Best of the rest from 2015 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day
Here are some other nuggets from the press roundtable at the 2015 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day that I didn’t get a chance to fully develop, or little tidbits that caught my ear:
Cal and UCLA are scheduled to play a nonconference game in Berkeley this December. The Golden Bears and Bruins decided to do it because the two schools play each other only once during this rotation of the schedule and wanted to give both fanbases a chance to watch the teams square off in person. However, it’s only a one-year deal, UCLA coach Cori Close noted, because she and other conference coaches realized that this kind of game only hurts the conference (for more on this, check out my story on Mike Neighbors’ RPI study).
Speaking of scheduling, Arizona State has a mammoth of a pre-Pac slate. The Sun Devils play South Carolina (a 2015 Final Four team), Kentucky (a 2015 No. 2 seed), Syracuse (2015 NCAA second round participant) and Florida State (Elite Eight participants after edging Arizona State 66-65 in the Sweet 16) before the Pac-12 opener against Cal on Jan. 2. Head coach Charli Turner Thorne wanted this slate to give the Sun Devils a chance at a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament if all goes well, because historically, there is a big advantage to being a top seed in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. Since 2010, 16 of the 24 teams to make the Final Four have been No. 1 seeds, while four have been No. 2 seeds, one has been a No. 3 seed, two have been No. 4 seeds and one has been a No. 5 seed.
Jillian Alleyne is a special person off the court in addition to her special abilities on it. Alleyne spent a good portion of her summer working with an 8-year-old who has a disease similar to cerebral palsy. She would take care of the young boy, Harrison Kaiser, while his mother ran errands. That included feeding, bathing and dressing him. Read more from GoDucks.com editor Rob Moseley.
Elliott Almond of the San Jose Mercury News brings us this – Stanford was practicing when the lights went off and the roof caught fire at Maples Pavilion Monday afternoon. “Now I can say we were shooting lights out,” head coach Tara VanDerveer told Almond.
Staying on Stanford, VanDerveer broke a bone in her arm last year when she jumped into a drill at practice and took a charge. Never again, VanDerveer said Wednesday. “I’ve retired from playing,” she said. “One of the coaches came up to me and said, ‘The “S” on your chest isn’t for stupid.'”
One of USC’s major team bonding activities was a camping trip outside of San Diego. The team went zip lining and navigated ropes courses, but everybody was freaked out by the spiders that crawled around the cabin they were staying in.
Colorado forward Jamee Swan does a killer Chewbacca impersonation, and unveiled it for reporters at the press roundtable. It stems from a parent of an opposing player in high school calling her Chewbacca, so Swan gave the parent the Chewbacca growl. “I thought I was being funny, but my teammates just said, ‘no, you’re embarrassing.’”
How about this for a superlative – at 6-8, Arizona center Eugenie Simonet-Keller is the tallest player in program history and the tallest female of her generation born in France. “Eugenie is a fantastic kid,” head coach Niya Butts said. “We’re just focused on getting her better and learning the speed of the game.”