VanDerveer, Appel, Ogwumike Among WBCA's Region 8 Honorees
March 16, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford women's basketball head coach Tara VanDerveer and standouts Jayne Appel and Nnemkadi Ogwumike all took an important step towards earning national hardware Tuesday, as the WBCA announced its regional honorees. VanDerveer was named Region Eight Coach of the Year, while Appel and Ogwumike were among Region Eight's All-America nominees.
The coach of the year honor is the second in a row for VanDerveer, who now becomes one of eight finalists for the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year award.
The eight winners of the regional coach of the year awards 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 Russell Athletic/WBCA Regional Coaches of the Year in their respective division.
Ogwumike, the 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year, and Appel, a 2009 State Farm Coaches' All-American and 2010 All-Pac-10 selection, were on the short list of four finalists from Region Eight. They joined California's Alexis Gray-Lawson and Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot on Region Eight's list of nominees.
Ogwumike has enjoyed a breakout 2009-10 season, leading the Pac-10 with 18.3 points per game and a 63.5-percent shooting percentage to go with 9.4 rebounds per game in becoming Stanford's 14th Pac-10 Player of the Year. The Cypress, Texas native leads the team with 13 double-doubles on the year and on Jan. 23 grabbed a Stanford single-game record 23 rebounds at Oregon.
She was also named to the All-Pac-10 Team, and at the Pac-10 Tournament averaged 19.3 points and 10.0 rebounds over Stanford's three-game sweep to the crown, earning herself the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award.
Appel, Stanford's rock at the center position, rebounded from offseason knee surgery to earn All-Pac-10 Team honors after averaging 13.8 points and 9.2 rebounds a game and shooting 54.3 percent in 2009-10. The Pleasant Hill, Calif. native shares the team lead with Ogwumike with 13 double-doubles, and this season has cemented her status as one of the top players in Stanford history.
Over the course of the season, Appel has broken both the Stanford and Pac-10 all-time rebounding records, and currently stands at 1,228 heading into the NCAA Tournament. Appel also became only the third player in school history to reach both the 2,000-point and 1,000-rebound career marks.
Appel and Ogwumike now join the other 50 All-Region Team members from across the nation in going before the selection committee where the list is reduced to 40 finalists. These 40 finalists can come from any region. Per a motion passed by the WBCA Board of Directors in 2008, Region 1 will now have 12 finalists and Region 4 will have six finalists.
The State Farm Coaches' All-America Team for NCAA Division I will be announced in the Alamodome on Center Court between open practices on Saturday, April 3, at 1:05 p.m. CT as a part of the NCAA's Super Saturday events in San Antonio, Texas.
Stanford (31-1), the top seed in the Sacramento Region, opens up NCAA Tournament play this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., facing Big West Tournament champion and No. 16 seed UC Riverside at Maples Pavilion.
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