Stanford Meets The Media Thursday In Berkeley

Oct. 25, 2007

BERKELEY, Calif. - Stanford basketball head coach Tara VanDerveer, along with senior Candice Wiggins and junior Jillian Harmon, traveled to Berkeley Thursday to participate in Media Day activities.

Here is what VanDerveer had to say about the Cardinal's prospects in 2007-08:

General comments:
'I'm just amazed that we're already into basketball. It feels like just yesterday that we were playing. The end of last season ended with a bad taste in a lot of our mouths. We just really want to have a good season, take it game by game. We're playing, as my sister calls it, a no-joke schedule, as I know Cal is also. We want everyone to be healthy, and our team has learned from some of the successes and shortcomings from last year. I'm really excited about the leadership of Candice [Wiggins] and Jill [Harmon] and the things that they do for our team. They really set a great example in terms of their toughness and their work ethic, and the experiences that both Candice and Jill have had will be very helpful for us. And, as you alluded to, our point guard dilemma, both we and Cal had to deal with that, but I think that's looking really good, so we're very excited about that.'

On changes:
'I think that change is hard, but change is good. We're excited for [former coaches Charmin Smith and Karen Middleton] that they've gone on to being in different situations. I know that they'll really make major contributions to the places that they're at, and I appreciated all the hard work and all the things that they did for our program. But, I have to say, I'm really excited to work with both Kate Paye and Bobbie Kelsey. If one assistant was good from Stanford, two are even better. They understand Stanford, they work really hard with our student athletes, they are extraordinary coaches, and I think that they're doing a great job for us. We've ratcheted it up a level in terms of our conditioning and our practices, so that's been good. I don't feel like that's been a big adjustment for our players at all.'

On Candice Wiggins:
'I think she is the best in the country. I think she is someone that you want on your team, because of how competitive she is. I like how she practices, I like how she competes. I like the fact that every day she comes out, she wants to get better. If she makes mistakes, she doesn't have excuses. My definition of a great player is someone that makes others around them better. She understands it's a team game. Candice doesn't try to do everything on her own. She understands that it's a team game of passing, screening, and doing the little things. I teased her as a freshman. She asked me if when she was a senior, she could have a single room, like sometimes we do when we have an odd number. I said, `No,' and she looked at me surprised. I said, `You're not allowed to be a senior.' I can't believe that she's a senior. She has been fabulous to coach. I've thought about playing the lottery, because I just don't know what it will be like coaching without her. So, I'm going to enjoy every day, I'm going to give her my peace of mind every day, and we're just going to enjoy her senior year and really work hard to make it a great year.'

On Jillian Harmon:
'To me, I think both Jillian and Candice are two of our toughest players. They're both upperclassmen; they've played in the NCAA Tournament; they've played in Pac-10 championship games. They know what it takes, and they need to lead our team. If there were things we didn't do last year, I think they've learned from that and so have we as coaches. Jillian is one of those 'garbage' players. She's doing all the little things, she's a hustle player. She has elevated her game because she has discovered that three-point line and she likes it. She rebounds, she defends, she passes well. She is someone you want to coach, and as a player, you want to play with her because she makes plays. She's scrappy, she gets in there and battles with people. She is my kind of player. I really enjoy coaching Jillian, and I really expect her to have a great year.'

On last season's NCAA Tournament:
'We did have a great year last year. We like the fact that we have done so well in the NCAA Tournament. That is a little bit of how we are judged, and we accept that. We were very disappointed with our tournament experience last year and we hope that is something that is a stone stuck in your shoe.'

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