July 28, 2015

Lauren Greif says, " Goodbye"

Dear Stanford Women’s Basketball Fans,

Hello from Lauren Greif. Many of you know me as the transfer from Cal who Tara describes as doing “all things video”. It is with excitement and some sadness that I write this “Goodbye” letter today. I have accepted a position at FastModel Sports and will be moving to Chicago! My new title is Senior Product Support, Training, & Development.

It has been an incredible experience to be part of Stanford’s program for the past 5 seasons and I would like to sincerely thank you for your kindness and continued support. The number of fans who have approached me over the years with nice words about my playing days or to thank me for my work here on the Farm has been tremendous. It has meant a lot to be welcomed with open arms, and I would like to say -THANK YOU.

So, while I won’t be filming games from the top of Maples, I will remain a fan of Stanford…. And Cal too Also, I don’t know much about Chicago so if you know somewhere I should eat or watch a show, or a great neighborhood to live in, drop me a line. My email is laurentgreif@gmail.com.

All the best, Lauren

July 27, 2015

Stanford threesome advances to championship game

By Judy Richter

Thanks to a resounding victory on July 25, two Stanford freshmen — guard Marta Sniezek and forward Shannon Coffee — and an alum, guard Markisha Coleman, ’07, will play in the San Francisco Pro-Am championship game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at Kezar Pavilion.

Markisha #7, Shannon #9 (back row), Marta #11

Their team, Bay City, thumped San Francisco 130-79 in the afternoon’s second game. Bay City will face Mission Recreation Center, which defeated Palo Alto TnT 81-61 in the earlier game.

Mission Rec has a 5-0 record, while Bay City’s record is 4-1. Its only defeat came at the hands of Mission Rec, 88-76, on June 20. No Stanford women played in that game because they were just getting settled on campus.

Tess, Alexa play for San Francisco team

July 25’s Bay City-San Francisco game involved two other Stanford women, senior forward/center Tess Picknell and freshman guard Alexa Romano, playing for San Francisco.

Tess #53, Alexa #4 (at Tess' left)

Shannon scored 17 points and had eight rebounds and one assist for Bay City, according to my unofficial tally. Marta pitched in with 7 points and three each for rebounds, steals and assists. Both were starters. Coming off the bench, Markisha had four assists and a steal. (My assist totals may not be accurate.)

On the San Francisco side, starter Tess had 6 points, nine rebounds and one assist, while bench player Alexa had 2 points, two rebounds and one steal.

Eleven players showed up for San Francisco. Bay City had 10. The Bay City coach substituted frequently, often sending in a fresh platoon of five each time, a la Charli Turner Thorne of Arizona State.

The Cardinal fan contingent was under 20 people. Among the fans for the second game were junior guards Briana Roberson and Lili Thompson with some of Lili’s relatives.

Bri, Lili play almost 37 minutes for Palo Alto TnT

Alternating at the point, Bri and Lili had played in the first game, both as starters. Bri scored her team’s first 5 points and Lili pitched in the next 3, but Mission Rec outscored Palo Alto TnT in all four quarters. Each team had only seven players, so Lili and Bri played virtually the entire game, going to the bench with only 3:13 left and their team behind 77-50.

Lili finished with 21 points, two rebounds and two steals. Her four 3-pointers helped her point total, but she missed many apparently easy shots while driving to the basket.

Bri had 14 points, including one trey. She also contributed two rebounds, two steals and one assist.

After their game, they went to the Bay City bench to greet Shannon, Marta and Markisha. They then crossed the court to join Lili’s relatives and talk with a young girl, maybe 11 or 12 years old, who obviously was thrilled to meet them. They stayed through the first quarter before leaving with Lili’s relatives.

As they have done at previous games, Shannon and Marta talked with fans after the game and thanked them for coming.

Kezar Pavilion is on the east side of Golden Gate Park at 755 Stanyan St. between Waller and Frederick streets. Admission is free. A pay-by-the-hour parking lot is next door.

Shannon and Tess tip off
Shannon launches a shot over Tess
Tess clears a lane for Alexa

July 26, 2015

Alanna's strong finish leads Australia to the bronze

The Aussies put yesterday's defeat behind them and won the 2015 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship bronze medal with a strong game against Spain.

It looked like an easy win for the Aussies as they took an 18 point lead in the first quarter, but Spain crept back and cut the lead to three early in the third quarter – 45-42.

The scoring margin wavered between three and nine for the next 15 minutes. Both teams looked very tired and had trouble finding the basket.

With two minutes left to play and the score at 62-58, Alanna scored on a layup. At the one-minute mark, Spain and then Australia scored again. Then Spain turned the ball over with a foul, and that was effectively the end.

The final score was 69-62, and Australia had its second consecutive FIBA U19 bronze medal.

Alanna played her best game of the tournament — 20 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. She made 50% of her 16 shots from the field and all of her four free throws.

For the seven games of the tournament, Alanna led her team in scoring (12.6 ppg) and blocks (2.4 bpg). She tied with Alexandra Sharp for the most rebounds (7.0 rpg) and with Tahlia Tupaea for the most steals (1.6 spg).

Of the 180 participating players, Alanna ranked #18 in scoring, #4 in blocks, #17 in rebounds and #25 in steals.

Here are:

The final game of the tournament was a fierce battle between two outstanding teams. The outcome was in doubt up until the last four minutes of the game, with the USA leading Russia by just three points, 68-65. Then the USA pulled ahead to a 78-70 victory and its sixth consecutive FIBA U19 gold medal. Story: USA spoil home party to land sixth straight U19 Women's Worlds title.

Alanna was named to the tournament All-Star-5, along with A'Ja Wilson (USA), Napheesa Collier (USA), Maria Vadeeva (Russia) and Daria Kolosovskaia (Russia). Wilson was named the Most Valuable Player.

July 25, 2015

Aussies lose to Russia, will go for the bronze

Neither Russia nor Australia had encountered any serious competion in the tournament until today. Russia still hasn't. They overwhelmed Australia 76-57.

The Aussies battled all the way but couldn't slow down Maria Vadeeva, who tallied 27 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.

Russia's strong defense held the Aussies to 27.5% shooting. Both Alanna and Alicia Froling (Australia's third-best scorer) were held scoreless except for one free throw apiece.

Australia out-rebounded Russia by a bit (51-47), but they turned the ball over 20 times.

Alanna picked up two fouls in the first quarter and fouled out midway through the fourth. She had three rebounds and two blocks, but missed all of her six shots from the field and three of four from the line.

Here are:

On the other side of the bracket, Spain kept the game fairly close, but the USA pulled ahead at the end to an 80-65 victory.

So Australia and Spain will compete for the bronze medal tomorrow (Sunday,July 26) at 8:00 am Pacific Time. USA and Russia will go for the gold at 10:15 am.

Sunday's medal games will be streamed live on LiveBasketball.TV. The games are free, but you need to register here to view them.

July 24, 2015

Aussies advance to Final Four with 83-46 victory over China

Australia defeated China 83-46 in the quarter-final round of the 2015 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship.

Australia's tight defense stifled China's inside game. The Chinese sank seven three-pointers, but made only nine two-pointers at a rate of 25%. The Aussies countered with six three-pointers and twenty-five two-pointers at an overall rate of 37%.

The Aussies dominated on defense too, out-rebounding China 59-34.

Alanna was top scorer with 14 points, but not as efficient as usual. She made all six of her free throws, but only four of 16 field goals. She also had six rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal. She committed only two of the Aussies' ten fouls and one of their five turnovers.

Here are:

So Australia advances to the semifinals, where they'll play Russia, who defeated France 68-48.

Russia is a powerful team led by twin towers 6'4" center Maria Vadeeva and 6'4" power forward Raisa Musina. Vadeeva outranks the Aussies in scoring (16.0 ppg v Alanna's 13.4), rebounding (11.4 rpg v Alicia Froling's 7.4) and blocks (3.2 bpg v Alanna's 2.4). Musina is Russia's second-best scorer (12.6 ppg) and rebounder (9.8 rpg). In their quarter-final game today, Musina scored 19 points on a perfect seven of seven from the floor and four of four from the line.

The Aussies will also have to contend with a large group of enthusiastic Russian supporters. Attendance at the games has been sparse, but the Russians show up for their home team.

Here is a statistical preview of the game. It's tomorrow (Sat, July 25) at 8:00 am Pacific Time.

On the other side of the bracket, the USA (who defeated Canada 93-45) and Spain (who defeated Belgium 70-66) will meet in the second semi-final at 10:15 am Pacitic Time.

The Final Four and Sunday's medal games will be streamed live on LiveBasketball.TV. The games are free, but you need to register here to view them.

July 23, 2015

Watch Alanna in the FIBA U19 Quarter-Finals

The Australia Gems will kick off the quarter-finals of the 2015 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship tomorrow, Friday July 24.

Here are a couple of stories from FIBA about the upcoming games:

All of the quarter-final games will be live-streamed on YouTube. Here is viewing information for the match-ups:

July 22, 2015

Aussies crush Mali in Round of 16

Mali had no answer for Australia's dominating defense or offense. The Aussies sank ten 3-pointers, out-shot Mali 48.4% - 15.8%, and out-rebounded them 55-31. The Aussies won the Round of 16 match 91-23.

Alanna had a strong game with 16 points (on five of six field goals and three of seven free throws), two assists, nine rebounds, four blocks and one steal. She stayed out of foul trouble today – committed just two in 21 minutes of play.

Here are:

After a day of rest, the final phase of the competition continues with quarterfinals on Friday. Here is the bracket.

Australia will play China at 3:30 am Pacific Time. China defeated Egypt, lost to the USA, and upset Spain 66-63 in group play. Here is a statistical preview of the upcoming quarterinal game. You can watch the game on YouTube.

July 21, 2015

Aussies complete perfect group round

Australia wrapped up group play today with an easy 87-38 victory over Korea. The Aussies scored on the first possession and never relinquished the lead.

Alanna had a quiet game: seven points, five rebounds and a steal.

Here are:

This completes group play. Australia placed first in its group with a perfect 3-0 record. Here are the cumulative team statistics . Australia ranked second to the USA in scoring (84.7 ppg) and in rebounds (57.0 rpg).

Here are Australia's group round statistics. Alanna led her team in scoring (12.3 ppg on 15 of 31 field goals and 6 of 10 free throws), steals (2.7 spg), blocks (2.3 bpg) and efficiency (15.0).

The final phase of the competition begins with the Round of 16 on Wednesday. Australia will play Mali (#4 in Group C) at 5:15 am Pacific Time. Here is a statistical preview of the game. You can watch it on YouTube.

The winner will advance to the quarterfinals on Friday against the winner of the China v Chainese Taipei game. Here is the bracket for the final phase of the competition. Australia and the USA are in different halves of the bracket, so they won't meet (if they do, at all) until the Gold Medal game.

July 20, 2015

Shannon, Marta, Markisha help lead team to victory

By Judy Richter with photos by Dave Cortesi

The 20 or so Stanford women’s basketball fans at Kezar Pavilion on July 18 may have been disappointed that six Cardinal players on teams playing that day weren’t there, but they were treated to one terrific game by the two players and one alum who were there.

Playing for the Bay City team, freshmen center Shannon Coffee, freshman guard Marta Sniezek and guard Markisha Coleman, ’07, all made significant contributions to their team’s 92-84 overtime victory over the San Francisco team.

Pouring in an official 26 points (my unofficial tally shows 27), Shannon led all scoring for the afternoon. She also had 12 rebounds before fouling out with 2:35 to go in the fourth quarter and Bay City ahead 79-74.

Shannon makes 87.5 percent of her free throws

She hadn’t picked up her first foul until 2:47 to go in the third quarter. In the meantime, she made several trips to the charity stripe, where she sank seven of her eight free throws, 87.5 percent.

She and Marta connected well, with Marta dishing assists to her under the basket. In one especially exciting fast break after a San Francisco turnover, Marta snared the ball and passed it to Shannon, who made a nifty hook shot.

Marta scored 6 points, all of them from 3-pointers. Like Shannon, she was active under the basket, securing 10 rebounds. She also had four steals and many assists, though I didn’t keep track of them.

A real floor general, she showed confident, vocal leadership on both offense and defense, directing her teammates to where they should be. She fouled out with 2:32 to go in overtime and Bay City ahead 82-81.

Markisha made her presence felt with 7 points, 6 of them from 3’s, and one rebound. Her experience showed when she played the point and, often through crafty moves, got the ball to the right spot.

The game was hard-fought throughout. Bay City lagged 16-12 after the first quarter and 33-31 after the second. It forged ahead 63-55 in the third quarter, but San Francisco edged the score up to a 79-79 tie when the fourth quarter ended.

Stanford women thank fans

After the game, the three Stanford women talked with their fans, thanking them for coming and for being such a vocal cheering section. Shannon said her mother in Ohio wanted her to thank Fast Break Club writers for keeping her informed about the team’s activities and accomplishments.

Freshman Alexa Romano and senior center/forward Tess Picknell are on the San Francisco roster, but neither was there. One might assume that Tess was more focused on her duties with the running crew for Stanford Repertory Theater’s production of Noël Coward’s “Hay Fever,” which had a performance that night. (I saw the opening night July 16 and enjoyed it. It was fun to see Tess helping to reset the stage during the half-light pause between the second and third acts.)

Sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson and sophomore guard Brittany McPhee are on the roster for Mission Recreation Center, which won the afternoon’s second game against Palo Alto TnT 98-55. The Palo Alto TnT roster lists junior guards Lili Thompson and Briana Roberson. None of the four were there.

Mission Rec and Palo Alto TnT will meet again as the Pro-Am semi-finals begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 25. The second game at 3:30 p.m. will again pit Bay City against San Francisco. The championship game between the winners of those games is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1.

Kezar Pavilion is on the east side of Golden Gate Park at 755 Stanyan St., between Waller and Frederick streets. Admission is free. A pay-by-the-hour parking lot is next door.

July 19, 2015

Aussies win tough battle against Brazil

Australia and Brazil played a strongly defensive competitive game. The score was close, with several lead changes, in the first quarter. Brazil held a lead of up to seven points throughout the second quarter and was ahead by five at halftime. Australia crept back after the break. Midway through the third quarter, Alanna tied the scored with a field goal and then sank another one. The Aussies held on to that lead until the final 62-48 vicTory.

Alanna scored the game-high 12 points, as did her teammate Lauren Scherf, and added six rebounds, four steals and three blocks. She played for almost 23 minutes before fouling out with three minutes left in the game.

Here are:

After a day of rest, the Gems complete group play with a game against South Korea on Tuesday at 5:45 am Pacific Time. Watch it on YOuTube.

July 18, 2015

Alanna leads Aussies to first FIBA U19 victory

The Australian Gems defeated Serbia 105-62 in their first game of the 2015 FIBA U19 Women's World Championahip.

Alanna led all scorers with 18 points. She also tallied six rebounds, four assists, three steals and four blocks. She played for 21 minutes and committed just one foul and two turnovers.

Here are:

The Gems continue group play against Brazil tomorrow at 3:30 am Pacific Time.

July 16, 2015

Marta, consummate student athlete

Learn more about Marta and her family in a story by Gordon Roco (The Connection Newspapers): Marta Sniezek: All-American

July 15, 2015

Watch Alanna play in Russia

July 16: Revised paragraph about viewing games on YouTube.

Alanna Smith, our fourth freshman, has been busy this summer playing with Australia's Women Under 19 Team, also known as the Gems. That effort will culminate in the coming week with the Gems' participation in the 2015 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship in Chekhov (Moscow Region), Russia.

If you want to refresh your knowledge of Alanna, read Shot-swatting Smith continues family's sporting tradition.

The group phase of the FIBA U19 Championship begins next weekend. Each of the 16 participating teams will play each of the other three teams in its group. Australia's schedule, in Pacific Standard Time (which is ten hours earlier than the time in Chekhov), is:

    Sat July 18 at 5:15 am vs Serbia
    Sun July 19 at 3:30 am vs Brazil
    Tue July 21 at 5:45 am vs Korea
No teams are eliminated in the group phase. The final phase begins with the Round of 16 in which teams cross between groups A and B and C and D (A1 v B4, A2 v B3, etc.).

The schedule for the final phase is:

    Wed July 22, Round of 16, time tba
    Fri July 24, Quarterfinals, time tba
    Sat July 25, Semifinals, time tba
    Sun July 26, 8:00 am PST, Bronze Medal game
    Sun July 26, 10:15 am PST, Gold Medal game

The USA U19 team is also participating in the FIBA U19 Championship. There are no Stanford or other Pac-12 women on the team, but a member you may be aware of is Katie Lou Samuelson, upcoming UConn freshman. Here is the USA roster.

The USA is in Group B and Australia is in Group D, so the earliest they could meet is in the quarterfinals.

As to actually seeing Alanna play, none of the FIBA U19 Women's World Championship will be televised, but it will be live-streamed. All of the games will be live-streamed on the FIBA YouTube channel. You can find links to the group games on each participating team's page of the tournament website. The Gold Medal game on July 26 will also be streamed on livebasketball.tv.

Here's more information from FIBA:

In prepararation for the tournament, four of the participating teams (Australia, Canada, Spain and USA) have just completed a friendly round-robin tournament in Spain. Australia lost to USA 85-82, defeated Spain 72-50, and lost to Canada 67-60. Here are Australia's cumulative statistics.

Alanna was a starting power forward in all three games. She averaged 8.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, one assist, one block and 1.3 steals in 19.3 minutes per game. She was hampered by foul trouble — committed 14 and fouled out of two games.

July 14, 2015

Only Tess, Markisha represent Stanford at Kezar

About 15 fans were hoping to see as many as six current Stanford women’s basketball players at San Francisco’s Kezar Pavilion on July 11, but only one arrived.

Senior center/forward Tess Picknell was the only current Cardinal player in that day’s Pro-Am competition. Her team, San Francisco, played the second game against East Bay. A schedule conflict meant that I couldn’t stay for that game, but the final result was San Francisco 86, East Bay 79.

Tess’s San Francisco teammate, freshman guard Alexa Romano, was among those who didn’t arrive.

In the first game, fans missed seeing two other freshmen, forward Shannon Coffee and guard Marta Sniezek for Bay City, and junior guards Lili Thompson and Briana Roberson for Palo Alto TnT.

However, a Stanford alum, guard Markisha Coleman, ’07, was there for Bay City. A crafty player, she contributed 5 points, including one 3-pointer, three rebounds and at least one assist to Bay City’s 94-54 thrashing of Palo Alto TnT.

Presumably Lili missed the game because her father, Greg, was to receive his master’s degree that afternoon. No reason was given for the other players’ absence.

Indicative of the competition’s loose setup, it’s not unusual for any player to miss a Pro-Am game. Consequently, teams rarely have their full roster present. Sometimes they have just enough to put five players on the floor.

While getting ready for her game, Tess said that among other activities this summer, she’s working on the backstage crew for Stanford Repertory Theater’s production of Noël Coward’s “Hay Fever” playing July 16 to Aug. 9 in Pigott Theater, Memorial Auditorium For tickets and information, visit stanford.edu/group/repertorytheater/cgi-bin/srt/.

Mission Recreation Center’s team, featuring two sophomores forward Kaylee Johnson and guard Brittany McPhee, had a bye.

All four teams with Stanford players are scheduled Saturday, July 18. The 1:30 p.m. game features Bay City, with Shannon, Marta and Markisha on the roster, versus San Francisco, with Tess and Alexa on the roster. The 3:30 p.m. game will pit Palo Alto TnT, with Lili and Bri on the roster, versus Mission Rec, with Kaylee and Brittany on the roster.

Kezar Pavilion is on the east side of Golden Gate Park at 755 Stanyan St., between Waller and Frederick streets.

Admission is free. A pay-by-the-hour parking lot is next door.

July 13, 2015

Team USA wins the Gold in World University Games

Team USA won its tenth World University Games gold medal today with an 82-63 victory over Canada.

The game was much tougher than the final score indicates. Both teams defended well and shot poorly (USA 34%, Canada 27%) in the first half, which ended with the USA ahead 31-23 after a 7-0 run.

Canada fought back in the third quarter, tied the game 41-41 midway through the period, and cut the USA lead to three points (48-45).

Team USA took control of the game in the fourth quarter with another 7-0 run that took them to the first double-digit lead of the day with eight minutes left to play. Canada didn't have enough fight left to slow the USA surge to victory.

Erica played for 34 minutes. Her stats weren't terrific — nine points, six rebounds, three blocks, three steals — but she did a great job of holding Adut Bulgak, Canada's leading scorer, in control.

Erica was an outstanding member of Team USA. She played the most minutes (29.7 mpg), blocked the most shots (1.8 bpg), scored the second-most points (15.2 ppg), had the second-best field goal percentage (0.597), grabbed the second-most rebounds (8.5 rpg) and committed the fewest fouls of the starting five (1.3 fpg). Here are the Team USA cumulative statistics.

Erica said, "It’s been an amazing experience. These girls just became my sisters in a small amount of time. Coming here, bonding, playing cards together, it’s been amazing. I’m so glad that we got to go through it together. Who better to get a medal with than these girls?"

July 11, 2015

Team USA survives with tough win over Japan

Team USA beat Japan 102-98 in the semifinals today, but it took them two overtime periods to do it.

The USA had a great height advantage, but Japan was quicker and shot better.

Japan got off to a very quick start and shot the lights out in the first quarter. They sank four three-pointers, out-shot the USA 63% to 35% and out-rebounded them 12-8. Japan was ahead by as much as 16 points and led 20-16 at the end of the quarter.

The USA used a zone defense to slow down Japan's shooting in the second quarter and cut the lead in half, to 43-36.

The USA came out fighting after the break. They tied the score twice in the third quarter, but Japan kept coming back and still led 58-57.

The two teams traded the lead thoughout the fourth quarter. The USA was ahead by five with four minutes left to play, but Japan tied the score three more times, and the game went into overtime, 77-77.

The USA held a small lead throughout the first overtime period until Japan tied the score at 86-86 with 25 seconds on the clock. On its possession, the USA missed three shots in highly-contested play under the basket, which ended with Erica being fouled. She missed both free throws.

The second overtime period began with a jump shot and then a block by Erica. The USA crept ahead to an eight-point lead with a 42 seconds left to play, and victory seemed in sight. But Japan wasn't finished yet — jumper, steal, jumper, free throw — and it was a one-possession game with 27 seconds left.

Japan fouled Erica, who made both free throws, then sank its eighth 3-pointer of the day to cut the lead to two. Courtney Williams was fouled and made both free throws. With two seconds left to play, Aerial Powers stole the ball, and that was finally the end: USA 102, Japan 98.

Mercedes Russell was the top scorer with 25 points, followed by Aerial Powers with 24, then Erica with 19 on seven of 12 field goals and five of ten free throws.

The USA ended with 63 rebounds to Japan's 39. Mercedes and Aerial each grabbed 14, Erica had 11.

Here are the final statistics and the USA Basketball game recap.

Canada defeated Russia 70-60 in the other semifinal game. So the gold medal game on Monday, July 13 at 2:00 am PT will be USA vs Canada.The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Seven Pac-12 players will be present. The Canadian team includes Quinn Dornstauder (Arizona State) and Ruth Hamblin (Oregon State).

July 09, 2015

Team USA advances to semifinals

Team USA's deep bench and tough defense just wore out Hungary in today's quarterfinal game. They held Hungary to 27% shooting and just one of 13 3-point attempts.

Team USA made 44% of its shots and four of its 13 3-point attempts.

Brionna Jones (Maryland) came off the bench and made all six of her field goal attempts and three free throws for the team-high 15 points. Erica made seven of 11 for 14 points. Sydney Wiese (Oregon State) also came off the bench and scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers.

Team USA out-rebounded Hungary 48-38. Brionna had the most (seven). Courtney Williams (South Florida) and Nina Davis (Baylor) each had six. Erica and Sydney each had five.

All the USA players (except Diamond De Shields, who is benched with an injury) had significant playing time. Erica had the second-most, just 21:14 minutes.

Hungary was able to keep the scoring deficit to a single digit for about 15 minutes, then fell further and further behind to the final 84-43 USA victory.

Team USA advances to the semifinals, where it will play Japan on Saturday July 11 at 4:00 am Pacific Time. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Japan advanced to the semis with an 83-71 upset of Australia in the quarterfinals. Japan made ten 3-pointers — six of them by #6 Kaede Kondo. Japan out-rebounded Australia 41-34.

The other medal semifinal game, which will not be televised, is between Canada and Russia just before the USA/Japan game at 1:30 am PT.

July 08, 2015

Kaylee's busy summer

Chad Lindskog (Caspar Star Tribune) reports that Kaylee is playing a lot of basketball this summer — Training with the team, playing at Kezar and trying out with USA Basketball: Stanford’s Johnson uses summer ball to improve her confidence

July 07, 2015

Stanford women boost Kezar teams

By Judy Richter

Playing on three different teams, four Stanford women’s basketball players competed in San Francisco’s Pro-Am at Kezar Pavilion on July 5.

Junior guards Briana Roberson and Lili Thompson played on the Palo Alto TnT team against senior center/forward Tess Picknell on the San Francisco team in the first game. Sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson played on the Mission Recreation Center team against East Bay Athletics in the second.

Tess’s team won the first game 88-52, while Kaylee’s team prevailed 82-52.

Lili leads all players with 30 points

Even though her team lost, Lili led all scoring in either game with 30 points. Her total was highlighted by six 3-pointers. She also had five rebounds.

Playing at the point, Bri chipped in 8 points plus 12 rebounds, according to my unofficial numbers.

Both played the entire 40 minutes because only six players showed up for their team.

Tess has double-double

For her part, Tess helped the winning San Francisco team with 12 points and 12 rebounds. She also had some blocks, but I don’t keep track of them.

With only seven players on her team, Tess played significant minutes and had a commendable game. Several of her scores came from put-backs, although she also scored when receiving the ball from the perimeter. She provided more help with her screens, and she hit several free throws.

Freshman guard Alexa Romano is on the San Francisco roster with Tess, but she was unable to attend that day. Likewise, sophomore guard Brittany McPhee was unable to join Kaylee on the Mission Rec team.

Kaylee starts, gets double-double, too

Kaylee started at center and played for about five minutes before going to the bench. She was in and out of the game until finally leaving with 8:19 to go in the fourth quarter, when Mission Rec had a comfortable lead. Liberal substitution was possible because her team had 13 players.

She made the most of her playing time, recording a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds plus at least one block.

As was true in the afternoon’s first game, both teams tended to run and gun, going with the fast break rather than establishing a disciplined offense. This is typical of Pro-Am play because each team has players of varying experience, most of them don’t know each other, and they don’t practice. Coaching is minimal.

Hence, the games are more like glorified pick-up games, but they’re entertaining.

Probably because it was a holiday weekend and maybe because the American women’s soccer team was going for the World Cup, which it won, the Stanford fan contingent numbered no more than about a dozen.

Among the spectators were Lili’s parents from San Jose and Bri’s parents from Fullerton.

Players show their studious side

Kaylee was in the stands for the first game, but she focused on class work. The same was true for Lili and Bri when they ended their game and stayed while Kaylee played.

Lili’s father, Greg, said that when he drove Lili, Kaylee and junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall to the airport for their flight to the USA training center to try out for international competitions several weeks ago, they had a very, very early flight. Like true Stanford students, they used that drive time to study. (Bird qualified for the USA team currently at the World University Games in South Korea.)

Pro-Am games continue Saturday, July 11. The Bay City team, with freshman forward Shannon Coffee and freshman guard Marta Sniezek on the roster, will face Lili and Bri’s Palo Alto TnT at 1:30 p.m.

Tess and Alexa’s San Francisco team plays East Bay Athletics at 3:30 p.m.

All four teams with Stanford players are scheduled to play Saturday, July 18. Playoffs between the top four teams will take place July 25 followed by the championship game Aug. 1.

Kezar Pavilion is at 755 Stanyan St. (at Waller) at the east end of Golden Gate Park. Admission to the games is free. Pay-by-the-hour parking is located right next door.

See also photo album by Ron Madson

Team USA finishes 3-0 in group play

Team USA lost no time in taking control of its game against the Czech Republic. The squad made 93% of its shots in the first quarter and established a 30-15 lead en route to a final 92-54 victory.

Erica had another fine game: 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Here are the USA cumulative team stats for the three group play games.

Erica and Aerial Powers were the top scorers (16.3 ppg). Erica had the second-most rebounds (9.7 rpg). She led the team in blocks (2 bpg), field goal percentage (0.655) and free throw percentage (0.733).

Next up: Team USA vs Hungary in the quarterfinal round on Thursday, July 9 at 4:30 am PT.

Note: The time of the USA/Hungary quarterfinal game has been changed. The WUG schedule and the USABB schedule both show equivalent of 4:30 am Pacific Time. The USABB schedule notes that it will be televised on ESPNU, and the ESPN viewing schedule agrees.

July 06, 2015

VanDerveer and Kerr - students of the game

Steve Kerr, the teacher.
Tara, the student.
Or vice versa.

Scott Ostler (San Francisco Chronicle) thinks it's time they got together: Head coaches Kerr, VanDerveer could teach each other

Team USA defeats China

Team USA played a well-balanced and controlled game and defeated China 90-75 in its second match of the World University Games.

In contrast to its first game against Italy, when more than half of the USA scoring came from two players, five players scored in double-digits. Again, most of the scoring (62 points) came from the inside.

The team improved its ball handling and committed only 16 turnovers — a bit less than half of the prior day's tally.

Erica played the most minutes (33) and contributed 12 points, three assists, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal to the USA victory.

Team USA completes its preliminary round at noon on Tuesday (Monday, 8pm PT) with a game against the Czech Republic, which has also won its first two games. The game will not be televised.

By virtue of their two wins, the USA and the Czech Republic are already assured of advancing to the quarterfinals on Thursday. That round will not be televised.

If the USA continues to advance, its semifinal game on Thursday or Friday and its final game on Sunday or Monday will be televised by ESPNU.

July 05, 2015

Erica leads USA to victory over Italy

USA Women's Basketball defeated Italy 80-68 in the first game of the World University Games in Korea.

Erica did not wear glasses in the game. I don't know whether she's had surgery to correct her astigmatism or has found contact lenses that work for her, but she certainly had no trouble finding the basket. She shared top-scoring honors with Aerial Powers – 22 points – on eight of ten field goal attempts and six of nine free throws. And she collected 18 rebounds – ten of them O-boards.

Coach Joe McKeown said of Erica's effort, "Erica McCall was incredible. She just went after absolutely everything."

And Erica said:

On winning the first game of the tournament:
“It feels really great. We’ve been practicing for a while and going really hard, so it was great to finally get to play and to get this win. They were a really tough team and this was a great win for us.

On the offensive rebounds:
“Those were really important because they kept us motivated to keep pushing even though we weren’t making shots. Those offensive rebounds really boosted our energy.”

The USA next plays China on Monday at 1:30 am (PDT). The game will be televised on ESPNU.

July 03, 2015

Cardinal players keep busy during summer

By Judy Richter

Most of the 13 members of the Stanford women’s basketball team are on campus and in summer school as they look ahead to the start of the 2015-16 season.

Associate head coach Amy Tucker gave a rundown on the players’ summer activities.

Three of the four freshmen are in summer school. Like their returning teammates, guards Alexa Romano and Marta Sniezek along with forward Shannon Coffee, are spending two hours a week with the coaches and six hours a week with strength and conditioning coach Brittany Keil.

College games are longer than high school

These sessions help them “acclimate to college training” and the rigors of college games, which are 40 minutes rather than the 32 minutes of high school, Amy said. They also improve the players’ conditioning.

Moreover, their summer experience gives them a chance to bond with their new teammates.

The three freshmen are competing in Pro-Am games at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco along with five returning players: sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson, sophomore guard Brittany McPhee, junior guards Lili Thompson and Briana Roberson, and senior center/forward Tess Picknell.

The fourth freshman, Alanna Smith of Australia, will represent her country in U19 international competition in Russia later this month.

Also competing internationally is junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall, who is on the USA team at the World University Games in South Korea this month.

Injured players make progress

Junior guard Karlie Samuelson, who suffered a broken finger and underwent surgery during the latter part of this past season, has been cleared for basketball activities such as shooting, but not contact. She has an internship at a local hospital, Amy said.

Junior forward Kailee Johnson, who had foot problems last season, is in summer school and back in action.

Redshirt senior guard Alex Green tore her ACL and subsequently had surgery in April. Her rehab is going well, and she’s using the exercise bike. She has a job &mdashh interning at Altamont Capital Partners, where she is helping to organize a database.

Taylor Rooks transfers to Harvard

The team was originally going to have 14 players on its 2015-16 roster, but sophomore guard Taylor Rooks, who is from New Jersey, decided to transfer to Harvard, apparently in hopes of getting more playing time.

Amy wasn’t sure if NCAA rules will allow her to play this coming season. Normally a transfer student must sit out a year, but exceptions are made sometimes, she said.

As to whether there are plans to use walk-ins to fill the Stanford roster this coming season, Amy said, “Not that I’m aware of.”

Graduates’ activities

Reporting on the class of ’15, she said that forward Taylor Greenfield is still in California and is working as a nanny.

Guard Amber Orrange, who was drafted by the WNBA’s New York Liberty and subsequently waived, will play in Italy this fall.

Forward Bonnie Samuelson wants to go to medical school and is studying for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).

Forward Erica Payne has a consultant’s job with Deloitte in San Francisco.

Guard Jasmine Camp is at home in Atlanta and hoping to go to graduate school.

Amy pleased with freshmen

Amy said she’s pleased with the freshmen. “It’s a really strong class” that will make good contributions, she said.

Noting that Shannon hit a 3-pointer in her first game at Kezar, Amy said that unlike Stanford’s other forwards, both she and Alanna have face-up shots that will help to draw defenses away from the paint.

In addition to classes, basketball practice and conditioning, some of the players have been helping the coaches at head coach Tara VanDerveer’s summer hoops camps for ages 8 to 18. Two four-day sessions began June 23, and another began June 28. The final session is July 23-26.

Also on the coaches’ agenda are two seven-day recruiting periods; July 6-12 and July 23-29.

Summer school ends with finals on Aug. 15 and 16, giving players and coaches a break before fall classes start Sept. 21. 

July 02, 2015

News from Korea

Erica and her USA Basketball teammates continued their preparation for the World University games with a friendly game against Russia yesterday. USA won 71-58.

It was just a scrimmage, so no box score is available, but here's a brief account of the game: USA World University Games Team Earns 71-58 Scrimmage Victory Over Russia

And here's a nice story about Erica and her USABB teammate Diamond DeShields: DeShield and McCall Have A Golden Friendship