April 29, 2010

Kayla to throw out first pitch

The San Francisco Giants will recognize the Stanford women's basketball team before the game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday night at AT&T Park, as part of its "College Night" series.

Kayla will have the honor of throwing out the night's ceremonial first pitch!

Read more... from Stanford Athletics.

April 26, 2010

Commercial featuring Ros wins TELLY Award

Stanford Video has been awarded a bronze 2010 TELLY Award, which honors the best in television commercials and programs, video and film production, and online film and video for Leadership, a commercial featuring Cardinal Women’s Basketball guard ROSALYN GOLD-ONWUDE ...

April 25, 2010

History may be on line at Maples

By Tom FitzGerald, San Francisco Chronicle:

Next season's schedules haven't been finalized, but it looks as if Connecticut's two-time defending champion women's basketball team may be trying to make history when it visits Stanford in December. Read more...

April 23, 2010

Ros in the record book

When I reported this season's record-breaking performances a couple of weeks ago, I was so dazzled by Ros' defensive prowess that I overlooked the fact that she played 148 games in her career — one more than Jayne and the new Stanford career record.

She missed playing in just one game in her career — On Feb 27, 2010 at Arizona while recovering from the concussion she suffered in the prior game against Arizona State. Although she didn't play, she was at the game, on the bench, enthusiastically supporting her teammates.

Congratulations on a remarkable career, Ros!

April 21, 2010

Between seasons

The FBC website will be active during the summer, reporting all the Stanford Women's Basketball news we can find. Watch for this information:
  • USA Basketball, U18: Will Chiney, Sara or Toni play in the FIBA Americas Women's U18 Championship in Colorado Springs in late June? The USA U18 team trials will be June 8-11 in Colorado Springs.

  • USA Basketball, National Team: The USA National Team will try to clinch a spot in the 2012 Olympics by winning the gold medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women in the Czech Republic in late September. Will Candice be a major factor in achieving this as she was in 2007 with the U21 team? Will Jayne be on the team?

  • News of Cardinal in the WNBA: Will Nicole have a good first season with her new team? Will Brooke be signed to a season contract after training camp? Will Jayne recover from her injuries and have a great rookie season?

  • Summer basketball at Kezar during June - August. Who will participate? Will Grace, Lindy, Joslyn and Mikaela play again this summer? Will we get an early look at incoming freshmen Chiney, Sara and Toni?

  • National Awards: Will Kayla, Jeanette and Nneka be on any preseason watch list or selected as preseason All-Americans?

  • News of Mel and JJ: How is their recovery from microfracture surgery progressing? Will they be on the team next season?

  • Bob Kinder's reports of what to expect from the other Pac-10 teams next season.

  • The 2009 -10 schedule: a preliminary one in a couple of months, the official one in September.

  • Preseason predictions and prospects.
Remember that something you won't find on the website this summer is news of high school players who have verbally committed to Stanford or of other prospective recruits. While John and Sue Soo would like nothing better than to share news and speculations of who will be Stanford freshmen in 2011, the NCAA prohibits us from writing about a recruit until she has signed a letter of intent. The early signing period this year is November 11 - 18.

April 20, 2010

Schedule Speculations

In regard to the 2010-11 season schedule, no contracts have been signed. All is still tentative.

Nonetheless, it's interesting to speculate on our possible opponents, as Jake Curtis does here.

April 18, 2010

USA Basketball final scrimmage

The USA National Team and the USA Select Team closed out a week of training today with an open scrimmage in front of 3,000 fans in Hartford. No score or statistics have been posted, but Geno deemed it a fantastic ending to the week's work.

Jayne said:

What did you think about this team?
I think it’ll be really interesting when you do add people who are missing into the mix, when everyone is in one place at the same time. It was definitely an advantage for me to be here, watch Geno coach and see the system he’s trying to put in for everyone.

Are you hoping to be healthy next time around?
Yes. This is it. It’s three times I’ve had to pass up on USA Basketball, bad things come in threes and I’m done with it. This isn’t going to happen a fourth time.

Nneka said:

You've played for USA Basketball before, how was this week different?
I think it was a foreshadowing, learning experience. It was very enlightening because all of these kids are older and they've been in the game so much longer. Even the ones that are graduating and are about to go into the WNBA, they have more experience than I do. So, I just learned a lot from them, especially off the court.

What specifically did you learn?
On the court, it's more than just making the pass or making the cut, it's what it takes for you to do it well and what it takes for you to be aggressive. I learned a lot about intensity and what people bring to the court aside from skill. Off the court, I learned about being a good leader and incorporating everyone in the team and keep that team congruency intact.

Kayla said:

On the scrimmage:
It was awesome. Just to be on the floor with girls that you play against every year and people that you watch play in the WNBA and college was great. The fans were great. The UConn cult, as people call it, was very supportive. We had a lot of people rooting for even the Select Team, so it was a lot of fun.

What did you learn this week?
I learned a lot. These girls are the best you can get, and just to play with them on the same floor or against them, you just learn from their experience. They go hard every single possession, and that is one thing I can take back with me into the college game.

What about your game specifically did you learn?
I know I can get my threes off, so that is reassuring, but just getting to the basket. I think I have to work on my ball-handling and my midrange game.

The report from USA Basketball includes quotes from all the participants, several videos and a photo gallery.

10 Questions with Kayla

A question-and-answer session with Kayla from Michelle Smith, Left Coast Hoops.

April 17, 2010

USA Basketball scrimmage

The USA Basketball National Team and Select Team practiced again yesterday, then scrimmaged together last night.

Geno thought, "It went kind of predictable. The national team players, with their experience, their savvy, being there before, were able to take advantage of the younger guys to a certain extent. [The younger players] are still a little bit antsy, but they’re going to be okay. I was impressed by how hard they work."

This is what Kayla had to say:

On scrimmaging against USA Women’s National Team players:
I thought it was a lot of fun. It was great to get on the floor with those people that I have watched not my entire life, but throughout college, and run up and down a little bit and get some shots up; it was a lot of fun.

How do you feel you played?
Not too well. I would have liked to have done a little more. I’m just bummed that I missed that game-winning shot I had at the end of the scrimmage.

Was scrimmaging against national team players what you expected?
Yeah, I mean they are all incredible talented players, and you have to play all of them. You have to guard all of them at this level. I don’t think it was too much for us rookies to handle, so I’m really looking forward to playing against them again tomorrow.

Here is the full report from USA Basketball and a photo gallery of the practice sessions.

April 16, 2010

Mel is eager to return

By John Torenli , Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Mel's hometown newspaper)

All the hard work it took to return to the court after undergoing major knee surgery two years ago appeared to be paying off for Brooklyn native and Midwood High School graduate Melanie Murphy during the early stages of Tuesday night’s women’s national championship game in San Antonio.

He continues with more about Mel, her injuries and her hopes for next season.

Artie LaGreca, her high school coach said, "It’s hard to say what [the injuries] have really done to her game, but what you can’t measure is the size of her heart. It outweighs everything.”

Mel says, “I think I’ll be back playing next year. People will be talking about the potential I have. I want to live up to that potential one of these years.” Read more....

An early look at the preseason 1-64

Charlie Creme (ESPN) picks next season's top 64 teams.

He puts Stanford at #3 with this evaluation, "Jayne Appel has been the centerpiece of the program since Candice Wiggins departed, and now Appel is gone, too. But as the Final Four showcased, Nneka Ogwumike is ready to assume the mantle as Stanford's next big thing -- and she'll have help from little sister Chiney Ogwumike."

He thinks UCLA appears to be on the rise and should have an even greater impact next March. He also includes USC and Cal in the top 64. Read more...

April 15, 2010

USA Basketball Select Team begins training

The 2010 USA Basketball Women's Select Team got underway with its first practice this morning. The day's activities included a press conference honoring the 2010 John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year Tina Charles and finalists Kelsey Griffin, Maya Moore and Nneka Ogwumike.

Nneka had this to say:

You are back playing for USA Basketball after earning gold medals with the 2008 USA U18 National Team and the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team, what's it like to be back in a USA jersey?
It feels great. I don't think I've ever played on a USA team with anyone here, but I've been to trials with a few. I'm on the younger side in this group. It's fun to be around a lot of girls that have been sucessful throughout their season, and we are having a lot of fun and working hard.

What was your first experience playing for Geno Auriemma like?
I thought it was great. I like him a lot. Anyone who gets to practice under him is lucky. He's very charismatic and he's entertaining as well, but he also knows how to talk to people and get the job done. So, he just ties all of those personalities into practice, and I think it's really great.

The purpose of this select team is partly to develop future Women's National Team players. Does that make you nervous or put pressure on you?
Just a little bit, but at the same time, they invited everyone here for a reason. You just have to take advantage of the opportunity and just seize the moment. I think it's a really great introduction into what the National Team level is like. I'm really excited that I get to do it with this group of people, and I'm really honored that they invited me.

How do you think you did adjusting to a new coach and a new system today?
I felt like I played alright. Everyone is willing to learn and willing to work hard, and I think the congruency is kind of immersing itself because he is really teaching us lot of new offenses and things that they plan to run. It's also kind of similar to how we run it at Stanford, so it's not like it's something completely new to me. It's kind of a refresher course, but also at the same time learning new material, so I'm really excited as well.

Here are Nneka and Kayla on the court. There are lots more photos here and the complete report from USA basketball here.

What sports used to be like for girls

In this interview by Ann Killion for Vivo, a website for girls who like sports, Tara talks about what sports were like for girls when she was a girl.

April 14, 2010

Top ten for 2010-11

Jake Curtis beats out everyone with his very early prediction of the top ten teams for next season. He has a surprising #1 pick. Read more...

April 13, 2010

Cardinal will be among the top basketball teams again next season

Jake Curtis thinks the Cardinal has enough returning talent to make a run at a national title again in 2011 — that it should be ranked among the top five in next fall's preseason polls.

He explains why in this article.

April 11, 2010

Kayla joins USA Basketball Select Team

Kayla has been added to the USA Basketball Select Team roster. She will join Nneka and nine other players in the April 14-18 training camp. Read more...

One more season for JJ and Mel?

JJ had microfracture surgery on her knee last week and Mel will soon. It will take at least six months to know if their knees have healed enough to allow them to play one more season.

JJ said, "We are hoping to come back next year and hoping to be able to play. If not, we gave it a good run.”

Michelle Smith gives more information in this post to her blog, LeftCoastHoops.

April 10, 2010

Stanford and UConn rematch highly anticipated

By Michelle Smith, Fan House:

Stanford and Connecticut will tangle again.

Mark it down: Dec. 30 in Palo Alto, a game that could, as it is tentatively scheduled, be the game in which the Huskies tie the NCAA record for consecutive victories (88) with John Wooden and UCLA.


In another article, Michelle consults her crystal [basket]ball and predicts next season's top ten teams and top ten players.

April 09, 2010

In the record book

4/10/10: added Pac-10 records broken by team.
4/11/10: added Nneka's record number of points in semifinal game.
4/23/10: added Ros' record-breaking career games

Five players made it into the Stanford Women's Basketball record book this season. 15 records were broken or tied — three by Jayne, one by Ros, two by Kayla, one by Jeanette, four by Nneka and four by the team.

In addition, five Pac-10 records were broken — one by Jayne, one by Nneka and three by the team.

Jayne had 1263 rebounds in her career, which breaks the Stanford record of 1143 set by Nicole Powell (2000-04) and the Pac-10 record of 1214 set by Lisa Leslie (USC, 1991-94).

She blocked 273 shots in her career, which breaks the record of 215 that she set in the first three seasons of her career.

She played 147 games in her career, which breaks the record of 137 set by Candice Wiggins (2004-07) and places her at #2 behind Ros.

She had 2125 points in her career, which places her at #3 behind Candice Wiggins and Kate Starbird. She joins Val Whiting and Nicole Powell as the only Stanford women to score at least 2000 points and make at least 1000 rebounds. Jayne had 2125 points and 1263 rebounds; Nicole had 2062/1143; Val had 2077/1134.

She also holds these records at the end of her Stanford career:

  • Blocks in a season – 84 in 2007-08.
  • Points in a single game – 46 on March 30, 2009 vs Iowa State

Ros played 148 games in her career, which breaks the record of 137 set by Candice Wiggins (2004-07).

Kayla had 362 rebounds this season, which breaks the record of 349 set by Jayne in 2008-09 and places her at #2 behind Nneka's 376.

She played 1274 minutes this season, which breaks the record of 1237, set by Candice in 2007-08.

She has 1501 points in her career so far, which places her at #13 in the 1000-point club.

Jeanette made 89.5% of her free throws this season, which places her in a tie for first place with Louise Smith (1979-80).

Nneka had 376 rebounds this season, which breaks the Stanford record of 349 set by Jayne in 2008-09 and the Pac-10 record of 369 set by Lisa Leslie (USC) in 1993-94.

She had 23 rebounds vs Oregon on Jan 23, 2010, which breaks the record of 21 set by Nicole Powell in 2002 (also vs Oregon)

She attempted 226 free throws this season, which breaks the record of 224 set by Candice in 2007-08.

She made 172 of her free throw attempts, which places her second behind Candice's record of 184.

She has made 60.9% of her field goal attempts in her career so far, which breaks the record of 58.6 set by Jeanne Ruark Hoff (1978-82)

She scored the most points ever in an NCAA Tournament semifinal game – 38 on April 4, 2010 vs Oklahoma.

She has 1106 points in her career so far, which places her at #28 in the 1000-point club.

The team won 36 games this season, which breaks the record of 35 set in 2007-08.

It allowed its opponents a record low of 53.9 points per game, which breaks the Stanford record of 55.8 set in 2008-09 and the Pac-10 record of 54.3 set by California in 2007-08.

It allowed its opponents a record low field-goal percentage of .339, which breaks the Stanford and Pac-10 record of .346 set in 2001-02 and tied in 2006-07.

It had 1719 rebounds, which breaks the Stanford and Pac-10 record of 1663 set in 2008-09.

April 08, 2010

Nneka named to 2010 USA Basketball Women's Select Team

USA Basketball announced today that Nneka is one of the ten elite college players that have been named to the 2010 USA Basketball Women’s Select Team.

The purpose of the Select Team is to continue preparing USA Basketball's historically strong pipeline of athletes for future USA National Team events. The team comprises future USA National Team hopefuls. They will participate in a training camp April 15-18, during which they will scrimmage against the USA National Team.

There is the more information about the Select Team in the USA Basketball announcement and about Nneka's being named to the team in the Stanford Athletic announcement.

April 07, 2010

Painful end to Jayne's Stanford career

We knew about Jayne's sprained right ankle. We saw in the past four weeks how the injury made it more and more difficult for her to elevate and score. We saw that she didn't let the pain stop her from being a strong defensive player and an inspiration to her teammates.

We didn't know that on March 21, after the first round of the tournament, she was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her right foot.

Jake Curtis reports, "On Wednesday, Stanford revealed that Appel also had a stress fracture of the distal cuboid, a bone on the outside of her right foot, the same foot that was sprained." Read more...

Michelle Smith writes, "What’s happened in the four weeks since Appel turned her ankle in a lay-up drill at practice doesn’t define an extraordinary career, one in which she set the Pac-10 rebounding record, broke Stanford school records for rebounds and blocked shots and established a new standard for toughness." Read more...

The last game

Tara told the fans who gathered to greet the team after the game:
Our whole team really wants to thank you for the tremendous support. We felt it. We worked very hard. We're very disappointed, but I'm really proud of our whole team, and I especially want to thank our seniors — Ros, Michelle, Jayne and JJ and Mel, depending on whether they're seniors or not — we don't know.

This was a really tough game, but I thought our team really battled and it was there for the taking so we've gotta get greedy. Again, I'm really proud of our team. We have great assistant coaches, staff, everyone worked as hard as they could and we really thank you for all coming out here and supporting our team.

Come back next year.

Here are the game reports and other commentary:

The box score and play-by-play

Slideshow from the San Antonio Express-Times

Photos from the Associated Press

Photos from US Presswire

April 06, 2010

Our team

Our team is not defined by the label

"Did not defeat the Team That Shall Not Be Named"

Our team ...

Played the most difficult schedule Tara has ever assembled
Played through injury and pain
Dazzled us with their athleticism
Inspired us with their attitude
Had a perfect conference season
Won their conference championship
Went to their third consecutive Final Four
Our team makes us proud to be Cardinal fans

Thank you for an amazing season!

April 05, 2010

Get ready for a great game

In the locker room after the semifinal game, Tara told the team, "We got invited to the party — let's crash it!"

She began yesterday's press conference, "We'll be ready. Our team is confident. Get ready for a great game tomorrow night."

A few more articles this morning:

Between games

This is a bonanza year for wildflowers in Texas. Two years of drought, followed by one of the wettest six months on record last fall and winter, and then the freezing rain and light snow in south Texas ... the ideal setup for a large show this spring.

Dave and I took the day off from basketball — we meandered through the countryside south of San Antonio to see the glorious show of wildflowers. It was as spectacular as promised. And now we're relaxed and ready for another anxious night tomorrow.

The media blitz continued in our absence:

Jayne and Ros return from their media session on Monday

April 04, 2010

Semifinal: The Nneka Show

Nneka scored an incredible 38 points and had 16 rebounds in Stanford's 73-66 victory over Oklahoma in the Semifinal game. The 38 points are the second-most ever scored in a Final Four game, exceeded only by Sheryl Swoopes' 47 in the 1993 championship game.

Nneka would be the first to tell you that she couldn't have done it without her teammates. For this demanding game, the five starters were assisted only by JJ and Joslyn. The contributions of all seven players are fully covered in these game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

The press conference video,

A photo gallery by Brendan Maloney, US Presswire

A photo gallery by Eric Gay , Sue Ogrocki, Jeff Gross, Pat Sullivan, and Ronald Martinez, Associated Press

There are way too many photos in the above galleries to include in the blog. So here are just the ones of the Cardinal celebrating the victory:

If you can't get enough ...

There's not really any new news, and much of what's being written is about the UConn/Baylor game. But if you can't get enough, here are the most recent Final Four articles and photo :

April 03, 2010

Stanford's power of three

By Graham Hays, ESPN:
An All-American in everything but title. A center capable of controlling a game. A player whose unique skill set is redefining a position. Appel, Pedersen and Ogwumike might be the perfect collection of big players. Read more...

By Jaime Aron, Associated Press:
Stanford players just smile and laugh when they hear people say women's college basketball this season is "Connecticut and everybody else." They can't really argue with the UConn part because the Huskies have won 76 straight games. Yet they can take issue being lumped in with "everybody else." Read more...

From the Associated Press:
Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie previews the semifinal games. Of the Stanford/Oklahoma game, she says, "Even though guard play is supposed to win out in the Final Four, this game will probably come down to points in the paint and that favors Stanford." Read more...
Rebecca Lobo asks Jayne five questions in this video.

Jayne and Nneka named to State Farm Coaches' All-America Team

Congratulations Jayne and Nneka!

on being named to the 2010 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I State Farm Coaches’ All-America Basketball Team.

Here is the full announcement from the WBCA and State Farm.

Here is an article from Palo Alto Online that reports all their accomplishments that earned them the honor.

Ashley is ready to go

By Jenn Menendez, The Portland Press Herald (Ashley's hometown newspaper):

As a reserve forward for the Stanford women's basketball team, Ashley Cimino knows a thing or two about being ready to go.

"I'm just always ready whenever they need me," said Cimino, a junior. "In a game or practice. Getting the team ready on the scout team. I'm not the focal point like in high school and I've had a few years to kind of adjust to that.

"The NCAA tournament is just such a completely different experience. It's really fun."


April 02, 2010

Up close and personal

When the Final Four teams arrived in San Antonio, they were greeted by mariachi bands and given baskets of cascarones (decorated egg shells filled with confetti).

The San Antonio Express-News has this slide show of the Final Four arrival.

Journalists are keeping busy before the games begin writing stories about some of our favorite people.

Mechelle Voepel (ESPN) writes about Nneka's growth this season in Ogwumike learns to count on instincts.

Michelle Smith (Left Coast Hoops) writes about Ros' progress since the Cardinal last played Oklahoma five years ago ... and a bit about Jayne's fingernails in Gold-Onwude, Jayne’s nails…notebook clean-out.

Mark Whicker (Orange County Register) gives a historical perspective on Jeanette's 4.4 second dash in Pohlen blasted to past in 4.4 seconds.

Time for Stanford women to get mean

From John Reid, Palo Alto Daily News

All season, we've seen the Stanford women smiling, laughing, boogeying, having a grand old time as they rolled up 35 wins with just one loss.

For their Final Four experience, I'd rather see the No. 2-ranked Cardinal snarling, spitting blood, cursing at nothing in particular and tripping old ladies as they try to cross the streets of San Antonio. (Article is no longer available.)

Jeanette harnesses best of her aggressive style

From Tom FitzGerald, San Francisco Chronicle

The Pohlen family has both a tortoise and a hare. The tortoise is named Rocky. The hare is named Jeanette.

In Jeanette's ideal world, the Cardinal would give the Huskies a run for their money in Tuesday's final, and the Pohlens could celebrate a big upset just as Rocky comes out of hibernation. Read more...

Two more wins

Here are two more stories about the final run:

Stanford hopes to make some noise in Final Four by Rick Eymer, Palo Alto Online by Tom Taylor, The Stanford Daily

Cardinal is two wins away from a national title by Tom Taylor, The Stanford Daily


And a thoughtful essay about UConn's dominance:

UConn's dominance is good for women's basketball -- and Stanford could benefit by Jake Curtis

April 01, 2010

JJ and Jayne are Academic All-Pac-10

JJ's grade point average is 3.49. Jayne's is 3.16. They've been named to the Academic All-Pac-10 Second Team.

Ros, Lindy and Kayla received Honorable Mention.

Congratulations to all!

Straight from the coaches' mouths

It's not just fun and games for basketball coaches. They have to handle all the media attention too.

The Final Four head coaches were on the annual pre-Final Four coaches' teleconference for a half-hour each today before heading for San Antonio.

Mechelle Voepel gives us a sampling of what they had to say. Read lots more...

In another ESPN article, Mechelle, Charlie Creme and Graham Hayes all pick Stanford and UConn as the semifinal winners. Here's why ...

Stanford women’s basketball iPhone app

A new Stanford women’s basketball app for iPhone and iTouch was launched today.

It features photos, team videos and news releases.

The app was developed by David Gonzales, the former Director of Photography for Stanford athletics, who is now a digital media/freelance photographer for appmakr.com. He worked closely with Stanford assistant coach Kate Paye.

You can find it by searching for Stanford women’s basketball.

FBC member Dana Stewart reports:

I just downloaded the App. It is FREE! It is very good! Lots of content, pix, video etc. Even pix from the Rally today.
Check it out!

Oklahoma/Stanford breakdown

Charlie Creme (ESPN) evaluates Oklahoma's and Stanford's strengths and predicts the outcome of Sunday's first semifinal game. He thinks that Kayla is the X factor — that Oklahoma has no answer for her versatility. Read more...