#8 Stanford Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Stanford Cardinal

Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
#8 Stanford Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Stanford Team Page


At first glance, average basketball fans may not think too much of Stanford losing just three of its players to graduation. However, when one of those names is Chiney Ogwumike, then the Cardinal have a small reason to be concerned. Ogwumike was one of the most outstanding players in the Pac-12, not to mention the entire country. Her absence will be felt by the team, but the reality is this is Stanford basketball. Coach Tara VanDerveer didn’t rack up 775 wins at this school for nothing. The question isn’t will Stanford be among the favorites in the Pac-12, it is will the Cardinal reach the upper echelon of the NCAA tournament one more time?

2013-14 Record: 33-4, 17-1
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tara VanDerveer
Coach Record: 775-156 at Stanford, 927-207 overall

The sheer number of players returning will help Stanford compete once again. An area where it should do well is assists, as both Amber Orange and Taylor Greenfield are back. These two combined for 287 of the team’s 655 assists, so there will be no trouble in getting someone to pass the ball off to an open teammate. Another strength is Stanford’s home arena, as the Cardinal did not lose one single game while playing in its home gym last year. This included seven wins over non-conference opponents, so that should be another big plus. The introduction of three of the top 40 freshmen in the country, led by Taylor Rooks, should be something to watch as well. Stanford plays at such a high level that recruits practically flock to this school and the Cardinal somehow end up with the cream of the crop every year.

There are two glaring weaknesses, and both of them have to do with Ogwumike. Her totals of 26.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game were simply superhuman. She also had 66 of the team’s 131 blocked shots, or roughly half. Combined with Mikaela Ruef’s 9.3 rebounds a game, Stanford loses 33 of its 76 points per game and approximately 21 of its 42 rebounds. No doubt there will be people coming in to pick up the slack, but you don’t replace talent like Ogwumike overnight. A lot of the weaknesses the team will have at the start are related to Ogwumike’s absence, but those will fill in with time.

Final Projection:
Do you think Stanford is backing down at all? No way. The second game of the regular season is a November 17th date at home against Connecticut, in what could be a Final Four preview. Texas is also on the home slate, and the team also has battles with North Carolina and Tennessee out of league play. This is pretty much the same schedule as before, just with different dates. If Stanford can navigate this schedule without Ogwumike and Ruef, it should do fine. A few stumbles could cost the team. This is a make or break year at Stanford, as the Cardinal should do well once again but may not have the oomph needed to make the NCAA Final Four one more time.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Amber Orrange, Senior, Guard, 10.3 points per game
Lili Thompson, Sophomore, Guard, 8.3 points per game
Taylor Rooks, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Bonnie Samuelson, Senior, Forward, 7.3 points per game
Taylor Greenfield, Senior, Forward, 5.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.7 (30th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.2 (42, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.0 (8, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.7 (14, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (79, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.2 (26, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.8 (158, 3)
Rebound Margin: 7.8 (19, 1)
Assists Per Game: 17.7 (11, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (12, 1)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#18 Amber Orrange

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#17 Taylor Rooks
#32 Brittany McPhee
#34 Kaylee Johnson


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