No. 2/2 Stanford Opens 2009-10 Campaign At Old Dominion Friday
Nov. 10, 2009
2009-10 Season Opener
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (0-0)
- vs. -
Old Dominion Lady Monarchs (0-0)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 2/2 Stanford women's basketball team opens up the 2009-10 regular season this week, traveling to the East Coast for a pair of road games starting with Friday's 4 p.m. PT tilt at Old Dominion (0-0). The season-opening trip will conclude Sunday as the Cardinal plays at No. 25/- Rutgers at 11 a.m. PT.
Stanford cruised to a pair of exhibition blowout victories in preparation for the 2009-10 regular season. On Nov. 1, the Cardinal took on NAIA Vanguard University and put up a 107-49 victory, then a week later, again posted 107 points in a 107-55 victory against Division II UC San Diego. Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike led the team with 23.0 points per game over the exhibition wins, while junior forward Kayla Pedersen averaged a double-double of 15.5 points and 11.0 rebounds over the two games. Senior center and preseason All-American Jayne Appel averaged 10.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in just 16.5 minutes per game, and in the backcourt, Jeanette Pohlen (10.0 ppg, 6.5 apg) and Melanie Murphy (13.0 ppg, 8.5 apg) guided the attack.
Scouting Old Dominion
Old Dominion (0-0) has prepared itself for Friday night's opener with an 85-52 exhibition victory last Friday night over Chowan. The Lady Monarchs will complete their exhibition season Tuesday night against Shaw. Last season, Old Dominion posted a 17-13 overall record and finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association with an 11-7 mark, snapping a streak of 17 consectuvie NCAA Tournament appearances. This year, with head coach Wendy Larry entering her 23rd season at the helm, Old Dominion is led by the return of senior forward Jessica Canady (12.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg in 2008-09) and junior guard Jasmine Parker (10.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg).
All-Time Against Old Dominion
Old Dominion and Stanford have met just five times previously heading into Friday's game, with the Lady Monarchs capturing three of those decisions. After the teams played a classic NCAA Tournament contest in the 1997 Final Four that saw Old Dominion prevail, 83-82 in overtime, the teams did not meet again for over 10 years, when, in the most recent meeting between the two schools, Stanford defeated the Lady Monarchs 69-61 at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. on Nov. 24, 2007.
A Look At The National Rankings
Heading into the opening weekend of the 2009-10 campaign, Stanford holds the No. 2 spot in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN national polls.
Starting The Season Off Right
Stanford is 23-11 all-time in season openers and currently sports an eight-game winning streak in such games. The Nov. 13 game at Old Dominion also marks the 18th time since Tara VanDerveer's first season as Stanford head coach in 1985-86 that Stanford has opened a campaign on a foreign court. But that has not proven to be a problem as the Cardinal is 13-4 in those previous 17 road and neutral court openers. Under VanDerveer, Stanford is 18-5 in season openers, and has not dropped the first game of the regular season since a 75-64 loss at Saint Mary's on Nov. 17, 2000.
The more appropriate question to this would be, 'Who's NOT back?' Stanford's 13 returners are highlighted by 2009 State Farm Coaches' All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year Jayne Appel, a senior center who averaged 16.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and shot 60.9 percent from the floor last year. Appel, an early favorite for national player of the year, is joined by junior Kayla Pedersen (10.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.21 apg) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (10.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 62.9 fg pct.) underneath to form arguably the nation's biggest and most formidable front court. In the backcourt, junior Jeanette Pohlen (10.7 ppg, 3.84 apg, 83 three-pointers) returns to her normal shooting guard spot as JJ Hones returns to point guard duties after having her 2008-09 campaign cut short due to a torn ACL suffered on Nov. 23. Also providing depth are senior point guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (3.8 ppg, 2.37 apg) and sophomore gunner Lindy La Rocque (37 three-pointers).
The Coaches Back The Cardinal
For the 10th year in a row, nine-time defending regular season champion Stanford has been voted as the favorite to win the Pac-10 women's basketball title, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Cardinal received nine of 10 first-place votes in the poll, tallying 81 points overall. California was second with 67 points, while Arizona State nabbed the remaining first-place vote and was third with 64 points. USC and UCLA rounded out the top five with 63 and 48 points, respectively. The preseason coaches' poll follows a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 format. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.
So Does The Media
In the Pac-10's preseason media poll, Stanford was again picked to win its 10th consecutive regular season title. The Cardinal was the unanimous pick among the 21 voters, collecting the highest possible total of 210 points in the balloting. Arizona State was picked second with 175 points, California was third with 170 points, and UCLA (158) and USC (124) rounded out the top five.
Early Player Of The Year Recognition
In what many Stanford fans hope will be a sign of good things to come in 2009-10, the Cardinal trio of Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen has already begun reeling in early-season accolades and national player of the year mention. All three standouts have been named to the WBCA Preseason Wade Watch list for the Wade Trophy Player of the Year award, and Appel and Pohlen were soon after announced as being on the preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award. Appel gained even more recognition by being named a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award in early November, as well.
This Is The Year For Appel
Senior center Jayne Appel heads into the 2009-10 season as one of the early favorites for national player of the year honors. The Pleasant Hill, Calif. native was recently named an Associated Press preseason All-American after a 2008-09 season in which she was second in the Pac-10 with 16.1 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game and a 60.9 shooting percentage. Those totals, including Appel's sheer dominance around the basket, earned her a spot on the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team as well as Pac-10 Player of the Year honors as well as the Berkeley Regional MVP after she scored a Stanford single-game program record 46 points against Iowa State. This season, Appel is again surrounded by All-Pac-10 talent in forwards Kayla Pedersen and Nnemkadi Ogwumike and guard Jeanette Pohlen, and is a preseason candidate for the following postseason awards: the Wade Trophy Player of the Year, John R. Wooden Award, and the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
What A Breakout
Junior guard Jeanette Pohlen enjoyed a breakout season last year, playing both guard positions and finishing third on the team in scoring with 10.7 points per game and leading the team in assists with 146, an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.72 and three-pointers with 83. Pohlen not only established herself as Stanford's key deep threat, but also proved that she is adept at running an offense by taking over point guard duties late in the season and passing out 3.84 assists per game. Her success last season has put her on the national map, as Pohlen is a preseason candidate for the Wade Trophy Player of the Year award and the John R. Wooden Award as well as being a preseason All-Pac-10 pick.
Ogwumike Plays Sky-High
Many Stanford backers are expecting big things in 2009-10 from sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, and if the first two exhibitions provide any indication, the Cypress, Texas native is more than ready to make a lasting impression. Ogwumike averaged a team-leading 23.0 points a game in the two exhibition wins, shooting an eye-popping 78.3 percent from the field (18-for-23) thanks in part to her incomparable verticla leap which provided plenty of tip-in points as well as 7.5 rebounds a game.
Back With A Vengeance
Returning from a serious injury always puts a player in the spotlight, but point guard JJ Hones has handled the pressure before, returning two years ago from the same torn ACL injury to run the Cardinal to its first Final Four appearance in 11 years. Despite re-injuring her knee just four games into last season, Hones has bounced back and is primed and ready to go for 2009-10, hitting 4-of-5 from behind the arc and passing out four assists over Stanford's two exhibition games.
The RGO Farewell Tour
The 2009-10 campaign will also mark the final season for fifth-year point guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, a Queens, N.Y. native and defensive sparkplug. Heading into the new season, Gold-Onwude has impressed the Stanford coaches with her improved accuracy from behind the three-point arc, and has solidified her role as Stanford's aggressive, go-to defender. Additionally, Gold-Onwude is expected to share the point guard workload and be just one dimension of Stanford's multi-threat backcourt.
Undefeated Home Season No. 3?
Entering the 2009-10 season, Stanford is riding a 29-game winning streak at Maples Pavilion, the fourth-longest streak in school history. The longest streak stretched from Nov. 25, 1994 and ended on March 14, 1998 with Stanford's 71-67 first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Harvard. The current streak has run over two full seasons, and the Cardinal, with the potential for 16 home regular-season dates this season, can pull off three straight undefeated home seasons for the first time since 1994-96.
Silent But Deadly
While she may keep an even-keel off the court, junior forward Kayla Pedersen has earned a reputation as one of the hardest and most intense workers on the hardwood after two strong seasons on The Farm. The Fountain Hills, Ariz. native heads into the 2009-10 season following a pair of exhibitions in which she averaged a double-double with 15.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, and is only 98 points away from becoming Stanford's 30th player to score 1,000 career points.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 313-32 (.907) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 195-12 (.942) all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has also won 112 of its last 119 games at Maples. The last time the Cardinal lost at Maples Pavilion was March 19, 2007 against Florida State in a second-round NCAA Tournament game. Stanford's last conference loss at Maples was on Feb. 4, 2007, when California posted a 72-57 victory over the Cardinal.
Movin' On Up The Career List
Jayne Appel will continue her climb up the Stanford career record books in 2009-10, as her scoring, rebounding, and blocked shot totals continue to ascend. Entering the 2009-10 campaign, Appel is already Stanford's all-time leading shot-blocker with 215 blocked shots, stands second in field goal percentage (.579), third in rebounds (942) and rebounds per game (8.6), sixth in points per game (14.9) and seventh in points scored (1,635). Appel also has a very realistic chance to become a member of the most exclusive club in the Stanford annals, as she only needs 365 more points and 58 more rebounds to become just the third player in Stanford history to join the '2K-1K (2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds) Club.' She would join Nicole Powell and Val Whiting in this exclusive group, as well as becoming just the third Stanford player to grab 1,000 career rebounds and the sixth to score 2,000 points.