July 23, 2014

Summer on the Farm

By Judy Richter

There’s little summer down time for the Stanford women’s basketball team with all 15 players on campus.

Thirteen of them are in summer school, while the other two, senior forwards Bonnie Samuelson and Erica Payne, are doing internships, associate head coach Amy Tucker said in a recent phone interview. Bonnie majors in human biology, while Erica majors in science, technology and society.

NCAA rules allow the players to practice two hours a week with the coaches. They also spend six hours a week with strength and conditioning coach Brittany Keil.

Bonnie, sophomore guards Lili Thompson and Karlie Samuelson and sophomore forward Kailee Johnson are limited in their activities because they’re rehabbing from off-season surgery, Amy said.

In addition, players may work at head coach Tara VanDerveer’s hoops camp for youngsters depending on their class schedule. Hoops camp sessions began June 24 and will end July 26.

In their off hours, the players may play in pick-up games on their own, Amy said. Among those joining them for the games and hoops camp is Mikaela Ruef, ’13. She has returned to campus for the engineering job she held while playing on the 2013-14 team and completing her master’s degree in management science and engineering.

Mikaela left that job in the spring for a short stint with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm after being selected in the third round of the draft. She’s hoping to play basketball overseas in the upcoming season, Amy said.

In addition, two sophomores, guard Briana Roberson and forward Erica McCall, have been playing in San Francisco’s Pro-Am program at Kezar Pavilion. They’re both on the South Bay team along with Stanford WBB alum Markisha Coleman, ’07.

Coaches keep busy

Besides working with the team and hoops camp, the coaches have been recruiting. During the summer, they’re allowed to recruit for seven days before taking 10 days off, Amy said. The next week of recruiting was to begin July 23. There’s no recruiting in August. It resumes Sept. 9.

Both the women’s and men’s coaches spent a day on campus hearing from NBA coach Mike D’Antoni, most recently with the L.A. Lakers. D’Antoni talked about his motion offense and the pick and roll, Amy said.

According to Wikipedia, “the pick and roll …is an offensive play in which a player sets a screen (pick) for a teammate handling the ball and then slips behind the defender (rolls) to accept a pass.”

Assistant coaches Kate Paye and Tempie Brown plus video coordinator Lauren Greif attended a two-day session of CoachingULive at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas in mid-July.

The program featured such speakers as UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, whose topic was “Inside a Championship Program,” and L.A. Lakers coach Doc Rivers, whose topic was “Coaching: The Most Important Things I Do.” Rivers talked about zone defense and offensive concepts, according to the CoachingULive website.

The name game

With the arrival of the three freshmen — forwards Taylor Rooks of New Jersey, forward Brittany McPhee of Washington and guard/forward Kaylee Johnson of Wyoming –— fans might be forgiven if they sometimes get mixed up on names.

The closest match is Kaylee Johnson (with a long ‘a’) and sophomore forward Kailee (with a long ‘i’) Johnson. They’ve resolved that confusion with Kailee going as K.J., Amy said. (And don’t forget about Karlie Samuelson for a similar sound.)

Taylor Rooks is the team’s second Taylor, joining senior forward Taylor Greenfield. No word on how they’ll be distinguished.

And Brittany McPhee shares the same first name, even the same spelling, with strength and conditioning coach Brittany Keil.

Last year was a little easier, when there were just Erica Payne and Erica McCall. That was resolved when the younger player became known as Bird.

Fabulous freshmen

“The freshmen are doing fabulously,” Amy said. “They’re working well and more than holding their own.”

Summer school, which began June 23, ends with the last day of finals on Aug. 16. The fall term starts Sept. 22, but the players will return to campus on Sept. 15, having had a month off.

The coaches and staff will have most of that time off, too.

Although the 2014-15 schedule hasn’t been released, the season usually begins in early November with at least one exhibition game.

1 comment:

Bob Kinder said...

Two great reports Judi, thanks