#19 Stanford Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Stanford Cardinal

Overall Rank: #19
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
#19 Stanford Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
Stanford Team Page


By Stanford standards, a third place finish in the Pac-12 and a #4 seed in the NCAA Tournament are disappointing. The Cardinal did win a couple tournament games at least before falling to Notre Dame in the Sweet Sixteen. But it was clear that this was not a premier team even with their early season win over Connecticut. Coach Tara VanDerveer has had seasons like that before and usually the Cardinal get right back into the top tier very quickly.

2014-15 Record: 26-10, 13-5
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tara VanDerveer
Coach Record: 801-166 at Stanford, 953-217 overall

Junior guard Lili Thompson is a nice piece to build around. She averaged 13.3 points per game last year and connected on 37.2 percent of her attempts from long range. Thompson is just 5-7, but she is very effective attacking the basket and getting to the charity stripe. Briana Roberson was often used as a super sub last year, but she will need to play a bigger role this time around. Given more of an opportunity, Roberson should be a consistent double digit scorer. Karlie Samuelson is the bigger guard on the team. The 6-0 junior has mostly been a shooter during her time at Stanford and over two-thirds of her shots last season came from beyond the arc. If she can be a bit more physical on both ends of the floor, Samuelson could emerge as a very productive playmaker.

Last season Stanford did not share the ball particularly well, nor did they rebound as well as usual. The problems on the glass though cannot be blamed on Kaylee Johnson. As a freshman last season, she grabbed 9.6 rebounds per game. She also blocked a team high 51 shots. Erica McCall is a big 6-3 junior who is a great shot blocker too, but was not quite as effective on the glass. But neither is particularly effective scoring in the paint. Stanford will also have to do without point guard Amber Orrange, who averaged 13.3 points and 3.5 assists during the 2014-2015 campaign.

Final Projection:
Thompson can run the show, but Stanford’s top recruits are both backcourt players. However, Marta Sniezek and Alexa Romano are not the highest regarded recruits that have come to Palo Alto. If Sniezek and Romano can crack the regular rotation right away, Stanford will have enough depth to work with. Still, it is tough to look at this group and see how they can be that much better, if at all, than they were last season. Surely, the Cardinal will pull off some surprises along the way, but do not be surprised if this group finishes in third place in the Pac-12 again and makes another NCAA Tournament exit in the Sweet Sixteen.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Lili Thompson, Junior, Guard, 13.3 points per game
Briana Roberson, Junior, Guard, 6.4 points per game
Karlie Samuelson, Junior, Guard, 6.4 points per game
Kaylee Johnson, Sophomore, Forward, 5.9 points per game
Erica McCall, Junior, Forward, 5.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.3 (71st in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.5 (92, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (39, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.0 (43, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (57, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.8 (9, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.0 (78, 3)
Rebound Margin: 2.4 (104, 4)
Assists Per Game: 10.3 (320, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (18, 2)

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#34 Marta Sniezek
#88 Alexa Romano


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