January 31, 2009

Jayne named to midseason Wooden Award list

Jayne has been named as one of the 20 top candidates for the Women's John R. Wooden Award. The midseason list is based on individual player performance and team records during the first half of the season. Read more...

Jayne's achievements at midseason are:
  • She makes 63.1% of her field goal attempts (#1 in the Pac-10 and #3 in the nation).
  • She makes 6.5 rebounds per game (#2 in the Pac-10 and #38 in the nation).
  • She makes 15.4 points per game (#3 in the Pac-10).
  • She has had nine double-doubles in 20 games.
  • Her assist to turnover ratio is 1.51 (#4 in the Pac-10). The national top 50 in this category, none of which are held by a center, range from 2.91 to 1.63.
  • She makes 1.85 blocks per game (#1 in the Pac-10)
  • She has made 182 blocks in her career and needs just 20 more to break the Stanford record, which was set by Val Whiting in 1989-93.
  • She has accomplished all this while playing an average of just 25.8 minutes per game.

January 30, 2009

Views from NorCal and SoCal

Here's how Friday's games between the Northern California teams and the Southern California teams looked to reporters on each side.

Stanford vs USC

Bench boosts Cardinal by Nate Adams, The Stanford Daily. Cardinal take off in second half for rout of Women of Troy by Allison Hong, Daily Trojan.

California vs UCLA

Bears Keep Leg Up on Bruins With Joint Effort by Jeff Goodman, The Daily Californian.

Women’s basketball can’t hold on to win by Matt Stevens, Daily Bruin.

January 29, 2009


Sarah had a breakout game while her mother watched her play at Stanford for the first time. She scored a career-high 16 points and had six rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal. Tara said that if the NCAA allowed it, she would fly her out to watch every game.

When USC coach Mark Trakh saw Sarah and Jayne both on the count, he said, "Uh-oh! Trouble!"

Jayne added 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal to the Cardinal's 81-53 victory. Jillian and Jeanette each had ten points and Kayla had 13 rebounds. Nneka, in spite of having broken her nose by bumping into Sarah's elbow during practice, had eight points and five rebounds.

Here are:

Next up, Trojans and Bruins

Erik Adams (The Stanford Daily) writes about the Cardinal's intent to extend their perfect season at home this weekend. “We defend Maples very well,” Jayne said. “Having the home crowd and sleeping in our own beds makes things easier, but it is mostly a matter of pride. We don’t want to let anyone come into our gym and take it from us.”

USC Trojans

I was pleased to discover that although the USC women are sometimes still referred to as The Women of Troy, more often they're simply The Trojans.

The Trojans often seem to play better than their win-loss record indicates. They are 6-5 in non-conference play, but they took Duke to overtime and three of their other losses were by just one or two points. They are 5-2 in the conference — defeated Oregon, OSU, Arizona, Washington and WSU; lost to ASU and UCLA.

The Trojans are being plagued by the injury demons again this season. This week's injury report is:
USC is without two McDonald's All-Americans once again following season-ending knee injuries sustained by both Jacki Gemelos (third ACL] and Stefanie Gilbreath (second ACL). Nadia Parker (traffic accident) and Hailey Dunham (hand) missed the first two games, but both returned to full competition on Nov. 24. Dunham suffered a foot injury on Jan. 11 vs. UCLA and has been sidelined for the past four games. Parker also sat out the Jan. 24 game vs. WSU with an ankle injury. Parker is likely to return and Dunham is questionable for action this week.
But they still have some very good players. They are #2 in the Pac-10 in points/game (75.3) and three-pointers per game (6.56); Stanford is #1 in these categories (77.9 and 6.74 respectively). They have four players who average double-digit scores:
  • Senior guard Camille LeNoir, pictured on the right, is fully recovered from her hip injury. She leads the offense with 11.7 points and 3.6 assists per game.
  • Freshman guard Brianna Gilbreath is close behind with 11.4 points per game. She makes almost half of her attempts (49.1%).
  • Senior center Nadia Parker makes more than half of her attempts (52.2%) for an average of 11.3 points per game.
  • Freshman guard Ashley Corral averages 10.3 points and 3.1 assists per game. She is the leading three-pointer shooter — 33.3% of 105 attempts.
On defense, the Trojans out-rebound their opponents, but only by 3.6. 6-3 center Nadia Parker leads the defense with 6.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. 6-2 guard Aarika Hughes averages 6.1 rebounds per game.

However, Alison Hong (Daily Trojan) reports that they have been working on defense. Coach Mark Trakh said, “I think they found a newfound love for defense after practice. After some intense sessions we rekindled our love for defense and our love for rebounding.”

USC's win-loss record (11-7 overall, 5-2 conference) places them 6th in the Pac-10, their RPI (66) places them 6th, and their strength of schedule (44) places them 7th. (See note at end.)

Here are their 2008-09 player statistics and their roster

UCLA Bruins

Star player Lindsey Pluimer graduated, ferocious defender Regina Rogers transferred to Washington, and coach Kathy Olivier transferred to UNLV.

This season the Bruins are young and talented and responding well to their new coach, Nikki Caldwell. They are off to their best start in many years. They are 9-2 in non-conference games and 5-2 in the conference — defeated OSU, USC, Arizona, Washington and WSU; lost to ASU and Oregon.

Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle) writes about the championship experience and perspective that Caldwell has brought from Knoxville to L.A. "The kids have taken ownership, they've bought into the system, we're making progress," said Caldwell.

They are a very athletic strong defensive team — #1 in the Pac-10 in rebounds/game (44.1) and steals/game (11.5). Their rebounding margin is +11.9, which is #2 in the Pac-10 and #4 in the nation (Stanford's is +12.3, which is #1 and #3 respectively). This strength is somewhat offset by their propensity for turnovers (20.4 per game). They have three big post players:
  • 6-4 senior Chinyere Ibekwe, pictured on the right, averages 7.8 rebounds and 6.9 points per game.
  • 6-4 sophomore Christina Nzekwe averages 5.1 rebounds and 7.0 points per game.
  • 6-6 junior Moniquee Alexander averages 4.8 rebounds and 5.1 points per game.
Sophomore guard Doreena Campbell is their leading scorer with an average of 13.0 points and 3.8 assists per game and an impressive free throw percentage of .845. She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after scoring 20 points and nine rebounds against USC.

Six other players average approximately seven points per game — sophomore forward Nina Earl (7.6), senior guard Tierra Henderson (7.3), junior guard Erica Tukiainen (7.2), sophomore guard Darxia Morris (7.1), and post players Nzekwe and Ibekwe.

The Bruins do not rely on the three-point shot. They average just 3.5 per game (#9 in the Pac-10).

UCLA's win-loss record (14-4 overall, 5-2 conference) places them 3rd in the Pac-10, their RPI (50) places them 4th, and their strength of schedule (90) places them 10th. (See note below.)

Here are their 2008-09 player statistics and their roster

Note: USC and UCLA are the only Pac-10 teams that haven't yet played Stanford and Cal. Regardless of the outcome of this weekend's games, their RPI and strength of schedule will improve significantly.

January 28, 2009

Not looking past USC

PA Weekly Online Sports

The ninth-ranked Stanford women's basketball team isn't just biding its time until its rematch with California in two weeks.

The Cardinal already know what can happen if you're caught looking ahead, and this week's opponents are a perfect case in point. USC arrives at Maples Pavilion for a 7 p.m. Thursday tipoff and UCLA comes in Sunday for a 1 p.m. televised matinee. Read more...

January 26, 2009

Jayne is Pac-10 Player of the Week

... for the third time this season and the sixth time in her career. Read more...

January 24, 2009

Cardinal gnaws on Beavers

Tara said that it would be a hard game, that Oregon State is a very physical team. And so they are. But the Cardinal gave as good as they got. The teams traded a small lead back and forth for about 29 minutes, until the Cardinal finally wore down the Beavers and won 69-54.

Five Stanford players had double-digit scores: Nneka 10, Kayla 11, Jillian 12, Jeanette 12. Jayne led the way with 18 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal — mostly in the second half.

Nneka contributed a lot. She played 23 minutes, during which she had six rebounds and three assists in addition to her 10 points. All that with just two turnovers and one foul. Tara said, "... she was just a real spark for us."

Here are:

January 23, 2009

Olympic friends meet as foes

By Chris Hansen, The Register-Guard

Six months ago, Jillian Harmon and Micaela Cocks were teammates, roommates and Olympians together, playing for the New Zealand national team. But they hadn’t seen each other since departing Beijing, when Cocks went to Italy to meet her Oregon teammates for a preseason tour, while Harmon flew back to the States. Read more...

January 22, 2009

Bam Bam!

There was no stopping Bam Bam tonight. Jayne had 22 points on 10-11 shooting, five assists, and 10 rebounds in her 23 minutes on the court to help defeat the Oregon Ducks 85-57.

Here are:

January 20, 2009

Next up, Ducks & Beavers

University of Oregon Ducks

The Ducks had a tough non-conference schedule and won just three of their first ten games. But they are doing better in conference play — defeated UCLA, Arizona, Washington and WSU; lost to ASU and USC.

The improvement is largely due to the return of junior guard Taylor Lilley, who missed the first five games with shin problems. Lilley has not yet fully regained her three-point touch, for which she was known in her freshman and sophomore seasons, but she has worked her way back to being the Duck's second-best scorer with 12 points per game. She is also leading the team in assists (3.7 per game).

The Ducks' most productive player is junior guard Micaela Cocks. She leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game (#4 in the Pac-10 ) and is their best three-point shooter (38.9% and 2.3 per game).

The Ducks are weak on defense. They average just 33.6 rebounds/game (the fewest in the Pac-10) against their opponents' 35.6. They are 8th in blocks and 9th in steals. Their best defenders are freshman forward Amanda Johnson and sophomore forward Ellie Manou who each average 5.1 rebounds per game.

The Ducks' win-loss record (7-9 overall, 4-2 conference) places them 4th in the Pac-10, their RPI (106) places them 7th, and their strength of schedule (20) places them 4th.

Here are their 2008-09 player statistics and their roster

Oregon State Beavers

The Beavers are a different story. They had an easy non-conference schedule and won nine of their first ten games, losing only to North Carolina. But they are not doing so well in conference play — defeated Arizona and Washington; lost to ASU, UCLA, USC and WSU.

Sophomore guard Talisa Rhea is their leading scorer with 14.9 points per game (#3 in the Pac-10) and their best three-point shooter (36.3%, 2.56 per game).

Senior guard Mercedes Fox-Griffin runs the point. One of the best distributers in the conference, she averages 4.25 assists per game (#2 in the Pac-10) and has an assist/turnover ratio of 1.26 (#5 in the Pac-10)

The Beavers have two strong post players: 6-4 sophomore center Alex Mitchell averages 5.4 rebounds per game and 11.8 points per game, with a .571 field goal percentage (#4 in the Pac-10); 6-2 senior center Tiffany Ducker averages 6.9 rebounds per game (#8 in the Pac-10) and 1.63 steals per game (#5 in the Pac-10)

The Beavers sink 73.6% of their free throws, the best in the conference. Three of their players are in the top 10: Mercedes Fox-Griffin (85.7%), Brittney Davis 80.3%, Talisa Rhea (78.7%).

The Beavers' win-loss record (11-5 overall, 2-4 conference) places them 7th in the Pac-10, their RPI (64) places them 5th, and their strength of schedule (84) places them 10th.

Here are their 2008-09 player statistics and their roster

January 18, 2009

Bears win

Alexis Gray-Lawson wasn't about to lose this one. She scored 37 points to carry the Bears to a 57-54 victory over the Cardinal.

Here are:

January 17, 2009

Battle of the Bay

Here's what they're saying about the first Stanford vs Cal game of 2009.

Stanford women visit Cal with Pac-10 hoop lead at stake by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)
Cal can match Stanford with its starting five, but that's where it ends. The Cardinal has the depth, so it's likely someone like freshman Nnemkadi Ogwumike or sophomore Michelle Harrison will make contributions that affect the game's outcome.

Pac’s top teams clash by Erik Adams (The Stanford Daily)
“Our team is trying to expand things offensively; we need to do better offensively,” said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer. At least that is where the focus lies when your next opponent boasts the top team defense in the conference.

“We both have a lot of the same players [from last year], and we’re both doing really well,” VanDerveer said. “We expect a really competitive, a really great game.”

Bullish Bears by Kelli Anderson (Sports Illustrated)
Cal is ready for a run at its first Pac-10 championship—if it can end its streak of futility against Bay Area rival Stanford. Ashley Walker says, "We all think the [conference] title is going to come down to one game, and we want it. This is the last chance for our class."

Vital's offseason work gives Bears an outside presence by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle)
Natasha Vital has worked hard on her three-point shooting. She said, "A lot of people didn't play me for the three-pointer, so now I'm shooting them all the time." She has hit 48.9% of her 47 three-point attempts this season, and leads the conference in that category. [Jeanette Pohlen ranks third with 40.2% of 107 attempts.]

Stanford has done a good job of focusing attention on Cal's post players and ceding the perimeter. That game plan led the Cardinal to three victories over Cal last year. Vital and the Bears are hoping more offensive balance will yield different results.

Battle of the Bay preview, Joanne Boyle Press Conference Quotes (CalBears.com)
It's going to be a great game. It's been coming down to this becoming a big rivalry or trying to create a rivalry. Both teams know each other really well, we know their strengths and weaknesses and visa versa. You've got o be able to put a good plan together. We know them so we should be able to do that. And I'm sure they're working on the same things. We have to be able to execute those things in practice so your kids going into the game are just comfort and confident. That's our goal this week.

Super Jill

Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle) writes about Jill's transformation from "steady Jill" to "super Jill". Tara said, "She's got a different level of intensity, a different level of confidence, she's on a mission." Read more...

Nneka, Stanford's next star?

By Janie McCauley (AP): Nnemkadi Ogwumike leaps for a rebound and snares the ball with one hand. She catches tough passes on the offensive end and shows her tremendous athleticism nearly every minute she's on the court ... and she's being touted as coach Tara VanDerveer's next star. Read more...

January 16, 2009

Ros , a work in progress

Elliott Almond (Mercury News) writes about Ros at point guard being a work in progress. She's been known for her tough defense all season, but now the Cardinal is relying on her to be their leader.

Speaking of Ros' extended responsibilities, Tara said, "We're taking a running back and saying, 'You're the quarterback now.' ... Ros is doing it. " Read more...

Another article from the Mercury News reports Ros' comments on Sunday's showdown against Cal and her life as Stanford's point guard:
  • On playing against Cal:"I'm really looking forward to this game ... This is a defining game for our team."

  • On Stanford's recent game against Washington: "What made us so on the money was the energy. We have not been playing like that this whole season ... We are so amped, we're so electric right now."

  • On Washington not respecting her shooting ability: ""I guess if you were looking at the stat sheet you would sag off of me. I didn't even know I made three threes. I thought I was 0 for 700 ... "

  • On playing point guard: "It is the hardest position on the court ... break the press and read the defense and you tell me where I need to be and maybe I'll shoot it, maybe I'll pass, whatever."
And much more...

January 15, 2009

Blowouts and Upsets

UW's huge losses last weekend, especially the 77-point blowout by Stanford, has gotten a lot of media attention. In Washington, much of the discussion is about how it will affect Tia jackson, in her second season as the Huskies' coach: Tia and her players say they're ready to move on. Junior forward Sami Whitcomb: "The Stanford game was a terrible game. They played great and we didn't. We certainly didn't expect the performance that we had, but we have to keep it in perspective. We have to move forward, we have to look forward to the opportunities this week against the Oregon schools. It's a chance to redeem ourselves, a chance to play together and get some wins."

And Tia's job does not appear to be in jeopardy. UW athletic director Scott Woodward said he plans to be patient with the second-year coach. "I have confidence in coach Jackson," he said. "She's in her second year with a very young team, and we're going to be very patient with her, and I have confidence that she'll steadily bring the women's basketball program to where it needs to be."

Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle) sees the blowout as bad news for the Pac-10. She also pooh-poohs the notion that Tara ran up the score against UW and WSU. Read more...

On a different topic, Charlie Creme (ESPN) discusses how the many recent upsets – to ten of the Top 25 teams last week – have affected his bracket predictions. He still has the Cardinal as a #2 seed, pending their upcoming game against Cal. Read more...

One of those upsets – Vanderbilt 74, Tennessee 58 – really upset Pat Summitt. Read what she's doing about it here ...

January 14, 2009

Next up, the Cal Bears

Next up? The Cardinal's toughest conference game: The California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion. This is the So-Berkeley Trio's last chance to win the Pac-10, and I'm sure they haven't forgotten that three of their four conference losses last season were to Stanford.

Fourth-year coach Joanne Boyle said, "It's going to be a great game. Both teams know each other really well, we know their strengths and weaknesses and vice versa. You've got to be able to put a good plan together. We know them so we should be able to do that. And I'm sure they're working on the same things. "

Jayne is looking forward to the game, but knows it will be tough. “They’ve had some good games in the past, and we’re both on a bit of a roll right now,” she said. “They’ll be coming out ready for us.”

Cal's starters are:
  • Senior forward Ashley Walker is having one of the best seasons in the nation. She is Cal's leading scorer at 21.6 points/game ( #1 in the Pac-10, #9 in the nation), with a field goal percentage of .579 (#4 in the Pac-10, #14 in the nation), and their leading rebounder at 8.2 rebounds/game (#4 in the Pac-10). She also has the most blocks (1.00 per game – #7 in the Pac-10) and the most steals (1.60 per game – # 10 in the Pac-10).
  • RS Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is Cal's second-best scorer (11.3 points/game). She has 4.13 assists/game (#3 in the Pac-10) and a 1.77 assist/turnover ratio (#3 in the Pac-10, #37 in the nation).
  • Senior center Devanei Hampton has been limited by her knee problems, but is returning to form. She has started the last five games. In those games, she averaged 29.8 minutes, 7.8 points and 7.0 rebounds.
  • Junior guard Natasha Vital is Cal's third-best scorer (9.0 points/game) and their best 3-point shooter at 1.53 per game (#9 in the Pac-10), with a 3-point percentage of .489 (#1 in the Pac-10). She has 3.27 assists/game (#8 in the Pac-10) and a 1.14 assist/turnover ratio (#7 in the Pac-10).
  • Junior guard Lauren Greif is Cal's second-best rebounder (6.4 per game – #9 in the Pac-10)
Cal has a short bench. They have just two reserves who play significant minutes:
  • Freshman guard Casey Morris, who averages 7.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
  • Sophomore guard Kelsey Adrian, who averages 5.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Junior center Rama N'diaye, who tore her ACL in last season's Pac-10 tournament, has not played yet this season and may red-shirt.

Cal's only losses this season were to TCU and Oklahoma, two of the three ranked teams they played. Their win-loss record (13-2 overall, 4-0 conference) places them first in the Pac-10, their RPI (13) places them second, and their strength of schedule (60) places them seventh.

Here are their 2008-09 player statistics and their roster.

January 12, 2009

Best paint crew ever?

By Warren Grimes, a dedicated Cardinal fan

Kayla Pedersen and Jayne Appel have coined the term “paint crew” to describe the team’s interior players – and what a fine crew it is – probably the best Stanford has seen and arguably the best of any college team in women’s hoops today. The paint crew includes Nneka Ogwumike and Sarah Boothe, players that have already made their mark just two months into their freshmen year. Other players who play in the paint are Jillian Harmon, Michelle Harrison, and Ashley Cimino. There is size, talent, athleticism, determination and depth in Stanford’s paint crew.

But the title of best paint crew ever would not go uncontested. Players such as Val Whiting, Brooke Smith, and Kristin Newlin have left their mark on Stanford basketball history. If one is looking for Stanford teams with a similar profile to today’s team, one is led inexorably to the Stanford teams of 1994 to 1997, when Georgia coach Andy Landers, faced with playing Stanford in the NCAA tournament, complained that Stanford had an unending rotation of tall and talented posts. In those days, the paint crew included Olympia Scott, Kristin Folkl, Naomi Mulitauaopele, and Heather Owen, supplemented by Venessa Nygaard, who occasionally played a post position. That crew led Stanford to a number of Final Fours. In 1996-97, with the help of Kate Starbird, Jamila Wideman, and Charmin Smith, Stanford gave Tennessee a thrashing in Nashville but could not overcome Old Dominion in a frustrating Final Four overtime loss.

Comparisons of the paint crew of 1997 with today’s group are slippery. The game has changed, with more talented posts on opposing teams. Stanford’s style of offense has changed (to the modified triangle offense). Post players assume different roles when they are playing with Wideman and Starbird than they do with a different group of perimeter players. Still, basketball is basketball – shooting, blocking out, and boarding are pretty much the same now as they were then. So, for fun, why not make some statistical comparisons between players then and now. A few results may surprise you.

I have taken four players who play primarily post positions on today’s Cardinal team (Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen, Nneka Ogwumike, and Sarah Boothe) and added three from the mid-1990s teams (Olympia Scott, Kristin Folkl, and Naomi Mulitauaopele). The stats for this year’s players are for the current season through the Washington State game. The stats for Scott and Folkl are for the 1997-1998 team (the last year they played for Stanford). For Mulitauaopele, the stats are for 1996-1997, the last year she played. In the parenthesess following each statistic, I have indicated the player’s relative rank among the seven players.

Player FG% Pts/min Reb/min Asst/min Blks/min
Folkl .695 (1) .749 (1) .372 (1) .053 (5) .026 (4)
Appel .609 (2) .557 (3) .370 (2) .109 (1) .077 (2)
Ogwumike .600 (3) .506 (4) .304 (3) .064 (3) .019 (5)
Scott .577 (4) .631 (2) .271 (6) .052 (6) .019 (5)
Mulitauaopele .536 (5) .472 (5) .264 (7) .075 (2) .044 (3)
Boothe .484 (6) .434 (6) .294 (5) .052 (6) .092 (1)
Pedersen .419 (7) .406 (7) .304 (3) .057 (4) .014 (7)

Kristin Folkl comes off well in this comparison, with the number one position in field goal percentage, points per minute, and rebounds per minute. Folkl was an amazing athlete, one who played volleyball all four years, leading Stanford to three national championships. She found time to play basketball for two seasons and a fraction of a third (during her junior year, Folkl played only the final five games of the regular season and five post season games). In two of her three basketball years, Stanford made the final four. In her senior year, Folkl was a force in leading Stanford to a number one seed in the tournament, only to see high expectations undone when both Folkl and Vanessa Nygaard suffered ACL tears in the week before Stanford’s first round game against Harvard.

Comparing Kristin Folkl and Jayne Appel is difficult, because Folkl was not a classic post-up center. Jayne Appel, by a significant margin, has the highest number of assists per minute (Mulitauaopele comes in second, well above the third place finisher). In rebounds per minute, Folkl is the best, but is really in a statistical dead heat with Jayne Appel. Overall, Appel has a consistency, with a first or second finish in four of the five categories (in the fifth, points per minute, Appel comes in a strong third). She is a leading all-time shot blocker, well above Folkl’s blocking percentage.

Kristin Newlin had established the benchmark for Stanford shot blockers, in her last year blocking at .061 per minute. But Newlin’s record is now bettered by both Appel (this year .077 blocks per minute) and by newcomer Sarah Boothe, who leads in this category with .092 blocks per minute.

To finish seventh in a category on this list of all-time greats is no shame. Kayla Pedersen finishes seventh in three of the categories, but she is a tenacious rebounder, tied with Nneka Ogwumike for third place in boards per minute. Pedersen’s shooting stats are influenced by where she plays in the offense - she has occasionally played in the “three” position and, regardless of her assignment, often operates offensively on the perimeter, attempting three point shots more than other players on this list. This year, her three point shots have fallen only at a 22% rate, leading to an overall shooting percentage of 42%. That’s impressive – but I’m sure Pedersen will work to improve that figure. Last year, Pedersen ended the season with a 50% shooting average

For both Ogwumike and Boothe, a comparison drawn with other players with two or three years of experience is open to challenge – both freshmen are likely to climb the statistical ladder with more experience. Both have yet to learn to play defense with the savvy of veteran post players. But Ogwumike, based on just two months of play, already comes in third in field goal shooting percentage, rebounds per minute, and assists per minute – that’s very impressive. In each of these categories, Ogwumike is ahead of, among others, Olympia Scott, who went on to a decade long career in the WNBA

So which paint crew was the best ever? You decide – but it’s hard to vote against fresh paint. And this year’s crew is getting better every game.

January 11, 2009

Cardinal has unlimited potential

... says Tara in an article in Stanford Magazine that discusses the powerful frontcourt talent that is expected to reshape the Cardinal's WBB personality this season: returning players Jayne and Kayla, now joined by freshmen Sarah and Nneka. Read more...

At the time the article was written, early in the season, Tara was expecting Sarah and Nneka to make big contributions. Now, 16 games into the season, they are doing that.

Nneka has played an average of 19.5 minutes/game. She averages 9.9 points/game (#4 on the team and #23 in the Pac-10) and 5.9 rebounds/game (#3 on the team and #13 in the Pac-10). Her field goal percentage is .600 (# 2 on the team and #2 in the Pac-10).

Sarah has played an average of 10.8 minutes/game. She has 16 blocks (#2 on the team and #6 in the Pac-10). She averages 3.2 rebounds/game (#5 on the team). Her free throw percentage is .789 (#3 on the team).

January 10, 2009

Cardinal tames Cougars

No record-setter this time as the Cardinal defeated the Cougars by only 49, 102-53. But it finished up a great weekend:
  • The first back-to-back 100-point games since 1995 (against UA and ASU)
  • The second-most points in a weekend (214). In 1991, Stanford scored 225 points against UA and ASU.
ASU coach June Daugherty said, "Stanford is playing at a very high level. You normally don't see that type of execution until March. They are for real right now. They are as good as advertised."

Tara said, "Our bench was huge for us this weekend". Watching them play extended minutes gave her confidence to continue counting on them. The reserves played for almost half the game -- 91 minutes. They accounted for almost half the points (49 of 102) and rebounds (23 of 45). They outscored WSU 27-21 in the last 10:37 of the game. Jayne said, "It's a blast when you see everyone get in!"

The team's shooting percentages were not as spectacular as against UW, but still very good: 56.3% field goals, 47.8% three-pointers, 70.4% free throws.

Four Cardinals scored in double-digits. Jeanette led with 18 points, including four of five three-pointers. She also had four assists and two steals. Michelle had 16 points, her career-high, and six rebounds, an assist and two steals. Jayne added 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and a block. Sarah had 13 points, six rebounds and a block.

Ros scored "only" seven points, but she had six assists and stole the ball five times. Lindy played well at the point; she had four points, five assists and a steal. Nneka came the closest to a double-double: eight points and 10 rebounds.

Here's more: