 28 double-doubles — the Stanford record. She made only 27 this season and ended with 84 career double-doubles, which breaks the Stanford record of 51 set by Nneka in 2007-12.

Chiney joined Nneka, Jayne Appel, Val Whiting and Nicole Powell as the fifth Stanford player with more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. She is the 34th member of the Stanford 1,000-Point Club.

Chiney also earned entries in the NCAA National Record book.

She stands in the top 25 in eight national record categories — fourth in career rebounds (1,567), fourth in career double-doubles (84), sixth in season rebounds (967), seventh in career double-digit point games (126), eighth in season double-doubles (28), 15th in career 2,000-points/1,000-rebounds (ranked by points), 17th in season rebounds (466) and 24th in career points (2,737)

She came close to joining the exclusive 1,000-Point-Season Club, which has only two members — Jackie Stiles with 1,062 points and Odyssey Sims with 1,054.

Chiney also places in three other Stanford career record categories — second in points per game, third in free throws made and second in blocked shots ‐ and in three other Stanford season record categories — sixth in field goal percentage, fourth in free throws attempted and seventh in free throws made.

Mikaela Ruef

Mikaela made 22 rebounds on Feb 9, 2014 against Washington in Seattle, which places her in third place in Stanford single-game rebounds, just one behind Nneka and two behind Chiney.

She made 345 rebounds this season, which places her ninth in that category, behind Chiney and Nneka (who own the top five places), Kayla Pedersen, Jayne Appel and Nicole Powell.

Lili Thompson

Lili had 97 assists this season, which places her in ninth place, between Candice Wiggins and Kelley Suminski, for assists by a freshman.

She played in 36 games this season, which places her in a seventh-place tie with Milena Flores for games played by a freshman.

She started in 33 of those games, which places her in a fourth-place tie with Virginia Sourlis and Rachel Hemmer for games started by a freshman.

She played for 899 minutes, which places her in eighth place, between Lindsey Yamasaki and Jamie Carey, for minutes played by a freshman.

Karlie Samuelson

Karlie launched 92 treys this season, which places her in eighth place, between Sebnem Kimyacioglu and Kelley Suminski, for 3-pointers attempted by a freshman.

She made 32 of them, which places her in ninth place, between Candice Wiggins and Taylor Greenfield, for 3-pointers by a freshman.

Erica McCall

Bird blocked 21 shots this season, which places her in a ninth-place tie with Cori Enghusen for blocks by a freshman.

The 2013-14 Team

The team won 33 games this season, was the Pac-12 champion, and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the 12th time.

The team did not set any records this season, but it retained the Pac-12 records for most 20-win seasons (25), most conference championships (23) and most tournament titles (10).