June 28, 2015

First look at three freshmen

By Judy Richter, with photos by Dave Cortesi

About 20 fans of Stanford women’s basketball got their first chance to see three of the four incoming freshmen June 27 in San Francisco Pro-Am games at Kezar Pavilion in the city.

Guard Marta Sniezek and forward Shannon Coffee are teammates on the Bay City team along with a Stanford alum, guard Markisha “Kish” Coleman, ’07. Guard Alexa Romano and senior center/forward Tess Picknell are paired on the San Francisco team.

Also competing that afternoon were two sophomores, guard Brittany McPhee and forward Kaylee Johnson on the Mission Rec Center team.

Marta and Shannon’s Bay City was victorious over East Bay Athletics 105-80 in the first game. Brittany and Kaylee’s Mission Rec prevailed over Tess and Alexa’s San Francisco 110-75 in the second game even though Mission Rec had only seven available players while San Francisco had 12.

Shannon gets five fouls but keeps playing

According to unofficial numbers compiled by me and FBC webmaster Marian Cortesi, Shannon had 28 points and seven rebounds for Bay City. She picked up her fifth foul in the third quarter but was allowed to stay in the game because Bay City had only five players.

Markisha and another player had switched over to East Bay to give it five players. Hence players on both teams had to play the full game -– four 10-minute quarters in accord with new NCAA rules for women’s basketball.

Shannon’s Bay City teammate Marta had 17 points plus four rebounds.

Markisha had 17 points and one rebound for East Bay.

Marta shows leadership

Marta was the first to score for her team, nailing two free throws. Throughout the game, she was a vocal floor leader on both offense and defense and distributed the ball well.

She had a number of assists and nifty passes, including several to Shannon in the paint -- something that could bode well for the future.

Shannon was more tentative, missing several seemingly easy shots, but she improved as the game continued. Kish showed a number of crafty moves for East Bay, indicative of her experience at Stanford as well as her current coaching experience at Menlo-Atherton High School. (She earns her living as a Santa Clara County probation officer.) After the game, she came over to thank the Stanford fans for coming.

Shannon, Marta greet fans

Shannon and Marta chatted with fans before the game. Marta said that she went to the same Washington, D.C., high school, National Cathedral, as Grace Mashore, ’12.

Shannon, who comes from Centerville, Ohio, said it’s about 20 miles from the hometown of Mikaela Ruef, ’13.

Among Stanford fans at the game were Marta’s mother, Edwina; and Marta’s uncle, Ignacio Dayrit, who lives in Berkeley. His daughter, Teresa, also is a freshman at Stanford. Edwina said that Marta is the eighth of nine children.

Players use Caltrain, Uber, bicycles

Marta and Shannon had taken Caltrain from Palo Alto to San Francisco before catching an Uber ride to Kezar. Marta’s mother and uncle planned to take them out to eat before returning them to campus.

Kaylee and Brittany, who played in the second game, also took Caltrain but then bicycled across the city to get to Kezar.

Kaylee started for Mission Rec, jumping against Tess for San Francisco at center court to get the action under way. Brittany entered the game with 7:11 to go in the first quarter.

Brittany leads everyone in scoring

Brittany was largely responsible for Mission Rec’s success, scoring 37 points, more than any other player in either game. Her baskets included three 3’s, and she had nine rebounds, indicative of the hustle she had shown during her freshman season.

Kaylee, who played less than Brittany, had 12 points and seven rebounds.

Playing 16 minutes, Tess had 5 points and six rebounds for San Francisco. She seemed to improve as the game continued.

Alexa, her teammate, came off the bench to play 16 minutes. She took only a few shots and didn’t score but had one rebound. She moves well, but it was difficult to draw any more conclusions.

The fourth freshman, forward Alanna Smith from Australia, will represent her country in U19 women’s competition in Russia in mid-July.

Games to continue July 5

San Francisco Pro-Am competition will resume Sunday, July 5.

The first game is at 1:30 p.m. when Tess and Alexa of the San Francisco team will face junior guards Lili Thompson and Briana Roberson of Palo Alto TnT.

Kaylee and Brittany’s Mission Rec will play East Bay at 3:30 p.m.

Kezar Pavilion is at 755 Stanyan St. (at Waller) on the east side of Golden Gate Park. Admission is free. A pay-by-the-hour parking lot is right next door.

Marta shoots a free throw
Marta scores on a layup
Shannon sets a screen for Marta
Shannon shoots a free throw
Shannon scores on a layup
Shannon scores a three-pointer
Alexa drives
Alexa goes up for a shot against Kaylee
Kish coaches her team
There are more photos in this gallery.

June 20, 2015

Report from Kezar

Kezar Pavilion looks a bit brighter than I remember. I think they've re-painted the floor and the bathrooms in the last year or so.

But not much else has changed.

The first game, between Bay City and Mission Rec, was delayed for 15 minutes until enough players had arrived to field two teams.

The frosh were moving into Stanford today, so Shannon and Marta didn't show up for Bay City. Nor did Kish (Bay City) or Kaylee and Brittany (Mission Rec).

SF Women's Pro-Am can't afford an announcer this summer, and the rosters don't include player numbers, so the first game began with ten unidentified players. A very small group of Cardinal fans succeeded in recognizing Mercedes Jefflo (Cal) and DeNesha Stallworth (ex-Cal), but that was about it.

The game was played in four quarters, per the new NCAA rules. Mission Rec won 88-76, as they are wont to do, even without Toni Russell.

Lili and Bri and a goodly number of family members showed up for the second game (Palo Alto TnT vs East Bay)

The players on both teams are from a wide variety of locations — Lili and Bri hadn't met any of their Palo Alto TnT teammates before today. The absence of fine team play at Kezar isn't surprising.

But the individual play, which featured wildly inaccurate shooting, was surprisingly poor. The first basket came at the 6:06 mark and the score at the end of the first quarter was 13-6.

The play was a bit more controlled in the remaining three quarters. There was considerable good defense, but the poor shooting continued and the players essentially defeated themselves.

Although Palo Alto had ten players present, Lili and Bri each played for 39 minutes. According to my probably inaccurate statistics, Bri scored 13 points (including two 3-pointers), grabbed seven rebounds and dished five assists. Lili had 12 points (one 3-pointer), two rebounds and two assists. Palo Alto won 78-62.

Hope to see Shannon, Marta and Kish (Bay City) vs East Bay at 1:30 next Saturday and Tess and Alexa (San Francisco) vs Kaylee and Brittany (Mission Rec) at 3:30.

Lili drives for the basket
Bri lays it up while Jazmine Davis (ex-UW) observes
Lili looks to pass
Bri grabs a rebound
Lili heads for the basket

June 17, 2015

Kezar rosters re-revised

Updated June 19: Added Kish; corrected game days.

The frosh are back on the Kezar rosters.

Alexa (5'9") is on team "San Francisco", along with Tess.

Shannon (6'5") ...

... and Marta (5'7") are on team "Bay City", along with alum and coach Markisha Coleman .

As announced before, Lili and Bri are on team "Palo Alto TnT"; Kaylee and Brittany are on team "Mission Rec Center."

So each of the five teams, except "East Bay Athletics", has two Cardinal players. And Cardinal fans have two games to watch each of the next six weekends — on Saturdays at 1:30 and 3:30, except the first weekend in July when the games are on Sunday (July 5) instead of Saturday.

Here again are the rosters and schedule.

June 14, 2015

Kezar rosters revised

NCAA restricts the number of players on a summer league team to maximum of two from any given Division I institution.

So Alexa, Shannon and Marta can't play on Palo Alto TnT with Lili and Bri, and their names have been removed from the Kezar rosters. They're not on campus yet, but Amy thinks they'll sign up with other teams.

June 10, 2015

See eight Cardinal players at Kezar

More Cardinal than the five members of Palo Alto TnT (Bri, Lili, Shannon, Alexa and Marta) may be playing at Kezar this summer.

All five teams have now posted their rosters and:

  • Tess has signed with San Francisco. Six of her teammates are past, present or incoming Golden Bears.
  • Kaylee and Brittany have signed with Mission Rec Center. For the first time in about 15 years, Toni Russell (USF '05) is not a member of the team.
Here are rosters and schedule.

June 08, 2015

Rules changes for 2015-16

The NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee has announced several rules changes for next season.

The most noticeable change is that games will be played in four 10-minute quarters, instead of two 20-minute halves.

Teams will now reach the bonus and shoot two free throws on the fifth team foul in each quarter — no more one-and-ones. If a team reaches the bonus in the fourth quarter, it will remain in the bonus during any overtime periods.

Media timeouts will be reduced from four each half to one each quarter. Teams will have four timeouts per game (five for non-televised games), plus one more in any overtime period.

The 10-second backcourt rule that was introduced last season has been modified. Teams will not be subject to a 10-second count when the ball is deflected out of bounds by the defense, there is a held ball and the possession arrow favors the offensive team, or a technical foul is called on the offensive team while the ball is in its backcourt.

When a timeout is called following a made basket, a rebound or a change of possession in the final minute of the fourth quarter and any overtime period, teams will be allowed to inbound the ball from the sideline (at the 28-foot mark on the side of the court where the scorer's table is located) instead of from the baseline. (Notwithstanding Jeanette's 4.4 second run against Xavier, the committee felt this change would add more excitement to offensive possessions at the ends of games because teams would no longer be required to travel the length of the court after inbounding the ball.)

Defenders will be allowed to use handchecks with a forearm or open hand with a bended elbow on an offensive post player whose back is to the basket.

Bands or amplified music may be played during all dead-ball situations instead of just timeouts and halftime.

Click here for the NCAA announcement.

June 04, 2015

Summer basketball at Kezar

Good news! We don't have to suffer from Cardinal basketball withdrawal this summer.

Lili, Bri and three of our incoming freshmen (Shannon Coffee, Alexa Romano and Marta Sniezek) have signed up to play in the San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Summer Basketball League.

They're on the roster of a new team, Palo Alto TnT, led by Deric Thompson, who coaches girls basketball at Menlo School in Atherton along with John Paye, Kate's brother.

League play begins on Saturday June 20, but the Cardinal frosh likely won't appear for that game because the Stanford summer quarter doesn't begin until the following Monday.

Palo Alto TnT has a bye for the following weekend, but we can hope to see all five Cardinal at Kezar on Sunday July 5 at 1:30.

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

May 17, 2015

Erica named to World University Games team

Congratulations to Erica!

Erica is one of five USA Basketball gold medalists named to the 2015 USA Basketball World University Games team. The team will return to Colorado Springs for training camp on June 18-July 2, before departing for the event, which will be held July 4-13 in Gwangju, South Korea.

Erica previously won gold with USA Basketball at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship.

Read more:

Neither Kaylee nor Lili made the cut for the World University Games team or the Pan American Games team. Kaylee had this to say of the experience:
When they say it is a great opportunity, it really is, being out here with the best. It is fun meeting all the girls that you are battling against all season. If they have a tip or advice, it is really helpful. It gives you more insight. It makes me excited to go back to work on what I have to work on.

May 15, 2015

News from Montana

I'll bet there are at least three things you didn't know in this story by Vince Devlin (the Missoulian): Montana didn't hire her, but Tara VanDerveer keeps coming back to Big Sky Country

(It's not too late to help support the clinic.)

May 06, 2015

Erica, Lili and Kaylee invited to USA BB Trials

Erica, Lili and Kaylee have been invited to attend the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s Pan American Games and World University Games Team Trials, which will take place May 14-17 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The 12 finalists for each team will be announced the morning of May 17.

The Pan American Games are a multi-sport event featuring teams from North, South and Central American and the Caribbean that are played every four years in the year preceding the Olympics. The competition this year will take place July 16-20 in Toronto, Canada.

The World University Games are also a multi-sport competition, held every other year, and organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The competition this year will take place July 4-13 in Gwangju, South Korea.

The trials will be the first USA Basketball event for Lili and Kaylee. Erica, while in high school, played on three gold medalUSA Basketball teams — the 2011 U16 FIBA Americas Championship, the2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2012 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship For Women.

Read more: