October 15, 2014

It's time to meet the newbies

The Cardinal has just three freshmen this season, but you may find it harder than usual to learn to recognize them.

Kaylee Johnson is a 6'3" forward with long dark hair. So is sophomore Kailee Johnson. If you didn't learn how to spell and pronounce Kailee's name last season, you're really going to be confused.

Kailee is spelled with an 'I' and pronounced with a long 'I', rhymes with 'Riley'. Kaylee is spelled with a 'Y' instead and pronounced with a long 'A', rhymes with 'daily'.

Their uniforms will both say 'K Johnson'. Kaylee is #5, Kailee is #32. Kaylee's nickname is Kayl, Kailee's is K.J.

Kaylee was a three-time Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year. Her high school coach says, “Kaylee is a very selfless teammate. She is also very coachable and an extremely competitive kid. She just keeps developing her game, as she demonstrated this year by leading the state [Wyoming] in assists.”

Tara says, “Kaylee is a shot blocker and a very energetic post player. She has proven that she can score and rebound, but we are very excited about her defensive skill and how that will boost us on that end of the floor.”

Taylor Rooks is a brunette 6'0" guard from New Jersey. There's no confusion in appearance with 6'3" senior forward Taylor Greenfield, just in their names. Ms Rooks' nickname is Rex.

Taylor was a two-time Gatorade New Jersey Girls Basketball Player of the Year. There have been only four others — Kelley Suminski ('05) was one of them.

New Jersey high school coach Mary Coyles describes Taylor as, “... a very athletic scorer who can shoot the 3-pointer or slash to the basket. She's extremely quick and she does whatever it takes to win.”

Tara says, “Taylor is a versatile, strong body that can play the two or the three positions. She can rebound and score at a fast pace, and she also brings a solid defensive game into our fold.”

Brittany McPhee is a blond 6'0" guard from Washington. Although they look alike, you're not likely to confuse her and the Cardinal's other blond Brittany — sports performance coach Brittany Keil.

Brittany is a three-time Washington Gatorade Player of the Year. Washington high school coach Keith Wasburg says, “She improved at every aspect of the game (as a senior) even though she was already the best player in the state. Her intelligence impresses me the most. It's beyond a basketball IQ. My defensive strategy was to trap her and leave perimeter players open, every time."

Tara says, “Brittany is a scoring machine, and we look forward to having her here at Stanford. She’s hard-nosed, runs the floor well and we’re really excited about the way she plays.”

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You can see more photos of the newbies in this Stanford Photo Gallery and action from newbies and oldies in this video. Better yet — come to open practice at Maples at 5:00 on Friday and see them all in person.

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There are three newbies on the staff too:

Evan Unrau, who was video co-ordinator for the Cardinal in 2007-08, has returned to the staff as Special Assistant to the Head Coach.

Hana Potter, who graduated from WSU last season, has joined the staff as an intern.

John Cantalupi has joined the Stanford Athletics Media Relations staff, with responsibility for women's basketball. He replaces Aaron Juarez, who has moved to Idaho where he is an Assistant Sports Information Director at Boise State University.

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