Super fan TG wrote in with some nice observations. And frankly, it’s such hard work for C and R to create this blog, what with making up facts, supplying grandiose hyperbole, being completely and utterly biased in all things Stanford and finding new and creative ways tO mAKe A. TY/pO, that we thought we would just let him rant for awhile so we could rest and relax and roll in all the dough we make from this blog!!. All remarks in parenthesis belong to C and R and are not as funny or insightful.
1. The injury to Nneka Ogwumilke looked pretty serious when I saw it -on my $14.95 a month All-Access! (See, he’s not cheap like C and R). She grabbed it immediately, and couldn't put any weight at all on it. Hopefully there's no ligament damage or fracture - best case she should rest until the Pac-10 tourney.
2. We just beat the #9 team (UCLA) in the country, #7 RPI, on their home floor, without our best player-arguably the third best player in the country (Nneka), by 14 points. Remarkable.
3. This is traditionally the toughest weekend of the regular season. To put the two solid wins in perspective, our 2008 team (With Candice Wiggins!) - which went on to beat a Connecticut team with Maya Moore, Tina Charles, and Renee Montgomery in the national semifinals - lost twice on the LA trip.
4. Defensive adjustments and intensity in the second half made the difference in both games. We were getting killed with 3s by Corral and S. Gilbreath in the first half of USC, and the same by Morris at UCLA. Great man-to-man pressure on the perimeter, flawless switches, and help rotation on any dribble penetration inside. It wasn't just that UCLA shot poorly, there simply weren't that many good shots to take...
5. Kokenis and Chiney were both remarkable - each had their best games of the season. For Kokenis, remarkable decision-making for a freshman - especially when to drive the basket on the fast-break, versus pull up and run the half-court offense. For Chiney, it almost seemed like she was playing double duty, filling in for her sister as well as her own position. Either scored or got to line each time she got the ball down low, and nailed her free throws -10 of 12.
6. With due respect to Nikki Caldwell, the Pac-10 Coach of the Year, in my opinion, comes down to Tara or Scott Rueck at Oregon State -just beat Oregon for their second conference win, coming back from down 20 at half. My vote is to Rueck - Tara started with 6 McDonald All-Americans and a 3-time returning Final Four team - Rueck started with exactly 2 returning reserve players and the smoldering aftermath of a mutiny -like that?. In addition to the two conference wins and 7 non-conference wins, they play basketball the right way, and have been competitive in every game except ours.
Sorry about the wordiness, it's therapeutic - keep up the great blogging!
(Yes, C and R help to keep the streets safe at night as all the crazies are home either blogging or reading blogs, us included). Anyone else, feel free to write in!
Don’t forget to check game times up until, well, game time as they keep a’changing.