April 23, 2008

Observing a coaching legend rise

LaDoris Cordell, Cardinal fan extraordinaire, spoke of Tara at the Awards Banquet:
"In my past life, I was a state court judge. So when I returned to Stanford seven years ago I received the appropriate amount of adulation due to a retired judge. But that adulation paled when compared to the ooh's and aah's I received when I revealed that I had been invited to travel with the team to Spokane for the Sweet 16 and the Elite 8."
She continued with a moving tribute to Tara, describing how she saw her through many eyes: those of her coaching team, her players, her fans, the media, her sister, her mother, her piano teacher.

You can read her tribute here, in the Palo Alto Weekly.

April 21, 2008

Between Seasons

The FBC website will be active during the summer, reporting all the Stanford Women's Basketball news we can find. Watch for this information:
  • News of Cardinal Olympians Candice, Jillian and Clare.

  • USA Basketball: Will any current or incoming Cardinal be signed to the U18 team and play in Venezuela this summer?

  • News of Cardinal in the WNBA: How will Candice do in her first season as a professional? Will Brooke and New be signed to season contracts after training camp?  Will Nicole and the Monarchs win another championship?

  • News of next season's recruits:  HoopGurlz reports that five of the 2009 top players are interested in Stanford: Skylar Diggins, Mariah Chandler, Joslyn Tinkle, Emilee Harmon and Mariah Williams.  Will two of them commit to Stanford?

  • Summer basketball at Kezar Stadium during June - August.  Which Cardinal will participate? Will we get an early look at incoming freshmen Nneka, Sarah, Lindy or Grace? 

  • Preseason predictions and prospects. 

  • The 2009 schedule: a preliminary one in a couple of months, the official one in September. (We already know that there will be a tournament in Honolulu Nov 28-30.)

April 18, 2008

All Right Now!

The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band got a lot of attention in Tampa, as often happens. But this time it was all good!

Walking around Tampa wearing a Stanford shirt almost guaranteed being stopped by at least one passerby and asked to explain the tree.

The band won the Battle of the Final Four Bands competition at Hoop City, as reported in this story from the Tampa Tribune.

Ernest Hooper, a columnist for the St. Petersburg Times, explains how the band made him a fan.

For a generation, All Right Now has been the signature song of the LSJUMB. Here's a little information about the history of the song that's had Stanford students jumping since the early 1970's. (Thanks to Dave Cortesi for unearthing this arcane information.)

Here are more photos of the band in Tampa:

April 17, 2008

Pre-pre-preseason top 25

Charlie Creme (ESPN) sticks his neck way out and tells us all about the pre-pre-preseason top 25. This is what he says about Stanford:
The Maples Pavilion floor will look strange for the first few weeks of next season without Candice Wiggins on it. It will take some time for the Cardinal to adjust to life after their four-time All-American, but everyone else is back. Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen, JJ Hones, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Jillian Harmon and Jeanette Pohlen all return with the experience of this season's title-game appearance and plenty of hunger from the loss to Tennessee. Just as Wiggins replaced Nicole Powell as the Stanford superstar, Gatorade High School Player of the Year Nneka Ogwumike joins the club and could be the next great Cardinal.
Read about the other 24 here.

April 15, 2008

Jackie Zink, coaching intern

Most Cardinal fans recognize the many people on the bench who contribute to the team's success:
  • The coaches: Tara, Amy, Kate and Bobbie
  • The trainer: Marcella Shorty
  • The strength and conditioning coach: Kelly Clark
  • The video coordinator and sometimes Chalk Talker: Evan Unrau
  • The person wearing a Stanford shirt loitering on the edge of timeout huddles: a fan who won an auction bid for a seat on the bench
  • The person not wearing a Stanford shirt loitering on the edge of timeout huddles: a favorite professor invited to sit on the bench
But who is this person sitting at the end of the bench?

It's Jackie Zink, the coaching intern.

What does a coaching intern do? Who is Jackie Zink?

Read this article from her hometown newspaper, The Napa Valley Register, for answers to those questions and more.

April 14, 2008

Record breakers

This season, of all seasons, was about the team and what they accomplished together. It wasn't about individual achievements and statistics.

Nonetheless, fans like to keep track of record performances — at least I do. This season, three players hit the record books.

Steady Hands Hones

JJ took care of the ball big time this season and had a record-breaking assist-to-turnover ratio. Neither Stanford nor the Pac-10 records this statistic, but the NCAA does.

About halfway through the first game of the NCAA tournament (the one against Cleveland State), JJ made her fifth assist of the game, and qualified for the NCAA Assist Turnover Ratio statistics list. She entered the list at the top as the player with the best A/TO ratio in the nation — 3.12!

She couldn't sustain that level of performance in the remaining five postseason games, and ended the season as #5 in the list — a noteworthy achievement. Of the players above her in the list, Beck played in three postseason games, Cirone in one, and Miller and Kinneary in none.

Post Master Appel

Jayne was master of the post this season, both defensively and offensively.

She had 84 blocks this season, which broke the Stanford single season record of 61 that she set in 2006-07.

Her field goal percentage, though not a record-breaker, was an outstanding .588 — #1 on the team, #6 in Stanford single season records, and #8 in the nation this season.

Wondrous Wiggins

Well, Candice didn't break every record in the book — only about 24 of them (I may have missed a few):
  • National Record
    • The first woman to score 40+ points in two games of an NCAA tournament.
  • Pac-10 Career Records
    • 2629 points, which broke the prior record of 2414 held by Lisa Leslie (USC, 1991-94)
    • 1934 field goals attempted, which broke the prior record of 1838 held by Jamie Redd (Washington, 1996-99)
    • 754 3-pointers attempted, which broke the prior record of 732 held by Loree Payne (Washington, 2000-03)
    • 295 3-pointers made, which broke the prior record of 285 held by Lisa Griffith (Arizona, 1997-00)
  • Pac-10 Single Season Record
    • 253 3-pointers attempted, which broke the prior record of 234 set by Lisa Griffith (Arizona, 1997)
  • Stanford Career Records
    • 137 games played, which broke the prior record of 136 held by Sebnem Kimyacioglu (2001-05) and Kelley Suminski (2001-05)
    • 2629 points, which broke the prior record of 2215 held by Kate Starbird (1993-97)
    • 19.2 points per game, which broke the prior record of 18.8 set by Candice last season
    • 1934 field goals attempted, which broke the prior record of 1634 held by Kate Starbird (1993-97)
    • 889 field goals made, which broke the prior record of 828 held by Jeanne Ruark Hoff (1978-83)
    • 754 3-pointers attempted, which broke the prior record of 549 held by Sebnem Kimyagcioglu (2001-05)
    • 295 3-pointers made, which broke the prior record of 210 held by Vanessa Nygaard ( 1993-98)
    • 676 free throws attempted, which broke the prior record of 666 held by Val Whiting ( 1989-93)
    • 556 free throws made, which broke the prior record of 481 held by Val Whiting (1989-93)
    • 281 steals, which broke the prior record of 280 held by Sonja Henning (1987-91)
  • Stanford Single Season Records
    • 787 points, which broke the prior record of 753 set by Kate Starbird in 1996-97
    • 224 free throws attempted, which broke the prior record of 198 set by Val Whiting in 1991-92
    • 184 free throws made, which broke the prior record of 162 set by Candice in 2004-05
    • 21.8 points per game (in 2005-06), which broke the prior record of 21.3 set by Jeanne Ruark Hoff in 1997-98
  • Stanford Single Game Records
    • 44 points, which tied the record set by Kate Starbird in 1996.
    • 19 free throws attempted (in 2006), which broke the prior record of 18 set by Olympia Scott in 1997
    • 16 free throws made (in 2006), which tied the record set by Rachel Hemmer in 1993
    • 1.000 free throw percentage (14 of 14), which broke the prior record of 1.000 (11 of 11) set by Candice in 2005.

April 12, 2008

Savory Stew

Sue Bair summarizes the Cardinal's splendid season:

After an exciting season during which Stanford vanquished multiple Top 10 foes, the “tough and together” Cardinal made some Stanford history by reaching the program’s first National Championship game since 1992. They may have lost the game but Wiggins went out a winner and the future looks bright. Everybody, smile! Read more...

April 10, 2008

A look to the future

Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online) writes here about Candice's last day as a Cardinal and how the team will be without her next season.

He predicts another deep run into the tournament.

And Sports Illustrated is already predicting next season'sTop Ten. They place Stanford as #2, and surprisingly, Cal at #6, ahead of Tennessee.

April 09, 2008

Candice drafted by Minnesota

As expected, Candice was selected as the #3 pick by the Minnesota Lynx. Among her new teammates are Nicky Anosike and Charde Houston!

Wiggins headed to WNBA, but Stanford is in capable hands from the San Francisco Chronicle

Stanford's Wiggins picked third by Minnesota Lynx in WNBA draft from the AP

Lynx go for quality instead of quanity from the Minnesota Star Tribune.

An audio interview with Candice.

A video of the press conference with the Minnesota Lynx owner and head coach.

The complete report of WNBA Draft 2008

End of the dream

If you don't have the heart to read game reports, DO read what Candice said after the game:
"It would hurt me to let one game ruin the spirit of our team. In my mind we won the national championship because of how we got here. I feel we've won so much more than we've lost. I'm going to remember how I felt about this team, not how we played in the national championship game."

"I think we should celebrate our season. To win the way we did, we did it right. And I'm so proud of this group."
Be at Maples this afternoon, if you can, to welcome the team home and show them how you feel about them and their wonderful season.

No. 4 Stanford Falls to No. 3 Tennessee in National Championship Game from the Associated Press

Stanford women's dream season ends as nightmare by Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle)

For Stanford, a dream season nonetheless by Ann Killion (Mercury News)

Wiggins' run ends, but future still bright for Cardinal by Graham Hays (ESPN)

Stanford women fall in Final Four hoop finale by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)

AP photo gallery

The box score and play-by-play

April 08, 2008

#1 in our hearts

We share your disappointment as we shared your joy over all you accomplished this wonderful season. You don't have to be perfect to be a champion. Thank you.

Next up, the Championship, part 3

Here are a few more stories about our tough team to entertain you before tonight's battle: As for me, there's just enough time for a nap before we head out to St. Pete's Forum. Wish you were here!!

Next up, the Championship, part 2

From the Tampa Tribune: Shannon Owens (Orlando Sentinel) writes that Stanford has plans to 'Ice' Tennessee's 'Ace'

From Candice's home town, Tom Shanahan (Voice of San Diego): Wiggins Takes Her Place Among Our Greats

Wyndam Makowsky (Stanford Daily) writes: Stanford stands up for West and It's our turn

Graham Hays (ESPN) writes about Stanford and Tennessee's assistant coaches.

Mechelle Voepel (Kansas City Star) writes about the upcoming showdown between two friendly rivals.

April 07, 2008

Next up, the Championship!

Five of six ESPN experts pick Stanford as the winner. In addition: Greg Auman (St. Petersburg Times) focuses on the supporting casts surrounding Candace & Candice in Tennessee, Stanford square off for NCAA women's title

Here are a couple of videos from ESPN: Here's news of Stanford WBB alumnae experiences of the Final Four: Michelle Smith (SF Chronicle) writes about tattoos, ice cream socials and cheesy hats.

Scott Adams (Gilroy Dispatch) writes about Candice's growth in size and personality over the past three years in Wiggins has been walking the walk for awhile

Ann Killion (Mercury News) writes about how Tara has changed in the past decade in After long absence, Stanford's VanDerveer back in Final Four

Tara and the starting five held a press conference on Monday. Here are photos from Stanford Photo.

Clay Kallam (Fullcourt Press) reviews the semifinal games in Crisp Stanford, shaky Tennessee advance

April 06, 2008

One More Win!!

Stanford Advances To NCAA Championship Game With 82-73 Win Over Connecticut from the Associated Press

Cardinal ready for one more by Michelle Smith (SF Chronicle)

Stanford loses 'nice girl' image, earns trip to national title game by Graham Hays (ESPN)

Cardinal crash this final four party by Martin Fennelly (Tampa Tribune)

Pedersen, Wiggins lead Stanford into championship game by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

Stanford beats top-seeded UConn at its own game from Sports Illustrated

Cardinal emerges from a long winter by Kathy Orton (Washington Post)

Last Dance by Wyndam Makowsky (Stanford Daily)

Stanford defeats UConn in the Final Four by John Altavilla (Hartford Courant) tells the story from UConn's viewpoint -- includes a photo gallery.

Former UConn, Stanford players use Final Four for reunions by Janie McCauley (AP)

Pedersen means 'coming up big' by Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle)

Rain doesn't dim Final Four hoopla by Ray Reyes (Tampa Tribune)

Rockin' Out by Sarah Hoye (Tampa Tribune) tells about Stanford's winning the Battle of the Final Four Bands

Gold-Onwude epitomizes student-athlete ideal by Anwar Richardson (Tampa Tribune) is an interview with Ros.

Several videos from ESPN: Postgame interviews: Photo gallery from Stanford Photo

AP photo gallery

Box score and play-by-play

The stars come out tonight

The stars come out tonight in Final Four by Amy Moritz (Buffalo News)

Ready for Center Stage by Joey Johnston (Tampa Tribune)

What About LSU And Stanford? by Martin Fennelly (Tampa Tribune)

Stanford Has Youth on Its Side by Katherine Smith (Tampa Tribune)

Stanford's surge has come on mended knees by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

The matchup: Stanford vs.Connecticut by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

Clearly a red-letter day for Stanford players, fans in Tampa by David Mitchell (SF Chronicle) -- includes a photo gallery

Stanford’s Wiggins worthy of national honor by Mechelle Voepel (Kansas City Star)

Candice Wiggins Wade Trophy & Women's Final 4 Preview, a video from ESPN (Thanks to "Checker" for finding this. )

Slide show of Wade Trophy presentation from Stanford Photo

April 05, 2008

Candice is Wade Trophy National Player of the Year!!!!

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today that Stanford University’s senior Candice Wiggins has been named The State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year.

She was also named as a member of the State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team, and Jayne received honorable mention.

Here is more information about these events: And some other news from Tampa:
  • Graham Hays (ESPN) has written a story with a new twist: East meets West when UConn, Stanford clash

  • There was a Final Four salute dinner and a cruise of Tampa Bay yesterday for the Final Four participants. Here is a slide show from Stanford Photo.

  • The Associated Press took many photos of today's practice sessions. Start here and click prev for eight Stanford photos

In the spotlight

The Cardinal starting five had their photos taken for ESPN as shown in this Stanford Photo gallery

VanDerveer Preaches Perfect Harmony by Sally Jenkins (Washington Post) is a tribute to Tara.

Stanford's Wiggins carries on family's athletic legacy by Darren Sabedra (Mercury News) is a tribute to Candice

Center of attention is ready to be Stanford's heart by Michelle Smith (SF Chronicle) is a tribute to Jayne.

Stanford women - they're back after 11 years by Michelle Smith (SF Chronicle) is about the whole team.

Tim Ehrens (Husky Daily Campus) says, "Montgomery, Huskies Face Tough Test In Stanford's Wiggins"

Appel's harrowing visit to Storrs by Elliott Almond (Mercury News) explains why Jayne has bad memories of UConn.

Kara Lawson (ESPN) has Five burning questions for the Final Four

April 03, 2008

Bon Voyage!

Waiting at the airport to board our 6:30 a.m. flight to Tampa. Here is a variety of articles published late yesterday and early this morning. Enjoy!

Note: At 6:30 p.m. in Florida I discovered that I hadn't updated the FBC Website home page. I've just done that, but this blog post is the same as it was 12 hours ago.

Stanford gets a final sendoff for the Final Four by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)

Stanford's return to the Final Four a long time coming by Mechelle Voepel (ESPN)

Wiggins, Stanford are no longer spectators by Dick Patrick (USA Today)

Over the Hump by Kelli Anderson (Sports Illustrated)

The Final Step by Wyndam Makowsky *Stanford Daily"

Wiggins leads Stanford into Final Four by Greg Aumen, St Petersburg Times

Wiggins' Career Dedicated To A Father She Barely Knew by Katherine Smith (Tampa Tribune)

The other twin towers can be double trouble by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)

Pedersen has given Cardinal more than it could ask for by Jon Wilner (Mercury News)

Stanford's other guards coming up big in clutch by Janie McCauley (AP)

Cardinal getting big assist from former players by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle)

April 02, 2008

Next up, UConn!

Stanford Prepares to Face UConn is an AP report of a press conference held by Tara, Candice and Jayne yesterday.

Trey Wingo, Kara Lawson and Stacy Dales preview Sunday's semifinal games in this video. You'll like what they say about Candice.

Sunday's X factors: Stanford's Hones ... is Charlie Creme's (ESPN) matchup analysis. His prediction of a win for UConn is suspect, since he thinks that Ros handles the point and that Jayne and Kayla, "... are outstanding offensive players, but they aren't defensive stoppers."

UConn and Tennessee on Final Four collision course this weekend by Aaron Frankel (Tufts Daily), is mostly about LSU and Tennessee but concludes that Stanford is "becoming less and less of a long shot to win in the Final Four."

UConn Can't Look Past Stanford by Lori Riley (Hartford Courant) is worth reading just for Geno's comment on the box-and-one that UConn may play against Stanford.

Stanford a long way from Paradise by Chris Elsberry (Connecticut Post) discusses how the Cardinal and the Huskies have changed since the Paradise Jam.

Cardinal a feel-good story in tepid times for Pac-10 by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle), reports that Charli Turner Thorne and Mark Trakh are rooting for Stanford.

Auriemma, Summitt grow tired of media by Rich Elliott (Danbury News-Times), and Summitt Should Address The Geno Question by Jeff Jacobs (Hartford Courant) are to-be-expected rehashes of the Pat/Geno "feud".

UConn Vs. Stanford: A Look Back by John Altavilla and Matt Conyers (Hartford Courant), reviews the prior seven Stanford/UConn games.

Candice is AP All-American & Wooden All-American

Candice has been named to the 2008 John R. Wooden Award Women's All-America team. Here is the announcement from the Wooden Award website.

Candice has been named to the Associated Press All-America First Team. Here is the full report of that and some of Candice's other achievements from GoStanford.com.

Jayne received honorable mention. Here is the AP's complete report of the awards, with detailed information about the members of all three All-American teams and the players who received Honorable Mention

On a different topic, here is a behind-the-scenes report of Stanford's weekend in Spokane that, "... provides glimpses of the locker room, film sessions, the coaches' hotel suite - and run-ins with movie stars."

April 01, 2008

Photos & video from The Game

Don took more than a thousand pictures during the Stanford/Maryland game, so it's going to take him another day or so to get them sorted out and posted. But here are some other visuals of the game:

Video of Candice's postgame interview, courtesy of ESPN

Audio slideshow from Mercury News

Photo gallery from Stanford Photo

AP photo gallery