November 12, 2018

Stanford Wins Central Valley High School Reunion

Stanford Wins Central Valley High School Reunion

Warren Grimes, Stanford FBC Feature Writer

It was a reunion of three starting players on what may have been last year’s best high school team.   Central Valley High School, in the Spokane Valley, went undefeated last season, winning their state tournament; they also won the GEICO post season tournament in NYC, defeating two of the nation’s other top teams.  

Senior starters and stars on that team were the Hull twins, Lexie and Lacie, and Hailey Christopher, now playing as a guard/forward for Idaho.  In the reunion, Lexie stole the show.  She started, played 25 minutes, and scored 17 points while converting 5 of 8 three point shots, grabbing 5 boards, blocking 2 shots, and stealing the ball twice.  Lexie’s outside shooting was reminiscent of the Karlie Samuelson, but perhaps a Karlie Samuelson plus because of other strengths of her game. Lexie’s numbers were emblematic of her team’s performance.  Stanford won 115 to 71.  

The other Central Valley alums were also notable contributors.  Lacie played just 13 minutes, scored no points, but had 2 boards, an assist and a block.  Neither of the Hulls had any turnovers. Hailey Christopher played 19 minutes for Idaho, scored six on 3-4 shooting and had 3 assists for an Idaho team that could not get boards but shot 60% from the three point line.  Oh, and Christopher blocked one shot – one of former teammate Lexie Hull’s efforts.

Hailey Christopher is a very good player, but, at least in high school, not the equal of Lacie Hull, the less productive of the two twins on Sunday. Coach VanDerveer clearly has confidence in Lacie – she was one of the first players off the bench.  The thing about Lacie is that, like her twin, she plays hard and intensive defense, takes care of the ball (and steals it from opponents), passing wisely, and potentially shooting very well (from distance, she shot better than Lexie in high school).  Lexie shot 63% from the three point line against Idaho.  Lacie can do that too.  I’m waiting for her break out game.

The Hulls are just the right players for this year’s high potency offense with quick ball movement and lots of transition points.  Against Idaho, with the wide open Princeton offense clicking, Lexie Hull was just one six players to score in double digits.  Alana Smith and Kiana Williams led the way with 19 points each, while Nadia Fingall was close behind with 16 points. Stanford scored over 100 points for the first time since 2016.  This offensive balance will be difficult to defend and suggests that the team has the potential to climb from its current number 7 national ranking. 

Kiana Williams played the point most of the time she was in the game (28 minutes), and she played it very well (9 assists).  But Stanford’s other highly touted freshman, Jenna Brown, came in off the bench to play 13 minutes, contributing 7 points, 3 assists and 3 boards. Jenna can score from anywhere: three pointers, pull ups, and creative lay ups.  She demonstrated that on Sunday.  She’s gonna play.

This is a very good, very talented, and very deep Stanford team. They can shoot from the three point line and the free throw line, defend, run with the ball, score in transition, and put up points, lots and lots of them.   More 100 point games in the making.  What fun to watch!

November 09, 2018

Unhullstering Stanford’s Freshmen Weapons

Unhullstering Stanford’s Freshmen Weapons 

By:  Warren Grimes, longtime Stanford Women's Basketball fan

             Stanford played its first regular season game on Wednesday.  All three of the team’s freshmen played: Twins Lexie and Lacie Hull and Jenna Brown. They came to Stanford with sterling credentials.  The Hull twins were co-players of the year in Washington State.  Jenna Brown was very highly rated by all the recruiting services, played in high school all star games, and was a key member of a U.S. youth team in international competition over the Summer.

            The addition of the Hull twins continues a tradition of top Washington State players on the Farm, including Kate Starbird and Brittany McPhee.  If memory serves, all of these players had state POY status as high schoolers. McPhee was a Stanford senior last year, so comparisons between the Hulls and McPhee are inevitable.  They are all roughly the same size (6' or 6'1"), all were gym rats, prolific scorers in high school, strong rebounders, and fun to watch.   

            Brittany McPhee dazzled fans with her acrobatic, how-did-she-make-that shots in the paint.  She also became a steady defender.  As a freshman at Stanford, McPhee averaged 3.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, but did not earn a starting role until the last 8 games of the season.  By her junior year, McPhee was a star, putting up big numbers in that come-from-behind victory against Notre Dame in the NCAA regional final.  In her senior year, McPhee averaged 16.7 points and 5.4 boards per game, while playing an average of 31.7 minutes.  She was a mainstay and a fan favorite.

            Last Spring, Lexie Hull’s high school coach, reflecting on how his player stacked up against McPhee, said that Lexie was a more developed player as a high school senior.  That judgement may have been borne out in Lexie’s performance in the season opener.   She started, played 27 minutes (the most of any player on the team) and got a double-double (11 points and 11 boards) while contributing 3 steals and a block. That’s very promising.  And Lexie is likely to be a superior free throw shooter, an area where McPhee sometimes struggled.  Both Lexie and Lacie were deadly from the charity stripe in high school.  

            Lacie Hull played just 17 minutes, but contributed a basket, 3 boards and 2 steals.  In high school, Lacie was the better twin in three point shooting, but she missed her first three attempts against UC Davis.  I’m expecting improvement there.  Both of the Hulls are high energy, never-lose-focus players. Lacie may not start, but she is for real and will contribute.

            Jenna Brown had the highest recruitment rankings of the three freshmen.  After missing the preseason game with an injury, Brown came off the bench against UC Davis, playing for 18 minutes and converting both of her field goal attempts. Brown also chalked up 2 assists and 3 boards.  She has an opportunity to be a starting point guard, particularly while Marta Sniezek is recovering from injury.  Brown is smart, focused, unselfish, and brings athleticism to the team.  Her potential is great, particularly if she can be a scoring threat as a point guard.   

            It’s way too early to draw conclusions about these three freshmen.  But the arrows point sharply upwards. 

Warren Grimes

October 29, 2018

Tara's Season Preview

as Tara reflects on last year's run, expectations for this season, player progression, and more!

October 27, 2018

Keep an eye on Smith

Alanna joins Kiana on the list of Cardinals to watch in the 2018-19 season: Keep an eye on Smith

October 24, 2018

Farewell to the FBC website

Dave and I have been avid fans of Stanford women's basketball since March 26, 1994. We live near Stanford and had no plans for that weekend. On a whim, we decided to go to the women's basketball game at Maples Pavilion. It was the NCAA Elite Eight game and we came away smitten with the sport and with the Cardinal.

They've been a major presence in our lives — giving us much excitement and joy (and occasional despair) — for more than 20 years.

That pleasure has been enhanced for me by the FBC Website, which I began managing in the 2005-6 season. I briefly resigned from my self-appointed job a couple of years ago, but quickly returned to it when I realized how much I would miss it.

Now there is no turning back. I have a medical condition that will, I hope, allow me to enjoy another season of being a Cardinal fan, but that leaves me insufficient energy to continue the website. So I'm going to delete it next week before the first game of the upcoming season.

Another of my great pleasures has been knowing that the website has also enhanced the joy of being a Stanford women's basketball fan for many of you.

Go Cardinal!!

October 23, 2018

Watch Williams

Kiana begins the list of Cardinals to watch in the 2018-19 season: Watch Williams

October 20, 2018

Alexa's Andean Adventure

Alexa spent her summer in Peru as part of an archaeological excavation and research team at a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Andes.

October 12, 2018

October 11, 2018

Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day

The major news each Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day is the Coaches' Poll, although it's seldom a surprise. This year, Oregon was picked to finish first and Stanford second:

Here are more stories about Media Day:

And a video featuring Tara, Kiana and Dijonai.

October 10, 2018

High expectations of Jenna

Stanford’s coaches and players can’t help but smile when asked about Jenna Brown, this season's dynamic freshman guard.

Kiana Williams,last season's dynamic freshman guard, said, "Oh man, Jenna is going to be a fantastic player. I'm excited for her first year. She is so smart. She has a really high basketball IQ. She’s a hard worker and loves the game. I'm really excited she came here. It’s going to be a fun three years with her, for sure."

Read more by Jacob Rayburn (Cardinal Sports Report): Jenna Brown will be tough to stop during her freshman season

October 05, 2018

Complete 2018-19 schedule announced

Stanford Women's Basketball announced its complete 2018-19 schedule yesterday.

The Cardinal is scheduled for 30 regular-season games. 19 of them will be televised — 17 on the Pac-12 Networks and two on the ESPN family of networks.

In conference play, Stanford plays Oregon and Oregon State only at home and Colorado and Utah only away. It plays the other seven Pac-12 teams both at home and away. As has been the case since the Pac-10 became the Pac-12, traditional rivals meet twice in a single week. Stanford and Cal play each other midway through the conference season.

The conference schedule is quite user-friendly. All the conference games are scheduled for Friday/Sunday, except for the Cal games which are Thursday/Saturday. However, the time varies from week to week.

This is the schedule from the FBC. Game information includes links to each opponent's women's basketball website, maps of the venues and media coverage.Links to FBC post-game events will be added as soon as the information is available. Event information includes pre-game chalk talks and post-game behind-the-bench sessions.

This is the announcement and the schedule from Stanford Athletics.

October 04, 2018

'Rebounding' is the word

It's a quick one-word answer when you ask Stanford's coaches what the focus is in practices as the Cardinal get ready for the season: Rebounding.

Head coach Tara VanDerveer said that generally she wants the team to be more physical than the version that was pushed around at times last season, so rebounding is an obvious tell of whether that's improving.

Tara and Kate offer their takes on the development of a number of players in Jacob Rayburn's (Cardinal Sports Report): Stanford has exciting potential; focused rebounding, toughness

September 30, 2018

Team USA wins the gold

The USA took down Australia 73-56 and took home their third-straight FIBA Women's World Cup gold medal today.

The USA began play with a 10-0 run and kept the lead all the way.

Australian defense held the USA to only 33% field goal shooting, but also committed 24 fouls, which gave the USA 17 points in free throws.

But USA defense (primarily Brittney Griner) held Liz Cambage (the tournament's leading scorer with 23.8 points per game) to just seven points on 20% shooting and three free throws.

With Cambage stifled, Australia called on its bench.

Alanna came in for 18 minutes and responded with the team-high 10 points, two blocks, an assist and a steal.

Nneka was not a major factor in the USA's victories, but, as one of the game commentators said today, "She played her role as center off the bench to perfection." For the tournament she averaged 7.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 15 minutes per game.

Breanna Stewart officially is MVP of Everything after winning the Tissot MVP of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 trophy, and she was joined in the All-Star Five by Diana Taurasi, Astou Ndour (Spain), Emma Meesseman (Belgium), and Liz Cambage. Honorable mention, Brittney Griner, was TCL Player of the Game in the Final.

USA crowned world champions for third time in a row, secure Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ticket, FIBA game report.

U.S. women beat Australia to win third straight World Cup title, Associated Pres game report.

USA Downs Australia to Claim Third-Straight FIBA World Cup Gold, USA Basketball game report.

Silver medal caps incredible FIBA World Cup campaign for ... Opals, Basketball Australia game report.

September 29, 2018

World Cup semifinals

USA 93, Belgium 77

Belgium, in its first-ever FIBA Women's World Cup gave the USA almost more than it could handle for 25 minutes. The score was tied nine times — the last time midway through the third quarter at 51-51.

Then the USA's superior depth became a major factor and the Belgian women couldn't match the pace for the remaining 15 minutes.

Taurasi shines as holders USA slip past Belgium to make 11th Final, FIBA game report

USA Advances to FIBA World Cup Gold Medal Game With 93-77 Win Over Belgium, USA Basketball game report

Australia 72, Spain 66

Spain started out cold and gave up a 16-point lead to Australia in the first three minutes of the game. But they pulled themselves together and led by one at the end of the half,

All of Spain's defensive efforts couldn't slow down Liz Cambage, who got 33 points and 15 rebounds.

Cambage and Opals break Spanish hearts to set up Final against USA, FIBA game report

FIBA World Cup gold medal beckoning Australia after semifinal comeback vs Spain, Basketball Australia game report

Gold Medal Game

The gold medal game is at noon PT on Sunday. It will be televised by ESPN.

Can Team USA topple Liz Cambage, Australia in gold-medal game?, by Mechelle Voepel (espnW)

Will the Opals beat USA to the Women's World Cup title? 5 reasons why they can

September 28, 2018

World Cup quarterfinals

USA 71, Nigeria 40

Nigeria, the first African nation to reach a quarterfinal in World Cup history, came out blazing and led by eight points at the end of the first quarter. But they couldn't sustain the pressure and the USA gained control and went on to a sizeable victory.

U.S. tops Nigeria in Women's Basketball World Cup quarterfinals , theAssociated Press game report.

Defense Propels USA Past Nigeria, 71-40, and Into Semifinals, the USA Basketball game report.

The USA will play Belgium in the semifinals at 9:30am PT on Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPNEWS.

Australia 83, China 42

Australia led all the way in their quarterfinal game. Alanna contributed seven points, five rebounds. two assists and a block to the victory.

... Opals stay hot with QF win over China at FIBA World Cup, the Basketball Australia game report.

Australia will play Spain (which upset Canada in the quarterfinals) in the semifinals at noon PT on Saturday. The game will be streamed to ESPN+.

September 27, 2018

World Cup quarterfinals preview

Mechelle Voepel (espnW) previews all four quarterfinals in: Nneka Ogwumike leads U.S. women into FIBA World Cup quarterfinals

USA/Nigeria leads off the quarterfinals very early on Friday morning at 3:00am PT. The game will be streamed to ESPN3, and televised later at 11:00am PT on ESPNU.

Preview from USA Basketball: USA vs. Nigeria.

The Australia/China game follows at 6:00am PT. It will be streamed to ESPN+.

Preview from Basketball Australia": Australia vs China

You can watch any of the games later. They're all archived on YouTube. You can find the links here.

Shannon's busy, rewarding summer

September 26, 2018

World Cup great experience for Alanna

Alanna and a half dozen other college players are getting quite the education on the court playing against the best players at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.

Tara is happy about Alanna's getting the opportunity to play.

"Alanna is a senior and one of our leaders and we’re going to depend on her a lot this season," she said. "For her to have this experience playing alongside and against the world's best players is absolutely invaluable and the lessons she's learning will serve our team well. We’ve been having some great workouts and can't wait to get her back on campus and in the mix."

Read more by Doug Feinberg (AP): College players get education on court at women’s World Cup

September 25, 2018

Women's World Cup, day 3

The USA and Australia wrapped up group play with dominating wins today.

Australia 90, Turkey 64

Game report from Basketball Australia: ... Opals advance directly to FIBA World Cup quarter-finals

USA 102, Latvia 76

Brittney Griner was back on the court today, while Sue Bird and Elena Della Donne got a rest.

Seven of the ten USA players scored in double digits. Nneka scored 10 points and added five rebounds.

Game report from USA Basketball: USA Downs Latvia 102-76 to Wrap Up Group Play

Medal play begins on Friday. Pairings, times and television coverage will be announced on Wednesday after the last four qualifiers for the quarter-finals have been determined.

September 23, 2018

Women's World Cup, day 2

Australia and the USA chalked up their second wins in group play today — an easy one for Australia against #15 Argentina and a challenging one for the USA against #10 China.

Australia 84, Argentina 43

Alanna was one of Australia's four double-digit scorers. She tallied ten points, five rebounds and two blocks.

Game report from Basketball Australia:Argentina no match for ... Opals at 2018 FIBA World Cup

USA 100, China 88

This tough win was made more so by the absence of Brittney Griner, who is day-to-day with an ankle injury.

Game report from USA Basketball:USA Earns Hard-Fought 100-88 Win Over China

Group play wraps up on Tuesday with Australia facing its strongest group opponent (#7 Turkey) and the USA its weakest (#26 Latvia). Regardless of the outcome, both have already won places in the quarter-finals.

September 22, 2018

Women's World Cup, day 1

As expected, the USA and Australia had a fairly easy first day of group play against their weaker opponents.

Australia 86, Nigeria 68

Game report from Basketball Australia: ... Opals shine in opening game of FIBA World Cup

Tomorrow's game should be somewhat more challenging for the Opals. They play Argentina, whose FIBA world ranking is #15 (Australia is #4).

USA 87, Senegal 67

Nneka had a perfect shooting day — 6 of 6 field goals and 4 of 4 free throws. Her 16 points were second to Elena Della Donne's 19 for the USA.

Game report from USA Basketball: USA Opens FIBA World Cup with 87-67 Victory Over Senegal

The USA will face its toughest group opponent tomorrow — China, which is ranked #10 (the USA is #1).

September 21, 2018

Nneka and Alanna and the World Cup

The 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup begins tomorrow in Tenerife, Spain.

Two Stanford hoopsters will participate — alumna Nneka Ogwumike ('12) with USA Basketball and senior Alanna Smith ('19) with Basketball Australia.

This will be Nneka's second appearance in the Women's World Cup. She was on the 2014 team that won the gold medal,

Alanna played for Basketball Australia in the FIBA U17 and U19 Basketball World Cups, but this is her first Women's World Cup. She is one of the players making her debut featured by FIBA in: Our 12 exciting players ready to take their first #FIBAWWC footsteps

Australia have been one of the first nations to confirm their final roster for the event and Smith was always likely to be a lock after what she produced at her first senior tournament last year. The forward was superb at the FIBA Women's Asia Cup and while disappointed her team were edged out in agonizing fashion by Japan in the title game, Smith had to be satisfied with a productive 10.8 points and 5.3 boards per outing. She is one of the most exciting players that are pushing the Opals into a new chapter and we already know her skills from her displays at the FIBA U17 and U19 Basketball World Cups.

All of the games will be streamed to ESPN+ (an ESPN service that costs $4.99 a month) and to LiveBasketball.TV (A service that costs $9.99 a month). The quarterfinals and semifinals will be on one of the ESPN channels to be determined and the finals will be carried by ESPN.

The USA and Australia are in different groups, so they won't meet (if at all) until the playoffs.

Follow all the action on the FIBA World Cup website. Note that you may choose to have game times shown in your local time.

Read more:

August 22, 2018

Alanna on Australia's World Cup team

Alanna Smith has been named to Australia's 12-player roster for the 2018 FIBA World Cup.

Read more from Stanford Athletics: Smith makes World Cup roster

August 10, 2018

Women’s Hoops: Summer Reflections

By Warren Grimes

Summer is slow news time for women’s college hoops. Yes, there are announcements about future recruits, team schedules, coaching changes, and activities for the athletes. Among those activities is participation in international team events. This year, those activities should be of interest fpr Stanford fans.

Stanford now has three team members who are playing for national teams. Freshman recruit Jenna Brown is playing on the US U18 team. Rising senior Alanna Smith looks to be a key player for the Australian national team. And Alyssa Jerome has been selected to play for the Canadian national team.

Having three players play for a national team in a single summer is unique for Stanford and probably unusual for any college team. The shine from this accomplishment may be dimmed a bit because getting on a non-US team is not as difficult as playing for the United States. Still, playing for Australia (currently the 4th best team according to FIBA rankings) and Canada (currently the 5th ranked team) is no small accomplishment. Those who follow international competitions will recall that Australia has won its share of medals, and the Canadian team is on the march with its number 5 ranking.

Also of note: two of the players selected for national teams did not start for Stanford last year. Only Alanna Smith was a starter (albeit a key one) on last year’s Stanford team. Jenna Brown was still in high school; and Alyssa Jerome, although contributing in the rotation, came off the bench. It is significant that these players were still selected by national team coaches. That’s a clear sign of their potential. Brown has been playing steadily and productively for the U18 team, with a team high in points in the semi-final game.

There’s more. Kiana Williams, not playing for any national team this summer, was a contender for best player on the team in the last portion of the season. If she were a Canadian or an Australian, Williams would almost certainly be playing internationally. And who’s to say Williams won’t be on the US teams in the future. She has All American potential.

Another starter from last year’s team, Marta Sniezek, is a gutsy and steady performer. Sniezek, even if she won’t make a national team, is a valuable puzzle piece for next year’s team. Nadia Fingall and DiJonai Carrington, each of whom got more minutes than Alyssa Jerome, are players that could make the roster of most international teams. Finally, there’s Maya Dodson, who has had international experience playing for a US national youth team (a teammate of Jenna Brown on one such team). If Dodson makes the sophomore leap, watch out.

I have yet to mention the Hull twins, Washington State players of the year last year, who many national teams would covet. Putting all these talented players together to make a national contender is another matter. But the Summer’s events are cause for optimism, something already reflected in summer interviews with the coaching staff.

August 09, 2018

Disappointing Exhibition Series for Team Canada

The Canada Senior Women's National Team needs to step up their preparation for FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018. They took home a lot of valuable lessons from the Asia Exhibition Series, where they lost all four games — two to China and two to Japan.

Alyssa got a lot of valuable experience which will serve her well in the upcoming college season. She played an average of 17 minutes per game and tallied 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 points and 1.5 assists.

August 07, 2018

USA wins ninth-straight FIBA Americas U18 Championship gold medal

Canada won the first quarter by four points and kept the score close for another five minutes. Then the USA began to take control with a 14-3 run and opened the second half with an 18-5 run that led to an 84-60 victory and their ninth-straight gold medal.

Jenna did a little bit of everything in the title game: four points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals. For the tournament, she averaged 7.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists (8th-best) and 2.0 steals (9th-best) per game.

Jenna leads USA to gold medal game

Columbia kept it close until midway through the second quarter when they led 26-25. Then the USA went on a 17-0 run that led to an 83-47 victory and the gold medal game.

Jenna said, “That is what I was impressed with – when it was a little tight in the beginning, we just kept pushing forward and kept sticking to our principles. We knew what we needed to do to win the game.”

Jenna scored the game-high 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-4 three-pointers.

By virtue of their top four finishes, the USA, Argentina , Canada and Colombia have all qualified for next summer’s 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

The USA will meet also-undefeated Canada (5-0) in the gold medal contest at 6:30pm PT on Aug. 7, which will be available to watch live on and on YouTube (link available here at game time).

August 05, 2018

USA U18 women cruise into semifinals

The USA U18 women overwhelmed El Salvador in the quarterfinals, defeating them 87-27; rebounds were 58-8! (The USA women were, on average, six inches taller than their opponents.)

Jenna had a quiet game — five points, three rebounds and two assists

The USA U18 women will meet Colombia in the semifinals on Monday.

USA U18 women sweep group play with victory over Puerto Rico

The USA U18 women swept group play with a 103-59 victory over Puerto Rico and earned the No. 1 seed in their group

Jenna came off the bench for 21 minutes and tallied nine points, three rebounds, three assists and five steals.

The USA U18 women will meet El Salvador, the No. 4 seed out of Group B, in the quarter-final round on Sunday.

August 04, 2018

Farewell to Cully

By Harriet Benson

Bob Cullenbine (Cully), a long-time supporter of Stanford Women’s Basketball has died. When I interviewed for my book him several years ago, Cully spoke of the immediate excitement he felt when he watched his first game. He noted that he had thought himself a good player in high school, but “these women were so much better.” His active support was appreciated from the late 1980’s, when there were only a handful of boosters, and especially during our formative Fast Break Club days in the 1990’s. He sat behind the team bench during games for nearly 30 years.

In addition to our common bond with women’s basketball, Cully was my neighbor and friend. I was happy to help him during the early years of Family Giving Tree, founded by his daughter Jennifer, and I admired his ability to identify priorities for how he lived his life. He will be missed by many.

Celebration of Cully’s life: Aug 11, 2pm, 1315 Hollenbeck, Sunnyvale.

Cully's obituary

August 03, 2018

USA U18 women win second round of group play

The USA U18 Women raced past Chile 115-39 in the second round of group play.

Jenna started for the USA today and again played for 18 minutes. She tallied five points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals.

August 02, 2018

USA U18 women win opening round of group play

The USA U18 women won the opening round of group play with an 87-42 rout over Argentina.

Jenna played for 18 minutes during which she delivered the game-high five assists, scored five points and grabbed two rebounds.

She said, “I think our chemistry is definitely getting there. We haven’t played a ton of games together yet; we’ve only been together for about two weeks, but it was feeling good, especially in the second half.”

August 01, 2018

Alanna named to Basketball Australia selection camp

Alanna Smith is one of 20 players named by Basketball Australia to its selection camp for the upcoming 2018 FIBA World Cup.

The camp, which runs from August 10-17 in Canberra, will help determine the 12-player squad that will travel to Spain for the FIBA Women's World Cup in late September.

Read more:

July 31, 2018

Jenna & Alyssa begin international play on Wednesday

Jenna Brown and the USA Basketball U18 National Team open play at the 2018 FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City on Wednesday evening.

The United States will be aiming for its ninth consecutive gold medal at the event as well a berth in next summer's FIBA U19 World Cup, which will be awarded to the top four finishing teams.

In group play, the United States will face Argentina on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. PT, Chile on Thursday at noon PT and Puerto Rico on Friday at 4:30 p.m. PT. August 5 The quarterfinals will be played on August 5, the semifinals on August 6 and the finals on August 7. All of Team USA's games will stream live at

Read more:

Meanwhile Alyssa Jerome and the Canada Senior Women's National Team will be in China and Japan playing in the Asia Exhibition Series as part of their preparations for the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018.

Canada will face China in two games on August 1 & 3 and Japan on August 5 & 7.

Read more from Canada Basketball: 12 athletes selected for Senior Women's National Team Asia Exhibition Series

July 26, 2018

Alyssa selected to Canada Senior Women's team

Sophomore Alyssa Jerome was selected for Canada's Senior Women's National Team that will participate in a four-game exhibition series in China and Japan from August 1-7.

Stanford Athletics announcement: Asia Exhibition Series

Canada Basketball announcement: 12 athletes selected for Senior Women's National Team Asia Exhibition Series

July 16, 2018

Report from Kezar

By Otis Watson
Friday, July 14

Well call me Mr. Diehard. I'm here [at Kezar] for the two games tonight. Just met Nadia and Jenna Brown.

Jenna Brown looks good. She can handle the ball very well. Not afraid to get into the paint and finish with the ball. She is also a great mid-range to 3 point shooter.

But the great surprise of the first game was Nadia. Much improved this year under the basket. Not afraid to fight for the ball. Nadia even told me after the game that she has been working hard. It shows.

July 12, 2018

Summer basketball at Kezar

Summer basketball at Kezar got off to a rocky start this season, but the rosters have finally been published. The season is almost half over, but there's still time to see the freshmen and other Cardinal hoopsters in action.

Freshman forwards Lexie and Lacie Hull are with team Midnight, junior forward Nadia Fingall with Paye's TNT, alum Sara James with Olympic Club, and alum Markisha Coleman with San Francisco. Here are the complete rosters.

The games will be played on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Here is the schedule.

Three games may be played at Alameda Point a week from Friday (7/20). I'll post the address in the FBC Events list when I find out what it is.

July 10, 2018

Hail, hail, the gang's (almost) all here

by Judy Richter

It would be an understatement to say that associate head coach Kate Paye is enthusiastic about the upcoming Stanford women’s basketball season.

“We’re going to see a lot of improvement” by everyone with more up-tempo play. “Our team is really hungry,” Kate said by phone recently.

The players arrived for the June 25 start of summer school on June 23 and had dinner together that night to begin to foster the camaraderie that’s so important to a team’s success.

Among those arrivals were the three freshmen: guard Jenna Brown and twin forwards Lacie and Lexie Hull.

Upperclassmen help freshmen

Although the team doesn’t officially assign upperclassmen to serve as big sisters to the freshmen, “everybody is taking them under their wing,” Kate said. They’re helping the newcomers both on and off the court. The freshmen have “a lot of big sisters right now,” she said.

Adjusting to Stanford play and life, the “freshmen are doing awesome,” Kate said, adding that they’re mature and serious about basketball. They’ll contribute right away. “Our fans are going to enjoy watching our three freshmen.”

Coaches set goals for summer

The coaches’ goals for the team this summer are to see everybody improving and staying healthy, to acclimate the freshmen and to “lay the foundation for a championship season.”

Conditioning is another major focus. In past summers, the players spent six hours a week with the coaches and two hours a week with strength and conditioning coach Brittany Keil.

New rules now have them working with the coaches for four hours and with Brittany for four hours. “It’s been great,” Kate said.

Thirteen of the team's 15 players are on campus. The exceptions are senior guard Alexa Romano and junior guard Anna Wilson.

Alexa spending summer in Peru

Alexa, an anthropology major, is spending most of the summer with an archeological project in Peru.

Anna is at home in the Seattle area “trying to regroup” after two seasons marred by injuries. She has been cleared to play and is working with a skills coach. Kate praised her good attitude and high energy even when she had to sit out.

While working out with the team and taking a class, senior center Shannon Coffee has an internship with Stanford medicine. The human biology major is helping with a research project involving mouth guards and concussions in football.

Senior forward Alanna Smith is taking classes while awaiting word on whether she’ll play with a team for Australia, her homeland.

Five helping with hoops camp

In addition to everything else, five players are helping at head coach Tara VanDerveer’s summer hoops camp.

They are junior forward Nadia Fingall, junior guard DiJonai Carrington, sophomore forwards Maya Dodson and Estella Moschkau, and sophomore guard Kiana Williams.

The team’s two most recent grads, guard Brittany McPhee and forward Kaylee Johnson, have activities in the area. Britt has a job for a company doing medical research near the campus and is hoping to play professionally overseas. In August, Kaylee will start to work for a Silicon Valley law firm before applying to law school.

The freshmen and Nadia are playing in the San Francisco Pro-Am program at Kezar Pavilion. Jenna will play with the USA team in the FIBA Americas U18 championships in Mexico during the first week of August.

Coaches go recruiting

All four coaches were to be on the recruiting trail during the second week of July. “Recruiting is going well,” Kate said.

While the coaches are gone, the players will continue to work on their skills and play pick-up games.

Summer classes end Aug. 16 followed by two days of finals. The players will have some time off before returning for the start of fall classes on Sept. 24.

“We have some exciting players. … I see a lot of players taking that (big) jump” from the past season, Kate concluded.

July 04, 2018

Stanford's Bigs

Assistant coach Tempie Brown offers a quick report on each of the Cardinal post players and what they're working on for next season in Jacob Rayburn's (Cardinal Sports Report): Stanford's bigs are an exciting mix of athleticism and versatility

June 29, 2018

Alanna readies for her senior year

R.J. Abeytia (247 Sports) interviews Alanna about her upcoming senior year:

Click here for a transcript of the video.

June 28, 2018

Q&A with head coach VanDerveer and sophomore Maya Dodson

Stanford is back to work and with three new faces. The Cardinal had a fast paced practice Tuesday with freshmen Lexie and Lacie Hull and Jenna Brown absorbing information as fast as they could take it in from Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer and their teammates.

VanDerveer and rising sophomore center Maya Dodson talked about what they took away from last season and the work to get ready for the next campaign.

Read more from Jacob Rayburn(Cardinal Sports Report) here.

June 22, 2018

2018-19 nonconference schedule announced

The 2018-19 nonconference schedule has been announced.

In the non conference season, the Cardinal will play seven games at home (what could be better!?) plus Thanksgiving in Hawaii, a Sunday in Spokane, and most of a week back east in Tennessee and New York.

Opponents include last season's Top 25 Ohio State, Baylor, and Tennessee.

This is the announcement from Stanford Athletics. Tip times and broadcast information along with Stanford’s Pac-12 schedule will be announced later once television arrangements have been finalized. In this year’s rotation, Stanford will play the Oregon schools and the Rocky Mountain schools (Utah and Colorado) just once.

This is the schedule from the FBC. Game information includes links to each opponent's women's basketball website and maps of the venues.

Pac-12 games, links to media coverage (TV, live streams, radio, live stats) and FBC pre-game and post-game events will be added as soon as the information is available.

June 05, 2018

2018 Season Highlights

Stanford Athletics honors the Cardinal's 2017-18 season with video clips of game highlights and other Memorable Moments:

May 15, 2018

Ten Months Hence: Who Wins This Fantasy Game?

Warren Grimes

Fast forward to March of next year. The Stanford women’s basketball team has just completed the Pac 12 tournament, and now awaits the opening round of the Big Dance. In preparation, TVD decides to schedule a vigorous practice game. She breaks down the team into two squads, as listed below.

Veteran Squad Youth Squad
Alanna Smith Maya Dodson
Nadia Fingall Alyssa Jerome
DiJonai Carrington     Lexie Hull
Kiana Williams Lacie Hull
Marta Sniezek Jenna Brown

Consider how much talent there is in this list of ten players (there are four more on the roster that could have been mentioned). Each of these ten could start for most teams in the country. Each of these ten, if not a starter, has a good shot at being in the rotation next year. That’s a deep roster (and a longer rotation than the nine players who averaged 10 minutes on the 2017-2018 team).

So who should be favored?

The Veteran team, I suppose -- it is made up of 2 seniors, 2 juniors, and one veteran sophomore. It includes the second (Smith), third (Williams), fourth (Carrington) and fifth (Sniezek) highest scorers from last season. Except for Fingall, each started for at least a portion of last season. Each can shoot the three ball, although Williams stands out. Kiana had 71 three pointers, more than twice the number of any other player. And she shot threes at a .384 clip. Williams averaged 10.4 points per game for the season, but, during six post season games, averaged 15.5 per game. Williams could be the team’s top scorer next year and is All American material.

The highest 3-point shooting percentage? That belongs to Nadia Fingall, who shot threes at almost a 42 percent clip.

This roster could win games against most any team next year. Not that there aren’t areas for improvement – there is, for example, the matter of free throws. Williams shot free throws at just short of 82 % last season. None of the other four made the 70% mark; and Smith, who drew a lot of fouls, made only 53% of her charity tosses. Rebounding will also be an issue – Stanford is losing a gifted boarder and defender in Kaylee Johnson.

To replace top scoring McPhee, the veteran team needs more offense from players like Fingall and Sniezek. But the Veteran sqiad should be favored in this fantasy match up.

So what about the Youth squad?

There are a lot more unknowns for this squad of two sophomores and three freshmen. But all of these players could be in the-end-of season rotation, and each has a possibility of breaking into the starting ranks next year. It wouldn’t surprise me if a couple of them did.

The two veterans from last year’s rotation (Dodson and Jerome) have great promise. In roughly 10 minutes per game playing time, Dodson averaged 3.5 points; Jerome averaged 2 points. Dodson was a proficient shot blocker and has exciting potential as a post player. The team needs Dodson to step up her game. Jerome is less flashy, but shows steadiness and also has the potential for a sophomore break through. Each of these players needs to develop confident interior moves.

Then there’s the three freshmen, each of whom knows how to shoot free throws. How nice is that! The three face major adjustments to the college game, but there are reasons to hope that each will adjust with aplomb. With four months of college experience, all three could be impressive players.

Jenna Brown has international playing experience on USA youth teams. In the two high school all star games this Spring, she showed steadiness and maturity in handing out assists. Unlike a number of other participants, she seemed a team player, more than willing to help her teammates look good.

Then there’s the Hull sisters, whom might be dubbed the “chemistry sisters.” According to their high school coach, the twins are gym rats who practice with reliable intensity. They are said to be quick learners and very coachable.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the twins have talent, reflected in the many high school accolades, not to mention their team’s championship in the GEICO Nationals.

So the Youth squad, by the end of next season, should give the Veterans all they can handle, and maybe more. Four of the five players shoot the three ball (Dodson is the exception). Lacie Hull shot threes at 41% last season, and made a lot of them. Lexie Hull didn’t take as many, but made 39% of her attempts.

Overall, on offense, the Youth team could be led by Dodson, Lexie Hull, and Brown. Defense? The Hull sisters were on a team that played great help defense. They, and Brown as well, should fit easily into the Stanford defensive scheme that relies on help.

Rebounding? Dodson needs to improve her rebounding skills, as does Jerome. Two of the incoming freshmen know how to board. Of note is that Brown, while scoring an average of 21 points as a point guard, also averaged almost 10 rebounds per game last year. And Lexie Hull was the number one boarder on her championship team.

Chemistry? The Youth squad should have it in spades, with Brown’s mature point guard skills and the enthusiasm and passing skills of the Hull sisters.

So who wins this matchup?

You choose! It’s a fantasy game. My pick is that a motivated Youth squad scores a narrow upset victory by outshooting the Veterans from the free throw line.

May 03, 2018

Farewell to Dee Dee

Dee Dee Zawaydeh-Johnson, who ran the Stanford Women's Basketball office for30 years, passed away a few days ago. Tara wrote this letter to the SWBB alums:

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dee Dee Johnson. Dee Dee passed away yesterday morning after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Dee Dee became a member of the Stanford Athletics family in 1986 when she joined the department as an office assistant for the Track and Field program. From there, she transferred to Women’s Basketball where, for over 30 years, Dee Dee she was a mainstay. She ran the Women’s Basketball office, and did so with great pride. Dee Dee was an extremely hard worker and was fiercely loyal to the Women’s Basketball staff and team. She truly cared about the coaches, staff and student-athletes. One of her favorite nights was the year-end banquet where she shared her own inspirational, funny and creative review of the season to open the evening.

Dee Dee truly loved Stanford and even after she was unable to work, she still came to visit whenever she could, and when she could not visit, the Women’s Basketball staff would visit her. On their last visit to see Dee Dee, she was unable to speak so she wrote a note that said “I miss work and I love you guys.”

Dee Dee will be sorely missed, but her spirit will live on in the Women’s Basketball program.

Address to send cards to Dee Dee's family:
c/o Chi Chi Johnson
1935 Colony ST. Unit A
Mountain View, CA 94043

See also Tara's Reflection on Dee Dee

April 19, 2018

Paving the road for equal pay

It makes sense, statistically speaking, that there is an immense pay gap between the male and female side of sports. I am not here to demand equal pay. At the moment, it is not realistic. However, I... Read More »

April 18, 2018

2017-18 Season in Review

Click here to see Stanford Athletics' collection of season highlights.

April 09, 2018

The Skylar Diggins Reverse -- And Other Recruitment Story Lines

By Warren Grimes

Jenna Brown

Some years back, high school senior Skylar Diggins executed the play. She feinted toward the West Coast, making a verbal commitment to play basketball on the Farm. Then she flew back to South Bend, never to return. The “Skylar Diggins reverse” is now painfully seared in the memories of many Stanford fans.

Well, what goes around, comes around. More recently, Jenna Brown offered a happier variation — “the reverse of the Diggins reverse.” In January of 2017, after visiting Notre Dame, Brown gave a verbal commitment to Muffett McGraw. That lasted about 6 months. In July, Brown’s father revealed that his daughter had decommitted and would announce her new choice shortly.

A few days later, Brown did exactly that: She chose Stanford.

A gifted high school athlete under intense recruiting pressure has every right to change her mind. Stanford fans can live with vacillation, but we prefer Maples as the end point.

There are other positive story lines associated with Jenna Brown. She was forced to take her junior year off to recover from a torn ACL. Recover she did, putting up her best career numbers as a high school senior. According to Prospects Nation, Brown, a former teammate of Maya Dodson on a youth national team, is the 13th ranked overall recruit, and the #4 point guard prospect. Hoopgurlz sees it only slightly differently: Brown is rated as the 20th overall recruit and the #3 point guard.

Ultimately, the rankings are inconsequential. What matters is that Brown is a gifted five-star athlete, an excellent student, and a person of substance. On the court, her senior year numbers compare favorably with the senior statistics of Kiana Williams, another McDonald’s All American and a top guard recruit of last year.

High School Senior Statistics
Points Boards Assists Steals
Kiana Williams (2016-17) 21 3.3 3.8 3.1
Jenna Brown (2017-18) 24 9.5 4 2.4

It is risky to draw comparisons on the statistics of high school athletes who played in different leagues in different parts of the country. Williams, who may have played in a more competitive league, was slightly higher ranked in her class (#8 overall player by Hoopgurlz and #12 by Prospects Nation). We do know that Brown is a couple inches taller than Williams, and may be more of a physical presence. Perhaps that is reflected in her superior rebounding performance. They are different athletes with different and likely complementary strengths. These two gifted players will be together in Stanford uniforms for the next three years — that’s good news.

A Hull of a Central Valley Story

Spokane is not the center of the universe. On the other hand, if asked to pinpoint the center of the girls high-school-basketball universe, Spokane would be high on the list. Spokane is home territory for Central Valley (CV) High School, which won the GEICO Nationals this year (the closest thing to a final four in high school basketball). The most heralded players on the CV roster are Lexie and Lacie Hull, the twins headed to Stanford in the Fall. Before the tournament, an undefeated CV was untested nationally, having played only one out-of-state opponent (the Idaho champion). CV came into the New York tournament with something to prove. The team was bracketed against the number 2 and number 1 seeds, each of them a state tournament champion.

CV beat second-seeded Westlake (Georgia champion) with a somewhat comfortable 13-point margin, then took down number one seed Hamilton High (Tennessee champion) in a more closely contested championship game.

In their starting five, Hamilton had a 6 foot 7 center and a tall and very talented point guard (McDonald’s All American) who will play for Tennessee this Fall. The tallest players in the CV rotation were Lacie (listed as 6' 2") and Lexie (listed as 6'1"). This was a Cinderella story, notwithstanding that CV had proven a dominant team in its home state. CV had lost only one game in the past three seasons (that was a state tournament loss a year earlier). Sandwiched around that one-loss season, CV had two undefeated, state championship seasons.

CV was a very well coached and disciplined team. On offense, their ball movement was superlative. On defense, CV’s help defense would be impressive even for a college team. And CV played defense all over the court, generating turnovers that led to a potent transition offense. For the season, CV’s average margin of victory was in the 40-point range.

Anyone watching the videos of CV’s championship run will be struck by the teamwork. Every player showed intensity and court awareness. This happened every moment on court — the players simply did not quit. Three-pointers were executed not just by the Hulls, but by a number of other CV players. (Hailey Christopher, another senior starter for CV, will be playing at Idaho next year).

So yes, Lexie Hull and Lacie Hull were critical cogs in CV’s astounding success, but they fitted seamlessly into the team fabric. They were quintessential team players. Here are the statistics for the Hull twins.

Hull Senior Year Statistics
Points Three Point % Free Throw % Boards Assists Steals
Lexie Hull 20.4 39% 81% 8.4 2.1 2.6
Lacie Hull 10 41% 76% 5.9 4.7 3.4

Lexie and Lacie are different players, but they do share common characteristics. They are both great shooters, have great court awareness and passing skills, and an uncanny ability to anticipate an opponent’s pass (they are theft artists). The statistics for these two athletes may be somewhat understated because, with typical 40-point victory margins, the Hulls tended not to play much in the fourth quarter. Scouting reports say they are gym rats and very quick learners. None of this touches on their contributions to team chemistry, readily evident in CV’s run to the championship.

In the GEICO Nationals, the Hulls played their best in crunch time. In the semifinal game, Lexie scored 31 points; in the finals, she knocked down 13 of her 26 points in the decisive 4th quarter. Lexie was 11 for 11 (and 20-21 for the tournament) from the charity stripe. Lacie had to contend with the opponent’s 6'7" center in the finals, and was forced to sit with foul trouble in the first half. She nonetheless contributed 9 points and 8 boards, including a critical three-pointer in the fourth quarter.

Lexie was the Washington State player of the year, an honor previously held by Brittany McPhee and Kate Starbird. In some ways, Lexie’s game might be seen as a cross between Starbird (a pure shooter and very good in transition) and McPhee (a streaky long-range shooter but a superlative shot maker in the paint, with a great nose for the ball). Lexie possesses potential in all those skill areas. Her free throw and long-range shooting shows the Starbird side; her drives to the hoop and rebounding the McPhee side.

Lacie was also first team all state. She was not the prolific scorer that her sister was, but quietly racked up 4.7 assists per game (by far the highest on the team). She also had more steals and a higher three-point shooting percentage than her sister (41% versus 39%). Lacie launched and converted a lot more threes (34 for 83 versus 19 for 49 for Lexie).

Just how these two fine athletes will fit into next year’s team is unclear, but the prognosis is very rosy.

April 07, 2018

Way-too-early preseason rankings

Charlie Creme (espnW) wonders if any of this season's Final Four teams will get back to the NCAA tournament's final weekend in 2019, or will there be new blood in Tampa. Florida, a year from now.

Here is his early look at how 2018-19's top 25 shapes up: Fresh off NCAA title, Irish lead way-too-early top 25 for 2018-19

He has five Pac-12 teams in his top 25:

2. Oregon Ducks

The Ducks have reached the Elite Eight for two straight years and will be expected to take the next step with everyone back except sharp-shooter Lexi Bando. Sabrina Ionescu will be a top contender for every national player of the year award, and 6-foot-4 post Ruthy Hebard will be in every All-American conversation. Erin Boley, a 6-2 Notre Dame transfer who was the 2016 Gatorade national player of the year, will join Hebard and 6-5 Mallory McGwire up front, while 6-4 wing Satou Sabally could be ready to break out. Get used to seeing Oregon in a lofty spot: Guard Maite Cazorla will be the only regular rotation senior on next season's team.

6. Stanford Cardinal

With the graduation of Brittany McPhee, the offense will focus on Alanna Smith and Kiana Williams, who could be ready for a breakout as a sophomore. With seven players returning who averaged double-digit minutes, Tara VanDerveer will have plenty of depth and experience. The Hall of Fame coach is also adding another sister combination with incoming freshmen Lexie and Lacie Hull from Washington.

12. Oregon State Beavers

The Beavers were the most efficient 3-point shooting team in the country and return all of their chief contributors: Kat Tudor, Katie McWilliams, Mikayla Pivec, Taya Corosdale and Aleah Goodman. Coach Scott Rueck also adds Destiny Slocum, who was the 2017 WBCA national freshman of the year during her rookie season at Maryland, to the mix. The centerpiece of this year's Elite Eight team, 6-5 Marie Gulich, is gone, but 6-8 Joanna Grymek could take on a bigger role. Rueck also brought in 6-9 Paraguay native Andrea Aquino, a top-10 recruit and potential program game-changer.

21. UCLA Bruins

Coach Cori Close has to replace so much with the departure of Jordin Canada, Monique Billings and Kelli Hayes, the core of the recruiting class that brought the Bruins back to prominence. But the play of Japreece Dean in the NCAA tournament gave hope that the blow of losing Canada will be softened. Lajahna Drummer and Kennedy Burke, a pair of 6-1 forwards, are two more seniors Close will have to build around.

24. Arizona State Sun Devils

Coach Charli Turner Thorne returns the entire roster from a team that reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, something the program has done four of the past five seasons. The biggest returnee is junior guard Sabrina Haines, who missed all but nine games with a knee injury. Balance and depth, led by forward Kianna Ibis, will once again be a Sun Devils trademark.