Sunday, October 18, 2009

Open Practice

Hi, it is R (solo) again, a second blog in a month! And you thought the world was going to end in 2012! Anyhoo, I told C that I was going to Stanford today to watch Lacrosse and support Coach Jaime. She couldn’t go because she was going to watch her son dunk other boys, I mean play water polo. She informed me that Stanford Women’s Basketball is having an open practice and BBQ and although she was bummed to miss that, she told me to go and take notes. These “open” events are for the Fast Break Club - fans who contribute financially to support Stanford’s program. Since I am not a member of the FBC, I rationalize that our blog helps with PR or marketing efforts or hmm, and well, I walked into Maples Pavilion to watch an impressive scrimmage with Refs!

After the scrimmage and before the BBQ, I saw a Lacrosse game. OMG, that is a sport for the toughest chicks with stix and Stanford’s team is good. They were killin’ their opponent. I was amazed and confused at this new sport. How much time do you have before you have to pass or shoot – is it unlimited?

And, after a goal is scored what is the ref doing with those two opponents before whistling the start? (Wikipedia: The "draw" is what starts the game and keeps the game going after a point. The draw is when two girls, one from each team, stand in the center circle with the backs of their sticks facing each other. Then the referee places the ball between the two sticks. Each player has to push their sticks together parallel to the ground to contain the ball.) Bizarre. If I were reffing, I’d be sure to get the heck outta Dodge before whistling the start.

And, had I had the opportunity to run around a field and smack another kid with a stick when I was growing up, huh, basketball may have taken a back seat! I immediately call C to tell her all of this. She shouts into her dying cell phone she would love to go to a Lacrosse practice and run around with a stick and chase a ball.

So, after about 45 minutes, I head back to the Basketball BBQ. As I approach Jimmy V’s, I see Jayne and her entourage, I mean the Stanford Women’s Basketball team leaving. Boy, Jayne is the one everyone gravitates towards. Everyone wants to be in her orbit!

With the team exiting, I figured that I missed my opportunity to mingle. But then I heard Tara addressing the fans, so I walked in, again. Tara impressed me. She seems to be growing and learning along with her players. She mentioned the pressure defense we will face this fall and how competitive this season will be – I read her words to mean that we will not have an easy time, even winning games in the Pac-10 will be challenging.

Specifically, Tara named a few who will make the rotation and continued that not all 12 women play in every game. She said Jayne is in the rotation although not 100% healthy today, and maybe will be at full strength in a month or so. She named Kayla and new and improved Nneka as great contributors (notice the new way we will spell Nneka’s name. I think we saw it in a press guide once). Then she mentioned the two freshmen; Joslyn could be in the rotation and continued that Mikaela is probably not ready. Tara added that Jayne improved immensely from her freshman year to her sophomore year -- giving hope for Mikaela next season.

Tara said that many players are battling staying healthy and that Ros lost her big toenail in today’s scimmage – and showed it to Tara –purple nail polish and all. I don’t know if Tara talked about her starting point guard, but I hope it is JJ Hones. I saw JJ pass the ball today – well, she reminded me of Diana Taurasi. Overall, I was impressed with the high level of play at the scrimmage. I don’t think we are any match for Geno’s team, but we will likely win most of our Pac-10 games. The fresh start of a new season always brings such unbridled hope and anticipation. I can’t wait for the games!

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