November 27, 2015

Gulf Coast Showcase, 1st round

Read Wally Mersereau's trip report for an account of Thanksgiving day in Florida as well as the 1st round games: Raining Threes in Florida

Ready for Thanksgiving Dinner

Dayton 68, Maine 47

Debbie Antonelli helps Stanford staff scout the Dayton/Maine game

Dayton dominated this game from the start, primarily on their defense.

They played a fluid, alert zone on every defensive possession. The Maine Black Bears found it very difficult to score inside or outside. Outside, their threes weren't dropping, and when they managed to get the ball inside the height of the Dayton front court (6-5 Saicha Grant-Allen and 6-4 Jodie Conelie-Sigmundova), made it hard to get an unobstructed shot or an offensive rebound.

Dayton in turn did not score as freely as their height advantage would suggest they should -- in fact their high scorer was guard Amber Dean — but their final total of 68 was ample, given their defense.

Here are game reports:

And the box score and play-by-play,

Stanford 82, Missouri State 65

Stanford dominated this game on shooting, hitting a total of 15 threes: five by Lili, five by Karlie, four by Bri and one from Brittany. (The Stanford single-game record for 3-pointers is 16).

The Cardinal began the game a three from Lili, then Bri, then Karlie in the first four minutes.

Missouri State mounted a vigorous player defense from the start, varied only in the second half with a tepid zone for one or two possessions.

A few minutes into the game the Lady Bears took their first and last lead, 11-12, quickly erased by a three from Brittany. From that point Stanford pulled away, ending the first half at 44-30.

The Lady Bears cranked their defense even higher in the second half, resulting in a lot of entertaining, and sometimes scary, action. Lili especially often tumbled to the floor. Marta also mixed it up, driving into the scrum to pass or shoot. But Missouri State played Stanford even in the third quarter at 22 points each.

In the fourth quarter they got within 12, but then Stanford pulled away to the final result.

Lili scored a season-high 26 points — her fourth straight 20+ game. The Cardinal had trouble getting the ball inside this afternoon. Bri scored her most points of the season (18) and her most-ever 3-pointers (four). Bird grabbed the game-high rebounds (10), but missed her fifth straight double-double by one point.

Here are game reports:

And the box score and play-by-play,

St Louis 65, Marist 53

This was an entertaining game due to Louisville's style of play: pressure defense played with abandon. The Cardinals pressed Marist on every possession. This frequently resulted in a foul, or a ball out of bounds to Marist, but it often produced a turnover.

In the first half the Red Foxes were able to keep their composure under the constant annoying harrassment, and Louisville's shooting was poor (27% for the half), so they could not profit much from turnovers. Marist hit a number of timely threes and the half ended with Marist up 32-28.

Things began to turn for Louisville in the third quarter when, despite a number of unforced turnovers and a lot of fouls, they outscored Marist 17-10 to enter the fourth quarter up 45-42. In the fourth quarter Marist seemed to tire and Louisville ended the game with a 16-3 run to win going away.

If Stanford plays Louisville (Cardinal v. Cardinals), all that will be necessary to win is for Stanford to keep their composure and make the many free throws Louisville is sure to give them.

Here are game reports:

And the box score and play-by-play,

Purdue 69, LSU 52

We didn't have the stamina for a fourth game today, but

Here are game reports:

And the box score and play-by-play,


Freshman Smith is Stanford's first international recruit by Janie McCauley (AP)

November 25, 2015

Fear the Flyers

Looks like the Cardinal's probable second round opponent in the Gulf Coast Showcase will be a big challenge.

Graham Hayes (espnW) has updated his mid-major rankings and now ranks the Dayton Flyers No. 1 with this evaluation:

Since last rankings: Home wins against Yale (81-75), Vanderbilt (81-56), Wisconsin (87-64)

In the spotlight: Size, size and more size. While not to the extent suggested by a photo that makes it appear they invaded a gym used by the Keebler Elves, the Flyers are big. That size has them at No. 1, rather than struggling to adapt to life without Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott. A backcourt of Kelley Austria, Jenna Burdette and Amber Deane was always going to be the foundation. But 6-foot-2 freshman Maddy Dennis looks ready, 6-5 junior Saicha Grant-Allen has been double-double productive with expanded minutes alongside 6-4 senior Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova, and 6-3 junior Andrijana Cvitkovic produced when Grant-Allen was in foul trouble against Wisconsin.

Dayton coach Jim Jabir and coaches of other teams competing in the tournament talk about coaching and opportunities in: VanDerveer, Stanford headline Gulf Coast Showcase

November 24, 2015

Up next: Thanksgiving in Florida

The Cardinal are spending the long Thankgiving weekend in Florida this year, playing in the third annual Gulf Coast Showcase.

The tournament format is an eight-team playoff, with winners playing winners and losers playing losers in the second and third rounds to determine places one through eight.

BD Global Sports, the event sponsor, will provide a video live stream and live stats of each game.

Click here for the tournament bracket and game times.

First Round

Stanford will play the Missouri State Lady Bears on Friday, November 27 at 10:30 am Pacific Time.

The Lady Bears play in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). They were picked to win the conference in the preseason poll:

Missouri State welcomes back four starters and nearly its entire statistical output from last season’s 18-15 squad that returned to the postseason (WNIT) for the first time since 2012.

The Lady Bears roster features a pair of talented senior guards in Kenzie Williams, a first-team all-MVC selection this season, and Tyonna Snow, an honorable mention all-conference honoree last season. Sophomore Liza Fruendt, a member of the league’s All-Freshman team a season ago, completes the Missouri State backcourt.

Senior center Hillary Chvatal, junior guard Lexi Hughes and sophomore forward Aubrey Buckley, who started in 30 games for Missouri State last season, will also play pivotal roles for the Lady Bears once again in 2015-16.

Here are Missouri State's statistics and roster.

Second Round

Stanford will play either the Dayton Flyers or the Maine Black Bears on Saturday, November 28 at either 8:00 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon (Pacific Time).

The Dayton Flyers are not ranked in the top 25, but have received votes in the national polls — enough to place them at No. 29/27. Graham Hayes (espnW) ranked them seventh in his preseason evaluation of the mid-majors.

The Flyers play in the Atlantic 10 conference. They were picked to finish second to George Washington University in the preseason conference poll.

The Flyers, who went 28-7 overall and 14-2 in the Atlantic 10 in 2015, are coming off a thrilling run to the Elite Eight in which they defeated tenth-seeded Iowa State, second-seeded Kentucky and third-seeded Louisville before falling to eventual National Champion, UConn.

The Flyers lost their two top players from that squad to graduation — senior guard Andrea Hoover and senior forward Ally Malott. Those two combined for 43% of the Flyers points and 34% of the rebounds.

The Flyers have made a good start this season with three victories, led by senior guard Amber Deane, senior guard Kelley Austria and senior center Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova.

Here are Dayton's statistics and roster.

The Maine Black Bears play in the America East Conference. They were picked to finish second to four-time reigning champion Albany in the preseason conference poll.

The Black Bears are coming off their best season in eleven years, winning 23 games and claiming the America East Co-Regular Season title after going 14-2 in conference play.

The Black Bears return all five starters from last year's squad, including Co-Defensive Player of the Year, senior forward Liz Wood, who ranked in the top-7 of scoring, rebounding, steals, assists and field goal percentage last season. Maine led the league in scoring defense last year, allowing just 54.5 points per game.

The Black Bears are a small black spot in the Stanford record book. The Cardinal have played them just once — in the 1999 NCAA 1st round. The Black Bears won 60-58 with a pair of free throws in the last 17 seconds of the game.

Here are Maine's statistics and roster.

Third Round

If Stanford wins its first two rounds, it is most likely to play the Louisville Cardinals, the only other nationally-ranked team in the tournament, in the championship game on Sunday November 29 at 4:30 pm Pacific Time. It would be a first-time meeting — the Cardinal and the Cardinals have never played each other.

Louisville was seeded No. 3 last season, but was upset by Dayton in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. They received pre-season rankings of No. 8/8 in the national polls. But they have lost their first two games this season (to Cal by four points and to Western Kentucky by two) and are currently ranked No. 22 in the AP Top 25 and dropped from the USA TODAY Coaches Poll.

Louisville plays in the Atlantic 10 Conference. They were picked to finish third, behind Notre Dame and Florida State, in the preseason conference poll. Charlie Creme (espnW) concurred with this evaluation:

Nine freshmen and sophomores make up the Cardinals' roster, and at least three of those players could be All-Americans one day.

Sophomore Mariya Moore could burst through as one of the country's top players, and classmate Myisha Hines-Allen is already one of its most efficient scorers. Although just a freshman (but the best of an outstanding class), guard Asia Durr is a veteran of the Team USA circuit and a two-time Georgia Player of the Year.

Taja Cole takes over at the point. She and Durr look to be the backcourt duo for Jeff Walz for the next four years. Erin DeGrate and Sam Fuehring should each get sizable minutes in the post as rookies.

Here are Louisville's roster and statistics.

The other three teams in the bottom half of the bracket are:

The LSU Tigers, headed by fifth-year coach Nikki Caldwell Fargas, play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

The SEC is a very strong conference, led by South Carolina and Tennessee. The Tigers were picked to finish tenth in the preseason conference poll.

Here are LSU's roster and statistics.

The Purdue Boilermakers play in the Big Ten Conference. They were picked to finish in the bottom half of this 14-team conference in the preseason conference poll.

The Boilermakers are the only Gulf Coast Showcase participant that the Cardinal has played in the recent past. The teams met two years ago in the Puerto Vallarta Thanksgiving Tournament. The Cardinal won that game — it was Tara's 899th career victory.

Here are Purdue's roster and statistics

The Marist Red Foxes play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

The Red Foxes have dominated the MAAC for more than a decade. They've been the tournament champion ten times in the past twelve years. They lost the championship game last season and, before that, in 2005.

They were picked to finish second this season in the preseason conference poll.

Here are Marist's roster and statistics.

November 23, 2015

Bronco stampede stuns the Cardinal

The Broncos brought their best defensive game ever to Maples tonight and defeated the Cardinal, 61-58, for the first time since 1998.

The Broncos' aggressive, wide-spread zone defense completely flummoxed the Cardinal, who never got into an offensive rhythm. The Cardinal couldn't penetrate to the basket, their 3-pointers weren't falling (until late in the game — way too late) and their free-throw shooting was pathetic (10-of-17 for 59%).

The discombobulated Cardinal turned the ball over 26 times (four shy of Stanford's single-game record) in their attempts to solve the Bronco defense.

The Broncos made good use of those additional possessions and of superior offensive re-bounding (23 to 16). They weren't shooting very well (31% to the Cardinal's 36%), but they took 71 shots to the Cardinal's 53.

Lili had her third straight 21-point game, and Bird had her fourth straight double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds), but that wasn't quite enough to prevail over the determined Broncos.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

A gallery of photos by Nhat V. Meyer (Bay Area News Group),

The press conference audio, with Tara, Lili and Bri,

And a few of Nhat V. Meyer's photos:

Alanna fights for the ball
Bird takes a shot
Bri drives into the Bronco defense
Brittany takes a shot
Lili launches one of her five 3-pointers
Jubilant Broncos

November 21, 2015

Cardinal speeds past the Colonials

Whatever happened to the nice girls from Stanford?

The Cardinal on the court this afternoon were fast, aggressive, fast, hard-driving, tough, really fast -- a great deal of fun to watch and apparently enjoying that style of play as much as their fans.

The Colonials took an early lead with an amazing performance by 6'4" senior forward Jonquel Jones, who scored 18 of their first 26 points. They were ahead by four at the end of the first quarter.

The Cardinal stepped up the offense after the break. They took the lead three minutes into the second quarter and extended it with a 17-5 run from which the Colonials never recovered.

The Colonials lived up to their reputation as excellent rebounders. They won the battle of the boards, but just barely 50-46. The Cardinal out-did them in every other category — shooting (46% from the field, 45% on 3-pointers, 83% on free throws), assists, blocks, fewer turnovers, fewer fouls — and won the game 84-63.

Lili led the Cardinal scoring with 21 points, including 3-of-6 3-pointers and 6-of-6 free throws. She also had six assists (with zero turnovers), five rebounds and two steals.

Bird made 60% of her shots. She scored 18 points on nine layups and grabbed ten rebounds for her third straight double-double of the season. She also had two assists and two blocks.

Karlie was outstanding on both offense and defense. She scored 17 points, including 4-of-6 3-pointers. She took over the job of defending Jonquel Jones somewhere in the second quarter and bothered her enough to limit her scoring to just nine more points.

Alanna was the fourth Cardinal to score in double-digits. She scored ten points, including a 3-pointer, and was both aggressive and controlled on defense; she was called for just one foul in 18 minutes of play.

Kaylee fought hard under the basket against the tall Colonials. She grabbed ten rebounds and blocked three shots.

Bri made only one of her twelve shots, but she was a beast on defense. She harrassed the Colonial guards unmercifully for 25 minutes and also tallied four assists, three steals, three rebounds and a block.

The Colonials are reputed to use the press, said coach Paye before the game, but they hardly had a chance to do that in today's fast-paced game.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play.

The press conference audio, with Tara, Bird and Lili.

A gallery of photos from (Stanford Athletics).

November 18, 2015

Up next: Home with George Washington and Santa Clara

The Cardinal will be back home at Maples next weekend to host George Washington on Saturday at noon (leaving plenty of time before tuning in to the Big Game) and Santa Clara on Monday evening at 7:00.

Both games will be live-streamed by Stanford Athletics and broadcast by KZSU, with live stats here.

There will be a chalk talk in Kissick Auditorium before each of the games.

Cards need lots of rebounds next weekend

  George Washington Colonials

George Washington University, which is located in Washington DC, plays in the Atlantic 10 conference.

The Colonials and the Cardinal have played each other twice — in the postseason long ago (1991 & 2001). Do you remember seeing the Colonials when they played at Maples seven years ago in the opening rounds of the NCAA? They defeated Cal by two points in the second round.

The Colonials will pose a strong challenge to the Cardinal defense. They're currently ranked No. 22/20 in the national polls. They're the reigning Atlantic 10 champion and have been picked to win the title again this season.

espnW ranked the Colonials No. 20 in the preseason, with this evaluation:

Notable returners: Jonquel Jones (15.3 PPG, 12.5 RPG); Caira Washington (12.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG); Hannah Schaible (9.2 PPG, 2.2 APG) *

The Colonials should again be one of the best rebounding teams in the country because Jones and Washington return. The 6-4 Jones averaged a double-double in 2015 and should be a finalist for every national player of the year award. Kelli Prange, a 6-5 sophomore, gives fourth-year coach Jonathan Tsipis another potentially dominant rebounder.

Shannon Cranshaw as the primary deep threat and the return of Lauren Chase, fifth in the Atlantic 10 in assists, are the X factors for defending the conference championship and making a deeper NCAA tournament run.

Graham Hayes ranked the Colonials second-best in the mid-majors:

What they have: The Department of the Interior. All right, the nickname needs work, but not many programs, mid-major or otherwise, can talk about running out a lineup that goes 6-2, 6-4, 6-5 across the front. Colonials coach Jonathan Tsipis has talked about doing just that at times with All-America candidate Jonquel Jones, Caira Washington and Kelli Prange. The team led the nation in rebounding by a healthy margin a season ago.

Name to remember: Caira Washington. The headlines will go to Jones, and deservedly so, in the case of a player who can do things like put up 24 points and 17 rebounds at Dayton. But to use a comparison to a recent mid-major success, Washington is the Ta'Shia Phillips to Jones' Amber Harris -- not in stature, where Washington gives up inches to Phillips, but certainly in value. The junior forward just can't afford to hit triple digits in fouls this season.

Here are George Washington's statistics and roster.

* Hannah Schaible, George Washington's third-best scorer last season, has not played yet this season. I can find no report of an injury.

  Santa Clara Broncos

The Cardinal can realistically expect a victory over Santa Clara unless they get complacent.

The Broncos have been picked seventh in the West Coast Conference. They've had a tough start to their season — on the road to Washington and then USC. They lost both games.

You'll see something you've never seen before if you come to the game — the Cardinal outfitted in turquoise.

Stanford Athletics reports:

Stanford women’s basketball has partnered with Nike N7 to honor Native American Heritage Month and will wear N7-inspired turquoise uniforms at its November 23 game against Santa Clara. Turquoise represents harmony, friendship and fellowship in Native American culture.

“We are very excited and honored to host an N7 game,” Stanford’s Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Tara VanDerveer said. “My staff and I are fortunate to have been involved in several clinics with Native Americans and are happy to join Nike in supporting basketball and physical activity among Native youth.”

more ...

Here are Santa Clara's statistics and roster.

November 17, 2015

Lili named to Wooden Award Preseason Top 30

Lili is among 30 women’s basketball players named to the John R. Wooden Award Women’s Preseason Top 30 it was announced today.

November 16, 2015

Katelin Knox joins staff as athletic trainer

By Judy Richter:

Although she’s new to the Stanford women’s basketball staff, athletic trainer Katelin Knox is no stranger to the campus.

Before recently succeeding Marcella Shorty, who went to the South Carolina women’s basketball team, Katelin had been associated with Stanford for three years.

She started as an intern with the football and men’s volleyball teams from October 2012 to June 2013. She then received an athletic training fellowship that kept her on campus until moving onto the WBB staff this season.

Happy to stay at Stanford

She welcomed “the opportunity to stay at Stanford.” Its first-rate medical facilities are a big draw, she said in an interview.

Besides working with women’s basketball, she serves the women’s golf team, but doesn’t travel with it. She had worked with the field hockey team during its offseason earlier this year.

Her varied experiences have helped to “broaden my horizon on different types of injuries,” she said.

Athletic trainers “do a lot of preventive” work, she said. In particular, she works with Brittany Keil, the team’s strength and conditioning coach, to help the players with proper movement and mechanics and, if necessary, their physical therapy.

Along those lines, she coordinates with the medical staff to help players with injuries.

Communication plays a big role

If a player feels ill or thinks she might be injured, she first contacts Katelin, who decides where to go from there. She stressed that she and Brittany work in concert with the medical staff. “All of us work together,” she said. “There’s a lot of communication.”

Part of that communication, of course, involves the coaches. “The coaches always know what’s going on,” she said. Therefore, they know what an ill or injured player’s practice plan should be.

Nutrition is another important aspect, so a sports nutritionist is on staff. “We have a lot of resources,” she said.

Other resources include the human performance lab and Stanford sports medicine. Both boast of state-of-the-art technology and conduct all kinds of sports-related research.

Katelin involved in ACL research

Right now she’s working with Dr. Jason Dragoo, a Stanford orthopedist and sports medicine doctor, on a research project aimed at preventing ACL injuries in girls. He’s trying to see how the biomechanics of younger girls and high school soccer players change after an exercise program.

The researchers first use motion-capture technology to watch the girls in drills in the lab. Next they go to the girls’ practices and put them through drills.

After three or four months, the girls return to the lab where the motion-capture technology records their jumping and cutting maneuvers, specifically how they land.

The research is “still in the process,” so there are no conclusions for now, Katelin said.

Her job at practices and games

Her day-to-day work when the WBB team practices starts early in the morning for meetings and any needed rehab work. She helps the players get ready for practice by taping their ankles if they don’t use a brace.

During practice, she helps injured players and keeps an eye on the court to make sure everyone’s OK. For example, when a player hit the floor hard during the recent open practice, Katelin rushed over to check on her – no harm done.

Sometimes she stays after practice if someone needs additional help.

During games, she’ll be at the end of the bench with a supply bag loaded with such necessities as first aid items, cleansing supplies, tape for ankles, splints, ice bags and wraps, compression wraps and hand sanitizer.

Any player who wears contact lenses is asked to give Katelin an extra set in case a lens comes out during the game. She has lens solution.

Visiting teams bring their own trainers, but she e-mails them ahead of time with her contact information. She also supplies them with ice and Gatorade. There’s always a doctor at the games to serve either team if needed.

Academic background

Katelin earned her BS in combined sciences at Santa Clara University in 2009 and went on to earn an MS in athletic training at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2012. Both schools are on the WBB schedule this year.

Besides being familiar with Stanford before moving into her present position, Katelin was familiar with the area.

She grew up in San Mateo and graduated from Aragon High School, where she played basketball for four years and ran track for two years.

She became interested in becoming an athletic trainer while working at a physical therapy clinic and in the athletic training room at Santa Clara U.

“I really enjoyed being able to help athletes get back to what they love doing after an injury. The dedication to getting back to sports and being able to help others really drew me to athletic training,” she said by e-mail.

She “was first introduced to Stanford sports medicine while working basketball camps during summer breaks,” her official bio says.

There’s more where Stanford is concerned. Her father works in its IT department.

“Nothing compares to Stanford,” and “it’s nice to be close to home,” she concluded.