October 27, 2010

Full Court Press ranks Stanford #6!

Full Court Press has published its 2010-11 Preseason Women's College Basketball Top 25 teams.

They place a lot of emphasis on point guard play, saying that good ballhandlers are always in short supply.

But they rank Tennessee as #1 although, "The Lady Vols didn’t have a point guard last year – but they still had more assists than turnovers, so they were a good ballhandling team. [this season] they have a freshman point guard (Lauren Avant) who might just get the job done."

And they rank Stanford as #6, in spite of our having "the best frontcourt in the country" because we lack outstanding guard play.

Stanford's assist-to-turnover ratio was 1.27 last season, the second-best in the nation (Tennessee's was 1.08, 12th best), so I guess we're a good ballhandling team too. Jeanette's assist-to-turnover ratio was 2.04, #17 in the nation — how inadequate is that?

Their evalutions are interesting to read (you'll find them here), but I wouldn't put much store in their rankings.

October 25, 2010

Pac-10 coaches pick Stanford to win

It's always a nice way to begin the season:

For the 11th straight year, Stanford women's basketball is the coaches' pick as the preseason favorite to capture the conference crown. Read more...

October 21, 2010

injury update

There is some sad news from Maples -- Hannah has again torn her ACL and will miss her senior season.

Cardinal fans know how hard you worked last season, Hannah, to rehab from your previous injury and get back in the game. This season, we'll again enjoy seeing your enthusiastic support of your teammates.

We wish you the best of everything in all that you do.

There's not much more to report in regard to injuries:
  • As expected, Joslyn has recovered from her ankle sprain. She is back on the court and has been performing well.
  • Lindy is progressing, but has yet to practice, and it’s unclear when she will get back on the court.
  • Melanie is still scheduled to return in December or January.
For more information about how the team is doing, see this story by Jake Curtis.

October 20, 2010

Preseason position rankings

Michelle Smith and Milton Kent (FanHouse) have ranked the top five players in the country at each position on the floor.

They ranked Nneka as the No. 1 power forward, "If she improves as much as a junior as she did as a sophomore she could push Moore for player of the year."

and Kayla as the No. 3 small forward, "Pedersen is done being underappreciated. She is the most versatile player in the country."


October 18, 2010

SportsPageMagazine Top 25 preview

SportsPageMagazine presents their 2010-2011 Women’s College Basketball Top 25 Preview. They place Stanford #3, behind UConn and Baylor.

Their lowdown of Stanford: Center Jayne Appel departed for the WNBA, leaving a big space at center to fill, yet the Cardinal will press on. Nneka Ogwumike came into her own last season, leading Coach Tara Vanderveer’s team in scoring and rebounding, culminating her breakout season with a 38-point 16-rebound performance against Oklahoma in the national semifinals. Pedersen is a multitasking multitalented player who does what’s needed for Stanford to win. Pohlen is a tall heady playmaker who can see over opposing defenses. Ogwumike’s younger sister Chiney, the national high school player of the year arrives to give the Cardinal one of, if not the best frontcourts in the country.

Read about the other 24 teams here.

October 16, 2010

Looking for the top underdog

Michelle Voepel thinks that UConn will remain the top dog in 2010-11 until they lose a game, as Geno Auriemma swears they will.

In this article for ESPN, she evaluates the contenders for top underdog.

Stanford — with Jeanette, handywoman Kayla, and Ogwumike Squared on board— is one of the top five.

October 15, 2010

'Versatile' Stanford Takes Aim at Title

By Michelle Smith (AOL Online):

After three straight Final Four appearances, two trips to the national championship and last year's disheartening loss to Connecticut in the final, the Cardinal will begin the season as second best in the view of many, but they may have arrived at their best chance to win the program's first NCAA title since 1992. Read more...

October 14, 2010

Looking forward

Here are three more articles based on Tuesday's press conference:

Stanford looking forward to another shot at UConn by John Reid (Palo Alto Daily News) focuses on last season's national championship game.

Stanford expected to contend for national title again by John Reid (Palo Alto Daily News) discusses the strengths of the 2010-11 team, possibly Tara's most versatile team ever. (Correction: It's Joslyn, not Mikaela, who lost 15 pounds this summer.)

Highlights from Tara VanDerveer’s Tuesday press conference by Michelle Smith (Left Coast Hoops) summarizes the entire press conference.

October 13, 2010

Stanford's sister act

Tara says, "I forget they're sisters. They're really different players."

Amy says, "Nneka's the big sister. She's always telling Chiney what to do."

These comments from yesterday's press conference spawned two articles about the Ogwumike sisters:

Stanford's new sister act by John Reid (Palo Alto Daily News)

Ogwumike sisters buoy Cardinal by Tom FitzGerald (San Francisco Chronicle)

October 12, 2010

Too many options for Tara?

Jake Curtis has some concerns about how Tara will mold the plethora of talent available this season into an effective team:

Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer has begun tinkering with her 2010-2011 team, which is loaded with tantalizing options, but at some point she has to come up with a plan to give the team its identity.

“This may be the most versatile team I’ve had,” said VanDerveer, who is beginning her 25th season as the Cardinal’s coach.

As many as nine players are talented enough to break into the starting lineup this season, and most of them can play multiple positions. Read more...

An article from the Associated Press reports that the team is short-handed as it begins practice for the upcoming season:

  • Joslyn has a sprained ankle that could sideline her for a couple of weeks.
  • Melanie is on target with her rehab from knee surgery. She isn't expected to play until January, but is , "... doing very, very well," says Tara.
  • Lindy has a bone problem in her foot that has bothered her for months. There is no timeline for her return.

October 09, 2010

West coast's top 5 rankings

Michelle Smith has ranked the top 5 players in each position, as well as the freshmen, in the west coast schools. This is where she places Stanford players:
  • Jeanette is the #2 point guard — she has turned into a true floor leader.
  • Kayla is the #1 small forward — simply one of the best.
  • Nneka is the #1 power forward — how much better can she get?
  • Sarah is the #2 center — she is the heir apparent to Jayne in the post.
  • Chiney is the #1 freshman, and Sara is the #5 freshman.
You can find all her rankings in Left Coast Hoops

October 08, 2010

First day of practice

Watch the Cardinal hone their basic basketball skills during the first day of practice.

Watch Nneka knock the camera of the rim during the filming of "Dunk School".

October 05, 2010

Kayla and Nneka on Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List

Congratulations to Kayla and Nneka!

They were among 30 of the nation's top players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday.

Kayla and Nneka are two of three Pac-10 players on the list, joined by UCLA's Jasmine Dixon, as well as two of just four players chosen from schools west of the Rocky Mountains. Stanford is also one of six schools to have two players named to the list.

Tuesday's announcement marks the second national preseason watch list to which Kayla and Nneka been named. In early August, they were named to the Preseason Wade Trophy Watch List. Read more...