Wednesday, March 31, 2010

THE Play!

Okay, now that C and R’s heart rate have gone back done and the adrenaline rush is finally starting to wear off over the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team’s Elite Eight win over Xavier, let’s review and analyze THE play, over and over and over again! (BTW, C's Wednesday Basketball group took turns reenacting the missed lay-ups and racing down the court in 4 seconds. And we are grown women. Everyone is still giddy!)

Yes, they did draw up that play in the timeout; mostly it was Stanford Associate Head Coach’s Amy Tucker’s plan. It was funny, in the timeout, C and R were thinking, don’t throw a long baseball pass like Notre Dame did when they needed a basket in the final seconds and threw it into a crowd and lost the ball without touching it. And Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer thought the same thing, only a day earlier (great minds think alike, except Tara thinks much more quickly and at a higher level then C and R!). Tara had watched that game and asked her assistants what they would do in that situation, playing “what if,” like we all do, except we play, “what if we won the lottery?” (C and R’s answer: buy the Sacramento Monarchs and have them play at Santa Clara’s Levy Center). Anyhoo, in the Stanford coaches make-believe game, they decided they would give it to a fast guard, not knowing they would need this advice the next day. Isn’t that like Stanford, already having the answer without being yet asked the question? Chance favors a prepared mind, says Louis Pasteur. Fate is on their side, say C and R.

So, in that timeout with 4.4 seconds to go, Stanford coaches could afford to be calm and collected because they had thought of what to do already. (Nothing like turning to your coaches and saying, "What the tinkle bells do we do now?" with the look of a deer in the headlights to inspire confidence in your players). The assistant coaches kept telling Jeanette, “Four seconds is a long time.”

When the ball was inbounded, JJ Hones, an unsung hero on defense, set the screen to free Pohlen and she raced up the sidelines, always risky if you get trapped. In fact, Xavier’s Amber Harris was going to the sideline to do just that and stopped, unbelievably, letting Pohlen go right by her. She had four fouls and said she couldn’t risk fouling her. Stanford’s Nneka Ogumike even tried to set a screen for Pohlen and missed and... stopped at half court. Nneka said, “I was paralyzed just watching what was going to happen.”

As Jeanette was off to the races, C and R wondered where was everybody? Said Pohlen, "Everybody was behind me. Once I crossed half court, I think there was someone to my left and [Xavier forward] April [Phillips] was right there, and all I could do was really just go at her. I didn't really have anything else to do. I don't even think anyone from my team was even down there (they weren't, say C and R). So it wasn't even like I could dish it to somebody.”

As a coach, do you yell at everyone else from Stanford for standing around and watching or praise everyone for keeping their defender back and move on. C and R think in this case you say congratulations everybody and move on. Hopefully your team won’t play so poorly next time to be put in that situation where they need a last second basket.

Now for some awards:
Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen were named to the Sacramento Regional All-Tournament team. Stanford’s Nneka Ogwumike was named the regional’s “Most Outstanding Player.” Congrats, Jayne, Kayla and Nneka, our three trees.

The Associated Press named their All-American Teams today. Stanford did not have a player on the first team, which C and R find surprising. The first team was Maya Moore and UConn teammate Tina Charles (deservedly so), Nebraska's Kelsey Griffin, Virginia's Monica Wright and Ohio State's Jantel Lavender. Jayne and Nneka did make the second team. The second team consisted of Oklahoma State senior Andrea Riley, Stanford senior Jayne Appel and sophomore Nneka Ogwumike, Middle Tennessee State senior Alysha Clark and Baylor freshman Brittney Griner.

Ohio State’s Lavender better than Jayne or Nneka? Not from where C and R are sitting. And Jayne and Nneka are head and shoulders above Brittney Griner, in terms of over-all skills and a more complete game. Brittney is a shot blocking machine, but inconsistent in both her offense and defensive skills, often disappearing for long stretches of the game on both ends of the court. Although she is our last great hope to defeat UConn before Stanford has to meet them.

One announcer said UConn’s Tina Charles and Brittney Griner will cancel each other out and it will come down to the supporting cast, and UConn has the better supporting cast by far. More on BG later.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stanford’s Elite Eight Win

Zero Seconds After the Game Ended:
Are you kidding me?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!!

Ten Seconds After the Game Ended:
Jeanette Pohlen just wrote herself into the Stanford History Books!

Four Seconds Before the Game Ended:
C pulls out her automatic external defibrillator and shocks R’s heart back to working. Apparently it stopped when there were about 12 seconds left and C and R watched in horror as not one but two, two wide-open Xavier shots right under the basket missed their mark. Two shots, two lay up shots with the game tied 53-53 with about 12 seconds left missed by Stanford’s Sweet Sixteen’s opponent Xavier. Two shots missed by the same Xavier player, Dee Dee Jernigan, who was on the block wide open, for goodness sakes. The basketball gods were with Stanford and the medical gods were with R as she recovered to watch Jeanette Pohlen race the floor and make that incredible shot.

Twenty Seven Seconds Before the Game Ended:
Kayla Pedersen, with ice in her veins, hits a jumper at the top of the free throw line to TIE it at 53 each. Stanford was actually losing at that time. In fact, C and R can’t remember Stanford being down in the second half all season long, except for our one loss at UConn. All the stats about that game don’t apply. Stanford hadn’t played in a close game all season long. Stanford hadn’t lost by more than 8, the announcer said, all season long.

Time Out with Four Seconds Before the Game Ended:
After Xavier missed those two shots, Kayla Pedersen grabbed the rebound and called timeout. Kayla had been our stalwart all night. She scored 18 points, including the shot to tie it at 53, and grabbed 10 boards. None bigger than the one after TWO misses by Xavier that would have won the game. She was a huge presence on defense and made smart plays all game long. Kudos to JJ Hones for her help on defense against their big trees.

Four Seconds Before the Game Ended:
Kayla Pedersen inbounds the ball to Jeanette Pohlen. All other Stanford players stay in the backcourt so the Xavier defenders stay back there, too. No one is guarding the basket. The Xavier player on Jeanette is their small guard so there is a mismatch. Jeanette streaks up the sidelines and C and R are worried they can trap here there but the second Xavier defender plays off in case she passes. Jeannette keeps going for broke, C and R think she is going to pull up for a jumper and the Xavier player must have thought so too, so is not on her tightly. The Xavier defenders are starting to catch on she is not going to pass and are frantically trying to react to Pohlen now, but she is out in front of them. Jeannette keeps going all the way to the basket and is only one-on-one, her against the smaller guard, and scoops it with 0.1 seconds left. The ball kisses the glass and bounces around the rim before falling in to win the game with no time left! Stanford wins 55-53.

Are you kidding me?!

So in that time out, did head coach Tara VanDerveer draw up that incredible play or was it all Jeanette Pohlen’s idea? Inquiring minds want to know.

Fifteen Seconds After the Game Ended:
C and R tivo and re-tivo, to review the play. At first C was not sure Pohlen got it off in time, but upon further review, yes indeed she got it off. Incredible! That basket was her only one in the second half. She had one basket in the first half around the 16 and a half minute mark in the FIRST HALF! (C and R feel like screaming so we are typing all caps a lot! Sorry.)

Twenty Minutes Before the Game Ended:
(We know, the jerking around of time is making us a little nauseous, too. Bear with us.) Stanford just shot 25% in the first half, a season low. Stanford also made 24 points in the first half, which tied a season low (Stanford also had 24 against Utah and Fresno State). The reason? We think playing against two players 6’6 and 6’5 had a lot to do with it. They made us miss and even alter our shots, ala Britteny Griner (although they played better than Griner at 6’8-- the Baylor game was ugly to watch and Brittney is inconsistent.) They especially gave Nneka Ogwumike fits on her shot down low, although she would still finish with 16 points. Also, Xavier played a one-three-one half court defense against us, and C and R don’t remember that defense on us all year. It put their big, athletic center at the free throw line to stop things forward and back and really matched up well against our triangle offense.

Thirty-Seven Minutes Before the Game Ended:
ESPN finally tunes into the Stanford game with 3 minutes already gone because they had to stay with the other game and show Kim Mulky crying because her Baylor team knocked off Duke even though they played poorly and did not deserve to win that game. By the time we get to Stanford, the score is tied 4-4 and Nneka Ogwumike has all of Stanford’s points. Then she makes a free throw to have all 5 of Stanford’s points.

Seven and A Half Minutes Before the Game Ended:
Tara finally adjusts to the one-three-one half court defense and puts two trees down low instead of one, and Nneka and Kayla could work against their one player guarding the basket for a score. Tara is the best at making second half adjustments.

Six Minutes Before the Game Ended:
C refills the pretzel and salt and vinegar potato chip bowls. C and R in their anxiety have eaten every salty snack in the house.

Five minutes and 32 seconds Before the Game Ended:
Xavier center Ta’Shia Phillips fouls out. Good Call refs!

Five minutes Before the Game Ended:
How ‘bout that block by Ros Gold-Onwude?

Four Minutes Before the Game Ended:
Stanford center Jayne Appel fouls out. Bad Call ref! Well, at least the refs called the game consistently tight the whole 40 minutes. It was only Jayne’s second time fouling out all season. She would finish with eight points and for four excruciating minutes had to wonder if this was her last game in a Stanford uniform. And seriously, wasn’t that fifth call a bad call? She laid her hands on the other player’s back. Strange call.

One Minute and Ten Seconds Before the Game Ended:
Our Big Freshman, Joslyn Tinkle, makes the basket of her young life to tie it at 51. It would be the only points of the game for her. We shook the tinkle bells.

One Minute Before the Game Ended:
C pauses live TV to make a potty break. At first C and R were bummed they couldn’t be there live in Sacramento to see the game, but then they were able to show their own replays and dissect and discuss the game at great length by pausing and rewinding the game. Kinda cool. Plus both of us said a few swear words and the fans at Arco might not have liked to been around us, and maybe would have stuck their fingers in their ears and that of their children.

Four Seconds Before the Game Ended:
Jeannette Pohlen drives the length of the floor and lays the ball in to win the game… oh yeah, we already told you that. C and R’s adrenaline level is just now coming down. Stanford plays the winner of, oh we don’t know or care, we made it to the Final Four. See ya Easter Sunday!

More Stanford Final Four Madness at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stanford’s Sweet Sixteen

Let’s recap C and R’s trip to Sacramento to see the Stanford Women’s Basketball team take on the Georgia Bulldogs at Arco Arena in the Sweet Sixteen.

Early Morning:
R calls C to tell her that her tire is flat. C asks how she got a flat tire. R says yesterday she ran over a curb. C and R have long debate about how that is even physically possible. R locates a tire store open on Saturday. C buys a can of “Fix A Flat,” an aerosol that magically pumps up the tire and has gummy stuff to stop any leaks and let’s you drive for an extra 2-4 miles. The tire store is exactly one mile from R’s house. C puts the aerosol into R’s tire and sees the leak. The gummy stuff seems to have stopped the leak but C is not convinced. She yells at R to start the car as time is of the essence. C and R argue about how best to go over speed bumps in a flat tire magically fixed by aerosol and mysterious gummy stuff. They survive the one-mile trip with out rolling the car or killing each other and in 40 minutes R has a new tire. After the stress of that, driving up the California Interstates to Sacramento going 70 miles an hour while trying to eat chicken pesto sandwiches with motorcycles cutting us off and semis trying to flatten us seem like a lark, except when C stepped in pesto.

Lunch Time:
C and R stop off at a family member’s house to help with various computer issues, rhymes with tissues, which is funny as C and R can barley turn theirs on. Always double your estimate when working on computers. C accidentally presses the wrong button and causes the computer used for work to lock up. R wisely decided go out to the patio and work on her tan. After much more stress, both computers in the house get fixed. C and R get the heck out of there before C touches something else and breaks it.

Mid Afternoon:
C and R drive to the appointed restaurant to meet a whole bunch of people. On the way, one group of friends texts and says they have already checked into the hotel and brought a blender and the ice machine was located before unpacking. They tell C and R margaritas have been made. C and R say they can’t stop and drink the free margaritas, as they are enroute to the Brew Pub to pay for beers. (Um, C and R hope they don’t get kicked out of any family-type blogs for the mention of adult beverages—and C and R hope they don’t get kicked out of any of the websites they report to, websites that wanted REAL coverage of women’s basketball, not this trivial recounting of C and R’s Saturday.)

C and R and friends and Cal fans try to order (Can C and R be friends with Cal fans? They say that with Cal out of the tournament they are rooting for Stanford, and they seem believable). The first waitress says she is too busy to take their order and has to go home. The second waitress says she is too sick to take their order and has to go home. The third times the charm, C and R think, as the third waitress actually writes down their order, however only half of the food show up. Cal fans tell waitress number three they will give her five bucks if she can make salad dressing appear in the next 60 seconds. C and R make plans with their group to drive to the nearest free parking lot next to Arco Arena to park there and save the $12 parking fee, all the more to spend on adult beverages. (Well, the quote was funnier at the restaurant; guess you had to be there.)

Going to the Game:
After much walking and notice of land marks and a trail of breadcrumbs so C and R and friends can find their car again, and a second trip back to the car for ID, we make it to Arco Arena with five minutes to spare. C and R notice a Stanford fan walking back to their car with their backpack. Didn’t they read our post about NO backpacks allowed in Arco Arena? The ushers are doing their job checking for tickets but are not so strict so that C and R can’t sneak into good seats. Our Cal friends have snuck in a sign that says “Hecka Nneka” and “Ogwumike is Okay!” C and R are impressed and the stock of the Cal friends immediately goes up. An usher says no signs are allowed in Arco Arena. C and R and Cal are crestfallen. C and R have their tinkle bells to fall back on.

Game Time:
The announcers makes the players introductions and a Georgia fan, sitting in front of C and R, sticks her fingers in her ears every time we cheer for a Stanford player. Oh, this is going to be fun, think C and R. We decide to cheer every great play by Stanford and see how many times we can make her stick her fingers in her ears. Our Cal friends are dismayed to see C and R’s sadistic side and start to move to seats far away from us.

Game Game Time:
C and R watch as Jayne Appel, so good around the basket for four years, uncharacteristically miss shot after shot. C and R think maybe they should stick their fingers in their ears. C and R watch as Stanford is down 4-8 at the 15-minute mark. C and R then watch Jayne feed Nneka Ogwumike instead. Cal fans hold up Nneka sign anyway. C and R see at the 10-minute mark we are now up 19-10. Stanford has done it with defense, shutting down Georgia on the perimeter, and inside. C and R watch JJ Hones make a three in the final seconds to put Stanford up 37-15 at the half.

Half Time:
A first in basketball history, C and R are too full to eat anything at half.

Second Half:
Jayne finds the basket again and has 17 points while the whole team of Georgia has only 19 points. Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer takes out Jayne at the 13-minute mark. C and R surmise it is not to embarrass Georgia by having Jayne out score them but our Cal friends wisely point out it is to save Jayne’s ankle for Monday. C and R and the rest of the team get a scare when Michelle Harrison goes down with an elbow to the nose. C and R hope it is not broken. Stanford wins easily, 73-36.

After the game:
C and R and friends find car, get to hotel room and blender and turn on Xavier and Gonzaga game in the background and start Texas hold ‘em game. Game disintegrates when card-peeking and chip-swiping happens, not that C and R are namin’ names but at least one of them was R. Okay, maybe C. C launches into long and boring story about growing up in Dayton, Ohio and how a tornado hit Xavier and we always refer to it as the place where the tornado hit. Xavier, that plucky town that survived the tornado, beats Gonzaga and will face Stanford in the Elite Eight on Monday. It’s not until an hour later that C realizes it was Xenia, Ohio, Xenia, not Xavier, where the tornado hit. Anyway, congrats to Xavier for the right to meet our three trees.

C and R get much needed sleep to have the strength to eat the free breakfast at the hotel and drive the dangerous interstates back to the Bay Area.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ogwumike's National Player of The Year Award

We here at C and R always love when we get contacted by legit agencies thinking we are big time. This time it is Gatorade, which is reaching out to us. C got her master’s degree at the University of Florida and she knew someone whose mom worked with Dr. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade. It was a re-hydration drink made especially for the Florida Gators Football team, because they worked out in such heat and humidity, hence the name (the more trivia you know, the more you become unpopular at parties).

Anyhoo, Gatorade contacted us to tell us all about Stanford Recruit Chiney Ogwumike receiving the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year Award at an assembly, with big sister Nneka Ogwumike and the Stanford team beaming in from outer space to surprise her.

The National Gatorade Player of the Year award is presented to high school student-athletes who have achieved athletic excellence in conjunction with high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character. Nneka won it in 2007-2008. Chiney won it in 2009-2010.

Seems these two sisters are the only sister or brother act to both win the National Player of the Year award in the same sport. Pretty Cool!

We all know about Chiney’s basketball stats. Here is what helped her win the National Gatorade Player of the Year award. A standout volleyball player, Ogwumike has maintained an A average in the classroom, ranks No. 3 in her class and serves as student body president. A member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Superintendent Student Leadership Committee, she co-founded the “Step Up 2 A Reason” fundraising event to benefit local underprivileged families. Also the vice president of her school’s civil rights club, she has volunteered more than 200 community-service hours on behalf of her church.


So we were curious about Nneka’s achievements when she won the award. Here is her stuff. Also a volleyball standout for a state semifinalist squad, Ogwumike has maintained a 3.86 GPA in the classroom. A passionate artist and pianist, Ogwumike is the Senior Class President as well as her school's 2007 Homecoming Queen, and has fundraised to assist children of the Darfur crisis. She also organized a charity drive for the family of a Texas high school coach who lost a battle with leukemia. Ogwumike volunteers at Hamilton Middle School as an office aide and remains an active member of her church.

Double Wow.

And, when do these two sleep?

Oh, Q McCall of Swish Appeal got a one-on-one interview with Nneka right before presenting Chiney’s award, and some cool pictures of the event. Check it out.

You can read more from Gatorade below. Gatorade also wants you to help celebrate their 25 years of this award by voting for some notable athletes in their respective sports. Humor them and give the site a visit. Tell ‘em C and R sent you. Maybe they will send us some free Gatorade!

This from Gatorade:
Chiney Ogwumike of Cy-Fair High School in Houston, Texas is the 2009-10 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year. The Gatorade Player of the Year program is celebrating its 25th year in recognizing elite high school athletes throughout the nation.

Chiney was surprised with the news during an assembly by her sister Nneka Ogwumike, who earned Gatorade National Girls Basketball POY honors herself in 2007-08, and currently plays for the Stanford women’s basketball team. Nneka and the team surprised Chiney live via Skype, as the team is traveling for the NCAA tournament.

Since the Gatorade Player of the Year program began 25 years ago, no siblings have ever won national honors. Chiney joins her sister Nneka as the only sibling duo to ever win the national title in the history of the program for any sport.

In celebration of the larger 25th anniversary of the program, Gatorade will host 10 polls online that will allow consumers to decide who is the greatest all-time Gatorade Player of the Year in boys football, girls volleyball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, boys baseball, girls softball, and boys and girls track & field.
You can cast your vote for your favorite athlete of all-time once per sport, per day.
Former notable Gatorade Players of the Year include:

- Peyton Manning, Super Bowl Most Valuable Player
- Lisa Leslie, WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder
- Alan Webb, Reigning American record-holder in the mile
- Emmitt Smith, NFL all-time leading rusher
- Cat Osterman, Softball Olympic gold medalist
- Kerri Walsh, Pride of Mitty, Beach Volleyball Olympic gold medalist

In addition, make sure to enter the Gatorade Player of the Year sweepstakes where you could win a trip to the 2010 Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards ceremony and the ESPY Awards.
For more information about The Gatorade Player of the Year program and its 25th anniversary celebration, please visit us on the web at this address kindly provided by C and R (okay, I made up the last half of that sentence). Gatorade Press release done.

You rock, Ogwumikes!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Junior Bloggers

Well now, to continue C and R’s vacation from blogging (SUCH hard work), we are opening up the spotlight on two junior bloggers, J and K (and their friends, L, M, N, O, P—sorry, just a little punchy, lack of sleep and all). No, these junior bloggers are, like, well, um, okay, like, see, dude, and, facebook and stuff.
No really, these two could be C and R incarnate with their stalking abilities, except they are waaaaay smarter and more articulate than C and R ever were, or shall be. And they make less typos. These two blogger/stalkers have lived in Palo Alto their while lives. Here, let them tell it… you could call us Palo Altans. We've both lived in Palo Alto our whole life, and we've both been playing ball as long as we can remember. But because we're from Palo Alto, which is home to Stanford grads, their families, and really high-achieving schools, we're both like Stanford academia-maniac JJ Hones and, as Nneka Ogwumike puts it, we both have to put the 'stud' in studious.

They come to every home game their schedule allows, provided they don’t have practice or homework or have to clean their rooms. As they like to say about each other, they are the two crazy fans on opposite sides of the stadium holding reversible posters and texting each other from across the stadium like all good teenagers ;)

See, they are always writing those texting symbols- we don’t even know what these symbols mean, and we can’t tilt our heads sideways or else some brain cells might fall out—C

So here is what J wrote about some recent “fan encounters”, with comments from K in Red and more comments from J in Blue, if C can program the text correctly. I think J gets extra credit at school for being a “published writer”. And we love that they fight/argue just like C and R! (At first C and R thought they should edit their account, but what the heck, no one edits us-so enjoy)

About those fan encounters: K and I were at the game on Senior Night and we were holding up posters. Mine said "Rosalyn #21" and K's said "Jeanette #23". Rosalyn was Pac-10 Player of the Week and they announced it during a time-out, so I dutifully held up my Ros poster. Much to my surprise, I got on camera! The JumboTron zoomed in on the poster :D After they'd finished, I pointed across the stadium towards K, and then K (and her poster) got on the JumboTron as well! Okay, okay, okay. Hold up. This whole first paragraph is about ROS. Hahaha. 'Cause she rocks. Hahaha. We need to be a little more diverse; maybe throw in a little Jeanette? Just sayin'. *Sigh* And then someone - maybe Ashley? or Hannah? Someone like that pretty much slapped Jeanette and pointed up to the JumboTron. She looked up and went BRIGHT red. It was very funny :) Before that, after the whole starting line-up thing, Ros was jogging back toward the bench and someone (Michelle or Ashley or someone) nudged her and said something. She looked up and grinned at me holding up the poster and beaming like I'd swallowed an LED or something! Then, with about 30 seconds left in the game, we went down to behind the players' bench and started screaming like crazy. When everyone jogged around with the victory balls, I was screaming "ROS! ROS! ROS! ROS!" and K was screaming for Jeanette. Ros was out of victory balls when she saw us, but she jogged over and high-fived me. Of course, that miracle shut both of us up for a minute... but only for a minute! We then commenced screaming for Jeanette so K could get a high five, but Jeanette didn't come over. She did, however, look at K, grin, and do the two-finger-guns salute. K was shaking, and then she started shaking me and yelling "She saw! She smiled! She saw! She smiled!" over and over and over... and over... and over.... LOL Jeanette TOTALLY did smile and wave (and blush I might add) and it was freaking AWESOME. Don't make fun of me :) Yeah, she looked pretty embarrassed. Good job, K! Embarrassing Stanford teammates like any good fan! Haha jk; I think you made her day ;)

We, overly emotional teenagers, nearly started crying during the Senior Tribute, and compromised by whispering "I'm gonna cry!" to each other when the seniors were talking and taking the pictures. After the big thing on court, we followed them down to Arrillaga Family Sports Center - Hahahaha remember when Jeanette walked in, me being me, I gasped really loud and everybody within a 5 foot radius turned around and looked - - Oh yeah, that was funny. And we were right near Kate Paye and Bobbie Kelsey and they looked at us and sorta fought back smiles - where the seniors talked for a while. They were telling really funny stories, so K and I kept whispering "That's a knee-slapper" and slapping each other's thighs and then howling with laughter [very quietly so we wouldn't be disruptive, ;) ;) ] And also during the speeches when Michelle went "and thanks to all my fans" she looked at us and smiled because she remembered us. :) Oh yeah, we had met her before after we won our championship game because one of our teammates goes to the same church as her. We love our perks, haha!

After, I dragged K to go get Ros' signature, and we waited as she talked to some people (I think she knew them... so we automatically demoted ourselves to last place in line). When she finally saw us (holding the posters) she smiled and said, "Thanks for the support, guys!" When I asked for her signature on the poster (and pulled out a classic red Sharpie), she grinned and said, "Of course! You know, I saw that poster right before the game. I looked up and smiled; did you see?" after she had signed it and we had pictures taken with her. I said "Yes!" and K muttered, "Of course she did. Why else would she have texted me the whole game???" Ros must have heard her, because she sort of smiled and was trying not to laugh when she was saved by some other people she knew. We actually kinda had a conversation with Ros. She asked our names and stuff. Jeanette not as much, but there's still hope. Yeah, she asked if we played, and we said yeah, and that we love her because she's proving that there can be fabulous players under 6 ft., haha :)

K and I wandered out of the Center, K annoyed she hadn't seen Jeanette and I mortified that K had said that to Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, whom K knows is my idol! J embarrassed me in front of Jeanette too....! K kept going, "You made me miss Jeanette! You made me miss Jeanette!" and I kept apologizing as we walked out. I then grabbed K's arm and said "Dude... we just walked past Jeanette!" K half-screamed "REALLY?!?!?!?" and ran back inside. Sure enough, she was there, and K stood - well, more 'bounced' really - in line and then asked Jeanette for her signature and a picture. She signed K's poster - I was too embarrassed to ask Jeanette to sign a Ros poster, and besides she's 6" and her height is intimidating - and we both got pictures with her. Okay, here's where I might have kinda-sorta-maybe gotten my revenge on K by embarrassing her... Jeanette: Where do you want me to sign it?? Me: Umm, yeah thats cool you can pick. Haha, anywhere? Jeanette: Oh, okay. Me: *bounces up and down* J: K's gonna take this home and hang it up on her wall forever. Okay, it was funny. Ros got a laugh at my expense and Jeanette got a laugh at your expense. We're even. Haha ;) When K and I finally did get out of the Sports Center, K screamed "SHE SIGNED MY POSTER!!!!" and commenced dancing wildly in front of tons of people. Oh yeah, and as I'm dancing Jayne runs out, looks at me weird, then runs to Maples. OH LORD. Hahahahahaha :) It was funny though! She dragged me along with her, so I danced, very embarrassed - I mean, what if Ros had run out or something??That would've been even more mortifying - and laughed at her ecstasy. It was definitely the highlight of our month.

Now, I know K's going to comment here, so I'll keep it short. The next day my parents and I went to a popular restaurant at about nine am because I figured 1) the players and their families would probably be there after Senior Night and 2) hopefully college students would be out and about by then. We sort of know the manager, so we asked him if he knew if any players were coming. He said yes, that Lindy, her mom, her dad, and her grandmother were coming for her grandmother's birthday, and asked if I was blind because Jeanette Pohlen was sitting right there. Trust me, if her face wasn't so defined, I would never have recognized her. I'm sure K would have - yes, I would've - but I nearly didn't!! I was too shy to ask for her autograph, since I had just seen her last night, so I just watched in awe as she walked past after she had finished breakfast with her parents on her way out of the restaurant. My parents and I sat down, and who should come (after I'd anxiously watched the door for ages!) but Lindy LaRocque.

After much anxiousness on my part I went and asked for her autograph, which she did graciously and talked for a minute or two. She's actually pretty witty! I stammered a "Thank you", told her that we loved her threes and her awesome slide-and-steal against Cal last year on Candice's birthday, and departed. I then forced my dad to switch places with me so I wouldn't be in Lindy's line of vision. (What? I was embarrassed!) When we were leaving, Lindy waved and said "I'll see you at the next game!" Apparently, I went a lovely shade of magenta, and I said, "Yeah, of course," and rushed out. I was starstruck. Hahaha!!! And then I get a text from K saying that I was awful for getting her autograph without her, which is hardly fair because I did ask K if she could come. Okay, that actually wasn't fair AT ALL that you got to meet Lindy. I had a semi-final basketball game. I'm sorry! Hahaha :) Yeah, you should be sorry. Haha jk, jk. But I was so shy! I'm never shy! If I had had a partner in crime it would have been so much easier ;) We are on the prowl for any more possible celebrity sightings, and are planning on invading the many nail salons in town sometime soon, because we always see Jayne and Jeanette with nail polish on. We are also planning to stalk that restaurant, and we'll be down behind the bench at the end of Saturday's game, hoping for a high five or a red victory ball!

~ J & K, junior bloggers

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tournament Odds and Ends

With Stanford busy practicing for the Sacramento Regional Games, C and R thought they would take some much needed time off and let some other people talk about women’s basketball. Because, yes blogging is SO hard, dreaming up our opinions, with no facts or research to back it up, typing with two fingers , so, so very hard!

First up are (sigh) Cal fans who watched a lot of TV and were at the Berkeley Regional for the first and second rounds and saw Baylor in action. Now, Baylor is a curiosity because of Brittney Griner. She’s 6’8”, can dunk with two hands, is setting all kinda records for blocks, and broke an opponents nose because she was fouling her. She also is a freshman and can be maddeningly inconsistent on both ends of the floor. You never know which Brittney is going to show up.

Here D and C’s report:
The Baylor game was ugly: Georgetown shot 17%, Baylor shot 38%; Griner out 12 minutes in first half in foul trouble; Baylor's best freshman scoring threat (Shanay Washington) out with hip pointer in 1st half; Georgetown missed its first 14 shots, was down 19-2 at one point!  Griner did have 13 blocks in the 2nd half (NCAA record).  Jones impressed big-time playing post for Griner (on Georgetown’s 6-6 freshman Sidney Wilson).  Score was 31-19 at the half.

It was really fun to see Kim Mulkey (in fabulous skin-tight zebrah-pattern top, bell bottoms w/Texas-big belt/buckle, and super-sized hair), way out on the floor, gesticulating and yelling like crazy at the refs, who at times had to dodge her.  She crouched much of the game (in stiletto boots)…  You go, Kim!  The Baylor fans in the house loved her. The Cal fans behind us didn't get her at all!

Seeing Griner, even in this raw state, is worthwhile. Her mobility and height gave her the edge over GT's freshman 6-6er, but Griner needs to bulk up (she looks skinnier in person, though her frame is a V, with solid legs). She is impressive defensively - her full-paint coverage really alters the game.  She's hit a slump offensively, but passes and catches well, and runs the floor really well.  The refs seem pretty hard on her, and will need to figure out what to with her (ala Shaq).  The Baylor fans were behind her 100%.

On the other games:
Well, our bracket is utterly blown, but so much good came out of it!  Falling in love with San Diego State (we're Mountain West fans), especially senior guard Jene Morris (a Cal transfer out of San Francisco...?!), AND coach Beth Burns, graduate assistant to Tara at Ohio St!  UCLA kicked butt in Caldwell's first tournament win. Sorry to see them go down to Nebraska (Jasmine Dixon got in foul trouble and that was it).  BOTH of Stanford's potential Big 12 opponents are eliminated....Oh yeah, and "Yay Zags!"
Thanks, D and second C.

Other Stuff:
Speaking of Gonzaga, they beat Texas A&M, our one question mark we were supposed to have met in the Elite Eight. And we beat Gonzaga this year by 30 points!

It will be exciting to see Baylor against Tennessee. They met in the first game of the season, in Brittney Griner’s first college game, and she was not ready for prime time. Since then she has gone on to set the single season shot blocking record. Will be interesting, as we mentioned, to see which Brittney shows up. Wonder if she will glower at Pat Summit? 'Course, Pat would just glower right back.

Speaking of brackets, R is still winning in our local one… bragging has commenced immensely (C is in last place). But in the Women’s Talk Sports Bracket, if you played, make sure you go to their site and register your name so you can be eligible for prizes. (In that one, R is in the middle of the pack and C is waaaay down below). And if your screen name is Stanford A, currently tied for 9th in the whole NCAA contest, not just WTS, you are killin’ it. Drop us a line to say hi, and be sure to register, I hope they give you a special prize. (One clever fan said it must be Tara!)

And C was so happy her beloved Dayton won in the NCAA tournament for the first time... ever. Well, let’s amend that, they were in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever and won their first game against some sort of frog.  C is from Dayton, Ohio. She first learned to drive in the University of Dayton’s basketball parking lot so many years ago. Her first women’s college basketball game was seeing the Dayton Flyers play (Dayton is the birthplace of the Wright brothers, hence the name—the more trivia you know, the more you forget where your car keys are). To bad the Flyers ran into that buzz-kill, Tennessee. Apparently, no one thought Dayton would make it this year, either, as they gym played host to a bracket, yet the team was sent to Knoxville so Tennessee could have a home game against them.

And Ohio State. When not rooting for UD in basketball, our house cheered Ohio State in Football, because in the fall and winter, it was too darn cold to go outside and do anything else. Ohio State lost to Mississippi State in the second round, even though Ohio State was a number 2 seed and Miss. was a number 7 seed. Darn under-achieving Ohioans.

And how about the DIII basketball champs? None other than my old Alma Mater, Washington University in St. Louis. Although some DII schools looked at me for basketball and other sports (walk on-no scholarships), I decided to go to Washington University to study art. I played intramurals and was always hanging around the gym and one assistant coach was always trying to recruit me, but I thought, “It will take a lot of time and what will I do after college for basketball, being no opportunities for women in the US at the time.” Plus an art major took a lot of time. A lot of time. So I always said no. I could strangle my former 18-22 year old self. Well, congrats to the D III Bears who gave up their free time to dedicate themselves to basketball and won the championship.

One reader wrote in and said they are sick and tired of hearing about UConn. We are too, so we won’t tell you how they destroyed, just destroyed Temple in the second round.

With UCLA, the only other PAC-10 team, out of the tournament, we are now cheering for San Diego State, and Gonzaga, two West Coast teams. Well, if Gonzaga wins over Xavier, we won’t be cheering for them any more because that would be Stanford’s next opponent! Stanford plays Georgia at 6 PM and Zags are on at 8:30 on Saturday.

Oh, if you are heading to Arco Arena, NO BACKPACKS. Thought Maples was bad about the water bottles. No outside food, drink or backpacks. No exceptions, no how. Leave them at home. Trade up in seats at your own risk.

Jayne Appel-WNBA Draft

Hey folks, with all this emphasis on the NCAA tournament, some life-changing events happen soon after. April 8th looms large on Stanford senior Jayne Appel’s calendar. That is the day of the WNBA draft. She has already taken 21 credits to graduate early, and has moved out of her beloved sorority house with the anticipation of her being drafted and then going right to the national team for training. To fans, she just finished her last game at Maples and still has more basketball left if Stanford goes as deep as predicated in the tournament, but for Jayne, the end of her collegiate career is VERY soon and the next big thing is encroaching fast.

Why does this concern us here at C and R? Well, besides the fact that C and R, (especially R) will miss the heck out of Jayne, we are interested in where she goes to play pro ball in the WNBA. (Too bad the Sacramento Monarchs, which had the second pick, is no longer an option)

Quentin McCall of Swish Appeal has been instrumental to building a website dedicated to women’s basketball, and you know how we respect that. At first he concentrated on the WNBA than decided to let the sight have a PAC-10 slant. He even invited C and R to publish on the site. Cool. He also has been a big proponent to get bloggers involved in the WNBA to help boost interest in the league. Not only does he want to get fans to go to WNBA games, he wants them to talk about the WNBA games after they have ended. This model has worked well for the NBA.

Well, the WNBA and the Minnesota Lynx reached out to him… sorta. They asked him to help analyze certain players who were predicted to go high in the draft. And they asked him to ask other bloggers/writers/fans who follow these certain players to give their impressions. Now I am not saying the WNBA and the Lynx were going to take these reports as gospel, but they wanted to create interest with the bloggers and the blogger’s fans in the upcoming draft. The WNBA and or the Lynx gave out 5 questions for the bloggers to answer.

So Q asked Cal Golden Bears Blog to write about Alexis Gray Lawson and C and R Stanford Blog to write about Jayne Appel. (Jayne is predicted to be picked second by the Lynx) Q took the info and edited. They said they would notify him in advance when they were posting the Appel and Gray-Lawson stuff so he could also write something and they didn't. Oh well, what do you expect from a league that lost the Sacramento Monarchs in the space of a few days?

Well, here is C and R wrote about Jayne. (Compare it to what they posted on Jayne). We are giving you the entirety in case you have insomnia or ever have trouble falling asleep at night you can read and be asleep by the second sentence.

1. Appel has battled some injuries throughout her career at Stanford. How have those affected her development? Where is her health at right now?

After Jayne’s freshmen year, she injured her shoulder and had surgery on it in the off-season. To stay in shape, she did a lot of running instead of her usual swimming. She never was much of a runner and this extended workout lead to never-before-experienced knee problems. While she has had off-season knee surgery for the past two years (meniscus clean-up sort of stuff, not ACL surgery), it really has not hindered her development as a basketball player, with the notable exception of hindering her points and rebounds her senior year. For example, her points and rebounds per game went up every year, with the exception of this senior year. She seems to be on the mend and in the last two weeks of MArch she has shown signs of the “old” Jayne from last year. As far as her development, see questions two.

2. It's widely considered that Tina Charles and Jayne Appel are the top two centers in America. What makes Jayne stand out from the rest of the talented posts in women's collegiate game? What makes her special?

Two things: Her tenaciousness in scoring from down low in the block and her court vision in relation to dishing out assists. When Jayne is left alone one-on-one down low, she can score on anyone in the country (with the notable exception of…Tina Charles). It’s no accident Jayne played the whole set position on offense in water polo in high school. If you are unfamiliar with that position, she treads water right in front of the opposing teams goal and when thrown the ball tries to score. The defense is instructed to foul her as you have unlimited "small" fouls, so they hang on her arm, neck, and body and try to literally drown her as she is trying to score. She often would have to switch to her left hand, as her right would be held underwater, as well as most of her face. After that, scoring on the basketball court is a lark. Watch replays of her on the court scoring with HER LEFT HAND, and you will see her right hand goes up and swat away the defender as her left hand moves the ball into scoring position. It is a thing of beauty, and not something I see every center do. Players also push and foul her under the basket but she never loses concentration and makes scoring look easy. She is also special in her ability in handing off the ball for assists. Her assist per game also went up every year from 34 her freshmen year to 108 and 108 her sophomore and junior years. Compare that to Tina Charles consistent yearly average of roughly 40 assists. In Jayne’s first year, teams were just discovering her and when they double-teamed her the next year, she was uncanny in finding the open Stanford player, in particular Candice Wiggins. It’s no wonder that head coach Tara Van Derveer said of Jayne on senior night that she makes those around her better.

3. What do you is Jayne's biggest strength as she prepares to enter the WNBA? What aspect of her game does she need to work on the most in order to enhance her chances at succeeding in the WNBA?

Her strengths, as mentioned, are her tenaciousness in scoring and rebounding down low and her passing and ability to hand out assists. Any team would welcome a big presence in the center with the vision to see the open player and the accurate passing skills to match. Jayne’s soph and junior year she played the inside out game with Candice Wiggins to perfection. Jayne is also smart, smart, smart and hustles, which not a lot of centers do. She does have a weakness in her game and that is the weakness to hit a long jumper or a three. She has attempted just two three-point shots her entire career and made none. Okay, so a three is not everyone’s specialty, but the inability to hit a shot just beyond the foul line is a glaring weakness that should be addressed before the start of the WNBA. It is hard to know if Jayne just does not practice a long jumper as she is best from scoring down low, or if the coaches don’t put her in a position to shoot that shot because she cannot hit it. Either way, she needs to add that weapon to her arsenal.

4. Where do you see her fitting on a WNBA roster. 5-10 years down the line, is she a perennial All-Star, a nice bench player on a good team or a good, solid WNBA post player that averaged 10-12 points and 6-8 rebounds per game?

That is a good question, one I have debated with many long time Stanford fans. Rather than looking at points, Jayne’s strengths for a team could be passing or her unselfishness in giving up shots to feed teammates, plus some intangibles like her shot-blocking ability, her smarts and her hustling plays listed in question 5. When it’s all said and done, I think she could be a solid post player.

5. What about Jayne has impressed you the most over her 4 years at Stanford?

Well, let’s start with her level of fearlessness. Her freshmen year, in her first game, a player drove the lane and Jayne blocked the heck out of her and the ball. The ball got swatted to the fifth row, and the player hit the floor. That player did not set a pinkie toe in the lane the rest of the night. That’s intimidation. Jayne’s not afraid to dive for loose balls, and at 6’4”, she has a long way to go to get to the floor. I have seen her do many smart things, too, that will not show up in a stat column. With the shot clock winding down for the opposing team, Jayne ran out from the low block to beyond the three-point line to stop a possible last second three-point attempt to get the short clock violation. Lastly, she is most impressive when she leads on fast breaks. Yes, the 6’4” center leads Stanford fast breaks. Sometimes she gets the rebound first, throws the outlet pass, and beats the other team and her teammates down court for the score. One time, after an opposing team basket, she inbounded the ball from out of bounds, yet beat the opposing team and teammates back to receive the pass and score a lay up! Impressive indeed. Wish we had her for another four years.

Email C and R to share your favorite Jayne memory and we can post some of them during the dead times between games. Make sure to tell us okay to post and we reserve the right to edit you, just not ourselves!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Round Two-Stanford vs. Iowa


Just crazy. The game between the Stanford Women’s Basketball team and Iowa in the second round of the NCAA tournament was just plain crazy. Ros raining threes, back door plays to Jayne and Nneka, 40 points in the first ten minutes, 61 points by half …nazi usher trying to chase everyone away… it was just crazy!

So, C and R have noticed all year long Stanford has a habit of playing to the other teams…I don’t know, tempo, strength? When Oregon pushes the ball and scores quickly, we like the energy and push the ball and score even more quickly. Iowa was a three-point specialist team, hitting 10 threes to down Rutgers. So we nailed threes like there was no tomorrow, and for seniors Ros Gold-Onwude and Jayne Appel, there was no tomorrow, this being their last game on Maples court ever.

Ros opened the game hitting a three, then she made 2, 3, 4 and 5 in a row in the first 10 minutes. Gotta be some kinda record. Iowa started out making threes as well, but when we kept matching them they got deflated. It was 40-18 in ten minutes. Stanford made their first 9 three point attempts before JJ Hones missed with 3:21 left in the half. Speaking of end of the half, it was 61-34, Stanford.

Ros would go on to shoot 9 of 13, making 7 of 9 three pointers. She did set a personal record, scoring 26. C and R thought her previous high had been 21 points, but we read it had been 19. Nneka Ogwumike added 23 points, and 16 points from Jayne and we cruised to a 96-67 victory. We appreciate Tara VanDerveer left Ros in so long to get her points, finally taking her out with about 7 minutes in the second half. Our third tree,  Kayla Pedersen, "only" added 11 points and we still have not heard why she is wearing the sleeve on her shooting elbow.

We thought Ros would be high scorer of the game, but Kachine Alexander for Iowa looked impressive, slashing inside and scoring on lay ups, a few of them on the reverse. She would end up with 27 points, her career-high. Even though Iowa was down by as much as 38 points, we thought they would go to more threes, but they passed up some open looks. If they had Oregon’s philosophy of scoring within seven seconds, perhaps they could have dug themselves out a bit. C and R also noted they did not press us in any configuration. Haven’t they studied their game film? Perhaps they thought they were not quick or tall enough to press us, but they were plenty quick on offense.

The game was fun with all the Stanford scoring and over 5,000 in attendance, definitely not a sell out. So not every seat had been sold, and there were empty sections. When people moved out of the small general admission seats to the empty sections, right next door, not the ones way down below, one usher chased them out, even though no paying customers showed up for those seats the whole game. Really, Stanford? Also saw one man try to bring in his stainless steel water bottle and was asked to store it against the wall. He was mad. Must not have seen our post about the orphaned water bottles.

After the game we met with our friends (who snuck in behind the basket, their usher must have been asleep or at least kind) in a sports bar no less, and we saw women’s basketball on the big screen. Lo and behold, Gonzaga beat Texas A& M. Gonzaga! We lovzes ya! Texas was the only team that could have given us fits in this bracket. And we beat Gonzaga earlier this year by 30! What a great night of women’s basketball!
We caught the final minutes of the team that we will play in the Sacramento Regional semifinals. Georgia “upset” Oklahoma State. Although in C’s book, a number 5 seed beating a number 4 seed is not that much of an upset. Speaking of seeds, C’s women’s basketball bracket is all shot to heck, and guess who leads our mini bracket group? R. She is insufferable when she is right. Perhaps because it happens so infrequently!

So Stanford plays Georgia in Sacramento. C and R are up for the road trip!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Round One-Stanford vs. UC Riverside

No surprise, number one seed Stanford beat number sixteen seed UC Riverside Saturday night 79-47.  Did you expect something else? Well, okay, I am sure you have been bombarded with the fact that the only number one seed to lose to a number sixteen seed in men’s or women’s basketball tournament history was, is, and ever shall be Stanford.

History did not repeat itself. Although UC Riverside made it close by hitting a couple of threes to make it 18-16 with about 12 minutes left. Then our beloved Nneka Ogwumike took over. Plus Jeanette Pohlen got some threes in there, too.

Wow, Nneka jumps high! Some of her rebounds were amazing. I know Brittney Griner can dunk and all, but she’s 6’8” with an 88” wingspan. Nneka’s only 6’2. Oh, BTW, Nneka, make those foul shots, girl!

What was up with Kayla Pedersen wearing a sleeve on her elbow? Is she hurt? Didn’t find any mention of it anywheres on that there Internet. She had a slow start and didn’t score a basket the whole first half. She finally made two free throws in the closing minutes of the first half for her first points. Being the consummate all-around player, she ended up with 15 for the game despite sitting out many minutes as part of Head Coach Tara VanDerveer’s plan to rest the starters.

So the game was fun, the house was packed with red, looked about 80% full, but man, the NCAA sure made the experience more difficult than it had to be. We (C and R, remember us?) entered in the game with two water bottles and the attendant said as long as the bottles were sealed and not open, we could take them inside.  We left the game to walk across the street for some (cheaper) dinner and brought back more sealed water bottles. Attendant number two said no one no how could bring in water, sealed or not. What? Of course we mistakenly entered through the player’s guest and family entrance the first time so maybe there are different rules for family members and other celebrities (yes, that was Jennifer Azzi we saw for the umpteenth time this year, as R had to grab C and point her out and say, “There’s Jennifer Azzi!” five times, three of which Jennifer Azzi heard.).

So when the second attendant said no water bottles, we protested we brought them in the first time, but the attendant was havin’ none of it. She finally pointed to the wall and said, “Look at all the water bottles I’ve confiscated.” And this is an “Only in Palo Alto” moment. Lined up against the wall were about thirty various water and sports bottles, mostly the stainless steel kind, Klean Kanteen, Sigg and the like, to reduce, reuse and recycle. The owners were clearly going to come back and get them after the game. So R chugs one of our disposable water bottles down (We know, bad planet-dwellers, slap on wrist) and we go around the corner. We have one water bottle left and outside food. Did she say anything about outside food? We don’t know.  And C’s tinkle bells! She has a baggie full of them, plus special ones she made for C and R’s special fans. C will be more upset if her tinkle bells get taken away then the food and water.

Soooo, we made it inside with the water bottle, bag of chips and a sandwich and all tinkle bells intact. We can’t tell you how we go them in, (plus R will be mad at C if she does tell) Geez, now C is paranoid for Monday’s game. They have probably passed out pictures of C and R to all the entrances to Maples, labeled rebel lawbreakers and water smugglers and oh, tinklers. And yes, sometimes our rebel water drinking leads us to excessive tinkling. (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

So we are in stupid Maples with our stupid contraband with our stupid $5 general admission tickets. Well, considering they are selling the very same tickets for $20 now, we don’t feel so stupid. We head upstairs for the general admission section. We thought it was all the seats up high without backs, but no, general admission seats are limited to one seat in the northeastern southwest section by the video tape cameras, and the third row from the top behind the band. Geez, we could not legally sit anywhere! Really, there were about four small sections we could sit in.

And to make matters worse, Iowa beat Rutgers and C picked Rutgers so her bracket is all messed up and R picked stupid Iowa and now she is ahead of me in the bracket contest and kept bragging all night. Although that was a good game, Iowa was spunky, and C loves spunky. Rutgers did not look impressive. Little number 24 for Iowa kept getting all the weak side rebounds as Rutgers did not rebound well.

OMG, we almost forgot to tell you the best part of the night. C went out at half time to meet some fans of the blog. Our Montana friend, N, and some of our girl’s basketball team were sitting with us, so R stayed to guard our seats. A wise move as there was only 6 general admission seats in the house. C met with them and gave them the special tinkle bells. In exchange, they made us cookies! Homemade snicker-doodle cinnamon thingies. They were great! (And how did THEY sneak them inside?) C and R and the girls ate them up, even the ones H knocked over and fell to the ground! Well, we figured five-second rule was in effect. So from now on, if you write in to C and R, you have to send cookies, too!

After the game (Sigh, no victory balls allowed) we said hi to Mr. Tinkle. C had to hide her shame for jinxing his Montana team by tuning in and causing them to lose. He remembered the girls and asked us how the season went. We shared that we lost in our tournament, too. Mrs. Tinkle had to go back to Montana and get on with life and laundry. Sorry we missed you again, Mrs. T. Joslyn played inspired and it is clear she likes playing at home. About those threes she missed, tell her to use her legs just a teeny bit more! Maybe we will see you in Sacramento!

Well, game Monday at 6:30 PM at Maples. We promise to eat and drink before we go inside. Scrappy Iowa won’t get as many rebounds against our trees. Then it’s off to Sacramento!

More Stanford Tournament Stuff at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Montana March Madness!

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I am so sorry. I am so sorry Montana Grizzlies! I wanted to know how your first round game against New Mexico was doing. I logged on and saw I could view your game live. When I got there, the score was 33-32, New Mexico They talked about that incredible first half Brian Qvale had. Then New Mexico scored 11 straight unanswered points. Arrgh. It’s all because I logged on. I’m sorry! I should have known better than to jinx it. I quickly turn off the live game tracker thing. After a long while, I check the scores and Montana was ousted 62-57. Sorry Head Coach Wayne Tinkle, and Joslyn’s dad, didn’t mean to jinx you! Although coming in as a number 14 seed and almost knocking off a number 3 seed is something to be proud of.

Remember when I said let’s play “Where’s Waldo” with the Sports Illustrated March Madness Cover? Well Super Fan TG won first prize. (Yeah, I didn’t even know we were having a contest, either). TG was able to find all seven, yes seven, of the women basketball players and could identify them. He claims there were more mascots and cheerleaders than women basketball players. Send your rants and raves to Sports Illustrated. So here they are in no particular order:

Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford-obviously)
Jasmine Dixon (UCLA)
Tiffany Hayes (UConn)
"Sugar" Rogers (Georgetown)
Kathleen Nash (Texas)
Liz Repella (West Virginia)
Amber Harris (Xavier)

Very Impressive.So I am sending him a “C and R” engraved Digital Key Chain courtesy of Whole Sale Key Chains dot com for his eye-strain.

Stanford’s First Round game is Saturday, 7:30 PM. Don’t forget to pick your women’s bracket.

Tinkle Time!

Aw, this is too cute. And yet Totally Cool at the same time. Stanford Freshman Joslyn Tinkle is preparing for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and her dad, Wayne Tinkle, as head coach of Montana, is preparing for the men’s tournament. The article hypothesizes this could be a first.

To make it cuter, Montana is playing down the road in San Jose Thursday (they, that’s tonight) and Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer let Montana practice at Stanford. Joslyn is going to the game, but had to get out of a final (no, she took it earlier, the student-athletes here at Stanford actually go to class and take tests). Wayne hopes to watch Stanford Saturday night.

Listening to the parents of the Stanford seniors talk after senior night, it is special for families to be able to watch their daughters play. Some parents can’t always make it. To have your dad, a busy head coach, hanging around for a couple of days and each getting to see their respective teams play is totally cool.

OMG, doing a little Google search about the father-daughter angle and discovered a husband-wife angle, also at Montana. Anthony Johnson and Shaunte Nance-Johnson are married and play for the Montana men’s and women’s teams, respectively. Hard working kids. Wayne says he totally understands what is basketball star is going through because he was dating his soon to be wife, basketball star Lisa McLeod, while playing for Montana. Almost makes you want to go live in Montana (maybe if Global Warming does away with all that snow).

C and R wish Head Coach Wayne Tinkle and his team Good Luck! We met him with our little girl’s team and he is wonderful!

More Stanford and Joslyn Tinkle stuff at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Awarding

Let’s see, what describes it best?
The Three Trees?
The Three Amigos?
The Three-Headed Beast? What is that thing called, a kraken? No, wait, make that Cerberus, that three-headed dog thing that guards Hades. Okay my kids and I were playing “Munchkin”, a dungeons-and-dragons-type game that makes fun of dungeons and dragons and although the game ended in tears (okay, they were mine), I did learn a lot of neat monster names. And how to lie, cheat and steal. So another fun and successful family night at C's house.

Oh, let’s just use the headline the article used, “Stanford’s Big Three were among 22 finalists for the Wooden Award”. The Wooden Award is given to the best women’s college basketball player. Stanford’s Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen and Nneka Ogwumike were the three, if you haven’t guessed by now. To paraphrase someone else, I forgot, they said most schools would “kill” to have even one center of this caliber and Stanford has three. And no other school had three finalists. Well, except UConn. But other than that…

Other Awards, these from the WBCA:
Stanford women's basketball head coach Tara VanDerveer was named Region Eight Coach of the Year. She is now in the running for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association  (WBCA) National Coach of the Year award. Boy, if she beats UConn, she’s a shoo-in.

Jayne Appel and Nneka Ogwumike were named Region Eight's All-America nominees. Not sure exactly what this means, but I think they are now eligible to be voted as all region winners or something. Sorry, haven’t heard of this award but know the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association is highly respected. Here are the other nomionees.

Did you see the “Where’s Waldo” Sports Illustrated Cover for March Madness? One of four or five covers that feature a men’s college basketball player up front with someone from every men’s school that is in the tournament in the background. If you look really hard, you can see some women players in there, too. Not sure if they tried to get a women from each school, too. Got that Gator cheerleader, though. Anyway, test your eyes and see if you can find Nneka Ogwumike.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Are you Smarter than C and R?

It’s your turn…  well, okay; it’s really the women’s turn! The Women’s NCAA Basketball Bracket is out! Let’s just find out how much you know about women’s basketball. Women’s Talk Sports is sponsoring a contest to pick the winners. Test yourself against C and R (and other Women Talk Sports members). Pick your bracket and win prizes! Yes, prizes!

BTW,  we receive no money for endorsing this website and bracket, just good clean fun. (Although we fully expect to reap the prizes!)

Last year C was in the early lead in the early rounds with her picks. Then R came roaring back and won. And she hasn’t shut up about it since. So please, please join the WTS group and out dual R and make her behave!

Join the WomenTalkSports group for the Bracket Challenge! Here's how:
  1. Check out NCAA Games and create a user account. (name, password)
  2. Click here to head to the Women's Basketball Bracket page. (or go to D-1 Women’s basketball-picks)
  3. Navigate to “Join a Group”- Join the WomenTalkSports group by entering:
group name: WomenTalkSports
password: womentalksports

It's as simple as that, but will be loads of fun as WTS will be giving away random prizes throughout the tournament and a grand prize for the winner of our bracket challenge!

Join and complete the bracket by SATURDAY, MARCH 20TH. Tell your family and friends to join!
Email me if you have problems-- it was a little challenging for me to sign up. I am listed as “Stanford.C” and R is “Stanford.R” Unoriginal I know, but this way you will know who is crushing you!

Sign up Today!

Stanford vs. UCLA-- PAC-10 Championship Game

We run into some UCLA fans in the bar (hey, it was the only place near the arena open for lunch). They say they heard UCLA’s Jasmine Dixon was hurt. That she got hurt in the semi-final game against USC. C and R look at each other. Maybe they are trying to give us false hope.

All C and R can say is if she was hurt, we would hate to see her at full strength. The Stanford Women’s Basketball team led the game against UCLA wire to wire, but it was Jasmine Dixon that impressed. She was everywhere on the court. She would drive in to the basket and try to draw a foul and when Stanford would play off her to prevent her drive, she would pull up for a jumper and make it. She also was everywhere on the defensive side of the court.

The only way we could stop her was when she went to the bench. Luckily for us, she did early and often in the first half. What was UCLA Head and PAC-10 Coach of the Year Nikki Caldwell thinking?

C and R were sitting with a mixed crowd (meaning we were near Stanford and UCLA fans) and our section had fun theorizing why Dixon was not in more. Was she really injured? Was it her foul trouble? (She would eventually foul out of the game in the second half) Was it to give us a false sense of confidence?

One of our faithful readers had a great theory that Jasmine was tired from yesterday’s game and they were resting her a lot in the first half so she would still be fresh for a second half charge. Boy, that was a good theory.

Speaking of the half, we were leading 36-19 after 20 minutes. Can you say “Defensive Battle”? Can you say, "Stanford make your lay-ups for crying out loud?" Good. UCLA kept us on our toes by a half court trap and occasionally a full court press. In breaking the half court trap, as long as we did not panic and remembered we can dribble out of two people guarding us, we did fine.

As for UCLA’s full court press, we could break it but it would take us 15 seconds of the 30-second shot clock. Stanford fans, let’s flash back to 2008’s National Title game when Stanford played against Tennessee (you know, the one that was Candice Wiggins’ last game-- Oh, we just like remembering her!). No, really, we have a point.

At that time, Nikki Caldwell was an assistant coach for Tennessee. She noticed that the strength of Stanford’s offensive was their passing and going through set “reads”. If you are open, you shoot; otherwise you pass to the next player. Pass to the wing, pass to the three point shooter, pass to the high post, wait for the guard to come around the horn of Africa and hand off, back to teh wing… you get the idea. Stanford would be very patient and disciplined and pass until they wore down the defensive and would find a shooter open and shoot. This would take 20-25 seconds of the 30-second shot clock. If you covered that shooter the next time down, Stanford would have another option waiting. It was hard to defend.

So Nikki said, “Let’s take away their strength”, which is using the clock. So Tennessee pressed us and harassed us in the backcourt. Even if we broke the press and got the ball across the half court line, we had used 15 seconds of clock. As we went to our passes and “reads,” we would run out of time and would have to take a hurried shot. We looked disjointed on offensive, never found our rhythm and lost the game.

Well, flash forward to the second half of this game and UCLA comes out in a full court press. We don’t panic as much as we used to and get the ball across half court, right at the 15-second mark. Except this time we have our secret weapon, Nneka Ogwumike. We can just pass it to her down low and she can create and score within 5 seconds. Or else Kayla Pedersen can get the ball and pull up for a three or drive in, all within 5 seconds. Ha, we are not so one-dimensional anymore, are we?

Oh, with UCLA pressing, Tara decided to insert guard Melanie Murphy into the game for her ball handling skills and she did great, and contributed 10 points. Hopefully her knee is up to the challenge of more minutes.
So when we saw UCLA open teh second half with the full court press and Jasmine Dixon playing hard, we thought the prophecy that UCLA was saving Dixon to make an energetic charge was going to come to fruition. But we broke it and scored easily. When Dixon got her fourth foul and went to the bench, no one from UCLA really stepped up scoring-wise, and when she fouled out, that’s all she wrote. (Except for us, we keep writing). The outcome was never in doubt and the final score was 70-46.

One thing we did admire is that UCLA did not give up on their aggressiveness in the closing minutes. They went hard after the Stanford players, and if we got a defensive rebound, they attacked us, a few times slamming down hard on the ball to knock it away. So much so that Stanford Coach Tara Van Derveer said UCLA “took rebounds out of our hands”. She feels we still need some work, to put it mildly.
Nikki Caldwell said she liked when her team was “aggressive and disruptive”, but they did not keep it up for 40 full minutes. C and R are sure in she will correct that in a year or two.

We do want to mention that we thought we had better refs for this game at least more fouls were (rightfully) called. UCLA had two players foul out in the second half, and Jayne Appel was in danger with 4 and Nneka had 3. The UCLA players, in their defense, were playing very aggressively when they fouled.

Now on to the accolades. First of all, we are the first women’s PAC-10 team to go undefeated in PAC-10 play (18-0) and undefeated in the PAC-10 tournament. We were 21-0 during that stretch. Nneka Ogwumike scored 59 total tournament points and was named the tournament MVP. She was the fifth player to be named league MVP and tournament MVP. Kalya Pedersen and Jayne Appel were named to the PAC-10 tournament team.

Incidentally, Swish Appeal has been reviewing women’s basketball teams in preview of the NCAA tournament. Here is one quote about Stanford’s trio of trees.

“Most schools would kill to have one post player as good as any of Stanford's. The fact that Stanford is sitting on three of them is mind-boggling… In case that wasn't enough, they have the co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Pac-10 in senior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude.”

She forgot to mention Chiney Ogwumike coming in next year… hee hee.

Anyway, Congratulations to Stanford! Enjoy your Monday and look for the women’s bracket!

More Stanford Stuff at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14 and a half, or is it the 15th? --Almost Done

Sorry, little bleary-eyed this morning getting back from LA. Busy fixing typos from previous posts done from the back seat of bouncy taxicabs, although we tried to avoid them as much as we could. You know that song “Walking in LA”, with the line “No One Walks in LA”? Well, C and R did walk a lot in LA and risked our lives several times using cross walks. And to get to our hotel, the light for the crosswalk took five minutes. No lie!

Must admit as we walked around USC’s campus, it was so clean and well manicured. Very impressive. Wonder if any of the teams stayed on campus to save money? The weather was perfect, and if there was smog, we certainly couldn’t see any in our little corner of LA.

Anyhoo, will post story on the Championship game soon. Got to get that story out because I need to do laundry and at 3 PM today they are posting the Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament Brackets! (No, we have no idea if that is East Coast time or not--we could barely figure out the whole day light savings time thing.)

Oh, Women Talk Sports is supposed to be getting a women’s bracket up and I think fans can participate so you can play just like the followers of the men’s brackets and might be possible to win prizes but don’t quote me on any of that. (And who ever does!)

Okay, now I have to go change my many clocks, too.

Quick Notes From LA

A quick hello again from LA where we have no idea what time it is! Daylight Savings happened sometime last night and although we remember “Spring Forward, Fall Back”, that means the clocks…, we don’t know. All we know is the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team plays in the PAC-10 Tournament Championship Game today at 3 PM. Let’s hope we can figure out what time it is before then. Meanwhile we are going to Fat Burger for breakfast and or lunch.

Stanford plays UCLA today, the best team that has a chance to upset Stanford. Although UCLA played in a spirited semi-final game against USC and won, C and R are hoping they will be emotionally and physically drained.

In other news, we checked up on the news about Cal’s Alexis Gray Lawson. She went down hard on the court in the game against Stanford in their semi final game and was taken off by stretcher. Cal’s coach, Joanne Boyle, visited Gray-Lawson in the hospital after the game and said she was joking, talking and having "normal" conversations with everyone. Good to hear, hope she can go home today.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stanford Beats Cal For a Third Time

Hello from LA, CA! C and R here reporting from the Galen Center on USC’s campus, flying in just in time to see the Stanford Women’s Basketball team play Cal (again) in the semi-finals of the PAC-10 tournament. The neat thing about being here (and not watching it on TV) is all the friends we are making!

We want to give a special shout out to D and C, our delightful friends from CAL! Yes, that’s right, they were Cal fans but sat next to us and were a lot of fun. C, the new one, is from Ohio, just like original C, so Original C said we would say hi to them in the blog. Hope they know how to use a computer! (boom-roasted!)

Okay, next order of business, we want to assuage your worries, C and or R were not the fan that was almost kicked out of the game. Repeat, C and R were not kicked out, and no one bothered us about our tinkle bells for Joslyn Tinkle.

So let’s back up a bit. Stanford was beating Cal handily, thanks to Jayne Appel’s appearance and no thanks to the bad refereeing. Two of the refs we recognized from previous Stanford games, and we were not fans of them then. They didn’t make any friends in this game, either. They certainly “Let Them Play” and there was a lot of rough pushing and fouls not called.

Jayne came in around the 14 minute mark of the first half and Stanford just feels better having her there. With her still bum ankle, she looked like she was limping and it affected her ability to jump. When the pushing and non-calls were getting out of hand, we watched Jayne get shoved to the ground out of bounds on a rebound under Cal’s basket, and no call. Coach Tara VanDerveer had seen enough and took her out in the final two minutes of the half to protect her. The score was 29-17 at the time, and we never looked back. We used our tenacious D and a Nneka Ogwumike catch and release shot in the final seconds to take a 35-19 lead into the half.

At the start of the second half, Cal tried a full court press and although it gave us fits at times, we figured it out pretty quickly. And hats off to Tara VanDerveer for not being complacent, as she whipped out a Stanford half court trap we have only seen once this year. It only lasted for a few minutes, though, as Kayla Pedersen got called for a reach in foul going in for a steal and a charging foul after our trap stole it and she was trying to get a fast break off the steal. Enough of that said Tara.

There was a very scary moment right before the 5 minute mark in the second half. Stanford was up 56-32. Michelle Harrison blocked Cal’s Alexis Gray Lawson and she hit the deck. Stanford grabbed the rebound and hustled down the court while Alexis lay motionless on the floor. Play keep continuing and the refs did not stop play for an injured player.

Now, it is unclear to C and R of the refs have discretion to stop play whenever a player goes down or if they have to wait for a dead ball to check on the injured player. Or if they just didn’t know she was laying back there in the back court. So the game continued on for 12 seconds until there was a break in the action and the refs finally called an official time out to check on Alexis.

Sooo, from the fans point of view, the refs were either heartless or clueless.

Soooo, as the medical crew was checking on Alexis and both teams were huddled by their benches and it was very, very quiet in the building, a female fan (not us) yelled, “You refs are stupid!” That’s it, one sentence, no curse words, no badgering. Unfortunately, the lady ref we don’t like heard her and said, “I heard you call me stupid.”

Sooooooo, the ref, let’s cal her Melissa, called over security and wanted the fan thrown out. Two big guys went to the section and were unsure what to do, who was it, was it that bad, was it this little old lady, so they just told the section to be quiet. The ref kept wanted someone thrown out and the staff didn’t want to throw anybody out. The fan seemed pretty pacified by this point. (BTW, if you know who that fan is, please email us so we can buy her an adult beverage!)

Sooooooooooo, then, as that drama was going on, the camera crew (remember, the game was actually televised) got a cameraman to bring his camera on the court and got about three feet from where Alexis lay motionless. Fans started yelling to get the camera man out of there. Then many jokes ensued about getting kicked out of the game for yelling and then one person in the crowd said, “Boo to the camera man“, so then the rest of the crowd started to just boo. So the Cal huddle looks at the stands and probably thinks we are booing Alexis on the floor. Finally they get Alexis stabilized on a back board and take her away in a stretcher to the waiting ambulance. The crowd stood, as well as the Stanford bench, as she left.

We found out later she fell on her neck and shoulder and they are going to keep her in the hospital over night for observation but she should be okay. We wish her well.

Stanford would go on to win by 20, 64-44, same margin as last time.

Well, been a long but fun day. C and R signing off. See ya tomorrow from LA.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stanford Vs. Arizona in the PAC-10 Tourney

So the Stanford Women’s Basketball team takes the floor against Arizona for their first PAC-10 tournament game. No Jayne Appel, of course, still bum ankle, so Joslyn Tinkle starts. Then, we lose the jump ball. We NEVER lose the jump ball. So much so that C has a superstition if we lose the jump ball, we will lose the game. Not sure how scientific it is, but C is nervous.

For the first three minutes or so we offensively try to work it inside to Tinkle standing in Jayne Appel’s spot in the low post, but she is still a freshmen and is not able to drive aggressively to the basket as Jayne does so effortlessly. Tinkle does pass quickly and seems to be on par with Jayne’s court vision and ability to assist. Unfortunately, Stanford is cold, cold, cold and missing everything. Our top scorer, Nneka Ogwumike, is especially missing everything. Is she too tight?

At the first media time out, they announce they will show senior tributes to the seniors playing in their last games. Stanford goes first and of course they lead off with Jayne, who is not playing this game. She mentioned it was neat to travel to the PAC-10 schools and loved the history of playing on their courts. Then they show Ros Gold-Onwude. RGO was aware how as a student-athlete kids looked up to her and was always amazed little kids wanted her autograph. Well, that was C and R’s little girl’s basketball team most of this year!

Back to live action, Tinkle sets a nice screen to free Jeanette Pohlen for her second three and we go up 10-5. Now Michelle Harrison comes in for Tinkle and C and R like having the fifth year veteran in there. JJ Hones comes in at 11-minute mark, in what is still a low scoring game. Stanford is up 12-7. Lindy LaRoque gets into the game, too, and C and R are glad to see  Head Coach Tara Van Derveer using her bench to give rest to the veterans and experience to her second string. Lindy gets to experience fouling Arizona, too. Mel Murphy gets in as well and we almost didn’t recognize her, as she does not have her black tights.

Arizona’s Ify Ibekwe and Nneka are guarding each other, each being the other’s dopple ganger. Then it looks like our Nneka is going top take over the game like she did with Cal but it is their Nneka, Iky Ibekwe, who takes over.

Then our Nneka says, “Oh not you don’t” and tries to match her baskets. But Kayla Pedersen says, “Don’t forget about me, ladies,” and gets a hot hand. Those three will score most of the points in the first half.

At the half, Nneka has 15, and their Nneka has 15 points. Kayla has 6 and Jeanette Pohlen says, “Don’t discount the three”, going 4-6 from behind the line and she has 9. So with the score 34-24 at the half, oh, don’t make me do math… Those four players have combined for 45 of the 58 points scored.

When the second half starts, Nneka gets her second personal foul at the 16:45 mark but credit to Tara for leaving her in the game instead of yanking her out. She knows how important she is to us offensively. Nneka later drains 2 free throws and Nneka is 100% from the free throw line, 7-7 with just under 15 minutes left. The PAC-10 tournament record is 11 made, attempts are 13 and Nicole Powell has the free throw percentage record of 100% (8-8).

As we are contemplating records, Arizona gets a three and are within 3 with 13:27 left. The score is 43-40. What the heck happened? Must have been losing that jump ball in the beginning of the game.

OMG then Tara must be nervous because Jayne Appel comes in the game! We have been told all week long she would not play in this game, or practically any game in this tournament, yet one little scare and there she is. Tara needn’t have worried as we drain 2 three-pointers and are back to up by 9. Tara would say later in the post-game press conference that having Jayne relaxed us (and her). No doubt, Jayne is our emotional leader.

Their Nneka scores a basket around the 6 and a half minute mark and C and R realize it is her first points in the second half. Wow, great D on her, Stanford. She would end up with 18 for the game, after 15 in the first, with no one else from her team getting into double digits. Hard to win if you don’t have a supporting cast.

Our Nneka is fouled at the 5:02 mark. Oh goodie! With Stanford firmly in control of the score again (58-46), we can concentrate on her record, or attempt of being a perfect 8-8 from the line to tie Nicole Powell’s record. She is now 7-7. She was fouled as she made her basket, so she gets one attempt to tie. She lets go… She misses! Arrgh!

Jayne looks ragged, not jumping much for rebounds or a lay-up. She would get fouled several times going to the basket. She would score 7 points and comes out after 10 minutes when we have a 13-point lead. She did give us the confidence we needed, though.

Nneka makes two more free throws now that the record is no longer there. She would end up 9-10 on free throws. The tournament record is 11 made. Maybe next game. Nneka did end up with 25 points for the game, than Jeanette with 15 and Kayla with 11.

Our subs come in and we go on to win 72-52. But the game was closer than it needed to be. Tara said her the post game press conference that we need to play better if we want win in the PAC-10 Championship. She’s not one to sugarcoat things, is she?

Next up is a repeat with Cal. This time Jayne Appel will be in the mix!

More Stanford Goodies at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

News From the Pac-10 Tournament-Friday

First of all, if you can’t make it down to LA, you can see it LIVE and FREE on the Internet, courtesy of CBS Sports at this link. You can even get the audio. Class act to help generate and keep interest.
It was sad to see so many empty seats on Friday, especially during the Cal vs. Arizona State game (of course, the games did take place during the day, so maybe it would have been that unpopulated if the games where in the Bay Area).

Stanford will be playing Arizona today, which survived a squeaker against Washington State. And why oh why did Arizona's star, Ify Ibekwe, sit out most of the first half? The team said unspecified punishment. Did she get caught sneaking out after hours? Will she sit during the Stanford Women's Basketball game?

In the Cal vs. Arizona State game earlier on Friday, Cal's Rachelle Federico got a flagrant foul call and was ejected. Will she have to miss the next game, too? Coach Joanne Boyle said she was just trying to clear space. Uh Oh, sound familiar? (Similar situation with Jayne Appel) Cal seemed a little stale after that the Technical. Cal hangs on to beat ASU 60-50. It was close for most of the game, so we will see Cal on Saturday, provided we get by Arizona today. More later…. C and R

More Stanford Coverage at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Stanford PAC-10 Honors (We think)

Okay, so remember how C and R reported that Nneka Ogwumike won the PAC-10 Player of the Year Award? And four Stanford starters, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen, and Jeanette Pohlen made the All PAC-10 team and Ros Gold-Onwude made the five-member All-Defensive team? ‘Member? Well, that was the PAC-10 MEDIA awards, as voted on by “Select” members of the media, and no, as far as C and R know, garden-variety bloggers were not invited. So, did that not count as the real thing? We don’t know, but the “Real” PAC-10 Awards were announced today, as voted on by the PAC-10 coaches. Guess what, they are almost identical to the media awards with the notable exception they gave out rookie awards and Joslyn Tinkle got an honorable mention. So then… why have the two? Either have it be all coaches, or have it be coaches and media combined, but don’t have two separate awards that are so very similar. Anyway, that’s C and R’s opinion.

Or, on second thought, why not get the bloggers involved. C and R vote the “Purple and Blue Award” for Jayne’s ankle. Wait, strike that, instead we would hand out an award for “The Most Talked About Ankle in PAC-10 History”, winner, Jayne Appel’s. (As of this press time, she will not play in the early rounds of the PAC-10 tourney). Or “The Team with the Most Player Who Cannot Legally Vote?” I think Cal has a couple of 17 year olds. Oregon wins “Most Shots in Seven Seconds or Under”. And we want to see more of this team and coach, and we would have voted Paul Westhead Coach of the Year for the remarkable turn around he did with that team. We heard the rap on him was that his team did not finish “High” enough in the wins column to get Coach of the Year Honors.

Okay, here are the coaches’ PAC-10 awards:
All PAC-10 team: Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen, and Jeanette Pohlen (Ros Gold Onwude received an honorable mention)
All Freshmen Team Honorable mention, Joslyn Tinkle
All Defensive Team: Ros Gold-Onwude (Kayla Pedersen received an honorable mention)
These awards were announced Wednesday. The Pac-10 Player of the Year, Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year as voted on by the head coaches will be announced on Thursday, March 11. (!!!)

So today they announced the PAC-10 Individual Awards:
Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike won the PAC-10 Player of the Year
USC’s Gilbreath and Stanford’s Gold-Onwude named PAC-10 Co-Defensive Player of the year.
UCLA’s Nikki Caldwell voted PAC-10 Coach of the Year

Okay, we don’t get this either. Why announce some of the PAC-10 coaches’ awards and save some for another day? We give up!

Well, congratulations to Nneka for being PAC-10 player of the year, again, and to Ros Gold Onwude for being co-defender of the year. Next year we will just wait until April to announce awards.

Oh wait, as long as we are talking about awards, our number one recruit who will play Stanford Women’s basketball next year, Chiney Ogwumike, and Nneka’s sister, also won an award. Chiney Ogwumike was named National Player of the Year. As in the whole darn country. She finished her high school career leading her team to a second Class 5A Basketball Championship in three years.

Chiney has played in the state tournament all four years she has been at her high school, Cypress Fairbanks in Houston, Texas. In the title game this year she had 31 points, 18 rebounds, seven steals and three blocks. She didn’t have a turnover and dominated the game in every way possible. She was also the tournament’s MVP.

Oh boy, can’t wait until next year! Wonder who will win what?

More Stanford Stuff (but Not PAC-10-okay some PAC-10 stuff) at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stanford Odds and Ends

Well, what a week. First of all, the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team is the top seed in this weekend’s PAC-10 tournament (no surprise there). They play the winner of the Arizona-Washington State game on Friday.

Then the PAC-10 Awards came out. Stanford’s very own Nneka Ogwumike was named the PAC-10 Player of the Year. Congratulations, Nneka, and you deserved it. You took your good game and elevated it (pun intended) to the next level. When you wanted to free lance and get to the basket and score, you could almost at will. And congrats to Head Coach Tara VanDeveer, although she didn’t win the Pac-10 coach of the year award (UCLA’s Nikki Caldwell did, a Pat Summit product), Tara recognized what she needed to do to her program to let Nneka be successful (meaning not boxing her in to a rigid offensive set) and even sacrificed Jayne Appel’s role slightly to accommodate what Nneka does best. Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks?

There were several PAC-10 teams. The a 15-member All PAC-10 team featured four Stanford starters, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen, and Jeanette Pohlen. 

Our fifth starter, Ros Gold-Onwude made the five-member All-Defensive team. Not a bad line up.

Other Stuff:
Jayne Appel’s ankle is still sore and she is questionable for the PAC-10 tournament.

Got a lot of nice responses to our piece by Riki Sorenson (aka Erica Mueser Sorenson '87). We hope others will prepare a little something to tell us what it was like before and after Tara VanDerveer came out west. Our number one fan (NOF) wrote that they still give out the “Lizard Lung” award to the most gullible freshmen. Sarah Boothe won it last year, awarded by the prior winner, Jeanette Pohlen. Our NOF also told us she couldn’t make it down to LA and had free tickets to the PAC-10 tournament and did C and R want to us them? We nearly tripped over each other trying to get to the computer fast enough to say yes, cats flying out of our way. Thanks, and now our NOF is now our Ultra NOF! We will do our best to report/observe/stalk all things Stanford. Hope I can get an Internet connection in LA. You know how backwards they are down south!

Other Basketball Stuff Not Stanford.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the UConn’s women’s basketball history-breaking streak. UConn beat Notre Dame, ranked either 6th or 7th depending on what poll you have. It was there 71st consecutive victory, an NCAA record. They beat the streak of 70 held by the 2001-3 UConn team. Is it correct that this class of sophomores have never lost a college game?

So let’s talk about the all time record in college basketball, men’s or women’s, the UCLA men’s 88 game record, set in the 1970’s, is the penultimate record to chase now. Can UConn get there? Well, we hope Stanford can beat them in the NCAA tournament this year. There is a ray of hope. Notre Dame played UConn three times this season. The first time ND lost 70-46 in January, then lost 76-51 in the beginning of March, now they ONLY lost 59-44. For this game, Notre Dame kept it close for a half. Sound familiar Stanford fans? An UConn fan wrote the streak was wearing on the team a little, the team looked tired, Maya Moore looked tired, had no legs…hmmm, upset coming? UConn got a scare when Caroline Doty suffered a head injury in that game, and although played the next game, she only scored 1 point in 16 minutes. UConn won that, too, to win the BIG East championship and push the streak to 72 games. Maya Moore and Tina Charles each had an off night, so the score was only 60-32, UConn. Hmmm…maybe upset not coming!
Pac-10 tourney starts tomorrow.

Stanford plays Friday. Hope Jayne’s ankle had miraculously healed by then.

More Stanford Stuff, (but not UConn) at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog