Coach VanDerveer Chat Wrap

Feb. 6, 2001

CThskzfn from [], at 1:37pm ET
When will a decision be made re: the redshirt status of Susan King?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:38pm ET
Excellent question. I'm not sure. I think it takes years with the NCAA, but we're going to really try. I really think that in her situation -- she played in eight games, but they base it on a percentage -- so we need to keep winning to help her.

fastbreak55 from [], at 1:38pm ET
Coach: Great weekend in LA. Enjoli seems to enjoy the point and did a good job there at USC. Do you like the combination of her at the 1 and Nicole at the 2?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:38pm ET
I think they're both playing really well together, and can interchange, which is great for our team. I think Enjoli is playing really well, and we need her to continue.

rose from [], at 1:39pm ET
Hi! While recruiting, what do you look for in a prospect?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:39pm ET
First we watch a player, their skill, athleticism .. not really their size, but how they would contribute to our team. And before I leave the gym, I find out about their grades.

wcbbfan from [], at 1:40pm ET
Ruthie Bolton-Holifield told the press in 1996 that she thought the Olympic team you coached could go far in the NCAA men's tournament. Do you think that may have been a spur-of-the-moment comment, or do you think there is some validity to that?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:40pm ET
Ruthie thinks big. And I love her for it. But they are entirely two different games. And it would be like saying a great college team would do well in the NBA. Women are not physically as big or strong and as much as I love Ruthie, she's wrong.

Vols fan from [], at 1:40pm ET
Coach -- what did you think of Thursday's UConn-Tennessee game, and should the Vols move up to No. 2 in the polls?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:43pm ET
I thought it was a great game, great for women's basketball. It's sad to see both Svetlana Abrosimova and Tamika Catchings out with injuries. They are two incredibly talented teams and that was very exciting to watch. I think it's just a terrible situation with injuries right now, and when you have two of the very best players go out with injuries, I'm very sad not just for the players, but for the whole program and women's basketball. That's two huge losses for women's college basketball, and our staff wishes both UConn and Tennessee the best.

There are a lot of injuries out there right now, and I think we need to look in to why. I think some of the physicians here would say overuse -- too much basketball.

fastbreak55 from [] at 1:43pm ET
Do you have any special training exercises to help prevent ACL injuries?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:43pm ET
I don't have any special training for it.

Margaret from [], at 1:43pm ET
Hi Tara, If you had to pick a dream team if you coached the Olympic team again who would be on it and would you ever think of coaching in the pros? Who have been your biggest influences in your life and career and do you ever plan on writing another book? Much continued success to you and the team you guys are the best.

Tara VanDerveer at 1:46pm ET
I think that what coaching the Olympics so special was that it was a once in a lifetime experience. And we have so many great coaches that it should be spread around. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, I would consider coaching in the pros. I enjoy coaching period, and would love at different opportunities. Currently, I really enjoy coaching our Stanford team, seeing our young kids improving and seeing the talent we have. My biggest influences? I'd say my parents, as well as so many people I've coached ... also coach Knight at Indiana ... my coach there, who was Bea Gorton. And our 1984 Olympic track coach, Brooks Johnson. As for writing another book, if it had anything to do with basketball, it would have to do with children's stories. In my next life, I would love to be a writer, but not necessarily about basketball.

Nadia from [], at 1:47pm ET
Coach VanDerveer-
I read your book and thought it was great. I was wondering what you think of the Bobby Knight situation since you know him and learned from him? Thank you.

Tara VanDerveer at 1:47pm ET
I was very fortunate to be able to watch three years of Indiana's practices that coach Knight ran. Obviously this was a long time ago. But I think he was an absolutely brilliant coach, and I feel very fortunate to have learned so much from him. I hope that he can finish his career the way he would like to. It's very sad what has happened at Indiana, but I wish him continued success.

Tara VanDerveer at 1:49pm ET
When I got back from the Olympics, one of the highlights was a letter he wrote to me. Most people don't see that other side of him, but he was very supportive to me and wrote me a wonderful letter after we won the gold medal.

ISUfan from [], at 1:49pm ET
What player in recent years has had an impact on your program but not because of things done on the court? For example, was there a player whose attitude or demeanor still positively affects current players?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:52pm ET
I think there are several. And how fortunate I am and our program was to have been affected by them. Vanessa Nygaard comes to mind, because of her enthusiasm for Stanford basketball. Jennifer Azzi still comes to games, meets with our players and gives out autographs. She's an incredible, incredible caring person, not only impacted our team, but also helped Jamie Carey a lot and been very supportive of our team. Charmin Smith, who graduated with a degree in engineering, has been around and been extremely positive. Kate Paye, with playing in the WNBA and getting her MBA and JD at the same time. Being around and showing how players can budget their time and be really successful after college has helped. Kate Starbird has been in the area with her computer start-up. Milena Flores is also one. She's finishing school, comes to see the team, and is really supportive of the young players. And that's just off the top of my head. But so many of the players come to the games, are supportive of the current team and really make the young players feel a part of the great tradition.

Lynne from [], at 1:53pm ET
Who has been the most improved player on the Stanford team this year? How is Katie Denny doing?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:55pm ET
Actually, I think this is one of the most challenging years I've been at Stanford, and because of our injuries to Carey and King, everyone has had to improve and step up for us. But Cori Enghusen might be a person who has improved the most. But everyone has really improved. Cori is playing with so much more confidence. She's in much better physical shape this year, and is really able to come in and make a much bigger impact. But again, I think everyone has improved tremendously. Katie Denny is a very bright spot on our team, with a very positive attitude and great work ethic. She's being asked to do things that will only make her better. She's playing out of position, but doesn't say a word about it. She's just working really hard.

boomboom from [], at 1:55pm ET
Who was the greatest athlete you ever coached in your coaching career?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:57pm ET
Of course there's never one. But as for a pure athleticism, it's a toss up between Sheryl Swoopes, Nikki McCray, Ruthie Bolton, Katrina McClain, Teresa Edwards, Dawn Staley (have I named the staring lineup from the Olympic team), Lisa Leslie ... Jennifer Azzi is also a great athlete. But basically, our Olympic team members are just great athletes and specialty players. But for pure athleticism, these are the ones who can go.

Kay Keskinen from [], at 1:57pm ET
Speaking of playing out of position, the PAC-10 teams seem to be winning and losing to unlikely teams. What's happening this season?

Tara VanDerveer at 1:58pm ET
The Pac-10 is a topsy-turvy conference this year, an incredibly exciting race and totally unpredictable. The negative is that you don't have pretty records. The positive is that people have to come out ready to play every night, and that has to help you for the tournament. I think we're maybe coming on strong at the end, but it's extremely competitive, and our teams are really improving. I know the competition will get us ready for the rest of the tournament.

Tara VanDerveer at 2:01pm ET
That's all the time we have for now. Thanks to everybody who sent in questions.

Our team is very young and talented, and I really admire our team for what I call accepting the challenge. Playing with our injures has forced players on our team to be more versatile, and in the long run, everybody will be better. Of course it's sometimes painful in the short run, but our team is doing really well and I think we have an incredibly bright future. Keep watching.



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