So it is one week until we get a Stanford Women’s basketball preview. Find out what we are really talking about below the C and R’s StanfordWBBBlog Twitter Account.
October 26- One Week to Stanford Basketball
So it is one week until we get a Stanford Women’s basketball preview. Stanford opens its exhibition season against Vanguard. Many, many questions are floating around this year’s team. This will be the first time in six years without an Ogwumike, so how will Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer adjust?
Much has been made by the surprise announcement that VanDerveer is scrapping her beloved triangle offense in favor of screens. She made her point with a classic “Tara-ism” telling anyone over 6’3 that “their new middle name is screen.” She says she wants to free up senior guard Amber Orrange and soph guard Lili (Lee-Lee) Thompson.
Still, the Pac-12 coaches picked Stanford to win the conference (which C and R thought for sure Cal would have a lock on the preseason vote). The coaches claimed they weren’t fooled by the “we don’t have an Ogwumike or a returning All-America” and “we are playing a whole new offense.”
Stanford also adds some talented freshmen. Two are guards, Taylor Rooks and Brittany McPhee and forward Kaylee Johnson. Not to be confused with now sophomore Kailee Johnson, or Karlee Samuelson for that matter. Don’t know much about them but will probably get a good look against little ol Vanguard.
Sue Favor of “They’re Playing Basketball gave a great in-depth preview of Stanford. Quoting:
“Whether or not the Cardinal will stay atop the conference depends upon who, if anyone, will step up. Orrange has shown quiet leadership since her freshman year, and Thompson is promising because of her youth. Samuelson will likely be made a starter with them. But all three will have to increase their production substantially, as teams who survive significant player losses do so when others fill in the gaps.”
See the full article here:
See some fun with the Stanford “Dunk” contest (on a small basket). Love the playfulness of the team already. Hope they can keep it up (and Stnaford winning ways) for the season.
October 15- Stanford Basketball Alums in the News
Before the 2015 Stanford Women’s Basketball Season starts, (or as C and R call it, the era after the Ogwumikes), we wanted to highlight some notable accomplishments of Stanford basketball alums. Well, as it so happens, we wanted to honor two of them, both with the last name Ogwumike.
Okay, not that we want to exclude anyone, but older sister Nneka and younger Chiney have been on a rocket ship of a ride. And it’s funny, because younger sister Chiney has always followed in Nneka’s footsteps.
Chiney followed her to Stanford, where the sisters were an unstoppable dynamic duo who had court ESP and always knew where the other was, or were rebounding each other’s misses. They also took Stanford to two Final Fours together, and in Nneka’s case, two before Chiney and Chiney got one more after Nneka graduated.
In Nneka’s senior year, she worked on the transition to the WNBA, working on an outside shot and playing away from the basket. She was the number one pick in the WNBA and won rookie of the year honors.
Chiney also followed that blueprint, working on scoring away from the basket (although her jump shot is a little flat and not all there). Her hard work rewarded her with the number one pick in the WNBA, the first sisters to accomplish that in the WNBA, and the second pair of siblings since Peyton and Eli Manning did it in the NFL. Oh, they also were the first sisters to play in the same WNBA All Star game. And they ended up guarding each other!
So it is no surprise that Chiney also won Rookie of the Year honors. C and R just want to point out that…well, that is so hard to do! She was just a few weeks out of Stanford when she reported to the Connecticut Sun in the wake pf Tina Charles demanding a trade (Ciney had to get special permission to miss a game to attend the Stanford graduation ceremony.) In just four short months she was selected for the All-Star game and kept up against the best in the world to win Rookie of the Year barely six months removed from college. That is so tremendous.
So Nneka didn’t take the time after the WNBA. In fact, both Nneka and Chiney were invited to the Team USA training camp to try out for the World Championship team. Alas, only Nneka was chosen (Chiney’s day will come), and she helped Team USA win the Gold Medal in the Worlds that was held in Turkey.
Not a bad few months for these two Stanford alums.
Looking forward to 2014-15 season and seeing who will make history.
July 18th- WNBA All-Star Sister Weekend
Back in April when Chiney Ogwumike was drafted number one by the Connecticut Sun, she and her sister, Nneka Ogwumike made history. They were the first pair of siblings in the WNBA to be drafted number one. Heck, let’s take that a step further to show how rare that is. The feat has only been accomplished one other time in any major sport, men’s or women’s, when Peyton and Eli Manning did it in football. And that is some great company!
So leave it to the intrepid Ogwumike sisters to make history again when they became the first pair of sisters to be chosen to participate in the WNBA All-Star game. Granted, both go in as reserves, but it is still a pretty cool feat. And not even Nneka can say she got the All-Star nod her rookie season, as Chiney has done. Nneka had to wait a year, when she went for the first time last year. This is her second nod.
The sisters also made personal history when they played against each other July 15th of this year. In the sisters' first WNBA meeting, Nneka scored 24 points and got the win, while Chiney contributed 18 points in the loss.
Why is that noteworthy, their first time playing against each other? The famous story around the Stanford campus is that the two did not play each other in practice. Well, they did in an early practice in Chiney’s freshmen year, when Nneka was the wise junior. Chiney elbowed Nneka, the story goes, and Nneka threatened revenge, so Chiney excused herself to stand by coach. And that’s when Stanford Women’s Basketball coach Tara VanDerveer said that’s it, you two will never be on opposite sides. And they weren’t. Whether on the court or off it. Each is the others biggest cheerleader.
So the all-star game, while sharing the pre-game stuff together, will mark the second time they have to play each other. The third time will be when Chiney’ Sun goes to LA in August.
While the All-Star game is fun to watch the best of the best, when the sisters play each other, it is so conflicting to C and R. Who to root for? Although we all know West side is the best side.
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