September 24, 2009

Tara is pleased with team workouts

Who's healthy and who's not?
Who's improved the most over the summer?
How are the freshmen doing?

Jake Curtis spoke with Tara after team workouts last week, and got the answers to all these and other questions.

In summary, she said, “I’m not upset with anyone. Everyone, even the kids that didn’t play much, are in 1,000 percent better shape.” Read more...

September 22, 2009

Jayne & Candice headed to national team camp

Palo Alto Online reports:

Jayne Appel's busy senior year at Stanford just got a little busier. The Cardinal basketball standout, along with recent graduate Candice Wiggins, have accepted invitations to attend the 2009 USA Basketball Women's National Team's training camp. Read more...

September 15, 2009

Jayne among Glamor magazine's Top 10 College Women of 2009

Jayne was named as one of Glamor magazine's Top 10 College Women of 2009 in this month's issue. She was the only athlete among the group of budding leaders in various fields.

This is the magazine's description of Jayne:

Her dream: To play for the WNBA.
How she’s making it happen:As captain of the Stanford Cardinal team, Appel devotes about seven hours a day to basketball, and it shows. An All-American, she led her team to the Final Four the past two seasons. The 6’4” center grew up in the San Francisco Bay area shooting hoops with her three brothers. “I was a tagalong sister and wanted to do whatever they were doing,” she says. Off the court, Appel was inspired by a family member who suffers from mental illness to do advocacy work on the issue and volunteer for a support group. The psychology major plans to graduate early so she can prepare for the WNBA and expects to pursue a career in mental health advocacy.
Embarrassing moment: “Air-balling a free throw on national television.”
Can’t live without: “My flip-flops—I’m a California girl.”

This is the article that describes all 10 winners.

September 12, 2009

Cardinal lose tough game in Italy

The Cardinal lost their fourth and final game in Italy to San Giovanni (also called Bracco Geas) 72-63.

Jake Curtis has written a brief game report, in which he quotes Amy, "It was a physical game with few fouls being called."

There is a long and spirited game report on the Geas website. It's clear, even through the murk of a computer translation, that they were delighted with the game.

"There could be no better opening day than that staged Saturday evening — against one of the best college women's programs, with one of the most renowned coaches in America and players on vacation but wanting to play real games — a good standard!

Clarisse Machanguana was San Giovanni's top scorer with 19 points. Remember her with the San Jose Lasers?

She's now 36 years old and described in Eurobasket as "a big post player who moves extremely well. Offensively, she plays very well with her back to the basket and can also face up and shoot consistently. Defensively she helps the team with rebounds, helps, rotations..."

It would have been interesting to see a matchup between her and Jayne. As it was, Nneka matched up with her very well. She was the top scorer for the Cardinal with 18 points and was described in the Geas game report as "very energetic and vertical".

After the game, Tara said, "The Geas is a good team, Machanguana and Martinez are two very good players who tonight led their teammates in a masterly way. We did some things very well, others very ill, without finding the middle path that would allow us to do more. Playing teams such as Geas is good for us, this was a real match, tough and demanding."

"We love Italy and we'll definitely be back."

September 11, 2009

Jayne invited to try out for U.S. national women's team

Jayne, Maya Moore and Tina Charles have been invited to participate in the first practice sessions for the U.S. national women's basketball team Sept. 30-Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C.

Geno Auriemma, the national team head coach, announced that they are the only three college players that have been invited. He said, "We need to see how good they are in relation to the professionals."

It is not clear at this point whether Jayne, who is still recovering from knee surgery, will attend the training camp.

The practice session begins a process that will lead to the selection of the 12-member 2012 U.S. Olympic team. The first major competition for the squad will be the 2010 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.

September 10, 2009

Reserves help Cardinal go 3-0 in Italy

Stanford's women's basketball coaches had said before they departed that the exhibition games in Italy would provide playing time for players who had limited court time during the season, and that is what happened in the Cardinal's third game of the trip.

Ashley was one of the star performers with a double-double, the first of her college career. Read more in Jake Curtis' game report.

The Cardinal's fourth and final game of the trip is on Saturday in Milan against Sesto San Giovanni who finished sixth in Italy's A1 league last season with a 16-10 record. Familiar members of the team are Iciss Tillis, who played at Duke, and Clarisse Machanguana, who played at ODU and in the ABL.

September 09, 2009

Second win in Italy not an easy one

The Cardinal's second game in Italy was considerably more challenging than the first one, but they eked out a two-point win. As expected, the Ducato Le Mura website published only the final score: 69-67.

Fortunately for Stanford fans, Jake Curtis gets some details from Amy. Read his game report here ... and find out why it features a photo of Ros.

The Cardinal's next game is tomorrow in Marghera, a suburb of Venice. Their opponent, the Marghera Giants, are in the same league as Ducato Le Mura. They finished fifth in the league last season, with a 17-9 record.

Their website's brief description of the upcoming friendly game contains some amusing Italian hyperbole:
  • Stanford is a first-level team in the U.S. university landscape.
  • Their strengths are guided by historic coach Tara Vanderveer.
  • One of its players is promettentissima sophomore Nnemkadi Ogwumike. Neither Google nor my Italian/English dictionary could translate that, but promettente means promising, so I'd say that Nneka is superlatively promising.

September 08, 2009

The next Italian game

The Cardinal will play their second game in Italy tomorrow in Lucca, a city about 50 miles west of Florence. It's apt to be a bit more challenging than the first one.

Monday's opponent was the team that finished last (of 14) in Italy's A2 League with a 6-20 record. The team they will play tomorrow — Le Mura Lucca, also called Ducato Le Mura — finished second with a 23-3 record. (The photo above is of forward Arianna Zampieri.)

The game is an important one in Lucca for several reasons:
  • The game is dedicated to the remembrance of a shocking tragedy that happened recently in the nearby town of Viareggio. A train carrying liquefied gas derailed and set off a massive explosion that consumed nearby homes. The proceeds of the game, matched by Ducato (one of the team sponsors), will be donated to two children whose families were destroyed.
  • It is the first friendly (i.e., non-conference) game of the season and will present this season's team to its fans.
  • A goal of Ducato is to have Lucca become a center of excellence in women's basketball at every level. Tomorrow's game is described in the team website as a basketball match of high level against the noble athletes of Stanford University.
The results of friendly games are apparently not reported in Europe, but this game may be. On Ducato Le Mura's website (translated here by Google), there's a slide show accompanied by this information:

09.09.2009 friendly match
Ducato Walls    00
Stanford          00

It doesn't appear to be a gametracker — they may do no more than post the final score tomorrow. If you're curious you might check it at game time (11:30 am PT on Wednesday).

September 07, 2009

Cardinal win first game in Italy

Jake Curtis reports that Stanford played its first exhibition game in Italy today, and came away with a convincing victory in Rome. Read more...

September 05, 2009

Jayne is thinking long-term

Michelle Smith reports on Jayne's knee and her future expectations.

Jayne said, "I'm not ready yet. It's the second time for this and it just takes longer."

Tara is not concerned about the delay. She said, "My message to Jayne is to think long-term. She wants to play in the NCAA Tournament, the WNBA, maybe get a look for the national team. What is a week here or even a month there? We're not going to rush her at all." Read more...

September 04, 2009

Sarah's status is uncertain

Sarah's stress fracture of the navicular bone in her right foot is healing properly, but it's a slow process. She has been able to resume some physical activities, but it's too early to predict when she'll be ready to play again.

Jake Curtis describes the injury and discusses Sarah's status in this article ...

If you're interested in more information about navicular stress fractures, read this article from the Journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

September 03, 2009

Jayne is taking her time ...

... with rehab, this time around.

She rushed her rehabilitation from knee surgery last summer. She resumed playing a few weeks after the surgery, and the knee got more and more painful as the season progressed.

She had knee surgery again about three months ago and has a longer-term goal for full recovery this time — the season opener on Nov 9 and, ultimately, her final Final Four.

Read more... in Jake Curtis' report.

September 02, 2009

How's JJ doing?

JJ is doing just fine!

She is 100% cleared to play, but is limited to shooting and dribbling for now — no full contact yet.

She is working hard to regain her conditioning and game skills. Although she won't play in Italy, she thinks she has a good chance to be completely ready when practice begins Oct. 17.

Jake Curtis has written a detailed report of JJ's status. Read it here ...

September 01, 2009

Practicing for Italy

The team arrived on campus yesterday for physicals and had the first of three practices today in preparation for its trip to Italy. Here are comments on today's practice by Jake Curtis.