Stanford Postseason Roundball Roundup: First Round Practice Day

March 19, 2010

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    STANFORD, Calif. - On the eve of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the Stanford women's basketball team, the top seed in the Sacramento Region, talked to the media and put on an open practice for fans, staff and the assembled crew from ESPN Friday afternoon. Friday's events were all part of the buildup before the Cardinal opens tournament play Saturday night against No. 16 seed UC Riverside at 7:30 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.

    Saturday's contest will be televised on ESPN2, with Terry Gannon calling the action and Mary Murphy on color commentary.

    Stanford's busy day opened up with the team arriving at Maples Pavilion just before 1 p.m. in preparation for its open media session from 1:20-1:50 p.m. As the players trickled into their locker room from the residence halls, some lugged suitcases in preparation of the move from campus housing to a local hotel for the week. Others went into the training room to get ankles taped up for practice, while all had the relieved and refreshed look of college students who were finally finished with a long week of exams, papers, and projects.

    Head coach Tara VanDerveer, Pac-10 Player of the Year Nnemkadi Ogwumike and All-Pac-10 center Jayne Appel headed to Dallmar Court in the Arrillaga Family Sports Center for the press conference with the media, while the rest of the team lounged in the locker room, watching the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

    After a 30-minute window of availability, the team stretched and hit the Maples Pavilion court for its one-hour open practice. There, the team put on its usual crisp, fluid practice for the fans in attendance.

    As the players weaved and slashed through drills, VanDerveer made her way to the scorer's table where she spent time chatting with the ESPN production crew and the talent duo of Gannon and Murphy.

    As the players put the finishing touches on their three-point contest (won by the juniors and seniors) and VanDerveer wrapped up her talk, the scoreboard clock hit all-naughts and the horn sounded, ending the Cardinal's session. The team trotted off the court, while some stopped at the water jugs to grab a quick drink as UC Riverside simultaneously stepped onto the main court from the opposite corner.

    After a short, closed practice on the floor of the next-door Arrillaga Gymnasium, Stanford's day on campus was finished, and the team boarded the bus to its temporary home at the hotel.

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