Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jayne Appel's Debut

C and R’s favorite ex-Stanford player, Jayne Appel made her WNBA debut this weekend, playing for the San Antonio Silver Stars. Well, it was really Friday, May 28th.  She played 2 and a half minutes and had one assist to help tie the game. We think assists will be a big part of her WNBA game in the future. Unfortunately, San Antonio would go on to lose to ex-Stanford Nicole Powell’s new team, the New York Liberty.

In Jayne’s second game with the Silver Stars, played on Sunday, she scored 2 points in 13 plus minutes. Let’s hope she sees more minutes and sinks more shots.

We know, we know, not great numbers, but she is coming off a debilitating injury and at least she is in the WNBA. All the Cal players got cut, (Alexis Gray Lawson, Devanei Hampton, Ashley Walker) as well as Ashley and Courtney Paris. Courtney Paris, a perennial all-American, holds the 2009 single season rebounding record, single season and career double doubles, and consecutive games with a double double, among other records. She only lasted a year in the WNBA. So hats off to Jayne.

She also wrote a great article about what it was like in the whirl-wind days following the loss to UConn in the title game and becoming a pro basketball player. And did you know Jayne is now wearing number 32 instead of her Stanford 2?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

National Title(s)

Congratulations to Stanford Women’s Tennis and their National Championship! They also keep alive the most prestigious streak in college sports, the National Title Streak. It seems that every year since 1976-7, Stanford has won at least one National Title in a sport, men’s or women’s. Actually, 97 National Titles were won in that 33-year time frame (women’s basketball had two of those 97). And this year it looked like the streak was in jeopardy. Here it was, the end of May, and none of Stanford’s sports team had won a title. Oh, there were four runners up, men’s gymnastics, women soccer, women’s swimming, and, of course the focus of this blog, women’s basketball. But along came tennis sisters freshmen Mallory Burdette and senior Lindsey Burdette, who both won their matches and contributed to the team tennis win. Hmm, freshmen Chiney Ogwumike and junior Nneka Ogwumike are sisters that will be playing on the same Stanford women’s basketball team next year….

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

WNBA Weekend

A lot happened over the weekend; R celebrated her birthday and the WNBA started its season.

The Candice-less Minnesota Lynx won, and Jayne Appel’s San Antonio Spurts lost. Neither former Stanford players played, mind you, due to injuries. Candice Wiggins is recovering from knee surgery and Jayne Apple is still healing the stress fracture in her foot. The other two former Stanford players in the WNBA did play. Nicole Powell scored 11 points and helped the New York Liberty to a victory and Brooke Smith of the Phoenix Mercury played four minutes and did not score.

The new team in the WNBA, the Tulsa Shock opened to a sell out crowd of 8,000. Seattle Storm had a sell out of 9,686. Wow, glad to see the sellouts and the support in Oklahoma. C and R weren’t sure if women’s basketball would get a lot of support down there. We hope it keeps up. I know coach Nolan Richardson has a lot of support from his coaching stint of the men’s team at the University of Arkansas, and there is the curiosity factor of ex-sprinter Marion Jones on the team (she played four minutes in the opening game and did not score).

Wish we could report we are on our way to see a WNBA game, but with the Sacramento Monarchs gone, it will be a hard stretch for us to see a game. (BTW did you see Joe Maloof’s bizarre plan to beg the WNBA for the Sacramento Monarchs back? When pigs fly). Might have to travel to LA to see a game.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What did JJ Do? Golf Cart. Alcohol. Police. Need we say more?

Well, yes we need to say more! Right now C and R don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

All year long the funniest stories told by the Stanford women’s basketball team involved a golf cart. They hold a special place in the hearts of the players. See, you get a golf cart when you have a knee injury. Mel Murphy had one Jeanette Pohlen’s freshmen year and she remembers the hijinks that ensued.  JJ Hones has torn her ACL so many times Stanford probably has a golf cart with her name engraved on it.

So…..JJ recently had knee surgery again and Stanford gave her a golf cart. Then in the early hours of May 2, she was driving her golf cart recklessly while drunk and the campus police asked her to stop. So she tried to evade them. In her golf cart. While DUI….This would be really, really funny, except she was drinking and she was arrested and booked for driving under the influence, reckless driving, evading a police officer and resisting arrest. Serious charges. Trying to evade police in a golf cart? And JJ is supposed to be Stanford educated! She was booked into the Santa Clara County jail (right by R’s house, we could have brought her some cookies) and released on bond. Then Tara VanDerveer dismissed her from the team.

I’m sorry (C writing here), it appears C and R are being flip and I guess we are, I mean I can remember all the dumb, hilariously-stupid things I did in high school and college, and I can totally picture the event with the golf cart, just I never caught! But JJ did get caught and this has serious consequences for the young lady. She is also a role model for those who follow women’s basketball, and drinking and driving is never funny (I believe JJ is over 21 and legally allowed to drink alcohol).

First and foremost in my mind is does this affect her scholarship for next year? Does she now have to pay her way through school? And if so, might she not come back next year for her academics? Also, she was rehabbing her knee and I am sure using the Stanford facilities to help with that. Is that all lost to her as well? Will this affect her recovery?

Two, this stupid college maneuver and getting kicked off the team is now in the headlines nationwide (BTW, thanks to our intrepid fans who first found this breaking story and forwarded it to us). This is just so embarrassing for the young lady. Think of your most embarrassing moment. Would you like it published all over the Internet? Such a sad ending for a great player who always gave it her all.

We hope she is not cast adrift in her rehabilitation and isolated from her support network, especially now when she needs it the most.

What Did JJ Do?

Stanford point guard JJ Hones has been “dismissed from the Stanford women's basketball team due to a violation of team rules”, head coach Tara VanDerveer announced Monday.

What?!? C and R have been frantically searching the Internet to see just what the heck happened and so far come up with nothing.

Jake Curtis of the Examiner surmised that with her off-season surgery she wouldn’t be back until late December and probably wouldn’t be full strength until Jan or Feb, so therefore would miss most of the season. If he is thinking Tara wants to free up that spot for someone else, then we think Tara would have said just that to JJ. She is not one to play games and would have more respect of her players. And the brief articles we are finding say she violated team rules.

The Palo Alto Daily Online tried to be more in depth and dug up the last person booted off Tara’s team. They reported that Tanda Rucker was the last one (and perhaps the only other one?) booted off in 1993. She had played on Stanford’s 1992 championship team. The reason she was kicked off the team was for theft. Hmm. Are they trying to make JJ guilty by association?

Michelle Smith, intrepid reporter, called Tara on the phone for a quote. Tara said, “No comment.”

Anyone know any more email C and R right away!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jennifer Azzi Announces Katy Steding As Assistant Coach at USF

Busy week, C had a birthday, many trips to the beach were planned then abandoned much to C's dismay, Kayla Pedersen threw out the first pitch at a Giants game, one of the junior bloggers got grounded we think, R had the best quarter at work ever, C and R saw "Wicked" in SF and voted it the best musical they had ever seen, C's son has league finals for swimming, Jennifer Azzi hired her old pal Katy Steding to help coach…

Okay, we could write volumes about all those things mentioned, but let's stick to basketball (and boy is it hard not to gush about Wicked, we cried and gave those two witches a standing ovation and C's new favorite color is now green). So basketball, yes, smart move, hiring Katy Steding. C and R got very worried when Jenn took over the USF head coaching job without having any formal coaching experience at any level, but it looks like she is surrounding herself with people who have the skills she needs/lacks and can get along with. Katy Stediing brings a ton of coaching and recruiting experience and had success wherever she went, typically raising an also-ran program into something higher.

Here, read from the press release from our good friends at USF.

During her stint in Portland, Oregon, as the head women’s basketball coach at Warner Pacific College, Steding recorded two 20-plus win seasons, leading the Knights to the NAIA Division II National Tournaments in 2004 and 2006. The 2004 selection to the national tournament was the first postseason appearance in school history for men’s or women’s basketball. In 2005-06, the Knights won their first ever Cascade Collegiate Conference title with a 22-9 record, as Steding was named CCC Coach of the Year. On the recruiting trail, Steding recruited 11 all-conference performers and four Academic All-Americans to Warner Pacific.

In 2008-09, Steding served as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Dream, helping the expansion franchise reach the WNBA playoffs in its inaugural season.

After a year of coaching in the WNBA, Steding returned to the collegiate scene last season, leading Columbia to its best finish in Ivy League and school history. She also played an integral role in landing three of the most highly lauded recruits in program history. Steding’s responsibilities included overseeing student-athlete development, scouting opponents and recruiting in the Western US.

Let’s hope she concentrates on recruiting. Jennifer also added Blair Hardiek, who coached at San Francisco state and is knowledgeable about recruiting out west. C and R are smelling road trip soon to see the Lady Dons (is that what they are called?).

Happy Cinco De Mayo, and on a confidential note, we hope to golf with our good friend, P, soon!