July 16, 2018

Report from Kezar

By Otis Watson
Friday, July 14

Well call me Mr. Diehard. I'm here [at Kezar] for the two games tonight. Just met Nadia and Jenna Brown.

Jenna Brown looks good. She can handle the ball very well. Not afraid to get into the paint and finish with the ball. She is also a great mid-range to 3 point shooter.

But the great surprise of the first game was Nadia. Much improved this year under the basket. Not afraid to fight for the ball. Nadia even told me after the game that she has been working hard. It shows.

July 12, 2018

Summer basketball at Kezar

Summer basketball at Kezar got off to a rocky start this season, but the rosters have finally been published. The season is almost half over, but there's still time to see the freshmen and other Cardinal hoopsters in action.

Freshman forwards Lexie and Lacie Hull are with team Midnight, junior forward Nadia Fingall with Paye's TNT, alum Sara James with Olympic Club, and alum Markisha Coleman with San Francisco. Here are the complete rosters.

The games will be played on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Here is the schedule.

Three games may be played at Alameda Point a week from Friday (7/20). I'll post the address in the FBC Events list when I find out what it is.

July 10, 2018

Hail, hail, the gang's (almost) all here

by Judy Richter

It would be an understatement to say that associate head coach Kate Paye is enthusiastic about the upcoming Stanford women’s basketball season.

“We’re going to see a lot of improvement” by everyone with more up-tempo play. “Our team is really hungry,” Kate said by phone recently.

The players arrived for the June 25 start of summer school on June 23 and had dinner together that night to begin to foster the camaraderie that’s so important to a team’s success.

Among those arrivals were the three freshmen: guard Jenna Brown and twin forwards Lacie and Lexie Hull.

Upperclassmen help freshmen

Although the team doesn’t officially assign upperclassmen to serve as big sisters to the freshmen, “everybody is taking them under their wing,” Kate said. They’re helping the newcomers both on and off the court. The freshmen have “a lot of big sisters right now,” she said.

Adjusting to Stanford play and life, the “freshmen are doing awesome,” Kate said, adding that they’re mature and serious about basketball. They’ll contribute right away. “Our fans are going to enjoy watching our three freshmen.”

Coaches set goals for summer

The coaches’ goals for the team this summer are to see everybody improving and staying healthy, to acclimate the freshmen and to “lay the foundation for a championship season.”

Conditioning is another major focus. In past summers, the players spent six hours a week with the coaches and two hours a week with strength and conditioning coach Brittany Keil.

New rules now have them working with the coaches for four hours and with Brittany for four hours. “It’s been great,” Kate said.

Thirteen of the team's 15 players are on campus. The exceptions are senior guard Alexa Romano and junior guard Anna Wilson.

Alexa spending summer in Peru

Alexa, an anthropology major, is spending most of the summer with an archeological project in Peru.

Anna is at home in the Seattle area “trying to regroup” after two seasons marred by injuries. She has been cleared to play and is working with a skills coach. Kate praised her good attitude and high energy even when she had to sit out.

While working out with the team and taking a class, senior center Shannon Coffee has an internship with Stanford medicine. The human biology major is helping with a research project involving mouth guards and concussions in football.

Senior forward Alanna Smith is taking classes while awaiting word on whether she’ll play with a team for Australia, her homeland.

Five helping with hoops camp

In addition to everything else, five players are helping at head coach Tara VanDerveer’s summer hoops camp.

They are junior forward Nadia Fingall, junior guard DiJonai Carrington, sophomore forwards Maya Dodson and Estella Moschkau, and sophomore guard Kiana Williams.

The team’s two most recent grads, guard Brittany McPhee and forward Kaylee Johnson, have activities in the area. Britt has a job for a company doing medical research near the campus and is hoping to play professionally overseas. In August, Kaylee will start to work for a Silicon Valley law firm before applying to law school.

The freshmen and Nadia are playing in the San Francisco Pro-Am program at Kezar Pavilion. Jenna will play with the USA team in the FIBA Americas U18 championships in Mexico during the first week of August.

Coaches go recruiting

All four coaches were to be on the recruiting trail during the second week of July. “Recruiting is going well,” Kate said.

While the coaches are gone, the players will continue to work on their skills and play pick-up games.

Summer classes end Aug. 16 followed by two days of finals. The players will have some time off before returning for the start of fall classes on Sept. 24.

“We have some exciting players. … I see a lot of players taking that (big) jump” from the past season, Kate concluded.

July 04, 2018

Stanford's Bigs

Assistant coach Tempie Brown offers a quick report on each of the Cardinal post players and what they're working on for next season in Jacob Rayburn's (Cardinal Sports Report): Stanford's bigs are an exciting mix of athleticism and versatility

June 29, 2018

Alanna readies for her senior year

R.J. Abeytia (247 Sports) interviews Alanna about her upcoming senior year:

Click here for a transcript of the video.

June 28, 2018

Q&A with head coach VanDerveer and sophomore Maya Dodson

Stanford is back to work and with three new faces. The Cardinal had a fast paced practice Tuesday with freshmen Lexie and Lacie Hull and Jenna Brown absorbing information as fast as they could take it in from Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer and their teammates.

VanDerveer and rising sophomore center Maya Dodson talked about what they took away from last season and the work to get ready for the next campaign.

Read more from Jacob Rayburn(Cardinal Sports Report) here.

June 22, 2018

2018-19 nonconference schedule announced

The 2018-19 nonconference schedule has been announced.

In the non conference season, the Cardinal will play seven games at home (what could be better!?) plus Thanksgiving in Hawaii, a Sunday in Spokane, and most of a week back east in Tennessee and New York.

Opponents include last season's Top 25 Ohio State, Baylor, and Tennessee.

This is the announcement from Stanford Athletics. Tip times and broadcast information along with Stanford’s Pac-12 schedule will be announced later once television arrangements have been finalized. In this year’s rotation, Stanford will play the Oregon schools and the Rocky Mountain schools (Utah and Colorado) just once.

This is the schedule from the FBC. Game information includes links to each opponent's women's basketball website and maps of the venues.

Pac-12 games, links to media coverage (TV, live streams, radio, live stats) and FBC pre-game and post-game events will be added as soon as the information is available.

June 05, 2018

2018 Season Highlights

Stanford Athletics honors the Cardinal's 2017-18 season with video clips of game highlights and other Memorable Moments:

May 15, 2018

Ten Months Hence: Who Wins This Fantasy Game?

Warren Grimes

Fast forward to March of next year. The Stanford women’s basketball team has just completed the Pac 12 tournament, and now awaits the opening round of the Big Dance. In preparation, TVD decides to schedule a vigorous practice game. She breaks down the team into two squads, as listed below.

Veteran Squad Youth Squad
Alanna Smith Maya Dodson
Nadia Fingall Alyssa Jerome
DiJonai Carrington     Lexie Hull
Kiana Williams Lacie Hull
Marta Sniezek Jenna Brown

Consider how much talent there is in this list of ten players (there are four more on the roster that could have been mentioned). Each of these ten could start for most teams in the country. Each of these ten, if not a starter, has a good shot at being in the rotation next year. That’s a deep roster (and a longer rotation than the nine players who averaged 10 minutes on the 2017-2018 team).

So who should be favored?

The Veteran team, I suppose -- it is made up of 2 seniors, 2 juniors, and one veteran sophomore. It includes the second (Smith), third (Williams), fourth (Carrington) and fifth (Sniezek) highest scorers from last season. Except for Fingall, each started for at least a portion of last season. Each can shoot the three ball, although Williams stands out. Kiana had 71 three pointers, more than twice the number of any other player. And she shot threes at a .384 clip. Williams averaged 10.4 points per game for the season, but, during six post season games, averaged 15.5 per game. Williams could be the team’s top scorer next year and is All American material.

The highest 3-point shooting percentage? That belongs to Nadia Fingall, who shot threes at almost a 42 percent clip.

This roster could win games against most any team next year. Not that there aren’t areas for improvement – there is, for example, the matter of free throws. Williams shot free throws at just short of 82 % last season. None of the other four made the 70% mark; and Smith, who drew a lot of fouls, made only 53% of her charity tosses. Rebounding will also be an issue – Stanford is losing a gifted boarder and defender in Kaylee Johnson.

To replace top scoring McPhee, the veteran team needs more offense from players like Fingall and Sniezek. But the Veteran sqiad should be favored in this fantasy match up.

So what about the Youth squad?

There are a lot more unknowns for this squad of two sophomores and three freshmen. But all of these players could be in the-end-of season rotation, and each has a possibility of breaking into the starting ranks next year. It wouldn’t surprise me if a couple of them did.

The two veterans from last year’s rotation (Dodson and Jerome) have great promise. In roughly 10 minutes per game playing time, Dodson averaged 3.5 points; Jerome averaged 2 points. Dodson was a proficient shot blocker and has exciting potential as a post player. The team needs Dodson to step up her game. Jerome is less flashy, but shows steadiness and also has the potential for a sophomore break through. Each of these players needs to develop confident interior moves.

Then there’s the three freshmen, each of whom knows how to shoot free throws. How nice is that! The three face major adjustments to the college game, but there are reasons to hope that each will adjust with aplomb. With four months of college experience, all three could be impressive players.

Jenna Brown has international playing experience on USA youth teams. In the two high school all star games this Spring, she showed steadiness and maturity in handing out assists. Unlike a number of other participants, she seemed a team player, more than willing to help her teammates look good.

Then there’s the Hull sisters, whom might be dubbed the “chemistry sisters.” According to their high school coach, the twins are gym rats who practice with reliable intensity. They are said to be quick learners and very coachable.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the twins have talent, reflected in the many high school accolades, not to mention their team’s championship in the GEICO Nationals.

So the Youth squad, by the end of next season, should give the Veterans all they can handle, and maybe more. Four of the five players shoot the three ball (Dodson is the exception). Lacie Hull shot threes at 41% last season, and made a lot of them. Lexie Hull didn’t take as many, but made 39% of her attempts.

Overall, on offense, the Youth team could be led by Dodson, Lexie Hull, and Brown. Defense? The Hull sisters were on a team that played great help defense. They, and Brown as well, should fit easily into the Stanford defensive scheme that relies on help.

Rebounding? Dodson needs to improve her rebounding skills, as does Jerome. Two of the incoming freshmen know how to board. Of note is that Brown, while scoring an average of 21 points as a point guard, also averaged almost 10 rebounds per game last year. And Lexie Hull was the number one boarder on her championship team.

Chemistry? The Youth squad should have it in spades, with Brown’s mature point guard skills and the enthusiasm and passing skills of the Hull sisters.

So who wins this matchup?

You choose! It’s a fantasy game. My pick is that a motivated Youth squad scores a narrow upset victory by outshooting the Veterans from the free throw line.