July 28, 2017

Team Canada reaches first semifinal since 2009

Team Canada looked to be in trouble against a strong China team in their quarterfinal game. They were down 10-21 at the end of the first quarter.

Both teams increased their defensive intensity in the second quarter, and Canada managed to narrow the margin to 26-28.

The battle continued in the second half, and Canada finally took the lead with a minute left in the third quarter, whch ended with Canada up 48-45.

Canada held on to its slim lead and emerged with a 68-65 victory.

Canada's efforts in the paint were seriously hampered by 6'9" Xu Han, who blocked seven shots and snagged 14 rebounds.

Team Canada's big gun today was Laeticia Amihere, who scored 21 points on 10-20 shooting, all layups and jumpers.

Alyssa got in some foul trouble today and spent 14 minutes on the bench. She tallied five points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.

More:

With the win over China, Canada advances to the FIBA U19 semifinals for the first time since 2009. They will face Russia on Saturday morning at 9:30. The FIBA website has this to say about the matchup:
Canada are not only chasing their first ever Final appearance, but victory against Russia would also seal a maiden podium finish too. Their last run to the Semi-Finals came back in 2009 and this time around they will need to extend their superb unbeaten run to six games. To be successful means blunting the phenomenal Maria Vadeeva, with the Russian center having been the standout player of the tournament so far. She has experience along with Raisa Musina of having played in the 2015 Final on home soil in Chekhov. There is also the potential 'X-factor' on the wings and in the backcourt of shooting pair Daria Kurilchik and Aislinn Konig who bring the additional scoring production for their respective teams.

Note: The U19 semifinal and final games will be live-streamed on both livebasketball.tv and YouTube. I strongly recommend that you watch them on livebasketball.tv, because those streams are accompanied by excellent commentary. (The Asia Cup games have been, and I assume that the U19 games will be too.)

Opals advance to gold medal game

Australia defeated Korea 81-64 in the Asia Cup semifinals.

Alanna was the Opals' second-best scorer with 12 points and also had six rebounds.

More:

The Opals will go for the gold against two-time reigning champion Japan on Saturday morning at 7:30 Pacific Time.

July 27, 2017

Alanna leads the Opals to victory over DPR Korea in quarterfinal

Australia dominated DPR Korea for most of the game and cruised to an 81-48 victory in the Asia Cup quarterfinals.

The Opals, by virtue of being one of the top four finishers, have also officially qualified to the 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Spain

Alanna has recovered from whatever ailed her in the previous game. She played for 15 minutes and led all scorers with 20 points on 7-10 shooting and 6-6 free throws. And she was the top rebounder with nine.

More:

Australia will face Korea in the semifinals early Friday morning at 3:00am Pacific Time. That game will be followed by the other semifinal between China and Japan.

July 26, 2017

Team Canada remains unbeaten with win over Mexico in Round of 16

Team Canada had a comfortable game today as they defeated Mexico 64-43 in the U19 World Cup Round of 16. Canada took a 22-5 lead in the first quarter, from which Mexico never recovered.

Alyssa was Team Canada's top scorer with 12 points, to which she added five rebounds, two assists and a block.

More:

Team Canada advances to the Quarterfinals where they will find a much tougher game against China on Friday morning at 7:00am Pacific Time.

July 25, 2017

Team Canada wraps up perfect group phase with win over Latvia

In a very close contest, Canada and Latvia exchanged a modest lead throughout the game.

The fourth quarter began with Canada ahead by five points. Latvia fought back to a tie two minutes later, fell behind again, then advanced to a one-point lead with a bit more than a minute left to play.

Canada's Aislinn Konig sank a 3-pointer, Latvia answered back immediately with a 3-pointer. Canada was fouled and made a free throw and the score was tied again with 24 seconds left to play. Konig answered for the last time with another 3-pointer and a 74-70 win for Team Canada.

Konig had a huge game. She scored 32 points, including 10 of 15 3-pointers, on 69% shooting. Alyssa contributed a solid seven points, six rebounds, six assists and a steal to the victory.

More:

With today's victory against Latvia, Team Canada joined the USA, Russia and Japan as unbeaten teams in the group phase. They will face Mexico in the Round of 16 on Wednesday morning at 5:00am Pacific Time.

Opals wrap up perfect group phase with win over Japan

Things were close throughout between Australia and Japan in their final match of the group phase, but the Opals proved to be steadier in the end, 83-74. Alanna played for only the last three minutes of the first quarter and put nothing on the score board. She headed for the locker room just before the end of the first quarter, but returned soon with nothing apparently wrong to account for her absence from the rest of the game.

More:

Australia and China were the only undefeated teams in the group phase. As the winner of Group B, the Opals will face PRK of Korea (#4 in GroupA) in the quarter-finals early Thursday morning at 12:45am Pacific Time

July 24, 2017

Opals overwhelm Phillipines in second Asia Cup game

The Opals cruised to an easy 107-65 win against the Phillipines last night in what was described as a "Baby David and Goliath" matchup.

Alanna was once again prominent. She added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists to back up her brilliant Opals debut effort against Korea. yesterday. She is playing with excellent control, committing just one foul in each of her first two Asia Cup games

More:

The Opals face the toughest opponent in their group, Japan, in their third and final group phase game early Tuesday morning at 12:45 am Pacific Time. Japan, which is ranked #13 in the world by FIBA (Australia is #4) , has also won its first two group phase games, so this should be a good competitive matchup.

July 23, 2017

Team Canada scores second win in FIBA U19 World Cup

Team Canada put forth another great team effort and defeated France 54-45 in their second game of the FIBA U19 World Cup group phase.

Scoring was less balanced than in the prior game. Just eight of the Canadian players saw action and ony two of them scored in double-digits. Alyssa contributed eight points, seven rebounds and an assist.

More:

Canada continues group play on Tuesday morning against Latvia at 7:15 am PT. The game will be live streamed here.

Opals win big over Korea in Asia Cup opener

Alanna came off the bench at the beginning of the second quarter when Australia was down 15-12. She soon made her presence felt as the Opals took control of the game with a 17-2 point run, which led to the final 78-54 victory.

Alanna played for 21 minutes during which she scored the Opals' second-most points (13) and grabbed the team-high rebounds (7).

Alanna is the least-experienced member of the team — the only college player. All her teammates play professional basketball in Australia and/or in the WNBA.

The game commentators were lavish in their praise of Alanna's energy and hustle. They were discussing the Opals' being a young team with Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor gone and wondering who would take their place. One of them said, "I like what I see from Smith, that's for sure ... a tremendous addition to this Opals team!"

More:

The Opals continue group play Sunday night at 10:30 pm PT against the Phillipines, a less challenging team than Korea.

July 22, 2017

Team Canada opens with 91-45 win

Team Canada began group play in the FIBA U19 World Cup this morning with a remarkably balanced effort in a 91-45 victory over Korea. Team Canada's individual top score was 10 points, but six players did that.

Alyssa Jerome started for Team Canada. She was one of the 10-point scorers and also had 10 rebounds.

More:

Team Canada will continue group play on Sunday morning against France at 6:45 am PT.

July 21, 2017

See Alanna, Alyssa and Jillian in FIBA games

Alyssa is in Italy, ready to play for Team Canada in the FIBA U19 Women's World Cup

Alanna and Jillian are in India, ready to play for the Australian Opals and the New Zealand Tall Ferns respectively in the FIBA Asia Cup.

Their games begin early Saturday morning or late Saturday night, Pacific Time.

This schedule shows all their games, Pacific Time:

  Canada Australia New Zealand
Sat, July 22 5:00 am vs Korea 10:30 pm vs Korea  
Sun, July 23 06:45 am vs France 10:30 pm vs Phillipines 5:15 am vs China
Mon, July 24 no games - - - 12:45 am vs DPR Korea
10:30 pm vs Taipei
Tue, July 25 7:15 am vs Latvia 12:45 am vs Japan - - -
Wed, July 26 Round of 16 no games no games
Thu, July 27 no games Quarter-Finals Quarter-Finals
Fri, July 28 Quarter-Finals Semi-Finals Semi-Finals
Sat, July 29 Semi-Finals Finals Finals
Sun, July 30 Finals    

All the U19 games will be streamed live to YouTube and kept forever, so you can watch Alyssa play at your leisure. The link to each game is posted in the FIBA U19 World Cup schedule.

All the Asia Cup games will be streamed live by livebasketball.tv, but you need to pay a little ($9.99 for a month) to see them. Sign up here and see the game schedule here.

Basketball Australia reports that games will be uploaded to FIBA's YouTube channel for free 24 hours after each game is completed. I don't know yet where to find the links to the replays, but will include them in my game reports.

If you happen to be in Australia, you can watch the Asia Cup group games on Fox Sports TV

July 12, 2017

Alanna rejoins Opals for Asia Cup

Alanna will be playing in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup after all.

Two of the players chosen for the Opals' Asia Cup team have been injured, and Alanna has been chosen as one of the replacements.

The team is scheduled to travel to India next Monday, a week before the Asia Cup games, which will be played July 23 - 29.

The New Zealand Tall Ferns, with Jillian Harmon, will also be playing in the Asia Cup, but will not compete with the Opals in the opening round.

Alanna is still on the Opals team that will play in the World University Games in August, as far as I know.

Read more in the Basketball Australia announcement: Injuries force alterations to Opals team ahead of FIBA Asia Cup.

Brittany invited to USA Basketball training camp

Brittany McPhee is one of 40 athletes invited to the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U23 National Team Training Camp.

The training camp will take place July 31-Aug. 4 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A 12-member team that will represent the USA in an inaugural U23 Four Nations Tournament for college-aged women this summer in Tokyo, Japan, is expected to be announced on Aug. 4.

Read more in the USA Basketball announcement: 2017 USA Women’s U23 National Team Training Camp To Feature 40 Elite Collegiate Athletes

July 11, 2017

Stanford women athletes win fourth Capital One Cup

Capital One announced last week that Stanford has won the Women's Athletics Program Capital One Cup for 2016-17.

The Capital One Cup is awarded annually to each of the best men's and women's Division I college athletics programs in the country. This is the fourth time in the seven years of the Capital One Cup program that the Stanford women have won the crown.

The cup will be presented at the ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards tomorrow night, which will be televised live on ABC at 5 p.m. PT.

Nneka Ogwumike will accept the cup as the representative of all outstanding Stanford women athletes.

Read more:

July 07, 2017

Alyssa selected for Canada U19 team

Freshman Alyssa Jerome was named to the final roster for the U19 Women's National Team set to compete at the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2017 in Italy.

Alyssa, who is the second-youngest member of the team, is a rising star in Canada. She led her country in both scoring and rebounding at the FIBA Americas U18 Women's Championship last summer when Canada finished with a silver medal.

The team will travel to France for an exhibition tournament from July 15-17.

Then they will travel to Udine, Italy for the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2017 from July 22-30.

Read more in the anouncement from Basketball Canada: U19 women's national team announces FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2017 roster

Alanna not selected for Opals Asia Cup team

Sophomore forward Alanna Smith's summer won't be quite as busy as was anticipated.

Alanna will be playing with the Opals (the Australian national senior team) in the World University games in China from August 21-28. (See Basketball Australia announcement: 2017 Women’s World University Games team announced)

But she won't be playing in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup

The Opals have completed their first camp as they prepare to compete at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup and have narrowed the squad of 21 players to a final team of 12. Alanna did not make the final cut.

Read more in the Basketball Australia announcement: Opals team named with additions to coaching staff to contest 2017 FIBA Asia Cup

June 30, 2017

Alyssa trying out for Canadian U19 team

Freshman Alyssa Jerome is one of 24 athletes invited to participate in the Canadian U19 National Team tryouts from July 2-4.

Training camp will follow the tryouts from July 5-11, after which the final team roster will be selected.

The team will travel to Italy to compete at the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2017 from July 22-30.

Read more from Canada Basketball: 24 athletes invited to attend U19 women's national team tryouts

June 28, 2017

First day

First day of being a Cardinal for Estella, Maya and Kiana:

(Alyssa is with the Canadian U19 team preparing for the FIBA U19 World Cup.)

June 24, 2017

Summer basketball at Kezar begins this afternoon

It's time for summer basketball again.

The San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Summer Basketball League begins its 38th season this afternoon (June 24) at 1:30 and 3:30pm. Play continues on the following seven weekends unti the championship game on Sunday, August 13.

Sad to say, none of our current Cardinal have signed up, but alums Briana Roberson and Markisha Coleman will be playing — Bri with either Bay City or San Francisco (she's listed on both rosters), Kish for San Francisco.

Don't know where Kezar Pavilion is? Here's the map. See the SF Pro-Am website for the full schedule and all the rosters.

The website warns strongly that parking is a big problem, but it won't be any worse than in previous seasons. The parking lot next to Kezar, although a bit pricey, always has space unless there's a big event in Kezar Stadium and none is scheduled yet during the ProAm season.

June 20, 2017

Alyssa's busy summer

Incoming freshman forward Alyssa Jerome began her busy summer with the Canadian Senior National team as they played a five-game exhibition series in France and Spain. As the second-youngest member of the team, Alyssa didn't get a whole lot of playing time, but she did get valuable experience playing at the college and professional level.

Alyssa will join the Canadian U19 National team on July 1st as they prepare for the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup, which will take place in Italy July 22-30.

This will be Alyssa's second summer with the Canadian U18/U19 team. She and Stanford sophomore Mikaela Brewer were members of the Canadian team that won the silver medal in the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in 2016.

Alyssa may return to the senior national team in August for their final training phase for the 2017 FIBA Women's AmeriCup, which will take place in Argentina August 6-13.

Alyssa will end the summer with her new Stanford teammates for their September trip to Italy.

Jacob Rayburn (Cardinal Sports Report) writes more about Alyssa's valuable experience this summer in: Alyssa Jerome playing at elite level before arriving at Stanford

June 19, 2017

Commencement 2017

Commencement day photos from Stanford Women's Basketball Facebook

Click HERE for more commencement day photos from Stanford Athletics.

Bird had to work on commencement day, so she took care of graduation the night before.

June 17, 2017

Stanford awards for Karlie, Bird and Brittany

The Stanford Athletics Board held its annual award ceremony last week at which they honored 41 student-athletes in 27 varsity sports.

Karlie Samuelson was presented with a Dick and Anne Gould Captain's Award, given to the senior captain who has exhibited uncommon leadership to their team.

Erica McCall, who was unable to attend, was named a Conference Female Athlete of the Year.

Brittany McPhee was honored for her receipt in Dallas at the Final Four of the NCAA Elite 90 Award, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA Division I championships (see story).

Read more in Celebrating 2016-17, which lists all the awards and honorees.

June 15, 2017

Rule changes for 2017-18

The NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee has announced the following rules changes for upcoming season:

  • The coaching boxes have been extended from 28-feet (just beyond the 3-point arc) to 38-feet (9 feet short of the center line). The committee believes this alteration will allow coaches to improve communication with their teams.

  • The 3-foot restricted area arc inside the paint will now be 4-foot. A secondary defender must be outside the arc and in legal guarding position to draw a charge. If the player is in the restricted area when contact is made, a foul (block) will be called.

  • The “use-it-or-lose-it” timeout in the first half has been eliminated. Coaches are allowed to carry all timeouts over to the second half.

  • A player must place both feet on the floor outside the lane to avoid a three-second violation.

  • Teams will now be able to choose which side of the court to inbound the ball after advancing it to the frontcourt after a timeout in the backcourt. In the past, teams had to inbound the ball at the 28-foot line on the side with the scorer’s table.

  • The 10-second backcourt count will not be reset when the offensive team calls a timeout.

  • Officials will be allowed to use replay to determine if the release of the ball on a made bucket occurred before the shot clock expired.

June 13, 2017

Fashionable at Fundraiser

Stanford student-athletes walked the runway last month at the third annual Inside Anne’s Closet fashion show, a fundraiser benefiting the Colon Cancer Alliance, chaired by John Paye (Kate's brother).

These young women, looking considerably more fashionable that we usually see them, were among the participants:

Here's a report of the event from the Mercury News: Not in uniform: Stanford athletes fashionable at fundraiser

June 04, 2017

Alanna's busy summer

I mistakenly reported a couple of days ago that Alanna won't be trying out for the National Australian Women's Basketball squad that will compete in the 2017 FIFA Women's Asia Cup — wrong!

Although she's been chosen for the Opals' World University Games squad, she's still in the running for the Asia Cup squad.

If Alanna makes the Asia Cup squad, her basketball schedule for the summer is:

June 25 - July 3: Opals selection camp in Phoenix, Arizona.
July 17: Fly to India
July 23-29: 2017 FIBA Womens Asia Cup in Bangalore India,
Aug 19-30: 2017 World University Games in Taipei.

Read more from the Palo Alto Weekly: Stanford's Smith to play a lot of basketball this summer

June 02, 2017

And the band plays on

It's going to be lively again in Maples next season. Stanford News reports:

Most sanctions lifted on Stanford Band

As a result of hard work on the part of the student leadership of the Stanford Band, the university’s Band Oversight Committee has removed the group’s provisional status, allowing it to again be considered a student organization in good standing.

Read more ...

May 31, 2017

Alanna will play in World University Games for Australia

Alanna won't be trying out for the National Australian Women's Basketball squad that will compete in the 2017 FIFA Women's Asia Cup, as reported a few days ago, because she has just been named to the squad that will compete in the 2017 World University Games in August.

Read more from Basketball Australia: 2017 Women’s World University Games team announced

May 25, 2017

Alanna invited to try out for the Opals

The Opals — the Australian Women's Basketball National Team — will compete in the FIBA Women's Asia Cup in July, aiming to qualify for the FIBA 2018 World Cup.

They have assembled a squad of 21 players for a selection camp from June 25 to July 3, from which the 12-plsyer team will be selected.

Alanna is one of the 21 players who will compete for a spot on the team.

She brings impressive credentials. She has improved steadily in her two years at Stanford and will likely be the Cardinal's leading player in the upcoming season. She also has three years of international experience with Basketball Australia: 2015 FIBA U19 Women’s World Championship, 2014 FIBA Oceania U18 Championship for Women, and 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women.

Here's more about the selection camp: Opals selection camp squad named ahead of FIBA Women’s Asia Cup

May 22, 2017

Nadia not selected for USA Basketball U19 team

The USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team trials ended yesterday and the 12-player roster was announced (story).

Nadia is one of the other 20 athletes who were not selected.

May 03, 2017

Nadia invited to U19 team trials

Nadia has accepted an invitation to attend the 2017 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team trials May 18-21 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Thirty-three players will attend the camp in an attempt to make the final 12-member team, which will represent the United States at the FIBA U19 World Cup July 22-30 in Cividale del Friuli and Udine, Italy.

Read more in:

April 24, 2017

Cardinal will open 2017-18 season against Ohio State and Louisville

The Cardinal will begin the 2017-18 season where they hope to end it — in Columbus Ohio, the location of the 2018 Final Four.

On November 10, they'll play Ohio State, the Final Four host, at Ohio State.

On November 12, they'll participate in "Showdown to Columbus" at Nationwide Arena, the site of the Final Four. There will be two games in that event: Stanford vs Louisville and Ohio State vs UConn.

Read more in the Stanford Athletics announcement: Season starts in Columbus

Note: The Stanford FBC schedule now shows what is currently known about the 2017-18 season: A few non-conference games, which conference teams Stanford will play against, and dates and sites of the PAC-12 and NCAA tournaments.

April 17, 2017

Welcome home, Lindy!

Lindy La Rocque, who played in four Final Fours with the Cardinal from 2009-12, has returned to Stanford as an assistant coach, filling the position on staff made available when Amy announced her retirement from coaching late last week.

Stanford Athletics announced: The farm is where the heart is

Way-too-early preseason rankings

Although a lot of things can change before next season tips off, Charlie Creme (espnW) thinks it's time to start looking ahead: UConn is back on top in Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2017-18

He has five Pac-12 teams in his top 25:

7. Stanford Cardinal
Forward Alanna Smith could be ready to become the next great big in Cardinal lore. She and Nadia Fingall could be one of the best frontcourt duos in the country. Marta Sniezek and Dijonai Carrington are guards whose experience now matches their talent. Brittany McPhee will take on an even more important role with the departure of Karlie Samuelson. But it's Tara VanDerveer's latest recruiting class, led by point guard Kiana Williams from Texas and 6-foot-3 wing Maya Dodson from Georgia, that could make Stanford the favorite in the Pac-12 and a contender for another Final Four.

11. UCLA Bruins
Cori Close's talented recruiting class of 2014 has reached its final season in Westwood. Jordin Canada, Monique Billings and Kelli Hayes will take one last run at a Pac-12 title. This year's recruiting class, which includes 5-foot-11 forward Michaela Onyenwere and 6-foot-1 guard Chantel Horvat, will be on board to help make that happen.

13. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks made the most improbable NCAA tournament run in 2017, reaching the Elite Eight while relying almost entirely on freshmen and sophomores. Expectations will be higher in Eugene, Oregon, but coach Kelly Graves brings every impact player back. Point guard Sabrina Ionescu and 6-foot-4 post Ruthy Hebard should be one of the game's best inside-out combos for the next three years.

18. Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils will transition from a post-oriented team to one with backcourt emphasis. Reili Richardson and Robbi Ryan were the best freshmen in Charli Turner Thorne's recruiting class of a year ago and should lead the program the next few seasons. Depth, defense and balance will still be the cornerstones in Tempe, Arizona.

22. California Golden Bears
Coach Lindsay Gottlieb will be embracing motherhood and the return of nearly her entire roster. Kristine Anigwe will push to be an All-American but needs some more help. Cal made the NCAA tournament in 2017 as one of the last four teams in. The continued improvement of guards Asha Thomas and Mikayla Cowling, and the further development of 6-foot-4 CJ West in the post, should make a postseason run more comfortable.

April 13, 2017

Amy is retiring

Yes, Amy is retiring after 32 seasons on The Farm.

Stanford Athletics has not yet published an announcement, but here is the Associated Press report:

Longtime Stanford top assistant coach Amy Tucker retiring.

On Thursday morning, the Stanford Athletics announcement:

Tucker transitions to new role.

It is expected that Amy's replacement, that is, the person who will take over her position on the staff, will be announced soon.

April 07, 2017

Beyond Expectation: Celebrating the Cardiac Cardinal 2016-2017 Edition

By Warren Grimes

There was no dominant player. Erica McCall led the Stanford team in points and boards per game at a modest 14.4 and 9, respectively. Brittany McPhee and Karlie Samuelson were consistent contributors averaging 12 or more points per game. Late in the season, Alanna Smith came on strong and began averaging double digits. Still, this was fundamentally a team whose whole was greater than the sum of its parts. They liked playing together, they were resilient, they were focused, and they made the Final Four.

Of the thirteen Stanford teams that have made the Final Four, this may have been the least likely.

True, Stanford had made it to the Elite Eight last year with most of the same players (Of last year’s starters, only Lili Thompson was missing). True, Stanford had three well established seniors who had been major contributors. True, there were some exciting new freshmen on the team. True, the team had a Hall of Fame coach.

But there were issues. Stanford had played inconsistently the previous year, struggling to a third place finish in the conference. There was no consistent go-to player on the team; no consensus All-American. The point guard position was still somewhat unsettled, with Roberson and Sniezek showing promise but with neither holding a lock on the position. Some of the promising freshmen had injury issues. Early in the season, Stanford lost a home game to Gonzaga, a good but not great team.

But the Stanford team came together to produce a 32-6 season. They did this because they complemented one another’s strengths. They did this because they worked hard and communicated on defense. They did this because, when one player was down, others stepped up. They did this because, when it came to blocking shots, this was among the best teams in Stanford history.

Erica McCall led the way with 63 blocks, including that memorable stuff in the last 2 seconds of the Notre Dame game. But McCall had lots of help from Alanna Smith (61 blocks). Kaylee Johnson, Brittany McPhee and Nadia Fingall were also proficient shot blockers.

On a per minute basis, the shot blocking award goes to Alanna Smith. She blocked shots at .0829 per minute, well above McCall’s .0516 per minute rate. Playing an average of just 19.3 minutes per game, Smith tied Jayne Appel for 8th place in the race for the highest number of blocks per season. That’s an achievement. If Alanna can avoid foul trouble, she could be a formidable shot blocker next season.

So why is this 6'3" Australian so proficient in blocking shots? Alanna is tall and athletic; she also seems to have the gift of a long reach. In the conference tournament final against OSU, Alanna had no difficulty blocking a shot by OSU’s 6'5" Marie Gulich.

When it comes to rebounding, McCall and Smith were essentially tied in the rebounds per minute category. Decisively ahead of both (at .34 boards/minute compared to McCall and Smith at .28/minute) was Kaylee Johnson. That should not surprise those that have watched Johnson over the past three years. She set rebounding records as a freshman. If her offensive production can step up next year, Kaylee’s additional minutes on the floor could set rebounding records.

One has to bow to the three seniors who set the tone for the rest of the team. Karlie Samuelson’s injury in the semifinal game could have been the difference maker. Erica McCall’s block in the last seconds of the regional final was the difference maker. These two players were deservedly named as honorable mention All Americans. Briana Roberson averaged 6.5 points and 2.5 assists per game. All three of these seniors played smart, played focused, and played hard. Leading by example, they were the best kind of team leaders.

Resilience will, by itself, commend this team as one of the best. This season, getting ahead of Stanford, more often then not, just made Stanford mad.

Stanford came back against Oregon in the Pac 12 tournament semifinal.
They did it again against OSU in the Pac 12 tournament final.
They did it again against New Mexico State in the 1st round NCAA game.
They did it again against Texas in the Elite Eight game.

But the season’s two most memorable comebacks were:

  1. Overcoming an 18-point first half deficit and defeating UW in Seattle (this, late in the conference season);
  2. and
  3. Overcoming a 16-point deficit at the beginning of the third quarter, and taking down Notre Dame in the regional final.

Thank you to the seniors, thank you to the team, for those great memories.

April 06, 2017

in the record book, 2016-17

The 2016-17 team was not a record-breaking team, but they did earn a lot of entries in the Stanford record book. Perhaps that's why this hard-working group of young women took Stanford to the Final Four for the first time in three years.

Bird earned ten entries in the Stanford record book this season and ends her college career with thirteen.

Karlie matched two Stanford records this season, earned seven other entries in the Stanford record book, and had two other noteworthy accomplishments. She ends her college career with eleven entries in the Stanford record book.

Bri earned one entry in the Stanford record book.

Kaylee did not earn any entries in the Stanford record book this season, but she retains two freshman records and five other entries that she earned in the past two seasons.

Alanna earned two entries in the Stanford record book.

Marta earned one entry in the Stanford record book this season, and she retains the three entries and the Pac-12 tournament record that she earned last season.

The team broke one Stanford record this season and earned seven other entries in the Stanford record book.

Note: You can see the complete Stanford record book online at Women's Basketball History, section Records, and the Pac-12 record book at Pac-12 Conference: 2016-17 Women's Basketball Media Guide, section Records. (They have not yet been updated for the 2016-17 season.)

Erica ("Bird") McCall

Blocks

Bird blocked 63 shots this season, including this one that sealed Stanford's 76-75 victory over Notre Dame in the NCAA Elite 8.

Bird blocked 200 shots in her career, which places her fourth in Career Blocks. That's just one less than Val Whiting in third place and two less than Chiney Ogwumike in second place.

She blocked 66 shots last season, which placed her in a three-way tie with Chiney Ogwumike and Joslyn Tinkle for third place in Single-Season Blocks. Her 63 blocks this season also places her in sixth.

Bird also is also in a tie with Joslyn Tinkle for second place in Single-Game Blocks, which she earned last season with seven blocks against Utah on February 21, 2016.

Rebounds

Bird grabbed 976 rebounds in her career, which places her seventh in Career Rebounds behind Val Whiting in sixth place.

She grabbed 343 rebounds this season, which places her twelfth in Single-Season Rebounds behind Kaylee Johnson and Jayne Appel who are tied for tenth (Appel is also in seventh place).

Bird is also in twelfth place in Single-Season Rebounds Per Game, which she earned last season with 9.4.

Points scored

Bird scored 1,376 points in her career, which places her 23rd among the 37 members of the Stanford 2,000/1,000 Point Club.

Games played and started

Bird played in 144 games in her career, which places her sixth in Career Games Played with just one less than Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike who are tied for fifth place.

Bird played in all 38 games this season. She joins Karlie, Bri, Alanna, Marta and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

She started in all 38 games, which places her in a tie with Nneka Ogwumike, Kayla Pedersen, Jayne Appel and Jeanette Pohlen for fourth place in Single-Season Starts.

Minutes played

Bird played 1,220 minutes this season, which places her sixth in Single-Season Minutes Played behind Candice Wiggins in fifth.

Karlie Samuelson

3-Pointers

Karlie sank 249 3-pointers in her career, which places her third in Career 3-Pointers, between Jeanette Pohlen in second and sister Bonnie in fourth.

She attempted 562 in her career, which places her fourth in Career 3-Point Attempts behind sister Bonnie in third.

She made 44.3% of her 3-point attempts in her career, which places her second in Career 3-Point Percentage, behind Jennifer Azzi's 45.2%.

Karlie sank 96 3-pointers this season, which places her in a tie with Jeanette Pohlen for the Single-Season 3-Pointers Made record. She is also in tenth place with the 80 she made last season.

She attempted 198 3-pointers this season, which places her sixth in Single-Season 3-Point Attempts behind Krista Rappahahn and Candice Wiggins who are tied for fourth

Karlie made her 3-pointers this season at a rate of 48.5%, which ranked second in the nation, and which places her second in Single-Season 3-Point Percentage behind Jennifer Azzi's 49.5%. She also holds third place in that category with 47.3% in her junior year.

Free Throws

Karlie didn't draw many fouls. But when she did get to the line, she swished free throws at a rate of 83.3% in her career, which places her second in Career Free Throw Percentage behind Kelly Suminski in first.

She made 86.4% of her free throws this season, which places her ninth in Single-Season Free Throw Percentage behind Jeanne Ruark Hoff in eighth.

Points scored

Karlie scored 1,164 points in her career, which places her 30th among the 37 members of the Stanford 2,000/1,000 Point Club.

Games played

Karlie played in all 38 games this season. She joins Bird, Bri, Alanna, Marta and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

Minutes played

Karlie played 1,274 minutes this season, which places her in a tie with Kayla Pedersen for the Single-Season Minutes Played record and which ranked fourth-best in the nation. She played for at least 37 minutes half of the season (19 games) and for the entire game nine times.

Briana Roberson

Games played

Bri played in all 38 games this season. She joins Bird, Karlie, Alanna, Marta and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

Kaylee Johnson

Kaylee did not earn any places in the Stanford record book this season, but retains the places she earned in her freshman and sophomore seasons.

Blocks

Kaylee is in third place in Freshman blocks.

She is in eleventh place in Single-Season Blocks with the 54 she had in her freshman season and in thirteenth place with the 51 she had in her sophomore season.

Rebounds

Kaylee holds the Freshman Rebounds record and the Freshman Rebounds Per Game record.

She is tied with Jayne Appel for tenth place in Single-Season Rebounds and is in tenth place in Single-Season Rebounds Per Game.

Alanna Smith

Blocks

Alanna blocked 61 shots this season, which places her in a tie with Jayne Appel for eighth place in Single-Season Blocks (Appel is also in first and second place.)

Games played

Alanna played in all 38 games this season. She joins Bird, Karlie, Bri, Marta and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

Marta Sniezek

Assists

Marta dished 169 assists this season and has a career total to-date of 278, which do not earn places in the Stanford record book.

But she retains the entries she earned last season: A three-way tie for third place in Single-Game Assists, eighth place in Freshman Assists, and ninth place in Freshman Assists Per Game.

And her 13 assists on March 3, 2015 vs Washington in the Pac-12 Tournament still holds as the Pac-12 Tournament Single-Game record.

Games played

Marta played in all 38 games this season. She joins Bird, Karlie, Bri, Alanna and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

The 2016-17 Team

The team won 32 games this season, tied with Washington for second place in the Pac-12, won the Pac-12 Tournament for the 12th time and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the 13th time.

The team extended its Pac-12 record for most 20-win seasons to 27 and retained its record for most conference championships (23).

The team blocked 212 shots, which breaks the Single-Season Blocked Shots record of 211 set in 2015-16.

The team also earned these entries in Single-Season Team records:

A tie with the 2008-09 and the 2009-10 teams for second place in Games Played (38).

Ninth place in Lowest Opponent Scoring Average (56.5).

Eighth place in Lowest Opponent Field-Goal Percentage (.350).

Eighth place in 3-Point Field Goals (236 ).

Eighth place in Rebounds (1,562 ).

The team blocked 12 shots at New Mexico State on March 18, 2017, which places it in a 5-way time for third place in Single-Game Blocked Shots

The team won by 58 points vs Yale on Dec 28, 2016, which places it in a three-way tie for fifth place in Single-Game Margin of Victory.

Anna's concussion treatment

Here is an encouraging article about Anna 's treatment for concussion: With the Help of Plasticity Brain Centers Anna Wilson Defeats Her Concussion.

The game mentioned in the article is the game vs Yale on Dec 28. I hope Anna's health continues to improve until she's back to her full capabilities.

April 05, 2017

Look back at a magical season

Stanford Athletics looks back to memorable moments in Stanford's magical 2016-17 season with videos and stories about:
  • Trip to the Final Four
  • Winning the Pac-12 Tournament
  • Tara's 1000th Victory
  • Highlight Games of the Season
  • ...and more
Click here to see all of them.

April 03, 2017

Congratulations to Bird, Karlie and Britt!

Recognition of some achievements was lost in the flood of Final Four news.

Bird and Karlie earned Honorable Mention honors on the 2017 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches' All-America Team. Here is the announcement from the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association.

With a 3.73 GPA in human biology, Brittany won the NCAA Elite 90 award as the top student-athlete in Division I Women's Basketball at the Final Four. Here is the announcement from Stanford Athletics.