May 22, 2017

Nadia not selected for USA Basketball U19 team

The USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team trials ended yesterday and the 12-player roster was announced (story).

Nadia is one of the other 20 athletes who were not selected.

May 03, 2017

Nadia invited to U19 team trials

Nadia has accepted an invitation to attend the 2017 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team trials May 18-21 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Thirty-three players will attend the camp in an attempt to make the final 12-member team, which will represent the United States at the FIBA U19 World Cup July 22-30 in Cividale del Friuli and Udine, Italy.

Read more in:

April 24, 2017

Cardinal will open 2017-18 season against Ohio State and Louisville

The Cardinal will begin the 2017-18 season where they hope to end it — in Columbus Ohio, the location of the 2018 Final Four.

On November 10, they'll play Ohio State, the Final Four host, at Ohio State.

On November 12, they'll participate in "Showdown to Columbus" at Nationwide Arena, the site of the Final Four. There will be two games in that event: Stanford vs Louisville and Ohio State vs UConn.

Read more in the Stanford Athletics announcement: Season starts in Columbus

Note: The Stanford FBC schedule now shows what is currently known about the 2017-18 season: A few non-conference games, which conference teams Stanford will play against, and dates and sites of the PAC-12 and NCAA tournaments.

April 17, 2017

Welcome home, Lindy!

Lindy La Rocque, who played in four Final Fours with the Cardinal from 2009-12, has returned to Stanford as an assistant coach, filling the position on staff made available when Amy announced her retirement from coaching late last week.

Stanford Athletics announced: The farm is where the heart is

Way-too-early preseason rankings

Although a lot of things can change before next season tips off, Charlie Creme (espnW) thinks it's time to start looking ahead: UConn is back on top in Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2017-18

He has five Pac-12 teams in his top 25:

7. Stanford Cardinal
Forward Alanna Smith could be ready to become the next great big in Cardinal lore. She and Nadia Fingall could be one of the best frontcourt duos in the country. Marta Sniezek and Dijonai Carrington are guards whose experience now matches their talent. Brittany McPhee will take on an even more important role with the departure of Karlie Samuelson. But it's Tara VanDerveer's latest recruiting class, led by point guard Kiana Williams from Texas and 6-foot-3 wing Maya Dodson from Georgia, that could make Stanford the favorite in the Pac-12 and a contender for another Final Four.

11. UCLA Bruins
Cori Close's talented recruiting class of 2014 has reached its final season in Westwood. Jordin Canada, Monique Billings and Kelli Hayes will take one last run at a Pac-12 title. This year's recruiting class, which includes 5-foot-11 forward Michaela Onyenwere and 6-foot-1 guard Chantel Horvat, will be on board to help make that happen.

13. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks made the most improbable NCAA tournament run in 2017, reaching the Elite Eight while relying almost entirely on freshmen and sophomores. Expectations will be higher in Eugene, Oregon, but coach Kelly Graves brings every impact player back. Point guard Sabrina Ionescu and 6-foot-4 post Ruthy Hebard should be one of the game's best inside-out combos for the next three years.

18. Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils will transition from a post-oriented team to one with backcourt emphasis. Reili Richardson and Robbi Ryan were the best freshmen in Charli Turner Thorne's recruiting class of a year ago and should lead the program the next few seasons. Depth, defense and balance will still be the cornerstones in Tempe, Arizona.

22. California Golden Bears
Coach Lindsay Gottlieb will be embracing motherhood and the return of nearly her entire roster. Kristine Anigwe will push to be an All-American but needs some more help. Cal made the NCAA tournament in 2017 as one of the last four teams in. The continued improvement of guards Asha Thomas and Mikayla Cowling, and the further development of 6-foot-4 CJ West in the post, should make a postseason run more comfortable.

April 13, 2017

Amy is retiring

Yes, Amy is retiring after 32 seasons on The Farm.

Stanford Athletics has not yet published an announcement, but here is the Associated Press report:

Longtime Stanford top assistant coach Amy Tucker retiring.

On Thursday morning, the Stanford Athletics announcement:

Tucker transitions to new role.

It is expected that Amy's replacement, that is, the person who will take over her position on the staff, will be announced soon.

April 07, 2017

Beyond Expectation: Celebrating the Cardiac Cardinal 2016-2017 Edition

By Warren Grimes

There was no dominant player. Erica McCall led the Stanford team in points and boards per game at a modest 14.4 and 9, respectively. Brittany McPhee and Karlie Samuelson were consistent contributors averaging 12 or more points per game. Late in the season, Alanna Smith came on strong and began averaging double digits. Still, this was fundamentally a team whose whole was greater than the sum of its parts. They liked playing together, they were resilient, they were focused, and they made the Final Four.

Of the thirteen Stanford teams that have made the Final Four, this may have been the least likely.

True, Stanford had made it to the Elite Eight last year with most of the same players (Of last year’s starters, only Lili Thompson was missing). True, Stanford had three well established seniors who had been major contributors. True, there were some exciting new freshmen on the team. True, the team had a Hall of Fame coach.

But there were issues. Stanford had played inconsistently the previous year, struggling to a third place finish in the conference. There was no consistent go-to player on the team; no consensus All-American. The point guard position was still somewhat unsettled, with Roberson and Sniezek showing promise but with neither holding a lock on the position. Some of the promising freshmen had injury issues. Early in the season, Stanford lost a home game to Gonzaga, a good but not great team.

But the Stanford team came together to produce a 32-6 season. They did this because they complemented one another’s strengths. They did this because they worked hard and communicated on defense. They did this because, when one player was down, others stepped up. They did this because, when it came to blocking shots, this was among the best teams in Stanford history.

Erica McCall led the way with 63 blocks, including that memorable stuff in the last 2 seconds of the Notre Dame game. But McCall had lots of help from Alanna Smith (61 blocks). Kaylee Johnson, Brittany McPhee and Nadia Fingall were also proficient shot blockers.

On a per minute basis, the shot blocking award goes to Alanna Smith. She blocked shots at .0829 per minute, well above McCall’s .0516 per minute rate. Playing an average of just 19.3 minutes per game, Smith tied Jayne Appel for 8th place in the race for the highest number of blocks per season. That’s an achievement. If Alanna can avoid foul trouble, she could be a formidable shot blocker next season.

So why is this 6'3" Australian so proficient in blocking shots? Alanna is tall and athletic; she also seems to have the gift of a long reach. In the conference tournament final against OSU, Alanna had no difficulty blocking a shot by OSU’s 6'5" Marie Gulich.

When it comes to rebounding, McCall and Smith were essentially tied in the rebounds per minute category. Decisively ahead of both (at .34 boards/minute compared to McCall and Smith at .28/minute) was Kaylee Johnson. That should not surprise those that have watched Johnson over the past three years. She set rebounding records as a freshman. If her offensive production can step up next year, Kaylee’s additional minutes on the floor could set rebounding records.

One has to bow to the three seniors who set the tone for the rest of the team. Karlie Samuelson’s injury in the semifinal game could have been the difference maker. Erica McCall’s block in the last seconds of the regional final was the difference maker. These two players were deservedly named as honorable mention All Americans. Briana Roberson averaged 6.5 points and 2.5 assists per game. All three of these seniors played smart, played focused, and played hard. Leading by example, they were the best kind of team leaders.

Resilience will, by itself, commend this team as one of the best. This season, getting ahead of Stanford, more often then not, just made Stanford mad.

Stanford came back against Oregon in the Pac 12 tournament semifinal.
They did it again against OSU in the Pac 12 tournament final.
They did it again against New Mexico State in the 1st round NCAA game.
They did it again against Texas in the Elite Eight game.

But the season’s two most memorable comebacks were:

  1. Overcoming an 18-point first half deficit and defeating UW in Seattle (this, late in the conference season);
  2. and
  3. Overcoming a 16-point deficit at the beginning of the third quarter, and taking down Notre Dame in the regional final.

Thank you to the seniors, thank you to the team, for those great memories.