As the Cardinal heads East to take on the No. 5 and No. 1 teams in the nations, Ellie Chen, Gregory Block and Laura Anderson discuss Stanford’s lineup strength and weaknesses.
No. 10 Stanford women’s basketball beat UCSD 60-46 on Saturday Nov 4 in their exhibition season opener. Sisters Tara and Heidi VanDerveer coached against each other for the third time in four years as 2523 loyal fans excitedly returned to Maples Pavilion.
After finishing second in the Pac-12 during the regular season and winning the conference tournament last year, Stanford women’s basketball enters this new season ranked second in the conference, behind UCLA and tied with Oregon. In a star-studded conference that includes 6 of the best 25 teams in the nation, according to a preseason poll, the Cardinal will once again be in the title race.
Before playing No. 8 Ohio State in its season opener on Nov 10, No. 9 Stanford women’s basketball starts at home with an exhibition game against UC San Diego on Saturday. The occasion for head coach Tara Vanderveer to adjust her lineup, the game will also serve as the first on-court appearance for Stanford freshman class.
On paper, it might appear that Stanford women’s basketball has insurmountable challenges ahead of them. There is the loss of three key senior leaders from last year’s Final Four team, the addition of new freshmen still adjusting to the college game, a difficult early season slate against high-caliber opponents, and, of course, the perennial lofty expectations that come from playing under head coach Tara VanDerveer.
Renewing with Final Four play for the first time since 2014, Stanford women’s basketball brought the school chills during their playoff run, climaxing with McCall’s game saving block with less than two seconds left on the clock against Notre-Dame during the team’s final win of the season in the Elite 8.
In the inaugural Four Nations Tournament that ran from Aug. 12-15 at the Katayanagi Arena in Tokyo, Stanford senior guard Brittany McPhee participated as a part of the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U23 National Team.
Imagine a franchise composed of a three-player core of scoring point guard Damian Lillard, combo guard Jerry West, and dominant power forward Draymond Green. The three seem wildly different in terms of personality and style, yet as it turns out, it’s the perfect symbiosis — at least for the Stanford women’s basketball team.