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 Facebook.com/USABasketball 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.