clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2011-12 Stanford Women's Basketball Preview

Kayla Pedersen (14) and the Cardinal open their regular season today against Rutgers.
Kayla Pedersen (14) and the Cardinal open their regular season today against Rutgers.

With the No. 3 Stanford women's basketball team set to begin its quest for its first NCAA title since 1992 today against Rutgers, here's a snapshot of the Cardinal to get you ready for the season.

Who's Gone?

  • Jayne Appel, who averaged 13.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, and was a stabilizing force in the middle for the Cardinal.
  • Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, who started all 37 games during last year's run to the NCAA title game and was one of the Cardinal's top defenders.
  • JJ Hones, who provided a spark off the bench, but was dismissed from the team after being charged with operating a golf cart while under the influence.

Who's Back?

  • Nneka Ogwumike, the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, who averaged 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.
  • Jeanette Pohlen, the Cardinal's top 3-point shooter, who averaged 9.3 points per game and will lead Stanford's backcourt.
  • Kayla Pedersen, who, along with fellow tri-captains Ogwumike and Pohlen, was named to the Naismith Award Preseason Watch List. Pedersen averaged 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season.

New Names to Know

  • Chiney Ogwumike, Nneka's younger sister, is the top recruit in the country and a "veteran in a freshman's body," according to head coach Tara VanDerveer. See for yourself.
  • Sara James, whose dedication to her craft reminds Jake Curtis of a former Stanford great, will be counted on to help replace Gold-Onwude's defensive presence.
  • Toni Kokenis, another freshman guard, who will provide additional depth in the backcourt with senior Melanie Murphy sidelined until January.

Circle the Dates

Stanford's non-conference schedule is loaded with traditional powers and 2010 NCAA tournament teams, including Xavier, which visits Maples Pavilion on Dec. 28. The Musketeers may still be smarting from Pohlen's buzzer-beating layup in the Elite Eight. Here are three other games to watch:

  • Dec. 19, 2010 at Tennessee: Anytime the Cardinal and Lady Vols get together it's a big deal. Stanford won last year's meeting at home, 67-52.
  • Dec. 30, 2010 vs. Connecticut: The Huskies could arrive at Maples Pavilion riding a 90-game winning streak. Stanford will be hungry for revenge.
  • Jan. 20, 2011 vs. UCLA: Stanford was the unanimous pick to win its 11th consecutive Pac-10 title. The Bruins, who gave the Cardinal a scare in Stanford's 65-61 win at Pauley Pavilion last season, were picked to finish second.

Additional Reading