#7 Stanford Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Stanford Cardinal

Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
Stanford Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Stanford Team Page


The runaway freight train that is the Stanford women’s basketball program brings back four starters off another tremendous run in 2011-12 where the Cardinal ran the table in the Pac-12 Conference. Even losing the great Nneka Ogwumike as the number one overall draft pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks, the 2012-13 team looks to have more of the safe feel of Stanford being the top dawg in the Pac 12 Conference.

2011-12 Record: 35-2, 18-0
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tara Vanderveer
Coach Record: 709-149 at Stanford, 861-200 overall

Chiney Ogwumike, who averaged a double-double last season, is an absolute dominant presence up front and is huge for this team. In addition, having senior Joslyn Tinkle up front will make it very challenging for teams to be able to focus their energy completely on Ogwumike. In the backcourt, Toni Kokenis’ ability to knock down the perimeter jumper makes teams have to play more honest and that is what makes the Stanford offense as effective and one of the more balanced teams in all of women’s college basketball. In addition, this squad is always well coached. If you beat a Tara Vanderveer coached team, you have earned it as they simply don’t beat themselves.

There aren’t many weaknesses on this team. One point of emphasis for Stanford should be to create more turnovers to take some pressure off of having to execute their regular offense at a high level. The Cardinal only forced 13.9 turnovers per game in 2011-12. The ability to create more turnovers against the likes of Baylor, UCONN, and others deep in the NCAA Tournament is going to make their lives a lot easier. Those are the teams that will have comparable athletes to match up with Stanford. Also, it is going to be important for the Cardinal to develop a little more depth behind Ogwumike and Tinkle up front in case of situations like cold shooting nights and foul trouble late in the season. The ability to rest those two is going to be valuable to keep them fresh come Final Four time.

Final Projection:
The way the Cardinal have been rolling, it is going to take a tremendous effort by the rest of the league to even get a win in the conference against Stanford, let alone win the Pac-12 conference championship. The highest likelihood of competition should be from Cal as they came very close to upsetting the Cardinal in Maples Pavilion last spring. If the backcourt can continue to be a threat from the perimeter with Kokenis and Orrange, it will continually open up the post for Ogwumike and Tinkle to cause plenty of havoc.  Stanford should have another pretty dominant run in 2012-13 but it would not surprise me if the Cardinal had one conference loss, just based on the law of averages. They may eventually drop a close one. However, I still expect, barring injury, this Stanford team to make plenty of noise and threaten to end the run of Baylor and potentially bring a national title back to the west coast.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Amber Orrange, sophomore, Guard, 4.8 points per game
Toni Kokenis, Junior, Guard, 10.0 points per game
Chiney Ogwumike, Junior, Forward, 15.0 points per game
Joslyn Tinkle, Senior, Forward, 8.7 points per game
Taylor Greenfield, Senior, Forward, 3.6 points per game

Madness 2013 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#34 Joslyn Tinkle

Madness 2012 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#4 Alyson Beebe
#97 Tess Picknell