March 31, 2009

Jayne named to AP All-American second team

Five Pac-10 women's basketball players received national All-American recognition from the Associated Press, headlined by STANFORD'S Jayne Appel and CALIFORNIA'S Ashley Walker. Appel was named to the second team, while Walker was picked for the third team. Read more...

March 30, 2009

Elite 8: Jayne blows away Cyclones

... and sets a new Stanford single-game scoring record: 46!

... and gets 16 rebounds and three blocks!

... and was named the regional tournament MVP!
Jeanette and Jillian were named to the All-Regional team.

Jeanette got 10 rebounds again, matching the career high she set in the prior game. The Cardinal out-rebounded the Cyclones 47-18.

All the Cardinal played excellent defense, holding the Iowa State Cyclones to 36.2% field goals and 26.9% three-ptrs — their season averages are 39% and 35%.

March 29, 2009

Tournament Miscellany

Jayne's outward appearance belies her toughness:
The prior matchup between Stanford and Iowa State in Hawaii (in which Lindy hit three of the Cardinal's 13 threes) has little to do with tonight's game, but it's a good story line:
An article about Tara: And a rap by Mel:

Sweet celebration

Here's another game report from the Columbia Dispatch, the postgame interview with Jayne, Jeanette, Nneka and Tara and all the photos of the Cardinal celebrating great plays and the sweet victory (Click to enlarge).

Sweet 16: Cardinal outrun the Buckeyes

This game was way closer than the final score indicates. The Cardinal were ahead the entire second half, but the Buckeyes kept coming back and were down by just four with 5:39 left to play. Then the Cardinal went on an 18-4 run and finished 84-66. Jayne struggled in the first half, but kept fighting and finished with the game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds.

Jillian added countless hustle plays, 16 points, six assists and four steals. She capped the Cardinal's run at the end with a three-point swish.

Nneka is no longer under the radar. Although heavily guarded, she had 15 points and seven rebounds.

Ros had her best offensive game in a long time with two 3-pointers and a total of 10 points. Perhaps more importantly, she harassed the Buckeyes' dynamo freshman, Sammy Prahalis, for 22 minutes and held her to just 19 points.

Jeanette pushed the ball hard for 39+ minutes and had seven points, four assists, two steals and 10 rebounds — her career high.

So — on to the Elite Eight against Iowa State on Monday. We beat the Cyclones badly last November in Hawaii. We're a better team now and they probably are too. Looking forward to a rematch.

March 28, 2009

Ready to run

The Cardinal started their open practice at Haas yesterday with a lively game of tag.

Here are a few more articles for you to read before you run off to Haas to watch the Cardinal and Buckeyes do some serious running.

March 27, 2009

Sweet Sixteen expectations

Jillian, Jeanette and Nneka joined Tara for a long press conference a couple of days ago. They talked about the Cardinal's path to the Sweet Sixteen and their expectations of the next game. Bay Area sports columnists who attended wrote mostly about Nneka and Jeanette in these articles: ESPN columnist Graham Hays, who probably didn't attend the press conference, takes a broader view of the key to a Sweet Sixteen victory for the Cardinal :
As goes Jillian Harmon, so goes Stanford? On a team with Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen, perhaps Harmon's production is more effect than cause, but she does seem to be the canary (Cardinal?) in the coal mine.

A lot of what Harmon provides in abundance -- defense, energy, experience -- doesn't show up on the stat sheet, but in her team's four losses this season, she has averaged 6.5 points on 25.8 percent shooting. In the 29 wins in which she has participated (she missed two games), she has averaged 10.3 points on 51 percent shooting.

Before anyone starts dreaming up box-and-one defenses for Harmon, those numbers are probably more illustrative of the larger idea that stopping Stanford means disrupting its collective flow more than any single player, even Appel. The Cardinal registered assists on 65.1 percent of their field goals, the highest percentage of any team remaining in the field.
This is the video of the press conference.

March 26, 2009

Scouting Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 29-5 for the season and won their conference (Big Ten) and conference tournament. Here is how they match up with Stanford on team statistics:

Stanford Ohio State
Points per game 76.3 69.1
Scoring margin +21.5 +12.3
Field goal % 47.2 44.8
3-pointers per game 6.1 4.6
3-pointer % 33.3 33.8
Free throw % 67.7 73.2
Rebounds per game 43.9 39.1
Rebounding margin +13.2 +5.4
Assists per game 18.8 15.2
Turnovers per game 15.2 16.7
Assist/turnover ratio 1.2 0.9
Steals per game 7.0 8.3
Blocks per game 4.8 3.9

The Buckeyes' paint crew:
  • Jantel Lavender: 6' 4" sophomore center, Big Ten Player of the Year for the second straight season — averages 21.0 points per game on 54.2% shooting and 10.8 rebounds per game.
  • Star Allen; 5' 11" senior forward — averages 10.9 points per game on 53.6% shooting and 7.7 rebounds per game
  • Andrea Walker: 6' 5" junior center — averages 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game
On the wing:
  • Ashlee Trebilcock: 5' 9" senior guard — averages 7.3 points per game on 46.5% shooting, 44.4% threes
  • Brittany Johnson: 5' 11" junior guard — averages 6.8 points per game on 42% shooting, 36.4% threes
In the back court:
  • Samantha Prahalis: 5' 7" freshman guard — averages 10.0 points per game on 33.9% shooting, 26.3% threes, 1.9 steals per game, 5.8 assists with 3.9 turnovers per game
    (Report of Prahalis' effect on the Buckeyes)
  • Shavelle Little: 5" 8" junior guard, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year— averages 3.0 points per game on 39.2 % shooting, 2.5 steals per game, 1.4 assists with 1.1 turnovers per game

This is Charlie Creme's tongue-in-cheek scenario for Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament:
Best case: Samantha Prahalis' game is unveiled to the world. She and Jantel Lavender become the tournament's ultimate little/big combination on their run to St. Louis. Head coach Jim Foster can't believe he allowed Prahalis the rope he did, but it paid off, no less. Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is so impressed by Prahalis in the regional final that she makes Foster a trade proposal.
Worst case: Lavender picks up some early fouls against Texas, removing Ohio State's biggest advantage. Prahalis and Star Allen try to do too much. Ashlee Trebilcock doesn't do enough. The Buckeyes can't rebound enough to get their break going. Foster gets criticized for yet another early tournament exit.
This is Mechelle Voepel's capsule evaluation of the Buckeyes in the Sweet Sixteen:
With flashy rookie point guard Samantha Prahalis confidently directing a team of older players, the Buckeyes won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. Ohio State had something to prove in the early rounds, after being upset the previous three seasons. The Buckeyes advanced, and Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender now will see how she fares against the likes of Jayne Appel inside.
Mechelle and Graham Hays both pick Stanford over Ohio State:
Graham Hays: Both teams play around outstanding mobile posts, but once you get past Jayne Appel versus Jantel Lavender, Stanford's supporting cast is too versatile, too experienced and too close to home.
Mechelle Voepel: The Pac-10 champions are looking their strongest at the best time of the season. Both teams execute well, but Stanford does it better. Plus, the Cardinal's players, having been in the NCAA title game last year, are more experienced at this level.

March 25, 2009

Jayne is Wade Trophy finalist

Jayne has been named as one of the twelve finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy, as reported in


Jillian, Jayne, Ros, Kayla and Jeanette are outstanding in the classroom as well as on the court. They all received honorable mention for the Pac-10 All-Academic Women's Basketball Teams. Here is the complete announcement from the Pac-10.

March 23, 2009

Round 2: Nneka dominates

77-49. The game was much more exciting than the score indicates. The San Diego Aztecs played hard and their fans cheered enthusiatically for the entire 40 minutes.

The Aztecs' tough in-your-face pressure defense held the Cardinal to just one 3-point goal. But there was no stopping us in the paint where the Cardinal outscored the Aztecs 50-12.

The primary contributor in the paint was Nneka, who had an awesome game. She scored a career-high 27 points and had about 50 rebounds. Actually, she only had 13, but it seemed like 50 at the time. She made the 27 points by hitting 80% of her field goal attempts and 85% of her free throws.

Other notable statistics:
  • Jillian scored 12 points and had four steals.
  • Kayla had seven assists, nine rebounds, two blocks, two steals and two points.
  • Jayne had the other double-double — 12 points and 11 rebounds — she played just 16 minutes and eventually fouled out.
  • Jeanette uncharacteristically had a couple of fouls so played only 24 minutes, but she still scored 11 points and had six rebounds.
  • The Cardinal out-rebounded the Aztecs 49-24.
  • The Cardinal made 80% of their free throws.
Here are:

Cardinal/Aztec history

There are 30 years of history between the Cardinal and the Aztecs:

1979: Beth Burns signs on as volunteer instructor at Tara Vanderveer's camp at Ohio State.

1989-97: Beth is head coach at San Diego State.

1989: Aztecs play the Cardinal, with forgettable result.

1995-2004: Jené Morris wins many awards at Tara's summer camps.

2004: Beth Burns is Cardinal's strength and conditioning coach.

2005: Beth returns to San Diego State as head coach.

2006: San Diego State assistant coach Kate Paye recruits Jené Morris.

2009: Aztecs face the Cardinal for the second time, result to be determined.

Read more:

Burns faces showdown with her mentor by Nicole Vargas, San Diego Unio-Tribune

VanDerveer hopes past won't haunt her by Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

March 21, 2009

Round 1: Cardinal crush Gauchos

The Gauchos didn't have a chance — the Cardinal was just too big and too strong and defeated them 74-39.

UCSB focussed on defending the post. Sometimes there were seven players in the paint — Jayne, Nneka and five Gauchos. But that didn't work. Jayne and Nneka both got double-doubles — 11 rebounds and 15 points for Jayne, 11 rebounds and 13 points for Nneka. And while the perimeter was open, Jeanette sank three triples, Kayla had two, and Jillian had one.

Other major contributions to the victory were 13 points from Jeanette, 10 from Kayla and nine from Jillian; 11 rebounds by Sarah and nine by Kayla; three blocks by Jayne and two each by Kayla and Sarah.

Although Tara said "We hit our shots, rebounded and took care of the ball really well early on," she also said, " We will have to do a better job on Monday."

In the prior game, #10 San Diego State upset #7 DePaul 76-70 in front of a large crowd of very enthusiastic fans.

March 20, 2009

Ashley, Nneka, the Tournament

Here's an assortment of articles about the Cardinal as they set off for the Big Dance. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

She's found a home away from home by Kevin Thomas, Maine Sunday Telegram.
Ashley hasn't had a chance to play much for Stanford but is happy as part of a big-time team.
Stanford freshman finishing strong by Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle.
What have we learned about Nneka as she has navigated the hills and valleys of her freshman season?
Stanford women all set for another run to NCAA Final Four by Rick Eymer, Palo Alto Online.
Tara said, "We're playing our best basketball right now. I feel good about the way we are playing. We want to keep it going as long as we can."
If UConn doesn't win the title, who will? by Mechelle Voepel, ESPN.
In sports, even a sure thing isn't truly a sure thing. The Connecticut Huskies as 2009 women's NCAA champs really isn't pre-ordained.

March 18, 2009

Nneka is making an impact

A week ago, at the end of the regular season, Michael Sudhalter (The Sun, Nneka's home-town newspaper) wrote about the impact that Nneka is having at Stanford — that she could help the Cardinal capture its third NCAA National Championship. Nneka said, “I’d really like to make it to the Final Four, I’ve heard that it’s an experience of a lifetime.” Read more...

Since then, Nneka made a huge impact on the Cardinal's success in the Pac-10 Tournament. In the three games, she:
  • Scored 44 points — 10 more than any other Cardinal
  • Made 73% of her free throws
  • Grabbed 24 rebounds — just one less than Kayla's 25
  • Committed one foul per game, and turned the ball over an average of 2.3 times
In the press conference after the semifinal game, Nneka commented on her progress through the season, "As a freshman, you're just trying to get used to things. Now I feel like I know what's going on. I've got the sets down. I know how we get things done."

Her teammates are happy with what she's accomplished. Jayne said, "It's always a challenge for every freshman coming in to learn our system, but I think she's done extremely well this year"

And Nneka turned to Jayne with a big grin and said, "I learned from the best."