Saturday, November 5, 2011

Stanford vs Vanguard

The Stanford Women’s Basketball Team used their second and last exhibition game of the season to further test drive their freshmen. C and R were surprised to see two freshmen starters in the announced lineup Saturday afternoon. Granted, Stanford was playing Vanguard, but still, how long have the freshmen been playing Stanford ball? Granted, one of the freshmen starting might have had to do with sophomore guard Toni Kokenis resting her wrist as a precaution and not playing at all.

Well, you’re asking C and R, how did they do? Well, freshie Amber Orrange (not a typo) handled point guard duties first, and she definitely brings speed and confidence to the position. Is she point guard ready? Well, she moves fast but she goes so fast that it is almost as if she says, “I don’t see someone open so I’ll just drive to the basket full steam ahead.” R says she needs to slow down and direct the traffic more, be a decision maker and play maker.

Taylor Greenfield was the second freshmen that got the start, and C and R know she can shoot the three, but we must admit, we didn’t see much from her in the first half. She did hit a three and then when she shot again, had a nifty move back inside when they came out to contest her three, so maybe she can add more to that.

Jasmine Camp was the third freshie in and the second to handle point guard duties. She also showed speed and good ball and body control. She had pretty much the same speed as Orrange but seemed to look to pass or create for her teammates more. Both guards were super quick on defense, and played full court man-to-man, even denying the entry pass after a basket. And when was the last time we saw a Stanford guard steal the ball in the back court and get an easy lay-up? We saw it not once but twice in the first half by both speedy freshmen guards. It definitely gives Stanford a new look and something else for other teams to think about.

C and R were very impressed with three point specialist Bonnie Samuelson. She made five 3-pointers again this game. Many have commented on her shot, ugly, coming from the chest area, but heck it goes in. Nate of Swish Appeal even tweeted, “I have no clue how Stanford freshman Bonnie Samuelson's shot goes in with that shooting form...but it does. A lot.” A good friend commented it looks like Kate Starbird’s, and Tara shouldn’t try to fix Bonnie’s just as they eventually left Kate’s alone. But dang, C and R are worried quicker teams will be able to block or alter that shot. (We’re just sayin’). However, for someone so thin, she got rebounds and had a great spin move/put back on offense, showing she’s more than that 3-point shot!

Freshmen forward Erica Payne is in the mold of Jillian Harmon. All around good at everything, very athletic, nose for the ball and scrappy. Gets a rebound even though others are taller. Will get you a basket come heck or high water. We like her in with a taller, bigger Tinkle or Boothe. In fact, at one point, Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer had four freshmen and Tinkle on the floor. Tara REALLY wants to see what the freshmen can do in a game situation.

Rounding out the freshmen was guard Alex Green, coming off ACL surgery. She also has speed and more ability to create shots for her teammates. C and R get so nervous when she is in there because we keep reading she is JUST coming off ACL surgery although she tore it in high school. It’s probably been awhile since the surgery, but we wince every time we see her drive up the floor.

C and R would be remiss if we didn’t mention the veterans. We mentioned Toni was resting her wrist and Mikaela Ruef is still resting her planter fasciitis. Nneka Ogwumike still looks head and shoulders above the rest, but the crowd was bummed she had very limited minutes (15 of them).

But let’s talk about Chiney for a moment (Sure she’s never heard that before!) Chiney Ogwumike looked more mature, calmer, and dished off unselfishly to her sister even though she was open. In that case, she knew how to assist her sister. She also rebounded, especially offensively. And for the second game, Chiney outscored Nneka 11 to 6, although it because Tara doesn’t need to see Nneka right now, she knows what she can do.

Big shout out to Joslyn Tinkle (did we hear Tinkle Bells? Oh, that was mostly us shaking them) for getting Stanford to 100. We were just betting our little girls team if they would do it or not and Tink sank two free throws with 2.1 seconds left. Whew, that was close. Final score, Stanford 100, Vanguard 54.

One of the great things about going out to the games instead of watching them on TV or following on electronic devices (Gawd awful Gametracker on the computer) is you get to see so many friends. Big shout out to old friends S and T. (When we golfin’ at Stanford?). Sorry we didn't sit with Twitter Buddy SC (were with little girls team and not enough seats!). We were supposed to meet up with Nate the Great from Swish Appeal, who was in the stands as a fan as opposed to working. He even called R’s cell phone, but we didn’t get the message until we were in the car (technology is hard for C and R). He said he saw us walking away but we missed him. Sorry Nate, please forgive us and let’s go out after the game next time! Also big shout out to Facebook Fan MC!

Well, Tara has almost a week to look at what she saw these last two games and come up with a starting lineup and game plan against Texas. Are we a 3-point shooting machine (14 made out of 35 attempts), or will we push an inside game (Ogwumike sisters) or will we use speed (freshmen guards) to blow past everyone? Or some of everything?
We’ll find out Friday. Follow C and R on Facebook and Twitter, too!

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