Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stanford Plucks Ducks

Things we learned from the 86-62 Oregon Blowout:

Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike is Still Better Than You on One Ankle:
Chiney scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds (her 16th double-double of the season). She also only played 28 minutes due to hurting her ankle last Sunday and limited practice this week. Compare that with Oregon freshmen Jillian Alleyne going 13 and 13. Much was made of the match-up, as Alleyne leads the league in rebounding, the first freshmen to do so since 2002. They tied on boards, but Chiney got the points. And boy, she does work hard for the money. None of those baskets came easy. Well, maybe she had one or two easy baskets when Oregon forgot to guard her, but when she gets the ball down low, she fights. Also, kudos to Chiney for that great steal of the inbounds pass after a Stanford basket. Oregon fouled her trying to put it back up. And shame on Oregon for letting that happen.

“T” stands for Tinkle:
Or Two Technicals. Oregon Coach Paul Westhead got one for arguing the calls (Or maybe he was mad his team could not hit a three, going 5-21). Then two minutes later, Tinkle got one for…we’re not sure. Pac-12, providing TV coverage, cut away after Tinkle got tangled with an Oregon player and it was called a jump ball. We think she argued with the ref after, but we don’t know for sure.

Tara VanDerveer gets 400th Pac-12 Victory
Tara Van Derveer (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
400 Is a Big Number:
Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer got her 400th Pac-12 win, the first coach in Pac-12 history to do so.  Ever so self-effacing, she joked, “I think it means I have been here a long time.”

Stanford continues their Jekyll and Hyde routine:
Going up by 19 points, than going cold and letting Oregon get within 10. Whaaaa? Although C and R did like the new and improved offense of “Passing.” Tara VanDerveer shows why she has won 400 times in the Pac-12. She does her homework. She knew Oregon plays a lot of Zone, and the best way to beat the zone is pass, pass, pass. Stanford did, quickly, crisply, and when they found open spots and took their shots.

Live by the three...:
Oregon likes to run and gun, get quick lay-ups and hit quick threes. Stanford, those show-offs, likes to say, we’ll duplicate your game plan and beat you over the head with it. They made 10-27 threes to only 5 for Oregon. Plus, Stanford got baskets in transition when Oregon did not get back. There’s your game plan, Paul

When Others Step Up:
Chiney, Joslyn Tinkle and Sara James all scored in double digits. Guard Amber Orrrrange had 9 and Taylor Greenfield had 8. When others not-named-Ogwumike contribute, Stanford usually wins.

Watching Stanford on TV is Not the Same as Live and in Person:
That said…

And now, let’s here from our Guest Blogger, TH, who was at the game live and in person:

            Let’s be honest, an 86-62 win over Oregon’s struggling program does not take a 4th ranked team to new heights.  But in the Cardinal’s case, it was a good opportunity to involve the bench (check), get some non-Chiney points on the board (check), and log an impressive 400th conference win for Coach VanDerveer (check).

            I attended the game with a soccer player, uninitiated to the ways of the Cardinal.  Soon after tip off, she asked of Joslyn Tinkle, “Is she their top scorer?” It wasn’t a silly question-- in less than four minutes of play, Tinkle had a lay up, a three-pointer and a soft-touch jump shot.  She would finish the game with 16 points and turned in a nice all-around performance that included a decisive stuff under Oregon’s basket (one of two blocked shots overall).

            Sara James is still writing her own version of a rags-to-riches story.  It’s great to see her earn a starting spot and continue to make it count.  Ever since James started to play more minutes, it seems like the Cardinal have added a cylinder to the engine.  Along with Tinkle and Chiney, James was the third Cardinal to finish the game with double-digit points, including three 3-pointers.  She also facilitated a nice assist to Tinkle by pushing the pace and leading Tinkle in for a lay up on a long pass.

            You never know what will jump out at you when you watch a game live, instead of on TV.  Here are a few had-to-be-there highlights.  First, six foot, five inch Tess Picknell was a top Cardinal recruit last year from southern Oregon.  She led her high school team to a perfect season and a first-ever state championship.  Now she is like the young karate kid who must dutifully wax all of the cars before she can enter the competitive arena.  When she jumped off the bench in the last five minutes or so of the game (to the loud cheering of an obvious contingent of Picknells), she worked her butt off to follow the offensive plan, snag her two rebounds, and score four points, all in front of the beaming family.  Let’s all hope for continued progress for the kid from southern Oregon.  Wouldn’t it be nice for Chiney to have a big, strong and gutsy kid down low to help absorb and distract some swarming defenders?

            Another had-to-be-there highlight, sadly, was Oregon coach Paul Westhead throwing gratuitous temper tantrums.  Coach, if you are going to call a time-out, don’t leave your players standing there, looking at your shoulder blades, while you cuss out the ref.  Also, Coach Westhead, your team out-rebounded Stanford 48 to 40 on the game and your spirited point guard—all of 5’6”—scored 17 points against Stanford.  This was not an occasion that warranted losing your &*^%$#  on your team, in my humble opinion.  Please take that frustration and channel it into a sustained effort to get recruits on your roster and fans in the seats.

            Oregon sends its continued well wishes to Chiney Ogwumike who led the Cardinal with an “I got this” attitude, 22 points and 13 rebounds.  Wow.

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