Sunday, October 26, 2014

One Week to Stanford Basketball

So it is one week until we get a Stanford Women’s basketball preview. Stanford opens its exhibition season against Vanguard. Many, many questions are floating around this year’s team. This will be the first time in six years without an Ogwumike, so how will Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer adjust?

Much has been made by the surprise announcement that VanDerveer is scrapping her beloved triangle offense in favor of screens. She made her point with a classic “Tara-ism” telling anyone over 6’3 that “their new middle name is screen.” She says she wants to free up senior guard Amber Orrange and soph guard Lili (Lee-Lee) Thompson.

Still, the Pac-12 coaches picked Stanford to win the conference (which C and R thought for sure Cal would have a lock on the preseason vote). The coaches claimed they weren’t fooled by the “we don’t have an Ogwumike or a returning All-America” and “we are playing a whole new offense.”

Stanford also adds some talented freshmen. Two are guards, Taylor Rooks and Brittany McPhee and forward Kaylee Johnson. Not to be confused with now sophomore Kailee Johnson, or Karlee Samuelson for that matter. Don’t know much about them but will probably get a good look against little ol Vanguard.

Sue Favor of “They’re Playing Basketball gave a great in-depth preview of Stanford. Quoting:

“Whether or not the Cardinal will stay atop the conference depends upon who, if anyone, will step up. Orrange has shown quiet leadership since her freshman year, and Thompson is promising because of her youth. Samuelson will likely be made a starter with them. But all three will have to increase their production substantially, as teams who survive significant player losses do so when others fill in the gaps.”

See the full article here:

See some fun with the Stanford “Dunk” contest (on a small basket). Love the playfulness of the team already. Hope they can keep it up (and Stnaford winning ways) for the season.

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