Ask Tara VanDerveer

Oct. 25, 2000

Leslie McMahon (San Mateo, CA)
Have you noticed changes in the women coming into your program now that there is a chance to play professionally in the USA? I am wondering if the players have a different mentality about how or why they play the game and if you think that changes your job in any way. Thank you very much.

I have noticed some changes with players now that there is a pro league. Some of the changes are good as in players have extra incentive to work hard in the off season. Some of the changes are not so good in that some players become worried about their individual stats and aren't as team oriented as I would like them to be.

Tyler Davis (Lompoc, CA)
Coach, what was the most difficult aspect of the transition from the Olympic team back to Stanford and what were your thoughts on the 2000 squad in Sydney? Good luck this season.

The most difficult aspect of the transition back from working with the Olympic Team was that I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I had a fabulous experience coaching the 1996 Team. The 2000 Team was so talented. They did a great job winning the Gold.

Lori Vaughn (Gary, IN)
How does this year's team compare in talent and depth to some of your greatest teams of years past? One other quick question. Do you know what Kate Paye is up to these days?

This year's Stanford team has some outstanding talent and depth. Our most successful teams in the past have always had 'go to' post players and that is what we need from this year's team too! I'm very pleased with how hard our team is working and how much everyone is improving. Kate Paye is in a MBA/JD graduate program here at Stanford along with playing professionally for the Minnesota Lynx WNBA team. She is doing really well!

J.C. Smith (Stanford, CA)
What are your thoughts on the Pac-10 this year and do you see it continuing to become more and more competitive top to bottom?

The Pac-10 will be very competitive this season. Different teams may surface as contenders. We always have our work cut out for us preparing for Pac-10 games.

Tammy Vargas (San Jose, CA)
Do you find it difficult to recruit to Stanford because it's hard for people to make the grades or are there enough smart, good players in the country?

It is difficult to recruit to Stanford because of the very high standards both academically and athletically. However, when we find a prospect with both the basketball skills and grades they usually have Stanford as one of the top schools they are interested in.

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