VanDerveer, Wiggins Honored With WBCA Awards
March 13, 2007
STANFORD, Calif.- As the opening week of NCAA Tournament play gets underway, the Stanford women's basketball program has already been recognized on a national scale with a pair of honors.
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced the 2007 Russell Athletic/WBCA Regional Coach of the Year winners for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I with head coach Tara VanDerveer earning the honor for region 8.
The winners are selected through a two-level process. The first level is by region, in which coaches from each WBCA geographical region vote for their respective top coach. If a coach has been selected as Regional Coach of the Year, they advance as a finalist to the national level of the selection process along with the other Regional Coaches of the Year in their respective division.
Other Division I winners include Geno Auriemma (Connecticut), Gail Goestenkors (Duke), Pat Summitt (Tennessee), Curt Miller (Bowling Green), Rick Insell (Middle Tennessee State), Sharon Versyp (Purdue) and Gordy Presnell (Boise State).
'It's a very nice honor,' said VanDerveer. 'This award is a reflection of our team and staff working hard and doing well. I appreciate the recognition from my peers.'
Currently in her 28th year of coaching and 21st at the helm of the Cardinal, VanDerveer remains one of the best coaches in the history of women's basketball. A three-time NCAA Coach of the Year and eight-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, VanDerveer has accumulated an impressive 688-183 record in her career and a 536-132 mark on The Farm.
VanDerveer has done one of the best coaching jobs of her carere in 2006-07, as Stanford was crowned Pac-10 regular-season champions for the seventh straight year while winning the Pac-10 Tournament for the fourth time. The Cardinal is currently ranked No. 5 in the country in both polls and has been among the top-10 for much of the year, thanks to a 17-game winning streak.
Stanford's 28 victories are already two more than last year's total. The Cardinal will get a chance to add to that mark after reaching the NCAA Tournament for the 20th consecutive season under VanDerveer's guidance.
Even more impressive, Stanford has done it all despite losing key starters to injury while mixing a talented freshman class with veterans.
Meanwhile, junior guard Candice Wiggins has made the cut and is included among 12 finalists in contention for the State Farm Wade Trophy.
The candidates were selected by a vote of committee members comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators. Members of the committee will select the winner of The State Farm Wade Trophy from the 10-member Division I Kodak/WBCA All-America Team and will be announced at the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team Press Conference and The State Farm Wade Trophy Announcement during the WBCA National Convention on Saturday, March 31, 2007, at 9:45 a.m. (ET).
Despite not being able to play at full strength all year long, junior Candice Wiggins remains one of the nation's best players. Wiggins leads the Cardinal in scoring (16.9 ppg) and three-pointers (75). A 46.2-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins ranks third in assists (88) while snagging 4.0 rebounds per game. She has scored in double-figures in 23 games.
Also, Wiggins has scored at least 20 points in eight games this year, including a season-best 30-point effort at Arizona State on Jan. 27 that resulted in her second Pac-10 Player of the Week honor. Wiggins has participated in 27 of the team's 32 games, making 26 starts. She was named Most Outstanding Player at the Pac-10 Tournament, averaging 22.3 points per game while connecting on 14 of 25 three-point attempts.
The finalists include Alison Bales (Duke), Jessica Davenport (Ohio State), Sylvia Fowles (LSU), Katie Geralds (Purdue), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Crystal Langhorne (Maryland), Ivory Latta (UNC), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), Candace Parker (Tennessee), Bernice Mosby (Baylor) and Noelle Quinn (UCLA).