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



LISTEN
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.