Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stanford vs Utah

Yes, yes, yes, we knew former Stanford women’s basketball player Michelle Harrison is now playing on the Utah women’s basketball team, thanks to all who wrote, it’s just been a busy end of the week and C and R didn’t get time to write!

So, Michelle Harrison, who has a special place in C’s heart because she studied art at Stanford and C studied art in… palookaville, and Michelle played college basketball for Stanford and went with them to the final four several times and C played college basketball for her intramural team which won the championship trophy T-Shirt her freshmen year, and Michelle was a three time letter winner in golf in high school and C once got a par, so yes, you can see they have a lot in common. The similarities are endless! Hee hee.

No wait, let’s start again. Michelle Harrison played high school ball in the Provo area, and was much heralded and recruited locally. She chose Stanford in 2006, but blew out her ACL in the early part of the season in 2007 and then sat out. Spent 2008-2010 with Stanford, had an incredible ride, and last year was part of the Stanford team to beat Utah 60-41.

Now fast forward to the 2010-11 season. Michelle had to apply for a waiver from the NCAA to get one more year of eligibility, and she won, but Stanford had two other fifth year players returning and new recruits coming, so she was the odd man out. She has no hard feelings and still likes and respected Stanford head basketball coach Tara VanDerveer immensely. She even keeps in contact with some of her former teammates. But she had this year of eligibility left, and was still working on her masters of arts so… she contacted Utah, a school that recruited her heavily and said was there a place for her? And they said, “Come on down!”

Having a player with four years of coaching from a high level coach like VanDerveer, and a teaching coach to boot, it was like get a player and assistant coach all rolled in to one. With the added advantage Michelle knows how to win and what it takes to create a winning environment. We are sure she is going to be a tremendous asset to Utah. How cool!

And it paid off early on with a game against Stanford Friday night. Oh, the scoreboard will tell you Stanford won 62-53, but for Utah, they won a huge moral victory. They came within a point in the second half, and rebounded and played defense well, holding Stanford to 23 first half points. (Unfortunately Utah only got 15 first half points themselves) Michelley scored 14 points against her former teammates.

But wait, this is a Stanford Women’s Basketball Blog, not Utah’s so let’s get back to basics. Jeanette Pohlen led Stanford with 19, followed closely by Kayla Pedersen with 13 and Chiney Ogwumike with 12. Stanford was able to score or get fouled nearly every time they threw the ball inside in the second half, and C and R like that game plan.

And big sis Nneka Ogwumike was sorely missed, sitting out the game with a very vague “ankle injury”. The official Stanford website called it an “undisclosed medical problem”. Hmmm, C and R are skeptical, after the whole Jayne Appel “sprained-ankle-but-really-a-painful-stress-fracture-gate” at the end of last season. Let’s hope it is nothing serious.

We wish we had more to report about the actual game itself, but since it was not televised in our area, we didn’t see it. So of course we get an email first thing this morning saying, “Did you see the game?!” And "what the hecka is wrong with Nneka?" (Okay, the joke came from our bball friends, but they like Cal, so we are stealing the joke and giving no credit).

And how did they see the game? R actually called Comcast, our stupid cable company to see if we could get the “Mountain Channel” or whatever the channel was that supposedly had the Utah-Stanford game but Comcast said we don’t get it. And the next game against Gonzaga also is listed as being on TV, but Comcast said you could only get it if you have a HD-3D TV! C has HD, but they said no, it is only broadcast to the Sony HD-3D TV sets?! What? Someone, please help C and R and tell us if that game is televised or not? And they shouldn’t advertise the game is on TV if it is a channel no one gets! Or else we will start advertising fictitious games on our C and R channel. Sorry, we’re a little cranky.

Anyway, a win is a win for Stanford. Best of luck to Michelle for the rest of the season, but we are on a mission, and we need to get Nneka healed before… UConn!!

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