April 27, 2012

Preseason top 25

Charlie Creme (espnW) puts Stanford at #6 in his very early preseason Top 25 and predicts that the Cardinal will be a perimeter-oriented team with Toni, Amber and Jasmine as the vital members. Read more...

April 26, 2012

Injury Report

Jake Curtis reports on the status of the Cardinal who missed all or most of last season due to injury — Mikaela, Jasmine and Alex. Read here...

April 25, 2012

Between Seasons

Here we are in the summer doldrums again. But don't despair — the FBC website will be active all summer, reporting all the Cardinal Women's Basketball news to be found. Watch for this information:

2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Will any of the youngest Cardinal be invited to play for USA Basketball in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women to be held in Puerto Rico August 15-19? USA trials will be held May 18-21.

2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Will Jillian or Kristen get to play in the 2012 Olympic games? Follow the Olympic Qualifying Tournament from June 25 to July 1 as New Zealand and Turkey compete for one of the remaining five spots.

2012 Olympics
Then, of course, there are the Olympic Games to be watched from July 27 to August 12.

Cardinal in the WNBA, May - September
Will Nneka continue to expand her game and have a standout rookie season? Will a Parker/Ogwumike front court be as dominant as an Ogwumike/Ogwumike one?

Tara says that many [college] players improve the most between their freshman and sophomore seasons. Is this also the case with professional players? Will Kayla and Jeanette shine as WNBA "sophomores"?

And what will we see from our veteran pros Nicole, Candice and Jayne?

Here's the schedule.

Summer basketball at Kezar, June - August
Who will participate? Will we get an early look at our incoming freshmen Tess Picknell and Aly Beebe? The rosters and schedule will be available early in June.

Jos at Kezar last summer

Pac-12 News
What can we expect in the Pac-12 next season? Read Bob Kinder's preview of each team beginning in August.

The 2012-13 Schedule
The official schedule probably won't be announced until late in the summer, but we already know quite a bit about our opponents.

The Cardinal will participate in a tournament sponsored by the University of Hawaii in Honolulu November 16-18. Our non-conference opponents will include UConn (at Maples), Tennessee (in Knoxville), South Carolina, Gonzaga and Baylor.

National Awards
Will Chiney be selected as a preseason All-American? Will she be on all the national award preseason watch lists?

Preseason predictions and prospects
Remember that something you won't find on the website during the summer is news of high school players who have expressed interest in or verbally committed to Stanford. Since the FBC supports Stanford Women's Basketball, it observes the NCAA rule that prohibits writing about a recruit until she has signed a letter of intent. The early signing period this year is November 17-21.

April 23, 2012

2011-12 in Review

Stanford Athletics has posted a review of the Stanford Women's Basketball 2011-12 season that chronicles the team's many accomplishments, addresses each player's contributions and provides links to many of the season videos. Read here...

April 20, 2012

Cardinal series/season wrapup

Michelle Smith wraps up her "Total Access" series for espnW with an account of the Cardinal's season wrapup event — the banquet. Read here ...

(Watch for another account of the banquet in Judy Richter's "Event Reports" blog in a day or two.)

April 18, 2012

Pat Summitt is stepping aside at Tennessee

After 38 seasons, 1,098 victories and eight NCAA titles, Pat Summitt has stepped aside as head coach at Tennessee but will serve as an adviser for the Lady Vols. Holly Warlick will take over as head coach.

Tara said, "Words cannot adequately describe the extraordinary career that Pat Summitt has had in the world of basketball. She is a model of class and courage, and I don't think that enough can be said for just how much Pat has accomplished in building and elevating women's basketball to its current heights. Pat is Tennessee Basketball.

"I am very happy that Pat will be continuing her work with Tennessee as Head Coach Emeritus, and I will miss seeing her on the sidelines on game day.

"This will be a great opportunity for Holly, Tennessee Basketball is in great hands with her. Holly has learned from the absolute best, and I wish her the best of luck."

Tara greets Pat on her 12th visit to Maples last December

Pat Summitt Named Head Coach Emeritus, announcement from Lady Vols Basketball

Pat Summitt steps down, by Dan Fleser (Knoxville News)

Pat Summitt is still much more able than disabled, by Sally Jenkins (Washington Post)

Pat Summitt's final season both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring, by Ann Killian (Sports Illustrated)

Changes are right decisions, by Mechelle Voepel (espnW)

Coaching legend Pat Summitt steps down after 38 seasons, by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

Reactions as Pat Summitt steps aside, statements and Twitter reactions published by ESPN

April 09, 2012

In the record book 2011-12

Nneka broke seven Stanford records and two Pac-12 records this season.

The team broke or extended four Stanford records and four Pac-12 records this season.

Two current players are in the Stanford record book – one for the first time this season.

Nneka made 965 field goals in her career, which breaks the record of 889 set by Candice Wiggins in 2004-08.

She attempted 718 free throws in her career, which breaks the record of 676 set by Candice.

She scored 809 points this season, which breaks the Stanford record and the Pac-12 record of 787 set by Candice in 2007-08.

She averaged 22.5 points per game this season, which breaks the record of 21.8 set by Candice in 2005-06

She made 307 field goals this season, which breaks the Stanford record of 275 set by Kate Starbird in 1996-97 and the Pac-12 record of 280 set by Jennifer Bennett (CAL) in 1986-87.

She attempted 230 free throws this season, which breaks her own record of 226 that she set in 2009-10.

She made 191 of those free throw attempts, which breaks the record of 184 set by Candice in 2007-08

Nneka retains the record for rebounds in a single game with the 23 she snatched from Oregon on Jan 23, 2010. She also retains the record for rebounds in a season – 376 – that she set in 2010. She didn't quite match that with 368 this season, which ranks third in that category.

Nneka also lost one record this season. At the end of her junior year, she had made 60.1% of her field goal attempts. That dropped to 58.3% at the end of this season, and the record reverts to the 58.6% set by Jeanne Ruark Hoff in 1978-83.

Nneka scored 2,476 points in her career, second only to Candice's 2,629, and grabbed 1,226 rebounds, third to Kayla Pedersen's 1,266 and Jayne Appel's 1,263. With those two accomplishments she joined Jayne, Nicole Powell and Val Whiting in the elite Stanford 2000 -point/1000-rebound club.

Nneka led the Pac-12 in scoring in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She's the first Pac-12 basketball player to lead three years in a row since Lew Alcindor in 1966-69.

Joslyn has been in the Stanford record book since her freshman season when she blocked six Oregon State shots on Jan 21, 2010. That placed her in a 6-way tie for second place in Stanford single-game blocks.

She blocked five shots twice this season – against Cal at Maples on Mar 4 and Cal at Haas on Mar 10 – which places her in a multi-way tie for eighth place in the category.

Chiney entered the Stanford record book this season by grabbing 374 rebounds. That places her second in season rebounds, just two short of Nneka's record.

At this point in her career, Chiney has recorded 655 rebounds – more than any other notable Stanford rebounder. At the end of her sophomore season, Kayla had 624, Nneka had 607, Jayne had 593, Nicole had 582 and Val had 548.

The Team attempted 42 3-pointers against Oregon on Jan 5 this year, which breaks the Stanford single-game record of 37 that they set against Kansas State on Nov 30, 2002 and the Pac-12 single-game record of 40 set by Oregon at Washington State on Feb 5, 2011.

They won 35 games this season, the 23rd in which they've won at least 20, which breaks the Pac-12 record of 22 they set last season.

They won 32 consecutive games this season, which breaks the Stanford and Pac-12 record of 27 that they set in 2009-10 and matched in 2010-11.

They extended the Stanford record streak of games won at Maples to 79 and the Stanford and Pac-12 record streak of consecutive conference victories to 78.

April 08, 2012

The greatest Stanford player ever?

Three years ago, Jake Curtis wrote a series of articles in which he selected and ranked what he considered to be Stanford's alltime best 25 women's basketbal players. He concluded the series with his pick of Candice Wiggins as Stanford women's basketball best player ever.

Since then he has revised his list to include Jeanette and Kayla, but Candice remained at the top. Now he has written a two-part article in which he considers whether Nneka has supplanted Candice:

Was Nneka Ogwumike the greatest Stanford player ever? -- Part I
Was Nneka Ogwumike the greatest Stanford player ever? -- Part II

April 05, 2012

Pac-12 All-Academic Teams

Cardinal student-athletes are extraordinary young women. They excel on the basketball court and have the time, energy and management skills to excel in the classroom as well.

Chiney led the way for the Cardinal with a 3.46 grade point average and was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic Women's Basketball second team.

Sarah, Toni, Lindy and Nneka had grade point averages of at least 3.0 and received Honorable Mention.

Go Nerds!


April 03, 2012

Life after Nneka

Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike: "I would have rather gone down with my team than up with any other team." — Jessica Lantz (Swish Appeal) considers the team that many Cardinal fans would rank as their favorite ever.

Stanford women move forward without Nneka Ogwumike — Elliott Almond (Mercury News) wonders if the Cardinal will have enough pieces to the VanDerveer puzzle to return to the Final Four any time soon.

Nneka Ogwumike leaving big void at Stanford — Tom FitzGerald (San Francisco Chronicle) predicts that the Cardinal team will have a very different look next season and that Tara has her work cut out for her. So, what else is new?

April 01, 2012

Remember the Journey

It began with ...
Jeanette and Kayla graduated
Just one star senior
A six-pack of untested freshmen
A win

It continued with ...

Another win
Three players lost to injury
Another win and another
A perfect conference season
A perfect season at Maples
Three more wins and the Pac-12 championship
Four more wins and a trip to the Final Four
35 wins in all

It ended with ...

The Cardinal playing their hearts out
Playing, as always, with respect and love for the game and for each other

Thank you every one for a wonderful journey!

Stanford 47, Baylor 59

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The press conference video with Tara, Nneka and Toni,

Video Tara and Nneka speak to Stanford Fans following the Baylor game ,

A gallery of photos from the Associated Press.

It's almost time

... to start playing, but there are a few last stories with little new to say: