Card Cleans Up Pac-12 Awards
STANFORD, Calif. - Six from Stanford earned all-conference recognition from the league's coaches, as the Pac-12 Conference announced its All-Pac-12, All-Defensive and All-Freshman teams Monday afternoon.
Highlighting the awards for the Cardinal were Anna Wilson, named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year and on the All-Defensive team, Lacie Hull, named the Sixth Player of the Year, and Tara VanDerveer, named the Coach of the Year. Lexie Hull, Haley Jones and Kiana Williams were each named to the 15-player All-Pac-12 list, while Cameron Brink was one of five named to the All-Freshman team.
Wilson is the third player in Stanford history to win Defensive Player of the Year, joining Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (2010) and Chiney Ogwumike (2012, 2013, 2014). Lacie Hull is the first from Stanford to win the coache's vote for Sixth Player of the Year.
The Cardinal has placed at least two players on the All-Pac-12 team since the conference changed the format to a 15-player list in 2010. Stanford's 84 All-Pac-12 selections all-time lead the league. Stanford has featured one player on the All-Defensive team 12 times in its 14 year existence.
Named the Coach of the Year for the 16th time, VanDerveer led her team through unfathomable circumstances en route to Stanford's 24th all-time Pac-12 regular season championship, but first since 2014. The 2020-21 season will undoubtedly be one to remember for VanDerveer, not only for having to maneuver through the challenges of the season including nine weeks on the road and constant discipline and vigilance to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, but also for a monumental record-breaking accomplishment, becoming the all-time winningest coach in women's college basketball history. VanDerveer now boasts an all-time record of 1,116-255, including 964-204 at Stanford.
Returning to the program for a fifth season this year, Wilson took her game to another level and is enjoying the best run of play in her career, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Consistently drawing the toughest matchup and guarding the opposing team's top perimeter player, Wilson asserted herself as a lock-down defender, holding her opponents to under their yearly average in scoring nearly every time on the court. Committed to the scouting report, click here for a rundown on some of Wilson's top defensive numbers from the season. Additionally, Wilson has notched highs this season in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and shooting percentage.
In a team deep with talent, Lacie Hull has embraced her role off the bench as a junior and is used as a reliable cog for Stanford both offensively and defensively. Routinely the first called off the bench, Hull has made appearances in 22 games, averaging 17.0 minutes. Hull's reliability is key to the Cardinal, as the junior features the third-fewest turnovers of any player averaging at least 17 minutes per game. She has scored in 13 games, including a season-best 10 points in Stanford's home win over Colorado, and brought down at least one rebound in every game but one, with another season-high against the Buffs in seven boards. Additionally, she's dished at least two assists in 10 games for the Cardinal and is shooting 43 percent from the floor.
Kiana Williams is just the 14th player in program history to earn All-Pac-12 honors at least three times (2019, 2020, 2021) and does so after another stellar year in leading the Cardinal to the top of the conference. Williams has solidified her name as one of the program's all-time great players, recently breaking into the top-10 in career scoring (1,709 points) and only a baker's dozen away from tying the Stanford record for career 3-pointers. Williams has scored in double figures in 20 of Stanford's 24 games, including a stretch of 12 straight heading into the postseason. Her 53 made 3-pointers are tops in the conference and 25th nationally.
Williams leads the team with 14.0 points per game and has dished a team-high 68 assists this year. Her 431 career assists are just a shade away from also breaking into the top-10 in program history. Her season-best performance came at USC, as Williams dropped 27 points in Los Angeles, tying a career-best with seven made 3-pointers. Stanford is 14-0 this season when Williams hits at least two 3-pointers. Consistently regarded as the key to the team by VanDerveer, Williams has made 119 consecutive starts for the Cardinal.
Now a two-time All-Pac-12 selection, Lexie Hull continues to be a "do it all" player for the Cardinal, known for her hard working and scrappy performance on the court. Hull ranks third on the team, averaging 11.1 points per game, while leading the team in steals (38) and ranking fourth in both rebounding (4.7) and assists (43). Lexie has started every game in which she was available, averaging 26.0 minutes per game and has scored in double figures 14 times, while leading the team in scoring five times, in rebounding three times and in assists three times. Her five steals at Pacific are the most for any Stanford player this season, and she's dropped a season-high 19 points twice, vs. Cal Poly and at Colorado. She's flirted with a double-double multiple times this season, with season-highs of nine rebounds three times.
Returning from a season-ending injury as a freshman, Haley Jones made a splash for the Cardinal as a sophomore, living up to her billing as the No. 1 recruit from the Class of 2019. For the majority of the year, Jones led the Cardinal in scoring, rebounding and assists, the only player in the Pac-12, and one of four in the Power 5, to do so. Jones still leads Stanford in rebounding, averaging 7.5 per game, and ranks second with 13.6 points per game and a total of 66 assists. Her shooting percentage of 54.6 percent is the best in the conference and ranks 24th nationally. Earlier in the season, Jones shot 14-of-15 from the floor against Washington, the best shooting percentage in a single-game for a Stanford player since 1981. Jones leads Stanford with five double-doubles this year and has scored in double figures 17 times, with seven double figure rebounding performances. She ranks third on the team with 19 blocks and has the most defensive rebounds (131) of any player in the league.
Cameron Brink is Stanford's seventh player to earn a spot on the All-Freshman team since its inception in 2010. The rookie from Beaverton, Ore. has made an immediate impact for Stanford, both as a vital scoring weapon on the frontline, as well as a rim protector defensively. Brink leads the conference and is 11th nationally, second among all freshman, with 58 blocks this season, just three shy of the Stanford freshman season record. The Cardinal is 17-0 when Brink blocks at least two blocks in a game and her 225 points are the most for a Stanford freshman through 23 games since Chiney Ogwumike in 2010. Brink has scored in double figures 14 times this season and has made 11 consecutive starts, coinciding with Stanford's 11-game win streak to end the regular season. Earlier in the year, Brink featured a six-game streak with at least three blocks, becoming the first Power 5 player to do so since 2010. She was also the first freshman since Britney Griner in 2009-10 to have at least three blocks in her first six career starts. Featuring an efficient 57.9 shooting percentage from the floor, Brink's season-high of 17 points came in the opener vs. Cal Poly, while her best performance in conference-play was a 16 point, nine rebound performance at Oregon. She's notched two double-doubles this year, including a performance of 12 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks and five assists at Washington State, the first from Stanford with such a stat line. Brink also earned an honorable mention on the All-Pac-12 team.
Stanford is the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament, earning a first-round bye into the quarterfinals. The Cardinal will play the winner of No. 8 USC and No. 9 Arizona State on Thursday, March 4 at 2 p.m. on Pac-12 Network.